Pakistan Security Brief
Drone strikes in Pakistan may have killed Osama bin Laden’s son Saad earlier this year, according to counterterrorism officials; a spokesman for Tehreek-e Nafaz Sharia Mohammadi (TNSM) commander Maulana Fazlullah denied reports that the militant leader in Swat had been critically injured as had been reported; U.N. officials indicated that several hundred thousand displaced residents of Swat had voluntary returned to the valley over the last ten days.
- U.S. counterterrorism officials on Thursday said that the second-oldest son of Osama bin Laden was most likely killed in a drone strike in Pakistan earlier this year, though they could not be completely certain. The officials said that Saad bin Laden, 27, was believed to have been affiliated with terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia in the past.
- The Swat Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, has denied reports that the group’s leader, Mullah Fazlullah is “close to death.” He further denied that Fazlullah had been injured at all and played a tape reportedly recorded by Fazlullah as proof that he was alive. The tape is the first released by Fazlullah since reports emerged that he had been wounded in two separate Pakistani airstrike weeks ago.
- According to UN officials, over 385,000 out of some two million internally displaced people have been voluntarily repatriated to Swat over the last 10 days. However, the Pakistan military claimed it was halting the repatriation effort for one day in order to give the relief workers a chance to rest and to re-organize the military and logistics efforts in the region.