‘Well-Armed’ Taliban Tried To Hijack Airplane Leading To Pakistan Airport Shootout

“Well-Armed” Taliban Tried To Hijack Airplane Leading To Pakistan Airport Shootout (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2014):

The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations,” said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman, as Reuters reports a well trained and heavily armed group of Taliban fighters attacked Pakistan’s largest airport in an attempt to hijack a plane. 27 people were killed (including 10 militants ) as the Taliban spokesman added ominously, “this was just an example of what we are capable of and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks.” This attack comes a day after John Kerry’s dismissal of threats by some released Taliban prisoners that they will return to the battlefield and kill Americans as “a lot of baloney.”

As Reuters reports, a squad of highly trained Taliban fighters attacked Pakistan’s biggest airport in what they clearly expected to be a protracted siege.

Seven fighters were shot dead by Pakistani forces after five hours of intense gunfire at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. Three died after detonating their suicide-bomb belts.

At least 27 people, including 10 militants, were killed.

Wearing Airport Security Force uniforms and armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the group shot its way into the airport after arriving at the cargo terminal in two mini-vans.

A senior police officer said that the militants then split into two groups, with one attacking a gate called Fokker to create a diversion and the other storming the cargo terminal.

Another senior police officer, Raja Umar Khattab, told Reuters that the attackers then broke into groups of two and pressed ahead with the assault.

“They operated in pairs. That’s why their bodies were found lying in pairs,” he said. “It seems there was some ill-planning on their part. They did fire two rockets but they didn’t hit their targets.”

He added: “They wasted 10 men, but couldn’t inflict serious damage on the airport. They didn’t wear suicide vests, but instead used suicide belts. This is the reason why their faces and upper bodies were not badly mutilated.”

The Pakistani Taliban said they carried out the attack in response to air strikes in their strongholds near the Afghan border and that their mission was to hijack a passenger plane.

“The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations,” said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman.

“This was just an example of what we are capable of and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks.”

And it could have been much worse…

It would have been much more disastrous if the militants had reached the main terminal building and taken hostages. There were hundreds of passengers and staff members present at the main terminal at the time,” the official said.

But John Kerry’s comments are likely regretful now… (via Bloomberg)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s defense of a deal swapping five Taliban prisoners for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl shows no signs of easing concerns on Capitol Hill.

The top U.S. diplomat yesterday dismissed threats by some Taliban prisoners that they will return to the battlefield and kill Americans as “a lot of baloney.” The movements of the five former leaders of the Taliban government who were released to Qatar will be closely monitored, he said.

Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and former Vietnam prisoner of war, criticized the deal on the same program.

The five Taliban prisoners “were evaluated and judged as too great a risk to release,” McCain said.

“I’m sad to tell you I’m afraid they’re going to re-enter the fight,” he said.

One wonders whether this latest attack will stymie any more “deals” with terrorists…

The prisoner swap sets a bad precedent that has become “a huge regional and geopolitical problem for the United States,” Rogers said. “Hostages are now currency in this war on terror. That’s always dangerous for both diplomats, aid workers, soldiers on the battlefield.”

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