Oh my: Another top-ten most wanted Taliban leader captured in Pakistan

posted at 7:12 pm on February 21, 2010 by Allahpundit

How big is this fish? Big enough to have allegedly been appointed the Taliban’s “political affairs” director last year. Big enough as well to have merited news stories about U.S. troops chasing him in the Afghan mountains back in early 2002, just a few months after the invasion began. Eight years later, thanks to Pakistani police, he’s finally in the net.

One question I keep asking myself during these now-daily newsflashes about Taliban chieftains being pinched: How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

Mulvi Kabir, the former Taliban governor in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province, and a key figure in the Taliban regime was recently captured in Pakistan, two senior US officials tell Fox News. Kabir, considered to be among the top ten most wanted Taliban leaders, was apprehended in the Naw Shera district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province by Pakistani police forces.

A senior U.S. military official in Afghanistan called Kabir a “significant detention”.

The intelligence that led to Kabir’s capture was gathered from Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s second in command, who was picked up roughly two weeks ago in Karachi, Pakistan by a joint CIA and Pakistani intelligence operation.

That answers the lingering question over whether Baradar’s talking to interrogators or not. Interesting footnote: The Taliban leadership reportedly moved some time ago from Quetta to Karachi, which is where Baradar was caught. But Karachi’s on the other side of the country from the Northwest Frontier Province, where they found Kabir. (He was sent there, presumably, to be closer to Nangahar Province, although it’s possible that he fled there from somewhere in or around Karachi after Baradar was detained.) The point is, this isn’t a case of Pakistan closing the net on one city or even a few neighborhoods. It’s a nationwide operation.

Which brings us back to why. Yesterday I said there are three possibilities here. The U.S., Pakistan, and Baradar are all working on some sort of deal with Karzai; the U.S. and Pakistan are genuinely trying to take out the Taliban leadership; or Pakistan and the Taliban are conspiring to increase their leverage over the U.S. But there’s actually a fourth possibility: What if the U.S. and Baradar were working on a deal and Pakistan captured him to break it up? Sounds crazy — or does it?

“It’s a spectacular own goal [for the US],” said one official. “They want to wreck talks,” said a close aide to Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai.

“Mullah Baradar was independently in contact with the Afghan government to find a way for reconciliation and the Pakistanis knew that from their secret agents.”

Baradar had participated in meetings, including one in Saudi Arabia with Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali. Other Taliban leaders are sceptical about talks, saying foreign troops must withdraw first.

“The timing of this arrest was very peculiar,” said Barmak Pazhwak, a senior official for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the United States Institute of Peace, a think tank. “The fact he was one of the key Taliban leaders advocating talks suggests the Pakistanis either want more control or to sabotage the process altogether.”

I wouldn’t put anything past ISI, but the more of these guys they arrest, the less likely the sabotage theory is, no? It could be that Baradar really was trying to make a deal — but Kabir too? And the other two Taliban “shadow” governors who are now in Pakistani custody? And all of ? Everyone was suddenly warm to America and Karzai and so eager to play ball that the only way to stop them was … to kidnap them? I’m skeptical. It’s more likely that Pakistan is playing its own game and trying to strengthen its hand against the U.S. in negotiations by waving what amounts to both a carrot and a stick. If we give them what they want in Afghanistan, more bad guys are caught and stay in jail. If we don’t, the charges are mysteriously dropped or everyone gets “paroled.” Which I guess means there won’t be cause for celebration officially until we know that they’ve been turned over to U.S. custody.

Exit question: Anyone else find it odd that this was leaked to Fox News? Why wouldn’t the White House hand the scoop off to one of its house organs? I sure hope Fox’s sources didn’t jump the gun in blabbing about it…


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“Another one bites the dust” by Queen seems oddly appropriate.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 7:15 PM

How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

That’s the question that needs to be asked…

… isn’t it?

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Exit question: Anyone else find it odd that this was leaked to Fox News?

Yellow alert.

petefrt on February 21, 2010 at 7:20 PM

Riiiiight.

LtE126 on February 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that any country that has a so called “Tribal Region” on it’s soil is really no friend of ours.

bernzright777 on February 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

I’m more and more confused.

Back to Olympics curling.

rbj on February 21, 2010 at 7:22 PM

How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

Call me a cynic, but you can cross out “Pakistani intel” and insert “Obama Administration”. Don’t tell me they couldn’t have leveraged or leaned on the Paks earlier than 13 months into a sinking presidency.

The Administration is in crisis, and we all know the playbook.

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2010 at 7:23 PM

Anyone else find it odd that this was leaked to Fox News? Why wouldn’t the White House hand the scoop off to one of its house organs?

Because for the WH, it’s a ha hah! moment?

Sounds to me like, yes, they’ve known all along where these people were and that one of Obama’s old Pakistani buddies has pulled some strings to up Obama’s image here at home.

Connie on February 21, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I remember reading an interesting history of the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire. Towards the end, the military defeats had less to do with military strengths and more with political intrigues.

JiangxiDad on February 21, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Pakistan has long demanded control in Afghanistan. During Operation Cyclone it insisted that all aide and weapons flow through Islamabad and that the ISI disperse all of it as seen proper.

It was even more control-freaky after the Soviets withdrew and the future of Afghanistan hung in the balance.

amerpundit on February 21, 2010 at 7:25 PM

How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

They probably have OBL’s cell number and the addresss of his cave maid.

fogw on February 21, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Anyone else find it odd that this was leaked to Fox News? Why wouldn’t the White House hand the scoop off to one of its house organs?

Dang-it, I can’t put my finger on it, but I will say again, something stinks here folks.

conservnut on February 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Uh (the Caliphs Administration), having eliminated the #2 about three or four times lately……and a couple of top fives, etc.

How many of the Top 10 are left?………..and are any of them named Lady Gaga?

Must give these reports the respect they deserve.

PappyD61 on February 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM

But, on a brighter note, the Israelis are gearing up some BIG damned drones

Hmmm…..

I wonder what for?

profitsbeard on February 21, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Not sure why Obama’s picture is used in these announcements. He has very little to do with it.

echosyst on February 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM

The President needs some pluses on his side since he has been coming up with zeroes on the home front.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 7:31 PM

i need for Beck to draw me a flow chart of all these top men captured & the ISI & Pock ee stan & afghanistan. and INDIA.

kelley in virginia on February 21, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Not sure why Obama’s picture is used in these announcements. He has very little to do with it.

That’s my reaction. It’s more of Daved Frum’s…er.. I mean Allahpundit’s efforts to tweak Hot Air readers and imply Obozo deserves credit for the captures.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on February 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM

It was “given” to Fox News to discredit them on this as a means to divert attention form the Fort Jackson poisoning story, which, by the way, CBN actually broke according to Debbie Schlussel.

SouthernGent on February 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM

…U.S., Pakistan, and Baradar are all working on some sort of deal with Karzai…

The skeptic in me thinks that stimulus money is being spent somewhere other than the U.S.

All of these players are as crooked as a bucket of fish hooks.

tru2tx on February 21, 2010 at 7:35 PM

One question I keep asking myself during these now-daily newsflashes about Taliban chieftains being pinched: How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

Where is AP and what have you done with him. :)

Nice, I like it.

chemman on February 21, 2010 at 7:36 PM

They got them…shut up and be happy

tomas on February 21, 2010 at 7:40 PM

I think this has a lot to do with Betrayus.

tomas on February 21, 2010 at 7:40 PM

The intelligence that led to Kabir’s capture was gathered from Mullah Baradar,

Sorry to burst yer bubble… but…

this quote is not attributed to anyone… and could very well be nothing more than the Reporters opinion.

If it was a quote from the previous sentences “Senior US military offical”… it would have been attributed TO him… it was not, there is a definate break there… although it is a typical Reporter trick to “mask” their own opinion, making it sound like someone “officials”.

Romeo13 on February 21, 2010 at 7:44 PM

It’s more likely that Pakistan is playing its own game and trying to strengthen its hand against the U.S. in negotiations by waving what amounts to both a carrot and a stick. If we give them what they want in Afghanistan, more bad guys are caught and stay in jail. If we don’t, the charges are mysteriously dropped or everyone gets “paroled.” Which I guess means there won’t be cause for celebration officially until we know that they’ve been turned over to U.S. custody.

That sounds about right, except for that part about these guys ever being turned over to us.

This reminds me very much of when palestinian terrorists and Fatah higher-ups used to be kept “jailed” in the territories, usually as part of some deal. The press loved reporting that they were “in jail” but the truth was far different, and they still did things from their “jails”.

neurosculptor on February 21, 2010 at 7:45 PM

neurosculptor on February 21, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Anndddd… if WE knew where they were? Predator drone bait baby…

Yep… pulped and splattered over a wide area, instead of in “custody”…

Like the Lockerby Bomber? who still has not died from his terminal Prostate Cancer?

Romeo13 on February 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM

I wonder what for?

profitsbeard on February 21, 2010 at 7:29 PM

The planes can fly at least 20 consecutive hours and are primarily used for surveillance and carrying diverse payloads.

SWEET!

Maquis on February 21, 2010 at 7:49 PM

I far prefer a DOA instead of a capture. When these guys are alive they just mutate into something more evil upon their inevitable release.

Mojave Mark on February 21, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Would it be unlikely the Pakistanis and the ISI get the entire leadership in one central location with the help of our own CIA and money then help co-ordinate another ambush on the CIA or America or our troops in Afghanistan.

fourdeucer on February 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Anndddd… if WE knew where they were? Predator drone bait baby…

Yep… pulped and splattered over a wide area, instead of in “custody”…

Yep. With Pakistan involved, and with our new “galaxy-wide miranda rights”, I would certainly feel safer with Baradar as pulp than in “custody”.

Like the Lockerby Bomber? who still has not died from his terminal Prostate Cancer?

Romeo13 on February 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM

It’s a real shame that the Scottish and British pols and beaurocrats who made the decision to let that scum out were not sent right to jail 90 days after. They should have received sentences of 3 times however long the Lockerby bomber lived past the claimed 3 months, plus 10 years for being total sh!theads.

neurosculptor on February 21, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Which I guess means there won’t be cause for celebration officially until we know that they’ve been turned over to U.S. custody.

There probably will be an eventual deal just as there was in Iraq. The smell test has more to do with building a viable and stable Afghanistan so they can control and take care of AQ on their own.

lexhamfox on February 21, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Fade in: Opening scene, a group of murderous, child raping Taliban enter a village in (name ends in -stan).

They gather together the town folk, and separate men and women at gun point.

Taliban Leader (name ends in – akbar):

“If you fight for us, we will not kill your families, rape your wives, sisters, and daughters, and you will become a martyr!”

Poor young man who has no other choice (name ends in – akbar):

“I will fight!”

Taliban Leader:

“Good! Your new name is Mulvi Kabir, and you are now ‘Second in Command’!”

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I far prefer a DOA instead of a capture. When these guys are alive they just mutate into something more evil upon their inevitable release.

Mojave Mark on February 21, 2010 at 7:53 PM

How do we know if it was a capture or an orchestrated surrender? Either way DOA after intensive sessions with interrogators is better than captured and held.

fourdeucer on February 21, 2010 at 8:08 PM

One question I keep asking myself during these now-daily newsflashes about Taliban chieftains being pinched: How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner?

And what does Pakistan intend to do with them? Protect them from harm? They won’t give them to us.

RustBelt on February 21, 2010 at 8:42 PM

This was handed off to FOX because the WH wants some cred on their war effort, and they’re not going to get that cred from the turds who watch CNN or MSNBC.

joejm65 on February 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Careful, now, AP. This is not a matter of neglegence. Neither is it due to any recent change in strategy or leadership.

It’s acutally an application of the principles of Sun Tzu. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said that a general should leave an escape route open for his enemies. The reason for that was that an enemy that has no hope of escape will fight all the harder. This isn’t a pure interpretation of that principle, but it’s near enough.

For years the Pakistani forces, who to outside observers have long appeared to be persuing their part of the War on Terror in fits and starts and in a haphazard and piecemeal fashion, have long left Baluchistan and the city of Quetta alone. The result is that Quetta has become the natural sanctuary of the bad guys.

And now the Army is closing in on Quetta too. And that has caused all the bad guys, who had thought they were safe, to jump up to run… somewhere else. Salam was caught in Peshwar, Baradar in Karachi, and now Kabir in Naw Shera province.

This isn’t something that could have been undertaken at any time. The bad guys had to develop a sense of security, thus heightening their fear as that security collapsed so that they’d make rash decisions and mistakes and all of that takes time.

RTO Trainer on February 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

. If we don’t, the charges are mysteriously dropped or everyone gets “paroled.”

Right that will happen because the C.I.A. are just like the Boy Scouts, they won’t be able to keep track or trail anyone GRIN. Not to mention all the other agencies who must have intelligence people in that part of the world.

If Pakistan isn’t helping, why are these Taliban leaders falling like Dominoes daily. It’s really very opportune for the mission ongoing in Helmand Province.

Where is Mullah Omar? Has there been any sightings?

Dr Evil on February 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

This isn’t something that could have been undertaken at any time. The bad guys had to develop a sense of security, thus heightening their fear as that security collapsed so that they’d make rash decisions and mistakes and all of that takes time.

RTO Trainer on February 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

“Flushing them Out” I don’t know about the timing, could be coordinated with Iran’s time table, this has to be demoralizing to the number #1 state sponsor of terror. It’s not like Iran needs an Example of positive progress to the south AF/PAK and west of them in Iraq on the war on terror. It might embolden the protesters inside Iran even more. I suppose they are mourning the death of that Hamas arms dealer in Dubai also.

Dr Evil on February 21, 2010 at 9:07 PM

And what does Pakistan intend to do with them? Protect them from harm? They won’t give them to us.

RustBelt on February 21, 2010 at 8:42 PM

If they give them to us they get Miranda, and treated by the rules in the Military Field Manuel…they are in Pakistan. I really don’t think they have a Manuel, although they may end up throwing the book at them.

Dr Evil on February 21, 2010 at 9:10 PM

ap;

if u had put a photo of PETRAEUS up on this post instead of Obama, then you’d have 500 comments by now.

and, it would have been more accurate:

petraeus is the architect of the strategy that’s paying off.

all obama did was drag his feet for 6 months.

the increased success in afghanistan has as much to do with obama as it does with my left nut.

iow: zero.

and without having WON iraq, all this would be IMPOSSIBLE.

there would be no surge in afghanistan had there been n surge in iraq – and had the surge in iraq been unsuccessful, there’d have been no afghan surge fer sure.

ALL CREDIT IS DUE PETRAEUS AND THE TROOPS – AND THEN BUSH.

NONE TO OBAMA.

reliapundit on February 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM

One question I keep asking myself during these now-daily newsflashes about Taliban chieftains being pinched: How long has Pakistani intel known where these turds are, and how many American soldiers’ lives could have been saved if they had acted sooner? — Allah

Glad to see you back in the War, Allah. A good question. But not one we will ever get answered, and not one we can blame on our own folks either. Our enemies are jihadists who practice taqqiya whenver they are in a position of weakness. If you were Pakistan on Sept 12, 2001, who would you side with? Whom has bigger bombs and the ability to obliterate more of your family, friends and countrymen? Al Qaeda, or the USA? Even if your kinship, married relations, sympathies, and moral support lies entirely with the Islamic antagonist (and it does), you, as a Pakistani, recognize that open protection of the terrorists will result in your untimely death and the obliteration of your entire society in the nanosecond of nuclear annihilation visited upon your country a couple of months in the future.

So what do you do? You LIE, that’s what you do. That is what Muslims have been told to do by their holy books since the 7th century. That is what they are taught from grade school. And that is what will save their lives, and I don’t blame them for feeling one way, and yet working another way, with us, even if it was as little as possible. Short of killing all of them, what leverage exists in our arsenal? We showed them the way to survive this. They took it, grudgingly. And they survive today still.

Our Men died fighting not just the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but the entire Muslim mindset that infidels are evil and weak. And changing that opinion, and showing them Christians are better Muslims than most Muslims themselves is what they died for. And that lesson to Islam is necessary and required their sacrifice. They died for us, to change Islam with their example of Good Behavior, far better than any Muslim would ever show, and they are saving us AND the vast majority of Muslims in the world from extinction at some dark point in the near future.

I didn’t want to lose them. But they saved us and millions of Muslims from obliteration. The outcome is not assured. But the tide has swung to our side, as it should have always. By dying in our own defense, they are also saving Muslims from themselves. And their sacrifice MUST be Honored for that.

Subsunk

Subsunk on February 21, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Wait a minute. I am curious about something. How come there are no pictures of these gents? Whenever the Bush administration captured their bad guys they immediately flashed their pictures around the world.

Remember those pictures of KSM and Saddam Hussein immediately after they were captured? There is something very rotten about all of this.

Jdripper on February 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Great but, er, will they actually get any info out of them unless the Pakistanis take them in the back room for some “intense” questioning? But, what if these guys have been paying off high officials and generals in Pakistan all these years…will they maybe end up being treated with kid gloves after all?

We get them and they’ll get lawyers and free Korans for sure.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM

No matter how many they capture…soon enough they’ll negotiate them back into liberty in Afghanistan, after miling them for info, and using them as ‘success’ propaganda. Don’t expect too much from all of this.

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Sounds crazy — or does it?

Yes, it does.

Get real Allah, if Karzai’s men are really PO’d there’s got to be $$$ involved. Most likely the “peace” negotiations were actually divvying up the opium trade.

The falling dominoes supports that this is the real thing. By skill or dumb luck BHO’s team has leveraged the Paks into doing the right thing.

My new son-in-law is on his way to Kandahar right now. I’ve been bitching about the Quetta Shura to everyone in the loop since last year. I hearby give credit where it’s due. I’m enormously relieved that the enemy command center won’t be operational 90 miles down the road from the Kandahar airport.

rcl on February 22, 2010 at 11:14 AM