India-Pakistan: Terrorist Cell Phone Scam Backfires

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July 6, 2006: Pakistan has lost track of Osama bin Laden, and is unsure if he is anywhere along the Afghan border, or even in the region. Meanwhile, the Americans have disbanded the CIA task force that was searching for bin Laden, believing that those resources could best be used elsewhere. There is still a $25 million reward for bin Laden, who is believed to be more concerned with not getting caught than with running al Qaeda.

July 5, 2006: In southwest Pakistan, troops found and attacked a camp used by tribal separatists. At least 25 of the rebels were killed, and large quantities of explosives and weapons were seized. The security forces were looking for the group that was blowing up gas pipelines, and believe they have found it.

July 4, 2006: Indian police in Kashmir revealed that they had uncovered the Islamic terrorist use of stolen cell phone IDs. Police had earlier tapped into terrorist satellite phones and two-way radio networks, forcing the rebels to use cell phones. The cell phone scam was discovered in May, and since then, police have tracked down several dozen terrorists and supporters via lists of stolen cell phone numbers. The police discovered the scam when one rebel called in to take credit for an attack, police traced the cell phone number, and found it did not belong to the person it was supposed to belong to.

Maoist rebels in eastern India publicly executed a local politician for supporting police efforts to shut down the Maoists. The politician was popular with tribal people in the area, and the Maoists are terrorizing the tribal villages that have not been cooperating with rebels.

July 3, 2006: Indian police in Kashmir killed a dozen Islamic terrorists in several clashes. The number of Islamic terrorists identified and captured and killed has gone up in the last few weeks.

July 1, 2006: In Pakistan, the rail line to Iran was blown up in several places by Baluchi tribal rebels. Police captured the camp the rebels had used, seizing explosives and other weapons. The rebels also fired rockets at army checkpoints.

June 29, 2006: The U.S. has agreed to sell Pakistan 36 F-16 fighters, and upgrade 26 that Pakistan already has. India doesn't like the deal, but the U.S. insists that it will not substantially change the balance of power (with India being the more powerful) in the region. It will make Pakistan feel better, though.

 

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