Emphasis on “linked.” The actual group responsible is allegedly Lashkar e-Jhangvi, one of those domestic Pakistani jihadist outfits with “ties” to AQ and the Taliban that I mentioned yesterday. How’d they figure out the killer was with LeJ? Possibly by physically reassembling his mangled head. The smoking gun, according to the Interior Ministry, was a message intercepted earlier today from Taliban chieftain Baitullah Mehsud congratulating his boys on a job well done. Mehsud was also allegedly behind the failed assassination bombings against Bhutto in October and, conveniently, operates in Waziristan, so in case any further reason was needed to take “aggressive action” in the area, Musharraf now has it. A Pakistani TV station also reported today that AQ had formally taken responsibility for the killing but I can’t tell from the article if they’re referring to the statement that was given yesterday to AKI or to something new. Doesn’t matter; like I said last night, Al Qaeda has every incentive to claim they did it whether they did or not.
Meanwhile, lots of speculation about how she died. Drudge has been teasing this curious story claiming that she wasn’t hit by either of the two bullets fired at her but did have some sort of head wound from which “brain matter was exuding.” Her doctor says the wound was big but the examination revealed no foreign objects inside. The Interior Ministry thinks she hit her head on the sunroof. According to the photographer who witnessed it, she disappeared inside the vehicle after the shots rang out; Bob Owens reasons that the security detail inside must have heard the bullets being fired and pulled her down with great force. Enough, though, to literally knock her brains out of her skull? I’m guessing it was the force from the bomb that slammed her against the roof, but as Bob says, we’ll never know for sure since there was no autopsy. Government cover-up? Not if you believe the prime minister. He says it was by Bhutto’s husband’s request. Hmmm.
Update: Here we go.
Cheema said Bhutto was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast knocked her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull.
Update: The Telegraph has an English translation of the intercepted call between Mehsud and one of his capos. There were three assassins involved?