Capture of Taliban leader another victory for the US

Despite the whining of Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, last week’s arrest of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander by U.S. forces is a major blow to the Islamic militant organization that attempted a terrorist attack in New York City in 2010.

Latif Mehsud, a leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, was captured in a military operation as he was driving along a main highway in Mohammad Agha district in eastern Afghanistan.


President Karzai, who in recent months has been acting like a petulant child, complained that the American operation was a violation of Afghan sovereignty. He conveniently forgets that he owes his presidency to the United States and its allies, and that without the presence of the NATO-led coalition, his presidency would be under siege by the Taliban.

Indeed, Karzai would do well to remember that it was the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, after the al-Qaida terrorist attack on America’s mainland, that resulted in the Taliban’s Islamic extremist government being ousted.

The Taliban had provided a safe haven to al-Qaida, which set up terrorist training camps in the mountain region. Most of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists came from the camps, run by al-Qaida’s founder and the world’s leading terrorist at that time, Osama bin Laden.

U.S. Navy SEALS killed bin Laden in his home in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in a secret operation on May 2, 2011.

Like Karzai, Pakistani government officials complained that the Obama administration had not warned them of the operation to get bin Laden dead or alive. He had been living in Pakistan for six years.

The truth is that there are high-ranking government officials in both Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, who sympathize with Islamic militant groups that are determined to install Iran-style theocracies throughout the region.


But every time the United States kills or captures a high-ranking member of al-Qaida, the Taliban or other terror groups, it’s a victory for freedom and human rights.

The capture of Mehsud is as significant as the recent capture in Libya by U.S. Navy SEALS of Abu Anas al-Libi, accused of involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa. More than 200 people were killed.

“Mehsud is a senior commander in TTP, and served as a trusted confidant of the group’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud,” said Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department. “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.”

President Obama, who deserves a lot of credit for giving commandoes the green light to go after terrorist leaders wherever they may be, should make it clear to Karzai and any other leader that the United States will continue to chase down those who intend to do this nation harm.

It’s too bad if Karzai’s feelings are hurt. Afghanistan’s security forces do not have the ability to go after terrorist groups that continue their campaign of death and destruction.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.