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Is Musharraf Hiding Mullah Omar?

John on October 8, 2006 at 12:04 am

A couple weeks ago I noted Pakistani President Musharraf’s deal with tribal leaders in Waziristan, an area on the Pakistani-Afhan border. A NY Sun story about the deal quoted an unnamed US intelligence source saying that many inside our intelligence community believe Osama may be hiding in this remote area.

Part of Musharraf’s deal was a prisoner release. After it took place, our intelligence agencies were reportedly frustrated that their Pakistani counterpart, known as the ISI, refused to give out a list of all those who had been released. All of this seemed like strange behavior for an ally.

Today, the London Times has a blockbuster story that suggests our relationship with Pakistan may be on the brink of deteriorating:

THE British general commanding Nato troops in Afghanistan is to confront Pakistan’s president over his country’s support for the Taliban.

Among the evidence amassed is the address of the Taliban’s leader in a Pakistani city.

Lieutenant-General David Richards will fly to Islamabad tomorrow to try to persuade Pervez Musharraf to rein in his military intelligence service, which Richards believes is training Taliban fighters to attack British troops. He will request that key Taliban leaders living in Pakistan be arrested.

The evidence compiled by American, Nato and Afghan intelligence includes satellite pictures and videos of training camps for Taliban soldiers and suicide bombers inside Pakistan.

Captured Taliban fighters and failed suicide bombers have confirmed that they were trained by the Pakistani intelligence service, known as the ISI. The information includes an address in Quetta where Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, is said to live.

Is Musharraf hiding Mullar Omar? Is he aware that the ISI is training terrorists? The story also contains this quote from an unnamed “senior US commander”:

We just can’t ignore it any more. Musharraf’s got to prove which side he is on.

Given that Pakistan is a nuclear state, the possibility that Mullah Omar may be excercising some control over its intelligence forces is quite a frightening thought. It would however explain the reluctance of the ISI to hand over the list of released prisoners. Is Omar in partial control? The Times story suggests he is:

In Washington two weeks ago Karzai handed Pakistan the names and addresses of alleged handlers of suicide bombers using a camp near Peshawar that had been infiltrated by an Afghan informer. Last Wednesday a rubbish bag was discovered in the camp containing his body.

Thanks to my friend Scott at Magic Statistics who saw this first. He has more at his site including a map that shows the location of the city where Omar is reportedly hiding.

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Category: Islamic Jihad |

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