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« Good News | Main | Let's Talk About Me »

A Split In The Jihad Movement?

Some interesting, and little reported activities in Waziristan and the Pakistan/Afghanistan border:

You may remember a couple of months ago a report that al Qaeda and its affiliates had abandoned their training camps in Pakistan along the Afghan border. The initial report caused quite a blog storm but soon the mystery was forgotten. According to AI, which links to references for all of this, the US got fed up with not being able to reach al Qaeda inside Pakistan. Then a few months back the US government told the Pakistani government that we had the coordinates for twenty-nine terror training bases and in a week we will be destroying them (perhaps on Cheney's visit this summer). The intent was to drive the terrorists from those camps so we could get to them.

It worked. That's why those camps emptied out.

So the US left the terrorists an escape route into Tora Bora. Once they had detected a large group of al Qaeda at the fortress and the likelihood of High Value Targets as determined by large scale security detachments, the US dropped the curtain on the escape routes back into Pakistan. We have been pounding the hell out of them for weeks in near complete secrecy.

But an observer may wonder why, if al Qaeda had to vacate the camps, didn't they just go to other hideouts in Pakistan? According to this article in the Telegraph:

The Uzbeks are a surviving remnant of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al-Qa'eda affiliate that fought with the Taliban against the Americans in 2001.

Its surviving members fled into Pakistan's lawless tribal belt where earlier this year their hosts turned against them following a dispute. Afghan leaders say that the Uzbeks were recently given the choice to fight the Americans in Afghanistan or face annihilation by the local tribes.

At least one sizeable group of al-Qa'eda and Taliban fighters is continuing to resist despite heavy bombing raids and attacks from US Special Forces. American military spokesmen declined to corroborate the claim, saying the operation was ongoing.

As a reminder, "Uzbeks" is a synonym for al Qaeda in the Pakistani border region and what the locals call all foreign jihadists. So the reporting from Pakistan earlier this year was spot on. Some powerful Taliban leaders have turned on al Qaeda and when their terror camps were targeted by the US they had nowhere else to go.

I blame George Bush.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 29, 2007 11:57 AM
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Mr. Simberg,

I agree. I blame President Bush, too.

This latest report is a clear indication of the failure of our President's policies to:

-- get Osama bin Laden;
-- control Iraq's central government
-- get the economy moving again
-- cure cancer
-- enforce the Laws of Thermodynamics
-- get me a pony

Our President should redeploy our dope-smoking draftees in Iraq to Okinawa, and use them to provide a "rapid" reaction force for future use against the rebellious provinces of the American Empire.

Like, say, the Duchy of Muscovy.

Posted by MG at September 29, 2007 12:14 PM

"when their terror camps were targeted by the US they had nowhere else to go"

Awwwwww, da' poor babies.

Posted by Barbara Skolaut at September 29, 2007 08:35 PM

Sounds Like Rand is Declaring Vicotry in the war on Al-Qaeda,

what is that Victory number 57?

Posted by anonymous at September 29, 2007 09:01 PM

Wow, so we won WWII at Midway, and 80 times after that?

Posted by Big D at September 29, 2007 09:51 PM

Looks like anon has a reading comprehension problem and probably lacks critical thinking skills as well.

Posted by Bill Maron at September 30, 2007 05:22 AM

"Probably" Bill?

How about obviously.

Posted by Cecil Trotter at September 30, 2007 06:06 AM

Sounds Like Rand is Declaring Vicotry in the war on Al-Qaeda

It only sounds like that to morons. The rest of us can read for comprehension.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 30, 2007 06:53 AM

Sounds Like Rand is Declaring Vicotry in the war on Al-Qaeda,

what is that Victory number 57?

Posted by anonymous at September 29, 2007 09:01 PM

Geez, is channeling Brian Squidwardski?

Posted by Steve at September 30, 2007 11:02 AM

IT's the Good News Explosion

Posted by anonymous at September 30, 2007 11:04 AM

Based upon the latest reporting we lost 40% of Afghanistan
to the Taliban.

Good work Guys.

Kandahar is in indian country.

Posted by anonymous at October 1, 2007 08:36 AM

I read this article the other day and it is certainly good news. Unfortunately I can't determine just how accurate it is. I read another article recently that described the brilliant job Al Quaida and the Taliban are doing with propaganda and psy-ops in Pakistan. According to that one, significant portions of the Pakistani army are simply no longer willing to engage Taliban forces and Musharif is being forced to abandon more territory to them. I read an article yesterday that talked about the shellacking the Taliban received during this year's Spring and Summer fighting. Then you read others that claim significant portions of Afghanistan are under Taliban control. Which is true? I know which set of stories I want to believe but sitting here in Houston I really have no way of evaluating them.
On a related note, I was in my local private post box store the other day sending a fax. A lady in front of me was mailing a package and mentioned that her son was in the Army. I commented that the package must be for him. She replied that no, he was a Ranger and had told her not to bother mailing anything to him for several months because he was going to be on a long term mission beyond the reach of mail. I told her he must be doing important work then and she raised her eyebrows, obviously not having thought of it that way before and replied, "Yes...yes, you must be right." I don't know of course but my guess is that he is inside Pakistan, which would tend to support the article Rand quoted.

Posted by Michael at October 1, 2007 04:43 PM

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