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Bin Ladenís deputy behind the Red Mosque bloodbath
timesonline.co.uk ^ | July 15 2007 | Dean Nelson, Islamabad and Ghulam Hasnain

Posted on 07/14/2007 7:10:32 PM PDT by Dog

AL-QAEDA’S leadership secretly directed the Islamic militants whose armed revolt at the Red Mosque in Islamabad ended last week with more than 100 deaths after it was stormed by the Pakistan army.

According to senior intelligence officials, the troops who finally took control discovered letters from Osama Bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. They were written to Abdul Rashid Ghazi and Abdul Aziz, the brothers who ran the mosque and adjacent madrasah.

Government sources said up to 18 foreign fighters � including Uzbeks, Egyptians and several Afghans � had arrived weeks before the final shootout and set up firing ranges to teach students, including children, how to handle weapons.

Al-Qaeda has wanted to open a Pakistan front in its global jihad since President Pervez Musharraf sided with America after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Diplomats were surprised by the speed with which the fugitive Zawahiri condemned the raid and called on Pakistanis to rise up against Musharraf.

The response to his appeal was equally swift. Twenty-seven soldiers were killed when a suicide attacker struck a military convoy in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border yesterday. At least 58 have been killed in bombings and shootings since the Red Mosque crisis began 12 days ago.

This weekend street protests were organised by religious parties as the government dispatched thousands more soldiers to its troubled North West Frontier province.

Some were sent to the Swat Valley, where a suicide car bomber killed three policemen last Thursday and a madrasah controlled by Maulana Fazlullah, a militant mullah, is expected to be the next flashpoint. Fazlullah has been using a radio station to rally support for Al-Qaeda and has urged followers to arm themselves in preparation for a siege.

Ministers blamed the presence of foreign fighters for the breakdown of negotiations at the Red Mosque just as they seemed about to reach a deal to end the standoff peacefully.

According to government sources and western diplomats, Al-Qaeda sought martyrdom instead. “They wanted a poster boy for Pakistan and Ghazi was the perfect guy,” said one western diplomat.

Ghazi was shot dead in the army’s final assault on the mosque a week after his older brother tried to escape disguised in a burqa.

Musharraf’s use of overwhelming force to defeat the militants was welcomed not only by international allies in the war on terror but by Pakistan’s urban middle classes. Advisers were weighing up whether his declaration of war on militants, could be turned to political advantage.

His presidential term expires in September and he must decide whether to seek reappointment by the current parliament or call early parliamentary elections with the aim of securing a fresh mandate.

Diplomats believe an initial surge of support may already be fading, however, as concern grows over the number of women and children killed in the Red Mosque.

Ministers denied at first that any had died but the army has since admitted 19 bodies were “beyond recognition”. “They could be anybody, any age,” a spokesman said.

Although the interior ministry confirmed later that up to 25 women and children had been killed in the mosque, survivors suggested that the toll could be considerably higher.

Asma Hayat, 15, said she had seen several classmates shot and had been told of 15 other girls killed. She claimed she had seen “dozens” of 12 and 13-year-old boys dead, insisting: “Their faces were recognisable.”

According to Asma, she was handing out water to children affected by tear gas near the main gate when her friend Nasmeen, 17, was shot in the side.

When she went to help her, Nasmeen pushed her away, saying: “It feels good, it’s martyrdom.” She was taken away for treatment, but her father called a few days later to say she had died.

Bilal Sabir Khan, 11, claimed one of his friends had been shot in the foot and he saw “many martyrs and injured students on the roof of the library and the lawn in front of the mosque”.

At the Jinnah stadium, where more than 100 distraught relatives waited to learn the fate of their children, charity workers posted the names of those admitted to hospitals and morgues.

Mattiullah Khan, 50, said he had not spoken to his 16-year-old nephew Mohammed Yusuf since the previous week, when the boy had said he wanted to escape. “He didn’t want to be a martyr,” his uncle said.

The lists of injured, dead and detained told their own story of panic and terror. Among those held in Adyala jail were a six-year-old boy, with two nine-year-olds for company.

There were 23 names on the list of confirmed dead, many of them aged 15 and 16. At the Federal Government Services hospital, 34 girls under 16 were treated for tear gas inhalation, including a six-year-old, four girls of eight, and many more younger than 12.

Hamid Gul, a former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, said statistics like these, and the stories of dead and injured children, could drive Musharraf from power. “The government is trying to hide the number of young girls killed,” he claimed. “As the truth comes out that young girls were gassed and burnt, riddled with bullets and killed, it’ll be bad for Musharraf.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 200707; abdulghazi; afghans; alqaeda; alqaedapakistan; alzawahiri; aq; aymanalzawahiri; binladen; egyptians; ghazi; lalmasjid; letters; pakistan; pakistanitaliban; redmosque; swat; taleban; taliban; tnsm; uzbeks; zawahiri
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Just damn.
1 posted on 07/14/2007 7:10:34 PM PDT by Dog
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To: AdmSmith; Straight Vermonter; Cap Huff

....there you have it...the Z man was behind the curtain.


2 posted on 07/14/2007 7:12:15 PM PDT by Dog ("Nothing important happened today." - from the diary of Englandís King George III, July 4, 1776)
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To: Dog

staged crisis to justify them jihading on Musharraf.


3 posted on 07/14/2007 7:16:11 PM PDT by omega4179 (Are we serious about Islams global war on freedom?)
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To: Dog

Diplomats were surprised by the speed with which the fugitive Zawahiri condemned the raid and called on Pakistanis to rise up against Musharraf.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Interesting,,,Maybe they are getting too close to him...


4 posted on 07/14/2007 7:19:13 PM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: omega4179

Yep...


5 posted on 07/14/2007 7:20:29 PM PDT by Dog ("Nothing important happened today." - from the diary of Englandís King George III, July 4, 1776)
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To: Dog

My, my. I’ll be watching for this fellow Maulana Fazlullah to turn toes-up in the near future. I’m guessing that we’re doing well enough in Afghanistan to force some of the action south, and Musharraf seems to be willing to force it north. Gonna be a hot summer.


6 posted on 07/14/2007 7:26:21 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: All

If Z-man can send such near-real time messages to a gang that was publicly provoking Musharraf from a place less than a mile from ISI HQ, then what does this tell us? At the very least, we should seek the handover of all ISI fellas “handling” the Ghazi brothers.


7 posted on 07/14/2007 7:27:07 PM PDT by Saberwielder
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To: Dog

troops sent to Swat Valley 8-?

Damn, just damn... and Good huntin’!


8 posted on 07/14/2007 7:29:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...)
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To: Dog

More dead terrorists.


9 posted on 07/14/2007 7:29:30 PM PDT by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve,and have served,to keep us free)
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To: Dog
"Diplomats believe an initial surge of support may already be fading, however, as concern grows over the number of women and children killed in the Red Mosque..."

Here is the full story including what the Times left out

Musharraf's Last Stand

10 posted on 07/14/2007 7:31:52 PM PDT by expatguy (Support - "An American Expat in Southeast Asia")
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To: Billthedrill
This was a major powerplay...Mushy is going to have to answer this... AQ just declared war on him...in the heart of his captiol....

Oh and Bill....watch for this name..

Faqir Mohammed

He is the protector of Ayman Zawahiri.. he resides in Bajaur.

11 posted on 07/14/2007 7:31:53 PM PDT by Dog ("Nothing important happened today." - from the diary of Englandís King George III, July 4, 1776)
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To: Dog

The former head of ISI Hamid Gul was and still is a dyed in the wool Islamist and advocate of disrupting Afghanistan, by backing the Taliban among other methods, as part of the broader campaign against India.


12 posted on 07/14/2007 7:33:46 PM PDT by MadJack ("Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." (Afghan proverb))
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To: 1COUNTER-MORTER-68

“Hamid Gul, a former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service”

Would you put your life in the hands of a Pakistani ISI of any rank? lol (snort....snicker, lol) :)


13 posted on 07/14/2007 7:33:46 PM PDT by jedward (Mission '08 - Take back the House & Senate. No Negotiations...No Prisoners.)
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To: Dog

Many thanks. Faqir Mohammed is going to be easy enough to remember. It’s starting to look like some of the tribes are getting a little testy with al Qaeda up there as well. Nasty terrain. A very interesting little tactical challenge...


14 posted on 07/14/2007 7:37:31 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Dog

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003785515_pakistan12.html

Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister and opposition leader expected by many to return from exile and join Musharraf in a power-sharing deal after year-end general elections, praised him for taking a tough line on the Red Mosque.

“I’m glad there was no cease-fire with the militants in the mosque because cease-fires simply embolden the militants,” she told Britain’s Sky TV on Tuesday. “There will be a backlash, but at some time we have to stop appeasing the militants.”

Pakistan’s mainstream, liberal newspapers also backed the assault, although ordinary citizens appeared less enthusiastic.

Several people interviewed by The Associated Press sympathized with some of the clerics’ professed goals, especially closing down alleged brothels in Pakistan’s relatively Westernized capital.

But they also criticized the mosque leaders’ increasingly aggressive anti-vice campaign, which included kidnapping alleged Chinese prostitutes, and their stockpiling of weapons and ammunition at the holy site and an adjoining madrassa, or religious school, for girls...


15 posted on 07/14/2007 7:37:49 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair dinkum!)
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To: jedward

Hey there,,,LOL,,,not this week,,,just a guess,,,
The “pucker-factor” for Zawahiri must be at 9.5 about now;0)


16 posted on 07/14/2007 7:40:26 PM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: Dog

“Bin Laden’s deputy behind the Red Mosque bloodbath”

could be.........but it is for certain that ISLAM is behind it......and it is also certain that ISLAM is so twisted that it kills even muslims without hesitation to further its malignant aspirations.

ISLAM demands extermination by the civilized world. After 1400 years, you’d think that we will accommodate them.


17 posted on 07/14/2007 7:42:41 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Dog

There is a definite possibility of the Taliban and al Quaeda getting control of Pakistan.

Lest we forget, they don’t need to develop nukes. They already have them.

This could make Iran look easy by comparison.


18 posted on 07/14/2007 7:45:42 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.)
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To: Dog
If Mush is going to make war on terrorists, the first place to start is his ISI. Nest of snakes with its fingers in all the trouble around that area of the ME.
19 posted on 07/14/2007 7:46:17 PM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica (The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.)
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To: 1COUNTER-MORTER-68

Wonder what Pakistani Press is printing in comparison. The same? What would you do (LMAO)? Run, hide, stay...lololololololol. He’s getting screwed with mentally right now either way, and I love it :))


20 posted on 07/14/2007 7:46:45 PM PDT by jedward (Mission '08 - Take back the House & Senate. No Negotiations...No Prisoners.)
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