Did Media Fall for False Claims About #3
An enlightened article
from the Associated Press
on the alleged killing of the alleged Al-Queda No. 3:
All weekend, the U.S. media trumpeted the death of a man in Pakistan said to be near the very top of al-Qaida's operations, allegedly ranking just below Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. But for a man reputedly at the forefront of al-Qaida's global terror operations - with one finger in plots to target America and another in attempts to assassinate Pakistan's president - Hamza Rabia kept a remarkably low profile.
The Egyptian wasn't on the FBI's list of the world's 15 most wanted terrorists, nor had he made Pakistan's most wanted list. In fact, there had been little public mention of Rabia--before he was apparently killed last week in an explosion at his tribal hideout.
U.S. officials haven't confirmed the death, despite claims by Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he is "200 percent" sure Rabia died.
The arrest of this man poses more questions than answers. We had earlier posted on the duplicity of General Musharraf playing Russian Roulette in announcing the capture/killing of numerous Al-Queda No. 3s. But counter terror analysts are not satisfied with this explanation:
"He may be a serious planner that has been lurking in the shadows, but I would like to see more evidence of his terrorist credentials before saying he's a particular number in the hierarchy. I think these are relatively low-level operators," said Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College, referring to Rabia and his associate, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, who was captured in Pakistan in May.
Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said Rabia appears to have been more of a ground commander, not a key international terror mastermind.
"There have been so many people suggested as the No. 3 in al-Qaida that I would not go along with that, though he is clearly a valued member of the hierarchy," he said. "We can't really say that he will be a major loss in terms of planning because he didn't have a profile in that area."
Indeed, it would be the sixth Al-Queda No. 3 to be captured/killed so far.
Ranstorp said he feared the story was being touted in Washington and Islamabad for political reasons. The two countries are allies in the war on terrorism, both with a stake in showing their uneasy partnership is bearing fruit.
"I think it is a legitimate question to ask whether this guy was really such a big fish," he said. "There has been an unending cavalcade of faces that roll by of people who supposedly represent a clear and present danger to (U.S.) national security, and all this deflects attention away from the incredible failure of the war on terrorism to capture bin Laden or al-Zawahri."
We expect more such superficial arrests, killings to occur in the coming months. This would keep the gullible American public happy while the Bush administration plays fiddle with the Pakistani establishments terror connections and supplies it with powerful weapons having nothing to do with the Global Offene Against Terror (G.O.A.T). Our wishful thinking is no more innocent people die from further attacks with such laissez faire attitude of the Bush administration.