Top Taliban Military Chief Captured in U.S.-Pakistani Raid
Monday, February 15, 2010
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is the most important Taliban figure to be caught since the war in Afghanistan began. He is close to the Islamic group’s spiritual leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and to Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden.
News of his capture, several days ago, came as American, British and Afghan forces continue a massive push against the Taliban in Afghanistan, called Operation Mushtarak.
The C.I.A. and Pentagon declined comment to Fox News about the capture, with the Pentagon saying the U.S. military was not involved.
Bruce O. Riedel, an ex-C.I.A. officer who led the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan policy review last spring told The New York Times Baradar’s capture could cripple the Taliban’s military operations — at least in the short term.
Officials told the newspaper the the raid was actually carried out by the Directorate for Inter-Service Intelligence, Pakistan’s military spy agency and that the C.I.A. accompanied the Pakistanis.
On it’s Web site, The New York Times says the newspaper first learned of the operation Thursday, but did not report on it at the request of White House officials, who claimed making it public would upset an intelligence-gathering effort.
Fox News’ Major Garrett, Catherine Herridge and Justin Fishel contribtued to this report.