Media Watch: Laura Ingraham joins ABC News
Via the NYT:
KABUL, Afghanistan — Two senior Taliban leaders have been arrested in recent days inside Pakistan, officials said Thursday, as American and Pakistani intelligence agents continued to press their offensive against the group’s leadership after the capture of the insurgency’s military commander last month.
Afghan officials said the Taliban’s “shadow governors” for two provinces in northern Afghanistan had been detained in Pakistan by officials there. Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban’s leader in Kunduz, was detained in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, and Mullah Mir Mohammed of Baghlan Province was also captured in an undisclosed Pakistani city, they said.
The arrests come on the heels of the capture of Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s military commander and the deputy to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the movement’s founder. Mr. Baradar was arrested in a joint operation by the C.I.A. and the ISI, Pakistan’s military intelligence agency.
The arrests were made by Pakistani officials, the Afghans said, but it seemed probable that C.I.A. officers accompanied them, as they did in the arrest of Mr. Baradar. Pakistani officials declined to comment.
Together, the three arrests mark the most significant blow to the Taliban’s leadership since the American-backed war began eight years ago. They also demonstrate the extent to which the Taliban’s senior leaders have been able to use Pakistan as a sanctuary to plan and mount attacks in Afghanistan.
It was not immediately clear if the arrests of the Taliban shadow governors were made possible by intelligence taken from Mr. Baradar. But it seemed likely. In the days after Mr. Baradar’s arrest, American officials said they managed to keep his detention a secret from many Taliban leaders, and that they were determined to roll up as much of the Taliban’s leadership as they could.
Mohammed Omar, the Governor of Kunduz Province, said in an interview that the two Taliban shadow governors had a close working relationship with Mr. Baradar.
In the days that followed Mr. Baradar’s arrest, American officials said he was providing a wealth of information on the Taliban’s operations. For the past several days, he has been interrogated by both Pakistani and American officials.
Glad to hear it. But the questions still remain …