Jan 19 2008

Bhutto Back-Up Assassin Captured

Published by at 8:36 am under All General Discussions,Pakistan

A teenage suicide bomber has been captured in the Waziristan area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan who was part of a team of back-up assassins who were with the two gunmen who killed Benazir Bhutto – and his story confirms the fact the attack was carried out by al-Qaeda, not government elements:

Pakistani police have arrested a teenager who was allegedly part of a five-man squad assigned to kill opposition leader Benazir Bhutto last month, security officials said.
The suspect, 15-year-old Aitezaz Shah, was arrested from the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan on Friday while planning a suicide bombing over the Muslim festival of Ashura, they said on condition of anonymity.

Shah told interrogators he had been part of a back-up team of three bombers who were tasked with killing former premier Bhutto if the original December 27 attack by two men had failed, the officials added.

Shah, originally from the southern city of Karachi, went for training last year at a camp run by one of Mehsud’s commanders in the tribal border region of Waziristan, the security officials quoted him as telling investigators.

He allegedly said the attackers in the team that killed Bhutto were called Bilal and Ikramullah — the same names mentioned in an alleged telephone conversation between Mehsud and another militant the day after Bhutto’s death.

The evidence is mounting and becoming indisputable that it was al-Qaeda who killed Benazir Bhutto. And it is also clear this same Baitullah Meshud is preparing for serious battle because he has also turned off all power to a major city in the middle of winter:

ension between the Mehsud and Ahmedzai Wazir tribes is growing in South Waziristan after power supply to Wana was apparently disconnected by the Mehsuds, tribal sources said on Wednesday.

“There has been no electricity in Wana and its surrounding areas for the last 15 days because the power line goes through the Mehsud areas and the Mehsuds have (allegedly) cut it off,” they told Daily Times.

Mistrust between the two groups has risen to such a level that the Ahmedzai Wazirs have stopped travelling through the Mehsud areas for fears of being captured or killed.

Well, Baitullah has certainly gotten the attention he wanted. The Pakistanis are taking serious action in the area:

Around 90 miscreants were killed and four troops injured in two fights in Ladah and Jandola, an army statement said on Friday, amid reports that government forces backed by aircraft and artillery have launched a massive operation to clear out fighters who overran military positions earlier this week.

More here. One story I found truly interesting is we have US-trained forces in the action (which could mean the US is supporting them in the field as well):

Two platoons of the US-trained Special Services Group (SSG) of the Pakistan Army, accompanied by Peshawar-based units of the Frontier Corps (FC), were helicopter-lifted to South Waziristan on January 18, 2008, to beat back a group of about 150 Mehsuds and Uzbeks, who had assembled in an attempt to capture a third fort near Laddah, in which an outpost of the FC was located. They dispersed the jihadis after killing about 60 of them. Another platoon of the SSG recaptured the fort at Siplatoi, which had been taken over by the Mehsuds on January 17, 2008, after the FC personnel posted there surrendered or ran away without a fight.

The Army has also started moving troops of the regular Army by road in order to strengthen the morale of the FC personnel deployed in South Waziristan. The Mehsuds tried to ambush an army convoy on the Jandola-Wana road, but their ambush did not succeed. The troops in the convoy took up position and beat back the attackers after killing about 20 of them.

Simultaneously, two fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force and two helicopter gunships of the army made repeated punitive strikes on Mehsud-majority villages. These air strikes continued intermittently the whole of January 18,2008. More Pakistani troops from regular army units are likely to be rushed to South Waziristan on January 19,2008.

Call my Pollyannish, but I just don’t see Pakistan that out of control. Too many of its people reject the Taliban and al-Qaeda and want peace for the brutal tactics of these thugs to create a following. They instead just end up creating posses which go out to hunt them down and kill them like the animals they are. They are not as impressive as they were 7 years ago.

One response so far

One Response to “Bhutto Back-Up Assassin Captured”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Separately, security forces have arrested a suspected teenaged suicide bomber, Ismail Khan, in the northwestern city of Dera. Security officials said he was on his way to Karachi to attack Shi’ite processions.

    But senior security officials denied a report that the 15-year-old boy had confessed to being part of a five-member team that attacked and killed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on December 27. Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said the report was a rumor.

    As I say fairly often in various blogs, please do not believe ANYTHING coming out of Pakistan in the press. You will find whatever it is that you are looking for.