Al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden was ‘within grasp’ of US

November 30, 2009 at 7:58 am | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Osama Bin Laden (centre) with Ayman al Zawahiri (left) in an image broadcast by al-Jazeera in October 2001

Osama Bin Laden is believed to be hiding in Pakistan‘s tribal areas

US forces had Osama Bin Laden “within their grasp” in Afghanistan in late 2001, a US Senate report says.

It says calls for US reinforcements were rejected, allowing the al-Qaeda leader to “walk unmolested” into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal areas.

The report was prepared by the Foreign Relations Committee Democratic staff.

It says the failure to kill or capture Bin Laden had far-reaching consequences and laid the foundation for the protracted Afghan insurgency.

The report comes as President Barack Obama prepares to announce a long-awaited decision on sending troop reinforcements to Afghanistan.

 

 

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‘Well Wisher ” Bin Laden!

September 15, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Bin Laden prods US to end ‘hopeless’ Afghan war
15.09.2009 04:33
Bin Laden prods US to end 'hopeless' Afghan war

Osama bin Laden said in a new audiotape that President Barack Obama‘s strategy in Afghanistan is “hopeless” and called on Americans to resolve the conflict with al-Qaida by ending the war there and breaking the U.S. alliance with Israel, Associated Press reported.

In the message marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the al-Qaida leader avoided his usual rhetoric of jihad and instead took a more analytical tone, claiming its differences with the U.S. stemmed from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But analysts said Monday that the message’s tone and its unusually short length – only 11 minutes, far shorter than others released by al-Qaida to mark the anniversary – was an indication that al-Qaida was struggling to maintain interest eight years after its most shattering terror attacks.

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Taliban Resorting To Regular Suicide Bombing In Pakistan

June 8, 2009 at 7:36 am | Posted in Muslims, Taliban, Terrorism | 1 Comment
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A suicide bombing at a rescue centre in Islamabad killed and injured several rescue workers

Suicide bombing is taking place in Pakistan with sickening regularity.

Yesterday,Sunday,June 7, it was a soft target of Islamabad’s Rescue  15 building, where a suicide bomber climbed the compound wall  and exploded himself killing and injuring rescue workers. It seems that Taliban is targeting mostly  soft-security centers.  Nothing much was left standing at the rescue center.

Only the previous day, Taliban had carried out an explosion on an army convoy escorting prisoners into the North West Frontier Province‘s main city of Peshawar.

Meanwhile, the army  says it has Mullah Fazlulla, the local Taliban leader is in its sight and it is closing in on him.

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Obama’s Options In Pakistan

May 20, 2009 at 11:40 am | Posted in Afghanistan, Lifescape, Military Operations, Muslims, US-Af-Pak Affairs, War | Leave a comment
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afghanistan
Image by Army.mil via Flickr

In 2007, a Guantánamo military commission reviewed prisoner No. 008, also known as Abdullah Gulam Rasoul, a designated enemy combatant, who stated at the review that  he had “never been America’s enemy and I never intend to be.” and transferred him to Afghanistan’s government, which set him free.

This spring, under the name Mullah Abdullah Zakir, he has resurfaced as one of the most vicious and effective Taliban commanders in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province, where thousands of recently deployed U.S. troops are now arriving to join the battle.

As a parable of the United States and its enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rasoul’s case has a familiar, circular quality. The miscalculations across five Administrations are by now generally understood: near-unequivocal support for anti-American militias during the nineteen-eighties; averted eyes as Pakistan pursued its covert nuclear ambitions; the abandonment of Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal; the failure to recognize the menace of Al Qaeda during the nineteen-nineties; erratic investments in Pakistan’s democracy, economy, and civil society; and, most recently, a war in Afghanistan after 9/11 which did not defeat Al Qaeda or the Taliban but chased them into Pakistan, where they regrouped and have proceeded to destabilize a country now endowed with atomic bombs.

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Pak Cleric Calls For Talibanizing Pakistan

April 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Lifescape | 1 Comment
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Location of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamab...
Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) Red spot marks the spot of confrontation

Thousands of men and boys in turbans and tunics streamed toward the Red Mosque, the site of a bloody confrontation with Pakistani security forces in July 2007, to hear Maulana Abdul Aziz invoke the martyrdom of those who died in the military siege and urge others to sacrifice their lives for Islam.

The gray-bearded Aziz, who arrived under police escort, stopped short of calling for violence and described his cause as a “peaceful struggle.” But there was an implicit threat in his message and a mood of barely suppressed eagerness for action in the crowd, which included many young Islamic seminary students.

“If the government wants peace and stability, it should adopt the Islamic system,” Aziz said. “But if it chooses the path of aggression and force, it will further aggravate the situation.”

Aziz, who took over the Red Mosque after his father’s assassination in 1998, is known for his hard-line religious views. In fiery speeches to followers over the years, he has advocated the strict separation of men and women in accordance with rules that he said are set forth in Islamic law. He once issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against a female government official for publicly hugging a man who was not her husband.

Aziz and his brother and deputy, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, had also supported the Taliban‘s rise to power in neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s, according to Pakistani officials, and by 2007, they were committed to turning Pakistan into a Taliban-style Islamic state.

In the months before the standoff, in which Ghazi was killed, the two clerics initiated a string of actions to provoke the government, including stockpiling weapons in their compound and sending students from the mosque’s religious school out on moral vigilante missions. ad_icon

On Friday, Aziz and other speakers hailed the imposition of sharia law in Pakistan’s northwestern Swat region, which Parliament and President Asif Ali Zardari approved Tuesday in an effort to mollify extremist Taliban forces who have waged a terrorist campaign there for the past two years…

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Taliban Exploit Class Rifts in Pakistan

April 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Around 3,000 people gathered for a rally in the Swat Valley of Pakistan on April 10 in support of the bill paving way for the implementation of Islamic law there.

Around 3,000 people gathered for a rally in the Swat Valley of Pakistan on April 10 in support of the bill paving way for the implementation of Islamic law there.

The Taliban have advanced deeper into Pakistan by engineering a class revolt that exploits profound fissures between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless tenants, according to government officials and analysts here.

Supporters of Islamic law on Thursday in the Swat Valley, a Pakistani region where the Taliban exploited class rifts to gain control.

The strategy cleared a path to power for the Taliban in the Swat Valley, where the government allowed Islamic law to be imposed this week, and it carries broad dangers for the rest of Pakistan, particularly the militants’ main goal, the populous heartland of Punjab Province.

In Swat, accounts from those who have fled now make clear that the Taliban seized control by pushing out about four dozen landlords who held the most power.

To do so, the militants organized peasants into armed gangs that became their shock troops, the residents, government officials and analysts said.

The approach allowed the Taliban to offer economic spoils to people frustrated with lax and corrupt government even as the militants imposed a strict form of Islam through terror and intimidation.

“This was a bloody revolution in Swat,” said a senior Pakistani official who oversees Swat, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation by the Taliban. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it sweeps the established order of Pakistan.”

The Taliban’s ability to exploit class divisions adds a new dimension to the insurgency and is raising alarm about the risks to Pakistan, which remains largely feudal. …more

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Hard Task For Holbrooke

February 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Taliban Flags on the Pakistan side of the bord...
Image by talkradionews via Flickr

Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama‘s

troubleshooter for Pakistan and Afghanistan, will visit Islamabad on

Monday before going to Kabul and New Delhi to devise a grand strategy

to rid the region of Islamist militancy.

Inexperienced in South Asia, the veteran diplomat is arriving in an unfamiliar region at a time of flux.

Elections are due in India by early May, and in Afghanistan in

August, while relations between Islamabad and New Delhi are fraught

following an attack by Pakistani militants on the Indian city of Mumbai

two months ago.

U.S. and NATO forces are struggling to quell a resurgent Taliban

movement in Afghanistan, and the Afghan-Pakistan border is still

regarded as the region where al Qaeda is most likely to hatch another

September 11 plot….

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