Brad Thor – thriller novelist and conservative blogger — is reporting that Pakistani authorities have captured Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader whose Afghan regime sheltered Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thor's explosive claim, posted on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website, is being widely challenged. Foreign Policy reports that a senior Pakistani government official has denied it. Though Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is skeptical too, she's suggested that Pakistani authorities may know where both Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden are hiding. Could Mullah Omar really be behind bars? (Watch a CNN report about Mullah Omar's previous threats)
As a source, Thor's not credible: "If the intelligence community nabbed a prize as big as Mullah Omar," says Jeremy Scahill in The Nation, it would leak it to a newspaper of record, such as The New York Times, not "some right-wing novelist." I did some checks anyway, and "there are some pretty unenthusiastic denials" from the special forces world.
"(Not) Much ado about Mullah Omar"
Pakistan's denial means nothing: If Pakistani authorities really have caught Mullah Omar, says Dan McLaughlin in RedState, they're not going to broadcast the news — they're going to question him extensively and in secret. One thing's for sure: "If Thor’s sources pan out, this is excellent news" for everyone, from the military brass to Republican leaders to President Obama.
"Mullah Omar captured?"
There are reasons to believe, and not to believe: Pakistan did nab some high-ranking Taliban "capos" in February, says Allahpundit in Hot Air, so there are people in custody who might know Mullah Omar's hiding place. And, as Hillary Clinton says, "it’s entirely plausible that jihadi double-dealers inside the Pakistani government know where this guy is." But Thor says Mullah Omar has been in custody since late March, and that "seems an awfully long time to keep something like this quiet."
"Too good to check: Mullah Omar captured?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week