The US has captured in Afghanistan the second in command of the Pakistani Taliban, Latif Mehsud in a military operation.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed “that U.S. forces did capture TTP terrorist leader Latif Mehsud in a military operation”, but she didn’t said where was the operation carried out and when. “Mehsud is a senior commander in TTP and served as a trusted confidant of the group’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud. TTP claimed responsibility, as folks probably know, for the attempted bombing of Times Square in 2010 and has vowed to attack the U.S. homeland again. TTP is also responsible for attacking our diplomats in Pakistan and attacks that have killed countless Pakistani civilians”, she explained.
The Washington Post reported that Mehsud was seized in eastern Afghanistan and that the US military snatched him from the custody of Afghan intelligence operatives who had spent months trying to recruit him as an interlocutor for peace talks. The Taliban leader was taken into custody by US personnel, who intercepted an Afghan government convoy in Logar province, Afghan official said, something that enraged Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to the Washington Post.Just when the news about Mehsud’s capture were known, US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Kabul to negotiate with Karzai about leaving a residual US force behind in Afghanistan after international forces withdraw in 2014. The military operation to seize Mehsud would not help to easy the difficult conversations.
The news of the capture of Mehsud comes days after the news of the military operation in Libya to capture Al Qaeda militant Abu Anas Al-Liby that who is now in custody in a war ship in the Mediterranean. An operation that according to the US had the “tacit” approval of the Libyan government and according to Libya had not, therefore they violated their sovereignty. An operation that caused a big chaos shown by today’s temporary kidnapping of the Prime Minister by a militia working for the Interior Ministry. An operation that added instability to a country struggling to rebuild its institutions after the traumatic civil war and the fall of the Gaddafi era.
In the case of Mehsud the situation is different because Afghanistan is a Country technically in war, and the US military are present there.