July Surprise

Will Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar or Ayman Al Zawahiri be the surprise factor in the American Elections in November ?. It seems the Bush Administration is putting pressure on Musharraf to catch the the High Value Targets according to an article in “The New Republic”:http://tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=aaj071904
bq. But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. According to one source in Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), “The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] U.S. elections.” Introducing target dates for Al Qaeda captures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani counterterrorism relations–according to a recently departed intelligence official, “no timetable[s]” were discussed in 2002 or 2003–but the November election is apparently bringing a new deadline pressure to the hunt.
bq. A third source, an official who works under ISI’s director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis “have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must.” What’s more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: “The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq’s] meetings in Washington.” Says McCormack: “I’m aware of no such comment.” But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that “it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July”–the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. [“TNR”:http://tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=aaj071904]

2 thoughts on “July Surprise

  1. Turning the heat on Musharraf
    Its that time again First, Zalmay Khalilzad gets very vocal on Pakistan allowing the Taliban and al Qaeda use its territory for staging attacks inside Afghanistan. Then prominent American newspapers chime in with scathing op-eds on Musharraf’s past, pr…

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