In the wake of the Osama bin Laden operation, the US is sustaining the momentum of the war on terror by sending more Special Forces and drones into Pakistan after his top lieutenant, the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri, Taliban leader Mullah Omer and al Qaeda's chief operations officer, Seif al Adal.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that on May 2, the day bin Laden was killed, the Taliban leader and his top staff were thought to be in Karachi, southern Pakistan and the two al Qaeda leaders in the tribal region of North Waziristan. All three are presumed to have since moved on.
US intelligence suspects their whereabouts are known to Pakistan's Inter-Services-Intelligence agency (ISI).
Our Washington sources report that Saturday night, May 7, President Barack Obama gave the Pakistani government, army and intelligence an ultimatum: Cooperate in the capture of the three wanted men or else we shall pump more American soldiers into Pakistan to take up the pursuit with or without your permission.
US intelligence is convinced that Omer, Zawahiri and al-Adal have joined forces and are plotting a revenge attack on America dramatic enough to outdo the psychological impact of the bin Laden killing.
Al-Adal, whom Iran released in Sept. 2010 and allowed to cross into Pakistan, is rated the most competent and innovative planner of large-scale terrorist attacks.
The videos of bin Laden the Pentagon released Saturday from the raid on his Abbottabad compound show an ageing man with a straggling grey beard, huddled under a blanket and watching his own performance on a TV screen – a far cry from the well-known tall, commanding presence.
Still, US spokesmen are now insisting that the master-terrorist they killed was active, dangerous and preoccupied with plotting attacks on the United States.
As the sifting through the computers, files and drives captured in the raid continued, a senior US intelligence source maintained: "The materials reviewed over the past several days clearly show that bin Laden remained an active leader in al Qaeda, providing strategic, operational and tactical instructions to the group. He was far from a figurehead. He was an actively player."
This assessment radically contradicted everything Washington put out about the al Qaeda leader in the last four years. They scorned as "one man on the run" who was too busy chasing from one hideout to another under hot US pursuit to have time for setting up terrorist operations. Such operations were increasingly attributed to al Qaeda's regional "franchises."
Now, US terrorist experts have clearly decided otherwise.
Saturday, May 7, debkafile described how the Obama administration is putting Pakistani military intelligence on the spot. For the article click here.