The Taliban Threatened Bhutto
Bill Roggio notes that the Taliban had threatened to kill Benazir Bhutto even before she returned to Pakistan.
"In early October, Baitullah Mehsud, the powerful Taliban commander in South Waziristan whose troops are holding almost 300 Pakistani soldiers in captivity, threatened to kill Bhutto upon her return."
Despite the warnings, Bhutto pushed on.
Bhutto was aware of the Taliban and al Qaeda threats but dismissed them. "At the press conference in Dubai, Ms Bhutto said she did not fear 'militants and extremists,' acknowledging that Afghan and Arab militants as well as those of the Red Mosque had threatened her," Dawn reported. "She said that threats to her life had been whipped up to 'intimidate me and the people of Pakistan.'"
"I don’t believe that a true Muslim will attack me," Bhutto said. "I believe Islam forbids suicide bombings."
Ka-boom. Reuters reports:
A suspected suicide bomber killed 115 people on Friday in an attack targeting a vehicle carrying former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto through Karachi on her return from eight years in exile. ... Militants linked to al Qaeda had earlier this week threatened to assassinate her.
Bhutto's husband has accused the government of complicity in the attacks according to the Pakistan Daily Times and will name names.
Bhutto’s husband Zardari told Geo TV that he did not think that extremist elements were behind these blasts, adding that some elements within the government, including some ministers, were responsible for the blasts. He said the PPP was a democratic party and was not a threat to jihadi elements. He said some ministers were also on the hit list of jihadi elements. He said he knew some people sitting in the government who could possibly be behind these blasts. But, he said, he would not disclose their names “as only Ms Bhutto would reveal these names”. Zardari said Ms Bhutto would talk to the media on Friday (today).
Reuters says a Taliban leader who threatened to kill Benazir Bhutto denies being responsible.
A well-known Pakistani Taliban commander, said to have issued assassination threats against Benazir Bhutto earlier this month, denied any involvement on Friday in an attack that killed 133 people in Karachi.
"I had nothing to do with it," Baitullah Mehsud told Reuters by satellite phone from an undisclosed location about the attack on Bhutto's motorcade as it edged through hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered to welcome her from years of exile.
Mehsud, who operates in Waziristan, a tribal region on the border with Afghanistan that has become a centre of al Qaeda and Taliban activity, had been widely reported as issuing threats against Bhutto after she announced plans to return to Pakistan after eight years of self-imposed exile.
But if the attack had succeeded by whatever hand how shy would Meshud be about taking credit?