Thursday, January 10, 2008

An al-Qaeda offensive against Musharraf?

Just after CNN reported that terror bombings in Pakistan had reached "unprecedented" heights; and not long after Bill Roggio reported security services had arrested the leader and five members of a Lahore-based suicide cell another suicide attack killed 22 people outside a high court building.

At least 22 police and civilians were killed and 70 wounded in the attack. The blast was described as "powerful." Geo News reported the attack was conducted by a suicide bomber wearing a vest. The police were standing guard preparing for a protest by lawyers. "Six or seven [police] constables lost their lives on the spot while others succumbed to their injuries on way to hospital and in the process of [receiving] first aid," a doctor told the Associate Press of Pakistan, the government’s news service.

The Stratfor Geopolitical Diary says things could get worse. When "the Islamic New Year begins in Pakistan on Friday ... it could bring increased Shiite-Sunni violence, and further threaten President Pervez Musharraf's hold on power." The version of the report behind the subscription wall tallies a number of indicators none of which bode well for Pakistan, such as capital flight and a collapsing real estate market.

The Islamic New Year is apparently signals the start of the yearly sectarian feud the world over. "Muharram is not only the first month of the Islamic calendar, it is also the month in which much Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence occurs in the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan." But this time, al-Qaeda may attempt to exploit the season of ill-will to add impetus to its campaign against Musharraf.

This is why the country abounds with rumors that, should an outbreak of sectarian violence occur during the initial days of Muharram, the government might exploit the situation and further postpone elections. It is not at all clear, of course, whether this will happen. What is certain, however, is that conditions are explosive and such speculation is not unwarranted.


Blogger Doc99 said...

What Pakistan needs is a Pakistan Awakening.

1/10/2008 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/10/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

1/10/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The other day on Fox News Channel they were interviewing some expert or activist who was saying, very seriously, "The U.N. has to do something about suicide bombing."

Oh, yeah ... that will work just fine...

Where do these people come from?

1/10/2008 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Muharram is the month of Ashura.

Ashura is the commemoration of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet, whom the Shiite Muslims regard as the legitimate inheritor of the mantle of Imam, rather than the elected line that assumed leadership on the death of Mohammed.

The murder of Husayn ibn Ali and all his male retainers, and the enslavement of their wives and children by the henchmen of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid, is the event that really defines the schism between Sunni and Shia.

No wonder they're all ready to kill each other.

1/10/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

mad fiddler: No wonder they're all ready to kill each other.

I wish they'd get on with it.

1/10/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It's so hard to kill each other effectively when they've only had swords and scimitars all these centuries. Now they've advanced to suicide belts and IED's, but I wonder what would happen if we quit shipping cell phone detonators to the Middle East or allowing them on airplanes to carry out their nefarious schemes.

Totten's latest column has several quotes from Iraqi Army sorts begging for more and bigger guns, so they can be better allies. Of course, we're supposed to give them our very best toys for free. It apparently never enters their feverish little minds that they're sitting on lakes of oil and if they'd just get up off their raggedy asses and go to work, they could buy their own Big Boy toys. That's probably not a totally bad thing, that they're so dependent upon America's teat.

If it wasn't for Western technology, they'd be massacreeing each other with machete's and clubs a la Rwanda. Sometimes the idea that they'll ever manage to build their own bomb just seems ludicrous.

1/10/2008 06:35:00 PM  

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