Friday, December 28, 2007
al Qaeda and Assassinations
Program note: Peter Bergen is in Pakistan and will be live with Anderson at 10p ET

The Pakistani government says that a Pakistan-based Taliban commander with links to al Qaeda is behind the Bhutto assassination. This would not be the first time that groups affiliated with al Qaeda have mounted, or attempted, assassinations against important political figures around the Muslim world.

The Jihad group, which would later morph into al Qaeda, was involved in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat following his peace deal two years earlier with Israel. The assassination did not bring about the creation of a hard line Islamist state as the assassins had hoped, and instead installed Hosni Mubarak as president who is still in power decades later and who has ruthlessly suppressed the Islamist militants in his country.

Al Qaeda's first act of international terrorism came in 1991 when an assassin was dispatched to Rome to kill the exiled King of Afghanistan, a threat to the terrorist group because he was a secular figure popular with ordinary Afghans. The assassin stabbed the aging monarch, but the king survived.

In the mid-90s Egyptian militants with ties to al Qaeda planned to kill Hosni Mubarak when he was visiting New York and also launched an assassination attempt against him on a trip to Ethiopia. Both plots were failures.

In 2001, two days before the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda members disguised as TV reporters killed the Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud with a television camera rigged with explosives. The death of Massoud could have been a devastating blow to the Northern Alliance group that he had formed to fight the Taliban, but as a result of the 9/11 attacks US Special Forces working with the Northern Alliance routed the Taliban in the winter of 2001.

Following calls for attacks against Gen. Pervez Musharraf by al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, Pakistani militants mounted two suicide operations against Musharraf in December, 2003. He narrowly avoided being killed.

And now comes the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The militants hope that this will create chaos in Pakistan in which they can thrive. But the outcome could be very different -- ordinary Pakistanis, who are by no means militant, might exert pressure on the Pakistani government to extirpate once and for all the extremist groups in their country.

-- Peter Bergen, 360 Terrorism Analyst
Posted By CNN: 8:23 PM ET
  4 Comments
Peter,
Maybe Bhutto's death will be the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. Maybe the Pakistani people will take a stand and make a change happen by getting the extremists forced out of their country!! We can all only hope!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 8:34 PM ET
Your narrative seems to indicate that each of the militants actions have either failed or elicited a response that was quite the opposite of what the militants were hoping for. Lets hope that this holds true this time as well if al Queda is indeed involved in Bhutto's assassination. If that happens at least some good will have come from the death of Bhutto and the promise she represented.

Looking forward to your report tonight. Stay safe.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 8:51 PM ET
I think when all is said and done, that terrorism can only end when all public support for it dries up.
Without that support, maybe the hate will wither and eventually die. One hopes.

Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 10:27 PM ET
Mr Bergen, don't you think the problem now becomes how to prevent Al Queda and the Taliban from taking over and acquiring the nuclear arsenal? Im sorry that Ms Bhutto did not survive and I respect her bravery, but this was inevitable wasn't it?
Posted By Anonymous chris a - odessa, tx. : 11:05 PM ET
ABOUT THE BLOG
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.



ARCHIVES
• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007

SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2013 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.