Category Archive 'Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar'

11 Mar 2010

Taliban Number 2 “Singing Like a Male Canary”

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Pakistani sources told the Washington Examiner.

The Afghan Taliban’s former second in command has been “singing like a male canary” since his capture last month, officials here told The Washington Examiner.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in Karachi, has become “a vital asset in gathering information on the Taliban and other extremist groups operating in the region,” one Pakistani counterintelligence official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of his work. Baradar is of interest to both U.S. and Afghan authorities. It is believed that U.S. counterintelligence officials are also questioning Baradar, who has close ties to Mullah Omar and other leaders in the region.

Baradar’s information that will aide both Pakistan and the United States in the war on terror, the Pakistani officials said.

“He obviously does not want to be released under any circumstances,” one Pakistani official said. “He would not survive after the information he has given the government.”

Baradar was born in Wetmak village in the southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan into an ethnic Pashtun Popalzai clan in 1968. His arrest dealt a serious blow to the Afghan Taliban.

The Pakistani official said Islamabad “is expected to turn over Baradar to Afghan authorities after we have finished with him.”

What the article and its sources fail to discuss is the obvious consideration that, post capture, Baradar was not Mirandized, taken to Guantanamo, sent to Illinois, given a trial in Manhattan, or released in Bermuda. In fact, he was not put in US custody at all.

It is only too clear that US domestic differences concerning detainee status, interrogation, and ultimate fate have produced a state of affairs in which we have every interest in making sure that a captured terrorist in possession of valuable information wind up in somebody’s else hands rather than our own. We cannot cope with prisoners.

We can’t interrogate them. We don’t know how to try them. And we are incapable even of keeping them safe in captivity. Bring someone like Baradar into the United States, and Ivy-League-educated attorneys will come a-running to be sure that he gets the full protection of the kind of top flight legal counsel you certainly could not afford, the domestic Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the opinion pages of the Washington Post and New York Times.

In Pakistan, the ISI can apply any enhanced interrogation techniques it cares to try. No wonder Baradar is talking.

Best of all, no one is accusing Barack Obama of renditioning Baradar to Pakistan. Why, the scoundrel was captured there. It’s not Obama’s fault that he fell into the tender mercies of Pakistani intelligence.

02 Mar 2010

Saudis Changed Pakistan Policy Toward Taliban

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Last month’s capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s number 2 leader, came about as the result of a major policy shift on the part of the Pakistani intelligence service ISI.

Half the Quetta Shura is now under arrest and sources are reporting to the (Pakistani) International News that the Saudi royal family persuaded Pakistani leadership to revise its policy toward the Afghan Taliban, causing the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) to withdraw its protection and begin actually going after the Afghan Taliban leadership. The results have been impressive.

In a major policy shift, the powerful Pakistani establishment seems to have decided to abandon the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan by agreeing to launch a massive crackdown against their command-and-control structure, which has already led to the arrest of nine of the 18 key members of the Mullah Omar-led Quetta Shura from different parts of Pakistan, and that too within a short span of two months.

According to well-informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad, the decision-makers in the powerful Pakistani establishment seem to have concluded in view of the ever-growing nexus between the Pakistani and the Afghan Taliban that they are now one and the same and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Quetta Shura Taliban (QST) could no more be treated as two separate Jihadi entities. Therefore, the establishment is believed to have revised its previous strategic assessment of the two Taliban groups, which have a common mentor (Mullah Mohammad Omar) and decided to proceed against the Afghan Taliban as well, considering them a greater threat for Pakistan now than in the past.

Diplomatic circles pointed out that the arrest of the Afghan Taliban leaders have come at a crucial juncture when the US-led allied forces are busy in launching a massive military offensive against the Afghan Taliban forces in the Marjah town of Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, after President Obama’s new-year public declaration to kill or capture the top fugitive leaders of the Taliban and the al-Qaeda, both inAfghanistan and Pakistan. Since the beginning of February 2010, the Pakistan authorities have captured seven senior members of the Taliban Shura, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy of Mullah Omar, and four Taliban shadow governors of Afghan provinces. These high-profile arrests, combined with the ongoing US-led military offensive in Helmand and the unending spate of drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas, have adversely dented the command and control structure of the Taliban, thereby affecting its military might in Afghanistan.

However, well informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad maintain that American pressure alone could not have made Pakistan to act against the Taliban network. They claim the influence of the Saudi royal family, coupled with the US pressure, eventually compelled the Pakistani intelligence establishment to finally abandon the Afghan Taliban, who were earlier being protected as a strategic asset to be used in Pakistan’s favour after the exit of the allied forces from Afghanistan. These circles further claim that the Pakistan intelligence establishment was in fact persuaded to cooperate with the Americans by Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the younger half-brother of King Abdullah. Being the chief of General Intelligence Presidency, which is the Saudi Arabian intelligence service, Muqrin reportedly conducted shuttle diplomacy between the key civil and military leadership of the two important Muslim countries, finally making Pakistan to proceed against the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.

28 Feb 2010

How Does This Administration Handle High Value Interrogations?

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There were little gasps of surprise last December, when it was learned that Barack Obama’s new politically correct High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) was not yet operational, and therefore not available to wheedle information out of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab concerning Al-Qaeda-in-the-Arabian-Peninsula (AQAP)’s nefarious plots against the lives of American civilians, using the latest and most advanced forms of Tea and Sympathy.

Apparently, the president’s crack team of sympathetic listeners is now actually in business, but anonymous sources have revealed to Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball that the immaculate inquisitors are not actually being deployed to deal with Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Last summer, the Obama administration announced that, as a replacement for the Bush administration’s secret CIA terrorist detention and interrogation program, it would create a SWAT-style team of interrogation experts to travel the world squeezing terrorist suspects for vital information. Administration officials say that the interrogation unit, known as the HIG (for High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group) is now operational. But for reasons that are unclear, the administration has not deployed HIG personnel to question Afghan Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arguably the most important terrorist suspect captured since the detention of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in spring of 2003.

Mullah Baradar was captured by Pakistani security forces in Karachi earlier this month following a tip-off from U.S. intelligence about a planned meeting involving some of his cohorts. … [S]ome sources say that U.S. intelligence personnel in Pakistan, who are believed to include both CIA and military counterterrorism experts, were not given access to Baradar until more than a week after his capture. Obama administration officials now say that Baradar is talking a little, that U.S. personnel in Pakistan do have access to him, and that any intelligence that has been squeezed out of him has been shared with American representatives.

But five U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, tell Declassified that the HIG—which the Obama administration has billed as a less-controversial alternative to the Bush administration’s use of secret CIA prisons and “enhanced” interrogation techniques that human rights advocates had described as torture—is not being deployed to participate in the questioning of Mullah Baradar. Some of the officials say they find this puzzling, since Baradar, who before his capture served as the Afghan Taliban’s top military commander, is widely believed to possess information that might be very useful to U.S. and allied forces fighting his Taliban comrades in Afghanistan. …

Officials from several government agencies involved in counterterrorism say that the HIG now is operational and that some of its personnel, who are formed into mobile interrogation teams, have already been sent out on highly classified interrogation assignments. But Mullah Baradar’s interrogation is not one of them, the officials affirm. Two of the officials say their understanding was that the reason that HIG personnel had not been sent to question Baradar was because Pakistan’s government was reluctant to allow them to do so. However, two other officials say that the Obama administration did not ask Pakistan for permission to send a HIG team to question Baradar, though these officials would offer no explanation for why the administration would not want to use HIG in this case. A White House official declined to comment on the matter

This leak obviously represents a rejoinder to Obama Administration pious poses regarding enhanced interrogation, drawing Newsweek’s attention to the fact that, since the Obama Administration has forbidden US Intelligence to question captured insurgents rigorously, what do they do when they get a high value prisoner who obviously possesses important information? They don’t rely on their publicly proclaimed policy, or use their shiny new white glove team of nice interrogators. Instead, they turn the prisoner over to the Pakistanis who can get right to work using forms of coercion far beyond anything ever imagined in the Bush Administration playbook.


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