Friday, November 09, 2007

Foreign militants bolstering Taliban's ranks as never before

Yes, it is becoming ever more clear that ensconced in Western Pakistan, in the Tribal Areas, is a military coalition that is essentially alien to the region.

By David Rohde
New York Times

"The largest influx of foreign fighters since 2001 hails from such countries as Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Chechnya."
"Afghan police officers working a highway checkpoint near Gardez noticed something odd recently about a passenger in a red pickup truck ... a 27-year-old man from Siberia with a flowing red beard, pasty skin and piercing blue eyes. Inside the truck was 1,000 pounds of explosives."
" the Siberian intended to be a suicide bomber, one of several hundred foreign militants who have gravitated to the region to fight alongside the Taliban this year -- the largest influx since 2001."
"The foreign fighters are not only bolstering the ranks of the insurgency. They are more violent, uncontrollable and extreme than even their locally bred allies"
"They are also helping change the face of the Taliban from a movement of hard-line Afghan religious students into a loose network that now includes a growing number of foreign militants as well as disgruntled Afghans and drug traffickers"
"Foreign fighters are coming from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, various Arab countries and perhaps also Turkey and western China, Afghan and U.S. officials say."
"Their growing numbers point to the worsening problem of lawlessness in Pakistan's tribal areas, which they use as a base to train alongside Al-Qaida militants who have carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Europe, according to Western diplomats."

1 comment:

Sami said...

It is interesting that we haven't heard much since the Pakistani military announced earlier this year that it was conducting operations in cooperation with local tribesmen to allegedly root out a few hundred or so drunken and unruly "Uzbek militants".

Whatever happened in the aftermath of those operations? Is there any evidence they were a success or not? Was this ever followed up by the press? Or maybe I haven't been paying as much attention? What was it all about anyway?