Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good News From The Front Lines

Conservatives and Republicans (no, the words don't always mean the same thing) everywhere are feeling down in the wake of Barack Obama's ascension to the presidency, as well as the expanded House and Senate majorities Democrats will enjoy in Congress. Never fear, there is good news to be found! Check out the following stories, both from The Long War Journal:

October 27, 2008: Al Qaeda leader Abu Ghadiya was killed in yesterday's strike inside Syria, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. But US special operations forces also inflicted a major blow to al Qaeda's foreign fighter network based in Syria. The entire senior leadership of Ghadiya's network was also killed in the raid, the official stated.
Ghadiya was the leader of al Qaeda extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq along the entire length of the Syrian border. Ghadiya was first identified as the target of the raid inside Syria late last night here at The Long War Journal. The Associated Press reported Ghadiya was killed in the raid earlier today. Several US helicopters entered the town of town of Sukkariya near Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, just five miles from the Iraqi border. US commandos from the hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88 assaulted the buildings sheltering Ghadiya and his staff.

Got that? U.S. terrorist hunters conducted a cross-border raid into Syria, long known as a safe haven for al Qaeda operatives. Reread this sentence again: The entire senior leadership of Ghadiya's network was also killed in the raid. I'd call that a successful strike by the good guys. I'd also say we're really receiving good intelligence on al Qaeda activities, be it from detainees, local nationals, moles inside the AQ camp or the Syrian government itself.

Good news, right? Well check this story out from the notoriously troublesome Waziristan area of Pakistan:

November 1, 2008: Reports from Pakistan indicate a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in yesterday's airstrike in North Waziristan.
Mohammad Khalil Hasan al Hakaymah, who is better known as Abu Jihad al Masri, is thought to have been killed in an airstrike that targeted a vehicle outside of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, AFP reported.
"The strike was aimed at a vehicle carrying Abu Jihad and two others," senior Pakistani security official told AFP. "The target was successfully hit and all three people were killed."

Think about that for a second. Allow me to direct your attention to this: the target was killed in an airstrike that targeted a vehicle outside of Mir Ali. It wasn't an airstrike that hit a few buildings that were believed to be hosting a high level meeting. The missiles hit the guy's car! I don't pretend to know what vehicle traffic is like in and around Mir Ali, but in order for us to hit the correct car while the target was inside, someone had to let us know he was indeed inside his car and on the move. Once again, this demostrates a level of intelligence and penetration of the terrorist world of the Waziristan region that must have the bad guys sleeping with one eye open.
Specifically speaking of Pakistan, there were 10 cross border strikes in 2006 and 2007 combined. Since August 31, 2008 there have been 21 of these such attacks. Hopefully President-elect Obama is being advised that we've really got pressure on these guys. It would be a shame to let up now.

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