It’s been just about a week since U.S. troops captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai’I, also known as Anas al Libi, and yesterday marked another capture by the troops. Senior Pakistani Taliban leader Latif Mehsud was arrested while driving on a highway in Afghanistan.
Though this is considerably a great gain that has been made in the war against terrorism, a new conflict of interest has surfaced. It has been reported that Mehsud was captured by U.S. troops but the Pakistani Taliban are claiming that Mehsud was captured by the Afghan army nearly 7 days ago, whereas, Pakistani Intelligence is claiming that Mehsud was taken into U.S. custody while he was currently in the custody of Afghan officials. U.S. officials have made no official comments in regard to this case.
There has been a deal in the works between the U.S. and Afghan governments over the American presence in the country. The deal concerned the official exit of U.S. troops from the region but may be at a stall since the capture of Mehsud. If the reports of Mehsud being captured by the Afghan military and then being removed from their custody by the U.S. troops are indeed true, the aforementioned deal may require further amending. American troops are expected to train the Afghan military on ways to continue securing their country after troops have left. It was also an intention to keep a small U.S. force present to continue weeding out remaining al-Qaida members.
Since the capture of Mehsud, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has made comments against the U.S. and NATO alleging that they have caused suffering for the Afghan people and have “violated its sovereignty.”
Understandably, the withdrawing of troops (supposedly by the end of 2014) will not occur until President Karzai and U.S. diplomats come to an agreement.
Mehsud is the senior deputy to Hakimullah Mehsud who was appointed leader of the Pakistani Taliban in 2009. Hakimullah Mehsud is believed to be behind the 2010 attempted Time Square bombing in New York City, NY. He’s also believed to be responsible for the death of 7 CIA agents in 2009 in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for President Karzai said Latif Mehsud would be headed to an American detention center in Bagram.
Image credit: Twitter.com.