Posted in Brooklyn, Pakistan on August 19, 2008|
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The Daily News interviewed Pakistani immigrants in my Brooklyn neighborhood for a story in today’s paper.
It’s not surprising that Pakistanis in the US would dislike Musharraf but it’s pretty rare that Little Pakistan is ever mentioned in the news. So I’ll indulge myself and take a moment to talk about what I think is one of the terrific perks of living where I live.
Little Pakistan is a working-class and family oriented immigrant neighborhood that established itself on a rather unaesthetic, mostly commercial length of Coney Island Avenue. It spills over into the neighborhoods on either side; Kensington on the west is mostly Russian, Jewish and Carribean and Ditmas Park on the east is gentrifying and in it’s current state is very diverse – a less common neighborhgood trait in Brooklyn than most people probably know. The entrance to my apartment building is one block off CIA on the Ditmas Park side.
The Pakistanis are friendly neighbors and welcoming business owners. I’m always recognized in their shops and restaurants and never made to feel like an outsider in the little niche they’ve carved out for themselves. I will admit that regularly seeing women in full burkahs took a little getting used to, but now I barely notice them. Little or no crime emanates from their community and on the whole their presence only benefits the greater area that I consider my neighborhood.
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PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN — A Pakistani security official said an apparent U.S. missile strike early Monday may have killed a senior Al Qaeda trainer believed to be a chemical weapons expert.
Local officials in the tribal region of South Waziristan said that at least 12 people died in the attack, believed to have been carried out by an unmanned aerial drone. Foreign militants were among the dead, and one of them was thought to be Abu Khabab Masri, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Pakistani military, as is its custom, denied knowledge of the missile strike and whether it had been carried out by the United States. American attacks inside Pakistan are highly sensitive politically.
One U.S. official familiar with the incident said the Pentagon was not involved and that “it was an agency-run op all the way,” a reference to the CIA. The agency had no comment.
A U.S. counter-terrorism official in Washington said that Masri, whose given name is Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, was believed dead. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Some might recall a Washington Times exclusive from earlier this month, reporting that the US had brokered a deal with Pervez Musharraf early in the Iraq war that allowed American Predator Drones to launch missile strikes at Osama Bin Laden, should he be located by American intelligence.
The State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program offers a $5 million reward. Here’s the photo included on Masri’s page at the Reward for Justice site:
Information at Masri’s Wikipedia Page states that he was an “alleged top bomb maker for al-Qaeda and part of Osama bin-Laden’s inner circle.”
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