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Friday, May 20, 2005

You Got to Know When to Hold 'Em 

Among the riches recently mined by our numinous colleague Racrecir at What Alice Found is this glistering nugget from the Asia Times::
Already, though, under intense pressure from the US, Pakistan has handed over as many as 350 suspected al-Qaeda operators into US custody. Most have been low-ranking, but some important names are, according to Asia Times Online contacts, being held in Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) safe houses to be presented at the right moment. The contacts say that Pakistan's strategic circles see the high-value al-Qaeda operators as "bargaining chips" to ensure continued US support for President General Pervez Musharraf's de facto military rule in Pakistan. Had Pakistan handed over top targets such as Osama bin Laden, his deputy Dr Aiman al-Zawahir, Tahir Yuldash (leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) and others - assuming it was in a position to do so - the military rulers would have lost their usefulness to the US in its "war on terror".

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