Terror group leaders in the Pakistani tribal territories are openly admitting that the CIA UAV missile attacks have done serious damage to their leadership. Al Qaeda leader Ustadh Ahmad Farooq complained that his group is suffering more damage now than during the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Last year there were 115 of these CIA missile attacks, and the rate of attacks has increased this year (at least ten so far this month). Farooq complained that terrorist leaders can’t operate in many areas, and have to move about very carefully. But it gets worse.
While the Islamic terrorist groups in Pakistan’s tribal territories are not happy with the six year CIA decapitation (kill the leaders) campaign, many of the local tribesmen are. Attacked by Predator and Reaper UAVs, armed with missiles, the terrorists (al Qaeda, Taliban and the Haqqani Network) have lost about 40 senior leaders in the last six years, most of them in the last three years. These losses are not only bad for morale at the top, but are seriously disrupting terrorist activities. The locals love this, because the Islamic radicals have been nothing but trouble. For one thing, the radicals come across as a bunch of self-righteous bullies, and use their weapons to intimidate, or kill, anyone who crosses them. This includes coercing families to provide daughters to be wives of bachelor terrorists. Then there is the terrorist tactic of using civilians as human shields for protection from the missile attacks. Here’s where the CIA won hearts and minds, by scrupulously avoiding casualties among the innocent tribesmen. Moreover, the tribes eventually drew the line on human shields, bringing out their own guns and forcing the Islamic radicals to back off when demanding hostages. The locals also abandoned their compounds when the terrorists came by to spend the night. If the CIA hit the compound (after noting how the owners fled), the tribesmen blamed the Islamic radicals, not the CIA, for the damage. The Islamic radicals know that the tribesmen have been cheering, not so much for the CIA, as against the radicals, but don’t make an issue of it. On the surface, everyone is a good Moslem. But the local Moslems make no secret of wishing that the super-Moslems would go somewhere else.