Big news from the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where one of the most vicious militants in Pakistan has been killed in a joint raid by Pakistan and the USA. His name is Ilyas Kashmiri (means he comes from the Kashmir region). He was on the USA’s most wanted list of Al Qaeda terrorists. Even better news is that this strike was a two for the price of one effort. Another top Al Qaeda operative Faruq was killed in the same hit.
The Mail Online has a rundown on the infamous career of Kashmiri, who is blamed for the attack on the naval base in Karachi, as well as being involved in the attack in Mumbai. With the death of Kashmiri, the Al Qaeda leadership has been further weakened.
Let’s just hope that MI6 have another successful attempt at using cupcake recipes to scramble the Inspire online magazine. Besides, I think a lot of people might be interested in a mojita cupcake 🙂 and yes the mojita cocktail is great, especially helpful when one is suffering a little bit of sea sickness so imagine what the cupcake could achieve 🙂
Reuters is reporting that the Pakistani security officials have arrested two brothers – Kamran Ahmed and Zaman Ahmed – in relation to the attack on the naval base last week. The report has some interesting detail about the brothers and the ex-navy commando, including the fact that he was bounced from the navy because he attacked a senior officer and was declared mentally unfit for duty. Perhaps what they really meant was that Ahmed was showing signs of being an Islamist which is incompatible with being in the armed forces.
As usual, one has to read the details to find the extra little nuggets of information. In this case, the report indicates that Ahmed had supplied information about the naval base to a militant network. Also, Ahmed was suspected of involvement with an earlier attack upon an army base but was never arrested over that particular crime:
The Pakistani Taliban, which is allied to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Mehran base, but many analysts believe they had inside help.
A group of between four and six militants besieged the base for 16 hours and destroyed two P-3C Orion aircraft from the Unites States, crucial for Pakistan’s maritime surveillance capabilities.
Pakistan has faced a wave of assaults over the last few years, many of them claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked militant groups.
In October 2009, a small group of militants attacked the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, taking 42 people hostage, including several officers. By the end of the day-long siege, nine gunmen, 11 soldiers and three hostages were dead.
If you think that Pakistan was not complicit in hiding OBL then think again. Here is an interesting report from the Telegraph which claimst that members of the Taliban visited OBL in the hideaway in Abbottabad. He communicated with a number of his followers by their visits. The person who gave the information is a Taliban leader who is considered a reliable source and who last visited OBL 2 years ago.
It is unbelievable to think that OBL was hiding in plain sight, and who had members of the Taliban visiting him, without the Pakistan military or the ISI knowing what was going on at their backdoor step.
Somebody big was sheltering OBL at that location. The real giveaway has been a comment from the youngest wife, a Yemeni woman, who stated that Pakistan officials escorted her back in about 2003 and sent her home. This was about the time that OBL was hiding in the Tora Boras. It would seem that someone very high up in the ISI or the military was tipping off OBL, and that is how he escaped from the Tora Boras.
My money has been on Musharaf as the person who was assisting OBL, but I could be wrong. There is another name, someone who had been in charge of the ISI for a very short time, that has surfaced. It is more than likely that this is the person who was sheltering OBL and who set him up in Abbottabad under the noses of the military.
Pakistan has become increasingly militant and there has been a very dramatic rise in Islamisation of Pakistan. At the same time the Pakistan Taliban is intent upon seizing control of the government. If they succeed, they will do the same as the Afghanistan Taliban, where women are not allowed to work, and the hospitals where women give birth will become run down. It will also mean that any woman not wearing that weird get-up called a burka will be punished with beatings, or have acid thrown in their faces, as well as being seized from the streets, taken to prison and being tortured.
The importance of this trial concerns what David Headley will testify about the Pakistan ISI complicity in the Mumbai massacre. It seems that Pakistan has been playing a double game, and now that OBL is dead the Pakistanis want to take their bat and ball and go home. There are many who are irate about the drone attacks in Waziristan (the Pakistan Govt know about the attacks but pretend otherwise). The anger is being stirred up by Islamists, members of the Pakistan Taliban and others.
The Mumbai massacre was extremely deadly and India certainly believed that members of the ISI were complicit. Headley, a Pakistani born American citizen is being called as a prosecution witness:
Mr. Headley told Indian investigators that the officer, known only as Major Iqbal, “listened to my entire plan to attack India.” Another officer with the intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, “assured me of the financial help,” Mr. Headley said.
As the United States presses Pakistan for answers about whether the ISI played a role in harboring Osama bin Laden, Mr. Headley is set to recount his story of the Mumbai attack in a federal courthouse in Chicago. What he discloses could deepen suspicions that Pakistani spies are connected to terrorists and could potentially worsen relations between Washington and Islamabad.
India, the site of the November 2008 attacks, will be monitoring the trial for evidence of the ISI’s duplicity. Pakistan will also be listening to — and is likely to deny — Mr. Headley’s every word. Islamabad has been dismissing his accusations against the ISI as little more than a desperate performance by a man hoping to avoid the death penalty.
Any new evidence of ISI malfeasance that emerges from the trial will reverberate in Washington, with the relationship between the United States and Pakistan at its most tenuous in years.
A growing chorus on Capitol Hill argues that the discovery of Bin Laden’s hideout and the evidence in Mr. Headley’s case leave no doubt that the ISI and its Pakistani military overseers have played a cynical double game with the United States. Pakistan has received $20 billion in military and development assistance since 2001, and its military, they say, has sheltered Bin Laden, supported Afghan Taliban who kill American troops and guided the militants who attacked Mumbai.
Mr. Headley himself is not on trial. But he will be the main witness against Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Chicago businessman who is accused of providing financial and logistical support for the 2008 siege in Mumbai. The attack, a barrage of gunfire and grenades, killed at least 163 people, including six Americans. Mr. Rana’s defense is that he agreed to support Mr. Headley’s activities in India because he was led to believe he was working for the ISI, and therefore the Pakistani government.