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January 13, 2008
Scotland Yard Fingers Al-Qaeda in Bhutto Death
For the last 10 days, crime scene investigators from Scotland Yard have been pouring over evidence in the death of Benazir Bhutto. Their conclusion: It was an al-Qaeda operation:
BRITISH officials have revealed that evidence amassed by Scotland Yard detectives points towards Al-Qaeda militants being responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. As for who specifically was involved in the assassination, Scotland Yard concurred with the Musharraf government:
Five experts in video evidence and forensic science have been in Pakistan for 10 days since President Pervez Musharraf took up an offer from Gordon Brown for British help in the investigation of the December 27 killing. Last week they were joined by three specialists in explosives.
“Linking Mehsud to Bhutto’s assassination was done for strategic reasons and had nothing to do with the ground realities,” said Sajjan Gohel, an expert on Al-Qaeda. Fingerprints on the gun fired at Bhutto were traced to a man in Swat - the same area that Meshud operates.
“Although Mehsud has ideological sympathies with the Taliban, his influence does not extend beyond the tribal areas and he certainly does not have the resources to plan an attack in the centre of the country like the assassination of Bhutto.”
But British and American officials, who have examined the transcript, say they believe it is genuine and share Musharraf’s view that Mehsud is behind most of the suicide bombings in Pakistan. Asked why Pakistani forces do not capture Mehsud, one official said: “It’s not so easy to go into tribal areas. Look what happened to the last lot of Pakistani soldiers that tried.”
According to diplomats, Mehsud had dispatched teams of suicide bombers round the country to follow Bhutto to rallies and seize an opportunity to kill her.
While Scotland Yard cannot discover how she died, it seems an accepted fact now even by the government that Bhutto was shot in the neck and killed before the suicide bomber could set off his device.
Scotland Yard expects to wrap up its investigation prior to the February 18 elections.