[This incident is an eerie replay of the mysterious circumstances behind the secret British deal with Mansour Dadullah, the brother of Taliban legend Mullah Dadullah, the original organizer of the Pakistani Taliban (SEE: ‘Great Game’ or just misunderstanding?). Trying to make sense from conflicting reports of the recent incident, we come-up with the following scenario–Karzai’s Peace negotiators were about to gain an inside track with the TTP leadership, to help him gain access to the Afghan Taliban leadership, by clinching a deal with the No. 2 TTP commander, Latif Mehsud. This was a replay of the British deal with Dadullah. In order to get their hands on Mehsud, US Special Forces stopped (attacked) the column of Afghan Special Forces that was escorting him, then abducted Mehsud from our Afghan allies—all to prevent Karzai from negotiating outside of American control.
There is an even more interesting sub-plot to all of this, Latif Mehsud is the central actor in Hakeemullah Mehsud’s feeble attempt to hold onto Baitullah Mehsud’s TTP organization (SEE: TTP headed for major split as Mehsud promotes his driver). This is a continuation of the Hakeemullah/Waliur Rehman feud. It didn’t end with Rehman’s death by drone attack last May (Odds are very high that one of Hakeemullah’s boys were the ones who planted the drone tracking chip on Waliur, just as the rival Mullah Nazir group was probably responsible for planting the tracking chip on Hakeemullah’s predecessor, Baitullah.). Rehman’s second -in-command “Khan Said,” alias Sajna, has evidently solidified his hold on all of the TTP terrorists, so that it is doubtful that they would have followed Mehsud, in the event that Hakeemullah was incapacitated or killed.
Was the reason that Mehsud was abducted by the American forces to prevent Karzai from interfering with a new anti-Pakistan TTP initiative, or merely to keep Karzai from escaping his American-made box? (SEE: US Secretary of State John Kerry makes unannounced Kabul visit). It seems very likely that this “Khan Said,” alias Sajna, is the new American hand in FATA, the new incarnation of “Baitullah Mehsud.” Hakeemullah was possibly telling the truth, when he blamed recent terror bombings on “others.” Perhaps this is the new face of Pakistan’s new “Public Enemy No. 1.”]
contentious negotiations for the terms under which a U.S.-led military coalition would remain in Afghanistan after the formal end of combat operations next year.Afghan officials described their contact with Mehsud, thought to be about 30, as one of the most significant operations conducted by their country’s security forces. After months of conversations, the Taliban leader had agreed to meet with operatives of Afghanistan’s main spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, said Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Karzai, who declined to identify Mehsud by name, referring to him only as a top Taliban commander.The Afghan officials were en route to an NDS facility, where they expected to start debriefing Mehsud, when a U.S. contingent stopped the vehicles, Faizi said.“The Americans forcibly removed him and took him to Bagram,” said the spokesman, referring to the military base that includes a detention facility where the United States continues to hold more than 60 non-
Afghan combatants.Spokesmen for the Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment on the Afghan account of Mehsud’s detention, which had not been disclosed publicly. Two American officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, confirmed that Mehsud is in U.S. custody, but they declined to provide details.Karzai has not spoken out publicly about the arrest, but he has been strident in his criticism of the U.S.-led war, which this week entered its 13th year.“On the security front, the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, and no gains because the country is not secure,” the Afghan president told the BBC in an interview this week.
Mehsud quickly rose through the ranks of an organization decimated in recent years by the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Taliban fighters who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he has recently been serving as the right-hand man for Hakimullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban.
Latif Mehsud also has become an increasingly influential commander, acting as an intermediary between cells of Taliban fighters along the border and the group’s reclusive leader. Hakimullah Mehsud is thought to be in hiding, fearful of a drone strike like the one that reportedly killed his deputy in May.
Sieff reported from Kabul. Karen DeYoung in Washington and Tim Craig and Saleem Mehsud in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.