February 18, 2010

9 More, including al Qaeda, rounded up in Karachi (Yes, Rusty is a god)

This is big people, very big. And it just keeps getting bigger!

And in the headline I didn't say I was the God, just a god. Did I not say only yesterday that the distinction between al Qaeda and the Taliban was mostly superficial? -- based on the wishful thinking that we could negotiate some kind of settlement with the Taliban but not al Qaeda --- And that therefore the capture of an al Qaeda courier in late January might have yielded the information leading to the arrest of top Taliban commanders?

Sure, there are macro reasons why the Pakistanis might be finally giving in and helping us round up Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, but the internal dynamics of Pakistan are not the proximate reason for what is beginning to look like a massive roundup based on some recently acquired actionable intelligence.

The net gets wider and wider as the recently announced arrests in Karachi now include leaders of al Qaeda. Do you still doubt the powers of the Dark Side?

AP:

The latest arrests took place late Wednesday and early Thursday when nine militants linked to al-Qaida were nabbed near Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi, where the Taliban's deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was picked up several days ago....

Communications intercepted by U.S. authorities played a key role in tracking and arresting the suspects, who were in Karachi buying bomb-making equipment, the officials said. They were taken to Islamabad for questioning....

Among those arrested in the three Karachi area raids were:

-Ameer Muawiya, an associate of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden who was in charge of foreign al-Qaida militants operating in Pakistan's tribal regions near Afghanistan.

-Akhunzada Popalzai, also known as Mohammad Younis, a one-time Taliban shadow governor in Zabul province and former police chief in Kabul when the repressive regime ruled Afghanistan, according to Mullah Mamamood, a tribal leader in Ghazni province.

-Hamza, who served as a former Afghan army commander in Helmand province, during the Taliban rule.

-Abu Riyan al Zarqawi, also known as Abu Musa, and his local facilitator, Mufti Kifayatullah. According to another Pakistani intelligence official, Zarqawi was involved in dealing with Chechen and Tajik militants operating in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt on the border with Afghanistan.

The two Taliban shadow governors — Mullah Abdul Salam of Kunduz province and Mullah Mohammad in Baghlan province — were arrested about 10 to 12 days ago in Pakistan, according to Afghan and Pakistani officials.

It's time to break out M.C. Hammer. I'll probably update this post later. Thanks to Darth Odius.

UPDATE: From Bill Roggio, with the caveat that his sources are in Pakistan (where rumor and fact are hard to tell apart):

Pakistan identified two of the al Qaeda leaders as Abu Reyan Al Zarkazi, who is also known as Abu Musa, and Kifayatullah, Dawn reported. Abu Musa was described as “a known associate of Osama Bin Laden and was notorious for firing down US drones in Waziristan.” He also led foreign al Qaeda fighters in the tribal areas and “was notorious for firing down US drones in Waziristan.”

Pakistani police in Karachi also arrested Abu Waqas, a Taliban leader form the Bajaur tribal agency. Abu Waqas was in Karachi to “train 270 teenage girls aged between 13 and 16 for suicide attacks,” Daily Times reported. Waqas told police he had masterminded attacks against security forces and girls’ schools in Bajaur. The military has claimed it has secured much of Bajaur from the Taliban.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:15 AM | Comments |