Kidnapped aid worker killed during rescue attempt by U.S. troops

Just before dawn on Saturday, U.S. forces supported by Afghan soldiers moved in on a mud-walled Taliban compound in the bloody Korengal Valley of Kunar province in Afghanistan. The troops were on a mission to rescue British aid worker Linda Norgrove when Taliban insurgents opened fire. After a 30 minute firefight U.S. troops reached the hut where the aid worker was being held, however as rescue seemed imminent one of her captors exploded a suicide vest killing himself and fatally wounding Miss Norgrove.
 
The UK Daily Mail reports that.
 
The raid was sanctioned after intelligence reports suggested the aid worker was about to be moved from the mountainous stronghold of Kunar province in north-eastern Afghanistan.
 
A senior security source said: ‘It was clear from very early on that the level of threat was very high that she would be moved from the very bad people who were holding her to even worse people across the border in Pakistan. The last thing we wanted was for her to be passed into the hands of Al Qaeda.’
 
‘It was agreed that if there was an opportunity to mount a special forces mission we should do so. Actionable intelligence has a very short shelf life.’
 
U.S. troops rather than British special forces were deployed because they knew the terrain. General David Petraeus, the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the troops had done ‘everything in their power’ to save her.
 
Linda Norgrove, 36 had been kidnapped on Sunday, September 26 while traveling to a ceremony for the opening of a canal in Kunar province. Her abduction may have been part of a plot to free convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui who had been sentenced to life in prison by a New York court just three days earlier.
 
The UK Daily Mail reported that initially the Taliban had denied responsibility for the kidnapping, however by the following day Mohammed Osman claimed that he had been involved in the abduction.
 
Osman told the Afghan Islamic Press: ‘We are lucky that we abducted this British woman so soon after the ruthless ruling by an American court on Aafia Siddiqui. We will demand the release of Siddiqui in exchange for her.'
 
News that Miss Norgrove was about to be handed over by the Taliban to Al Qaeda forces in Pakistan would seem to indicate that the report of a trade for Aafia Siddiqui may have been well founded. Siddiqui has been linked to Al Qaeda and may have been married to Ammar al Baluchi, the nephew of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammed.
 
In the aftermath of Siddiqui’s sentencing Pakistani government officials vowed to use any means at their disposal to return their native daughter and according to the Daily Star.
 
Thousands of people staged protest rallies across the country on Friday demanding her release. The protesters chanted anti-US slogans and burned flags and effigies of President Barack Obama.
 
The UK Guardian reported that Siddiqui supporter Yvonne Ridley said that her friends and fellow Pakistanis would ratchet up pressure through protests and acts of civil disobedience. Ridley said ‘It will involve blocking NATO supply lines into Afghanistan.’
 
By September 30th the NATO supply lines between Pakistan and Afghanistan were closed, although the official justification for the border closure was in retaliation for a NATO helicopter incursion. During the ensuing 11 days some 100 fuel tankers were bombed and set ablaze. Now only one day after the tragic killing of Linda Norgrove Dawn.com reports that.
 
About 120 containers and 25 oil tankers queued up at the border in the morning, following an announcement made by the government that the border would be reopened for vehicles carrying Nato supplies.
 
Customs officials made special arrangements for clearing the vehicles on Sunday.
 
Truckers has some anxious moments when the local administration refused to issue gate passes, saying it had not received written orders about the reopening of the border. It was only at about 1pm that the first trailer crossed into Afghanistan.
 
Of course it is possible that Siddiqui’s sentencing, the kidnapping of Miss Norgrove and her subsequent death, the closing of the border, the attacks on tankers and the sudden reopening of the border may all be purely coincidental and unrelated. There remain a lot of unanswered questions, but this much we know for sure; Linda Norgrove has been killed, the NATO supply lines into Afghanistan have reopened, Aafi Sodium remains behind bars and Barack Obama had time this weekend for yet another round of golf.
 
 
 
 
Just before dawn on Saturday, U.S. forces supported by Afghan soldiers moved in on a mud-walled Taliban compound in the bloody Korengal Valley of Kunar province in Afghanistan. The troops were on a mission to rescue British aid worker Linda Norgrove when Taliban insurgents opened fire. After a 30 minute firefight U.S. troops reached the hut where the aid worker was being held, however as rescue seemed imminent one of her captors exploded a suicide vest killing himself and fatally wounding Miss Norgrove.
 
The UK Daily Mail reports that.
 
The raid was sanctioned after intelligence reports suggested the aid worker was about to be moved from the mountainous stronghold of Kunar province in north-eastern Afghanistan.
 
A senior security source said: ‘It was clear from very early on that the level of threat was very high that she would be moved from the very bad people who were holding her to even worse people across the border in Pakistan. The last thing we wanted was for her to be passed into the hands of Al Qaeda.’
 
‘It was agreed that if there was an opportunity to mount a special forces mission we should do so. Actionable intelligence has a very short shelf life.’
 
U.S. troops rather than British special forces were deployed because they knew the terrain. General David Petraeus, the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the troops had done ‘everything in their power’ to save her.
 
Linda Norgrove, 36 had been kidnapped on Sunday, September 26 while traveling to a ceremony for the opening of a canal in Kunar province. Her abduction may have been part of a plot to free convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui who had been sentenced to life in prison by a New York court just three days earlier.
 
The UK Daily Mail reported that initially the Taliban had denied responsibility for the kidnapping, however by the following day Mohammed Osman claimed that he had been involved in the abduction.
 
Osman told the Afghan Islamic Press: ‘We are lucky that we abducted this British woman so soon after the ruthless ruling by an American court on Aafia Siddiqui. We will demand the release of Siddiqui in exchange for her.'
 
News that Miss Norgrove was about to be handed over by the Taliban to Al Qaeda forces in Pakistan would seem to indicate that the report of a trade for Aafia Siddiqui may have been well founded. Siddiqui has been linked to Al Qaeda and may have been married to Ammar al Baluchi, the nephew of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammed.
 
In the aftermath of Siddiqui’s sentencing Pakistani government officials vowed to use any means at their disposal to return their native daughter and according to the Daily Star.
 
Thousands of people staged protest rallies across the country on Friday demanding her release. The protesters chanted anti-US slogans and burned flags and effigies of President Barack Obama.
 
The UK Guardian reported that Siddiqui supporter Yvonne Ridley said that her friends and fellow Pakistanis would ratchet up pressure through protests and acts of civil disobedience. Ridley said ‘It will involve blocking NATO supply lines into Afghanistan.’
 
By September 30th the NATO supply lines between Pakistan and Afghanistan were closed, although the official justification for the border closure was in retaliation for a NATO helicopter incursion. During the ensuing 11 days some 100 fuel tankers were bombed and set ablaze. Now only one day after the tragic killing of Linda Norgrove Dawn.com reports that.
 
About 120 containers and 25 oil tankers queued up at the border in the morning, following an announcement made by the government that the border would be reopened for vehicles carrying Nato supplies.
 
Customs officials made special arrangements for clearing the vehicles on Sunday.
 
Truckers has some anxious moments when the local administration refused to issue gate passes, saying it had not received written orders about the reopening of the border. It was only at about 1pm that the first trailer crossed into Afghanistan.
 
Of course it is possible that Siddiqui’s sentencing, the kidnapping of Miss Norgrove and her subsequent death, the closing of the border, the attacks on tankers and the sudden reopening of the border may all be purely coincidental and unrelated. There remain a lot of unanswered questions, but this much we know for sure; Linda Norgrove has been killed, the NATO supply lines into Afghanistan have reopened, Aafi Sodium remains behind bars and Barack Obama had time this weekend for yet another round of golf.
 
 
 
 

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