Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, second in command to the Taliban’s founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and a close associate of Osama bin Laden has been captured in the Karachi, Pakistan.
One Pakistani officer said Baradar was arrested 10 days ago with the assistance of the United States and “was talking” to his interrogators.
Baradar is the most senior Afghan Taliban leader arrested since the beginning of the Afghan war in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.
His capture represents a significant success for the administration of President Barack Obama, which has vowed to kill or seize Taliban and al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It follows the ramping up of CIA missile strikes against militant targets along the border between the two countries that have reportedly killed many midlevel commanders.
It was unclear how Baradar was tracked down. Pakistan’s spy agency has been accused in the past of protecting top Taliban leaders believed sheltering in the country, frustrating Washington. Moving against Baradar could signal that Islamabad increasingly views the Afghan Taliban, or at least some of its members, as fair game.