US Embassy in Pakistan besieged: Obama and Clinton beg demonstrators to stop

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**Posted by Phineas

Sovereign American soil is invaded, American diplomats are threatened and even killed, and all the President of the United States and his Secretary of State can do is go on Pakistani television and beg them to stop:

Marked by the U.S. Embassy seal, advertisements condemning an anti-Islam video appeared on Pakistani television on Thursday in an apparent attempt to undercut anger against the United States, where the film was produced. Hundreds of youths, however, clashed with security officials as they tried in vain to reach the embassy in Islamabad amid anger in many countries over the film’s vulgar depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

The advertisements appear to be an effort by the U.S. government to dampen chaos surrounding the film and undo some of the damage to America’s image in the Muslim world. Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people have died in protests in Pakistan.

(…)

The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.

“We absolutely reject its content and message,” said Clinton in the advertisement.

A caption on the ad reads: “Paid Content.”

The advertisements end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. It was not known how many channels were airing the ads or whether they were being run in other Muslim countries or just Pakistan.

An embassy spokeswoman declined comment.

She’s probably too embarrassed to speak.

Between this and the possible negotiations to release the Blind Sheikh, the craven, intellectually and morally bankrupt nature of this administration’s foreign policy stands naked for the world to see. Our enemies see the truth — challenge Obama and he’ll give you want you want. Deny the right of free speech? Sure, no problem! Release a mass-murdering terrorist who plotted even more horrific crimes? Let’s talk. As Bryan Preston asks, how soon should we expect the demand for Khalid Shiekh Muhammad’s “humanitarian release?”

Obama and Clinton expect appeasing a bunch of medieval savages to buy us peace and safety.

This is what it will really buy:

US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, spilled by jihadis who’ll know that, under Obama, they can get away with it.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Al-Qaeda #2 sent to meet his virgins, courtesy of the USA? Update: Not dead yet?

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**Posted by Phineas

BOOM:

Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who long served Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed on Aug. 22 in Waziristan, Pakistan, according to multiple press reports. Both the Associated Press and Reuters cite US officials as saying that Rahman has been killed. Matt Apuzzo of the AP reports that a US official would not confirm how Atiyah had been killed, but the AP story notes that on same day, the CIA launched a drone strike in Waziristan.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would neither confirm nor deny Atiyah’s reported death. One senior US intelligence official observed that verifying the deaths of top terrorists is difficult and the US has gotten it wrong in the past. Atiyah himself, the official pointed out, was reportedly killed in 2010. Still, this official said, it is certainly possible that the new reports of Atiyah’s demise are accurate.

(…)

Atiyah has been described as al Qaeda’s “operations chief” in some press reports, and his role in plotting terrorist attacks has been repeatedly noted. But according to one senior US intelligence official contacted by The Long War Journal, Atiyah was al Qaeda’s “general manager” and also served as Osama bin Laden’s “chief of staff.”

While Atiyah was involved in plotting attacks, the official said, he was not really the “operational commander.” In the nascent plot to attack the US on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, for example, Atiyah would pass messages back and forth between Osama bin Laden and operatives elsewhere, but the tactical details of the plot were left to other al Qaeda commanders.

Atiyah was also given a senior role in managing al Qaeda’s finances, the official said. Only the most loyal and trustworthy terrorists would be given such a role.

You can read more about this thankfully dead medieval lunatic glorious martyr to Allah’s cause at The Long War Journal.

As TLWJ points out, this surely hurts Al Qaeda by killing another senior leader, disrupting operations and spreading fear and mistrust — did a traitor give Atiyah’s location away? Are there spies in their midst?

But we should keep in mind that Al Qaeda is a deliberately decentralized organization, with branches (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and franchises (Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb) that are fully capable of planning and carrying out operations on their own. Indeed, the attempted Christmas bombing over Detroit and the jihad attack at Ft. Hood were both planned or supported by AQAP, while AQIM has been linked to plots to launch a Mumbai-style attack in Europe. Striking a blow at Al Qaeda-central, while important, shouldn’t be and I’m sure isn’t our sole focus. (See also and also.)

Coming back to the probably-late Mr. Atiyah, if he is dead, it’s almost certain that this is one fruit of the intelligence haul we made when we looted bin Laden’s compound after killing him last May. You can bet there have been and will be others, as we exploit that trove of information for all it’s worth. And one has to wonder about the reaction of the next guy to be promoted to second-in-command: give thanks to Allah or run shrieking in terror? It doesn’t seem to be a job with much future in it…

UPDATE: From TLWJ’s blog, Threat Matrix, doubts are being cast on reports that Atiyah is really dead. This is a reminder that many such reports of prominent AQ and Taliban casualties have turned out to be premature. Perhaps Al Qaeda’s number two isn’t quite ready to go on the cart, yet.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Friends and allies: most major terror plots originate in Pakistan — Updated

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**Posted by Phineas

Don’t forget, we given Pakistan more than $18 billion in aid since September 11th, 2001. Gee, thanks for having our backs, guys:

Most of the major terrorist plots against the West since 2004 had links to Pakistan, including two that targeted Canada, says a study to be released today by a U.S. think tank.

In just over half of the 32 “serious” plots identified in the New America Foundation study, the participants had received either training or direction from jihadists in Pakistan.

The findings underscore Pakistan’s role as al-Qaeda’s primary safe haven, despite recent concerns about countries like Yemen, writes investigative journalist Paul Cruickshank, the study’s author.

“This paper has shown that by some measures al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Pakistan has actually become more dangerous in recent years. More serious plots emerged in the West in 2010 linked to established jihadist groups in Pakistan than in any year since al-Qaeda built up its operations in FATA in the early 2000s.”

FATA is the acronym for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the rugged frontier region of Pakistan, where al-Qaeda and its affiliates have set up since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In 53% of terror plots, members of the groups involved had trained in Pakistan, compared with 6% in Yemen, 3% in Iraq and 38% where no overseas training occurred, the study says.

Forty-four percent of the plots were directed by jihadist groups in Pakistan, while 6% were directed from Yemen, 3% from Iraq and 47% had no clear overseas direction.

Most of the Western recruits who went to Pakistan had initially wanted to fight NATO forces in Afghanistan but were instead persuaded to return to their home countries to conduct terrorist attacks, it says.

This isn’t to say the Pak government directed these attacks (though in some cases they have), but the central government is chronically weak, and large factions are very sympathetic to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the jihadist cause overall. They’ve been at best a part-time ally, sometimes giving us important cooperation, sometimes working against us — often at the same time. We’ve tolerated it because we not only need the cooperation we do get (Several al Qaeda bigwigs were nabbed with Pakistani help.), but because our position in Afghanistan has required putting up with a lot to keep supply routes open through the Khyber pass.

But that situation is changing with Obama’s decision to run away withdraw from Afghanistan; we just won’t need that supply route nearly as much.

And if that’s the case, and if so much terrorism originates in Pakistan and the government is unable or unwilling to stop it, why should we keep giving them so much money? Or do we keep paying tribute for fear Pakistani nukes would otherwise wind up in the wrong hands?

My own feelings mirror those of Victor Davis Hanson: time to say “Adios, Pakistan!”

via Undhimmi

UPDATE: And just to add a bit of fuel to the fire, our “allies” were selling nuke secrets to the North Koreans:

The founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to sensitive nuclear technology in the late 1990s.

Abdul Qadeer Khan has made available documents that he says support his claim that he personally transferred more than $3 million in payments by North Korea to senior officers in the Pakistani military, which he says subsequently approved his sharing of technical know-how and equipment with North Korean scientists.

Admittedly, this was in the 1990s, but still, not something you want to see in a responsible friend and partner.

To say the least. (via The Jawas)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

White House: Debate over EITs a “distraction from the broader picture”

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Obama’s favorite word rears its ugly head once again:

The chain of clues that led to the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces early Monday began with human intelligence. Senior administration officials have said key members of bin Laden’s inner-circle were flagged by post-9/11 detainees under interrogation, and that has raised an inescapable question: Did the chain begin with information gleaned from “enhanced interrogation” or waterboarding, the Bush-era technique President Obama and CIA chief Leon Panetta have decried as torture?

The White House insists that not only is the answer unknowable, but ultimately moot. “It’s impossible to know whether information obtained by [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques] could have been obtained by other forms of interrogation,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor tells TIME. “I think this is a distraction from the broader picture, which is that this achievement was the result of years of painstaking work by our intelligence community that drew from multiple sources.”

[…]

The Obama administration is steering clear of anything declarative. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Tuesday that he simply doesn’t know whether EITs could have yielded vital intelligence. “There was a mosaic of sources that lead to the identification of the people,” he said. And the White House is prepared to press the “mosaic” case aggressively.

“Multiple detainees have given us insights into networks of people who might have been close to Bin Laden. And beyond detainee reporting, solid information derived from other sources over many years ultimately helped solve an incredibly complex puzzle,” Vietor says. “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. So this argument just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

What a deceitful load of crap! That argument is not that the code name for the courier who eventually led the US to bin Laden came as a direct result of KSM’s 2003 waterboarding. What people are saying is that over time – which various news reports bear out – while KSM was in US custody in either an evil “secret prison” or the “unconstitutional” Gitmo, that the information was gleaned over a period of time, possibly under threat of another waterboarding, and most assuredly it came after one of a series of rounds of very aggressive interrogating – and not just of KSM but Abu Faraj al Libi as well.

The Obama administration, including their “spokesmen”, want people to believe that Islamofascist thugs at all levels will give up crucial information merely when “standard” interrogation techniques are used. I take that back – that’s what they’re hoping people believe as they’d prefer nothing more than for the American people to be in the dark on any number of issues because that would mean that the administration would be questioned less. The undisputable fact is that Islamic fanatics live to DIE for their “cause.” Being a martyr is the name of the game. Yeah, they want to take out as many “infidels” as possible, but they don’t mind if they go out with them, because not only do they think it will it bring “honor” to their Islamic families, but also because they believe virgins are awaiting them in Allah’s “heaven.”

Nope, these guys don’t give up information easily, which is the main reason EITs were authorized for use. The Obama administration will forever refuse to admit their gross error in judgement on the issue of President Bush’s more “controversial” counterterrorism policies, and they have good reason to. Obama’s approval ratings, prior to the OBL kill, were tanking. As a result of the news of OBL’s demise, Obama’s ratings have risen 9 points. The administration understandably wants to ride that wave into Campaign 2012 as opposed to being “distracted” by the fact that the very victory that they can credit with the surge in approval ratings was enabled, in part, thanks to the Bush doctrine policies they and their fellow liberals swore up and down were absolutely, positively not conducive to obtaining valuable, actionable intelligence.

To modify a quote from someone pretty famous, if the Obama administration is counting on conservatives to be passive in this debate, they’ve counted wrong. Very wrong.

Blame Bush: Tactics vilified by liberals paved the way for eventual OBL kill

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Oh, how sweet it is:

WASHINGTON – Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

There’s conflicting information on where KSM and al-Libi gave up the information. The AP insinuates above that the information on the courier came as a result of enhanced interrogation tactics used on them by the CIA in Poland and Romania. ABC News’ Brian Ross, however, reports that the info was learned via EITs used on the two of them at Gitmo:

And the trail that ultimately led U.S. forces to Bin Laden may have begun with another 9/11 plotter who is now in U.S. custody, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, central to both the 9/11 plot and the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, was captured by U.S. forces and taken to Guantanamo. In 2007, U.S. officials who were interrogating Guantanamo detainees finally learned the real name of a former Khalid Sheikh Muhammad protégé who had become an important confidante of Abu Faraj al Libi. Al Libi was captured in 2005 and also taken to Guantanamo.

Guantanamo detainees identified the courier who had worked with both KSM and Al Libi as someone who was probably trusted by Bin Laden. Al Libi had actually lived in Abbottabad in 2003, according to his detainee file.

In 2007, U.S. officials learned the courier’s real name. In 2009, they located his region of operation and began tracking him.

AllahPundit tries to piece everything together:

One U.S. official, speaking to the LA Times, noted drily, “That took years and these guys don’t give it up all willingly.” So much for the canard that enhanced interrogation never, under any circumstances, yields useful information. I’m trying to get the timeline straight, though. Apparently, sometime between 2002 and 2007, KSM and/or al-Libi revealed the courier’s pseudonym to the CIA while at a secret prison; then, four years ago, the CIA finally figured out the courier’s real name, which was the first big break in tracking him to Bin Laden’s door. The NYT, however, says that the CIA got the courier’s pseudonym from detainees at Gitmo. Maybe they corroborated the info gleaned from KSM and al-Libi at the black sites, or vice versa? Bear in mind too that al-Libi wasn’t one of the three high-value detainees who were waterboarded. He coughed up the courier’s name after some sort of lesser enhanced interrogation, and not until we have a precise timeline on KSM will we know exactly when in the process he gave them the name. Dick Cheney phoned into Fox this afternoon to talk about the role of EIT in this and said, while he assumes that it helped, he’ll have to wait for more details to know for sure.

I think it’s pretty clear that years of effective policy, hard work, tireless devotion and dedication, and in some cases ultimate sacrifice, led us to this great moment.  Extremely useful information was extracted from high value detainees using some of the very “controversial techniques” the left wanted – and eventually had – outlawed.   Had the left had their way early on, would we have known about OBL’s trusted courier?  Maybe, but it probably would have taken a lot longer.

Mark Hemingway pours it on the Bush-hating left with more information about the extraordinairy team involved in the termination of OBL:

It’s been reported that bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team Six, officially known as Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DevGru. Marc Ambinder has a good report that fills in some of the particulars:

DevGru belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command, an extraordinary and unusual collection of classified standing task forces and special-missions units. They report to the president and operate worldwide based on the legal (or extra-legal) premises of classified presidential directives. Though the general public knows about the special SEALs and their brothers in Delta Force, most JSOC missions never leak. We only hear about JSOC when something goes bad (a British aid worker is accidentally killed) or when something really big happens (a merchant marine captain is rescued at sea), and even then, the military remains especially sensitive about their existence. Several dozen JSOC operatives have died in Pakistan over the past several years. Their names are released by the Defense Department in the usual manner, but with a cover story — generally, they were killed in training accidents in eastern Afghanistan. That’s the code.

Under Bush, JSOC was routinely smeared by the left and placed at the center of many Bush/Cheney conspiracy theories. Specifically, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh alleged it was Dick Cheney’s personal assassination squad:

[…]

Now that a Democratic President has employed JSOC to take out Osama bin Laden, will the fever swamps of the Left continue to assert that it’s just a Bush/Cheney plot to run around unjustifiably killing people?

My co-blogger was correct to point out earlier that Pakistan had some explaining to do.  But I’d like to add the left to the list of people who have some explaining to do, considering the were  desperate to see Bush/Cheney do the perp walk for alleged “war crimes” committed while in office, specifically as it related not just to Abu Ghraib, but also as it related to President Bush’s authorization of EITs (including waterboarding) as well his reviled Gitmo/”secret prisons” policy.  As you’ll remember,  useful idiots both home and abroad who think breaking bread with ruthless dictators will make them see the light believed these wartime counterterrorism tactics were “unconstitutional” and “blatant attempts by the Executive Branch to seize unlimited power.”  Then-Senator Obama was one such liberal who believed that President Bush stepped way over the line with EITs – and made it clear very early on in his Presidency that the Bush way of interrogation, used by the CIA, was no longer to be used

I should also point out that this is not the first time that it has been confirmed that aggressive interrogation techniques aided the US and our allies in the global war on terror.  Former national intelligence director Adm. Dennis C. Blair admitted as much in the first few months of Obama’s presidency, as reported by the NYT at the time:

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”

Not that we didn’t know that already, considering the fact that the waterboarding of KSM led to the thwarting of the 2nd LA Library Tower plot, as reported back in 2005 by the LA Times.

I’d really like to see a press conference and/or primetime interview in which Obama participates and is asked questions about the enhanced interrogation techniques used to find out the name of OBL’s courier, highly valuable information which eventually led to the killing of OBL after his refusal to surrender.  As I pointed out earlier, then-Senator Obama and other liberals were highly critical of these methods of gaining information from high level admitted terrorists , suggesting that there were “other, more principled methods” that could have been used to  produce the same information.  They were also “outraged” that the CIA would have so-called “black sites” and that President Bush had the audacity to authorize the Gitmo prison facility.  I won’t hold my breath on President Obama getting questioned on this much – if at all, though, because the MSM – in concert with left wing pundits – are too busy basking in the afterglow of the Obama victory of snagging and eliminating OBL. 

However, I wouldn’t put it past debate moderators next year to bring up the issue at the debates as a way of bringing it back to the attention of the American people that OBL was killed on Obama’s watch.  At the same time, I hope whoever the GOP candidate is will be well-informed enough to point out – in the midst of congratulating President Obama – that some of the very counterterrorism policies used to glean this information are policies that would not have been in place had Democrats like President Obama, and 2004 Democrat nominee for President John Kerry, had their way.

We shall see.

Update – 6:40 PM:  Here’s more, slightly differing info, on how the CIA learned about the courier:

In a secret CIA prison in Eastern Europe years ago, al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, gave authorities the nicknames of several of bin Laden’s couriers, four former U.S. intelligence officials said. Those names were among thousands of leads the CIA was pursuing.

One man became a particular interest for the agency when another detainee, Abu Faraj al-Libi, told interrogators that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed as al-Qaida’s operational leader he received the word through a courier. Only bin Laden would have given al-Libi that promotion, CIA officials believed.

If they could find that courier, they’d find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA’s so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

If that’s the case, I suspect that in the back of his mind he knew he would be subjected to far harsher ITs, including waterboarding, if he didn’t divulge the information.  And what of the “black sites”?   The ABC article is yet another that mentions the “black sites” as the places where KSM and other noted detainess were questioned.  These sites were so secretive, that I have serious doubts that just “standard” questioning was used.

More details will be forthcoming in the days and weeks to come, and some intrepid writer out there will put all the pieces together and make them all fit.  But it’s more than crystal clear to me that if the left had had its way when it came to interrogation techniques, “black sites”, and Gitmo, we might not be where we are today – celebrating the elimination of the head of Al-Qaeda.

As Drudge would say, stay tuned … developing …

Dear Pakistan: you have some explaining to do — Updated!

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**Posted by Phineas

Now that the cheering has mostly quieted from last night’s news that we finally nailed Osama bin Laden, serious questions are being asked about Pakistan’s role, if any, in sheltering America’s arch-enemy. Consider this excerpt from Philip Klein’s article on how the mission went down:

Last August, intelligence officials tracked the [two couriers] to their residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a relatively wealthy town 35 miles north of Islamabad where many retired military officers live.

“When we saw the compound where the brothers lived, we were shocked by what we saw,” a senior administration official said.

The compound was eight times larger than any other home in the area. It was surrounded by walls measuring 12 feet to 18 feet that were topped with barbed wire. There were additional inner walls that sectioned off parts of the compound and entry was restricted by two security gates. And the residents burned their trash instead of leaving it outside for pickup. There was a three-story house on the site, with a 7-foot privacy wall on the top floor.

While the two brothers, the couriers, had no known source of income, the compound was built in 2005 and valued at $1 million. That led intelligence officials to conclude that it must have been built to hold a high-value member of Al Qaeda.

Further intelligence gathering found that there was another family who lived on the compound which had a size and makeup that matched the bin Laden members who would have most likely been with Osama.

After exploring every angle for months, they concluded that all signs pointed to this being bin Laden’s residence.

Emphases added.

So, here we have the most wanted man in the world, living comfortably with some of his family in a specially built mansion in Abbottabad(1), just a few miles from the Pakistani capital. A town that is a brigade headquarters for a Pakistani Army division and also houses a military academy.

Yet, somehow, no one noticed bin Laden was there?

In The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins asks the question that’s on a lot of people’s minds, right now:

Now that Osama is dead, the most intriguing question is this: Did any Pakistani officials help hide him?

We’re entitled to ask. Ever since 9/11—indeed, even before—Pakistan’s military and intelligence services have played a high-stakes double game. They’ve supported American efforts to kill and capture Al Qaeda fighters, and they have been lavished with billions of American dollars in return. At the same time, elements of those same military and intelligence services, particularly those inside Inter-Service Intelligence, or the I.S.I., have provided support for America’s enemies, namely the Taliban and its lethal off-shoot, the Haqqani network. American officials are fully aware of the double-game, and to say it frustrates them would be an understatement. For a decade, Pakistan’s role has been one of the great unmovable paradoxes of America’s war.

Pakistan’s double-dealing has been a dirty, semi-open secret in this war since it started. Filkins rightly points out that several high-ranking Al Qaeda operatives have been caught in Pakistani cities with Pakistani assitance and that there is no hard evidence that the ISI or other Pakistani agency was sheltering them.

But it is at the same time true that Islamist elements are strong in the ISI and Pakistani military, that Pakistan nurtured the birth of the Taliban –Al Qaeda’s ally– and has a longstanding relationship with them. Pakistan has also fostered and supported jihadist terror groups that have struck India time and again. (And also the attempted bombing of Times Square.)

So it is fair to ask just what Pakistan knew about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, how long they knew it, and why they didn’t tell us. We give them a boatload of money, Al Qaeda and its allies have cost us a lot of blood and treasure, and we have a right to some straight answers — now.

PS: Here are a couple of more questions to chew over: Given Pakistan’s support for numerous murderous terror groups, why are they not on the list of state-sponsors of terrorism? Islamabad seems to be giving Tehran a run for its money in that department. And now that bin Laden has gone to meet his virgin goats, do we even need Pakistan anymore?

LINKS: Diana West already has her answer. Watt’s Up With That has aerial photos of Osama’s hiding place in Abbottabad. Verum Serum has video from inside the mansion after the battle. (Gore warning.)

NOTES:

(1) “Abbottabad?” Is there a “Costelloabad,” too?

UPDATE: Bill Roggio at Threat Matrix has a very good analysis of why Pakistan was complicit in protecting Osama bin Laden. You’ll want to rad the whole thing, but I want to quote the final section that offers a very strong clue: Osama’s demonstrated confidence that he was safe:

While it is next to impossible to know the calculations made by bin Laden to shelter in a Pakistani city, it isn’t a stretch to say that he was confident enough to live in Abbottabad for an extended period of time because he felt that he, and his family, would be safe. Since his ouster from Sudan in 1996, bin Laden has been wary about entrusting his personal security to states. Yet he had to believe that there was little to no risk in sheltering in a city with a heavy military presence in a compound that gave all indications it housed a very important person. Bin Laden or his handlers had to be confident that the mansion would not be disturbed by Pakistan’s military and intelligence services. And to be confident, they must have had assurances that bin Laden would not be touched by Pakistani security forces.

Remember that the next time Pakistan comes up for foreign aid.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

BREAKING: Osama bin Laden dead as a result of US strike (UPDATED)

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Multiple news outlets are reporting the news. Not confirmed as to how or which country (Afghanistan or Pakistan). The President will be issuing a statement shortly on the matter.

Absolutely awesome news. It’s a symbolic victory as the war on terror will go on nevertheless, but that doesn’t diminish the historic significance of this kill. Supposedly it happened days ago It happened earlier today but the US wanted DNA confirmation first before they made the official announcement. Morons on Twitter and ABC News are making a partisan issue out of it by giving President Obama all the credit but the real credit goes to the boots on the ground, including both our military and intelligence agents who NEVER stopped looking for OBL in the aftermath of 9-11, never stopped hunting for him nor digging for intelligence from informants that would lead us to him.

Now is a good time to remember in prayer the victims of OBL’s Islamofascistic reign of terror. Decades of murder finally, at long last, officially avenged. It’s a great night.

Update – 11:41PM: The President says that the kill happened today after days of intelligence reports indicating where OBL was. Pakistani intelligence helped lead us to him. He says he authorized an operation to take OBL out. There was a firefight and no American troops were harmed. OBL was killed via a bullet to the brain.

News reports: Navy Seals being given credit for the operation.

Bret Baier on Fox is saying the President said the intelligence reports have been coming in since last August and in the last week he (Obama) authorized the use of force to take him out. I’ll need to review the speech. That’s not what I heard. Either way, OBL is gone and that is great news for us all.

Here’s a link to President Bush’s statement:

Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

Amen.

Here’s the text of President Obama’s speech.

A crowd of an estimated 2,500 are celebrating outside the WH. Celebrations also ongoing at Ground Zero. Awesome.

Update – 1:20 AM: How OBL was tracked.

If a beating is an honor, what is a stoning?

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Yesterday I wrote about an Egyptian Muslim cleric who told us that the beating of women was instituted by Allah to honor women.

If that’s “honoring,” then stoning must be the equivalent of a gold medal:

Rare Video Shows Taliban Allegedly Stoning Woman to Death in Pakistan

A rare video reportedly smuggled out of northwest Pakistan allegedly shows a woman being stoned to death by Taliban militants in the upper region of Orakzai.

Al Aan, a Dubai-based pan-Arab television channel that focuses on women’s issues, said it had obtained cellphone footage that it says shows a woman being executed because she was seen out with a man. The killing reportedly took place two months ago and was smuggled out by a Taliban member who attended the stoning, according to Al Aan. ABC News could not independently confirm the cellphone video’s authenticity.

The video, which seems to show a woman tethered to the ground as a group of men throw stones at her, is so graphic that ABC News cannot show it in its entirety. Parts of it air today on the 25th episode of “Brian Ross Investigates.”

“It’s difficult to know where and when it was shot,” says Gayle Lemmon, deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations, in an interview with Ross, “It is consistent with videos that have been coming from Taliban-controlled areas since the ’90s.”

Lemmon says that when women “stray outside the line” in Taliban-controlled areas, they may “face severe punishment.”

“Women are respected as carriers of the family honor,” says Lemmon, “but they also pay the price.”

If that’s respect…

Lemmon’s last statement is nonsense, of course, as I pointed out yesterday. They aren’t respected, except perhaps in the perverse sense of “if you dress a certain way and accept a man as your keeper, you won’t get raped.” Otherwise, according to Sheikh al-Hilali, she can expect to be treated like meat left out for the cat. Some respect.

Rather, what happens to the woman in the video is a consequence of women being made to bear the burden of the man’s sexual behavior. The victim in the video was seen walking with a man, presumably not of her family. Doesn’t she know what might have happened, since a man cannot control himself? That made her a whore and dishonored her family, and so she had to die by being pelted with rocks.

Respect. Honor.

Like Hell.

LINKS: Jihad Watch has the full video (Fair warning, it’s very graphic) and also provides links that debunk apologists who claim stoning is not a canonical part of Islam.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Multiple sources: Adam Gadahn captured in Pakistan (UPDATE: NOT GADAHN?)

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Huge news, via Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal:

Adam Gadahn and an associate are reported to have been captured during a raid by Pakistani special forces on a home at the Super Highway in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said they believed Gadahn has been detained but would not confirm the report.

Gadahn’s capture was first reported in the Pakistani press; he was not directly named, however. Geo News identified the captive al Qaeda leader as Commander Abu Yahya Azam while Dawn identified him as Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al Adam. Adam Gahdan’s nom de guerre is Abu Azzam al Amriki.

“The Pakistani press often incorrectly reports the names of foreign fighters arrested in the country, especially Arabic noms de guerre,” Arif Rafiq, the editor of The Pakistan Policy Blog, told The Long War Journal.

Gadahn was likely detained in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood in Karachi, Rafiq said. “Sohrab Goth is a major Pashtun area in northern Karachi,” he said. “Many Mehsud tribesmen live there.”

The reported capture of Gadahn comes the same day as As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released a video of him praising Major Nidal Hasan, the Muslim US Army officer who murdered 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009.

“Brother Nidal is the ideal role model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes,” Gadahn said, according to a partial translation provided by CTV.

“Nidal Hasan is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model who has opened a door, lit a path and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers,” Gadahn continued.

Gadahn also called for additional attacks in the US, mirroring the tactics used by Hassan, but said the attacks should not be limited to US military targets.

“You shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that military bases are the only high-value targets in America and the West,” Gadahn said. “On the contrary, there are countless other strategic places, institutions and installations which, by striking, the Muslim can do major damage.”

The current reports of Gadahn’s capture come as six top leaders of the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta Shura, or executive leadership council, have been detained in Pakistan. The Pakistani military and government have previously denied that the Quetta Shura existed and said no senior Afghan Taliban leaders were present in Pakistan.

JWF has a link round-up on the reports of Gadahn’s capture.

The validity of the early reports on this story was being questioned but it appears that the news is true, and that all we’re waiting on this point to make it “official” is a senior US military leader confirming it. Of course, they could be withholding details of the what they know until after they feel he has been, um, sufficiently questioned … sound familiar?

It’s been a good last several weeks for the US military and CIA forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan in terms of the high-level Taliban/AQ operatives who have been captured, arrested, or killed – oftentimes with the aid of Pakistani intelligence agents. And unlike the left, who routinely downplayed and poohpoohed any high value detention or kill of high level Taliban/AQ operatives during the Bush admin – oftentimes saying it was “no big deal” because where one was captured or killed another would take his place – I can acknowledge these victories in the GWOT with my head held high and being happy about it, because in the GWOT, we should all be on the same side: the side that wants the US and their allies in the Middle East to defeat Islamofascism and bury it deeply into the ground.

Related to that, Bill Jacobson notes how some on the left are actually feeling triumphant about today’s news:

This is a fight on which we all should be on the same side.

But wait for it: This proves Obama’s anti-terrorism strategy is better than Bush’s –

What, you mean working with your allies as opposed to trying to run roughshod on them actually works? Who knew? [Political Carnival]

It’s like the commander in chief is focused on fighting terrorism or something. [O. Willis]

Because al-Qaeda terrorists never before have been captured in Pakistan (other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammend and other people we can’t figure where to put on trial).

Heh. Yep.

Update – 10:17 PM: CBS is citing sources who say the Pakistani’s did not capture Gadahn but instead someone else (via ST reader Anthony in the comments):

An “important Taliban militant” was arrested today in Pakistan. But that is where the confusion started.

Earlier it was reported by Pakistani media that intelligence agents had arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi.

It was further reported by the Associated Press and Reuters that Gadahn had been arrested, sourcing security officials.

CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.

Now, CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact “a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya.”

The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man’s identify.

The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.

“In the light of our latest information, I can say, this is not looking like Gadahn. But it is still the arrest of an important Taliban militant,” said the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News late Sunday.

The New York Times, sourcing American and Pakistani officials, reports that the man arrested was Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, and describes him as an al Qaeda commander who was born in Pennsylvania.

Western diplomats in Islamabad, responding to the latest twist to this increasingly confusing saga, said the arrest is not insignificant. “Even if this is not Adam Gadahn, it is still not an unimportant development. But let’s hold our breath before we come to a final conclusion. We may be groping in the dark ’til someone, especially the Pakistanis who are holding this man, agree to present him publicly,” said one western diplomat in Islamabad who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity.

Stay tuned …