Constant pressure, constant doubt and constant threat of imminent death will take a great toll of Islamic terrorist leaders in the Pakistan/Afghanistan theater. Every leader that can be killed is worth 100's of line troops in the effect they have on the Islamic Jihad. Under trained, illiterate Muslim terrorist troops without leadership can be rolled up by Pakistani and Afghani troops, keeping most allied Western troops out of the worst of it.
Setting it up so that the Pakistani/Afghan troops can have large, visible successes against the Taliban/al Qaeda can only promote stability and a return to normalcy.
But be advised, Afghanistan and Pakistan are Muslim majority countries and we can never expect true democracy to thrive there. The best we can look forward to is semi-secular states that will be able to contain the ongoing threat of Global Jihad. Of course, both governments are in danger of being subverted by Islamism from within, with or without overt terrorism.
Terrorising the Terrorists
The Pakistani army’s campaign in South Waziristan got a boost this week when an American drone attack eliminated an important al Qaeda operative.
The Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, reported that the high-ranking terrorist, Mustafa al-Yazid, an al Qaeda founding member, was killed by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It was the first drone attack since the Pakistani army began its offensive into the jihadists’ South Waziristan stronghold last weekend.
The Predator drone, and its larger Reaper version, has been credited with creating conditions favourable for the long-awaited invasion. A retired Pakistani army colonel analysing Operation-i-Nijaat (Path to Salvation), the army’s name for the Waziristan campaign, wrote that the command structure of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was “in disarray” due to the deaths these unmanned missile strikes have caused among its leadership.
The most famous victim of this death from the air was former TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud. Mehsud was killed last August after the United States had put a five million dollar reward on his head in March under its Rewards for Justice Program. A side benefit of Mehsud’s death was the bloody, internecine battle that broke among the Pakistani Taliban for the vacant leadership.
Also last March, two other terrorist leaders had lucrative bounties placed on them. Information leading to Sirajuddin Haqqani, a major NATO opponent in the Afghanistan insurgency, and Abu Yahya al-Libi would net an informant a million dollars for each one.
But while Haqqani and al-Libi have yet to become acquainted with a Hellfire missile, the number and status of those terrorists who have is impressive. Among those now enjoying their promised 72 virgins in paradise are Osama al-Kini, al Qaeda’s external operations chief; Khalid Habib, leader of al Qaeda’s fighting force, the Shadow Army; and Tahir Yuldashev, leader of the Islamic Union of Uzbekistan, which is currently threatening Germany with terrorist attacks.
The drone campaign against al Qaeda’s and the TTP’s leadership got seriously underway only in 2008 after military dictator Pervez Musharraf was replaced as Pakistan’s president by a civilian, Asaf Zardari. Since Musharraf’s political demise, it is estimated Hellfire missiles have killed 700 jihadists in Pakistan, including two dozen senior al Qaeda and TTP leaders.
READ IT ALL: