May 19 2008

Pakistan And US Are Purging Tribal Areas Of Militants

Published by at 11:23 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

It may be that Pakistan is serious about cleansing the tribal areas of terrorists and militants.  At least that is what some recent reporting shows:

Amid US concerns about talks between the new government and the rebels, the Pakistani military flew in reporters to show how it has sealed off the main access points to a nearby region where Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud is based.

On one of the peaks which loom over Spinkai, Brigadier Ali Abbas tells how the 2,000 men of his brigade surrounded some 600 Taliban rebels guarding access to Mehsud’s den in January.

To the north and west, the other access points to Mehsud territory in the heart of the South Waziristan tribal area were retaken after several months by the army, which says it first emptied the region of civilians.

“We have made a vacuum around Mehsud territory, they are encircled, blocked,” army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told journalists. “With our operation, we forced them to sit at the negotiating table.”

In January, the army launched an offensive in the region under pressure from Washington, which regards the tribal belt as a haven for Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, backed by its Taliban allies.

More here and here.  And some high value targets were definitely taken out in the Bajaur Agency in FATA during a recent missile strike, at least if you consider how the militants are trying to control reporting about who exactly died in the attack.

I had been to Damadola in the north-western tribal district of Bajaur before, but getting there was never as difficult as it was this time.

News of a missile strike on a house in the village last Wednesday night came amid reports of progress in the government’s peace talks with militants in the region.

At least 14 people were killed by the missile – which the Pakistani army says was fired by an unmanned Predator drone operated by the American CIA in Afghanistan.

It was the third suspected US attack on the village in two years.

Midway through our journey, at the Nawagai security check post in Mohmand tribal district, the soldiers told us non-local journalists were banned from entering Bajaur.

More journalists from Peshawar were also refused further passage.

We soon learned that after the missile strike, the militants had cordoned off all roads to the house that was hit, and allowed no one close to the site until the premises had been “cleared”.

So there is no way of knowing who was killed in the attack, and whether any foreign al-Qaeda militants were among the dead.

Additionally, it is not easy to chat up local people when it comes to discussing Taleban activities in the area.

Taleban militants appear to be in complete control of two Bajaur sub-dsitricts, Mamund and Salarzai, and people seem to be reluctant to express their opinions freely.

I would bet someone of high value was targeted – that is the only reason the US would risk its alliance with Pakistan by taking unilateral action (which was secretly allowed under the previous Pakistani government). The WSJ reports the target was a top al-Qaeda planner, someone who would coordinate the next 9-11 style attack on the West:

A U.S. missile strike in a remote area of Pakistan last week killed a top al Qaeda planner suspected of involvement in attacks targeting Europe, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.

The strike killed al Qaeda operative Abu Suleiman al Jaziery and at least 14 others, the officials said. Some of the dead were civilians, according to a senior Pakistani official and a pair of U.S. officials familiar with the incident. The strike has been reported, but Mr. Jaziery hadn’t previously been identified as the primary target.

Mr. Jaziery had been hiding in a suspected al Qaeda safe house in the village of Damadola. The Pakistani official said U.S. drones destroyed the house with a pair of Predator missiles, killing the militant and more than a dozen others.

This man had to be “a clear and present danger” to the US and/or its allies for this action to be taken.  And that phrase has been used before in relation to this area of Pakistan:

The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency says al-Qaida has established a safe haven in the tribal areas near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that it presents a “clear and present danger” to the West. VOA’s Kent Klein reports from Washington.

Many people understand that phrase is used when the United States takes actions it believes are preemptive against imminent attack.  This is what I predicted back then:

The use of the term “Clear and Present Danger” means the US has formally identified these gathering forces as a threat and are signaling clearly to the world we intend to remove that threat as soon as possible.

Keep your eyes on Pakistan folks, this will be one of those locations that might go down in history – just as the Battle of The Bulge did in WW II.

Why was this man never heard of before?  Because he was known to US and European intelligence, and therefore he would not be publicly recognized by our intelligence since that would only alert him that he is being watched.  If he was taken out, then there may be more tentacles spanning out from him, probably to sleeper cells or AQ attack squads.  Was he the head of AQ plans foiled in Europe?  Possibly.  But he was definitely a high valued target – which means he was a serious threat. 

What is interesting is Pakistan has made it clear this will not be the last attack by the US and NATO on threats hiding in Pakistan:

A Pakistani government official said his government would continue to allow the U.S. to target terrorist hideouts in response to actionable intelligence.

President Bush has not rested one moment in his efforts to take out threats against this nation.  One needs to ask Senator Obama what he would do – would he sue for talks and let the threat act on its plans?

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Pakistan And US Are Purging Tribal Areas Of Militants”

  1. Hyscience says:

    Pakistan Just Might Finally Be Getting Serious About Cleansing Tribal Areas Of Extremists…

    If we can go by what some recent reporting shows, Pakistan is serious about cleansing the tribal areas of terrorists and militants: Amid US concerns about talks between the new government and the rebels, the Pakistani military flew in reporters to sho…

  2. […] In January, the army launched an offensive in the region under pressure from Washington, which regards the tribal belt as a haven for Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, backed by its Taliban allies.Much more at The Strat-Sphere … […]

  3. norm says:

    um…in august of ’07 obama said we needed to act on credible intelligence about al queda in pakistan, and and was po-poo’ed by the administration and it’s cult of followers. since then predator drones have taken out a number of high value targets…just as he said.
    in the meantime mcbush shows his foreign ploicy chops…no wonder he’s afraid to talk to our enemies…he doesn’t know who they are.
    i know obama doesn’t look like you, so you are terribly afraid…but it will be ok. in the meantime just hide under your bed.

  4. […] AJ at The Strata-Sphere: Pakistan And US Are Purging Tribal Areas Of Militants. Kicking jihadist (can I say that now?) behinds and taking names in the tribal areas – good […]

  5. AJStrata says:


    Get off the racist crap. Obama’s skin color is not his problem. What is clear is all his complaints about how the war on terror is being waged are all washed up. Between the pending victory in Iraq and the fact we are taking the fight right to the terrorists in Pakistan – with their backing – simply shows how clueless he his.

    Maybe he should have spent more time in the Senate learning about what was happening instead of winging it so poorly (like a typical liberal neophyte).

  6. kathie says:

    Norm you are emotional beyond words. An intellectual argument would serve you better. Where do you think we got KSM. We have always worked with Pakistan, we have always had the ability to take out targets. We just have not advertised it. There is difference between taking on the Pakistanis, and what Bush is doing with targeted covert operations. Even the media understood that, I’m sure with a little thought you can understand it as well.

  7. 75 says:

    Eventually, the only safe haven left to Islamo-fascists will be Norm’s house. and Keith Olbermann’s I assume.

  8. norm says:

    pending victory in iraq? you mean iran’s new ally in the region? you still can’t describe victory. much less explain iran’s role in that victory.
    what is happening in pakistan now is not because of bush, it is in spite of bush. bush only wanted to feed musharef billions for doing nothing. bushs policies failed to keep al queda from becoming resurgent in pakistan. you on the extreme far right fringe seem to forget what doesn’t fit your vision of the world.
    and kathie…the one that wrote “…there is only one reason Obama wants out of iraq. he wants to use the money for domestic projects…” is asking for an intellectual argument? that’s funny. start with telling me who ever talked about taking on the pakistanis?

  9. MerlinOS2 says:

    I read too many conflicting reports of some saying we are making progress there and some saying the new government is trying to ease up and make a truce again and will not patrol the border.

    It is really getting hard to sift out the facts among all the conflicting viewpoints that are coming out of that area until the new government settles in and starts talking in one voice.

  10. kathie says:

    Here you go NORM, Mr. Obama thinks he thought up something new, or he is pretending he doesn’t know the agreement we have with Pakistan. Who knows?

    Mr Obama said Pakistan must do more to tackle al-Qaeda
    US presidential candidate Barack Obama has said he would use military force if necessary against al-Qaeda in Pakistan even without Pakistan’s consent.
    Mr Obama made the comments in a speech outlining his foreign policy positions.

    Pakistan’s foreign ministry said any threat to act against al-Qaeda from within its territory should not be used for political point-scoring.

    Earlier this month, Mr Obama’s chief rival, Hillary Clinton, described him as “naive” on foreign policy.

  11. kathie says: