Friday, August 7, 2009

Reports: CIA drone-fired missile attack kills Baitullah Mehsud, leader of Pakistani Taliban

Waziristan Taliban chieftain Baitullah Mehsud in better times

We may never know for sure, but it's being reported widely that a CIA missile has blown Pakistan's most wanted terrorist, Baitullah Mehsud, the killer of Benazir Bhutto among countless other victims, to smithereens:

"There is strong indication" that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a CIA drone strike that targeted a house Wednesday, a senior administration official told ABC News.

U.S. and Pakistani officials believe Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud is dead. U.S. and Pakistani officials believe that a strike in South Waziristan yesterday "very likely" killed Mehsud. U.S. officials said they had visual and other "indicators" that it was Mehsud, and that there is a 95 percent chance that he is among the dead. Pakistani officials are trying to collect physical evidence to be certain.

Baitullah Mehsud is enemy number one in Pakistan. He is believed to be behind some of the most spectacular attacks in that country, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 and suicide bombings in Lahore.
Recently, the CIA concentrated resources on tracking and targeting Mehsud partly at the behest of Pakistan's civilian government, led by Bhutto's husband, sif Ali Zardari. So Islamabad should be a bit happier place today.

This latest success should teach everyone a lesson about the capabilities of the CIA and America's intelligence community, which have lately come in for a wide range of criticisms from the left and the right. The CIA's Hellfire missiles fired from Predator and Reaper drone aircraft have been killing al Qaeda and Taliban leaders and fighters a lot more effectively than anything else being done by any arm of the U.S. Government or our allies.

Got an opinion? Post a comment.

UPDATE -- The New York Times reports that the Taliban has confirmed Mehsud's death last Wednesday in a CIA missile strike.

1 comment:

  1. whats this pakistani taliban i hate this word which is used is this report they are not just pakistani everyone knws so why they used pakistani taliban they are taliban and just taliban they are neither pakistani now muslim!!