What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Question of the day

Due to a lack of time to write more than a few lines, I invented a new feature again. Since I'm very often left asking questions after reading news reports, I'll just note from time to time some of those questions I have. They will range from the completely trivial to the intellectually stimulating (hopefully). Today's one will, for a start, be quite banal. (Later, if I develop an answer, I may just post it in an update. Or a commenter may post it in a comment.)
So here's a quote first from the Washington Times:
"Senior al Qaeda planner Abu Obeida al Masri, identified by authorities as a key suspect in the 2005 London transit bombings and a foiled 2006 plot to blow up U.S.-bound commercial airliners, has died, U.S. counterterrorism officials said yesterday.
Described as a "senior external operations planner" for Osama bin Laden and third in command of the al Qaeda terrorist network, al Masri reportedly died last year in the tribal areas along lawless sections of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border of either hepatitis or a blood disease, the officials said."
This is not the first time hepatitis is claimed to have possibly killed a leading figure of the insurgency ongoing in the Afghan theatre. Last year a major veteran of the anti-Soviet jihad, and partaker in the neo-Taliban insurgency up till today, Jalaluddin Haqqani was reported to have died of hepatitis, possibly.
There is vaccination against hepatitis A and B. No vaccination against hepatitis C though. Haqqani was claimed to have died of hepatitis C with which he may have been infected when he may have received tainted blood with a blood transfusion, after a coalition airstrike severely wounded him in 2004. So the theory went. Of course it was just a theory as we now know. Old Haqqani is sending video messages, which is something people who have died of hepatitis don't do normally.
What this all directs my attention to is: what sort of vaccinations do foreign fighters get? And what about leading Afghan figures of, or figures allied with, the neo-Taliban movement?
Update (April 20): Curious. Syed Saleem Shahzad says here that it was hepatitis B that killed al-Masri.

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