Truck Bomb Kills At Least 40 At Islamabad Marriott

Perknose

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NYT link

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan ? A huge truck bomb exploded at the entrance to the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening, just a few hundred yards from the prime minister?s house, where all the leaders of government were dining after the president?s address to Parliament.

The blast, one of the worst terrorist attacks in Pakistan?s history, killed at least 40 people and wounded more than 100, including foreigners. The toll was expected to grow because of reports that many people had been trapped inside the six-story hotel, which has been a favorite meeting spot of both foreigners and well-connected Pakistanis in the heart of the capital. The building was quickly engulfed in flames and continued to burn for hours Saturday night.

Although recent terrorist bombings have claimed more lives, a bombing at the Marriott, which has been attacked twice before but never on this scale, has shaken Pakistanis to their core.

?The Marriott is an icon,? said Abdullah Riar, a former aide to Benazir Bhutto. ?It?s like the twin towers of Pakistan. It?s a symbolic place in the capital of the country, and now it has melted down.?

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Pakistan has faced a wave of violence as militants opposed to the government?s alliance with the United States have become more secure in their base in the tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan. Militant attacks, including suicide bombings and truck bombs, have increased in the wake of a recent Pakistani army offensive in the tribal areas.

Coming after a bombing in Kabul earlier this year at the Serena Hotel, another gathering spot for foreigners, the Marriott attack appears to send a message not just to Pakistan but to Washington and other Western governments.

In Washington, a White House spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said: "The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place in Islamabad, Pakistan. The United States will stand with Pakistan's democratically elected government as they confront this challenge."

The Federal Burean of Investigation offered to send special agents to help investigate the scene of the attack, and to try to determine the driver of the vehicle, and the kind of explosives used, a senior American official said.

The F.B.I. was awaiting approval from the Pakistani government before dispatching the agents, perhaps as many as 15, the official said. The bureau had offered to help investigate the major suicide bomb attack at the Federal Investigative Agency building in Lahore last year but the offer was rejected, the official said.

The bureau has a special interest in investigating the scene at the Marriott because this was "obviously an anti-American effort and a warning to the Pakistanis about the U.S. alliance," the official said.

The bomb left a vast crater, some 40 feet wide and 5 feet deep, lay at the security barrier to the hotel. Witnesses said security guards and their gate posts were buried under a mound of rubble. A line of cars across the street from the hotel were mangled and trees on the street were charred. Windows in buildings hundreds of yards away were shattered.

Witnesses said they dragged out dozens of bodies from the lobby of the hotel and an adjacent parking lot, including those of a number of foreigners.

The choice of target, where many Americans stay, brings into sharp relief, like few others could, Pakistan's alliance with the United States. Recent surveys have shown that the Pakistani public holds a very low opinion of American policy, and that many people call into question the alliance with the United States that was forged after 9/11 by former President Pervez Musharraf.

A prominent Pakistani lawyer, Athar Minallah, said: "It's the 9/11 for Pakistan. It's an attack on Pakistan, an attack on the people of Pakistan."

Mr. Minallah, a leader of the lawyers' movement that protested against the rule of President Pervez Musharraf, said the extremists "have crossed the limits."

"There cannot be any justification for this," he said. "It is for the people of Pakistan to join hands and sort out this menace. They are enemies of Pakistan."


One wounded American who works at the embassy here in the capital said he had just opened his car door in the parking lot when the explosion erupted. The American, who gave only his first name, Chris, said he had received injuries to his face, neck and shoulder, and was holding a bloody T-shirt to his face.

He said American Embassy personnel were at the scene, trying to help American citizens they said were trapped in the hotel.

Amjad Ali Khan, a guard on duty at a side entrance to the hotel, said he saw four to five bodies in the hotel parking lot and that he helped carry out 40 bodies from inside the hotel. He said they were ?in the lobby and in the restaurant and everywhere.?

?There were very few people injured,? he said. ?They were all dead.? He said he saw three Western women who had died from head wounds.

?They are terrorists,? he said when asked who he thought was responsible for the blast. ?They threatened a few days ago. We heard there were four to five suicide bombers on the loose.?

The Marriott, a favorite place for foreigners to stay and gather, has been attacked by militants at least twice in the past, including a suicide attack in January 2007 that killed a policeman.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, and its exact cause was unclear.

But Pakistan, an ally of the United States in the fight against terrorism, has faced a wave of militant violence in recent weeks following army-led offensives against militants in its border regions, though the capital has avoided most of the bloodshed.
Perhaps this will help force the Pakistani government to confront the militants in Waziristan, or at least give them some domestic political cover to let us go get them.
 

GenHoth

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Jul 5, 2007
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Maybe they'll get up and help now. BTW I think your quote included your commentary at the end. Might want to fix that
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
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There is just so much wrong with that country that we just cannot pretend that it's 1) an ally or 2) a democracy any longer. We need to take a long view of the country. Along with most of Africa, it is one of the great tumors of the earth.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7627135.stm

Dozens killed in Pakistan attack

A massive bomb blast has hit the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, killing at least 40 people.

The hotel's owner said the explosion occurred when a lorry, which was being checked by security staff and sniffer dogs blew up at the hotel's entrance.

The blast created a 20ft (6m) deep crater, and destroyed the entire front section of the hotel.

Heavy equipment was brought in to clear debris so firefighters could reach the building, still burning hours later.

Police say they believe the blast was a suicide bombing.

The explosion is thought to have been caused by more than a tonne of explosives and police are warning that the hotel could collapse.

The BBC's defence and security correspondent, Rob Watson, says that the attack bears the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, given the scale, target and what would appear to be the careful political timing involved.

At least 100 people have been injured in the attack, among them four British citizens as well as Saudi, German, Moroccan and Afghan nationals.

A hotel employee, Mohammad Sultan, said he was in the reception when something exploded, forcing him to the ground.

"I don't understand what it was, but it was like the world is finished," he told the Associated Press news agency.

There are reports that at least 200 people were in the hotel's restaurants at the time of the explosion, many breaking their Ramadan fast.

The Marriott is the most prestigious hotel in the capital, and is popular with foreigners and the Pakistani elite.

The hotel is located near government buildings and diplomatic missions, so security is tight, with guests and vehicles subject to checks.

The Marriott has previously been the target of militants. Last year a suicide bomber killed himself and one other in an attack at the hotel.

Insurgency

In an interview with the BBC, Senator Enver Beg, from the Pakistan People's Party, appealed to the international community for help in the struggle against terrorism.

"Pakistan is a frontline country in the war on terror. We are, again, with suicide bombings which are taking place all over the country.

"Our economy is affected because of these terrorist activities. And I think the international community has to come out and help Pakistan to fight against this terrorism," he said.

The White House condemned the attack and said it was "a reminder of the threat we all face".

The US would "stand with Pakistan's democratically elected government as they confront this challenge", the statement added.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband called the attack "disgraceful" and said it would reinforce Britain's resolve to fight violent extremism with Pakistan.

The bomb attack came just hours after Pakistan's newly installed President, Asif Ali Zardari, said he would not allow Pakistan's territory to be violated by terrorists or foreign powers fighting them.

In his first speech to MPs since he replaced Pervez Musharraf in August, he vowed instead to "root out terrorism and extremism wherever and whenever they may rear their ugly heads".

He was speaking in Islamabad, just several hundred metres to the east of the Marriott.

Pakistan has been a key ally of the US in its "war on terror", but relations have become strained over tactics.

In recent months Pakistan has voiced growing disquiet over US raids targeting militants in its territory, launched from neighbouring Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda and Taleban militants based in Pakistan's north-west tribal region have repeatedly carried out attacks across the border in Afghanistan.

Militants have also carried out waves of attacks in Pakistan in recent years.

Just over a year ago, Pakistani army commandos stormed Islamabad's Red Mosque - also known as Lal Masjid - which had been taken over by pro-Taleban clerics.

The operation brought an end to the bloody siege. But Islamist militants responded with a wave of suicide bombings around the country that killed around 1,000 people.




He says the attack is without doubt the most serious in the Pakistani capital to date and will spark fears about the country's stability in the face of a growing Islamist insurgency.

Heavy security

A huge area of the 315-room hotel remained on fire hours after the explosion.

The BBC's Barbara Plett, at the scene, said the emergency services had been unable to reach the upper floors of the hotel, where more people were feared to be trapped.



 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
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Originally posted by: GenHoth
Maybe they'll get up and help now. BTW I think your quote included your commentary at the end. Might want to fix that
:thumbsup:

 

Buck Armstrong

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Dec 17, 2004
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First, I'd like to say that I am sorry for the people of Pakistan and anyone else injured or killed in the attack. Second, now let's cut the bullshit and work together to put these rabid animals down. They have proven yet again that despite their rhetoric and religious trappings, they are willing to slaughter people of all countries, cultures, and beliefs. They've killed more Muslims than Westerners over the past several years, and consider even innocent women and children of their own countries and religion expendable.

There's just no use for somebody like that...if the rest of us, Pakistan included, want to live in peace, then these savages must go.
 

ProfJohn

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Jul 28, 2006
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There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
 

Buck Armstrong

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Dec 17, 2004
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
And they'll massacre entire city blocks full of Muslim women and children to slightly bruise one American soldier.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Possible but unlikely. Having a truck fully loaded and packed with explosives, drivers in place, plans to compromise security countermeasures at the Marriott, and the general nature of the attack all imply that this was no hastily assembled or improvised attack against what really amounts to a few low value CIA employees.

I am guessing that this a Al-Quida attack, they wanted something that would get everyone's attention, and to that extent they did. The next question is what they will do next? Because Al-Quida will be maximize effect if they deliver their next message somewhere other than Pakistan.
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
 

OCGuy

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
27,227
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91
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
Oh god here we go. It didnt take long, did it. "A story out" that they were targeting the US. People are so dim.
 
Jun 26, 2007
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
Well, that simply isn't true, you just made that up.

There were ISI members in the area who were believed to have turned and then turned again, their disloyalty to the Taliban was rewarded by the Taliban.

I find it hard to actually feel bad when it comes tro traitors, even when they are traitors of our enemy.
 
Jun 26, 2007
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Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
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Let's get one thing straight around here. That is, Pakistan has been helping to fight the Taliban and other terrorist groups since 9/11. The big huge glaring problem, however, is that they simply haven't done enough.

They need to recognize when they're in over their heads; and, they need to know when to put aside their pride and ask for help.
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
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Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
Sadly, I doubt you know all operations the CIA has undertaken. You are not as important as you want to be.
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,711
6
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Originally posted by: palehorse
Let's get one thing straight around here. That is, Pakistan has been helping to fight the Taliban and other terrorist groups since 9/11. The big huge glaring problem, however, is that they simply haven't done enough.

They need to recognize when they're in over their heads; and, they need to know when to put aside their pride and ask for help.
Or we will force them right?
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
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Originally posted by: palehorse
Let's get one thing straight around here. That is, Pakistan has been helping to fight the Taliban and other terrorist groups since 9/11. The big huge glaring problem, however, is that they simply haven't done enough.

They need to recognize when they're in over their heads; and, they need to know when to put aside their pride and ask for help.
They have both been fighting the Taliban and fighting WITH the Taliban as well as making peace with them and offered them protection.

Ever come across an ISI platoon on your way to a known Taliban camp that tells you there is nothing there?

I wouldn't trust any Pakistan info what so ever and i would never have them on my back or in front of me.

I'm just not suicidal enough for that to work. ;)
 
Jun 26, 2007
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Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
Sadly, I doubt you know all operations the CIA has undertaken. You are not as important as you want to be.
Of course i don't, how could i? But you actually think you know anything about it.

The enormous stupidity of a twat like yourself always amuses me.

If that seems smug, you'll have to forgive me, but the point is that i know of all dealings in this area, whether it's Taliban ISI or CIA, they let me know so that misdirected fire isn't a problem.

See, that is what i do.
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,711
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Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield

Of course i don't, how could i? But you actually think you know anything about it.

If that seems smug, you'll have to forgive me, but the point is that i know of all dealings in this area, whether it's Taliban ISI or CIA, they let me know so that misdirected fire isn't a problem.

See, that is what i do.
Sure, you may be privy to quite a bit of information, but that doesn't make you an expert on any and all motives/moves made by the CIA.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: palehorse
Let's get one thing straight around here. That is, Pakistan has been helping to fight the Taliban and other terrorist groups since 9/11. The big huge glaring problem, however, is that they simply haven't done enough.

They need to recognize when they're in over their heads; and, they need to know when to put aside their pride and ask for help.
Yes, they have helped at times, and to some extent. At the same time, strong and substantial elements of the ISI, their intelligence service, have simultaneously helped and supported the militants.

The situation, and it's remedy, is not nearly as straightforward or simple as you state.

This is an Islamic country, which changed the name of it's capitol to Islamabad after all, and there is a strong swath of Islamic fundamentalism in the country, both of the simple variety, and of the highly political variety.

Furthermore, the people in Waziristan, and the "federally administered territories" have never been under direct control of the central government. Even the British never subjugated them. This area, which borders Afghanistan, is largely Pashtun, as are the Afghani Pashtun Taliban.

The Pashtun on both sides of the border consider this border a colonial fiction. Their allegiance is, and always has been, to tribe and clan, and never to any Pakistai or Afghani or British administered state. Never.

For the Pakistani federal government to even attempt to go in there in real force would blow up the nation, the mere hints of which you are seeing in this bombing campaign.

Don't get me wrong, I know that if we are ever to bring even some semblance of peace and security to Afghanistan, we cannot allow the active military Taliban to have this safe Pakistani sanctuary.

But we are, all of us, trading on extremely dangerous territory here. Our current President has proudly proclaimed that he doesn't do nuance, but the only, TRULY lasting answer to this entire situation will have to have an even stronger diplomatic and social component than a "quick fix", feel good military one -- like, you know, our initial "victory" in Afghanistan has turned out to be.

I want to remind every American patriot here about how you would react if a foreign power invaded you, and if that foreign power were Muslim. Rightly or wrongly, that is how we will be viewed in the end if we tread to heavily and kill too many civilians in Waziristan in the process of trying to uproot the Taliban.

It's a tricky, damned if we do, damned if we don't situation. Nuance and a committement to the long haul are musts. I wouldn't necessarily let John McCain near this problem with a ten foot blanket congressional authorization.

 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
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Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
Sadly, I doubt you know all operations the CIA has undertaken. You are not as important as you want to be.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As this thread, IMHO lurches on a non productive tangent, I hope JOS will not be
overly pissed if I link in another quote of his. "I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?"

And in this case I am going to side totally with JOS, he and I may disagree on tactics, but at no point in time should we consider JOS as any part of any conspiracy. I also understand that some of the statements JOS is making cannot be disclosed at a proof value without compromising other intel, but when JOS says
this entire operation at the Marriott may involve Taliban infighting, I must take it at face value, not as the absolute truth, but still it trumps my guesses or anyone Else's.

I for one will not try to poo poo the JOS statement without good evidence to the contrary.
 

daniel49

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2005
4,814
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71
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
Sadly, I doubt you know all operations the CIA has undertaken. You are not as important as you want to be.
Of course i don't, how could i? But you actually think you know anything about it.

The enormous stupidity of a twat like yourself always amuses me.

If that seems smug, you'll have to forgive me, but the point is that i know of all dealings in this area, whether it's Taliban ISI or CIA, they let me know so that misdirected fire isn't a problem.

See, that is what i do.


You will have to forgive me John,( as I don't know your background) but I am assuming then you don't sell fish and chips at Piccadilly circus or something.
Are you with British forces in Afghanistan?
 

NoStateofMind

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 2005
9,711
6
76
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: PC Surgeon
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
There is a story out that says several high ranking CIA officials were in the building at the time. And that the attack may have been an attempt to kill them.

Someone apparently tipped off the bad guys to this information...
was wondering how much our CIA was involved.
I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?

:D
Sadly, I doubt you know all operations the CIA has undertaken. You are not as important as you want to be.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As this thread, IMHO lurches on a non productive tangent, I hope JOS will not be
overly pissed if I link in another quote of his. "I am going to tell you that 0 persons from the CIA were involved but your dumb arse isn't going to believe anything i say anyway since "i'm part of the huge conspiracy", right?"

And in this case I am going to side totally with JOS, he and I may disagree on tactics, but at no point in time should we consider JOS as any part of any conspiracy. I also understand that some of the statements JOS is making cannot be disclosed at a proof value without compromising other intel, but when JOS says
this entire operation at the Marriott may involve Taliban infighting, I must take it at face value, not as the absolute truth, but still it trumps my guesses or anyone Else's.

I for one will not try to poo poo the JOS statement without good evidence to the contrary.
I guess you have jumped off the deep end. Never did I mention that JOS was part of a conspiracy. Re-read and understand.
 

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