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Al-Qaeda Redeploys From Camps to Edges of Tribal Areas

While Pakistan's Prime Minister has not ruled out an imposition of a state of emergency, the Taliban and al-Qaeda appear to not simply have abandoned the 28 Waziristan training camps, but instead have apparently executed and offensive redeployment from their central strongholds to beyond the edges of already-controlled Pakistani territory. The move appears an attempt to challenge the deployed Pakistani army in areas beyond its strongholds rather than within. It could be an attempted expansion or simply an attempt to divert the Pakistani military from encroaching full-force into its stronghold areas.

The LA Times reports Pakistani military characterizations of engagements with the trained Islamists describe that "insurgents often seize the offensive, mounting sophisticated attacks on troop convoys and military checkpoints." Pakistani military operations have netted no known top-level al-Qaeda terrorists, but "Pakistan's government says dead combatants have included some lower-level Al Qaeda members."

Across the border in Afghanistan, the Taliban freed 2 South Korean hostages who were among the more than 20 taken hostage. Two male hostages have been murdered by the Taliban captors and 19 remain captive - including 16 more women. Following the precedent of exchanging hostages for imprisoned fighters, established when 5 were exchanged for an Italian journalist earlier in the year, the Taliban seeks now 19 fighters in prison in exchange for the remaining South Koreans.

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