Posts Tagged ‘U.S.’

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.

Pakistan is still dane of Global Terrorism against the world Peace : Indian Home Minister

March 28, 2010

Pakistan must close terror camps: Chidambaram

Hasan Suroor|| The Hindu ||London, March 25, 2010||Published by Alertpak on March 28, 2010

Union Home Minister of India P. Chidambaram on Thursday urged Pakistan’s “friends” like Britain and the U.S. to put pressure on it to shut down terror camps operating from its soil.

Warning that Pakistan-based groups posed as much threat to the West as they did to India, he told the BBC, “The camps must be closed. Training must come to an end.”

Mr. Chidambaram, who discussed counter-terror measures with his British counterpart Alan Johnson during a visit to the U.K. earlier this week, regretted that Pakistan had failed to respond to India’s persistent plea for it to rein in terror groups

“Nothing so far,” was his reply to a question whether there had been any progress.

Asked how could Pakistan be persuaded, he said: “The U.K., the U.S. know the answer to that question better. Certainly, we have not been able to persuade Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s friends, mutual friends, who would have to bring pressure on Pakistan.”

He said it would be “naïve” for Western countries to think that terrorists operating from Pakistan posed a threat to India alone.

“Once you allow these terror groups to train, recruit and build capacity to strike, they can strike in India, they can strike in the U.K., they can strike in Denmark as they were planning out of the Karachi project,” he said.

He added: “No country is truly safe…Don’t think that India alone is under threat. Every country is under threat from these groups and the Lashkar-e-Taiba today is like the Al Qaeda, a multi-country group.”

Security lapse

Answering questions about the recent terror attack in Pune, the Home Minister admitted that there was a security lapse.

“Pune was a case where it slipped through the cracks. Pune was a target. There was specific intelligence shared by the Central government with the Maharashtra police and the government. The area, Koregaon Park, was under a security cover. Three times advisory was given to German Bakery and its managers acknowledged the advisory on every single occasion, but they did nothing. They did not even take the minimum security precautions. So, it is an unfortunate case that I would say slipped through the cracks.”

Describing it as “a blot,” he said the lesson to be learnt from the Pune case was that “when there is intelligence, pointed intelligence and advisories are issued, people must cooperate…shops, establishments, hotels, malls must take minimal security precautions.”

About the Pune bombing’s alleged Pakistan connection, he said: “Nothing so far has been brought to my notice.”

Courtesy : The Hindu News PaperInternet Edition.