Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – May 12, 2010
Senators on the intelligence committee disagree on connection between Shahzad and TTP, agree on inadequate no-fly restrictions; Holbrooke assures Pakistan of continued aid flow; Taliban kill two alleged US spies in North Waziristan; second drone strike in Datta Khel kills 10 militants; government asks tribal elders to expel TTP in South Waziristan posing as IDPs; Pakistani national held in Chile after traces of explosives discovered during visit to US embassy; grenade attack in Peshawar kills two young girls; Pakistani ambassador to Iran assaulted in Tehran; NATO tanker bombed in Balochistan.
NY bomb attempt
Senator Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo) of the senate intelligence committee said on Tuesday that investigators have not yet found conclusive evidence of a link between Faisal Shahzad and extremist groups in Pakistan. Bond’s statements come just a few days after Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that there was a definite link between Shahzad and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). However, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca), the chairwoman of the committee, expressed disagreement with Bond after coming out of the same briefing, stating that she believed the evidence showed a “high likelihood” of a connection between Shahzad and the TTP. However, both Bond and Feinstein did agree that the current no-fly restrictions are not adequate in light of Shahzad’s ability to board a plane to Dubai after being put on the no-fly list just prior to his capture.
US special envoy Richard Holbrooke on Tuesday clarified statements previously made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton made statements on Sunday warning of “very severe consequences” for Pakistan if Islamic extremists succeeded in carrying out an attack against the US. Holbrooke assured Pakistan that the flow of economic and military aid from the US would not be disrupted.
The Taliban in North Waziristan’s main town of Miramshah shot and killed two local men accused of being US spies. The bodies were dumped in an open area of the town with notes attached to them warning that others spying for the US would suffer the same fate.
Two missiles fired from a US drone reportedly killed 10 more militants in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Tuesday. This second drone strike came shortly after another barrage on Tuesday that struck a compound and several vehicles in another area nearby.
The Pakistani government has asked Ahmedzai Wazir tribal elders in South Waziristan to expel members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakista (TTP) who are posing as IDPs and living with families in the area. One elder, reflecting the view of many other leaders of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe, told reporters that “there is complete unanimity among all stakeholders that we should be on high alert against these militants.”
A Pakistani national is being held under an anti-terrorism law in Chile after he was found to have traces of explosives on his clothes while undergoing security screening at the US embassy in Santiago on Monday. The man, identified as Muhammad Saif-ur Rehman Khan, was a student who was invited to the embassy after US officials notified him his visa to the US had been revoked. State Department officials say they do not have any reason to believe that Khan or this incident is related to the recent bombing attempt in Times Square.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly NWFP)
An unknown assailant threw a hand grenade at a group of children in the Ram Krishan area on the outskirts of Peshawar, killing two young girls and wounding another girl and a young boy. The father of one of the killed girls said the attack was perpetrated by a local criminal group that wanted him to pay Rs500,000 (about $6,000) in protection money. Angry residents later set up road blocks on the route from Peshawar to Charsadda.
Pakistan ambassador attacked
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran, Mohammad Bakhsh Abbasi, was assaulted by an Afghan man while on his way to his regular gym in Tehran. A spokesman from Iran’s foreign ministry said that the clash was not an assassination attempt and the man who attacked Abbasi had been taken into custody. Abbasi suffered only minor injuries and was released from a Tehran hospital earlier today.
A bomb planted in a NATO fuel tanker bound for Afghanistan detonated as the vehicle pulled up to a customs checkpoint just near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman, Balochistan. One motorist and one pedestrian were killed in the blast, which ignited a fire that destroyed thousands of liters of fuel.