Schlagwort-Archive: operation

The Residents Of The Bin Laden-Mansion

by Florian Flade

Osama Bin Laden was killed in a compound in Northeastern Pakistan – but who are the people that lived in the luxury hideout for years? The US raid not only resulted in the death of the Al-Qaida leader but also killed one of his sons, a possible successor. Wives and children were arrested and are now in Pakistani custody. A look at the inhabitants of the Abbottabad mansion.

Was he Bin Laden´s successor? – Hamza Bin Laden (1989-2011)

Operation „Geronimo“ lasted only 38 minutes. US Special Forces of Navy Seals Team Six raided a compound in Bilal Town of Abbottabad in Northeastern Pakistan. They went room to room in search for their target: Osama Bin Laden.

When the Americans withdrew after less than an hour, Bin Laden was dead, killed by shots in the head and the chest. Pakistani soldiers who were surprised by the US military operation and entered the Al-Qaida leader´s hideout a short time after the US raid, found a gruesome scene. The dead bodies of three men – Bin Ladens Kurier „Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti“, the courier´s brother and a alleged bodyguard – were lying on the ground, bloodsoaken and riddled with bullets. Up to 23 other people among them women and children, were found handcuffed, left behind by the US soldiers.

The Pakistani military took the surviving inhabitants of the Bin Laden mansion in custody. According to the Pakistani authorities the people are part of three families which were living in the Abbottabad compound – the family of the two brothers described as Bin Laden´s curiers, and the wives and children of Osama Bin Laden himself.

One young woman who was in the same room as Osama Bin Laden assaulted the US Navy Seals during the house raid, running towards the soldiers posing as a human shield. The soldiers shot the woman in the leg, injuring her but – in contrast to earlier reports – did not kill her. At first there were contradictory reports about the identity of the female attacker. Bin Laden used the woman as a human shield to protect himself, media reported. Meanwhile it is confirmed the woman is indeed Bin Laden´s youngest wife.

The passport a 29year-old Yemeni that was identified as Amal al-Sadah, Bin Laden wife, has been found inside the mansion. For years there have been rumors Bin Ladens Yemeni wife had turned her back on the Al-Qaida founder and returned to her homeland of Yemen. Now it becomes clear: the young woman, her daughter and possible additional children lived on Bin Laden´s side since September 11th 2001.

Al-Sadah´s story as the wife of the most-wanted man in the world begins in late 2000. Back then Bin Laden sent his Yemeni bodyguard Abu Jandal to the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula to find a new wife. Osama Bin Laden´s father was a Yemeni labourer, the country is in fact home of his ancestry.

A local assistant was tasked to find a wife that would meet Bin Laden´s demands. The criteria was: the future wife should be religious and young.

In the city of Ibb, south of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the Bin Laden associate found a 18year-old Yemeni woman named Amal of a renowned tribe. The family of the teenage woman agreed to marry the daughter to the Saudi terrorist leader. A bride´s money of US-Dollars 5,000 was given to Amal´s family which immediately started a pre-marriage celebration prior to the young woman´s departure for Afghanistan.

The Yemeni Bin Laden assistant brought the woman from Sanaa first to Karachi, then to Quetta were they stayed for a few days until Bin Laden sent some guards to pick her up and bring her into Afghanistan. In Kandahar, the Taliban capital, the wedding took place. According to eyewitnesses high-ranking Al-Qaida figures like the late Chief of Finances, Egyptian Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, were present at the event.

Osama Bin Laden´s sons Mohammed and Uthman were everything but pleased by their father´s decision to marry an 18 year-old. „Why did you bring our father a girl of our age?“, they asked the Yemeni Al-Qaida man who picked Amal as Bin Laden´s fifth wife. It turned out Amal al-Sadah, the daughter of a civil servant, became Bin Laden´s favorite wife. Shortly after the marriage, she became pregnant and gave birth to her first child, Safiya, in the days around September 11th 2001.

Today Safiya would be around nine years old. It is unknown wether or not she was present at the Abbottabad compound when the US Special forces raided it on Sunday night. One daughter of Osama Bin Laden was injured by the shrapnel of a grenade, media reported without mentioning the young girl´s name.

Three wives of Bin Laden, a Yemeni nurse who was very likely his private doctor, and at least eight to nine children are in Pakistani custody since Monday. Pakistani officials confirmed those found inside the Bin Laden mansion are being treated in a hospital near Rawalpindi, safeguarded by Pakistani troops. Amal al-Sadah told the Pakistani interrogators that Bin Laden had lived in Abbottabad since 2005. According to Arab TV channel Al-Arabiya a 12 year-old daughter of the Al-Qaida leader claimed she saw her father being captured alive by the American soldiers before they executed him.

Meanwhile it is confirmed from US officials that Operation „Geronimo“ killed not only Bin Laden himself but also his 22 year-old son Hamza. This news is not very surprising as Hamza, who was born 1989 in Jeddah (Saudi-Arabia), was expected to be with his father. Hamza Bin Laden is considered a favorite of Bin Laden and a possible successor as the Emir of al-Qaida.

Hamza and his mother, Bin Laden´s third wife Khairiah, whom the Al-Qaida founder married in 1985, stayed with Bin Laden after the attacks of 9-11. Both are very likely to have joined him on his escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan after the US bombing began in late 2001. If the Saudi-Arabian woman Khairiah is among those arrested in Abbottabad, is not known.

After the military raid on the Bin Laden hideout, US soldiers took Osama and Hamza Bin Laden´s bodies. Both father and son were then buried at sea, as media outlets reported and some anonymous US officials confirmed.

For years Bin Laden had used his son Hamza for propaganda purposes and made him part of Al-Qaida. A video aired by TV channel Al-Jazeera in 2002 featured the teenage Hamza Bin Laden reciting a poem standing in the wrackage of a shot-down US helicopter in the Afghan desert, surrounded by masked and armed Al-Qaida fighters. Other footage recorded prior to 9-11 showed Hamza Bin Laden in a terror training camp in Afghanistan praising his father and Jihad.

In the Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan, Bin Laden´s son allegedly took part in an ambush on Pakistani troops. The Taliban propaganda tape releases six years ago, shows Hamza Bin Laden carrying a gun.

Caucasian Jihadis Claim Moscow Airport Bombing

by Florian Flade

In a new video message released by Caucasian militants, the leader of the „Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus“, Dokku Umarov, announces Russia will face a year of „blood and tears“ with more terror attacks to come. The Jihadi leader is seen sitting in front of a black flag, on his right there is Amir Khamzat, the commander of the „Riyad us-Salihin Brigade“ – the special operations unit tasked to carry out suicide bombings in the Caucasus and Russia.

On Umarov´s left side there is a young man sitting on the ground who´s name is given as „Saifullah“. Umarov says the young militant will be send to Moscow to carry out a „special operation“.  „We pray to Allah to accept our brother as a martyr in paradise“, Umarov says.

Though there is no clear reference to the suicide bombing at Moscow´s International Airport Domodedovo given, it appears as if the video tape was recorded prior to the attack that killed 36 at the end of January.  „I´m a Mujahid of the Riyad us-Salihin-Brigades of the Islamic Emirate of the Causasus“, the alleged suicide bomber says, „I will carry out my mission so that Allah´s word becomes the highest.“ Putin and Medwedew should know, Saifullah warns, that he is not the only one willing to carry out a suicide operation – „We are not a few, many will follow after me.“

The identity of the suicide bomber was not been released by Russian police but the rumors spread a man named Magomed Yevloyev from the Ingushetian village of Ali Yurt as the possibly bomber suspect. Parents and friends reported the 20-year old went missing and is suspected of having joined the Jihadi rebels of Dokku Umarov.

Haqqani Arrest – Big Catch…and Release?

by Florian Flade

Nasiruddin Haqqani on the left, his father Jalaluddin on the right (2001)

His father is a living legend, a celebrated hero of the Afghan War against the Soviets. His mother is a noble Arab woman from the United Arab Emirates. He himself is one of the most wanted Taliban commanders in the AfPak region – Nasiruddin Haqqani.

Pakistani intelligence sources yesterday confirmed Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of powerful Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, was arrested by Pakistani agents this week when he was on his way from the city of Peshawar into the heart of Pakistan´s militant safe-haven North Waziristan. The Pakistanis stopped the car carrying five Taliban, one of them being Nasiruddin Haqqani. He and his companions had just returned from a pilgrimage and fundraising tour in Saudi-Arabia and wanted to travel to the town of Miramshah, where the alleged headquarter of the Haqqani-Network is stationed. Among those arrested was another wanted Haqqani commander, Mullah Muhammad Jan.

Nasiruddin, one of the younger sons of Jalaluddin Haqqani, was born to Jalahuddin´s Arab wife which he married during the 1980s Afghan Jihad against the Russian Red Army. It is said Nasiruddin who is known as „Dr.Khan“ in Taliban circles, speaks perfect Arabic and because of his Arab blood was chosen as the main Haqqani official in charge of establishing connections to wealthy Gulf Arab donors supporting the Taliban insurgent campaign. He traveled to the Middle East frequently and is also suspected of being a key associate of al-Qaida in the Pakistani tribal areas of North Waziristan.

The arrest of the Haqqani offspring is seen as a serious blow to the Taliban group based in Pakistan but operating in Afghanistan. It comes at a time where the U.S. administration is increasingly putting pressure on the Pakistani government to consider a military offensive into North Waziristan to wipe out the terrorism center consisting of al-Qaida, Pakistani groups, the Taliban and Uzbek organizations. Pakistan´s military repeated their statement, a invasion of North Waziristan was not on their agenda – yet.

In fall of 2009 – after a US drone strike had killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud – the Pakistani army went into South Waziristan, a former stronghold of several Taliban warlords, and occupied the region after driving out most of the Jihadi militants. The operation was a slow and painful experience and proofed to be rather ineffective as most of the terrorists did not stay to fight the Pakistani troops but fled into neighboring North Waziristan. Around Miramshah, Mir Ali and Datta Khel, the militant organizations have regrouped and continued plotting terror attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the West.

While al-Qaeda and other are planning deadly operations in Europe and the US, and foreign Jihadis are rushing to North Waziristan to receive military training, the US wants the Pakistanis to conduct a clear-and-hold operation to stop terror-activities from that region. Talking about the Pakistani military, General David Petraeus said at a university lecture in Paris in November: „They recognise the need for more operations in North Waziristan.“ Pakistan´s military chiefs explained that his troops unable to open a fresh front while they are still heavily committed to operations elsewhere in the country’s lawless border regions.

On December 20th, it was reported Core Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Asif Yasin ruled out a major North Waziristan offensive and claimed a counter-terrorism operation was already underway in the area. While speaking with journalists, he said that the army is targeting terrorists already.

A few days ago The New York Times reported US military officials are pushing for a military expansion of US troops into Pakistan to fight terrorists in the tribal areas. The plan, as it was reported, included sending US Special Forces into the Waziristan area to kill or capture insurgent leaders.

In the light of all that political discussion and the US pushing Pakistan to do something about the Haqqanis and al-Qaida, could it be a simple coincidence wanted Taliban commander Nasiruddin Haqqani was arrested now? Rather it seems like the Pakistani government is trying to proof to Washington they are acting in the face of the North Waziristan insurgency. Due to their strong ties, local Taliban leaders and the ISI have in the past managed to create deals that avoided military action in the tribal region. Pakistan´s intelligence agency has a clear picture about the travel movements of the Haqqanis and could have arrested Nasiruddin long before his Hajj travel this year.

His arrest is a signal to Washington, trying to calm down the US call for a North Waziristan invasion. See, there is no need for US operations inside Pakistan, we will take care of the bad guys – that´s the message given by Nasiruddin´s capture. Question remains if the Haqqani son will stay in captivity or be made available to US interrogators. He is a valuable source and was in charge of financing of the Haqqani network, the most important Taliban group fighting NATO troops in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

A similiar arrest was carried out last February, when Pakistani security forces captured Mullah Baradar in Karachi. The CIA had provided information on the wanted Afghan Taliban commander to the ISI and pushed for his arrest. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund served as the military chief of the Afghan Taliban and was reported to be „No.2“ of the movement next to Mullah Muhammad Omar.

In October the Asia Times reported Baradar had been freed from Pakistani custody as the ISI wanted him to serve as a moderator in backchannel talks with the Taliban. „A senior Taliban leader, speaking to Asia Times Online on Thursday from the southern AfPak region, also confirmed that Baradar „had reached the safely of his people“. The implication is that he is back with Taliban leader Mullah Omar“, the Asia Times wrote.

So is Nasiruddin Haqqani´s arrest just another catch-and-release as part of Pakistan´s strategy to proof to the US that they are in control of what happens in North Waziristan? Is the arrest a show of progress in the fight against local terror groups or a serious effort to hurt the Taliban´s operational abilities?

Nasiruddin´s older half-brother Sirjuddin is still roaming free in North Waziristan and he is in charge of military operations in eastern Afghanistan. If they really wanted, Pakistan´s ISI would be able to locate him and take him out of the game. Instead they went for the less-important brother. Washington will not be satisfied and the military commanders will point to the Baradar-example pushing for more serious action in Waziristan.