Jul 02 2008

Curious Coincidence: Bin Laden, Bajaur Agency, US Missiles In The News

Published by at 10:24 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT,Pakistan


Lots of discussions today on whether we could target Bin Laden with a drone if we discovered his hide out (see here and here). From the second link we read this:

Pakistan long ago gave Washington the right to launch an immediate Predator drone strike on Osama bin Laden, without first notifying Islamabad, if he is located in Pakistani tribal areas, The Washington Times reported Wednesday.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf granted this exception to other limits on US counterterrorism operations in his country “early” in the war against Al-Qaeda, launched in Afghanistan in October 2001, the Times said, citing “a knowledgeable official.”

Then, we see news of a US missile strike in Bajaur Agency today, one of the Agencies of the Pakistan FATA region:

Two people were killed and two wounded Wednesday when a missile fired from Afghanistan landed near a border post in a Pakistani tribal area, a senior security official said.

It was not clear if the missile that hit the troubled Bajaur district was launched by Taliban militants in Afghanistan or international forces fighting them, the official said.

Why are these two stories supposedly linked? Well, last year Pakistan President Musharraf admitted Bin Laden could be in Pakistan, and the location he guessed Bin Laden would be hiding was none other than Bajaur Agency:

Talking to The Washington Post , President Pervez Musharraf has stated that Osama bin Laden could be in the area “that borders Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency and Afghanistan’s Kunar province”. This statement, still containing elements of uncertainty, brings him pretty close to actually saying that Al Qaeda could be headquartered in Pakistan. It doesn’t take a big leap of the imagination to conclude that Aiman Al Zawahiri, his number two, is also with him.

Why Bajaur? Because, according to President Musharraf, the Kunar province of Afghanistan now has NATO-US forces whereas there were none in the past. Is his view based on solid intelligence? No, he said, but there have been attacks inside Bajaur aimed at hitting the Al Qaeda leadership.

That was from December, 19, 2007. In October 2007 there were reports of AQ number 2 Ayman Zawahiri in Bajaur. Is this all simply coincidence? Who knows, but it really peaked my interest.

Update: Well, it seems I missed a report of an early missile hit in the Khyber Agency a few days back:

An explosion wrecked the compound of a militant Islamic group on Monday, killing as many as eight people. Pro-Taliban militants claimed the explosion was caused by a missile fired by American forces not far across the border in Afghanistan, but a Pakistani officer said it occurred when explosives that had been stored in the compound blew up.

The explosion, which buried bodies in piles of shattered masonry and mud bricks, came during the third day of an offensive by Pakistani paramilitary forces in the Khyber Agency, which is adjacent to Peshawar.

Wonder who we targeted, and who we got.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Curious Coincidence: Bin Laden, Bajaur Agency, US Missiles In The News”

  1. Snapple says:

    The article you cite in your update does not say that we targeted this compound with a missile.

    The radicals say it was a missle.

    The US and Pakistani sources don’t say that.

    The US claims they didn’t fire a missile, and the Pakistani says that the compound blew up because they had explosives there.

  2. AJStrata says:

    Yes Snapple, that is why I link the articles so people have all the data. I was just noting the coincidence in the news patterns. Seemed interesting to me!