CIA, NSA, DIA and ISI and Special forces in Paki
Three top US agencies involved in Waziristan operations: New Yorker
* Report says Abu Laith al-Libi was one of most prominent victims of programme
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Three of the top United States clandestine agencies, along with US Special Forces and Pakistani intelligence outfits, are targeting the Taliban leadership in Waziristan, according to a report published here.
The exclusive report in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersch says that the programme is being executed by professionals from the National Security Agency, the CIA and the Defence Intelligence Agency, who are "right in there with the Special Forces and Pakistani intelligence, and they're dealing with serious bad guys". A source told the American investigative reporter: "We have to be really careful in calling in the missiles. We have to hit certain houses at certain times. The people on the ground are watching through binoculars a few hundred yards away and calling specific locations, in latitude and longitude. We keep the Predator loitering until the targets go into a house, and we have to make sure our guys are far enough away so they don't get hit."
Prominent victim: One of the most prominent victims of the programme, a former official said, was Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior Taliban commander who was killed on January 31, reportedly in a missile strike that also killed 11 other people. The Washington Post reported on March 26 on the increasing number of successful strikes against Taliban and other insurgent units in Pakistan's Tribal Areas. A follow-up article noted that, in response, the Taliban had killed "dozens of people" suspected of providing information to the US and its allies on the whereabouts of Taliban leaders. Many of the victims were thought to be American spies, and their executions — a beheading, in one case — were videotaped and distributed by DVD as a warning to others.
Another ex-US intelligence official, commenting on the US attempting something similar in Iran, warned, "It's one thing to engage in selective strikes and assassinations in Waziristan and another in Iran. The White House believes that one size fits all, but the legal issues surrounding extrajudicial killings in Waziristan are less of a problem because Al Qaeda and the Taliban cross the border into Afghanistan and back again, often with US and NATO forces in hot pursuit. The situation is not nearly as clear in the Iranian case. All the considerations — judicial, strategic, and political — are different in Iran."
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