Malala's attacker was held, freed in 2009: sources
[Dawn] The alleged organiser of the shooting of Malala Yousufzai, claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), was captured during a 2009 military offensive against the group but was released after three months, two bigwigs told Rooters.
They identified the man who planned the attack on 14-year-old Malala only as Ataullah, and said he was one of the two gunnies who shot her on a school bus this month in the Swat
...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
Believed to be in his 30s, Ataullah is on the run and may have fled to neighbouring Afghanistan, they said. He organised the attack on the orders of one of the Taliban's most feared commanders, Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as
Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullahs Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
, officials said.
Critics say Pakistain's low conviction rate of bad turbans, even high-profile ones who are alleged to have carried out major attacks, is one reason why extremism has spread in the South Asian nation.
The attack on Malala, an advocate of education for girls, has drawn widespread condemnation and raised fresh questions about Pakistain's commitment to fighting militancy.
Doctors treating her in Britannia have said Malala, a symbol of resistance to Taliban efforts to deprive girls of education, has every chance of making a "good recovery" after being shot in the head.
The Taliban have said they attacked her because she spoke out against the group and praised US President Barack Obama
The campaign's over, John...
The two officials said Ataullah was cooled for a few years
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
by security forces after a 2009 Pak military campaign pushed the Taliban out of the Swat Valley.
"He spent three months in the custody of security forces but was freed after no evidence (of wrongdoing) was found," one official said.
The second source, a security bigshot, said authorities had gathered enough evidence to arrest Ataullah after raiding his house in the Swat Valley, a former tourist attraction.
If Ataullah is in Afghanistan, finding him could be difficult. Some of the world's most dangerous gun-hung tough guys have operated in the Pak-Afghan border area for years, a forbidding area hard for security forces to reach.
The officials said Pak security forces were trying other ways to bring him to justice.
"His mother and two brothers were taken into custody to force him to surrender," said the second bigwig. "Also two other close relatives of Ataullah have been taken into custody because we heard he spent the night in their house after his escape from Swat."
The second official said Ataullah was not a hardcore bad turban, only a sympathiser when he was locked away
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
The Taliban capo in charge in Swat was Fazlullah, who melted away during the crackdown and eventually moved to Afghanistan with some of his fighters.
From there, he has orchestrated cross-border raids against Pak government forces and has again emerged as a major security threat, security sources have said.
The Taliban, fighting to topple the government and impose a radical theocracy, have blown up hundreds of girls schools in recent years in Swat and other areas to further their opposition to the education of women.
Police and security officials say dozens of suspects were locked away
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
after the Taliban gunnies shot Malala, including four employees of her school. Two of them were released.
Public fury over the shooting has increased pressure on the Pak military to mount a major offensive against the Taliban, which is close to Al Qaeda and a host of other bad turban groups.
While many Paks were outraged by the attack on Malala, some leaders of religious parties described the assault as an American conspiracy designed to trigger a military offensive against bad turban groups based in the North Wazoo tribal region, hundreds of miles to the southwest of Swat.
Washington has repeatedly urged Pakistain to mount a full-scale offensive in North Waziristan, home to the most hardcore bad turban opponents of the United States. The government has argued the military is too stretched fighting the Taliban elsewhere and consolidating gains from previous crackdowns.
Swat has been held up as a model of counter-insurgency efforts. But critics say the government has failed to follow up with large-scale investment needed to create jobs and industries to keep the Taliban from gaining new recruits.
The second bigwig said Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, had been told about threats to her life after two gun-hung tough guys close to Ataullah were interrogated following their arrest in Swat two months ago.
| The government hasn't any money, though key members of it have managed to acquire portions of what it thought it had...|
"Ziauddin was properly informed two months ago about serious threats to Malala's life and was even offered security which he refused," said a third official, a police brass hat.
The father earlier told Rooters he refused police protection for Malala because he wanted her to live a normal life and that it was not permitted for men to spend time with a young girl in Swat's conservative society.
| Probably wise. After all, wasn't it the governor of Punjab who was murdered by his bodyguard in front of a crowd because he disagreed when the man planned to pardon an innocent Christian woman?|
Posted by: Fred 2012-10-19