India-Pakistan: Hell Freezes Over

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January 11, 2008: An Islamic terrorists set off a bomb at the main courthouse in Lahore, Pakistan. Police had halted a motorcyclist carrying the bomb, who then detonated the explosives, killing five policemen and nearly twenty civilians. Suicide bombings in Pakistan went from under ten in 2006, to nearly 60 in 2007 (killing over 800 people.) Attacks like this turn more locals against the Islamic radicals, and that spirals into greater losses, and fewer recruits, for the terrorists. It's a pattern that has played out in several countries over the last few decades. Islamic radicals are on a Mission from God, not studying history. Otherwise they would have noticed that the suicide bombing tactics being used now in Pakistan, were largely responsible for the recent al Qaeda defeat in Iraq. Which followed a similar pattern found earlier in Algeria and Egypt.

January 10, 2008: The weather has calmed down the Afghanistan border areas. A period of exceptionally cold weather has settled over the region, making the freezing temperatures more of a concern than anything else. Counter-terror operations go on, however. The search for terrorists in the Swat valley continues to result in arrests and seizure of bomb making materials and weapons. Many Islamic terrorists have tried to hide out in the valley, and some have managed to pull off a few more suicide bomb attacks. But for the moment, the Swat Valley is another defeat for the Islamic radicals.

January 9, 2008: Some Indian Maoist rebel groups have been bolstering morale by paying death benefits (of about $1,100) to the families of Maoist gunmen killed in recent clashes with police. It's not unusual for rebel paramilitary organizations to adopt many of the personnel practices of the soldiers and police they are fighting.

January 4, 2008: The riots following Benazir Bhutto's assassination left over 60 dead. Bhutto's followers accuse the government of killing her, even though there is evidence that al Qaeda did it, but does not want to openly take credit for it. Al Qaeda and the Taliban definitely benefit from Bhutto's death, because she made no secret of her willingness to keep the pressure on Islamic radical groups. The government has brought in some British police investigators to help reassure people that the real killers will be found. A Pushtun Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is a prime suspect. Given the number of similar attempts against Musharraf, and other Pakistani leaders, by al Qaeda and the Taliban, it's unlikely that the Bhutto hit was a clever government plot.

 

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