Data Seized From Computer Laptop Fuels U.S. Special Ops Raids Against al Qaeda In Afghanistan And Near Border With Pakistan

Data Seized From Computer Laptop Fuels U.S. Special Ops Raids Against al Qaeda In Afghanistan And Near Border With Pakistan

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Matthew Rosenberg and Eric Schmidt, writing on this evening’s (Feb. 12, 2015) New York Times website, writes about a raid conducted last October in Afghanistan, by Afghan and U.S. Special Operations forces — which a computer laptop was seized. The raid was successful, the two New York Times writers note, as “a small team of Afghan intelligence commandos and U.S. special operations forces, got their man — Abu Bara al-Kuwaiti. They also came away with what officials in both countries say was an even bigger prize: a laptop computer and files, detailing al Qaeda’s operations on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.”

According to U.S. officials who spoke to the New York Times, “the intelligence seized in the raid, was possibly as significant as the information found in Osama bin Laden’s computer and other documents seized in the late al Qaeda leaders Abottabad, Pakistan. In the months since that laptop seizure, the trove of intelligence has helped fuel a significant increase in night raids by American Special Operations forces, and Afghan intelligence commandos,” these officials noted. American and Afghan officials acknowledged that the intelligence seized from the laptop and documents — “was not the sole factor in the uptick of raids.”

“American and Afghan intelligence officials, who spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity…because they were discussing operations largely classified, said that American forces were playing direct combat roles in many of the raids; and, were not simply going along as advisers.”

According to the paper, “the raids appear to have targeted a broad, cross-section of Islamic militants. They have hit both Taliban, and al Qaeda operatives, going beyond the narrow counter-terrorism mission that Obama administration officials has said would continue — after the formal end of American-led combat operations last December.”

“The tempo of the operations, are unprecedented for this time of year,” that is the traditional winter lull in fighting, an American military official said,. No official would provide exact figures — because the data is classified,” Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Schmidt wrote. “It’s all in the shadows now,” said a former Afghan security official who informally advises his colleagues. “The official war for the Americans — the part of the war that you could go see — that’s over. It’s the only secret war that’s still going. But, it’s going hard.”

Why these American and Afghan security officials felt it was in the best interest of the United States to disclose this information to the New York Times is baffling and disturbing to say the least. V/R, RCP

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