Pakistan Security Brief

Military to launch operation in Kurram; Malik denies rumors of NWA offensive; Attack across Afghan border continues; ISI denied Shahzad killing; Iqbal conditionally accepts nomination to bin Laden commission; Pakistani military officials face criticism; Associated Press reports on young generation of would-be terrorists; Wall Street Journal profile on bin Laden courier; U.S. and Pakistan form joint intelligence team; Tahawwur Rana trial continues.


Military Operation in Kurram

  • Pakistan’s army plans to launch a full-scale military operation in Kurram Agency, according to Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the top commander for Pakistan’s northwestern region. The general said he met last month with tribal leaders in the agency to lay the foundation for the operation. He said, "Obviously there is some trouble brewing up in Kurram. I'd like to stabilize it.” Malik also denied rumors that an imminent offensive in North Waziristan would occur. He said, “I have no such plans as far as I am concerned….We will undertake operations when we want to do it, when it is militarily and otherwise in the national interest to undertake such operations." He said that the military must first consolidate strategic gains in areas such as Mohmand Agency before opening new fronts. Meanwhile, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee briefing, a top diplomatic official confirmed that “the government has not made any commitment with the U.S. on Waziristan operation.”[i]

Militants Continue Attack across Afghan Border

  • An attack conducted by around 500 militants continued for a second day Thursday, resulting in the deaths of twenty-eight security officials and six civilians. Forty-five militants have thus far been killed in the ensuing clashes. The militants crossed the border and targeted the Shaltalu checkpoint in Upper Dir, five miles from the border with Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Both Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban militants took part in the attack. Helicopter gunships have been dispatched to conduct a counter-offensive against the militants.[ii]

Syed Saleem Shahzad Killing


Bin Laden Raid and Response

  • Justice Javed Iqbal conditionally accepted his nomination to the commission formed to investigate the May 2 U.S. raid in Abottabad, pending consent of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. However, another member of the commission, former justice Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, refused to take part in the committee. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif rejected the commission, arguing that the government did not consult opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while forming the commission to investigate the operation.[iv]
  • A month after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani military officials are still facing accusations that they have failed to protect their country’s borders and military bases. According to the Guardian, “Television stations have carried unusually harsh criticism of top generals, about their tactics, their intelligence and even their lifestyles.” General Ashfaq Kayani has additionally faced queries from his own men, “most of whom were furious with what they saw as American betrayal.”[v]
  • The Associated Press reports on a “young generation of would-be terrorists [which have] turned away from the [al Qaeda] leader toward a new breed of brash, charismatic ideologues.” According to the media outlet, the young jihadists prefer the rhetoric of clerics such as Abu Yahya al Libi, a rising figure within al Qaeda, and Khalid bin Abd al Rahman al Husaynan, both who offer an uncompromising message to followers.[vi]
  • The Wall Street Journal reports on bin Laden’s main links to the outside world, two Kuwait-born brothers identified as Abrar and Ibrahim Said Ahmad. The men assisted bin Laden in releasing video and audio tapes and corresponding with other al Qaeda leaders. The men's father migrated from Martung, a small village in Pakistan, to Kuwait over fifty years ago. According to the Times of London, he brought his sons into contact with members of al Qaeda after he made connections with the terrorist group.[vii]

U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • According to intelligence officials, the United States and Pakistan have formed a joint intelligence team to target top terrorism suspects in the region. The team will be made up of intelligence officers from both Pakistan and the United States and go after a handful of militants in the area, “as a confidence-building measure.” A U.S. official said that the joint intelligence team will go after five top targets, including “[al Qaeda number two] Ayman al Zawahri, a possible bin Laden successor, and al Qaeda operations chief Atiya Abdel Rahman, as well as Taliban leader like Mullah Omar, all of whom U.S. intelligence officials believe are hiding in Pakistan.”[viii]


Tahawwur Rana Trial

  • Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago resident charged with providing material support in connection to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, is not likely to testify at his own trial. Seven witnesses testified on Wednesday, including five FBI agents who confirmed email and phone communications between Rana, attack plotter David Headley, and an ISI officer known as “Major Iqbal.” Meanwhile, The Hindu reports on the “multiple lives” of David Headley. According to the media outlet, “fear led him to routinely deceive his loved ones, betray the faith he claimed to be fighting for — and, prosecutors say, lie in order to secure a reduced sentence.” [ix]

[i] Tom Wright, “Pakistan to Launch Kurram Offensive,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2011. Available at
[ii] “At least 28 security officials killed in attack on border checkpost,” Dawn, June 2, 2011. Available at
[iii] “ISI denies role in Saleem Shahzad killing,” Associated Press, June 2, 2011. Available at
[iv] Nasir Iqbal, “Justice Javed wants CJ’s consent,” Dawn, June 2, 2011. Available at
[v] Declan Walsh, “Pakistan still reeling one month after raid that killed Osama bin Laden,” Guardian, June 1, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Brash and Violent: Al-Qaida's New Mouthpieces,” Associated Press, June 1, 2011. Available at
[vii] Zahid Hussain, “Investigators Track bin Laden’s Couriers,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2011. Available at
[viii] “US-Pakistan form an anti-terror squad: report,” Associated Press, June 2, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Mumbai terror trial in Chicago winding down,” Associated Press, June 2, 2011. Available at
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