Pakistan Security Brief

Zawahiri officially named new al Qaeda chief; U.S.-Pakistan relations at “lowest point” since 9/11; Drone strike kills eighteen in Waziristan; HuM leader allegedly lives “freely” just outside Islamabad; Austria arrests four German Taliban Mujahideen suspects; Death toll in Karachi killings rises over thirty; New militias form in Akakhei to fight militants; Independent judicial commission announced to investigate Shahzad murder.


Zawahiri to Lead al Qaeda

  • According to a statement attributed to the “al Qaeda General Command,” Ayman al-Zawahiri will become the new leader of al Qaeda. Zawahiri had long been previous leader Osama Bin Laden’s second-in-command. Last week, he released a video eulogy commemorating Bin Laden, increasing speculation that he would be named the new head of the organization. In the statement announcing Zawahiri as the new leader, al Qaeda’s General Command also pledged continued loyalty to the “Emir of the Believers,” Taliban leader Mullah Omar.[i]

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • U.S.-Pakistan relations continue to decline in the aftermath of the May 2 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. The U.S. raid has increased pressure from within the Pakistani security establishment to “reduce ties” to the U.S. Pakistan’s army chief of staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is reportedly “fighting to survive” amidst pressure from within the military to reject U.S. influence. Kayani has traveled to military bases to “rally support” but continues to face opposition, both from the upper echelons of the Pakistani military, and lower ranking officers. Worryingly, he is also reportedly to be facing pressure from some Pakistani generals who were previously thought to be pro-U.S., including Lt. Gen. Tariq Khan, the former head of the Frontier Corps (FC).[ii]

  • Pakistan’s arrest of five informants who aided the CIA in the months leading to the U.S. raid that killed Bin Laden has further hurt U.S.-Pakistan relations. In addition to the arrests, the Associated Press reports that Pakistan has “failed to expedite the entry of CIA officers into the country,” disregarding recent agreements between the U.S. and Pakistan to improve intelligence cooperation. According to the Associated Press, Defense Secretary Robert Gates referred to the informants’ arrest as a reality of intelligence operations, explaining that “most governments lie to each other . . . that’s the way business gets done.” A U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal that it is relatively normal for a government to want to “question its own citizens if they [are] caught working for a foreign spy agency.” According to the Wall Street Journal, CIA director Leon Panetta is “lobbying his Pakistani counterpart” to release one of the informants, “a local doctor.”[iii]


  • Dawn reports drone strikes killed eighteen militants in North and South Waziristan on Wednesday. According to Dawn, “four missiles hit a vehicle carrying suspected militants from Razmak road to Tappi area,” 6.2 miles east of Miram Shah.” An earlier drone strike on “a vehicle and a compound” in Wana, South Waziristan killed ten.[iv]

  • Reuters reports 250 militants launched a cross-border attack from Afghanistan on Mamund, a “pro-government Pakistani village” on Thursday, killing six civilians and wounding two women. According to Reuters, the attack took place in Bajaur, “opposite the Afghan province of Kunar.” According to a security official, paramilitary forces have been sent to aid the villagers. Troops in the area have reportedly killed several militants in response to the raid.[v]

  • Dawn reports that the possibility of a refugee crisis resulting from a military operation in North Waziristan has local residents worried. Although no operation has been officially announced, UNHCR has “a contingency capability in place to respond to new displacement situations that may occur in the region.”[vi]

Terrorist Leader Outside Islamabad

  • According to the Associated Press, Fazl-ur-Rahman Khalil, who leads the Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen (HuM), a terrorist group, lives unthreatened “in the Islamabad suburb of Golra Sharif.” It has been rumored that Khalil was in contact with Osama Bin Laden while he was in Abbottabad. HuM is likely responsible for “a deadly attack on the American Consulate in Karachi in 2002,” but “Khalil himself is not on any U.S. wanted list.”[vii]

Austria Arrests DTM Supects



Saleem Shahzad Investigation



[i] “Bin Laden’s No. 2, Zawahiri, Takes Control of Al Qaeda,” New York Times, June 16, 2011. Available at
“Al-Qaeda Names Ayman al-Zawahiri as Bin Laden’s Successor,” SITE Intelligence, June 16, 2011. Available at
[ii] “U.S.-Pakistan security relationship hit new low: report,” AFP, June 16, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Pakistan arrests after fatal raid roil relations,” AP, June 16, 2011. Available at
“Pakistan arrests for CIA help are reality: Gates,” AP, June 16, 2011. Available at
“CIA Chief Seeks to Free Pakistani,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011. Available at
[iv] “18 killed in Waziristan drone attacks,” Dawn, June 16, 2011. Available at
[v] “Militants launch cross border attack into Pakistan,” Reuters, June 16, 2011. Available at
“Five killed in cross-border attack: officials,” Dawn, June 16, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Fears over security in North Waziristan,” Dawn, June 16, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Terror leader lives freely near Pakistani capital,” AP, June 15, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Austria arrests 4 suspects on terrorism related charges tied to Afghanistan,” Washington Post, June 16, 2011. Available at
[ix] “7 more dead in Khi target killing; toll mounts to 31,” Geo, June 16, 2011. Available at
“PPP, MQM, ANP delegations meet in Governor House,” Geo, June 16, 2011. Available at
[x] “Pakistan to seek murder charges over park killing,” AFP, June 15, 2011. Available at
[xi] “Adezai lashkar gets help from Akakheis,” Dawn, June 16, 2011. Available at
[xii] “SC judge to head judicial probe on Saleem Shahzad’s murder,” Dawn, June 16, 2011. Available at
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