Friday, December 28, 2007

Pakistan casts eyes on
Baitullah Mehsud & Maulana Fazlur Rahmen
NOTE: See Correction at end of post

It was only yesterday that I blogged my own top suspect of the bombing that resulted in Benazir's death (whether shot, schrapnel or head injury...). My assessment was based on the recent history of new Taliban leadership.

It didn't take as long as I thought
for Pakistan to start looking in the same direction that I was looking.

The government released a transcript Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant.

"It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her," Mehsud said, according to the transcript.

A side comment? Or a leader congratulating his forces for a job "well done"? There's more.

On Friday, Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz told The Associated Press that the government had evidence that al-Qaida and Taliban were behind the suicide attack.

Later, Cheema blamed Mehsud, described him as an "al-Qaida leader" and said he was also behind the Oct. 18 bombing against Bhutto's homecoming parade through Karachi that killed more than 140 people.

Mehsud is a commander of pro-Taliban forces in the lawless Pakistani tribal region South Waziristan, where al-Qaida fighters are also active. His forces often attack Pakistani security forces.

This fall, he was quoted in a Pakistani newspaper as saying that he would welcome Bhutto's return from exile with suicide bombers. Mehsud later denied that in statements to local television and newspaper reporters.

Cheema said Mehsud was "behind most of the recent terrorist attacks that have taken place in Pakistan."


He named others as Fazlur Rehman, the leader of an Islamist opposition party; former Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a close ally of President Pervez Musharraf; and former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao, who narrowly escaped a suicide bombing last weekend that killed 56 people.

So the Maulana is in bed with Baitullah. No surprise there. But again, a recap of history between Maulana Fazlur Rehman (aka Rahman) and Benazir. They were partners in the creation of Mullah Omar's Taliban. Rehman often considered "the father of the Taliban". Which would make Benazir akin to "the mother of the Taliban". All too many are either unaware of this fact, or simply choose to forget it.

As I mentioned yesterday, if these many successful acts can be traced to an obviously well-connected Baitullah (possibly with Pakistani security departments),Pakistan is in for a very rocky road. When you add the very well connected Fazlur Rehman to the mix, it becomes even more disconcerting.

CORRECTION NOTE: Pardon me for misreading. So quick to assume that one radical was in bed with another.... LOL Apparently they consider the Maulana Fazlur Rahman to also be under threat of death. That's an odd one. I must check into his latest alliances, as he is - to my knowledge - still a staunch ally of Mullah Omar. This would put him on the same team as Baitullah. What's up? I'll find out what I can...

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