More Predator strikes by US in Pakistan - More rewards for Justice bonuses for Taliban / al Quaeda phantom leaders
The US conducted another 2 Predator airstrikes with Helfire misiles in Pakistan's tribal areas in the last 2 days.
Five people were reported killed and four wounded hitting what is said to be a Taliban compound in North Waziristan - a compund run by Malik Gulab Khan in the Sokhel region just outside Mir Ali.
Unusually the CIA did not report any senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders killed.
Mir Ali is a known stronghold of al Qaeda leader Abu Kasha al Iraqi said at one time to have links both with al Qaeda and the Taliban. Kasha is said to be an Iraqi national who operates in the Mir Ali region and serves as the key link between al Qaeda's Shura Majlis, or executive council, and the Taliban.
Abu Kasha was thought to have been killed in an attack in North Waziristan in October 2008, but survives yet.
Kasha commands two local Pakistani commanders, Imanullah and Haq Nawaz Dawar. These men administer al Qaeda's network in Mir Ali. Kasha has a working relationship and close communication with the Uzbek terror groups, including the Islamic Jihad Group run by Najimuddin al Uzbeki, who also operates out of North Waziristan.
The last attack that targeted Abu Kasha's network took place on Feb. 23, 2009. Ten Taliban and al Qaeda fighters were killed after Predators targeted a compound run by a local named Khalil.
Second strike in 24 hours signals an end to a brief pause in attacks
A further Predator attack today is the eleventh inside Pakistan this calendar year and follows yesterday's strike against a Taliban convoy in South Waziristan. Eight were killed, including "foreigners,"( CIA speak al Qaeda operatives). The attack took place in Makeen, the hometown (?) of Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. On New years day Taliban kidnapped four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers of the South Waziristan Scouts after the Taliban attacked the Ladha Fort near the town of Makeen.
These latest attacks coincided with the US Department of State's placing a bounty on the heads of two senior Pakistan-based Taliban leaders. Up to US$5 Mn dollars has been offered "for information leading to the location and/or capture" of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud (Pakistani authorities believe that the January 2007 suicide attack against the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was staged by militants loyal to Mehsud. Press reports also have linked Mehsud to the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the deaths of other innocent civilians.) and al Qaeda ally Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Additionally, a US $1 MN. bounty has been offered for information leading to the capture or conviction of al Qaeda propagandist and ideologue Abu Yahya al Libi.
More information about all three is located on the Rewards for Justice website (www.rewardsforjustice.net/abuyahya).