Nytt

Amerikansk etterretning bekrefter det som har vært spådd/kjent en stund: Al Qaida har fått et friområde i tribal areas i Nord-Waziristan, og har nå for alvor kunnet dra nytt av sitt nye spillerom.

Etter at Musharrafs regjering inngikk en fredsavtale med stammelederne, hvor hæren skulle trekkes ut, mot at støtten til angrepene over grensen til Afghanistan ble innstilt, har det motsatte skjedd: Angrepene er tredoblet. Samtidig har Al Qaida bygget seg opp.

American officials say there is mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani province of North Waziristan. Until recently, the Bush administration had described bin Laden and Zawahiri as detached from their followers and cut off from operational control of Al Qaeda.

The United States has also identified several new Qaeda compounds in North Waziristan. American analysts said that the compounds were operated by a network of Arab, Pakistani and Afghan militants who receive guidance from Zawahiri, according to intercepted communications. Bin Laden, who has long played less of an operational role, appears to have little direct involvement.

Men til forskjell fra Taliban koordinerer og støtter Al Qaida angrep i andre land, også Europa og Nord-Afrika.

Tidligere har Al Qaida hatt problemer med kommunikasjonen med omverdenen.

«The chain of command has been re- established,» said one American government official, who said that the Qaeda «leadership command and control is robust.»

Al Qaida-ledelsen befinner seg i Pakistan. Det er nettopp Pakistan-connection som er det store sikkerhetsmarerittet, særlig for britiske myndigheter, men også andre kan bli brukt, som tredjeland feks.

The investigation into the failed plot to bomb airliners in London last summer has led counterterrorism officials to what they say are «clear linkages» between the plotters and «Al Qaeda core» operatives in Pakistan.

American analysts point out that ongoing trials of terrorism suspects in Britain have revealed that some of the defendants traveled to Pakistan for training.

Britisk etterretning har advart mot sikkerhetstrusselen fra Pakistan. Det vinduet er stort som en låvedør, og krever politisk inititiativ hvis det skal bringes under kontroll.

In a speech in November, the head of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, said that terrorist plots in Britain «often have links back to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.»

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of MI5, said that «through those links Al Qaeda gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale.»

Spørsmålet er: hva kan Vesten gjøre med Pakistan, nå som sikkerhetstjensten ISI ser ut til å ha gjenopptatt sitt spill med Afghanistan?

The discussion of Al Qaeda’s operations in Pakistan could serve to put pressure on Musharraf’s government to take more aggressive action against the terrorist network.

Since 2001, members of various militant groups in Pakistan have joined together in the tribal areas after coming under pressure from the American, Pakistani and other governments, according to American analysts. Some militants who once focused on, for example, fighting Indian forces in Kashmir, or the Uzbek government, now see themselves as part of a global jihad led by Al Qaeda. The American invasion of Iraq has also driven up recruiting.

Nok en kompliserende faktor er forbindelsen til Irak. Al Qaida i Pakistan både styrer sine jihadister i Irak og trekker på erfaringer derfra og overfører dem til Afghanistan. Nå har også selvmordsbomberne begynt å slå til i Pakistan. Den sekteriske volden fra Irak ser ut til å ha smittet. Risikofaktorene øker. Det burde være et utgangspunkt for samarbeid med Musharraf. Hvis han lar dette fortsette kan han miste kontrollen.

American intelligence and counterterrorism officials said that most of the men receiving training in Pakistan were carrying out attacks inside Afghanistan, but that Al Qaeda had also strengthened its ties to groups in Iraq that had sworn allegiance to bin Laden. They said dozens of seasoned fighters were moving between Pakistan and Iraq, apparently engaging in an «exchange of best practices» for attacking American forces.

Over the last year, insurgent tactics from Iraq have migrated to Afghanistan, where suicide bombings have quintupled and roadside bomb attacks have doubled. In testimony to the House Armed Services Committee last week, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, the outgoing commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, said the United States could not prevail in Afghanistan and defeat global terrorism without addressing the safe havens in Pakistan.


Al Qaeda’s leaders rebuilding network in Pakistan

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