Unlike al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban organization (the Tehrik-i-Taliban or TTP) has shown little appetite for taking its brand of jihadism beyond the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Maybe that's changing.
Certainly that's the case if the messages from the TTP's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, are to be taken at face value. "From now on," he says in an audio message said to have been recorded in April, "the main targets of our fedayeen [fighters] are American cities. This good news will be heard within some days or weeks. Today onwards, the direction of our jihad is American states and cities. Inshallah we are successful in this mission and objective."
U.S. officials say Pakistan is a “nation under siege” and faces a “herculean” task in dealing with multiple insurgencies — but better co-operation between Washington and Islamabad is reaping dividends.
That was the message from senior Administration officials and U.S. military officers at a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. John Paxton Jr., Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pakistan was a “nation under threat or a nation under siege … and they realize that they have to respond now.” Without a sense of urgency, he said, "things could conceivably get worse, and get worse quickly.” FULL POST
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Prosecutors presented their case Tuesday against five Americans arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of plotting terror attacks. They include:
1. Directing some other persons/organizations for doing terrorist attacks
2. Funding to the banned organizations for terrorist activities
3. Plotting of terrorist activities against US, Pakistan and Afghanistan
4. Planning to enter in an ally’s country (Afghanistan) to do terrorist activities.
A hearing is slated for March 10 for court to consider charges.
On any battlefield, breaching enemy defenses is often the most arduous and deadly part of an offensive. That's especially so when the enemy has had plenty of time to plant minefields or hide IEDs – improvised explosive devices.
So the U.S. Marines – as they move on the Taliban in the Marjah district of Helmand province – are giving thanks for "the Breacher," the latest generation of mine clearance vehicles. Its full name is the Assault Breacher Vehicle and it looks like a cross between a bulldozer and a tank with a set of deadly steel teeth. Which it is: its frame is based on the A1M1 Abrams battle tank, while its plow was developed by a British company and can tear up the dirt to a depth of 14 inches. FULL POST