Terrorists capture Pakistani police station

posted at 8:45 am on March 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Put Lahore in the same category as Mumbai, if on a smaller scale. A group of “militants” seized a large police station in the Pakistani city, killing at least 11.  Police expect that toll to rise as they clear the regained station of bodies in the interior:

Pakistani security forces overpowered a group of gunmen who staged a deadly assault on a police academy Monday, capturing six of the militants while eight others died during an hours-long battle in the country’s east.

The well-organized, highly coordinated assault left at least 11 officers dead, though the death toll was expected to rise because some of the bodies were inside the compound.

The attack came less than a month after an ambush on Sri Lanka’s visiting cricket team in the heart of Lahore and underscored the threat that militancy poses to the U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed country. It prompted the country’s top civilian security official to say that militant groups were “destabilizing the country.”

Soldiers and other security forces surrounded the compound on the outskirts of the city, exchanging fire in televised scenes reminiscent of last November’s militant siege of the Indian city of Mumbai. Armored vehicles entered the compound while helicopters hovered overhead. Some police tried to escape by crawling on their hands and knees around the bodies of fallen officers.

This was a more brazen — and dangerous — attack than Mumbai in a couple of key aspects.  First, the terrorists took on what is presumably a heavily armed and easily defended post.  Police stations, probably more so in Pakistan than most places, have plenty of guns and security safeguards.  The fact that the terrorists succeeded in gaining control of the facility speaks volumes about the ability of Pakistan to protect itself in Lahore.

That brings us to the second aspect, which is the attack on Pakistan itself.  The Mumbai attack selected soft targets, but also private industry targets.  This attack was on the government of Lahore and Pakistan.  Not only did the police fail to detect it despite the involvement of at least 14 terrorists coordinating the attack, they couldn’t repulse it quickly enough to save their own comrades.  It makes Pakistan look weak; the statement of the security official merely confirms what is obvious to everyone.

The series of attacks in Lahore will press the civilian government into taking some kind of action.  If they can’t get their act together soon and make the nation safe for cricket in Lahore and elsewhere, the people will demand a change in Islamabad — and the military may have its own ideas of change.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

One man’s terrorist is not always another man’s freedom fighter. A terrorist is a terrorist. Pakistan needs to get real here. They are destabilizing the entire region and maybe world.

Dr. Manhattan on March 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM

No link?

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Those darned overseas contingency operators!

Akzed on March 30, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Ed, can you please be more specific when referring to our evil enemy? there are many kinds of “terrorists”, but we’re at war with Islamofascists.

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Seal the place off, let them sort it out between themselves, and then deal with the winner. I, personally, don’t want one Allied military death over this cesspit.

OldEnglish on March 30, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Dr. Manhattan on March 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM

I agree. Pahw-kee-stahn needs to get a handle on this.

becki51758 on March 30, 2009 at 8:52 AM

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 8:50 AM

+1

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Those darned overseas contingency operators!

Akzed on March 30, 2009 at 8:50 AM

+1

AZCoyote on March 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM

I don’t like the term islamofascism

I feel like it implies we are dealing with something outside of Islam; an extremism of sorts. In reality it is simply Islam.

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Pahw-kee-stahn has tryed to embrace these Muslim terrorists at the same time as they condemned them, and golly gee look how well that is working out for them.

doriangrey on March 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I feel like it implies we are dealing with something outside of Islam; an extremism of sorts. In reality it is simply Islam.

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Ya just cant go around saying stuff like that, cause ya know, those peace loving Muslims might get offended and well ya know… start killing people… In the name of peace and love and all that….

doriangrey on March 30, 2009 at 8:58 AM

I don’t like the term islamofascism

I feel like it implies we are dealing with something outside of Islam; an extremism of sorts. In reality it is simply Islam.

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I’ve always been a fan of “Genocidal Islamic Supremecists”. It accurately denotes the what and the why, while carrying a connotation similar to white supremecist, so even a lib might, just might, get it.

trubble on March 30, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I wonder if Pakistan’s government will start giving coalition forces more freedom to to strike jihadis in their country and start working more closely with us to defeat them. If they don’t, I hope that western powers have a plan in place to seize Pakistan’s nukes if and when the government falls to Islamic extremists.

Dollayo on March 30, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Since Eurasia has always been involved in ‘Overseas Contingencies Operations’ with Oceania, should these militants still be called gunmen? Surely they are ‘contingents’, or perhaps ‘operants’…?

Broadsword on March 30, 2009 at 9:01 AM

OK, let’s see how things are going . . . Iran flipped off Obama and North Korea told him to get bent and get ready for their missile firing. Gates said we will do nothing about anything except we’ll try to win the hearts and minds of the Taliban in Afghanistan and we all know how well that worked in Vietnam. On the home front the economy is collapsing and Obama is busy, busy creating a pure Marxist state. Oh yeah, this is really working out well. Thank you enlightened voters, you really stuck it to us this time.

rplat on March 30, 2009 at 9:03 AM

if the police station was so heavily armed & the people there presumably better trained than mere civilians, that leads me to believe that this was an inside job.

kelley in virginia on March 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM

No link?

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM

I assume this is the same attack Ed is talking about…

27 Killed as Gunmen Storm Police School in Pakistan

trubble on March 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Ed, the terrorists attacked a training academy for Pakistan’s police force, not a random police station. Big difference.

Here’s Reuters talking about their islamic masters

“Some eight to 10 militants attacked the recruits as they performed a regular drill on the parade ground at around 7:30 a.m (0230 GMT), and then went on to occupy the academy’s main building.”

Here’s some fun facts …

“Television news channels showed jubilant police shouting praise to God and firing in the air, soon after an intense burst of firing inside the academy.”

Pakistan’s chickens are coming home to roost! There won’t be too many tears shed in India today.

Jester on March 30, 2009 at 9:08 AM

I don’t like the term islamofascism

I feel like it implies we are dealing with something outside of Islam; an extremism of sorts. In reality it is simply Islam.

I agree that the ones who seem to follow the Koran closest are our enemies, but there are hundreds of millions who call themselves Muslim who also call themselves pro-American.

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 9:10 AM

I wonder if Pakistan’s government will start giving coalition forces more freedom to to strike jihadis in their country and start working more closely with us to defeat them. If they don’t, I hope that western powers have a plan in place to seize Pakistan’s nukes if and when the government falls to Islamic extremists.

Dollayo on March 30, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Pakistan’s government has as much say in what happens in that country as I have in deciding what goes on Obama’s teleprompter.

The Pakistan Army decides what is to happen and that is that. The Pakistan government can’t do shit about it. And the Army is unlikely to do anything – most of its officers and soldiers sympathise with the terrorists and the taliban more than they do with Pakistan’s government.

Jester on March 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Sorry, I added the link now.

Ed Morrissey on March 30, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Like a dog chasing a Greyhound bus; ok, you caught it, now what are you going to do with it?

Skandia Recluse on March 30, 2009 at 9:15 AM

I agree that the ones who seem to follow the Koran closest are our enemies, but there are hundreds of millions who call themselves Muslim who also call themselves pro-American.

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Hundreds of millions? Where did you come up with that?

zeebeach on March 30, 2009 at 9:16 AM

I do not know jgapinoy.

I appreciate your generosity towards Muslims, and I’m not being sarcastic.

However I think the reason we don’t see more Muslim attackers and hordes is because of the language barrier.

The Qur’an in it’s perfect state is supposed to remain in Arabic.

1-1.2 billion Muslims — 250 million Arabic speakers (chunk of those Christian)

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 9:21 AM

I don’t like the term islamofascism

I feel like it implies we are dealing with something outside of Islam; an extremism of sorts. In reality it is simply Islam.

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

You are correct. The term is redundant. Still, it’s better than the vague “terrorist.”

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Sorry, I added the link now.

Ed Morrissey on March 30, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Thanks.

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Pakistan’s government has as much say in what happens in that country as I have in deciding what goes on Obama’s teleprompter.

The Pakistan Army decides what is to happen and that is that. The Pakistan government can’t do shit about it. And the Army is unlikely to do anything – most of its officers and soldiers sympathise with the terrorists and the taliban more than they do with Pakistan’s government.

Jester on March 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM

If this is true than we damn well better have a plan in place to seize Pakistan’s nukes before they fall into the hands of the Taliban. I also think we should align with India and against Pakistan to force the army’s hand.

Dollayo on March 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Police captured one of the suspected gunmen six hours after the initial assault, dragging the scruffy, bearded man to a field outside the academy and kicking him.

Cue the civil rights groups.

Disturb the Universe on March 30, 2009 at 9:28 AM

The ISI is looking to expand, what better way than to topple their own government and install one more conducive to ISI desires.

At least we have a POTUS with a spine of steel to thwart our enemies.

Bishop on March 30, 2009 at 9:29 AM

C’mon People!! Team Chicago Jesus is too busy fighting Capitalism in America.. They are surely not worried about PakEstuan!!

Dire Straits on March 30, 2009 at 9:32 AM

LOL bishop

blatantblue on March 30, 2009 at 9:32 AM

The series of attacks in Lahore will press the civilian government into taking some kind of action.

What would that be:
- A different font on the next “peace agreement.”
- Yield more land to the terrorists\rebels.
- Allow Babu to come back to America and reopen his restaurant.

Sounds like this country deserves a military dictatorship.

WashJeff on March 30, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Ed:

That AP story you link to conflates the number of Pakistani civilians and police killed with the terrorists who caused the carnage. 19 dead? Well, only when you tally up the 8 police, 3 civilians and 8 terrorists.

Rather than report that 14 terrorists murdered 11 Pakistanis in a brazen raid, this is the kind of reporting we get.

lawhawk on March 30, 2009 at 9:40 AM

This just might convince the Pakistani Government to allow the US of A to hunt terrorists inside Pakistan.

darktood on March 30, 2009 at 9:41 AM

i’m getting the impression from the comments here that the govt of Pakistan is so weak & in some ways scared of the terrorists & therefore don’t want to hunt down the terrorists because then the govt will be toppled.

is this what yall are saying?

kelley in virginia on March 30, 2009 at 9:51 AM

I think the net affect of this action is good.
The Islamic press will not be able to successfully pin it on us.
They have six live terrorists as well as DNA of eight others.
They will be able to verify the identities of these individuals and their bosses and the training sites.
The populous will want that to happen.
They will not be able to pin it on India.
The country might actually become serious about their desperate situation including the madrases in their midst.

burt on March 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Just a matter of time before these Islamic terrorists get one of the Paki nukes.

Best to secure them ourselves, now.

If our leaders had any brains or cojones it would have already been done.

The waiting will be murder.

For those who end up on the receiving end of one.

profitsbeard on March 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM

i’m getting the impression from the comments here that the govt of Pakistan is so weak & in some ways scared of the terrorists & therefore don’t want to hunt down the terrorists because then the govt will be toppled.

is this what yall are saying?

kelley in virginia on March 30, 2009 at 9:51 AM

I think the government is only as strong as the army is loyal. The government is worried that a fight against the Taliban might fragment the army since many of its officers and soldiers sympathize with the terrorists and the taliban more than they do with Pakistan’s government. This could topple the government.

Dollayo on March 30, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Are we yet counting down the days until a Taliban-controlled Pakistan?

albill on March 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Are we yet counting down the days until a Taliban-controlled Pakistan?
Actually AlBill,, we are living in it. Zardari and Gilani have as much teeth as a one day old and are a good foil for the military-jihadi complex that is the real power.

Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISI,Paki army – these are all pretty much the same, nowadays. But nothing to worry here, “most” Pakistanis are “moderates” and they dont support the Tollybon!

nagee76 on March 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Will the turmoil in Afghanistan & Pakistan end? Or will the unrest (probably escalates to civil war in Pakistan) only increase and spread throughout the region until it brings all the Nations into the abyss of the final World war? It seems Evil is gaining in strength and momentum every day. A policy of appeasement is blind to the reality of terrorism.

GD on March 30, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Hard for Pakistan to defeat terrorism when their own intelligence service, the ISS, has been known to be pro-Taliban. Pakistan is a mess, so is Afhganistan. Lets pull out our regular troops, let the Army Rangers hunt down Al Queda cells, seal the US borders and tell the rest of the world to go to hell. We can’t solve the worlds problems, lets take care of our own and let the CIA “take care of” any potential enemies.

athensboy on March 30, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Pakistan… a thin veneer of wealthy educated elite (who are usually corrupt or corruptible) sitting on a huge pile of Saudi(wahhabi) educated Muslims now waiting for directions from Allah (Saudi). Hardly an Ally to free humanity. But if America insist on continuing to ignore this, by all means hose them down with money, they like that and will promise closer co-operation which they suspect is what you like to hear.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims who call themselves pro Americans? Now there is an empty legacy from W likely to cause many lives in the future.

BL@KBIRD on March 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

cost not cause

BL@KBIRD on March 30, 2009 at 11:22 AM

I agree that the ones who seem to follow the Koran closest are our enemies, but there are hundreds of millions who call themselves Muslim who also call themselves pro-American.

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Really? Pro-American?

Name five of them.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

nice to see the terrorists killing each other for a change. *clap clap clap*

And nobody should delude themselves into thinking Pakistan is an ally. They’re part of the 57 Islamic nations OIC group that is trying to force retarded muslims norms on us all, killing free speech and threatening western leaders. They’ve gotten pork banned in the G20 summit and our leaders are caving to their thuggery.

We have no dog in this fight except ourselves and fellow democracies like India, Israel, Europe-who can also be great allies. We should find a way to take away their nukes though so they don’t get into the Taliban/AQ’s hands.

Let the muslims annihilate each other and arm both sides since we’re too squeamish to do the killing ourselves. We should’ve done the same in Iraq. Democracy will fail there as long as Islam is permitted (look at Turkey).

These savages don’t want to live in the 21st century and they want to drag us all back to the dark ages. We should be dropping daisy cutters in their countries right now ffs.

thinkagain on March 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM

The terrorists want Pakistan. All of Pakistan. And we are lead by a double talking president. I have prepared myself mentally not to be shocked when Pakistan is fully controlled, nukes and all, by the terrorists.

myrenovations on March 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM

As the siege ended, black-clad Pakistani commandos fired their guns in the air in celebration at the top of the building, shouting “God is Great!” and “Long live Punjab police!”

Could you imagine our security or police professionals acting out in this way? Yet it’s commom practice over there.
What’s the definition of a country below third world status? um … medieval?

bcre8v on March 30, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Really? Pro-American? Name five of them.

Subsunk on March 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Agreed, the vast majority (over 66%) of muslims support jihad, global Islamic conquest and the imposition of sharia law.

Over 50% of Pakistanis consider Osama bin Laden a hero. People in the West want to believe the “radicals muslims” are maybe 1% of the muslim population because they’re terrified of facing the reality that we’re at war against at least half if not more of the muslim population.

A century ago there was only about 100 million muslims but their population has grown 10 fold and continues to keep growing like a bacteria. This should be disconcerting for all free nations since Islam is a supremacist, fascist totalitarian ideology that strives to dominate others.

Our elites haven’t even begun to ask serious questions about this global plague (Islam), let alone begin to work to resist and defeat it. Unfortunately the longer we take to wake up the more blood, lives and treasure it’ll cost. In the meantime Islam continues to chip away at our rights and freedoms using intimdation, lawfare and are building their numbers to eventually overwhelm us and take over.

thinkagain on March 30, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Subsunk on March 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I’ve met at least five of them. I won’t name them because the Islamofascists would be after them.

jgapinoy on March 30, 2009 at 4:55 PM

I can’t get why the Pakistani government lets these guys pretty much do whatever they want. What mentality leads anyone to believe that they are safe from these guys, and ignores the fact that they want absolute theocratic power no matter what, and that ambivalence to them is a sign of weakness?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 30, 2009 at 6:09 PM

The sad fact is that the supposedly moderate Muslims are actually heretics and slackers. There was never a reformation or a protestant movement or an enlightenment in Islam. Those that don’t seek the lives of their neighbors and who make friends of infidels are either biding their time waiting for the strength of numbers or are simply ignorant of their prophet’s violent decrees, or slackers enjoying the good life provided by a semi-Westernized society. “Moderate” Muslims are simply waiting to be “radicalized,” i.e. made more keenly aware of their faith’s imperatives and/or motivated to follow them.

I agree we need to have friends in the Muslim world, but I think we fool ourselves about who are really our friends in the Muslim world and how far we can trust them to remain friends.

Maquis on March 30, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Again, I say, I love it when they eat their own.

Dandapani on April 5, 2009 at 10:18 AM