Al Qaeda leader kidnaps 21 Afghan tribal leaders in Kunar

NE-Afgh-Qari-Ziaur-Rahman-thumb.gif

Qari Zia Rahman and a map of northeastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. Map from the Asia Times; click to view.

A dangerous, dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda commander has kidnapped 21 Afghan tribal leaders in the eastern province of Kunar.

Qari Zia Rahman, a regional commander who leads forces on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border, summoned the tribal leaders to a meeting in the district of Marawara eight days ago, then kidnapped them.

“The Taliban first called them for a meeting at a mosque and after a discussion, the Taliban took all the elders away to an unknown place,” a local Afghan official in Kunar told AFP.

Qari Zai claimed the kidnapping in a text message sent to an AFP reporter, and demanded local Afghans end their cooperation with the Afghan government and security forces.

“The reason behind this act is that some relatives, sons and close family members of these men, work in the Afghan army, Afghan police and some with NATO”, Qari Zia text read.

“Unless these people do not resign their jobs with the army, police and NATO, we will not release the hostages.”

The district of Marawara, which directly borders Pakistan, is a known haven for al Qaeda and the Taliban. The US and Afghan forces targeted Qari Zai in three raids in the district during the summer of 2010. On June 29, the US launched a battalion-sized operation. More than 150 Taliban fighters were reported killed in the operation. On July 20, US and Afghan forces launched another battalion-sized operation in Marawara to flush out Qari Zia. And on Aug. 2, combined forces conducted a raid, again in Marawara, that targeted the al Qaeda leader.

Qari Zia is the Taliban’s top regional commander as well as a senior member of al Qaeda. He operates in Kunar and neighboring Nuristan province in Afghanistan, and he also operates across the border in Pakistan’s tribal agency of Bajaur. In early 2010, the Pakistani government claimed they killed Qari Zia in an airstrike, but he later spoke to the media and mocked Pakistan’s interior minister for wrongly reporting his death.

Qari Zia is closely allied with Faqir Mohammed as well as with Osama bin Laden. Qari Zia’s fighters are from the Caucasus, Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and various Arab nations. He commands a brigade in al Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army, or the Lashkar al Zil, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

The terrorist commander has established training camps for female suicide bombers in both Pakistan and in Kunar in Afghanistan.

A female suicide bomber struck for the first time in Afghanistan in Kunar province on June 21, 2010. Two US soldiers were killed and two Afghan children were wounded in the attack. Qari Zia claimed credit for the bombing.

The next female suicide attack took place on Dec. 24, 2010, in Pakistan’s tribal agency of Bajaur. The suicide bomber killed 42 Pakistani civilians in an attack at a World Food Program ration distribution point.

Kunar province is a known sanctuary for al Qaeda and allied terror groups. The presence of al Qaeda cells has been detected in the districts of Pech, Shaikal Shate, Sarkani, Dangam, Asmar, Asadabad, Shigal, and Marawana; or eight of Kunar’s 15 districts, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.

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74 Comments

  • Eric L says:

    This seems to be more out of desperation than anything. Could this be “good” news in that sense?

  • blert says:

    As a clear cut violation of Pashtunwali — there will be blow-back.

  • Ranger says:

    *hope it forces all the tribes involved in Kunar to rise against the Talibs

  • crusader says:

    “The US and Afghan forces targeted Qari Zai in three raids in the district during the summer of 2010. On June 29, the US launched a battalion-sized operation. More than 150 Taliban fighters were reported killed in the operation. On July 20, US and Afghan forces launched another battalion-sized operation in Marawara to flush out Qari Zia. ”
    it seems his days are numbered, it is just a matter of time before he is dead or captured. he lost 150 taliban fighters under his command and that is a major blow.
    how many can he have under him now? i think within two years he is gone…
    are the afg talibans becoming desperate? or is it just him?

  • Nick says:

    LMAO, there will be no retribution for this. Salafist Islamist groups completely overpower the tribal Pashtuns in Afghanistan and FATA. Al Qaeda will absolutely decimate these elders and it is kind of sad that the U.S. knows what district of Kunar he is in but can’t find Qari Zia Rahman or his cohorts. That shows that they are either more powerful than the NATO forces or that NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.
    Marawara district is less than half the size of the city I live in, Ottawa. With all the gadgets and technology we have you’d think we could clear the entire area of militants with ease, but we obviously are not capable of doing so.

  • sports says:

    All things good come with time Grasshopper!

  • Bob says:

    “NATO is completely incompetent in looking at maps and satellite imagery to track down key leaders.
    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/01/al_qaeda_leader_kidn.php#comments#ixzz1Cil0LBnr

    Key leaders don’t usually show up on google maps 😉

  • Tyler Dietz says:

    Well Nick im guessing you have never seen up close the terrain in Afghanistan, much less how difficult it is to target someone. Early warning networks make it near impossible to do a “soft knock” during the day and night time raids are unpredictable. As for why ISAF and other SOF elements have trouble finding these people in small areas, it is a simple answer really. They have the ability to blend in with the population and EXTREME freedom of movement in this area. So be thankful you have all your “gadgets and technology” back home but dont take away from what people have died trying to accomplish simply because you fail to understand it.

  • Nick says:

    Tyler, I have been studying this war for years now.
    That doesn’t make sense. If they had the true power then they could flush out everybody from these small districts, no matter how remote they are.
    If we can find stranded animals and stranded hikers on massive mountain tops in Tibet and Mount Everest then I fail to see how Kunar is any different.
    On a geographical scale Qari couldn’t be more than maybe an hour or so away from coalition forces at all times. Marawara is small. There must be thousands of Afghan and coalition combined personnel there. Not being able to catch Qari either means they can’t do it, they are incompetent and don’t know where to find him, OR they want to keep him alive so they can continue to justify the war by trying to go after “Al Qaeda” in “Afghanistan”.
    Take your pick, I don’t see any other reasonable explanation other than this.

  • blert says:

    By violating Pashtunwali Qari Zia Rahman has put the crosshairs on his forehead.
    The single most likely outcome is that he liquidates his hostages in frustration and then has a blood feud chasing him through the hills.
    All too soon some relative will place a ‘chip’ on his location and he’ll be RFID’d by the ‘hand of allah.’

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Nick,
    Tyler is absolutely correct. It just isn’t that simple. “Stranded hikers on massive mountain tops” want to be found, people like QZR don’t.
    There are absolutely not thousands of ANSF and ISAF personnel based in Marawara. You’d be lucky if that number was 100.
    My advice to you is read a book called “Killing Pablo,” by Mark Bowden to understand the complexities of hunting for an individual who doesn’t want to be found, and who has a massive local network supporting him.
    Technology only takes you so far. Many of our problems in this war stem from an over reliance on tech.

  • brookie says:

    Nick your comments are comical really. Without having been there or seen the terrain you really shouldn’t comment about incompetence. Sounds like you don’t have any military experience either. Things are different when you are behind a book studying. I’ve never been there either, I spent my time in la jungla but finding an individual in primitive areas is much more difficult than you think. Ever hear of Eric Rudolph ?

  • ArneFufkin says:

    The FBI had an intensive manhunt for domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph here in the U.S. and he successfully evaded capture for over 5 years hiding in the mountains of North Carolina.
    There are indicted Balkan War Criminals who have been operating at large for 15 years. NATO and various International Police Agencies are on the hunt for them.
    As stated, it is very difficult to find folks who don’t want to be found in many parts of the world, especially when they are provided refuge by sympathizers.

  • crusader says:

    nick: have you heard of a man called “matteo messina denaro”? if you havent perhaps you should look it up…
    he is in hiding as well…and don’t want to be found regardless of so much popularity and fans dying to meet him…

  • James says:

    Nick, look how long it took for US to find and finally nail Zarqawi (in Iraq), even though there were over 150,000 troops in the region the whole time.
    Have you ever been to Afghanistan? I trust those that have been there over those who have not.
    They will not hesitate to cross dress (by putting on a burqa) to falsely appear as innocent civilian women.
    Bill, as I’ve stated before, the above just shows that if we were to abdicate our responsibilities for the Afghan people, there would be a reenactment of Pol Pot’s Killing Fields or even worse.

  • JRP says:

    The reason this occurred is because people still have not mentally processed a truism of this WoT; namely, that AQ/Taliban are the World’s best at conning people. One ruse after another, they keep beguiling their victims. I recall that the day before 9/11, on the pretext of a newspaper interview, they infiltrated the Northern Alliance and assassinated its then leader, whose name I forget. Look at December 30th, 2009, the FOB Chapman CIA massacre . . . What a stunning AQ victory! I sincerely wish commentators would cease painting lipstick on a pig and at least acknowledge when we get a you-know-what whooping. We are not going to win this WoT by telling each other how desperate our enemy is. The only “desperation” afflicting Al-Qaeda is their desperation to win. Coach Lombardi would tell you, if he were alive, that such single-mindedness of purpose is half the battle right there. We may have all the hi-tech tools, but until we muster a will to survive that surpasses AQ’s will to win, we are losing.

  • Chuma says:

    Im still at a loss as to why U.S. commanders are’nt telling the American people how inept the ANA is as a fighting force. This counterinsurgency will be in their hands in the coming years and if tracking down individuals such as QZR is difficult for coalition/ISAF forces now, how much more of a debacle will it be then?

  • blert says:

    Chuma…
    We don’t need to be told.
    We can see it on U-Tube.

  • Nick says:

    blert, I have seen videos of Al Qaeda go into Pakistani FATA villages and hurt, intimidate, and subjugate the villagers. They blare jihadi music, plant their flags in the soil and declare Sharia law. Do the Pashtuns do anything to these Al Qaeda fighters? Nope. Let’s face it, Pashtun tribalism is a weakling compared to Salafist Islamism. That is the reason why the Pashtuns have cowered to so many foreign terror groups over the years and let them use their soil for attacks and safe havens.
    Also, blert, what do you mean by we can see it on U-tube? I would much rather get the analysis from someone like Bill who knows what he is talking about rather than someone who uploads specific videos because they hate the U.S. or have their own political agendas to fulfill.
    Bill,
    I don’t know the exact figure, but that is stupid if they have only 100 guys there. Marawara is small! I found it to be less than half the size of my city. Bill, do you honestly think we could do any better without this high tech? More soldiers would probably be massacred and we would not be able to conduct air strikes with fighter air craft and drones. Besides, I have always said that the drones they use in FATA, some should be reallocated to Kunar and Nuristan so they can take out some HVT’s there. It would greatly relieve the stress on NATO and Afghan forces in the East.
    James,
    I am of dual citizenship. I am Canadian and American. No, I have not been to Afghanistan before, but I do know people who have. I have many close friends who have enlisted and I have seen long helmet cam and video cam videos of them entering and leaving entire districts. I saw one video in Kamdesh district, Nuristan where 5 minutes upon entering the district, they got into a firefight with 5 Pakistani rebels. It lasted only about 3 minutes and there were no casualties on our side but the other side was completely eliminated. I have seen with my own eyes how blatant these fighters, along with their commanders, will approach the security forces. Upon seeing said videos and reading all these articles about how we can’t kill or capture X leader, I can only come to the conclusion that ISAF is either unwilling or incompetent in going after them.
    Also, James, what do you mean by “killing fields”? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that.
    I would like to make it clear to everybody that Qari Zia Rahman WAS captured and detained in Pakistan before. He was released as part of a hostage exchange deal. If the vastly inferior Pakistani army can take him out, then why can’t we? Besides, Kunar is small compared to the entire FATA and parts of Kunar are under ISAF control while most of FATA is not any under control at all. Do you see my point? Qari is most likely definitely in Kunar somewhere. He does not want to go back over the border because he might be captured again. Since he is more than likely in Afghanistan, it is imperative that we take him out because he is a very dangerous recruiter and it is because of him that there are female suicide bombers in Afghanistan today.

  • crusader says:

    james:
    “innocent civilian women” i like how the US, well us always paint the picture of a woman always being innocent.
    you think she can not hide an AK or explosives under her burqa? i reckon she can be as lethal as any man.

  • Tyler says:

    Well i have been following this war closely as well, partly because i am there now with TF No Slack. I know this area well as well as the personalities and INS networks that operate there. We have targeted this man in the past and failed, multiple times. How would you suggest flushing these people out? The locals are way more scared of QZR then they are of us, so they dont help. We cant just go in everyday and use brute force it kinda works against the COIN aspect. There are actually very few ISAF in this area, mostly patrolled by ABP and they are incapable for the most part. QZR also moves back and forth from Konar and Bajaur agency at will, if anyone catches him it will be PAKMIL not us. He is wanted just as much in Pakistan. Trust me we are not keeping him alive, this war is the least understood in American history and its sad…I think its because less than 1 percent of our population fought it.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    @Chuma: Perhaps the commanders aren’t telling the American people what you state because it isn’t altogether true?
    The ANA commandos are very good according to all reports and selected ANA and ANP units are too. Just like the ISF in the 2006-2008 era, both units are works in progress that lack experienced NCO leadership and enabler expertise.
    I’ve seen ISAF Brigade commanders there say the Afghans run TO the sound of weapon fire and in many respects are more eager fighters than the Iraqis were at similar stages of development.
    A big problem with the Afghan soldiers and police is rampant illiteracy that severely hampers training. The ANSF is getting better daily.

  • Chuma says:

    @ArneFufkin : If your talking about developmental stages then that means you have to factor in timetables ArneFufkin. coalition/ISAF forces will not be in region indefinitely, to indefinitely support the ANSF. And illiteracy is just one of many problems whithin the ANSF. There is drug use not just within the enlisted ranks but among the officers as well. The central government has had difficulties delivering the pay/compensation of ANA and ANP personnel frequently. Then there is the paramount issue of desertion. Your mentioning of a much needed stronger NCO core within the ANSF is evidence enough of there needing to be a reversal of the current top-down training/buildup method of the ANSF. Discipline within the ranks insnt instilled at Basic or one the many MOS schools they’re currently building. It comes from the quality of recruitment, and a bottom-up strategy in training/buildup.

  • Rob says:

    James,
    Studying a war and being there on the ground are two diff things. You really have no clue what things have to happen to get this guy. Yes he was caught by the Pakistani Army and that is the reason he is hard to catch now. These guys are not stupid. They do learn. We will get this guy, it’s just a matter of time. As far as there being no “blow back”, again you are wrong. It may not be overt but people are pissed off. You make a lot of good points and you are deff well informed. That being said, you can study all you want and talk about how this area is smaller then “your city” but you really have NO CLUE what it is like to be over there working in that terrain. All I see with many of these comments is how we can’t find this guy, or can’t kill that guy. Maybe you should take a look at the long list of bad guys we HAVE taken out. As far as the ANA goes, they get better and better every day. The biggest issue is not that they can’t fight. The issue is that they are just now learning what it means to have a “National Identity”. The biggest problem that I have with your comments James, is that you act like everyone that doesn’t agree with you is stupid or uninformed. Well I am not stupid or uninformed and I have been to Afghanistan and will be heading there again very soon. Maybe you should do the same before claiming to be a subject matter expert on what we are and are not doing right over there. Oh and James, having “friends” who have been there doesn’t count. I have friends who are cops, but them telling me about it and me reading about it doesn’t make me a cop and it doesn’t make me an expert on what they are or are not doing right.

  • James says:

    Rob, I thank you for your service to US and the Afghan people. I think you are responding to the wrong poster though. Maybe you are responding to Nick?
    Anyways, as I’ve said before, if it takes US a thousand years to achieve success in Afghanistan, then so be it.
    When the going gets tough, the tough get going; they don’t just “cut & run.”

  • Nick says:

    Rob,
    You need to calm down first. You are addressing the wrong person in your post, for one.
    I never said you are stupid or misinformed. All I said was that geographically, Marawara is smaller than Ottawa.
    Yes, I know looking at videos and being there are two different things, but what’s your point? I see them entering and leaving entire districts. If they can do that then they should be able to scrape ever square inch of Marawara for Qari and AQ. What, do you think Qari is hiding in some cave in a low lying mountain top? Doubt it.
    I never said anything about the ANA. If we train them until 2014, maybe they could take over some districts but they would still be rusty. If we leave in 2011, the entire country will fall back into jihadist hands, let me just assure you of that. Only with the right training can they actually be a competent force… they are getting better, but that progress is drained every time they have groups of deserting soldiers.
    If I wanted to, I could go right now and either enlist as a Canadian Soldier or an American one. The option is there, although I am doing other things right now. The point is, is that with all our technology and powerful military you’d think we could dominate the enemy. When we can’t even capture a guy like Qari, that should give you a hint as to who really controls the country and who really has access to the main roads and freedom of movement. The answer isn’t that surprising, but it isn’t all that comforting either.

  • Chris says:

    Nick, apparently it is so easy for you to sit back in the comfort of your own home and Monday Morning Quarterback the war. Why don’t you grab a ruck and strap on a pair to join the fight… instead of playing CIV V with your college buddies online quoting article after article that you

  • Nick says:

    Chris,
    It would do better for you reputation NOT to go on incoherent rants online against people you don’t even know. Just a tip.
    Hmmm…. Civilization V. Good thing I don’t play that game. The only PC game I play at all is Counter-Strike 1.6 and I can’t even do that much since my ISP has capped me off and I have almost reached that limit for my monthly plan now.
    I’m sure it makes you feel better implying I work at a fast food job, but I do not… if your plan was to boost your own morale by making this post to me then just know that almost everything in said post contains false information. That’s what you get when you go off on a limb like you did.
    In a free society, one has the right to criticize anything they like. If you don’t wish to see me criticize NATO for their inability to kill/capture key leaders, then maybe you shouldn’t read my posts then. I will say it again: I hope they get him, but based on past experiences they do not seem competent enough to do it. The day that Qari Zia Rahman is killed or captured, I will retract the part of my post(s) that talked about how we are too incompetent to catch this guy. For now, we’ll just have to sit back and see. Deal?
    Get well, Chris.

  • James says:

    “Also, James, what do you mean by “killing fields”? The jihadists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. Do you honestly think they would just start killing tribal people left right and center because they feel like it? Even THEY cannot do that.”
    Nick, with all due respect for your statement(s) above, they (AQ/Taliban) ARE committing the above atrocities right now.
    I believe there may be in fact two Talibans. One is of local and true Afghan descent, while the other one is wholly of foreign origin.
    If there is ever going to be a “Sunni Awakening” (or equivalent) in Afghanistan, it will have to be engendered within the ranks of the Taliban that is of true local and Afghan descent.

  • Tyler says:

    Nick,
    Do you really think there are not things that go on over here that you have no the slightest idea about? There is a reason things are classified and people dont know, so everything you are saying sounds great in theory however in practicallity your wrong. It isnt your fault your wrong it is societies because this war is the most misunderstood and falsely interpretted in our history. You have the right the say and think whatever you want and if all i had access to was the media i would probably think the same thing. Just know there are a million things that happen and go on that prevent ” Scraping every inch of Marah Warah” and in response to your question if hes living in a cave somewhere the answer yes i do believe that is the truth, because when it comes down to it that IS what he has to do to survive.

  • Chris says:

    Nick,
    Please do us all the favor and watch your verbiage of your responses. The first part of your response appeared to come very close to a threat.
    In what part of my last post did I mention that I didn

  • Paul J says:

    Nick:

  • Paul J says:

    Nick:

  • Paul J says:

    Nick:

  • Paul J says:

    Nick:

  • Nick says:

    “Please do us all the favor and watch your verbiage of your responses. The first part of your response appeared to come very close to a threat.”
    Then you should watch your threatening tone as well.
    In what part of my last post did I mention that I didn

  • Nick says:

    Paul J:
    “Apparently it

  • Nick says:

    “First, how many people do you think we have over here? We have several hot spots all over the place and many are in Kandahar, Helmand, Khost, Paktya, and Paktika. There

  • Nick says:

    “Yes, they do. Since you do all that studying, how about you read up on the Shinwari tribe. Or the Khogyani.”
    If you had actually read my posts word for word you would understand I was watching As Sahab, not PashtunWali Tv. I saw the Al Qaeda fighters establish dominance over that village and completely subjugate it, and I heard of no backlash. Perhaps that incident was isolated but I somehow doubt that.
    “You

  • Nick says:

    “Then go ahead. We need the extra body. And you might actually learn how na

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Let me remind everyone o the comments policy. I’ve allowed you all to stretch the rules, but enough with the personal attacks. I’ll close down this comments thread if it continues.
    Nick,
    Qari Zia Rahman has been spotted in Bajaur, Mohmand, and Swat numerous times since his release from prison.
    And if you believe the half-cooked conspiracy theory that the US military wants to keep him alive, you are are not paying attention. I know people personally involved in the hunt.
    The reality is it just isn’t as easy to capture someone who doesn’t want to be captured, is working on terrain that favors them, and has the ability to shelter in another country at will. Technology is an enabler, and not the answer. Talk to an soldier or commander, and they will tell you that HUMINT beats SIGINT any day of the week. This is what those who have first-hand experience in these matters are trying to tell you.

  • Rob says:

    James,
    Sorry about that, I did respond to the wrong person. I’m with you on the “it takes as long as it takes”. If we are fighting them there then they are not crashing planes here.
    Nick,
    Yes do AQ (even the top guys) do hide in caves, I have had to clear a few so I know that for a fact. When they are not in caves, they change locations every few hours so tracking them is a bit of a problem. It takes “boots on the ground” and “eyes on target” to know for sure if a person is where you think they are. technology will only get you so far. Don’t take anything I say the wrong way please. I’m not upset in the least by what you have to say. I just think you should join up and see for yourself. It doesn’t even have to be full time. My 2nd time will be as a part of a NG unit. I can even suggest a few MOS that will put you in the right places so you can better understand the challenges involved in doing the things you suggest. (That is if you can qualify for a TS clearence). Heck,I will even let you come work for me. you prob won’t make this deployment but we will be heading back again in 2014-15. The offer is for real so don’t think I’m being a jerk.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    When Pablo Escobar was taken down, that operation is the blueprint for taking down an organization and killing #1. Recall the “Los Pepes” killings? Pablo’s bankers, bagmen, hit men, the infrastructure of the organization was hollowed out, killed by Colombian para militaries with US help. Its a bloody business, but thats how its done. Iam sure some of these tactics may have used, but not on the scale needed to take a guy like this down.

  • Chris says:

    Bill, I apologize for the attacks. You know as well as I do that you cannot sit back and have the names of those fallen smeared by people like Nick. Everyone on here sees through his banter… except him.
    I guess the “LMAO” comment with his first post set the tone for me and I took it from there.
    Enough said on that.
    Be safe.
    Chris

  • Nick says:

    Bill, everybody,
    I do not believe that they actually are keeping him alive, I just thought that as a last resort to our situation we are currently facing. I do not believe that Al Qaeda is a creation. I think that people who believe that have never had their family members killed by Al Qaeda and have never seen things aside from their conspiracy tinted lenses.
    Bill, I accept that you know more than me on this war and it’s tactics. In fact, the very fact that you know more than me is the reason why I come here almost everyday. Even recently I have stopped by here more than a couple of times a day to read your analysis and info you provide. Based on articles and different sources I have recently read into, it could be possible QZR is in Kunar right now. I wouldn’t doubt at all that he has been spotted in the various Pakistani agency hideouts over the years. If you know people involved in the hunt for people like QZR, then I really wish them the most absolute best of luck for now and the future. I really hope they get guys like him, and I know he is a real threat that needs to be dealt with.
    Rob,
    Yes, I could imagine they would hide in caves, houses, and anything that would help conceal their presence. Moving around every few hours is only the smart thing to do on their part. And I have not taken anything you have said so far in a negative light at all. I think you are one of the most respectable posters here when it comes to giving me your .2 cents. Rob, you are not the only one to ask me to sign up but you are the most polite when it comes to it.
    Many people seem to have taken hostility to the point, but I am of dual citizenship AND I COULD JOIN EITHER SIDE IF I WANTED TO. But Rob, I am not that knowledgeable in military enrollment. Do you get to choose where you want to go? Or who you wish to deploy with? These are legitimate questions.
    Many people seem eager for me to experience the combat first hand. While I am going through school right now, I have not ruled out a future military career at all and it is definitely a possibility down the road for me. But not right now.
    Also, Rob, with the troop drawdowns and talk of completely leaving by 2014, what would be the point of signing up for that timeframe?

  • Chris says:

    Bill, I apologize for the attacks. You know as well as I do that you cannot sit back and have the names of those fallen smeared by people like Nick. Everyone on here sees through his banter… except him.
    I guess the “LMAO” comment with his first post set the tone for me and I took it from there.
    Enough said on that.
    Be safe.
    Chris

  • Paul J says:

    Nick:

  • Villiger says:

    Not being able to get OBL or Zawahiri in nearly 10 long years is incompetent, say what you will.
    Not being able to hollow out AQCentral while they have resided in, and operated from, a (couple of) relatively small area(s) in Pakistan in nearly 10 long years is incompetent.
    Not having managed the relationship/alliance with Pakistan, a small broke third-world country, to a winning advantage despite the financial costs of tens of billion dollars is incompetent.
    Announcing a drawdown date (even) beginning mid-2011 was incompetent. Looking at that date from where one is now, it would appear to be either laughable or a charade or both. Whatever, ISAF is certainly not in any kind of a position of confidence militarily or otherwise to stay with that decision with any assurance.
    Has ISAF won enough ground in this war to be able to say outright, unequivocally that this war is being fought by them fully ably?
    At this point i’d say that AQAM has fought rather more competently than one would’ve expected given their primitive rag-tag status and resources.
    I don’t claim to be the last word on warfare, or on this war; i don’t believe anyone here is.

  • Nick says:

    Villiger,
    I appreciate your output. Very perceptive.
    The posters above have failed to realize that I am not anti military or anti US, I am just calling it how I see it.
    You can not put lipstick on a pig.
    You can not sugarcoat a barbecue steak.
    All appropriate metaphors for what we are doing right here and now.
    I almost wish that I would HAVE TO retract my posts above like I said I would. I made a deal with the posters above that if we kill or capture the top terrorist brass then I would retract the part of my post(s) saying we are too incompetent to get them.
    I WISH the day would come where I WOULD HAVE TO DO THAT.
    But based on available data and past circumstances, it might not ever come.
    Best regards.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Nick (and Villiger),
    You are confusing the tactical (the hunt for individuals) with the strategic (the US’ staying power in the region and the ability to influence regional players). A failure (perceived or real, there are good arguments to be made for both in the strategic) in one area does not make for a failure in the other.
    If you’ve read this site for any amount of time, you’d see ISAF SOF and CIA/JSOC Predators have indeed killed or captured plenty of top level Taliban and al Qaeda leader and operative, on both sides of the border. If you want a taste for the Pak Predator kills, see here:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes-hvts.php
    If you want an example of some AQ operatives killed in Kunar, see here:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/09/isaf_kills_senior_al.php
    And here:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/10/wanted_saudi_al_qaed.php
    You’re focusing on one guy, Qari Zia Rahman, and you’re saying the inability to get him means US/ISAF/CIA/etc. are incompetent. Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes he gets away. And sometimes, like at COP Chapman, he gets you. War isn’t a zero sum game. We’re dealing with an experienced enemy that has many advantages and decades of experience fighting on this turf. I hope you see the problem that many, myself included, have with your arguments.
    My advice is to listen to what people like Paul and Chris are trying to tell you about the difficulty with hunting for individuals. These are people with decades of experience in the theater and in the business. I listen to them. You should to.
    Again, my advice to you is to read Killing Pablo. Bowden is a great read, and if you want to know how hard it is to hunt for someone, he lays it all out.
    As far as your conspiracy theory, you clearly don’t understand the military, and its relationship with the government, contractors, etc. If there was even a hint that we were sandbagging the hunt for QZR, OBL, or anyone else, you can be damned sure people would be paying a price for that. My advice is to drop that one if you want to be taken seriously around here, lest you get lumped in with 9/11 Truthers and other crackpots.
    Just my $.02 and worth neither penny.

  • Ranger says:

    Well said, Bill. I was going to remark that you can’t say that the failure to get OBL etc is the mark of “incompetence” if we haven’t ever been allowed to follow certain strategic paths…like into Waziristan, Iran, etc.
    I blame the “delays” of this war on the stupidity of most Western citizens, and the need to “finesse” the war in order to maintain support among the PC crowd.
    I save my cries of “incompetence!” for the politicians who have sacrificed the interests of this country for their political fortunes.
    @Nick
    I did take something away from your posts. Now I want to play “Counter Strike”. Been awhile.

  • Chris says:

    Bill, I

  • Chris says:

    Bill, I

  • Chris says:

    Try asking the families of those killed recently by Talibs, Hezb-I-Islami, and others for the evidence. When they cry in front of you….. You weren’t there for the Serbs’ tragedy, did it actually happen?

  • Nick says:

    Bill,
    THANK YOU Bill. I remember reading about the airstrike that killed Quryashi and Kuwaitti in September. That was amazing. I also just learned through your link that a third top guy was killed, thank you for giving me knowledge.
    Bill,
    I wish people would understand me. I do not think we are actually keeping big shots alive. Many people have accused me of being a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe in the 9/11 conspiracy views and I am not generally involved in the world of conspiracy and half baked discussions on peculiar subjects.
    Bill, what I meant was that people should not mis underestimate the thirst for profit that these wartime private corporate contractors can have. War may be a gruesome thing Bill but it is pretty common knowledge that someone always profits monetarily off wars and bloodshed. I do not see a difference with other wars, and our one being fought right now. It wouldn’t surprise me if secretly contractors wanted to extend the war to maximize wartime profits. I absolutely do not believe however that they are keeping top figures alive, no no no.
    Bill, I was reading yesterday about how DynCorp is in trouble for supplying underage Afghan boys as sex slaves to Afghan policeman and other Afghan men for “bacha bazi”. It was horrible. They are raking in massive profits and receiving gifts from their Afghan counterparts in return. This may not apply directly to our conversation here, but I do think it is proof of how this war is a disaster and is being poorly mismanaged AND MISUSED for profit and personal gains.
    I appreciate your insight and I will go on Amazon to look for the book “Killing Pablo”. I will also read more in depth on your site about targeting top leaders in spec ops and drone attacks.
    Best regards, and thanks Bill.

  • Nick says:

    Chris,
    “Paul, please stop giving Nick a hard time. You seem like an intelligent person, but picking on lil

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Nick, you said:
    “WOW Chris. Really? I NEED EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE THAT. The Salafist Islamists claim to be the warriors of Muslims. They just cannot slaughter Muslims unless they disobey the SHARIA. This is what I have read on their forums before. This is the ideology Chris, this is what they believe. Show me a video of mass graves and dead bodies of civilians everywhere with a claim of responsibility from the Islamists and I will believe you, Chris.”
    It is absolutely astounding that you claim to be educated about this war, and yet you can say such a thing.
    Are you not paying attention to the daily suicide attacks against Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc.? I document them here regularly. Al Qaeda and its affiliates routinely take credit for these attacks. In statements released over the internet. So does the Taliban. You can read Voice of Jihad online and see for yourself; they publish it in English.
    I’ve personally witnessed the aftermath of such attacks. Such as this one, at COP Inman in Mosul, on Easter Day, 2008:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/03/in_pictures_suicide.php
    Those were Iraqis. And Muslims. And Sunni Muslims.
    Al Qaeda took credit for the attack (it was carried out by a former Gitmo detainee), and even used my pictures in their propaganda statement. You can read about that here:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/06/released_guantanamo.php
    AQ, the Taliban, and a host of Salafist, Deobani, Wahabist, whatever tag (or combination) floats your boat have killed tens of thousands of Muslims in suicide attacks since 9/11.
    Do I need to present evidence of this? Is the problem with you believing all of this that the bodies aren’t neatly piled up in mass graves?

  • Ranger says:

    Nick, your talking to an 11B…
    If people want “out of this war”, it is because they don’t understand that there is no way out except that achieved through victory.
    They don’t understand that because they truly don’t understand the war in an Informational way, they don’t have any “context” for anything, from OIF and Phantom Fury to the latest in Afghanistan.
    Partly the fault of our officials, for not articulating it loudly and clearly, often. But also partly the fault of our populace, for not doing their own homework.
    They don’t understand that there ARE results. They didn’t understand that they were supposed to rejoice when Saddam’s sons got greased, or when Zarqawi got atomized.
    They don’t have “the long view.” Impatient.
    Whoever these people are that “want out”, are the reason it’s taking longer. They’re the reason we had to hit Fallujah twice. The ones we have to “please” because they don’t understand the necessity of paying the blood price.
    If people don’t understand the successes we’ve had, and how much work is left to be done, then it is simply because they are un-educated, naive, or disingenuous.
    And when one particular snake slithers longer than you’d like, believe that there are REAL reasons for it.

  • Ranger says:

    Rob,
    What kind of employment opportunities are we talking about?

  • Ranger says:

    And Nick, they can concoct a thousand reasons to kill civilians. By referencing the Sharia that you yourself reference…which they see themselves as the only true upholders of.
    If you don’t join the fight against the Americans, then your not “jihad” enough, and you die, and they raze your house, and steal your women, or whatever else they want to do.
    That’s just one case.
    Get killed by a suicide bomber in the market? Justified by Mohammed’s precedent of killing civilians with stones thrown from siege engines.
    You keep referencing the fact that they are “Salafist warriors” yet you have not allowed yourself to fully apprehend the implications of that.

  • Paul J says:

    PAUL:

  • Nick says:

    Bill,
    Yes I am paying attention to those daily attacks. But Bill, those attacks are mostly always on government employees, foreigners or security forces. All those countries you mentioned have suicide attacks conducted against those targets. Yes, Bill. They DO routinely take credit, but only against the types of people mentioned above, or munafiq – people who have betrayed the MUJAHIDEEN and Islam for the disbelievers. As for the suicide bombing on Mosul, your answer is in this post Bill: They WERE what I mentioned above Bill. The Salafist Al Qaeda operatives concluded that they were munafiq security forces and that operations against them were NEEDED. This is their way of thinking, Bill.
    And WOW Bill about the mass graves comment. Bill, when you say “AQ, the Taliban, and a host of Salafist, Deobani, Wahabist, whatever tag (or combination) floats your boat have killed tens of thousands of Muslims in suicide attacks since 9/11.”, you are mistaking ordinary Muslim civilians for soldiers and politicians killed. These groups do not target civilians on purpose and they do their best to make sure they don’t do die. If they can’t help it and a civilian will die, they pay the families compensation and appreciate what the civilian did for them.
    Ranger,
    You are not processing that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUES AT HAND. Don’t forget that we are a society bathed in entertainment and petty things. It may sound bland but it is true. Instead of people focusing on the war in the right way they are thinking about the super bowl or the next upcoming Miley Cyrus concert. This will be, and already is, the reason for our downfall.
    Ranger,
    THEY CAN ONLY KILL THEM IF THEY VIOLATE THE LAWS OF ISLAM. Ranger, it would do you good to study As Sahab and the salafist materials and read on their justifications for killing “puppets” who support invading forces.
    Ranger, they can not damage your property if you have not violated the laws. In conclusion, if they kill civilians on purpose for no reason or if they damage their property they themselves would be disobeying the Islamic law.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Nick,
    You are absolutely wrong, civilians are intentionally targeted (most of them Sunnis too) by AQ and Taliban in suicide attacks on a routine basis. And they are not just collateral damage as you imply. And nor do these terror groups pay compensation. That’s laughable.
    And you said they “do their best to make sure they [civilians] don’t do die.” Please pardon my bluntness, but son, are you on crack? Do you know they pack suicide bombs with nails and ball bearing to maximize casualties. Are you aware AQ used crude chlorine poison gas suicide bombs on Sunni civilians in Fallujah, Ramadi, and elsewhere in Iraq? Do you know that AQ has turned mentally handicapped children and adults into suicide bombers?
    If you are not aware of the above, they you aren’t paying attention, and you really shouldn’t be making such statements as you have. Your ignorance on these subject is on display for all to see, and it ain’t pretty.
    When you’re in a hole, you need to learn to stop digging. Cause you’re half way to China.

  • Nick says:

    Thanks Bill.
    No, I’m not on crack or any type of drugs. I know some people who are on drugs and they go to certain websites. They are drunk or under the influence and they still post.
    Bill, with all due respect, I can not believe your statements. Yes, they pay money to the families for their loved ones becoming “martyrs”. I can not be sure but I am almost certain I remember a video where a Taliban fighter is handing a father money in bills for his son’s “martyrdom”. Also, Bill, I think you are just trying to cover up for crimes committed by US soldiers in Iraq. Bill, you do know that depleted uranium was used to bomb major cities in Iraq, right? Bill, this caused health defects and cancerous tumors for many poor and innocent Iraqis.
    Bill, I see no evidence that Al Qaeda or other groups are using chemical weapons. Yes they may pack the bombs with ball bearings but only when security forces are around. They do not intentionally target civilian gatherings and civilians who have done nothing wrong.
    Bill, I read a report by “MUJAHIDEEN OF THE ISLAMIC EMIRATE OF AFGHANISTAN”, recently, and they were describing how it is baseless propaganda that they are using mentally handicapped people as suicide bombing weapons. They say there is no record proof of such action and it is against their Islamic morals to do such a thing.
    Bill, it might not have anything to do with ignorance and simply a different perspective. You and your friends above read things from pro military sources while I read from many materials coming from the mujahideen. Of course there will be a difference in reporting.
    And sorry for the yelling in ALL CAPS but I was just making a point, that I wish I could retract my posts very soon. But Bill, I have yet to see any pertinent evidence that jihadists target Muslim civilians.
    Thanks Bill.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Nick,
    You’ve officially worn out your welcome here. You comments on “war crimes” is absurd, and it shows what you are truly about, and who you really believe.
    As far as evidence of AQ & the Taliban intentionally attacking civilians, or AQI using chlorine gas to attack civilians, you clearly DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IT. Alas, I’ve reported on multiple chlorine suicide attacks in Anbar, some are listed here:
    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/03/al_qaedas_chlorine_a.php
    For your information, many of these attacks were carried out in neighborhoods, not against military or government targets. AQ knew, and didn’t care, that plenty of Sunni civilians, women, children, and the elderly, would be killed or poisoned in the attacks. And they didn’t care one bit.
    Now you can choose to believe what you want to believe, but we’ve had more than our fair share of your ignorance, your dishonesty, and your refusal to accept the facts here. Go pollute another site’s comment threads.

  • crusader says:

    nick:
    are you for real? what you are doing is so lame.
    how do you permit yourself mocking our troops fighting this sordid war over there?
    you have the right to say what you want under the freedom of speech and we sure have the right not to listen to it anymore…
    how can you deny the fact that AQ have no honor or rules of engagement?
    AQ was formed and ruled by OBL a spoiled rich prick that do not give a damn about his underlings doing his dirty deeds for him.
    you say that AQ do not harm innocent civilians? heard of 9/11 in new york, times square in new york? madrid? london? stockholm? that was all AQs doing, failed or successful they always target civilians…thats their filthy business…
    i pray that you will be the eyewitness of an attack in ottawa and you could see for yourself how many “military targets” they strife for attacking?
    you and i argued the whereabouts of OBL and you did not follow my theory.
    do you have an exact location of Qari Zia Rahman?
    if not do a better job finding him instead of mocking everyone over there trying…
    i wish you would leave this site soon and stop bad mouthing everyone here with your superior rhetoric.
    you can tell your palls later how you “won” over all us inferiors here with your skilled and cunning words but it does not change the fact that you are ignorant about a lot of facts about this war.
    there is a vicious adversary out there and i respect those fighting that monster…

  • crusader says:

    bill:
    can you show me some link about how AQ uses mentally disabled people for their dirty deeds?
    i want to know more how vicious they indeed are.

  • Ranger says:

    PAUL – “Can you find the Aner Pashtun tribe on the internet? If not, then are they a myth? How about the Barizai tribe?”
    Well…now he can can :) Great post.
    NICK –
    Seriously, do I have to just repeat myself? Once more, you have not apprehended what it means to be a Salafist warrior.
    I’ll elaborate…please actually mull over what I say this time.
    “Ranger,
    You are not processing that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUES AT HAND. Don’t forget that we are a society bathed in entertainment and petty things. It may sound bland but it is true. Instead of people focusing on the war in the right way they are thinking about the super bowl or the next upcoming Miley Cyrus concert. This will be, and already is, the reason for our downfall.”
    Glad you agree then. Since these are the people who “want out”, right? These are the ignorant and naive people I’m talking about. So clearly we agree that their opinions aren’t worth a cent :)
    All that leaves is the disingenuous people…The real reason for our downfall :)
    “Ranger,
    THEY CAN ONLY KILL THEM IF THEY VIOLATE THE LAWS OF ISLAM. Ranger, it would do you good to study As Sahab and the salafist materials and read on their justifications for killing “puppets” who support invading forces.”
    Nick, once more, and this is important… These Salafist/Wahabi/AQ/Taliban/etc types see themselves, and their particular mullahs issuing their particular fatwas, as the ONLY legitimate guarantors/protectors/enforcers of true Sharia.
    That is what makes them Salafists in the first place, god dang it!!! Seriously man!!!! Are you just messing with us?!?!?!?!
    They think nothing of killing an individual simply for not joining the jihad in a proactive way. And they themselves continually, habitually, violate all known laws. Because they are beyond Self Righteous. One last time, they believe they are justified, and that others fall short of the “glory of Allah” to twist a phrase.
    Do you know nothing of what happened in Iraq, and what eventually spurred the Anbar Awakening?????
    Beyond routine kidnappings, enforced marriages, house theft, etc, it was the routine disregard for life by a bunch of callous, sanctimonious thugs which prompted the citizenry to rise.
    “Ranger, they can not damage your property if you have not violated the laws. In conclusion, if they kill civilians on purpose for no reason or if they damage their property they themselves would be disobeying the Islamic law.”
    Yes. And they do it all the time. Because they claim that they people who they “violate” have themselves failed the Muslim ummah by not joining the jihad, which they see as the first, primary, #1 mission for any Muslim.
    They blow up historical monuments just because they were built after the time of Mohammed.
    They think very little of the “educated, moderate” Muslim, Arab, Pashtun, or otherwise, unless he engages in jihad.
    Thus they kill wantonly. And thus they become despised. As it has ever been, since the House of Submission first emerged and declared war against the unfaithful in the House of War, with the ghazis on the vanguard always demanding more fanaticism from the rest of the ummah. At the point of a sword, if need be. Which often makes the ghazis taqfiris, in the eyes of the rest of the ummah.
    So you are right, but for the wrong reasons. Yes, they DO violate “law.” But because they believe they are the only ones whose interpretation of the “law” matters.

  • Ranger says:

    Nick –
    Here’s a “blast from the past” for you.
    http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/040427/2004042714.html
    “Jordan discloses persons involved in the chemical attack that would kill 80,000 persons”
    Chew on that. Does the casual (narrowly avoided) slaughter of 10s of thousands of innocents make you think?
    I hope so.

  • Rob says:

    Thank you Bill!!! That guy really has no clue.

  • Paul J says:

    Thank you very much Bill. It is extremely obvious Nick’s number one source for information was As Sahab media and he apparently believes them 100%. Several of his statements clearly indicated he may be an AQ sympathizer.

  • Paul J says:

    Totally awesome! There is a plethora of red flags here. Let

  • Mark Stevens says:

    Gentlemen;
    Sufice it to say that you cannot argue with idiots. It is futile and inconsequential. Nick and his ilk, by their very natures are incapable of hearing and understanding strong, coherent thought.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis