Category Archives: Taliban

The bun fight begins


Al Qaeda have named an interim successor to OBL. The man named is the Egyptian Saif al-Adel, who was also a close associate of OBL. The point to make here is that this Egyptian, which might be an indication that AQ has its sights on Egypt once again.

To reiterate some of the history of this terrorist organization, OBL had been linked with the radical wing of MB prior to forming AQ. Saif al-Adel was also a part of that terrorist organization. It is probable that Saif al-Adel was also the person behind the assassination of Anwar Sadat. The focus of OBL and AQ was originally to take control in Egypt. OBL had also dreamed of ousting the Saudi royals and there have been plenty of attacks by AQ in Saudi Arabia.

However, these days, AQ is split into factions that have formed in these ME countries – there are branches in Yemen, Algeria and Iraq. It also seems that AQ would like to be active in Libya (and some of their members have been trying to cross the border via Tunisia). On top of that there are cells in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as in Pakistan. Then there is the relationship between the Afghanistan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban to AQ. I should add here that there have been reports that the Afghanistan Taliban are attempting to distance themselves from AQ and the legacy of OBL (which I find interesting).

The AQ contingent in Libya is quite small when compared to the other protester-rebels who are attempting to oust Daffy Duck.  However, the Daffy Duck regime has muddied the waters with claims that he has been attempting to get rid of “thugs and members of AQ” when in fact the people that he has been killing are civilians. This is despite the fact that there are some Islamists who are fighting for their own lives and the lives of their families and friends. (time will tell if they have reformed when Daffy is finally dispatched from the country).

With all of these factions, it would seem that AQ now need a leader who will focus bringing the disparate groups together. The naming of an Egyptian might indicate that they are attempting to strengthen their influence in that country now that there is a void in the country’s leadership. It also means that neither Al-Awlaki or Zahawrihi have the numbers to gain the top spot now that OBL is dead. 

 

Afghan Taliban had visited Abbottabad


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 death of OBL does not change the F grade given to Østupid for his foreign policy failures


Yes, it is true, I am a very harsh critic of the Østupid regime.  There are few amongst them that deserve any accolades. However, I will give special mention to Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, David Petreus and John Brennan for their persistence in going after OBL. They deserve the accolades for the death of OBL, not Østupid.

In the week since it was announced that OBL was dead, there has been so much spin coming out of the White House that it has been enough to make a person go dizzy. The stories have been changing daily, and there has been a lack of consistency about those stories. Even that story about waiting 16 hours before giving the final go ahead sounds like cow dung. It is a story that does not show decisiveness, but instead shows virtual cowardice when it comes to facing the realities of a war situation. It sounds like the truth lies somewhere between the Ulsterman report on the matter, and the cow dung fodder that came out of the press. I have a hard time imagining that the fey pResident could hammer his fist on a table to give the go ahead on something this important, and then head off to parties and playing golf, whilst it is all going down.

The fallout from the action is still very nuclear at the present time. The relationship between the USA and Pakistan is deteriorating rapidly. What is worse, the Pakistanis have released the name of the top CIA agent in Pakistan, which has put his life in danger. This is partly caused by the spin that has come from the White House, as well as the refusal to release the pictures of the body of OBL or of the video that showed him being fed to the sharks.

There should have been a very real psychological advantage in showing those photographs, but the image-obsessed pResident has told the world that he is “afraid” of any ensuing outrage. Well, the fact is the outrage is going to happen anyway, and why should the USA be concerned about the sensibilities of a bunch of very brain deficient individuals who go crazy over the slightest thing?

However, it is not just the handling of finding OBL that keeps that grade as an F, but it is the way in which he has handled other Middle East issues.  For example, when the Iranian regime crushed the protests of the people with bloodshed, Østupid said nothing until prompted by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. If it had not been for those two, Østupid would have totally ignored the human rights abuses in Iran. It was the death of Neda that made a difference, but the difference was short lived. The notion of extending a hand has been proved to be fruitless, and on the other hand it has shown to the Iranians that the USA has been weakened by having this man as pResident.

Then there is the attitude over the uprising in Egypt. The strategic concerns for the region were overridden out of some other underlying beliefs that Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to control Egypt… oh what a web we weave!!! Now it seems that the Salafists are on the loose in Egypt and the uprisings that are about to take off again are going to get extremely bloody unless the army is willing to stop the slaughter of the Copts. Muburak at least kept these Salafists (allied to AQ) under control. The demands that the pResident made to Muburak to step down were totally ill-considered.  Tunisia is also troubled, but it is a far more settle nation for the time being.

Since there have been several uprisings, and with brutal crackdowns by the regime in question, this leaves open further accusations of inconsistency in policy. As an example here, look at both Libya and Syria. I do see the differences in that Syria was slower to crack down on the population, and in Syria the situation is becoming more and more bloody. It has been the slow build-up. On the other hand, in Libya, Gadhafi planned his reaction in advance of any protests. At first Østupid made some noises, but only after Sarkozy and Cameron were insisting that action had to be taken. The UN no-fly zone enforcement is justified in Libya because Daffy Duck was bombing his own people, pretending that he was combating AQ elements. I have discussed at length that much of the claims about the involvement of AQ in Libya has been exaggerated, and is mostly coming from regime propaganda. This does not mean that some AQ associated individuals are not present, it just means that the vast majority are not associated with AQ, and that they are fighting for their lives against a wounded bull. That being said, the issue here is the manner in which Østupid stepped back, leaving a gap that had not been filled in the mission to take out Daffy’s means of killing Libyans. The attack on Misrata is outrageous and it needs to be stopped.  It needs strong leadership from the US and instead, the leadership has been totally wimpy. I commend both Sarkozy and Cameron, and I give a special mention to the Turk Erdogan for their efforts in attempting to protect the citizens of Misrata and Zintan.

To these concerns about Libya, I add here that the pResident had plenty of time to go to the Congress before the UN resolution, and to put to Congress the possible actions that would be required. The fact that he was spending his time on vacation, playing golf and giving parties, indicates that he is not serious in being a leader of the world. The fact is that without Congressional approval, the participation of the US in the Libyan action is not illegal, but certainly illicit. 

For these reasons… and counting…. an F grade on foreign policy and international relations is still very appropriate.

The order for the 7/7 bombing came from Pakistan


I have just been reading this story and discovered something interesting. The order for the London bombings known as 7/7 that killed 52 people, and left many seriously maimed and injured, came from Pakistan. I have mentioned several times about the links to Pakistan, and that a large number of Pakistanis have been involved in the acts of terror, but this particular story fills in some interesting detail, via a girl who knew one of the bombers. Siddique Khan was the ringleader of the group, and he took his orders from Pakistan.

Everything seems to come back to Pakistan, and I continue to believe that someone very high up in the government, or in the military, or in the intelligence services in Pakistan was a conduit for OBL. I believe that someone high up in Pakistan was protecting OBL from the West. This feeling is getting stronger and stronger, although I am not sure where it is leading.

On the other hand, even though Pakistan has denied involvement, I have become convinced that the Pakistan military at least, was aware that the raid was going to happen. Something else that sparked my interest came from American Thinker where  a link was made to the CIA operative who shot and killed two men in Lahore, and then an embassy vehicle ran down and killed a person on a bicycle in a separate but connected incident. Did the ISI not know that these people were operating in Lahore and in Abbottabad? How can the military say that they had no idea that the helicopters were coming in to take the OBL compound? Hmmm… that is just to satisfy the religious element in Pakistan. 

My guess is that the order for the London bombing came from OBL but he was not in Abbottabad at the time, and was probably in a safe house in a nearby location. I doubt that he was in the Tora Boras for any length of time, and that he was hiding out in a similar city until the compound was built.  Pakistanis apparently have a tendency to not worry too much if a criminal lives in their midst.

Accusations and backtracking, left, right and centre


What a confusing week!! My week started on Monday when I saw a news report that was the result of a tweet from the aide to Donald Rumsfeld. Oi Vey!!  The tweet pre-empted the announcement that was to come from the White House that Osama Bin Laden had been killed during a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There are some people who just cannot accept that OBL had been alive and hiding in Pakistan, however, I see no reason to contradict the information because there is a lot of information out there that corroborates everything.

First, there is the story of how the raid went down. There has been backtracking galore on the details. You can blame that on a strategy plan that came about from a meeting the pResident had prior to his announcement. No doubt in my mind that they fudged the details in that meeting. We were told that one of the wives had been used as a human shield, but that was not true. The truth is that the woman thrust herself towards one of the SEALS and she was shot in the leg. A woman did die, but she was the wife of the courier who was the first to be shot. Then we were told that there had been “resistance”, and here we have more conflicting stories because the guns that were in the bedroom of OBL had been removed by the SEALS (or at least that is the latest story). I put no value in the story of the 12 year old, so for the moment I will discount that testimony. 

Second, there are accusations and counter-accusations from all manner of sources. There is indeed a need to question the role of the ISI and of the Pakistani government. Who was shielding Osama Bin Laden? Who put out the original stories several years ago that he was dead? I have no doubt in my mind that those stories were circulated deliberately by those who were shielding OBL whilst he continued to live in the compound in Abbottabad. However, in my mind those stories never rang true, and that includes the claim that he variously had kidney disease, lung disease or liver disease. There is absolutely no proof with regards to those assertions. As for those who claim he is an old man, I say thank you very much, but at 57 I am not an old woman, and OBL was 3 years younger than myself!!!!! In other words, he was not an old man, so those who claim such are simply trying to justify their own stances on a variety of issues.  It would be interesting to know how it was that a whole group of people in the intelligence community came to believe in the lie that OBL was dead back in about 2003. 

Third, there have been accusations regarding who nearly gave the game away – the tilt was at the Australian Foreign Minister who let the cat out of the bag that a top Indonesian operative and most wanted person associated with AQ had been captured in Pakistan. This was great theatre and more mud slinging. However, I doubt that Kevin Rudd did compromise anything because someone in the intelligence community in Pakistan had tipped off the media about that particular prize catch.  Regardless, this was a prize catch that helped affirm that OBL was in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Fourth, there are questions being asked about who in Pakistan was shielding OBL. Well I have a theory, and I think it goes right to the top, not to the current President, but to General Musharraf, the former President of Pakistan. Here is why I think that he was involved  and it is a report in the UK Guardian:

In Afghanistan, a former intelligence chief told the Guardian that four years ago Pakistan ignored a tip-off that Bin Laden was hiding near Abbottabad. Amrullah Saleh, former head of the National Directorate of Security, which has a long-standing rivalry with the ISI, said that he had believed in 2007 that Bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra,very near Abbottabad, in one of two al-Qaida safe houses. When he put this to Pakistan’s then president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, he grew furious and smashed his fist on the table, said Saleh. “Am I the president of the Republic of Banana?” said Musharraf, Saleh recalled, leading an alarmed President Hamid Karzai, also at the meeting, to intervene.

Saleh, a fierce critic of Pakistan who has now entered Afghan politics, said he had no doubts that Mullah Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, is hiding in an ISI safe house in Karachi: “He is protected by ISI. General Pasha [Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha, the ISI director general] knows, as I am talking to you, where Omar is, and he keeps daily briefs from his officers on the location of senior Taliban leaders.”

The direct accusation being made by Saleh is that the ISI is providing safe houses for these wanted individuals, including Mullah Omar. Since Saleh had it wrong about the location of OBL, I will suggest that the person who is located at Manshera is probably al-Zawahri. This is a hunch, because I feel certain that he, like OBL is hiding out somewhere in Pakistan and he is not living in a cave in the Tora Boras. It also begs the question: who tipped off OBL and companions that the allied forces were about to hit the Tora Boras? Somebody in the ISI, rather than the military likely tipped him off. It also begs the question about Musharref and whether he had ever been serious about catching these AQ operatives.

Fifth, there is a barrage of accusations against both the Pakistan government and the Pakistan military. The military is trying to let it slip that they did in fact know about the operation. However, this has not stopped the population in general criticizing the military over letting US forces carry out this raid. On the other hand, there is a good reason to question why the US is spending billions of dollars of aid on Pakistan.  Should aid be cut off, or at least cut back? 

Likewise, I question whether or not there had been any serious attempt to bring the Islamists under control. Pakistan is a nation where the Islamists have been on the rise. For this reason alone there is a lot of sympathy for the Taliban, as well as for AQ and for OBL in particular. The outpouring is bound to get worse, depending upon the radical imams and their Friday sermons. If the imams give a fiery sermon then you can expect a lot of the same that we have seen when Pakistanis get angry… expect the flag burning, the church burning and effigy burning in the near future.

The handling of the news about this operation has been totally botched.

Is the Taliban trying to distance itself from Al Qaeda?


One news report seems to think that the Taliban leadership is set to distance itself completely from Al Qaeda. This might be good news from the point of view that it might be seen as an effort to bring about some form of settlement in Afghanistan.

The Taliban leadership does not seem to be prepared to believe that the U.S. has taken out Osama Bin Laden. I guess that puts them on the same level as some American conspiracy theorists who are making the odd claim that OBL died years ago as a result of failing kidneys, and that the body of OBL had been frozen until now (it is hardly a convincing scenario).

The fact remains that OBL most likely paid for the property and the mansion to be built, and that is how the two couriers were able to look like they could afford to live in the compound. The idea of OBL living in a cave somewhere in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan never really rang true. Also, those who claimed that he was dead prior to last Monday (my time) were never able to provide proof of their assertions.  Instead, this news points more and more to the idea that the ISI or the Pakistani military, especially the jihadi elements knew the whereabouts of OBL. On top of that there is an inkling that someone within the Pakistani intelligence community had tipped off OBL when he was in the Tora Bora region that the allies were going to strike.

I have not blogged all that much on other matters within the Pakistan/Afghanistan region, even though I have mentally noted the number of times that NATO trucks have been bombed or attacked by the Taliban.  I also note that Pakistan has its own Taliban. Some areas such as Bolochistan have jihadists that have been “disappeared” and whose bodies turn up, indicating that they have been tortured before being killed.

That being said, it really is interesting to note these moves by the Taliban. If they are distancing themselves from Al Qaeda, then there is room for some negotiation. However, they should never be allowed to take over the Afghanistan government again. When they were in charge there was a reign of terror at their hands.