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Pakistan Gets Another Assist in the GWOT

Well this is good news...

Pakistan catches al Qaeda number three

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani security forces, with help from U.S. intelligence, have arrested al Qaeda's third most senior leader after Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri, Western intelligence sources said on Wednesday.

Pakistan says Abu Faraj Farj al Liby, whom it has said is a Libyan, was the ringleader behind at least two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003.

And although he does not figure on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "most wanted" list, Liby is believed to have taken over the role of the arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who allegedly masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.

"Al Liby is a top general for (Osama) bin Laden. He was a major facilitator and a chief planner for the al Qaeda network. His arrest removes a dangerous enemy who was a direct threat to America and to those who love freedom," U.S. President George W. Bush said on Wednesday, before going on to praise Pakistan.

A U.S. counter-terrorism official in Washington was even more specific: "He is the third most important after bin Laden and Zawahri. It's a significant blow to the group."

While I'm sure it is a blow, but to me the better news is that Pakistan is still living up to its commitment to help in the GWOT. -- Though it should be noted this guy was linked to the plot to kill Musharraf so it was not completely altruistic.

Surprise, Surprise, Bush was happy about it:

Bush: Pakistan Arrest 'Critical Victory'

Bush Lauds Pakistan for Arrest of No. 3 al-Qaida Figure, a 'Critical Victory in the War on Terror

May. 4, 2005 - The arrest of an al-Qaida operational chief in Pakistan "represents a critical victory in the war on terror," President Bush said Wednesday. U.S. counterterrorism officials said the captive almost certainly knows crucial planning details for the terror network.

During an appearance to talk about Social Security, Bush praised the government of Pakistan for the arrest earlier this week of Abu Farraj al-Libbi.

Bush called him "a major facilitator and a chief planner" for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network and said that his arrest "removes a dangerous enemy who is a direct threat to America and for those who love freedom."

U.S. counterterrorism officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Libbi was the No. 3 al-Qaida figure behind bin Laden and his top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri. Officials said authorities expect that al-Libbi will have significant knowledge of al-Qaida's operations and planning, given his position as al-Qaida's No. 3 operative.

Officials consider this arrest the most significant blow to al-Qaida since the March 2003 capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed because al-Libbi is believed responsible for planning attacks around the world, including inside the United States. The officials would not elaborate.

The arrest is the result of months of close cooperation between the Pakistanis and the CIA's most famous division, its clandestine service, according to the officials. The Pakistanis captured al-Libbi through human intelligence or traditional human spying.

The real payoff will be any intelligence they can get from him or his possessions. Often an arrest like this has a snowball effect.


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Comments (9)

OT: SULLY FREAK OUT ALERT!<... (Below threshold)

OT: SULLY FREAK OUT ALERT!

"Hatred of open and proud homosexuals is intrinsic to Islamist fundamentalism, as it is to Christian fundamentalism. The struggle against both is the same one - at home and abroad."

Abu Faraj Farj al Liby - sh... (Below threshold)

Abu Faraj Farj al Liby - sheesh, I can't keep up with them.

What is it with these guys that they have to have five or six names? Is this so he won't be confused with Abu Faraj Farj al Libby? or Abu Faraja Farj al Liby?

It's like there are only about twenty names in the language and they just use different arrangements of the same names. And a guy named Liby from Libya? How original.

"The real payoff will be... (Below threshold)
Regret:

"The real payoff will be any intelligence they can get from him or his possessions. Often an arrest like this has a snowball effect."

Unless the ACLU (and friends) are successful at removing the threat of torture from our arsenal.

"The real payoff will be... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

"The real payoff will be any intelligence they can get from him or his possessions. Often an arrest like this has a snowball effect."

I'm sure it already has.

We'll never hear or know about most of it, but I'm sure that whoever gets captured or killed because of intel derived from Abu will know why.

That's good enough for me.

Pakistan (and Abu Farraj al... (Below threshold)
John S.:

Pakistan (and Abu Farraj al-Libbi) are far outside the influence of the ALCU. And I hope his execution will be especially cruel and unusual.

Paul:While I'm ... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Paul:

While I'm sure it is a blow, but to me the better news is that Pakistan is still living up to its commitment to help in the GWOT. -- Though it should be noted this guy was linked to the plot to kill Musharraf so it was not completely altruistic.

I might be wrong...but wasnt Pakistan one of the countries that was known to be assisting Al Qaida before 9/11...I thought I read that in the Commission Report. I should look that up.

Beside that, its not like they have the most progressive govt of all time. They're pretty nasty. And it doesnt surprise me at all that they had their own motives in the capture of this guy. It surpises me too that they are still going along with us in the GWOT.

Its always such a shady thing working with certain borderline countries like Pakistan. Hopefully they dont come bite us in the ass in 10 years.

Mr RyanPakistan had ... (Below threshold)
Aamir Ali:

Mr Ryan
Pakistan had diplomatic relations with the Taliban because it is a neighboring state and we Pakistanis cannot ignore our neighbors. Pakistan had not connection to alqaeda, it has always been a stateless organization.

People like you are paranoid ingrates with no appreciation for allies or knowledge of anything outside the bubble of your life. Pakistan has helped the US more than any other country in the last 20 years, instead of talking garbage, be a decent person and aknowledge that.

It's about time they caught... (Below threshold)

It's about time they caught another high ranking officer. I hope he talks.

Mr Aamir Ali...Tha... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Mr Aamir Ali...

Thanks for the kind words, they really mean alot.

If you notice, sir, I was speaking of the government of Pakistan, which is by no means a model of democracy.

People like you are paranoid ingrates with no appreciation for allies or knowledge of anything outside the bubble of your life.

Ahhh...and I suppose that you are the beacon of worldly knowledge arent you? Look, if you disagree with something I wrote, then why not just come out and say it instead of resorting to weak attempts at name calling. Tell me what you disagree with, and why. Or at least be more creative with your insults.

I remember reading somewhere that Pakistan harbored terrorists in the past. You seem to think that since Al Qaeda is a stateless organization that a relationship with Pakistan wasnt possible. That doesnt make any sense. Maybe indeed it wasnt the state that had the relations, but I know that I have read (more than once) that there was a certain amount of sympathy for al Qaeda in Pakistan, at least in the past.

Thats nice that that Pakistan had diplomatic relations with an repressive government like the Taliban just because they were "neighbors." Maybe the government of Pakistan should be more selective in who it chooses for friends in the future. Just an opinion though.

For some reason I doubt that Pakistan "has helped the US more than any other country in the last 20 years". Where did you come up with that bit of information? And how have they helped the US? Did you mean that the goverment has cooperated with the US?

I'm not trying to talk trash. The government of Pakistan isnt one that I have a great deal of faith in, by any means. Musharraf took over by coup in 1999; his "election" was hardly brought about by a fair process. Basically, Pakistanis are living under a military government that is cloaking itself as a "democracy."

So Musharraf is cooperating with the US, like a good little dictator who doesnt want anyone to rain on his parade. The government wasnt put in place by the Pakistani people, is corrupt in my opinion, and the US should be careful in dealing with it. Thats what I think.




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