Friday, December 28, 2007

An Al-Qaeda Assassination?

It appears it may have been either Al-Qaeda or the Taliban who carried out Benazir's Bhutto assassination. It's not completely clear it was either group, but for our purposes, let's assume it is.

Why would Al-Qaeda carry out this attack? Number one, to damage the pro-democracy movement. AQ is fine with Musharraf in power - he's barely even trying to crack down. Bhutto was and other democracy advocates are anti-Musharraf, and AQ wasn't happy about that.

Number two, Al-Qaeda likes a destabilized Pakistan. It's a safer - if there's more chaos, the Pakistani government has other things to worry about rather than cracking down on terrorists.

Number three, is AQ trying to steal nuclear technology or radioactive waste? A destabilized government and military won't be able to control Pakistan's nuclear technology as easily. The military is the main protector of the weapons, and they will be kept busy keeping this crisis under control, and will be even more busy if President Pervez declares martial law, which is a definite possibility.

Even if AQ or the Taliban did not carry out the attack, the perpetrator could have been other Islamists. Unless the government of Pakistan was responsible (and it's possible), Pakistani nuclear technology should be kept under close watch for the next couple weeks.