Anyone remember Afghanistan? Maybe? Bueller? Well some things are going right over there and as usual Bill Roggio is paying attention.
Coalition and Afghan special operations teams captured al Qaeda's top military commander in Kunar during a raid in the eastern province late last year.
Abu Ikhlas al Masri served as al Qaeda's operations commander before he was captured in a special operations raid in Kunar in December 2010.
Abu Ikhlas is an Egyptian citizen who has spent years in Afghanistan and has intermarried with the local tribes. He maintains an extensive network in Kunar due to his close links with the tribes. Abu Ikhlas was named al Qaeda's operations chief for Kunar province in early 2008. He assumed command of Kunar operations after his predecessor, Abu Ubaidah al Masri, was promoted to take over al Qaeda's external operations branch (Abu Ubaidah died in early 2008 of a disease).
Abu Ikhlas's capture was reported by The Wall Street Journal today in an article that noted al Qaeda's strong presence in Kunar and the Afghan east. In March, The Long War Journal was aware of Abu Ikhlas's capture, but held the information at the request of US intelligence officials, who cited operational security concerns. Abu Ikhlas is currently being interrogated and has provided information on al Qaeda's network in Kunar and the wider east.
Another item on our now what do we do list is the capture of an Indonesian dirtbag in Pakistan.
Pakistani officials have claimed that a top Indonesian terrorist linked to the 2002 bombings in Bali was recently arrested in Pakistan.
Umar Patek, the most wanted member of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, was arrested on March 2, according to Pakistani officials. The location and circumstances of Patek's arrest were not disclosed.
Indonesia has dispatched a team of police and intelligence officials to Pakistan in an attempt to confirm the identity of the man. Pakistani officials are confident that the man captured is indeed Patek. Indonesia's National Intelligence Agency later confirmed the man in custody was Patek. His wife was also detained.
Indonesian officials are attempting to determine how he was able to leave the country. Patek is believed to have spent time in Bangkok, Thailand before entering Pakistan.
The question now becomes where is he interrogated and by whom? We better leave this to our allies the Pakistanis and Indonesians. I am sure they will have our best interests at heart, right?