In North Waziristan, Pakistan, army troops are gathering for new attacks on terrorist locations (Taliban and Haqqani network). In the past week, Taliban death squads killed two leaders of local militias, as well as several other tribal leaders who had adopted an anti-Taliban stance. It's clear that, since the Taliban can't face the army in battle, they are attempting to terrorize a frightened (of the Taliban) population that is trying to protect itself. The government offers the possibility of protection, while the Taliban demands submission. In return, the Taliban will halt the terror attacks. Most Pakistanis are hostile to this arrangement, and the Taliban operatives outside the tribal territories are being turned in by nervous civilians. These operatives admit to police interrogators that the Taliban plan is more terror attacks, as this is seen as the only chance of getting the government to back off or, perhaps, collapse in confusion.
In Peshawar, Pakistan, all the Taliban terrorism has been bad for business. More people are coming out to shop only when they have to, reducing overall sales of merchants by more than ten percent. As Pakistani security forces take over more Taliban facilities in South Waziristan, they are horrified to find religious schools that specialize in convincing poor, rural teenagers to be suicide bombers. It only works on a few percent of the students, which is why there were so many of these schools. Captured suicide bombers in Afghanistan had freely discussed these schools, but this is the first time Pakistani officials have been able to examine them closely. The Taliban have developed a curriculum that combines religion and Islamic radical preaching, and the promise of sex and luxury living, to produce suicide bombers. Lurid details of all this are being widely reported in the media, fueling even more enthusiasm for continued efforts against the Taliban. In the last three months, Taliban terror attacks have killed over 600 people, most of them ordinary civilians.
In Pakistani Kashmir, a suicide bomber attacked an army base near the Indian border, killing three people. This is a rare and disturbing event. The Pakistani army in Kashmir has long supported Islamic terrorists training there, then crossing the border to fight Indian troops and kill non-Moslem civilians. Pakistani troops often fire on their Indian counterparts, to make it easier for the Islamic militants to sneak across the frontier. But in the last few years, troops have also been ordered to close some terrorist camps (those suspected of being responsible for attacks against Pakistani officials, or Indian cities.) Some Islamic militants have decided to escalate, and use terror to intimidate the army. Some mainstream Pakistanis blame these bombings on Indian agents, intent on causing discord between Islamic militants and the Pakistani army.
India is investigating the actions of several policemen, after three convicted Pakistani Islamic terrorists escaped custody in New Delhi.
January 4, 2010: The five American Moslems (whose parents migrated and assimilated, and had reported these college age students missing last month), were brought before a Pakistani court. The five claimed they were jihadis, not terrorists, and only wanted help in getting into Afghanistan, so they could kill foreign (American and NATO) troops. Pakistani prosecutors want to put the five in prison for life because of their terrorist activities. But the five young men are trying to win some public support by insisting that they meant no harm in Pakistan, and just wanted to get to Afghanistan and fight non-Moslem soldiers. The U.S. wants the five extradited to America, for prosecution on terrorism charges. Pakistan would like to do this, but evidence found on the five Americans indicated that they were planning attacks on Pakistani targets.
January 3, 2010: In North Waziristan, Pakistan, an American UAV attacked a compound with missiles, killing five Islamic terrorists, three of them foreigners.
January 2, 2010: In the wake of the January 1st South Waziristan bombing, popular opinion became more insistent that the Islamic terrorists, particularly the Taliban, be hunted down and killed or captured. The government thus decided to go into North Waziristan to seek out Taliban who had fled there after the army moved into South Waziristan. There, police and troops continue to raid rural compounds where the Taliban have taken refuge, and hoped they would not be noticed. But too many people, even in the tribal territories, are appalled at the Taliban bombing attacks against civilians and the murder of tribal elders. For the Taliban, that means too many people willing to pass information on to the police or army. It's getting harder to hide, the more suicide bombing headlines there are.
January 1, 2010: In South Waziristan, Pakistan, a Taliban suicide truck bomb went off at a sporting event, outside a village that was organizing an anti-Taliban militia. The blast killed over a hundred and wounded 3-4 times that. The villagers were enraged, and called for vengeance, and continued use of the militia.
In North Waziristan, Pakistan, an American UAV attacked a moving vehicle with a missile, killing three Islamic terrorists.