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Taliban Kill Pakistani Forces; Car Bomb In Peshewar

As anti-Musharraf protests continue around Pakistan, the uncertainty of Pakistan's future grows. Tuesday, a car bomb was detonated 30 feet from the entrance gates of Peshewar's High Courts building in the North-West Frontier Province. At least seven were injured and took place soon after Peshewar's mayor, Haji Ghulam Ali, arrived in the area. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast as of this writing.

Further south on Tuesday, a Pakistani 'paramilitary' (loyal to the government) commander and fighter were killed in separate Taliban roadside ambushes in the Tank region. "Gunmen hiding on both sides of the road sprayed bullets at the vehicle of Mir Wali Wazir, the local commander of a paramilitary unit, in a morning attack," and fighting there continues as Taliban militants have taken positions along the roadsides for attacks on forces loyal to the Musharraf government and military. India's New Kerala reports that at least one of the attacks was initiated with a roadside bomb followed by small arms fire from Taliban waiting in the wings.

Al-Qaeda Command: Export Jihad From Iraq

In a letter reportedly intercepted by a Middle Eastern intelligence service, al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri urged al-Qaeda in Iraq's commander to export jihad from among his terrorist cadres in Iraq. Sent "in the past few weeks," the letter urged Abu Ayyub al-Masri (Abu Hamza al-Muhajer) to support al-Qaeda's emerging bases of terror in Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Territories.

A New York Times report highlights the path to jihad taken by Muhammad al-Darsi, released from a Libyan prison last year. Seeking to join the jihad in Iraq, his al-Qaeda recruiter diverted his endeavors to instead take part in an attack on Amman, Jordan. With the bomb attack on tourists at Queen Alia Airport in Amman thwarted and al-Darsi captured, his confession detailed his trek through Istanbul, Turkey, to Damascus, Syria, where he was shuffled through various al-Qaeda safe houses in preparation for his planned attack in Jordan. "The bomb maker, Saad Fakhri al-Naimi, 40, arrived on a commercial flight from Baghdad to prepare a suicide duffel bag for Mr. Darsi, using eight pounds of plastic explosives hidden in a child’s toy."

In Lebanon, al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group Fatah al-Islam remains under siege by the Lebanese Army and internal security forces. In fact, London's Arabic language al-Hayah reported that Fatah al-Islam "believed that it was very close to announcing its emirate and that the security and political conditions were ripe [to do so] based on its assessment that the acute division in Lebanon makes the authorities unable to make a decision that provides a political cover for the army and the security forces to prevent it [Fatah al-Islam] from carrying out its plan to control Tripoli." Fatah al-Islam, however, failed to foresee the level to which the Lebanese authorities would forcefully react to the al-Qaeda threat.

In the Gaza Strip, a terrorist group called Jaish al-Islam kidnapped a BBC reporter. While the BBC describes the group as "Influenced by, but not affiliated with al-Qaeda," their key demand for the release of the BBC's Alan Johnston is the release of al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Qatada. Many view Jaish al-Islam as al-Qaeda's foothold in Gaza, drawing recruits unsatisfied with Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees.

There are certainly al-Qaeda endeavors throughout the region that would benefit from the export of seasoned and trained terrorists from the Iraqi theater of al-Qaeda's operations. With Zawahiri calling for the overthrow of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime and Fatah al-Islam's thwarted visions of an 'emirate' in Lebanon, al-Qaeda's regional endeavors are definitely ambitious and in need of an influx of human resources.

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