Yowza: Another top Taliban commander captured in Pakistan

posted at 4:57 pm on February 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

Judging by the number of comments to the earlier post, some readers are already bored with this story. If so, rouse yourself: This guy isn’t as big a fish as Baradar, but insofar as his capture suggests that Pakistan really might be conducting sustained operations against the Taliban leadership, it’s huge news.

Another leader of the Afghan Taliban has been captured by authorities in Pakistan working in partnership with U.S. intelligence officials. Taliban sources in the region and a counterterrorism officials in Washington have identified the detained insurgent leader as Mullah Abdul Salam, described as the Taliban movement’s “shadow governor” of Afghanistan’s Kunduz province.

Taliban sources told NEWSWEEK’s Sami Yousafzai that Salam was grabbed by Pakistani security forces in the city of Faisalabad about a week ago—close to the same time that Pakistani forces, again with American support, captured the Afghan Taliban’s No. 2 leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Karachi. The Taliban sources said that Mullah Salam was arrested with three other militants.

According to the Taliban sources, at the time of his capture Mullah Salam was preparing to travel to meet Mullah Baradar. Some sources suggested that the arrests of the two insurgent leaders might be linked, though this could not be confirmed in Washington.

“Might be linked” can mean a lot of things. Maybe Salam’s and Baradar’s cel numbers were both part of the treasure trove of intel uncovered when that Al Qaeda courier was captured in Oman. Or maybe Baradar was captured a day or two before Salam and rolled over on him during interrogation. Or maybe they’re not linked at all. Maybe ISI really does know where all of these guys are and can go nab them independently at pretty much any time.

The bad news here is that these big arrests will have to dry up sooner rather than later; Taliban leaders must already be sufficiently spooked by ISI turning on them as to have cut off communication with everyone and gone into hiding. The good news, of course, is that that’ll also disrupt their command and control over jihadis in the field, which can only make things easier for U.S. troops. Maybe that’s the biggest strategic gain from all of this.

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

Update: Almost forgot. The left is crowing about the success of Obama’s counterterror approach, but note this detail relegated to the very last line of the Newsweek piece:

A source close to Pakistan’s leadership indicated that Mullah Baradar is under the control of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, and noted that Pakistani authorities may not treat him gently.

If you’re surprised to find The One participating in a de facto rendition program, you shouldn’t be.


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Wow…. The blind squirrel found two nuts in one day!

Wht are the chances?

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 4:59 PM

He promising them more of OUR money, that’s what he’s doing!

AubieJon on February 17, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Promising to hamstring India at every opportunity?

Bishop on February 17, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

Hmmmm…. I’m remembering something that Jesse Jackson threatened to cut off from 0bama, but it wasn’t military aid.

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I’m a cynic: any chance the ISI is protecting these Taliban leaders from Predator strikes?

karl9000 on February 17, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

I shudder to think myself, but if I had to guess I’d say it has something to do with India and the pact we made with them during Bush’s tenure.

SouthernGent on February 17, 2010 at 5:03 PM

You know, as much as this is keeps happening, the next ‘Top Commander’ is going to end up being the guy who’s job it was to feed the goats the week before.

BigWyo on February 17, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around?

The Taliban sent one too many suicide bomber after the ISI. That can do it.

I’m looking forward to reports about how these two Talis tripped in detention and died from head injuries.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Oh let’s hope they’re about to launch predator strikes.

mike_NC9 on February 17, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

It’s that whole ‘Pok-EE-staawwn’ thing- he’s got em’ bedazzled and confused.

BigWyo on February 17, 2010 at 5:05 PM

What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around?

Lying about something. It’s what he does best.

Knucklehead on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

The Pakistanis must have used some effective interogation techniques on the 1st guy they caught to turn up this one so soon. Hope are guys are taking notes.

DamnCat on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

I still think the Taliban got uppity with their ISI masters and they’re being taught a lesson.

trubble on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Promising not to say anything if the Paks attack India. What’s he going to promise India when he needs their help.

Kissmygrits on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Ralph Peters had an interesting take in this morning’s NY Post. Basically, why did the ISI decide to give this guy up at this time?

It’s an interesting piece, and raises more questions than it answers.

RPL on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Where is Amnesty International crying alligator tears for these pour souls?

I remember a lot of noise when President Bush was in charge, but now…

(crickets)

Seven Percent Solution on February 17, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I expect the capture of the first guy, along with any calendar or other data he was carrying, will lead to a string of additional captures.

Especially since these guys are being held by the Pakistanis.

hawksruleva on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

some readers are already bored with this story.

Not bored at all with having good news on the war on terror. If Obama gets credit for it it doesn’t take away from having less terrorists running around.

fourdeucer on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I credit McCrystal. I think he’s done a really good job of coordinating the initiative, making these nabs possible.

And it’s absolutely a great feather in the cap of the CIA and the military.

AnninCA on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Hey, credit where credit is due. Good job President Obama.

No only if you could work on the whole “economy” thing.

Rightwingguy on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Ralph Peters had an interesting take in this morning’s NY Post. Basically, why did the ISI decide to give this guy up at this time?

It’s an interesting piece, and raises more questions than it answers.

RPL on February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

My guess, money. Highest-bidder diplomacy has been around for centuries.

hawksruleva on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

Probably more to do with that treasure trove captured earlier and perhaps showing the ISI bigs some evidence of ISI-Taliban collaboration. Nice leverage.

a capella on February 17, 2010 at 5:09 PM

If Obama gets credit for it it doesn’t take away from having less terrorists running around.

fourdeucer on February 17, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Hear, hear.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:09 PM

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Bwahahahahaha! That’s too funny.

Rightwingguy on February 17, 2010 at 5:10 PM

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Doesn’t matter if Santa Clause get’s the credit, the less bad guys, the better.

Rightwingguy on February 17, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Judging by the number of comments to the earlier post, some readers are already bored with this story.

of course they are. some moron will soon show up to explain why this is bad news for obama, and a sign that he’s weak on terror.

sesquipedalian on February 17, 2010 at 5:10 PM

I still can’t find ‘Pok-EE-staawwn’ on a map, but Pakistan is next to India and Afghanistan…

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on February 17, 2010 at 5:11 PM

’m looking forward to reports about how these two Talis tripped in detention and died from head injuries.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:04 PM

More likely it will be news that they left the prison to buy the guards falafel and never came back.

BL@KBIRD on February 17, 2010 at 5:12 PM

What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around?

It undoubtedly involves prevarication and an expiration date.

Midas on February 17, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Obama is just solidifying his props for a second peace prize.

cyclown on February 17, 2010 at 5:13 PM

I think the only credit that Obama can really take is that he didn’t fire McCrystal.

He gave him lukewarm support.

But someone really coordinated this among UN forces. And it wasn’t Obama.

AnninCA on February 17, 2010 at 5:13 PM

It’s that trip to Pok-ee-stahn he took when he was a teen. The Messiah knew he would have to deal with them one day and dug up some pretty juicy dirt while he was there.

That, or he got Richard Armitage to make another phone call.

Kafir on February 17, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Good, but this is what we’re over there for, isn’t it?

I just don’t get what they’re going to do with these captured people. How long will they stay captured?

bridgetown on February 17, 2010 at 5:14 PM

What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around?

No story yet, but my guess would be……Hillary.

AnninCA on February 17, 2010 at 5:14 PM

If the ISI is holding them and we can’t interrogate them, then this is meaningless. Not enough detail here.

Vince on February 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM

More likely it will be news that they left the prison to buy the guards falafel and never came back.

BL@KBIRD on February 17, 2010 at 5:12 PM

True, but I’m trying to be optimistic – even if a bit contrived.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Y’all should read this piece from the Corner:

…there’s a better-than-even chance that the administration is trying to turn a lemon into lemonade. Its public messaging is that the capture of Baradar is a huge win in the ongoing war with the Taliban. But is the administration concealing the downsides of the capture? We hope not. And we certainly hope the administration is not crowing about capturing Baradar in Pakistan in order to distract from the difficulties it has had on the home front with the KSM trial and Mirandizing the Christmas bomber. But if the Times story is accurate, the evidence is beginning to tilt in the wrong direction.
If follows similarly skeptical reporting from an expert on the region offered yesterday.

CK MacLeod on February 17, 2010 at 2:15 PM

In that Corner piece they say that Pakistan was miffed being left out of negotiations and so they picked up Baradar, a known negotiator to gain a chair at the table.

Why did we pick up a negotiator who we had already been talking to (not directly to him, but his men)?

Not tired of this story. Just want the core, not the peelings.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 17, 2010 at 5:21 PM

The Taliban sent one too many suicide bomber after the ISI. That can do it.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 5:04 PM

I suspect the Taliban never learned this lesson: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

The Taliban attacked those who were providing protection and the ISI weren’t pleased by this. Thus, the hand that feed you can also slap you in face.

Its nice that the ISI is capturing these bad guys. But its not enough until they hand over Osama and Ayman al-Zawahiri either in person or body bags.

Conservative Samizdat on February 17, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Judging by the number of comments to the earlier post, some readers are already bored with this story

Not bored AP, I just don’t believe anything coming out of this Administration anymore.

Knucklehead on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

What he said ?
Well:
1. Give me some talis for safekeeping , we’ll pay you
2. We won’t bother AQ
3. Go kill kafirs in India, we’ll keep our eyes wide shut

macncheez on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around? I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

Then again the primary factor might be that majority members civilian government — now that they are running things and being held accountable results — feel a little more insecure about their jobs with the mayhem that the Taliban were wreaking in Pakistan, than a military general and his cronies.

Never get in the way of a politician and their cushy lifetime job.

Dusty on February 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Hey Pok-e-ston…What’s in this for you?

These people don’t just all of a sudden cooperate with the US. Something is fishy about this whole thing. I’m glad they have been captured but, the logical side of me has to ask the above question. I’m afraid of the answer.

milwife88 on February 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Wow…. The blind squirrel found two nuts in one day!

Wht are the chances?

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 4:59 PM

The chances were pretty good if he grabbed his crotch.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on February 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM


Judging by the number of comments to the earlier post, some readers are already bored with this story.

BORED? I friggin’ LOVE it! More please! One a day would be nice :-)

Tony737 on February 17, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Today, the Times is reporting that the real story behind Baradar’s capture is that Pakistan wanted to gain a place at the table in negotiations between the U.S. and Karzai and the Taliban.

Specifically, Baradar, it turns out, was one of Karzai’s main contacts with the Taliban for years, and he was at the center of efforts to negotiate a peace with the Taliban. Pakistan was frustrated at being excluded from the talks, so it snatched up Baradar to gain an advantage.

The Times quotes an unnamed American intelligence official: “I know that our people had been in touch with people around [Baradar] and were negotiating with him. So it doesn’t make sense why we bite the hand that is feeding us. And now the Taliban will have no reason to negotiate with us; they will not believe anything we will offer or say.” If this is true, then the capture of Baradar is not exactly what it first appeared. And if Baradar was as central to Karzai’s and America’s efforts to negotiate with the Taliban as the article suggests, then there appears to be significant costs to the capture. Perhaps it was even unhelpful to Karzai and the U.S.

Does capturing Baradar really further U.S. strategy? (Perhaps the administration did not view him as a valuable contact and thought he would be more useful in custody and subject to interrogation.) Or does it actually harm U.S. strategy? Was it forced on the Obama administration by the Pakistanis? If so, does the administration’s triumphant tone reflect its true feelings about the importance of capturing Baradar, or is it a smokescreen?

(The Corner)

True feelings or smokescreen? Which does he usually give us?

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 17, 2010 at 5:31 PM

More than likely intel lead from one to the other

William Amos on February 17, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Not bored AP, I just don’t believe anything coming out of this Administration anymore.

Knucklehead on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Gratis KH.

thomasaur on February 17, 2010 at 5:32 PM

This is terrible

Obama just created more terrorists

that’s what I’ve heard is that there are more created for any killed

Sonosam on February 17, 2010 at 5:32 PM

I thought Obama was opposed to torture. Surely he is advising the Pakistani government to give these Taliban leaders legal representation and to treat them as everyday criminals.

jediwebdude on February 17, 2010 at 5:32 PM

bbbuutt, where are the casualty counts? The bad news? The howling accusations of civilians being slaughtered in these operations? I’m confused! /sarc

Chewy the Lab on February 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Exit question: What on earth could The One be doing or saying behind the scenes to bring Pakistan around?

Obama told their president “you`ve got your own predator drone buzzing over your head 24/7…….. Just sayin`.”

ThePrez on February 17, 2010 at 5:45 PM

The good news, of course, is that that’ll also disrupt their command and control over jihadis in the field, which can only make things easier for U.S. troops. Maybe that’s the biggest strategic gain from all of this.

Today, the Times is reporting that the real story behind Baradar’s capture is that Pakistan wanted to gain a place at the table in negotiations between the U.S. and Karzai and the Taliban.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 17, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Result :
Pakistan gets Afghanistan, to rule and occupy as its own territory once we leave
and
the talis ( with even more money, more arms and no restrictions+ Hussain’s silence) carry out jihad with India to get Kashmir for Pakistan.
So by 2012 ( end of Hussain’s term), Pakistan finally gets what it wanted, since after its birth in 1947 !
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

macncheez on February 17, 2010 at 5:45 PM

I don’t think the successes have anything at all to do with Obama. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama is actually ticked off about the captures. No, more than likely the Paki’s have finally figured out that if we fail THEY lose. Everything.

Guardian on February 17, 2010 at 5:48 PM

BO and rendition? Where are the cries from the left for impeachment? Where are the petitions to the UN for a war crimes trial? Where are the Italian arrest warrants? C’mon lefties, be consistent.

To the Paks — you know, that car battery/sponge/water arrangement in Lethal Weapon looked really painful.

GnuBreed on February 17, 2010 at 5:51 PM

A source close to Pakistan’s leadership indicated that Mullah Baradar is under the control of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, and noted that Pakistani authorities may not treat him gently.

Or may let him walk………

conservnut on February 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Update: Almost forgot. The left is crowing about the success of Obama’s counterterror approach,

I’m glad the left supports the Pakistani method of capture and interrogation. Their enthusiasm for Pakistani justice is very heartening – though the left are, obviously, still traitors who want to see this nation go down the tubes. But, it’s nice to know that they support true torture – which is what Barabas is enduring, if this capture is for real. This support the left is espousing shall be brought the new baseline they are judged on, from now on.

A source close to Pakistan’s leadership indicated that Mullah Baradar is under the control of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, and noted that Pakistani authorities may not treat him gently.

Either this capture is a ruse and Barabas is having cakes and cookies with AQ Khan, laughing about the stupid Americans, or the Pakistanis are truly pissed and Barabas is begging to be water-boarded instead of what the ISI is doing to him, while the ISI laughs about the stupid Americans.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 6:02 PM

I can’t believe it’s as simple as threatening to cut off their military aid.

Seeing as The One is from Chicago, he probably threatened to cut off the money being given directly to the government leaders.

GarandFan on February 17, 2010 at 6:04 PM

If you’re surprised to find The One participating in a de facto rendition program, you shouldn’t be.

Now…can someone explain to me the mind of a liberal, that thinks waterboarding is torture, and renditions are not?

You cannot very well judge Bush for waterboarding KSM, when Obama condones renditions. Which in my opinion are far more abrasive, cruel, and inhumane.

capejasmine on February 17, 2010 at 6:11 PM

We will see if it is not a “catch and release” deal…

And are the Pakistanis just hiding them away from CIA Predators…

albill on February 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM

This is great and all, but what about Al Qaeda?

Give me a call when they get al Zawahiri and/or Bin Laden.

NavyMustang on February 17, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Huzzah! Now that the Left is in charge, all this piddly Taliban #2 captures are worth something!

Speedwagon82 on February 17, 2010 at 7:09 PM

I think it was the Khost attack, on the C.I.A.

Up till then, I think there were these parameters they were all agreeably working with in, and after the attack, I think the gloves came off. No doubt more money exchanged hands, and contacts were squeezed….pay backs a Biatch.

Dr Evil on February 17, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Or maybe the Pakistanis have come around because they don’t like the attacks the Taliban have made on them. It was all fine and dandy when the nutcases were just killing Afghans and Americans but when they went after the Pakis themselves, well, that’s not good. Not good at all.

commander0 on February 17, 2010 at 7:20 PM

How many notches does the C.I.A. have now for the attack on their forward base? I’m guessing now it’s personal.

http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/01/04/cia-double-agent-killed-seven-agency-employees-in-afghanistan.html

Dr Evil on February 17, 2010 at 7:22 PM

I claim the glory for this capture because I commented about the first one “more please, faster.”

What, it’s not as ridiculous as claiming the stimulus worked and there are 2 million jobs saved. Or that the federal government spending more on healthcare will lead to savings. Or any other of Dear Liar’s or Clueless Joe’s statements.

rbj on February 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM

rbj on February 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Yep. You are even more responsible, credit-wise, for this new capture than the administration is for the gains they prematurely claimed in Iraq – which they both opposed.

I thank you for this new Taliban capture, rbj.

neurosculptor on February 17, 2010 at 8:09 PM

This whole ‘war on terror’ (or ‘overseas contingency operation) is a huge farce. Its like going into Nazi Germany, killing/capturing a few Nazis we consider to be “radical” while protecting the “moderate Nazis” then waking away congratulating ourselves and thinking we’ve ended Nazism.

Just as in WW2 the real enemy was all of Nazism, in the same way our real enemy now is Islam, we better figure that out soon or our wars will be longer, costlier and bloodier until we finally figure it out.

thinkagain on February 17, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Anyone who thinks the Pakis are doing anything other than keeping these turds in safe house to keep them from getting blown to pieces from Predators is wearing rose colored glasses.

If they were really “captured” Hussein would have gotten them lawyers and tickets to New York.

Alden Pyle on February 17, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Did he promise them India would become Islamic?

SilentWatcher on February 17, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Oh to be a fly on the wall and watch them like roaches when the lights go on. They must be scared sh**less.

faol on February 17, 2010 at 11:00 PM

That pic…we’re fighting Mummys? Call in Brendan Fraser.

Army Brat on February 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM

No story yet, but my guess would be……Hillary.
AnninCA on February 17, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Possible.

Hillary, behind closed doors doing the P.O.B. routine would put the F.O.G/A. in anyone.
Just ask Bill!

DSchoen on February 18, 2010 at 1:43 AM

**YAWN**

Another False Flag!

BobAnthony on February 18, 2010 at 7:35 AM

Judging by the number of comments to the earlier post

The number of comments has much more to do with the level of controversy than with the level of interest.

MarkTheGreat on February 18, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Heh.

The Pakistanis “capture” terrorists – and may not treat them “gently”.

We “arrest” terrorists and treat them with kid gloves.

BowHuntingTexas on February 18, 2010 at 9:18 AM