Tribes Turn on al Qaeda


In Pakistan, a some 62 percent of the 162 people arrested in the recent campaign along the Afghan border, were foreigners. These people are thought to be al Qaeda members, as there are rarely many foreigners in the tribal areas. The tribes have historically been quite hostile to foreigners.

The Pakistani government has convinced thousands of tribesmen to help them track up to 500 armed foreigners (al Qaeda) hiding in the hills along hundreds of kilometers of the Afghan border. Some Americans have been seen with the Pakistani troops, and tribesmen. These are apparently CIA or Special Forces personnel, and there to supply intelligence information (from satellites and UAVs overhead) and cash to encourage the cooperation of the tribes. Efforts to persuade the tribes to turn against the Taliban and al Qaeda have generally worked, with six of the seven tribal confederations in the region agreeing to work with the government.

It has been a good couple of weeks on the al Qaeda front.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.