Pakistan Security Brief - July 18, 2011

Bin Laden considered targeting Obama in the air; U.K. lawyer seeks arrest of CIA counsel for drone strike approval; Ilyas Kashmiri may be alive; Pakistan lost track of Zawahiri after 2008 meeting with Mehsud; Al Qaeda posts ISI-designed espionage course; Malik offers Indian counterpart condolences after Mumbai blasts; Jehangir condemns terrorism in South Asia, President Zardari visits Iran; Kunar governor rejects claim that Kunar hosts Pakistani militants; Hina Rabbani Khar appointed Foreign Minister;  Pakistani Taliban releases video of police executions; Shabqadar residents recall Taliban presence; Gunmen fire on van in Kurram; Schools “ransacked” and tankers attacked in Khyber Agency; Five government officials kidnapped in Balochistan; LeJ leader family received stipend from Punjab government.

 

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • Evidence retrieved from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound reportedly shows he considered shooting down Air Force or Marine One as a means of targeting President Barack Obama. Bin Laden also considered shooting down General David Petraeus’ plane and attacking a U.S. sporting event. Bin Laden’s “hit list” may be related to reports that he was planning an attack on the upcoming tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.[i]

  • U.K. human rights lawyer Clive Hafford Smith is reportedly seeking the arrest of John Rizzo, the CIA general counsel who allegedly gave legal approval to U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. According to the Guardian, Smith, who heads the human rights activist group Reprieve, has “launched a lawsuit along with a Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad Akbar,” accusing the U.S. of killing noncombatants in drone strikes. Smith believes that given the ambiguous nature of U.S. involvement in Pakistan and the political climate within the country he will be able to get an arrest warrant and force the U.S.’s hand in refusing extradition. Smith’s estimate of 2,500 civilian deaths killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan is significantly higher than the numbers generally mentioned.[ii]

Kashmiri Alive?

  • On Friday, Dawn reported that, according to unnamed sources, terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri was alive and active in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Kashmiri commanded the Harkat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami (HuJI) before his reported death in a drone strike last month. The U.S. hesitated to confirm Kashmiri’s death after the June 3 strike, but U.S. officials eventually stated he was likely dead. No further information has emerged since Dawn’s initial report.[iii]

2008 Zawahiri-Mehsud Meeting

Al Qaeda Uses ISI Training Course

India-Pakistan Relations

Zardari in Iran

  • During a meeting with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly stated the U.S. and the West were the real enemies of Pakistan. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Zardari together called for increased cooperation between the two nations during Zardari’s second visit in Iran in the last month.[viii]

Pak-Afghan relations

Khar to Take Foreign Minister Post

Hizb-ut Tahrir Affiliated Brig. Gen. Chooses Court Martial

  • The Express Tribune reports that Brig. Gen. Ali Khan, who is accused of holding ties to the banned international Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir, has chosen to face a court martial. Khan is the highest ranking officer to be arrested in the Pakistani military in several years.[xi]

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

  • On Monday, the Pakistani Taliban released a video showing militants executing sixteen policemen. The policemen were reportedly captured in a cross-border attack in Upper Dir on June 1. ISPR spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas claimed the militants were from Swat. The video shows militants accusing the men of “executing six children” in Swat and being “enemies of the religion of Allah” before opening fire on them.[xii]

  • In an Express Tribune report residents of the town of Shabqadar in Charsadda district recall the horrors of “Talibanisation” in the region. The militants who led the effort were affiliated with the chapter of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operating out of the neighboring Mohmand Agency. Residents remember how the Taliban attempted to institute a harsh interpretation of Islamic and how they punished those who opposed them. Shabqadar’s residents were mostly against Taliban influence and, consequently, suffered at the hands of militants attempting to institute a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Local lashkars opposed the militants alone until Frontier Corps and police personnel helped them push militants out of the region.[xiii]

FATA

Karachi

Balochistan

LeJ Leader Received Punjab Government Support

 


[i] “Osama Hit List: President Obama, Petraeus, Major U.S. Sporting Event,” ABC, July 15, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Campaigners seek arrest of former CIA legal chief over Pakistan drone attacks,” Guardian, July 15, 2011. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/15/cia-usa
“US drone strikes in Pakistan claiming many civilian victims, says campaigner,” Guardian, July 17, 2011. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/us-drone-strikes-pakistan-waziristan
[iii] “Ilyas Kashmiri still alive, claim sources,” Dawn, July 15, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Pakistani officials knew about Baitullah, Zawahiri meeting,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2011. Available at
[v] “Al-Qaeda’s terrorist tool kit now includes manuals from Pakistani spy agency,” Washington Post, July 15, 2011. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/al-qaedas-terrorist-tool-kit-now-includes-training-manuals-from-pakistani-spy-agency/2011/07/15/gIQAiHRDGI_blog.html
[vi] “Malik calls Chidambaram, offers condolence, assistance,” Press Trust of India (PTI,) July 16, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Asma flays Mumbai blasts,” Dawn, July 16, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Iran, Pakistan urge stronger ties,” AFP, July 16, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Cross-border militants: Afghan governor urges intelligence sharing,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2011. Available at
“Pak-Afghan relations: Zardari, Karzai mull cross-border raids,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2011. Available at
[x] “Government to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as Foreign Minister,” Express Tribune, July 18, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Alleged Hizbut Tahrir links: Brigadier opts for court martial,” Express Tribune, July 17, 2011. Available at
[xii] “Taliban execute Pakistani policemen on video,” AP, July 18, 2011. Available at
[xiii] “Militancy: Living through the Taliban nightmare,” Express Tribune, July 17, 2011. Available at
[xiv] “Gunmen kill 10 passengers in Northwest Pakistan,” AP, July 16, 2011. Available at
[xv]“Militants ransack 11 schools in Bara,” Dawn, July 16, 2011. Available at
 “Three dead in attacks on NATO tankers in Pakistan,” AFP, July 16, 2011. Available at
[xvi]“PPP leader among five killed in Karachi,” Dawn, July 17, 2011. Available at
“Israeli weapons used in Karachi,” Dawn, July 18, 2011. Available at
[xvii] “Five government officials kidnapped in Balochistan,” Dawn, July 18, 2011. Available at
[xviii] “LeJ’s Malik received monthly stipend from Punjab govt,” Express Tribune, July 16, 2011. Available at