News you may have missed #0157

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Intelligence sources speak of clashes between rival Pakistani militias

Baitullah Mehsud

Mehsud

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Exactly one week after Pakistani officials announced the assassination of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, there are unconfirmed reports of serious clashes between rival armed factions in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Canadian sources are quoting unnamed intelligence officials who claim that Mehsud’s Taliban fighters are engaged in an all-out offensive against militia followers of Turkistan Bitani, a tribal warlord backed by the Pakistani government. Bitani spoke to the Associated Press saying that 90 fighters have so far died in the offensive and that at least 40 houses have been destroyed. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0065

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Is Mehsud dead, and if so, who or what killed him?

Baitullah Mehsud

Baitullah Mehsud

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
There is confusion about the fate of Pakistan’s senior Taliban commander, Baitullah Mehsud. On August 7, the Pakistani military told the world’s media that an unmanned drone air strike (probably operated by the CIA) had killed Mehsud. The Associated Press reported that a Taliban commander in Pakistan, Kafayat Ullah, had confirmed that “Mehsud and his wife died in the American missile attack in South Waziristan”. Pakistani military officials said they were “reasonably sure” of the accuracy of these reports, but that they did not possess irrefutable “forensic evidence” of Mehsud’s death. Over the weekend, however, other Taliban leaders came forward to contest Ullah’s account. Read more of this post

US drone strikes inside Pakistan increasingly lethal, study finds [updated]

Predator drone

Predator drone

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Strikes by CIA or Pentagon unmanned Predator drones in Pakistan have increased in frequency and lethality, according to a study published yesterday. Some may question the study, which was conducted on behalf of The Long War Journal, a news and analysis outlet edited by retired US Navy Intelligence Specialist D.J. Elliott, who maintains strong ties to the US Department of Defense [*] Bill Roggio, who also contributes to Bill Kristol’s neoconservative Weekly Standard. Despite its limitations, the report provides an almost unique public record of the frequency and tactical outcomes of the US airstrikes in Pakistan. Read more of this post

Comment: Obama Should Address CIA Assassinations

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Just hours after issuing executive orders for the abolition of the use of torture against terrorism detainees and the closure of the Guantánamo detention facility, US President Barack Obama was already being praised as acting “in a manner consistent with our nation’s values, consistent with our Constitution and consistent with the rule of law”. One jubilant pundit publicly opined that the US has now “reclaimed its place among nations that respect the rule of law and human dignity”. Not so fast. Blinded by the glare of triumphant statements about reclaiming America’s lost moral ground, observers overlooked two US missile strikes that hit Pakistan on Friday afternoon, killing at least 20 people, according to international news agencies. Keep Reading–>