Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – April 29, 2010
Intelligence officials believe TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud is still alive; security forces continue offensive in Lower Orakzai; militants blow up schools in Orakzai and Mohmand; targeted killings in Swat raise fears of Taliban resurgence; Taliban flogging video’s authenticity called into question; Pakistan releases six top Afghan Taliban leaders; top terrorist arrested in Karachi raid; US and Pakistan make efforts to boost military cooperation; Christian man killed in Quetta targeted killing.
Several intelligence officials have indicated that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud, initially believed to have been killed in a US drone strike in January, is still alive and only sustained “slight injuries” in the attack. However, one intelligence official added that although Mehsud was alive, he had lost influence within the TTP and had been eclipsed by other Taliban commanders, such as Wali-ur Rehman. The TTP has consistently denied reports of Mehsud’s death.
Security forces bombarded Taliban hideouts in the Badgam and Mishti areas of Lower Orakzai as part of the ongoing operation in the agency. At least 17 militants, including key commander Abdul Malik, were reportedly killed in the action. (For detailed daily updates on Pakistani military operations in Orakzai, CLICK HERE)
Three schools in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai Agency and one school in the Tehsil Ambar area of Mohmand Agency have been blown up by militants. No casualties were reported.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly NWFP)
Taliban militants have carried out as many as seven targeted killings of local leaders in Swat valley over the past two weeks. Although residents continue to express their concern over the security situation in Swat, the military maintains that the recent spike in targeted killings does not indicate a Taliban resurgence in the area.
The authenticity of a video released last year showing the Taliban, supposedly in Swat, flogging a woman accused of adultery has been called into question. The brutality of the Taliban shown in the video led to a strong public outcry and a call for military action in Swat prior to last year’s operation. However, it has become increasingly unclear if the video was real, staged, or depicted a different flogging in another location altogether.
Taliban leaders released
Pakistani authorities have reportedly released six top Afghan Taliban leaders captured in the wake of Abdul Ghani Baradar’s arrest in February. Taliban sources have confirmed the release of Abdul Qayim Zakir, Baradar’s top military commander. Also allegedly released were Maulvi Abdul Kabir, a Peshawar-based commander of the insurgency in eastern Afghanistan, three of Kabir’s top deputies, and Latif Mansoor, another senior Taliban commander in eastern Afghanistan.
A top terrorist belonging to Harkatul Mujahideen was arrested in Karachi on Wednesday during a raid conducted by the Anti-Extremist Cell (AEC) of the Sindh police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID). Ahsanullah, alias Ahsan Bhai, is one of the Sindh police’s most wanted terror suspects and carried a reward on his head in the amount of Rs500,000 (approximately 6,000 USD).
An article in the Washington Post examines US’ military aid and cooperation with Pakistan. Many in both the US and Pakistani defense and intelligence establishments, in addition to large segments of the Pakistani public, have expressed concern over the nature of the relationship between the two countries. An additional 50 US military personnel and four F-16 fighter jets are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan by June.
Unknown gunmen shot and killed a Christian government employee outside his home in Quetta on Wednesday in what authorities are calling a targeted killing incident.