India-Pakistan: May 3, 2005


Pakistani police arrested, in tribal areas along the Afghan border, al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al Libbi, and eleven other al Qaeda members.  Al Libbi is believed to be responsible for two unsuccessful assassination attempts against Pakistani president Musharraf. Al Libbi has sometimes been described as one of many "number 3" men in the al Qaeda leadership. Al Libbi is believed to be one of the people responsible for getting video and audio tapes of Osama bin Laden out of the country. Al Libbi, a Libyan, and most of the others picked up, are foreigners. Al Qaeda declared war on the Pakistani government in 2001, in response to Pakistan's siding with the United States in the war on terror. A substantial minority (as much as 30 percent) of Pakistanis favor Islamic radicals. Al Qaeda thought this would be enough to enable Islamic radicals to take control of Pakistan. This, however, has not proved to be the case. Al Qaeda terror bombings, and the death of so many innocent civilians, has turned most of the population against al Qaeda, and made it easier for the police to track down the al Qaeda leadership. However, Pakistan remains the home to millions of al Qaeda sympathizers, which makes it possible for the terrorists to continue operating, even as their risk of capture increases.




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