1) US planned to capture Zawahiri in Pakistan: report
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Two excuses are routinely used to avoid shutting down the "Al Qaeda network." 1. We don't want to upset Pakistan. 2. We don't want to endanger US troops???
If Pakistan was our "ally" in a legitimate "war on terrorism", they certainly would not have a problem with our assisting them in stopping the problem. These excuses are tired and very thin in the big scheme, and many, including military leaders, are seeing through this charade.
"Al Qaeda" is protected and nurtured by those in power, and has been for a very long time. The last thing they want is their 'global threat' to suddenly disappear.)
Published: Saturday July 7, 2007
The United States came close to executing in early 2005 a secret military operation to capture senior members of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas, The New York Times reported on its website Saturday.
But citing unnamed intelligence and military officials, the newspaper said the operation was aborted at the last minute after top administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan.The target was a meeting of Al-Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man believed to run the group’s operations, the report said.
The mission was called off after then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter Goss, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the paper said.
Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, The Times reported, citing a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.
Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and CIA operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk, according to the report.
He was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, an ally that has barred the US military from operating in its tribal areas, the paper said.
The decision to halt the operation frustrated some top intelligence officials and members of the military’s Special Operations units, who say the United States missed a significant opportunity to try to capture senior members of Al-Qaeda, The Times reported.
Their frustration has only grown over the past two years, as Al-Qaeda has improved its abilities to plan global attacks and build new training compounds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the report said.
2) In another report from an ABC News Blog, we see:
July 13, 2007 4:37 PM
Brian Ross and Maddy Sauer Report:
(...) The problem is people don’t understand the local environment," the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, told the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
"Pakistan is doing more than its share. We have done a lot, we have captured a lot, we've killed a lot, and we continue to do it not just for your sake, but more so for our own sake," he said.
In testimony before Congress this week, U.S. intelligence officials were straightforward in saying they believe Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan and freely operating there.
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