Too good to check: Mullah Omar captured? Update: Doubt

posted at 8:59 pm on May 10, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’m skeptical, but Breitbart is beaming this out at both Big Journalism and Big Government so Brad Thor’s sources must be decent. The left will rub AB’s face in a pile of shinola if it doesn’t pan out and he knows it only too well.

Fingers crossed.

At the end of March, US Military Intelligence was informed by US operatives working in the Af/Pak theater on behalf of the D.O.D. that Omar had been detained by Pakistani authorities. One would assume that this would be passed up the chain and that the Secretary of Defense would have been alerted immediately. From what I am hearing, that may not have been the case…

[The Pakistanis] know all right and so do we, at least when it comes to Mullah Omar. We have known since the end of March and we had it confirmed ten days ago by the Pakistanis. So why didn’t the State Department and the CIA know?

Any reasons to believe? Well, (a) like Hillary said yesterday, it’s entirely plausible that jihadi double-dealers inside the Pakistani government know where this guy is. Picking him up isn’t so much a question of ability as a question of will. (b) Remember, they nabbed the Taliban’s number two back in February along with a bunch of other capos. Things got quiet after that, but there were suddenly a lot of people in custody who would have a good idea exactly where Omar is. Someone might have rolled over on him. (c) This could explain why the Taliban was keen to have Shahzad hit the U.S. homeland. A catch that big warrants a big reprisal.

Any reasons not to believe? Yeah — namely, how come this hasn’t leaked? Nothing against Brad Thor, but this is so tippy top secret that he knows about it when the NYT, WaPo, and even Hillary Clinton don’t? Five weeks seems an awfully long time to keep something like this quiet. Also, why wouldn’t the White House or Pakistan or even the Taliban itself have announced the capture? I can explain the latter two — the Taliban doesn’t want to discourage jihadis in the field and the Pakistanis don’t want to draw their wrath — but The One has an obvious political incentive to put it out there. Maybe he’s holding back because Karzai and the Taliban are negotiating some sort of reconciliation deal behind the scenes and a formal announcement of the capture would explode the deal? If that’s what’s going on then the question turns to why Pakistan brought him in. Are they trying to force him to make a deal with the Afghans or are they actually trying to prevent it? Mullah Baradar, the Taliban number two, was allegedly keen on reaching an agreement but I’ve never heard that about Omar.

No answers right now but it’s worth putting this on your radar screen. I have an e-mail out to Bill Roggio to see what he knows.

Update: A commenter wonders where we plan on holding him if the rumor turns out to be true. Bagram seems awfully risky. If only we had a special prison somewhere outside the theater designated for jihadi enemy combatants.

Update: Roggio e-mails to say that he’s heard not a single peep from anyone, U.S., Taliban, or otherwise.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I heard Scott Harvath was the one who got him.

tomas on May 10, 2010 at 9:09 PM

lol – if only. . . .

karra on May 11, 2010 at 5:58 AM

this is good but it’ll also give Obama cred’s. DD

Darvin Dowdy on May 11, 2010 at 8:09 AM

They found him even though he had no paper trail and his views on stare decicis are unknown.

Oh, sorry–thought this was another Kagan thread. It was the photo that threw me.

Noel on May 11, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Yeah, and Bush had Bin Laden in a cage and was just waiting to make it an October surprise.

MJBrutus on May 11, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Breitbart or no Breitbart, too many terrorist kills of late have turned out to be otherwise after the celebration was over. I will doubt this capture, too, until conclusive proof is in.

Disturb the Universe on May 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

I learned my lesson when ol’ Hekmatyar Gulbuddin was “caught” – turned out to be his security body-double/doppleganger.

If this gets confirmed, I’ll be buying a bottle of 30 year old port or a nice single malt.

Oh, and if the Pakistani’s caught him – no way he would go to Afghanistan – besides, Bagram might hold him, or Pol-e-Charki even (way less likely). But you would have to stay dead silent about the fact that he was there.
I am moderately certain that internal Pakistani politics would not let them hand over Mr. Omar to be shipped to Gitmo (there, I said it out loud!) or any other US facility.
They may have to have him “shot while escaping”.

LTC John on May 11, 2010 at 9:05 AM

If they have him, the Pakis may be sitting on the news until they can “sell” him for a few Billion in aid, or they are beating all the names of his allies in the ISI and Govt out of him, or they are waiting for the Taliban and allies to cough up a few million in ransom.
Or quite possibly all three.

LincolntheHun on May 11, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Comment pages: 1 2