Mujahadeen vow fight to the death as US builds base on Pakistan's border
|background paragraphs removed - RTWT for the details|
To the south of Swat in Mamoon, in Bajaur Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, the situation is equally restive, but the focus of local militancy is directed across the border in Afghanistan against the foreign troops there.
Western intelligence believes that Osama bin Laden, his deputy Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and other top al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders have free access in this region to meet and plan operations. Cross-border raids into Afghanistan are frequently staged from here.
The Bajaur area has been hit twice by Central Intelligence Agency predator drones, one specifically after Zawahiri. However, at a time when al-Qaeda is reactivated and the Taliban's main focus is to lay siege of Kabul, via adjacent Nooristan province in Afghanistan, aerial surveillance is considered insufficient. As a result, a large US base is under construction on a mountaintop at Ghakhi Pass on the Pakistan-Afghanistan (Bajaur) border. Militants believe this is in preparation for an operation inside Pakistan to clamp down on them as well as to renew the hunt for bin Laden and his associates.
As a result, the militants have attacked the new base in an attempt to delay its construction. "This is a matter of life and death for the mujahideen. We will shed our blood, but we will never let this base be completed," Dr Ismail told Asia Times Online while standing at the grave of his son, who was killed a few weeks ago by US forces while attacking the base. The tall and well-built Ismail is the leader of the TNSM and a main source of inspiration for the jihadis in Bajaur. "My son sacrificed his life against American designs to build this base over our heads. I shall never allow them to complete it, I will fight till my last.
Posted by: lotp 2007-07-17