Top Taliban Commander Captured in Secret Raid
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Feb. 14: A U.S. soldier returns fire as others run for cover during a firefight with insurgents in Marjah, Afghanistan.
The Taliban's top military commander has been captured in Pakistan in a joint operation by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence forces, sources confirmed to Fox News late Monday.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, described as the No. 2 behind Taliban founder and Usama bin Laden associate Mullah Muhammad Omar, has been in Pakistani custody for several days.
Baradar was captured in Karachi, Pakistan, in a raid by Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, with CIA operatives accompanying the Pakistanis, the New York Times first reported Monday. Pakistan has been leading the interrogation of Baradar, but Americans are also involved, officials said.
Baradar heads the Taliban's military council and was elevated in the body after the 2006 death of military chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Usmani. Baradar is known to coordinate the movement's military operations throughout the south and southwest of Afghanistan. His area of direct responsibility stretches over Kandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces.
If confirmed, Baradar's arrest would be a major setback for the Taliban.
He may also have information on the whereabouts of Omar and bin Laden.