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Chiefnj
10-22-2004, 09:00 AM
By Lisa Myers and the NBC Investigative Unit
Updated: 7:36 p.m. ET Oct. 21, 2004In the tribal area of Waziristan, Pakistani helicopter gunships and commandos hunt one of the country's most wanted militants — Abdullah Mehsud — a feared Taliban commander who is allegedly tied to al-Qaida. Mehsud's men recently took Pakistani soldiers and two Chinese engineers hostage.

A video given to NBC News by a contact in the region shows Mehsud at a hideout last week, playing to the camera. He urges fellow militants by radio to prepare for a suicide mission.

"Once you tie the bombs tightly to your bodies, then you should be ready for suicide. Once I give you the order, go and act," says Mehsud in the video.

Later, in a confrontation with Pakistani troops, one hostage and five of Mehsud’s men were killed.

The Mehsud story is more than a bit embarrassing for the United States. Until last March, Mehsud was in prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — having been captured fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, a Pentagon review board decided to release him, ruling Mehsud was not a security threat.

"It is obvious now you can say that the Americans made a mistake," says Maj. Gen. Niaz Khattak, a Pakistani general now leading the manhunt.

In fact, some villagers now consider Mehsud a hero because he seems to have outwitted the Americans and tricked them into releasing him.

Experts say it's possible Mehsud was always a hardcore militant and deceived his captors.

"The other possibility is that the two years in captivity was itself a radicalizing experience," says terrorism expert Brian Jenkins.

A defiant Mehsud now claims he's avenging cruelty against Muslims. He vows to fight to the death against Americans and Pakistanis under American influence.

"If Abdullah dies or other people die, others will take our place," says Mehsud. "This is a cancer not in Waziristan or Pakistan only, but also in the rest of the Muslim world."

The Pentagon says 156 Guantanamo detainees have been released after signing pledges to renounce violence. Mehsud is one of ten who returned to terrorism. Aspokesman admits the process for deciding which detainees to release is "imperfect."

patteeu
10-22-2004, 09:04 AM
I guess you are suggesting that we need to be tougher on Guantanamo prisoners?

Cochise
10-22-2004, 09:05 AM
Yeah, I agree, we shouldn't be letting any of them go. Unfortunately some twinkle-toes back here started pissing and moaning about terrorist rights.

Chiefnj
10-22-2004, 09:07 AM
I guess you are suggesting that we need to be tougher on Guantanamo prisoners?

Better to be tougher on guys who were fighting with known terrorists who were behind 9-11 than attacking a country without any links to the attack. Sure.

patteeu
10-22-2004, 09:34 AM
Better to be tougher on guys who were fighting with known terrorists who were behind 9-11 than attacking a country without any links to the attack. Sure.

Wow, what a non sequiter.

Seriously, leaving aside the unrelated issue of Iraq, do you think we should be tougher on the Gitmo prisoners even if international human rights organizations are accusing us of Geneva Convention violations and other human rights abuses? I can't figure out what your angle on this is.

Chiefnj
10-22-2004, 09:40 AM
Wow, what a non sequiter.

Seriously, leaving aside the unrelated issue of Iraq, do you think we should be tougher on the Gitmo prisoners even if international human rights organizations are accusing us of Geneva Convention violations and other human rights abuses? I can't figure out what your angle on this is.

Here is my angle and pet peeve. The US did the right thing invading Afghanistan. In fact, they should have been quicker about it. Notwithstanding that fact, that is where the focus of the fight on terror should have been. It shouldn't have been on misleading the public about a threat that didn't exist. The troops shouldn't have been pulled to create new terrorists in Iraq when the ones who were responsible for 9-11 are still running around in the sand where we were.

I simply find it troublesome that we are releasing terrorists who are returning to their home as heroes to attack our troops.

patteeu
10-22-2004, 10:03 AM
Here is my angle and pet peeve. The US did the right thing invading Afghanistan. In fact, they should have been quicker about it. Notwithstanding that fact, that is where the focus of the fight on terror should have been. It shouldn't have been on misleading the public about a threat that didn't exist. The troops shouldn't have been pulled to create new terrorists in Iraq when the ones who were responsible for 9-11 are still running around in the sand where we were.

I simply find it troublesome that we are releasing terrorists who are returning to their home as heroes to attack our troops.

Fair enough. Since I don't know, I'll assume that you aren't one of the "twinkle-toes" that Cochise correctly points out were "pissing and moaning about terrorist rights" wrt Gitmo, but you have to admit that there are many of those twinkle toes on the democrat side of the aisle. They have to be held at least partly responsible for the damage caused by releasing prisoners.

RINGLEADER
10-22-2004, 10:07 AM
Actually, the Pakistanis are the ones who released Mehsud. When someone is released from US custody they're transferred to their home country and that country then determines what happens to the person.

Of course, if we had maybe tortured this guy more at Gitmo, we might have discovered that he still had a chip on his shoulder.