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December 28, 2007

American, Pakistan Officials Probe Possibility of ISI Assistance AQ In Assassination; Bhutto Shot By Five Snipers?

I thought I posted this hours ago but apparently it never went up.

Seems like premature speculation, given that the current official word is that she was killed incompetence of her security detail than by the actual assassins.

Still, if the government is covering up bullet wounds, that's pretty big stuff.

American and Pakistani military leaders are seeking to account for what may be renegade commando units from the Pakistani military's special forces in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto's rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to The New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto's armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police. ...

A working theory, according to this American source, is that Al Qaeda or affiliated jihadist groups had effectively suborned at least one unit of Pakistan's Special Services Group, the country's equivalent of Britain's elite SAS commandos. This official, however, stressed this was just a theory at this point. Other theories include that the assassins were trained by Qaeda or were from other military services, or the possibility that the assassins were retired Pakistani special forces.

"They just killed the most protected politician in the whole country," this source said. "We really don't know a lot at this point, but the first thing that is happening is we are asking the Pakistani military to account for every black team with special operations capabilities."

I'm not sure what madness would cause the Pakistan government to lie about a cause of death so easily disproven. Nor what, precisely, that lie would obtain, even if believed. Claiming the death's immediate cause was a blow to the head sustained while escaping assassins doesn't really change the fact that assassins killed her in the first place. And I don't see how it would be incriminating to the government to announce she'd been killed by snipers; there are jihadi snipers in Pakistan, I'm sure, just as there are jihadi snipers in Iraq.

All in all, I don't get why the cover-up... unless Musharraf (or at least his top top people) are directly involved, something I find hard to swallow.

h/t to CJ.


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posted by Ace at 05:19 PM

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