Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen


Thursday, July 29, 2004  

The New Republic has updated an article from a few days back:

The New Republic Online: July Surprise?: "[Editor's Note: This afternoon, Pakistan's interior minister, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, announced that Pakistani forces had captured Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian Al Qaeda operative wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The timing of this announcement should be of particular interest to readers of The New Republic. Earlier this month, John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman, and Massoud Ansari broke the story of how the Bush administration was pressuring Pakistani officials to apprehend high-value targets (HVTs) in time for the November elections--and in particular, to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Although the capture took place in central Pakistan 'a few days back,' the announcement came just hours before John Kerry will give his acceptance speech in Boston.]

Late last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism. Largely as a result of the deteriorating occupation of Iraq, Bush lost what was, in April, a seemingly prohibitive 21-point advantage on his signature issue. But, even as the president's poll numbers were sliding, his administration was implementing a plan to insure the public's confidence in his hunt for Al Qaeda.
This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. In April, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, publicly chided the Pakistanis for providing a "sanctuary" for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces crossing the Afghan border. "The problem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the sooner the better," he said."


So far, the Pakistani spokesman isn't saying much:
"Pakistan has arrested a senior al Qaeda figure with a bounty of up to $25 million on his head, Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told CNN television Thursday.
He said the suspect had been captured during a raid in central Pakistan a few days ago. He did not identify the captive but said he was 'a person who is most wanted internationally.'"


So, who wants to start a pool on which of the FBI's"Most Wanted Terrorists" this is? They've all got rewards of up to $25 million, so it could be anybody.

I'll bet he's classified as the "mastermind of 9/11", though, no matter who it is. We've only caught "the mastermind of 9/11" two or three times now.

And if this is bin Laden, I have this to say: What took so long? And was allowing Pakistan to spread nuclear arms technology around the world worth it? Because that was the payoff for this.

Update: So, it isn't bin Laden. It's Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani:
"Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat identified the man as Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and said he was a Tanzanian national wanted for the synchronized bombings that killed more than 200 people at the U.S. embassy in Kenya and 11 at the embassy in Tanzania."
He's Number 8 on the list.

posted by lazarus | 15:03 | |
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