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Sep 21st, 2008

Bomb a Warning to Pakistan: End U.S. Alliance

Analysts say message to new President Zardari is unmistakable

Aamir Qureshi / AFP — Getty Images

September 20, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The brazen truck-bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad on Saturday is a warning from Islamic militants to Pakistan’s new civilian leadership that it should end already-strained cooperation with the United States to pursue al-Qaida and the Taliban, analysts said.

The massive bomb targeting an American hotel chain killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds, setting a fire that blazed for hours and gutted most of the five-story luxury hotel.

“The attack on the hotel is a message to the Pakistani leadership: End all cooperation with the Americans or pay the price,” said Brian Glyn Williams, associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts. “Both sides see Pakistan as a vital battlefield in their global struggle and clearly Pakistani civilians are paying the price for being in the middle of this struggle,” he told The Associated Press. …

Terrorism researcher Evan Kohlmann told The AP it is almost certainly either Al-Qaida or Pakistani Taliban. “We are looking at either Al Qaida or Tehrik-e-Taliban (Pakistan),” Kohlmann said. “It seems that someone has a firm belief that hotels like the Marriott are serving as ‘barracks’ for western diplomats and intel personnel, and they are gunning pretty hard for them.” …

Cross-border raids anger Pakistanis

The U.S. has angered Pakistanis with increasing cross-border raids by its forces from Afghanistan to root out Islamic militants entrenched in the lawless and rugged tribal regions along the border. Local newspapers are filled with outrage from columnists who accuse the United States of treating Pakistan as a surrogate, flaunting its sovereignty and killing innocents. Civilian casualties from the U.S. assaults have prompted tribesmen in the volatile frontier to threaten revolt. …

Osama bin Laden and his top deputies are believed to be hiding in the border region and the U.S. claims al-Qaida and the Taliban have found a safe haven to regroup there. …


3/20/2017 Update

U.S. drone strike kills man behind Marriott Hotel bombing, Pentagon says (Ryan Browne and Faith Karimi, CNN,  March 26, 2017) — A U.S. airstrike in southeast Afghanistan killed an al Qaeda leader responsible for the deadly attack on the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan, the Pentagon said. Qari Yasin was killed in a drone strike in Paktika Province on March 19, the Pentagon said late Saturday. The September 2008 suicide truck bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killed more than 50 people, including two U.S. service members. … Full story


Related story

Czech ambassador, two Americans among 53 dead as truck bomb hits hotel

Image: Pakistani security personnel stand at the bomb crater
Farooq Naeem / AFP — Getty Images



Gunmen Kill Iraq Interior Ministry Official

September 21, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials say an interior ministry brigadier has been killed in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad.

A police officer and an interior ministry official say gunmen killed Brig. Adel Abbas and his driver as they drove to work Sunday morning. …

In another attack, police and hospital officials say a finance ministry director was seriously wounded when a bomb exploded in his car, also in western Baghdad.


Two Bombs Kill Six in Northern Iraq

September 21, 2008

BAGHDAD — Two bomb blasts killed six people and wounded 29 others in northern Iraq on Sunday, police said.

In Baghdad, gunmen killed a senior Interior Ministry official, Brigadier-General Adel Abbas, along with his driver in a drive-by shooting.

A suicide truck bomb killed three people and wounded 23 when it exploded at a police checkpoint in the northern city of Kirkuk, Brigadier-General Sarhat Qader, a local police chief, told Reuters. Kirkuk is 155 miles north of Baghdad.

Further south, a roadside bomb struck a minibus, killing three occupants and wounding six others on a road near the town of Jalawla in volatile Diyala province, police said. …


Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008 as reported by Reuters.

MOSUL – A roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded another when it struck their patrol in western Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – A bomb blast outside Iraq’s national journalists’ union in central Baghdad wounded the union’s head and three others, an eyewitness said. Police said a total of six people were wounded in the blast.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed two policemen when they attacked their checkpoint in central Mosul, police said.

BASRA – Gunmen riding a motorcycle killed Shi’ite tribal leader Uday Abbas al-Zamil near his house in northern Basra, 260 miles southeast of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

TAL AFAR – Police found two decomposed bodies in the town of Tal Afar, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

DIYALA PROVINCE – Iraqi security forces arrested the mayor of Abu Saida after they found a weapons cache including mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and bombs at his rural retreat in Diyala Province on Friday, the U.S. military said.

8 Responses to “Taliban, al-Qaida Up the Ante”
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    […] Pakistani and U.S. officials say Baitullah Mehsud was behind several major terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi in December 2007 and the suicide bombing of a Marriott hotel in Islamabad in September 2008. […]

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