Swat’s Mullah Fazlullah captured?

pakistan_fazlullah.jpg

Mullah Qari Fazlullah: captured?

The Telegraph is reporting that Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah has been captured and the surrender of his forces has been announced:

The Taliban has announced its surrender in Swat Valley, one of its major strongholds until a Pakistan Army offensive regained control earlier this summer.

Its announcement, made on one of its pirate radio stations, came as its charismatic leader Maulana Fazlullah was reported to be surrounded by Pakistani troops, and there were claims that he had in fact already been arrested.

According to the Telegraph, Pakistani intelligence sources said his capture would be announced early next week.

There are no reports of Fazlullah’s capture in the Pakistani press. His capture would certainly be frontpage news. The closest thing available at the moment is this report from Dawn published yesterday, which said Fazlullah was surrounded.

There have been plenty of false reports of Fazlullah’s death and capture over the past several months. But the arrests of his spokesman/military commander Muslim Khan, military commander Mahmood Khan, and three other shura members earlier this week indicate that the Pakistani military may be closing in on Fazlullah.

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

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5 Comments

  • Marlin says:

    The linked article from Dawn no longer contains a reference to Fazlullah. However, other articles in Sunday’s papers are now openly speculating about his impending arrest.

    Highly informed sources told The News that the dragnet around Maulana Fazlullah and his band of close associates has really been tightened and his arrest, or elimination, at the hands of security forces could happen within the next 24 hours.
    According to a source, captured Taliban leader Muslim Khan is singing like a canary and has reportedly pinpointed a couple of most secret hiding dens of his commander. The source also indicated that the ‘arrest’ of Muslim Khan may well be a negotiated surrender with security forces giving it the cover of being an arrest to retain Muslim Khanís credibility and protect his near and dear ones from Fazlullahís deadly reprisal against any perceived act of betrayal.
    According to another highly reliable source, Muslim Khan, had been of late trying to broker a deal through certain elements whereby his life would be spared in lieu of his spilling beans leading to the arrest or killing of Fazlullah and some of his other top commanders.

    The News: Noose tightens around Fazlullah

  • hanging on every word says:

    Saw this late last night in the Daily Times.
    //www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\09\13\story_13-9-2009_pg7_10

  • Ayamo says:

    The problem is that Pakistan shows strenght where the opposition is somewhat weak or only little dangerous for themselves.
    But where a show of strenght would be neccessary they seem to be reluctanct…

  • Mr T says:

    As in give us Osama Bil Laden, Zawahiri, and Mullah Omar now.
    OBL would be a big blow to their movement. We asked for him originally and he is the “flag” they are defending at all cost.
    Capture their flag and their cause will be severely hampered if not destroyed.
    Just go to the hotel in Quetta and get him for us please. He is probably out at the pool with some babes in burkas. He knows drones won’t fire where there are lots of people around.

  • T Ruth says:

    Fazlullah will probably pop-up (or pop-down) while pres-Z is in the US in the next few days.
    The one thing that makes the pak gov and army to work together is not the enemy, but US AID (read CASH). Sharing the booty, in other words.
    Oh and Mr T and you may well be right about OBL and he probably hangs out in blue jeans and has removed all his excess hair, which may be why he doesn’t do videos anymore.

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