Archive for August, 2009

Pakistan’s Most-Wanted: Look at Who Isn’t Listed

Pakistan’s interior ministry has a top ten most-wanted list, according to Amir Mir, the journalist for The News. According to Mir, the top ten list is as follows:

1. Mullah Fazlullah – the chief of the Taliban in Swat.
2. Hakeemullah Mehsud – the new leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the successor to Baitullah Mehsud.
3. Qari Hussain Mehsud – the Taliban’s suicide bombing mastermind who runs camps in South Waziristan.
4. Ilyas Kashmiri – the operational commander of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), an al Qaeda-linked terror group.
5. Rashid Rauf – A senior al Qaeda operative and a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed; he was behind the planning to conduct attacks in London.
6. Mangal Bagh Afridi – the leader of the Lashkar-e-Islam in the Khyber tribal agency.
7. Matiur Rehman – the chief operational commander of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who also manages al Qaeda’s “rolodex” of jihadis who have passed through terror training camps.
8. Mullah Faqir Mohammed – the deputy leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the commander of the Taliban forces in Bajaur.
9. Waliur Rehman Mehsud – the new leader of the Taliban in South Waziristan.
10. Qari Mohammad Zafar – the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who operates from South Waziristan.

Iraq Attacks and the Syrian Connection

As Iraq takes greater responsibility for its security, the government has begun to lash out at Syria for serving as a sanctuary and training ground for al Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni and Ba’athist insurgent groups. Today the Iraqi government aired the confession of Mohammed Hassan al Shemari, a Saudi al Qaeda member who claims to be the leader of the terror group’s forces in Diyala province. Sherari said Syrian intelligence, or the Mukhabarat, actively supports al Qaeda in Iraq. 

Saga of the Sons of Sufi

Yesterday the Peshawar High Court released on bail the three sons of Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the pro-Taliban Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed (TNSM), or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed’s Law in Swat and Dir. Sufi engineered the Malakand Accord, which turned large tracts of Pakistan’s northwest over the the Taliban. The release of Sufi’s sons highlights a major problem with Pakistan’s police and the courts.

Siraj Haqqani Target of Yesterday’s Predator Strike

Siraj Haqqani, the military commander of the Haqqani Network and a close ally of al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, was the target of the Thursday night Predator strike outside of Miramshah in North Waziristan. On Thursday night I heard that a senior Haqqani Network commander and an al Qaeda operative were the main targets, but no names were disclosed. With all of the controversy over the strike that may or may not have killed Baitullah Mehsud, I’m surprised Siraj’s name was even thrown out there.