Nightly News | February 16, 2010
>>> good evening. we begin tonight with news that could mean a major advance. the taliban 's top military commander has been captured. it was a secret raid, a joint operation carried out by pakistani and american intelligence forces. it happened in karachi in afghanistan. the number two ranked man under the taliban founder and associate of the still-at-large osama bin laden . this news comes as american forces are grinding forward with a big new offensive. we begin our reporting tonight with you are chief foreign correspondent richard engel .
>> reporter: it's easy to hide in the streets of karachi , home to 18 million. the taliban 's military commander mulla baradar was living openly here, apparently feeling immune to capture. that ended last week in a rare joint cia/pakistani operation. there are no known photographs of baradar, but he directed the war in afghanistan . today u.s. nato troops met on the fourth day of offensive. baradar could provide valuable intelligence.
>> mulla baradar would provide very valuable information about the scores of other people who work for the taliban movement .
>> reporter: u.s. and pakistani intelligence have cooperated before, together arresting 9/11 plotters. pakistan has been accused of sheltering the top taliban leaders, offering up just middle men.
>> the fact they've taken out mullah baradar, so they are going for the real guys rather than the little guys.
>> reporter: but baradar is unlikely to know the whereabouts of osama bin laden . former pakistan intelligence colonel imman trained baradar with thousands of other fighters in the 1980s . he says the arrest will not defeat the taliban .
>> reporter: analysts say the operation in karachi deals a psychological blow to the taliban , showing no one is immune to arrest, even in pakistan . the arrest is not, however, expected to have an immediate impact on american troops fighting in afghanistan. today, a u.s. marine was killed by roadside bomb. brian?
>> richard engel in our london newsroom tonight. richard, thanks.
>>> in washington, president obama today