Late this afternoon Lt. Colonel Oliver North confirmed that Taliban leader and Osama bin Laden ally, Mullah Mohammed Omar has been captured. The exclusive news of Omar’s capture was broken by Big Government Monday evening.
According to Colonel North, Omar was picked up in Karachi on March 27th by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) who placed him under house arrest in what they call “community care.”
Per North’s sources, “[Omar] has since been transferred to a secret ISI lock-up under the Pakistani euphemism: “institutional care.”
North goes on to state, “According to several reports, all of this information was confirmed to U.S. officials by a senior Pakistani military officer ‘several weeks ago.'” A fact also broken in Monday’s Big Government exclusive.
Last weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created a “diplomatic firestorm” when she indicted Pakistani cooperation with the U.S. in the hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. Said Clinton, “I believe somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda is (sic), where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is (sic)…”
North hopes the Secretary was “dissembling,” because intelligence sources here in the U.S. and Afghanistan have informed him that Pakistani officials “know exactly where Mullah Omar is: in the hands of the ISI.” Driving the point home, North added, “This should not be news to the U.S. Secretary of State.”
So what’s at stake and why did the Pakistanis grab Omar? As I reported earlier today, and as Colonel North confirms, everything is revolving around the so-called peace jirga between the Karzai government and the Taliban. “The ISI intends to be in the driver’s seat when the ‘Peace Talks’ get underway in Afghanistan later this month,” says North. “And the ISI officers calling the shots know Mullah Omar is the best bargaining chip they have.”
Of additional note in North’s reporting are the predictions that an immediate, Vietnam-style, “cease fire” may be a pre-requisite for talks, as might a demand that Omar be granted safe haven in Saudi Arabia. The latter likely being an untenable requirement for the United States.
One thing, though, is certain. As North puts it, there is a “near-total lack of intelligence on what’s really happening on the ground on either side of the Af-Pak border.” What little we are getting doesn’t seem to be getting to the appropriate people.
In light of this confirmation of Mullah Omar’s apprehension, a whole new set of questions now arise and have already started being asked around Washington. In particular, who knew what and when did they know it?
The Omar capture is only the tip of the iceberg. Expect to hear a lot more in the days and weeks to come.