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Saturday, April 19, 2008

U.S. Commanders Seeking to Widen Pakistan Attacks

Pakistan’s government has given the Central Intelligence Agency limited authority to kill Arab and other foreign operatives in the tribal areas, using remotely piloted Predator aircraft. But administration officials say the Pakistani government has put far greater restrictions on American operations against indigenous Pakistani militant groups, including one commanded by Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of the legendary militant leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, as well as the network led by Baitullah Mehsud that is believed to have been behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. American intelligence officials say that the threat emanating from Pakistan’s tribal areas is growing, and that Pakistani networks there have taken on an increasingly important role as an ally of Al Qaeda in plotting attacks against American and other allied troops in Afghanistan, and in helping foreign operatives plan attacks on targets in the West. The officials said the American military’s proposals included options for limited cross-border artillery strikes into Pakistan, missile attacks by Predator aircraft or raids by small teams of C.I.A. paramilitary forces or Special Operations forces. - U.S. Commanders Seeking to Widen Pakistan Attacks


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