Documenting the Taliban’s rise to power in Waziristan and beyond over the course of 2006 and 2007
The fall of North and South Waziristan and the rise of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan was an event telegraphed by al Qaeda and the Taliban. During the winter of 2006, Osama bin Laden announced his strategy to establish bases and pockets of territory along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The Taliban and al Qaeda (virtually indistinguishable in this region at this point in time) had been fighting a long term insurgency against the Pakistani Army after President Musharraf put troops in the region shortly after 9-11.
But two developments accelerated al Qaeda’s plans to conquer the agencies of North and South Waziristan: the airstrike against Ayman al-Zawahiri in Damadola, and the attack on the Danda Saidgai training camp in North Waziristan. In both instances, al Qaeda’s senior leadership was targeted, and in Danda Saidgai, Osama bin Laden and his praetorian ‘Black Guard,’ or personal bodyguard, were the subject of the attack.
While bin Laden and Zawahiri escaped, senior commanders such as Abu Khabab al-Masri (WMD chief) and Imam Asad (chief trainer of the Black Guard), among others were killed. Al-Qaeda could no longer countenance a Pakistani presence in the region. The time had come to force the Pakistani Army to withdraw and force the government to accept terms of surrender. Al-Qaeda retaliated for the airstrikes by murdering a U.S. official at the Consulate in Karachi.
South Waziristan fell some time in the spring of 2006 (I suspect sometime in late March). On March 6, I referred to South Waziristan as ‘Talibanistan.’ Shariah Law was declared in South Waziristan at this time and the Taliban began to rule openly. A single political party was established in South Waziristan, a party loyal to the Taliban. It is said a secret accord was signed between the Pakistani government and the Taliban around this time. All along the fighting in North Waziristan increased over the course of 2006.
Pro-Pakistani government tribal leaders and informants were murdered and made an example of. The Pakistani Army paid a devastating price for their operations in Waziristan. The official government reports claim around 200 soldiers killed, however the unofficial numbers put the casualties somewhere around 3,000 killed in combat.
On June 25, I sounded the alarm that a truce would be in the offing in North Waziristan. The Pakistan Army was taking a pounding, and President Musharraf lacked the will to fight in the region became apparent. All along, Musharraf and the Pakistani elite attempted to draw distinctions between the Taliban and “miscreants” and “foreigners” – which is merely code for al Qaeda. The failure to realize the Taliban and al Qaeda worked towards the same end, and have integrated political and command structures, led the Pakistani government to cut deals with the ‘local Taliban’ and the eventual establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. The Taliban and al Qaeda are by no means finished with their goals of carving out safe havens along the Afghan-Pakistani border. In March of 2007, the Pakitani government signed over the tribal agency of Bajaur to the Taliban.
The series of posts below document the history of the fall of North and South Waziristan and the rise of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, and the rise of Talibanistan in the Northwest Frontier Province from 2006 onward.
NWFP/FATA map. Red agencies/ districts controlled by the Taliban; yellow under threat. Click map to view.
January 10, 2006:
Noted the growing Taliban problem in the NWFP and FATA, particularly in Waziristan
January 14, 2006:
The strike against Zawahiri in Damadola, Bajaur
January 17, 2006:
Zawahiri gets away
January 17, 2006:
More details on the Damadola stirke
January 18, 2006:
Khabab was chief of al Qaeda’s WMD program
January 19, 2006:
Mid-level al Qaeda military commanders Abu Ubaidah and Marwan As-Suri thought killed in Damadola
January 21, 2006:
Pakistani intel thought to have been involved with strike
January 25, 2006:
Osama bin Laden lays out al Qaeda’s strategy to take over border region
February 1, 2006:
The rising power of the Taliban in southeastern Afghanistan
February 7, 2006:
Unrest Continues in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Taliban claims to have set up the “Islamic Republic of Waziristan”; Tape shows al Qaeda and Taliban armies in Pakistan’s NWFP
February 14, 2006:
Asks if the Taliban in control in Waziristan. Pakistan’s influence in the tribal belt is tenuous at best.
February 19, 2006:
U.S., Afghanistan step up pressure on the Pakistani government to dismantle the Taliban terrorists operating in the tribal belt
March 1, 2006:
Attack on Saidgai, Imam Asad killed. Pakistani Army – Task Force 145 initiates an offensive in Waziristan as President Bush begins tour of the region
March 2, 2006:
Attack occurred in Karachi just prior to President Bush’s visit; Pakistan releases details on new al Qaeda leader plotting attacks on U.S. This strike was retaliation for U.S. airstrikes and the Pakistani offensive in Waziristan.
March 5, 2006:
A closer look at the suicide bombing at the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, and the chaos that is Karachi
March 6, 2006:
The strike in Danda Saidgai, suicide bombing in Karachi & fighting in Miranshah make Pakistan’s “miscreant” problem difficult to paper over
March 11, 2006:
Fighting continues in North Waziristan; Shariah law declared in South Waziristan; The worst-case scenario – Pakistan loses control over its nuclear weapons
March 13, 2006:
Rise in violence in Afghanistan is related to Pakistan
March 18, 2006:
An update on North & South Talibanistan, and across the border in Afghanistan
March 22, 2006:
Fifteen Taliban may have been killed outside Spin Boldak; Further news on North & South Talibanistan
March 23, 2006:
A status update on developments in Afghanistan & Talibanistan – South Waziristan falls
March 26, 2006:
“Pakistan has waged an ineffective war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and has essentially become isolated in the garrisons of Miranshah (North Waziristan) and Wana (South Waziristan). And as the recent battle in Miranshah demonstrates, Pakistan’s hold on the cities is tenuous.”
March 30, 2006:
The Taliban squashes a local festival in South Waziristan, “miscreants” abound and an ally of Osama is kidnapped and beaten
April 6, 2006:
Pakistan reacts to Taliban attacks in North Waziristan after a week of fighting on the Afghan/Pakistan border; Taliban active in Tank, Khyber and Peshawar Agencies
April 13, 2006:
Coalition goes on offensive in Kunar province, across the border from Bajaur agency in Pakistan. Pakistan Army strikes with helocopters in Miranshah.
April 14, 2006:
Helicopter attack in North Waziristan is directed at Mohsin Matawalli Atwa, one of the architechs of the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Eastern Africa; the Taliban is massing in North and South Waziristan in the tens of thousands. This may have been a Task Force 145 operation.
April 15, 2006:
Fighting in Helmand, Uruzgan, Kandahar.
April 20, 2006:
“The Taliban’s sphere of influence has expanded to [the tribal agencies of] DI Khan [Dera Ismail Khan], Tank and the Khyber Agency, where clerks of the area have started to join them. There has been a sharp increase in attacks on heavily-defended military targets in these areas as well,” according to Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao.
May 21, 2006:
Accusations of the Taliban operating from Pakistan continue to surface. The most recent charge was issued by Colonel Chris Vernon, the Chief of Staff for southern Afghanistan. “The thinking piece of the Taliban is out of Quetta in Pakistan. It’s the major headquarters…They use it to run a series of networks in Afghanistan.”
May 22, 2006:
Taliban continue to wage mass attacks, and get pounded
May 24, 2006:
Osama bin Laden thought to be Pakistan’s Kumrat Valley
May 29, 2006:
Canadian battle in Panjwai, Kandahar
June 2, 2006:
The Taliban admits it inteds to erode NATO’s will in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, Maulana Noor Mohammed, “a respected Muslim scholar, leader of the hardline religious party, Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam and member of Pakistan’s national assembly,” has openly declared his support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and calls on all Pakistanis to fight in Afghanistan.
June 18, 2006:
Pakistan’s lawless tribal belts are a major source of Taliban support, including indoctrinating, funding, arming and training Pakistani and Afghan Taliban recruits. The Afghans I spoke to curse Pakistan for allowing this to happen. The porous situation on the Afghan-Pakistan border iis a national security issue for Afghanistan, and the international community as al Qaeda is operating training camps within the Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistan.
June 25, 2006:
Signs of truce in North Waziristan surface. In a sign the Pakistani government is operating from a position of weakness, the government is proposing yet another ceasefire with the Taliban, while local Islamists bomb “a computer and a music centre” in Dir and a bazaar in Dera Ghazni Khan. Last week a suicide fuel truck bomb detonated in the Afghan province of Nangahar after crossing from Khyber agency in Pakistan.
August 12, 2006:
“These sources say that during their stay in the relief camps, they were taken by the Jundullah, a Pakistani jihadi terrorist organization which is close to Al Qaeda, to its training camps in the Waziristan area of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan for training.”
August 17, 2006:
More signs the international jihad is driven from Western Pakistan. It was later discovered Rehman was not captured, Pakistan appears to have been attempting to placate the West.
August 28, 2006:
The “Taliban Offensive” continues to produce Taliban bodies but the Taliban and al Qaeda continue to grow in Northwestern Pakistan
August 31, 2006:
Signs of the upcoming truce become apparent. North Waziristan and Quetta: Pakistani Tribal regions continue to slide into the hands of the Taliban and al Qaeda
September 4, 2006:
The truce is signed. Pakistan is in a civil war with the Taliban and al Qaeda, and it is a war the government is losing.
September 5, 2006:
The terms of the truce. Pakistan’s “truce with the Taliban is an abject surrender, and al Qaeda has an untouchable base of operations in Western Pakistan which will only expand if not checked
September 7, 2006:
North Waziristan is not al Qaeda’s endgame, the entire border region is the target
September 8, 2006:
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf admitted “Clearly [the Taliban] are crossing from the Pakistan side and causing bomb blasts in Afghanistan,” yet his solution was to cede government authority of the tribal agencies and allow for the formation of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.
September 11, 2006:
The Taliban take retribution against pro-American “spies” and “collaborators”
September 12, 2006:
al Qaeda’s praetorian guard and al Qaeda high command the target of the March 2006 strike at Danda Saidgai
September 15, 2006:
Pakistan follows the truce to the letter and releases thousands of Taliban and al Qaeda members captured since 2001. Those released include the killers of Daniel Pearl.
September 18, 2006:
Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, U.S. State Department endorse the Waziristan Accord
September 20, 2006:
Pakistan is considering further cession of authority in the Northwest Frontier Province. We are watching the slow-motion disintegration of Pakistan as a sovereign state.
September 22, 2006:
Pakistan attempts to deflect attention away from the real impact of the Waziristan Accord; documents the Taliban violations since the signing.
September 23, 2006:
An overview published in the Weekly Standard
September 23, 2006:
A look at the players and organizations manipulating the Waziristan Accord
September 28, 2006:
Pakistani government abandons North Waziristan as the Taliban opens an office in Miranshah and patrols the city, yet again breaking the terms of the Waziristan Accord
September 29, 2006:
NWFP Governor Ali Jan Orakzai recommends expanding the Waziristan Accord to other tribal agencies, as the Taliban and al Qaeda continue to hit government targets
October 2, 2006:
A status update on the continued violation of the Waziristan Accord, a Matiur Rehman sighting, plus the Brits call for a truce in Helmand province
October 4, 2006:
Pakistan’s tribal agencies churn out suicide bombers for the Afghan insurgency and beyond, and western Pakistan continues to devolve into a terror safe haven
October 6, 2006:
Bombing, rockets found near Musharraf residences a harbinger of things to come in Pakistan
October 11, 2006:
North Waziristan, Quetta remain hubs for the Taliban, despite Pakistani protestations
October 12, 2006:
Taliban and al Qaeda commanders shed light on the global nature of the war and the status of fighting in Afghanistan
October 14, 2006:
The Pakistani Press exposes the Waziristan Accord as an agreement between the government and the Taliban
October 18, 2006:
Clashes in southern and eastern Afghanistan point back to Pakistan as a purported coup plot targets Musharraf.
October 23, 2006:
Violating the Waziristan Accord yet again, by taxing North Waziristan residents and training al Qaeda and Taliban
October 23, 2006:
Pakistan is negotiating the surrender of Bajaur agency to the Taliban and al Qaeda
October 24, 2006:
Reports of talks with the Taliban and a NATO withdrawal from a district, but this isn’t policy yet
October 28, 2006:
An al Qaeda command center is uncovered in Bajaur, Zawahiri is believed to be in the region, and Pakistan still wants to cut the Bajaur Accord
October 29, 2006:
Faqir Mohamed holds a tribal meeting that declares Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar “heroes of the Muslim world”
October 30, 2006:
Bajaur madrassa and training camp run by Faqir Mohammed hit by helicopter assault the morning a peace deal was to be signed; up to 80 killed
October 30, 2006:
Questions over target of strike in Bajaur, who conducted it, and why. Zawahiri may have been a target.
October 31, 2006:
Demonstrations, political maneuvering follows the attack on the Taliban and al Qaeda training camp in the Chingai madrassa
November 1, 2006:
Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa openly protest the Bajaur madrassa strike
November 2, 2006:
Taliban continues to suffer heavy losses in open combat; Musa Qala is back under Taliban control
November 2, 2006:
Pakistan is still willing to negotiate despite the fact that Faqir Mohammed has called for jihad against Pakistan and the West, and the downfall of Musharraf
November 4, 2006:
Executions, rebuilding of madrassa, further anti-government statements issued in wake of Chingai airstrke; more Taliban assassinations in Waziristan
November 8, 2006:
Over 20 wounded in attack on Pakistani Army training base in the Northwest Frontier Province; Dargai is a stronghold of Faqir Mohammed’s Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi; Taliban claims responsibility
November 10, 2006:
More on the Dargai suicide attack, and the role of Al-Qaeda and Allied Movements
November 13, 2006:
Abu Nasir al-Qahtani, an escape from Bagram prison, was captured in Khost last week. Qhatani operated from North Waziristan.
November 14, 2006:
Islamist Pakistani legislators in the Northwest Frontier Province pass a law calling for Taliban-like rule; Musharraf plotter released
November 18, 2006:
Blasts in Lahore, Peshawar; al Qaeda openly recruits in Pakistan
November 21, 2006:
Pakistani intelligence uncovers a suicide bombing network, more assassinations in Waziristan
November 29, 2006:
Taliban and al Qaeda leaders confident; the NWFP is becoming a Taliban training and recruiting grounds; Pakistan tells NATO to appease the Taliban in Afghanistan
November 30, 2006:
Taliban ban newspaper sales in North Waziristan; free press in Western Pakistan is in danger; North Waziristan Taliban Shura to meet on Friday
January 3, 2007:
The Taliban problem has not gone away, and al Qaeda continues to plot against the West from within Pakistan
January 4, 2007:
The Waziristan Accord gives the Taliban the power to influence territory within Pakistan
January 9, 2007:
A look at the most influential Pakistani Taliban, Uzbek and Arab leaders in North and South Waziristan
January 13, 2007:
The Taliban repatriate their dead fighters from Afghanistan back into Pakistan’s tribal agencies of North & South Waziristan
January 16, 2007:
Attack occurs in South Waziristan as SecDef Gates visits Afghanistan; a pattern of Pakistani behavior
January 17, 2007:
The Pakistani claim that the Waziristan Accord was not negotiated with the Taliban is false, says jirga member
January 17, 2007:
Senior Taliban, Abu Sayyaf detained, killed in Afghanistan and the Philippines; Islamic Courts leader possibly captured in Kenya, another killed in an airstrike; Pakistan on the hunt for al Qaeda leader
January 23, 2007:
Attack occurs days after Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud vows to retaliate with suicide bombers
January 28, 2007:
Suicide bombings, attacks on government outposts become routine
Pakistan’s Insurgency, Continued
The fourth suicide bomber in less than a week kills a policeman in Dera Ismail Khan
February 1, 2007:
Baitullah Mehsud, operating from Waziristan, is the ringmaster; Pakistan’s real intent in negotiating “peace” in South Waziristan
February 5, 2007:
Pakistan’s Daily Times reports Pakistani security services plan on offensive in North and South Waziristan. Baitullah Mehsud is a target.
February 6, 2007:
Another suicide bombing in the capital confirms a suicide campaign is underway; Prime Minister Aziz may have been the target
February 11, 2007:
U.S. shells Taliban in Pakistan; The Musharraf government insists on negotiating with the Taliban, despite their string of attacks on government institutions and continuation of attacks in Afghanistan
February 14, 2007:
NATO doesn’t wait for the Taliban’s spring offensive as the Taliban attempts to seize Helmand province, launches Operation Kryptonite
February 17, 2007:
Suicide and roadside bombings continue in Quetta, Tank, Bajaur as the government continues to appease the Taliban
February 19, 2007:
The American intelligence community finally recognizes al Qaeda command has regrouped in Pakistan
February 23, 2007:
The Taliban threatens to bombs schools as Musharraf looks the push more ‘peace deals’
February 24, 2007:
A peace deal in imminent in Bajaur, despite the worsening situation in the tribal agencies
March 1, 2007:
The U.S. confronts Pakistan on the Taliban and al Qaeda camps
March 1, 2007:
Taliban Defense Minister grabbed after flurry of diplomatic pressure
March 3, 2007:
U.S. forces attack a HVT in Kunar; two Taliban leaders confirmed captured in Pakistan; Mullah Dadullah speaks
March 7, 2007:
Business as usual as the situation in Pakistan deteriorates
March 8, 2007:
Deputy Taliban commander in Waziristan captured by Task Force 145; Taliban commander arrested in Kandahar; Tora Bora Front cell broken up; Operation Achilles update
March 17, 2007:
Pakistan signs its third “peace deal” with the Taliban in the tribal agencies
March 21, 2007:
Uzbeks, Taliban battle in South Waziristan after an al Qaeda leader was murdered; fight exposes the real issues with the Waziristan Accord
March 21, 2007:
The settled district of Kohat goes yellow, others likely to follow
March 22, 2007:
Uzbek, Taliban infighting halted by a delegation of senior Taliban commanders, including Mullah Dadullah and Baitullah Mehsud; Pakistani government manipulates results
March 24, 2007:
Musharraf appeases the Taliban
March 26, 2007 :
TNSM threatens suicide campaign; Taliban recruit in Tank; Peace in our time in Waziristan
March 26, 2007:
The Taliban from Bajaur threaten a suicide campaign the same day the agreement is signed
March 29, 2007:
Baitullah Mehsud’s Taliban mass; 25 Taliban, 1 security officer killed after school principal kidnapped
March 31, 2007:
Events over the past week highlight the deteriorating situation in the country
April 3, 2007:
Districts of Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Swat are Taliban country
April 6, 2007:
The Uzbek-Taliban fighting isn’t what the Pakistani government wants you to believe
April 24, 2007:
Musharraf’s government continues to promote its dangerous “peace deals”
April 25, 2007:
Countdown to sharia: Pakistan on the precipice of caving to al Qaeda’s allies of the Lal Masjid
April 27, 2007:
Osama bin Laden deputy in custody at Guantanamo Bay; Envoy between al Qaeda in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan; Behind Musharraf assassination attempts
April 28, 2007:
Four killed, 3 wounded in Danda Saidgai, the scene of a major assault on an al Qaeda base in March of 2006
April 28, 2007:
Aftab Sherpao, scores more wounded at a political meeting in Charsadda
April 30, 2007:
Suicide strikes continue to emanate from Pakistan’s tribal region, a Taliban safe haven
May 6, 2007:
Checkpoints set up to enforce sharia in the latest agency signed over to the Pakistani Taliban
May 14, 2007:
U.S. soldier killed in Kurram; Peshawar suicide blast, Karachi riots, border clashes highlight deteriorating security sitution and Musharraf’s tenuous grip on power
May 18, 2007:
Northwest Frontier Province continues its slide toward Talibanistan as Tank is attacked by the Taliban and Faqir Mohammed is give a pass
May 24, 2007:
Hostage crises ended in Islamabad & North Waziristan as one begins in Bannu; anti-Taliban elements calls for help go unheeded
June 2, 2007:
Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam (Fazl), the lead party in the MMA, sponsors gathering of 10,000 supporters of slain Taliban commander in Baluchistan; Tank, NWFP contested
June 19, 2007:
32 reported killed in strike launched from Afghanistan; follows news of Taliban, al Qaeda suicide squads graduation
July 3, 2007:
Pro-Taliban students at the Lal Masjid attack Pakistani Rangers, one killed; The Lal Masjid calls for sucide attacks Pakistani security forces
July 4, 2007:
Ten killed, 150 wounded during running gun battles in Islamabad; Government buildings burned; 111 Brigade deployed; uncertainty about Pakistani government’s next move
July 4, 2007:
Over 700 students surrender as leader attempts to escape in crowd of women
July 5, 2007:
Reports of an assault underway; Aziz goes on TV; captured Islamists will return to the NWFP
July 6, 2007:
The latest attempt in a string of attacks against Pakistani government officials
July 6, 2007:
Musharraf approves amnesty; update on latest news from the Lal Masjid and the Taliban’s response
July 7, 2007:
Maulana Fazlullah’s TNSM violates the terms of its May “peace agreement”
July 9, 2007:
Pakistani security forces launch the assault on the Taliban mosque in Islamabad
July 10, 2007:
Mosque compound still being cleared, over 100 reported killed
July 14, 2007:
Army convoy hit en route to Miramshah as violence increases throughout the Northwest Frontier Province
July 15, 2007:
16 killed in suicide attack on military convoy in Swat; 20 police recruits killed in Dera Ismail Khan
July 16, 2007:
Negotiations are underway with the Taliban as the government said it will increase forces in the Northwest Frontier Province
July 17, 2007:
Over 50 wounded in attack where ousted Chief Justice was scheduled to speak; government still negotiation with Taliban in North Waziristan
July 18, 2007:
13 soldiers wounded, 5 Taliban killed as Pakistan’s insurgency intensifies
July 19, 2007:
Chinese engineers targeted in Hub, Pakistani army attacked in Hangu and Kohat
July 20, 2007:
Representatives sent to negotiate with the Taliban in North Waziristan as suicide attacks are ongoing
July 22, 2007:
North Waziristan Taliban commander said attacks are in retaliation for the Red Mosque assault
July 24, 2007:
Commander of Taliban in South Waziristan detonated hand grenade during raid in Baluchistan
July 25, 2007:
Taliban maintain attack tempo as the government scrambles to save the Waziristan Accord
July 27, 2007:
Islamists paint the dome of the Red Mosque; 11 killed in bombing at hotel near the mosque compound
July 31, 2007:
Islamists take over a mosque in Mohmand as attacks against government troops continue in North Waziristan
August 1, 2007:
Statement by Abu Yahya al Libi contradicts Newsweek report on divisions in al Qaeda over Pakistan policy
August 3, 2007
Suicide attempt foiled in Punjab; skirmishes in North Waziristan; Mohmand’s Red Mosque
August 7, 2007
Artillery, helicopters assault two camps near the Afghan border.
August 11, 2007
US intelligence investigates Pakistan’s nuclear security and the military’s loyalty to Musharraf as the Northwest Frontier Province spins further out of control.
August 15, 2007:
US forces launch an offensive at the Tora Bora mountain complex in Nangarhar province.
August 20, 2007 :
Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan set free as the government continues to press for peace in the Northwest Frontier Province. Noor was al Qaeda’s computer expert who “acted as a link between top al-Qaeda leaders and operational cells.”
August 24, 2007:
Dr. Amin al Haq, a senior al Qaeda leader may have been wounded in the ongoing battle at Tora Bora. Al Haq is the leader of Osama bin Laden’s personal bodyguard, the Black Guard.
August 28, 2007:
The Pakistani government inks another “peace accord” in the Mohmand tribal agency as the security situation in Mohmand has been steadily deteriorating.
August 31, 2007;
A company of Punjabi Pakistani troops is captured in a sophisticated Taliban operation in South Waziristan; no shots were fired. The Pakistani government is negotiating with Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud to secure their release.
September 3, 2007:
Pakistan appeases commander Baitullah Mehsud to “pave the way for the release of 210 kidnapped soldiers.” Pakistan’s soldiers are still in Taliban captivity.
September 4, 2007:
Pakistani military and intelligence officers were the direct target of two suicide attacks in the military garrison city of Rawalpindi.
September 9, 2007:
Washington Post article on al Qaeda in Pakistan. Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar (Abu Khabab,) Abu Obaidah al-Masri, Khalid Habib, and Abdul Rahman al-Maghribi survived the 2006 Damadola airstrikes…
October 1, 2007:
The Taliban’s suicide attack in the settled district of Bannu in the Northwest Frontier Province is the latest in a series of strikes aimed to overthrow the Musharraf regime.
October 9, 2007:
Pakistan’s insurgency intensifies as four days of major fighting in the Mir Ali region results in scores of Taliban and soldiers killed.
October 10, 2007:
The Pakistani government hopes to revive the North Waziristan Accords as the fighting rages in the tribal agencies.
October 11, 2007:
Twenty-five foreign al Qaeda reported killed in North Waziristan. Report of a major operation in North Waziristan is leaked as the government continues negotiations with the Taliban.
October 11, 2007:
Three captured Pakistani army officers speak to the media, confirm their military unit was surrounded, out-manned, and out-gunned.
October 12, 2007:
The Taliban flex their muscles in Swat, Mohmand, and North and South Waziristan; public beheadings and whippings; captured soldiers and government capitulation on display.
October 18, 2007:
The Taliban live up to their word to strike at Bhutto upon her return to Pakistan. Over 133 killed and hundreds wounded in double bombing.
October 19, 2007:
Suicide bombers, car bomb, hand grenade, and snipers hit the convoy of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as she returned to Karachi. Baitullah Mehsud denies involvement; Haji Omar also threatened to kill Bhutto.
October 20, 2007:
Siraj Haqqani, the son of Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, has become the focus of US and Afghan National Army operations in eastern Afghanistan. Siraj has strong ties to al Qaeda central and is pushing the Taliban closer to al Qaeda.
October 23, 2007:
The situation in Pakistan worsens daily. Only a determined effort against the Taliban and al-Qaeda has any hope of succeeding – and that this effort must be led by the Pakistani government itself, however difficult that would be to arrange.
October 25, 2007:
Pakistani government admitted it lost its writ in large segments of Swat. Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah threatened to attack if an operation commences.
October 25, 2007:
Taliban leader Maulana Qazi Fazlullah strikes first, just days after over 3,000 police and paramilitary troops are moved into Swat.
October 26, 2007:
One day after the Taliban conducts a suicide attack in Swat, the Pakistani military goes on the offensive, while Maulana Fazlullah goes in hiding.
October 28, 2007:
Just days after Maulana Fazlullah’s Taliban conducted a suicide attack on Pakistani troops, a one-day operation was launched, followed by a ceasefire, beheadings, and more fighting.
October 30, 2007:
Al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to target military and government leaders in the heart of Pakistan.
October 31, 2007:
The Pakistani military is holed up in compounds as the government seeks to cut a deal with Taliban leader Mauluna Fazlullah.
November 1, 2007:
27 wounded after a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into the side of a bus carrying military and civilian personnel at the Sargodha air base in Punjab.
November 1, 2007:
Abdul Manan was killed during an ambush by Afghan soldiers as he crossed the border from Pakistan with a dozen fighters. Heavy fighting is reported in Kandahar and Herat provinces.
November 2, 2007:
48 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in Taliban custody. Troops are surrendering or abandoning their positions. Taliban reports of captured soldiers were accurate, government denials false.
November 3, 2007:
Supreme Court surrounded as paramilitary troops deploy throughout Islamabad. The Supreme Court calls move “illegal and unconstitutional,” asks military and civilian government to reject provisional constitution. Partial media blackout in Pakistan. Bhutto returns to Karachi.
November 4, 2007:
Musharraf’s imposition of a state of emergency makes the likelihood of tackling the Taliban and al Qaeda in the northwest less likely as he must now deal with his domestic political opposition.
November 4, 2007:
Musharraf’s media restrictions threaten flow of information on the news inside Pakistan and the status of the battle against the Taliban and al Qaeda.
November 5, 2007:
As President Pervez Musharraf continues to suppress opposition to his imposition of a state of emergency, the government is cutting deals with the Taliban in South Waziristan and pushing forward with negotiations in Swat.
November 7, 2007:
Towns fall under Taliban control in Swat as attacks continue in the northwest.
November 9, 2007:
Security forces have surrounded Benazir Bhutto’s home; the Taliban have taken over most of Swat as more troops surrender.
November 11, 2007:
Musharraf continues to appease the Taliban. Among the 25 prisoners released in exchange for over 200 captured soldiers include Obaidullah, the Taliban’s number three in command, the Taliban commander of Zabul province, two brothers of Mullah Usmani, and Baitullah Mehsud’s cousin.
November 14, 2007:
An ally of Swat’s Maulana Fazlullah marches into the district center to impose sharia law; police desert their stations. The Taliban pushes eastward, closer to Islamabad as another settled district falls.
November 16, 2007:
A new bin Laden sighting appears in the Italian press.
November 16, 2007:
Senior Taliban commander killed as the Pakistani military continues offensive in the two districts. Military relies heavily on helicopter and artillery strikes. Offensive occurs as senior US diplomat visits Pakistan. Will the government fight a long term insurgency?
November 20, 2007:
As fighting continues in Swat and Shangla, Pakistan releases Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e- Mohammad. At the same time, a peace jirga has formed.
November 21, 2007:
The recently proposed counterinsurgency plan falls short of what is needed to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban in the tribal regions. The Northwest Frontier Province is not Anbar, and arming the tribes without properly protecting them would destroy any remaining allies in the region.
November 23, 2007:
Two attacks kill over 15 and wound an unknown number in the twin cities in the heart of Pakistan. Attacks are the latest in a series of suicide bombings in the capital and garrison city as the Taliban and al Qaeda continue to press the offensive.
November 26, 2007:
The Pakistani army begins the ground offensive in Swat. Will it end in Taliban defeat or another “peace accord?”
November 28, 2007:
Musharraf may end the state of emergency after taking the oath of president.
November 29, 2007:
The Pakistani army is in a stalemate in Swat as General Kiyani is pressured to halt the fighting.
December 2, 2007:
The military claims to have restored the writ of the government in most of Swat but several major centers are still under Taliban control. Police and paramilitary units are feared to be infiltrated.
December 3, 2007:
Nawaz Sharif is linked to Osama bin Laden by a senior al Qaeda operative. Again.
December 5, 2007:
The Taliban force shops to reopen as “Islamic Businesses” as reports indicate the plan is to move ont he provinical capital by the summer of 2008.
December 6, 2007:
Pakistani troops have yet to clear half of Swat after over one month of combat with the Taliban. Taliban camps still thought to be active in two areas; central and northern Swat still absent government forces.
December 7, 2007:
As Pakistani forces take the town of Imam Dheri, soldiers find a makeshift prison and a liquor cabinet in Fazlullah’s madrassa.
December 10, 2007:
Two suicide bombers hit in Swat and Kamra. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra is part of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
December 11, 2007:
At least three attacks on Pakistani nuclear weapons complexes have occurred since August 2007. Attacks on other Pakistani bases in conjunction with the Taliban takeover of the Northwest Frontier Province may be part of coordinated campaign to compromise Pakistan’s nuclear stockpiles.
December 14, 2007:
Mullah Sangeen, second in command in the Haqqani network, is second senior member killed in last two months. CJTF-82 is pushing hard to split the Haqqani network.
December 15, 2007:
South Waziristan commander takes the helm of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, a unified Taliban movement in the Northwest Frontier Province. The Taliban in the tribal agencies and districts in the Northwest Frontier Province are now under Mehsud’s command.
December 15, 2007:
Rauf was one of two integral planners of the 2006 London Airline Plot. He was awaiting a decision to be extradited to Br
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.