Skip to comments.Pakistan Nabs 17 in Airplane Terror Plot
Posted on 08/11/2006 1:32:24 PM PDT by Mount Athos
Pakistani intelligence agents have arrested as many as 17 people, some of them British nationals, in the plot to blow up jetliners flying from Britain to the U.S.
Britain hailed Pakistan's help in thwarting the planned attack, but the arrests on Pakistani soil showed that despite its successes against al-Qaida, the country remains a fertile ground for Islamic militancy.
British authorities arrested 24 people Thursday in what they said was a scheme to bring down as many as 10 jetliners in a nearly simultaneous strike. The suspects were believed to be mainly British Muslims, at least some of Pakistani ancestry.
The Foreign Ministry said that acting on information received from Britain, Pakistan had made arrests that triggered the arrests in Britain. It named British national Rashid Rauf as a "key person" who had been nabbed in Pakistan.
Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao alleged that Rauf has ties with the al-Qaida terror network.
"We arrested him from the border area and on his disclosure we shared the information with British authorities, which led to further arrests in Britain," the interior minister told The Associated Press.
Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri, in an interview with CNN, confirmed the arrests of seven suspects in Pakistan, including Britons. He said the suspects "had been monitored for quite some time" before they were arrested.
Another senior government official said they included two Britons of Pakistani origin who were arrested about a week ago, and five Pakistanis detained in the eastern city of Lahore and the southern city of Karachi. The Pakistanis were arrested on suspicion that they served as the Britons' local facilitators, the official said.
An official at the British High Commission in Islamabad said he could not confirm the arrests of any Britons in Pakistan.
A Pakistani intelligence official said 10 Pakistanis were arrested Friday in Bhawalpur district, 300 miles southwest of Islamabad, in connection with the terror plot. A second intelligence official confirmed there were arrests in Bhawalpur, but did not know how many. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of their jobs.
A Foreign Ministry statement said the arrests in Pakistan underscored "the very important role that has been played by Pakistan in breaking this international terrorist network." It said there were "indications of an Afghanistan-based al-Qaida connection," but offered no details or supporting evidence.
Pakistan, a key ally of Britain and the U.S. in the war on terrorism, has been long been regarded as a center of Islamic militancy, much of it linked to events in Afghanistan. Since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United State, Pakistan has captured hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and arrested key figures in Osama bin Laden's terror network.
Talat Masood, a former Pakistani general, said the developments show that officials are cooperating in the war on terror, but also send another message.
"It has pluses and minuses. The minuses are that it shows many active terrorists have links with Pakistan and people are visiting Pakistan for this purpose," Masood said.
Three of the four suicide attackers in the deadly July 7, 2005, bombings on the London transport system were British Muslims of Pakistani origin and had visited Pakistan before the attacks.
One bomber visited a seminary run by a hard-line Islamic group, but officials in Islamabad say none of the bombers received militant training or support during their visits.
I need a scorecard.
"I'm betting Pakistani interrogators will not make the fringe-left democrats happy."
...but you'll hear nary a peep from Human Rights Watch.
Give me a break. You must be of Indian ancestry. Pakistan just prevented something worse than 9/11 and this is what you come up with?
"Musharraf, despite his many faults, is imperiling his life with these strong moves against the jihadis. I wish him well."
I'm concerned about Musharraf, wondering how many assassination attempts he'll be able to dodge. His number will eventually come up, because these goons are persistent.
This is a truly awesome development.
For President Bush to have enlisted this much cooperation in this WoT is truly of historic consequence.
Yay, for Pakistan. Many thanks for their help...
After giving props, we must ask ourselves why terrorists from the US, UK, Canada and Australia want to go to Pakistan to train, if that country is fighting terror effectively. They don't go to Afghanistan anymore do they?
We played effective defense this time. But playing defense may not work in the long run.
Your comment is based on the premise that Pakistan can immidiately wipe out all domestic terrorists when they have never in their history been able to fully conquer their whole country.
The Frontier Territories are only marginally under federal control.
They have made huge leaps in the right direction in the past 5 years. Do they have more they need to accomplish? Certainly.
But to trash them while they're doing that, especially when this terrorist plot would have been worse than 9/11 is stupid and potentially counterproductive. We owe them our gratitude.
If we can't even be grateful to muslims when they do good, then they deserve to hate us. The concept of rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior is not complicated.
"You saved my life, but that's not good enough" as a message isn't going to get your life saved next time.
Now the question is whether the Pakis will really put these guys away for a long time, and in isolation, or will it simply be like the Yemeni revolving prison door that has short sentences and "escapes" before many months have passed.....
Of course I'm advocating "persuasion" over "coercion." I'm not talking torture here. Oh no! I'm talking ice cream cones with extra scoops and jimmies on top. I'm talking extra TV privileges down at the jail--oops, I mean the dorm. Yes, the dorm. That's the ticket. We right proud of our humane treatment of our prisoners--oops, I mean our cooperating witnesses and we aims to please.
"You saved my life" is big stretch here because the Pakistanis seem to be doing a lot more "taking credit" here than what seems to be due. The people who busted this are the Brits and if the Pakistanis arrested some people based on intel, it is creditworthy but definitely not much more than the minimum that is expected in return for the billions they are getting.
Whatever the Pakistanis did now is primarily because of the asswhipping they got from us and the Brits after 7/7. Taking the heat off now will only encourage them to slack off and not earn their keep. So praise them if you want to but I'll save my kudos for a time when terrorists no longer go to Pakistan to train in the first place. As a first step, let Musharraf keep his broken promise to expel all foreigners from Pakistani madrassas.
I have been lying in wait for some time now for one of the lib coworkers of mine to try this line. Here in CentralNY (& PA) state there has been a massive manhunt for an escaped murdurer/prisoner "Ralph Bucky Phillips" since April this year. ( http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=39219 )
They keep announcing 'we've got him cornered' but he continues to elude escape. This in our own country! What should we expect to see in the wilds of Pakistan and Iraq? We have good pictures, a good ID, a fairly confined area, and the best trained and very loyal police forces, and a population that will help --- but he's free.
The Unabomber eluded capture in this country for on the order of ten years - again, in our country, and even though his family was (proved) willing to turn him in.
OBL hiding among friends in the wilds of Pakistan with the help of friends, family, local leaders, poorly trained policing forces of questionable loyalty. . .many years
Much MORE than he can and stay alive.
Love him or hate him, he is one brave dude.
If you want to point fingers at a country, which one is the only one whose citizens are attempting to blow up transatlantic flights?
It's not as clear a picture as some here might like to think.
That every terror attack since 9/11 has involved people born in, trained in or moved from Pakistan is a clear fact. Fawning over the people who stopped one attack while turned a blind eye to 10 others is not foresight. As I said, I'll save my praise for the day when Pakistani cities and madrassas stop being a chosen training and funding destination for jihadists across the world.
I was thinking the same thing. Our laws are much more strict when it comes to being able to stop these kind of attacks. We can thank the democrats for that.
So true, although the MSM keep telling us that President Bush has NO allies with him on the WOT.