Adam Gadahn, the first person charged with treason by an American court in 50 years, has been captured in Pakistan.
Gadahn was arrested in recent days, two officers who took part in the operation told The Associated Press. A senior government official also confirmed the arrest. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
IF YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO RELEASE THE INFORMATION WHY IN GOD’S NAME ARE YOU CONFIRMING IT FOR THE PRESS YOU NINNIES!
An intelligence source confirmed the report to NBC News, adding that Gadahn was detained in Sohrab Goth, a suburb of Karachi, and was later moved to the capital Islamabad.
The arrest is a major victory in the U.S.-led battle against al-Qaida and will be taken as a sign that Pakistan is cooperating more fully with Washington. It follows the recent detentions of several Afghan Taliban commanders in Karachi.
Indeed, but whose custody is Gadahn being held? If ours, that’s super good. If Pakistan’s, not so good. We have no extradition treaty with Pakistan and the thought of the government doing any favors for the US would send thousands into the streets protesting. That’s the main reason Pakistan won’t turn over the Afghan Taliban leaders to us - at least, that’s the story they’re sticking to.
Allah (from 2/20):
It’s so hard to tell what’s kabuki and what’s not in these Pakistan/Taliban stories that I’m half-inclined to stop blogging them altogether. For instance, is this proof that the skeptics are right, that Pakistan’s holding the Taliban’s number two as a bargaining chip vis-a-vis Karzai? Or is it just propaganda aimed at the anti-American Pakistani population, with Islamabad fully intending to hand over Baradar et al. to the U.S. in the guise of “deporting them to Afghanistan”? Or could it be that Pakistan’s technically telling the truth about not handing them over while secretly allowing U.S. interrogators full access to the prisoners, a la some European CIA “black site”? (The Times story that broke the news about Baradar claimed that American agents are part of the team that’s questioning him.)
I strongly discount the last, and the Pakistanis have already refused to hand over Baradar to us. The Pakistan Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that Baradar and his friends won’t even be sent to Afghanistan:
The Lahore High Court also banned extraditing four other unnamed Taliban chiefs reportedly seized recently, the BBC reported.
The order was in response to a petition filed by a rights activist to prevent the detainees from being sent abroad.
“The high court has ordered that none of the leaders should be handed over to the (United States) or Afghanistan,” Tariq Asad, a lawyer handling the petition, told the BBC.
“The court has also said that none, other than Pakistan intelligence or security officials, should be given access to the Taliban leaders,” he said.
Details of Baradar’s capture “remain murky,” The New York Times wrote at the time. But officials said that it had been carried out by Pakistan’s military spy agency the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence with CIA operatives helping out.
Apparently, we can’t even question the terrorists anymore.
Even if the operation to capture Gadahn was carried out by the CIA, the fact that the arrests took place on Pakistani soil probably means similar treatment by the courts for the traitor.
So NBC’s ridiculous claim that Gadahn’s capture should be “taken as a sign that Pakistan is cooperating more fully with Washington,” is blowing smoke. A Leopard can’t change its spots and the ISI will not change its nature. While there are some high ranking ISI officers who are friendly with the CIA and cooperate, the organization itself is a fiercely nationalistic arm of the government and sees helping the Americans in any way as a betrayal of Pakistani values. There were almost mass resignations in the military when the Pakistani government was considering accepting the American aid package that contained caveats for where the money must be spent. Congress ordered the cash be used to bolster anti-terrorism capability while the military wanted to use the money to kill Indians by improving their abilities in the Kashmir. The heart of the dispute was that the Pakistani military did not wish to be seen as an American puppet force. A political crisis ensued that threatened the government at one point.
How this capture of another high value target will play out remains to be seen. The fact that Gadahn is an American national might make a difference. But given the sensitivity with which the government has shown toward these situations, I wouldn’t bet on it.
UPDATE: Maybe not
Massive confusion in the press now as one Pakistani intel guy sourced by CBS News says that it is not Gadahn:
Earlier it was reported by Pakistani media that intelligence agents had arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, in an operation in the southern city of Karachi.
It was further reported by the Associated Press and Reuters that Gadahn had been arrested, sourcing security officials.
CBS News was told by sources in the Pakistan government that it was Gadahn, even after U.S. officials refused to confirm it was the California native for whom a $1 million reward has been posted.
Now, CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad writes that earlier reports the detained individual was Gadahn proved false. According to a Pakistan security official who spoke with CBS News on condition of anonymity, the arrested individual is in fact “a Taliban militant leader who is known as Abu Yahya.”
The official said evidence compiled from an interrogation of the suspect and information exchanged with U.S. officials verified the man’s identify.
The reassessment only added to the confusion surrounding the arrest of a man earlier described by other unnamed Pakistani security officials as Gadahn.
“In the light of our latest information, I can say, this is not looking like Gadahn. But it is still the arrest of an important Taliban militant,” said the Pakistani security official who spoke to CBS News late Sunday.
In the AP story linked above, the reporter quoted a “senior government official” that it was indeed, Gadahn. In addition to AP, Reuters, CBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post independently confirmed that it was Gadahn.
I am going to eat a huge steak dinner, purposely not watch the Oscars (we will watch LOTR Return of the King instead) and then go to bed.
I hope they have this sorted out by morning.