India-Pakistan: Terrorists Hunker Down and Issue Threats

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July 29, 2007: The United States has publicly pointed out the location of nine terrorist training camps in the North Waziristan area of the Pakistani tribal areas. It's in this area that senior al Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding, and the U.S. is trying to persuade Pakistan to make a major move into the area to shut down the camps and round up al Qaeda and Taliban members. The United States also refuted reports that they would bomb targets in Pakistan without permission from the Pakistani government.

The Pakistani government is now at war with al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Islamic terrorists from both organizations threaten to launch a major suicide bombing campaign, but, so far, this is off to a slow start. Over the past six years of terrorist activity in the area, the terrorists have made themselves very unpopular. So the Islamic radicals have to be careful, as most Pakistanis are inclined to turn them in. The government is also installing a network of video cameras in the capital, apparently inspired by British security advisors, who have been working with Pakistani counter-security forces to trade information and experiences.

July 28, 2007: In Pakistan's capital, the Red Mosque complex was reopened. Islamic conservatives held demonstrations, and an Islamic terrorist set of a suicide bomb, killing 14 and wounding 70.

July 27, 2007: In Kashmir, Islamic radical tried to improve their image by ordering all migrant workers out of the region. There are thousands of skilled workers and laborers in the area, and at least ten percent of the them promptly fled. The cause of all this was the recent death of a ten year old girl, apparently at the hands of two migrant workers. The Islamic radicals have been having a hard time of it lately, with more and more of their leaders getting caught or killed. Local Moslems are increasingly turning terrorists in. That's because locals are losing confidence in Islamic terrorists, who seem to bring violence, threats and death, and not much else.

July 26, 2007: The caretaker military government in Bangladesh is prosecuting politicians who, while holding senior government poses, aided terrorists. There is also an ongoing crackdown on corruption. But when the elections are held next year, most people expect the corruption to return, and perhaps even attempts to use Islamic terrorism as a political tool.

July 24, 2007: Pakistani police surrounded, and tried to arrest Pakistani Taliban leader Abdullah Mahsud. They did capture several of Mahsud's staff, but the man himself committed suicide rather than give up. Pakistan hailed Mahsud's death as a great victory in the war on terror. But it was several other things as well. Abdullah Mahsud was captured in late 2001, while serving as a Taliban commander in Afghanistan. Since he was a Taliban leader, he was sent to Guantanamo Bay, where he was interrogated for over two years. He was believed to be hard core Taliban, but the Pakistani government convinced the U.S. to let Mahsud go. The reasoning behind this was that Mahsud came from a Pushtun family that was loyal to the Pakistani government (he had a brother and brother-in-law that were officers in the Pakistani army). The Pakistanis promised that Mahsud would no longer be a problem. When Mahsud got back to Pakistan, he rejoined the Taliban and became a big problem for the Pakistanis. The U.S. urged Pakistan to arrest Mahsud, but there were always excuses. The real reason Mahsud was not picked up was that the Mahsud family had influence with the Pushtun tribes, and grabbing Mahsud would cause more bad feelings. But with the growing aggressiveness of the Taliban and al Qaeda, Pakistan finally felt they were better off taking Mahsud down.

July 23, 2007: In Pakistan's tribal areas, rebellious tribesmen are going after para-military (tribesmen working for the government) forces, since these men live in the area. Paramilitaries are kidnapped and murdered. This causes tribal feuds, which can go on for years.

July 22, 2007: In Pakistan's tribal areas, attacks on army road checkpoints are being repulsed, leaving at least twenty tribesmen dead today. The dozens of helicopters the army now has makes it difficult for the pro-Taliban tribes to bring armed men together for attacks. The army can spot any concentrations early on, and hit them with air strikes or artillery. The tribes are forced to rely on guerilla attacks, which leaves the roadblocks up, and the tribal economy crippled.

 

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