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Pakistan: 'Butcher of Swat' was striking ceasefire deal when he was killed by US drone

ultimo aggiornamento: 22 dicembre, ore 16:30
Notorious as the ''Butcher of Swat'' in the Pakistani military circles for his merciless nature, Al-Qaeda commander Bin Yameen (also known as Ibn-e-Amin) was ready to strike a ceasefire deal with the Pakistani security forces to divert fighting to neighboring Afghanistan when he was killed last week in an attack by US drone aircraft.


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Islamabad, 22 Dec. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Notorious as the ''Butcher of Swat'' in the Pakistani military circles for his merciless nature, Al-Qaeda commander Bin Yameen (also known as Ibn-e-Amin) was ready to strike a ceasefire deal with the Pakistani security forces to divert fighting to neighbouring Afghanistan when he was killed last week in an attack by US drone aircraft.

Yameen, the chief of operations in northwest Pakistan's Awat Valley and the chief of the Tora Bora Brigade, one of the six brigades in Al-Qaeda's Shadow Army called a meeting of other insurgent commanders but his movement was tracked by American intelligence.

His aim was to broaden operations in the Khyber district as well as in the Afghan province of Nangarhar to close down the NATO supply route.

Bin Yameen’s death has indicated a strange dimension in the South Asian war on terror theatre where American drones have successfully eliminated the big number of the vertical command of Al-Qaeda and its affiliated group leaders, but has developed a new situation in which thousands of freshly trained men have split in to small cliques, after the killings of their commanders. This is the most little known aspect behind the much boasted American drone strike successes in the AfPak war theatre.

A recently trained group of the surviving total 400 Swat militants under Bin Yameen in the Khyber Agency are likely to face the similar fate. They are oblivious of their commanders intention to strike a ceasefire deal with Pakistan, which would have diversified strategies in the region making it difficult to figure out by the international intelligence cartel operating in the region.

The development has occurred when Pakistan reluctantly agreed to the military operations in the North Waziristan. So far it is only for a limited surgical strike in the town of Mir Ali , which is bastion of the third and downwards level of Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups.

This trend of the disappearance of the vertical command structure among the militants, deepened in 2010, and the emergence of the little known horizontal commands has become so significant throughout the region it appears that it could create an identical situation of 2007 and 2008 when the Pakistani army conducted military operations in Lal Masjid Islamabad and Swat areas at the simultaneously while scattered groups unleashed opened fronts all across the country. Amid this process, former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and Pakistani security forces suffered a record number of attacks. However, this time militants are gathered all around the border regions and there is a threat that chaos shall spread throughout Pakistan and into Iran and Afghanistan .

The killing of Yameen closed a chapter of one of the leading Al-Qaeda strategist in the region who emerged as one of the Taliban commanders of the Swat Valley, but in fact he was the real leader behind the whole strategy during 2008 and 2009 when he formed a separate command. Along with several Arab and Uzbek fighters he pitched the guerrilla battles against the Pakistani army. Yameen’s brigade mercilessly suppressed any dissent whether it was secular Awami National Party leaders, Sufi guide (Pir) or national army personnel. He established a reign of terror in the whole Swat Valley.

After a successful military operation by the Pakistan Army when it evacuated the whole local population and targeted militants, Yameen retreated to Afghan valley of Nuristan where he stoked fighting efforts. Afghan intelligence was sniffing around the whole province of Nuristan for a newly arrived tall man who wore 12 number size shoes. Wherever he went in Nurista battle flared up.

Bin Yameen was a rebel and defiant but still Pakistani security forces communicated with him before he was killed in drone strike. This was one of the several communication channels which security forces opened with the militants allowing for a relatively calm during the month of Muharram. The talks were close to arriving at a ceasefire deal when Yameen was killed.


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