Interrogation of Afghanistan Taliban's No. 2 yields useful intel, US says
US-Pakistani interrogation of the Afghanistan Taliban's No. 2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar are yielding useful intelligence, the US says. Militants say they want his release or they will kill three hostages, including a British filmmaker and two former Pakistani intelligence officials.
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CNN reported on Tuesday that it had received videos showing the three hostages, a filmmaker and two Pakistani intelligence officials, calling for the release of Mullah Baradar and two other Afghan Taliban leaders.Skip to next paragraph
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[An Afghan Taliban source] e-mailed CNN videos of the two former intelligence officials, Khalid Khawaja and retired Col. Sultan Amir Tarar. The source said they would be killed if Afghan Taliban leaders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Abdul Kabir and Mullah Mansour Dadullah were not released in 10 days….
Khawaja and Tarar are former members of the ISI, Pakistan's top spy agency. The two were acting as guides for filmmaker Asad Qureshi, who was working on a documentary on militants in Pakistan's tribal region.
According to the Guardian, the British documentary filmmaker Qureshi went missing on March 26 after setting out to interview Taliban leaders in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Col. Sultan Amir Tarar, who is also known as Colonel Imam, is the intelligence officer credited with the strategy for the anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s and later recruiting and training the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the capture of the two intelligence officials, particularly Colonel Imam, is evidence of growing divisions among militant groups operating along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Col. Imam, a well-known figure in Pakistan who is regularly quoted in the Western media, is often cited as an example of the links that bind Pakistan's shadowy but powerful military intelligence world to the Taliban …
His kidnapping raised eyebrows in Pakistan because of his close association with militant Islam. Col. Imam operated in the tribal regions for decades, recruiting and training Islamic fighters .
His abduction shows how fragmented the Taliban-inspired insurgency in the tribal regions has become, said Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI.
Mr. Gul said Col. Imam remains popular with the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan, who wouldn't want to kidnap him. But there are a number of other local jihadi groups in the tribal regions, including the Pakistan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, that are focused on attacking Pakistan's government and may have planned the action, he added.