Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Many killed in deadly Jihadi Blast at Quetta, Pakistan.

September 8, 2011

A Jihadi hell always stays in Pakistan

Many killed in Pakistan’s Quetta blast.


Source : World Bulletin – The attack targeted and wounded a brigadier of a paramilitary unit involved in Pakistan’s capture of Younis al-Mauritani and two other al Qaeda operatives in Quetta in an operation announced on Monday.

Suicide bombers targeting a paramilitary brigadier killed at least 20 people in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Wednesday, apparently to avenge the capture of an al Qaeda leader, a security official said.

The attack targeted and wounded a brigadier of a paramilitary unit involved in Pakistan’s capture of Younis al-Mauritani and two other al Qaeda operatives in Quetta in an operation announced on Monday.

“Our fidayeen (suicide bombers) have carried out this attack. It is a revenge for the arrests of our brothers in Quetta,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

“If they make more arrests then the reaction will be much more forceful.”

“This (Wednesday’s) attack has all the hallmarks of the Taliban. It seems to be revenge for the arrest of al-Mauritani,” said a senior security official.

Intelligence officials put the death toll from the Quetta attack at about 25. Sixty-one people were wounded.

The head of one of the suicide bombers had been found, and the features indicated he may have been from Afghanistan’s Tajik ethnic group, said the senior security official.

One of the suicide bombers blew himself up in a vehicle packed with explosives near the car of the deputy head of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Baluchistan, Farrukh Shehzad.

Shehzad’s wife was killed, police said.

The other suicide bomber struck inside his house. The dead also included a colonel in Pakistan’s paramilitary forces and seven of Shehzad’s guards. The explosions brought down the walls of his house and nearby offices.

~eReuters.

Afghan behaind Quetta Blast.

ANITA JOSHUA | THE HINDU.

As many as 24 people were killed and 70 injured in two suicide attacks in quick succession at the residence of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Frontier Corps (FC) in the high security Civil Lines area of Quetta on Wednesday morning.

According to the police, the first suicide bomber rammed his car into a FC vehicle parked outside the DIG’s residence. In the melee that followed, the second bomber entered the residence and detonated himself. The dead includes the wife of the DIG and a FC officer.

Since the house is located near the Commissioner Office, traffic was heavy at the time of the attacks and several security personnel — present in the area in strength in view of the restive nature of the entire Balochistan province — were killed in the twin blasts.

An identification card retrieved from the remains of one of the bombers revealed him to be an Afghan national. Given the intensity of the blasts and the nature of injuries sustained by some of those battling for their lives in hospitals across the city, police fear that the death toll could rise.

The Taliban have reportedly claimed responsibility for the blasts. The attack is being linked to the role played by the FC in nabbing three al-Qaeda operatives in Quetta recently. The announcement of their arrest was made on Monday by the Army without disclosing when exactly the trio were picked up.

According to the Army, the FC had coordinated with the ISI in the “intelligence driven operation” to nab the three operatives including Younis Al Mauritani who was reported to have been tasked directly by Osama bin Laden to target U.S. and European economic facilities. The Army also acknowledged the technical support provided by the CIA in these arrests.

U.S., U.K. condemn

The U.S. and the U.K. have condemned the attacks through their respective diplomatic missions in Islamabad. In a statement, the U.S. Embassy said: “Nothing can justify immoral and indiscriminate attacks against innocents including Pakistan’s security forces.” Saluting Pakistan’s “brave security forces”, the statement reiterated U.S. resolve to stand with the people of Pakistan as they work for a future free of the violence and destruction wrought by al Qaeda and associated groups.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a related statement described the attack as a stark reminder of the threat Pakistan faces from terrorism. “The UK is committed to standing together with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and we will continue to work together to counter this threat.”

Courtesy : AP | Reuters | World Bulletin | The Hindu | Agencies.

Top Al Qaeda suspect arrested in Pakistan.

September 6, 2011

Younis Al Mauritani, Top Al Qaeda Suspect, Arrested In Pakistan

CHRIS BRUMMITT and ADAM GOLDMAN   09|5|11 – 02:50 PM ET   AP 

ISLAMABAD — A battered al-Qaida suffered another significant blow when Pakistani agents working with the CIA arrested a senior leader believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the globe, Pakistan announced Monday.

Younis al-Mauritani’s arrest – made public six days before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – also point to improved cooperation between two uneasy anti-terror allies after the rancor surrounding bin Laden’s killing.

Al-Qaida has seen its senior ranks thinned since bin Laden was killed May 2 in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan without the knowledge of local authorities. Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the terror network’s No. 2, was killed in a CIA missile strike last month.

Pakistan’s unusual public announcement of close cooperation with the U.S. spy agency appeared aimed at reversing the widespread perception that ties between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency had been badly damaged by bin Laden’s death. The Pakistanis accused the Americans of violating their sovereignty with the raid, while Washington was angry the terror leader had been found in a house in a military garrison town.

The Pakistani military said the arrest of al-Mauritani and two other Qaida operatives took place near the Afghan border in the southwestern city of Quetta, long known as a base for militants. It did not say when. The arrests were carried out in the past two weeks, according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

The capture of an al-Qaida operative inside Pakistan has become rare in recent years: most targets of CIA operations in the country have been killed by drone aircraft in a relentless series of operations that started to increase in 2008. His capture is likely to create chaos within al-Qaida: even if he does not reveal compromising information, that possibility is almost certain to force the network to alter plans, move operatives and make a variety of other sudden changes, damaging its ability to carry out attacks.

“This operation was planned and conducted with technical assistance of United State Intelligence Agencies with whom Inter-Services Intelligence has a strong, historic intelligence relationship. Both Pakistan and United States Intelligence agencies continue to work closely together to enhance security of their respective nations,” the military said in a written statement.

Al-Qaida’s center of operations is believed to be in the lawless tribal areas of northwest Pakistan, many hours from Quetta, a large city that is home to both the Taliban’s ruling council and a significant Pakistani military presence.

The statement said al-Mauritani was mainly responsible for al-Qaida’s international operations and was tasked by bin Laden with hitting targets of economic importance in America, Europe and Australia. It said he was planning attacks on gas and oil pipelines, power generating dams and oil tankers that would be hit by explosive-laden speed boats in international waters.

It named the other two detainees as Abdul-Ghaffar al-Shami and Messara al-Shami. In its statement, the Pakistani army also described them as senior operatives.

“This action has dealt yet another blow to al-Qaida and is an example of the longstanding partnership between the United States and Pakistan in fighting terrorism,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “We applaud the actions of Pakistan’s intelligence and security services that led to the capture of a senior al-Qaida operative who was involved in planning attacks against the interests of the United States and many other countries.”

The U.S. has said it doesn’t know of any specific al-Qaida plot to attack the U.S. ahead of Sept. 11.

The U.S. provided “critical lead information and technical assistance in working with Pakistan” against al-Mauritani, another American official said on condition of anonymity, in order to discuss intelligence. Al-Mauritani is considered “a seasoned, senior operative” trusted by the group’s top leaders, who the U.S. believes “played an absolutely central role in planning and coordinating al Qaeda’s operations in Europe,” with plots that targeted both European and American interests, the official said.

Since the 2001, attacks, Pakistan’s spy agency has cooperated with the CIA to arrest scores of al-Qaida suspects, most of whom were handed over to the United States.

“This reflects how Pakistan and the United States working together can deal an effective blow to the terrorists,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani. He said the intelligence cooperation had been restored almost to levels prior to a series of U.S.-Pakistan diplomatic clashes.

Many top al-Qaida commanders are still believed to live in Pakistan, and getting Islamabad’s cooperation in cracking down on the network has been a top American goal since 2001. But there have been persistent suspicions that the country was protecting militants. The fact that bin Laden was killed in an army town close to the capital, Islamabad, led to fresh doubts over Pakistan’s commitment.

Michael Vickers, the Pentagon’s under secretary of defense for intelligence, told The New York Times in a recent interview there were perhaps four important al-Qaida leaders left in Pakistan, and 10 to 20 leaders over all in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Courtesy to the sources.

Saved Situation in Times Square :: Pak Taliban Design unearthed.

May 9, 2010

Faisal Shahzad was arrested at a New York airport on charges that he drove a bomb-laden SUV meant to cause a fireball in Times Square, federal authorities said. -AP Photo

Pakistani Taliban behind failed New York attack: US

Sun, 09 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 24, 1431

WASHINGTON: US Sunday said it has evidence that the Pakistani Taliban was behind last week’s failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at Times Square in New York and that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad was “working at their direction”, US Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday.

“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder said on ABC television’s Sunday current affairs talk show “This Week.”

“We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it, and that he was working at their direction,” he said.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani born US citizen, was pulled off a plane to Dubai and arrested Monday for allegedly leaving a sport utility vehicle rigged to explode in New York’s Times Square just over a week ago.

Holder’s comments came as the New York Times reported that the United States warned Pakistan it must crack down on Islamic extremists or face severe consequences.

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, urged Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad on Friday to quickly begin a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda in North Waziristan. ^^AFP/Getty Images/File – Police in New York’s Times Square on May 7.

John Brennan, the White House deputy national security adviser, echoed Holder’s charges, pointing the finger at the Pakistani Taliban in an interview with CNN.

“It looks like he was working on behalf of the TTP, the Pakistani Taliban,” Brennan said. “This group is closely allied with Al Qaeda. This is something that we’re taking very seriously.” -AFP

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP, AP and Agencies.

The Terrorist Face of Pakistan, Difficult to Change.

May 10, 2009

‘Pakistan is Al Qaeda’s global base’

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Indo-Asian News Service
Washington, May 09, 2009
Pakistan has become the nerve centre of Al Qaeda’s global operations to plan attacks around the world even while the Pakistani Taliban are planning a “surge” of their own, according to a top American military commander.

Senior leaders of Al Qaeda are using sanctuaries in Pakistan’s lawless frontier regions to plan new terror attacks and funnel money, manpower and guidance to affiliates around the world, Gen. David Petraeus, US Central Command chief, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Pakistan has become the nerve centre of Al Qaeda’s global operations, allowing the terror group to re-establish its organizational structure and build stronger ties to Al Qaeda offshoots in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and parts of Europe, he said.

The comments underscored the growing US belief that Pakistan has displaced Afghanistan as Al Qaeda ‘s main stronghold, the Journal noted. “It is the headquarters of the Al Qaeda senior leadership,” the general was quoted as saying.

In the interview, Petraeus also warned of difficult months ahead in Afghanistan, saying Taliban militants are moving weapons and forces into areas where the US is adding troops, planning a “surge” of their own to counter the US plan.

The US had intelligence showing that the Taliban were deploying new fighters to southern Afghanistan, appointing new local commanders, and prepositioning weapons and other supplies, he said.

“We have every expectation that the Taliban will fight to retain 

the sanctuaries and safe havens that they’ve been able to establish,” he was quoted as saying.

US officials once believed that years of strikes had broken Al Qaeda ‘s leadership into smaller, less effective splinter groups.

But in the interview, Petraeus said US intelligence information suggested that Al Qaeda has re-emerged as a centrally directed organization capable of helping to plan attacks in other countries.

“There is a degree of hierarchy, there is a degree of interconnection, and there is certainly a flow of people, money, expertise, explosives and knowledge,” he was quoted as saying.

Petraeus painted a picture of a globalised Al Qaeda that maintains extensive logistical and communications links to terror groups in Morocco, Somalia and other countries.

Pakistan is basically a Taliban State.

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Sat, May 9, 2009

Pakistan basically Taliban state

By SALIM MANSUR  www.edmontonsun.com

There is frantic concern in Washington and elsewhere that Pakistan has reached its tipping point and might succumb to the Taliban forces entrenched barely 80 km (50 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.

But the concern is misleading. A country of some 160 million Muslims is not about to be overrun by the Taliban. On the contrary, Pakistan is more or less a Taliban state shaped by its origin and history.

This is the unpalatable reality that cannot be publicly discussed in Washington, London or Ottawa due to diplomatic niceties. It is also complicated by the patron-client relationship the Pakistani elite pursued with the U.S. over the past six decades as a means to counter India’s dominant position in the region.

Pakistan was forcefully established by an elite on the basis of an exclusivist and bigoted idea that since India’s Muslims constitute a “nation” they deserve a state of their own.

The perversion of Islam into a nationalist ideology hugely aggravated communal politics in undivided India that would not end with the partitioning of the subcontinent in 1947. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, ruthlessly planned this division when he called for direct action — communal blood-letting — by his supporters which led to the massive Hindu-Muslim riots known as the Great Calcutta killings of August 1946.

This act of terror made certain that trust between Hindus and Muslims was irreparably broken, and Britain was compelled to depart by partitioning India.

To recall this history is to have an inkling of the sort of a country that emerged as a result of terrorism followed by ethnic cleansing of the non-Muslim population — most Hindus and Sikhs left or were forcefully driven out from present-day Pakistan.

Subsequently, the Pakistani elite declared the Ahmadiyyas — a small peace-loving sect of minority Muslims — to be non-Muslims, and persecuted them as the harbinger of further bigotry to be unleashed in the slide of Jinnah’s Pakistan into a Taliban state.

The economic exploitation of former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) by the ruling elite began with Mr. Jinnah imposing Urdu as the national language on Bengali Muslims with their own rich linguistic and cultural tradition. Eventually the two halves of Pakistan would tear apart in 1971 following civil war and systematic massacre of Bengalis by the Pakistani military.

Since 1971 the unremorseful and bloody-minded ruling elite of Pakistan — civil and military — pushed Pakistan deeper into a dependency alliance with Saudi Arabia.

It meant importing the Saudi version of Islam — Wahhabism — and its spread deep across the country through the rapid expansion of religious schools and mosques funded by money from the Gulf countries. The products of these schools and mosques are the Taliban “jihadis,” or holy-warriors, who set forth for Afghanistan in the war against the former Soviet Union.

Steel fist

The Pakistani elite is corrupt, opportunistic and ruthless. Behind the conniving smile of the civilian politician is the steel fist of the military with nuclear weapons.

The fear of Taliban acquiring Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is manufactured by the elite to garner diplomatic and financial support from the West.

This is extortion brazenly practised by the elite responsible for making Pakistan into a rogue state with its people crushed by poverty. It is this reality that makes for terror and war in the region, and threatens peace beyond.

viewers can contact : salim.mansur@sunmedia.ca