28 Dec 2007

Renegade Commando Units May Have Performed Attack

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Al Qaeda is taking credit for the assassination, and may very well have accomplished it using Pakistani military forces, abetted by Pakistani security services, Eli Lake, at the New York Sun reports.

American and Pakistani military leaders are seeking to account for what may be renegade commando units from the Pakistani military’s special forces in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan’s opposition leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto’s rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to The New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto’s armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police.

A separate attack was thwarted at the local hospital where Bhutto possibly would have been revived had she survived the initial shooting. Also attacked yesterday was a rival politician, Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister who took power after Bhutto lost power in 1996.

A working theory, according to this American source, is that Al Qaeda or affiliated jihadist groups had effectively suborned at least one unit of Pakistan’s Special Services Group, the country’s equivalent of Britain’s elite SAS commandos. This official, however, stressed this was just a theory at this point. Other theories include that the assassins were trained by Qaeda or were from other military services, or the possibility that the assassins were retired Pakistani special forces.

“They just killed the most protected politician in the whole country,” this source said. “We really don’t know a lot at this point, but the first thing that is happening is we are asking the Pakistani military to account for every black team with special operations capabilities.”

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Dominique R. Poirier

From France where I’m at this time – Interviewed yesterday evening on La Cinq, a French TV channel, French counterterrorist and geopolitics experts unanimously fingerpointed President Pervez Musharraf as the man most likely to be behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.



Dominique R. Poirier

ERRATUM:
I erroneously named France 5, “La Cinq,” in my previous comment.

La Cinq TV channel no longer exists since 1992 and has been replaced in 1994 by France 5, a public television network in France, part of the France Télévisions group.

Sorry for the mistake.



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