Terrorism experts in and out of the intelligence community are growing increasingly concerned about the "Pakistanization" of the resurgent Taliban in the tribal territories that border Afghanistan.
There is increasingly strong evidence that lower-level ISI officers not only tolerate the Taliban, but host training camps for them and provide logisitcal support, helping the Taliban to regain political and military footing that is taking an increasingly heavy toll on the the Afghan central government as well as the U.S. and NATO forces on the ground.
It also seems that senior ISI [Pakistani intelligence] officials can get in contact with Osama bin Laden or Zawahiri when necessary, indicating that, if not necessarily aware of the exact location at all times of the two most wanted men in the world, there still exist channels of direct communication.
This is certainly troubling, given Pakistan's central role in the Bush strategy of fighting Islamists. The recent Bush policy of working with India on its nuclear projects seems to have convinced the Pakistani leadership that Pakistan is not getting a fair shake and can therefore does not need to pay the internal political price for tackling the Islamists in a serious fashion. ...
Counterterrorism Blog: 'Last evening, ABC News' Brian Ross reported, via the Blotter, that al-Qaeda would soon be releasing a tape commemorating the one year anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings. Al Jazeera is currently airing the tape. According to Brian Ross, Ayman al-Zawahiri is seen on the tape, along with Adam Gadahn (AKA Azzam al-Amriki), the American al-Qaeda who works in al-Qaeda's propaganda division. There is a "last will and testament of Shahzad Tanweer," one of the 7/7 London suicide bombers.' [link] 'Walid Phares: Summary of statements on MSNBC: There are a variety of lessons from the release of this tape. 1) al-Qaeda does have material which they store, use and release at the proper moment. 2) There is a political mind behind al-Qaeda, which they rely on to use the material, and use the media to get out their political message. The minds behind the attack have a public relations agenda. These attacks are not the work of frustrated Muslims, but that of an international organization. al-Qaeda is observing Britain's political debate and tailoring their message for maximum political effect. The tape is a call to the international network to conduct future attacks. The London attack is viewed as a success and other local affiliates should emulate this strike.'
AP via Intelligence Summit :
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP)- Security forces backed by helicopter gunships targeted hideouts of tribal militants accused of blowing up gas pipelines and attacking officials in southwestern Pakistan, killing 25 suspects, a senior Cabinet minister said Wednesday.
The security forces also seized a cache of weapons, including rockets, land mines and other munition during the two-day operation near Sui, a town about 210 miles east of Quetta, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao told The Associated Press.
Sherpao termed the operation "an important success," but did not elaborate.
Abdul Razak Bugti, the spokesman for the Baluchistan government said the victims were supporters of Nawab Akbar Bugti, a tribal elder who is allegedly leading the insurgency in various parts of the province. ...
Sanjar: 'The existence of foreign workers in Afghanistan was perceived by most Afghans as a neutral, impartial and unbiased development force, exactly what Afghanistan needed when they couldn’t trust each other. In the traditional Afghan civil and social system the inferior–superior relationship is personal. Expatriates on the other hand, didn’t represent an authority as they are not to establish one but are there to do their job; the job was legitimized by a belief in the fair and correctness of the process. Expatriates were not loyal to a tribe or ethnicity or individual; they rather function in an impersonal order, toward an aim which served for the better of Afghans, not to the specific country or interest. When one shifts the focus of attention from foreign assistance to the role of individual expatriate worker, substantial positive differences were noticed in comparison to the traditional Afghan system. ... '
According to the news reports, Afghanistan's intelligence department has issued a two page document to the local media which restricts their activities. This decision sparked the anger of the Afghan journalists around the country because this two page document stops the local newspapers from doing their important and main activities. The free press has made magnificent progress since the fall of the Taliban. According to the Afghan constitution the free press has the right to carry out their activities with out any pressure from the government or any other organizations. So in my opinion the government should reverse its decision and our media should be free to publish the reality and tell our people what is going on in their country. Every day in our newspapers the top articles are about roadside bombing, suicide attacks, militant activities and also there are articles about the ANA and coalition forces attacks on enemies and their success over the enemies. And if our media and newspapers do not report these important news items then there will not be any important news for them to publish and the newspapers will be almost blank because there are not much reports about reconstruction in our country. In the free world the newspapers have the right to publish good news and bad news.
Publishing news about the terrorists attacks will not weaken our government. The terrorist attacks will increase the aversion of our people to the enemies and they will try to help their government to identify the enemies and avoid the attacks. Our people will never support the enemies - they have already suffered war for almost 3 decades and they will never support the enemies of peace and freedom. ...