Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The Pakistanis serve up a body count 

From Dawn.com:

ISLAMABAD, March 29: Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations, confirmed here on Monday that the chief of the Al Qaeda intelligence network, Abdullah, had been killed in the recent operation launched by the Pakistan army against wanted foreign militants and other terrorists in South Waziristan.

Speaking at the weekly Foreign Office news briefing, he said that Abdullah's death had been confirmed by 'independent sources' but his nationality and further personal information and particulars were not yet available.

This, Gen Shaukat said, was a significant development, besides the report regarding Tahir Yuldashev of Uzbekistan who had been seriously wounded in the operation. He was described as the number 10th in Al Qaeda hierarchy.

It is almost impossible for the average blogger to assess this sort of claim. For starters, I always wonder how much we really know about Al-Qaeda's organization. How do we know anybody is "tenth" in Al-Qaeda's hierarchy. I don't even know who's "tenth" in my own company's hierarchy. That having been said, among 166 dead, they seem to have separated the local tribesmen (93) from the foreigners (73). Seventy-three dead "foreigners" in that part of the world can't be a bad thing.

UPDATE: Maybe it ain't so: 'Pakistan says al-Qaida spy chief wasn't killed' -headline, MSNBC.


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