Pakistan Security Brief

Gilani: ISI-CIA relations have broken down; Bin Laden’s handwritten journal recovered; Al Qaeda leader preoccupied with attacking the U.S. over other targets; PML-N demands for independent judicial commission to be established; Associated Press: complicated relationship between ISI and militant groups; U.S. officials defend relationship with Pakistan; Officials: Pakistan won’t share wreckage of U.S. helicopter with China; Bin Laden wife chose to be “martyred” with husband; Seven militants killed in U.S. drone strike; Sanctions instituted against Badruddin Haqqani; Five killed in Afghan-Pakistani border clash; Five bodies found in Balochistan.


Deterioration in ISI-CIA Relations

  • In an interview with Time, Prime Minister Gilani said that cooperation between the CIA and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has broken down. The prime minister said that he has not spoken to U.S. officials since a dialogue with U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Gilani said, “Whatever information we are receiving is from the media. Today, we have said that we want them to talk to us directly.” He additionally said that a ‘trust deficit’ is present in the U.S.-Pakistani relationship, which may lead to problems in intelligence sharing. For the first time, Gilani publicly declared that he is open to renegotiating the terms of the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan. He stated, “A drone strategy can be worked out. If drone strikes are effective, then we should evolve a common strategy to win over public opinion. Our position is that the technology should be transferred to us.” However, he also added that he would tolerate a policy in which the CIA could operate the drones as long as they were used under Pakistani supervision.[i]

Response to Bin Laden Raid

  • In the Abbottabad operation that killed Osama bin Laden last week, Navy SEALs recovered the al Qaeda leader’s handwritten journal, which revealed that he had remained in operational control of the terrorist network. Besides writing on how he helped prepare for other attacks after September 11, bin Laden offered directions on how to circumvent U.S. counterterrorism defenses and “sow political dissent in Washington.” He also wrote that small cities other than New York City should be considered as targets. The Associate Press reports that “Above all, he urged, kill more Americans in a single attack, to drive them from the Arab world.” Further data found in the compound reveals that bin Laden was preoccupied with attacking the U.S. over all other targets, which resulted in friction with his followers. A senior U.S. intelligence official said that “bin Laden’s followers seemed more concerned with regional issues and were reluctant to conduct an attack that would provoke an American response.” The documents also reveal that bin Laden had been communicating with other al Qaeda branches, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). [ii]
  • The leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif, has demanded that an independent judicial commission be set up to investigate why the Pakistani military had no knowledge of the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden. Sharif has rejected plans for a military investigation, proposed by Prime Minister Gilani earlier this week. [iii]
  • The Associated Press has issued a report on the long and complicated relationship between the ISI and various militant groups in Pakistan. The article reports that the agency has a history of involvement with militant Islamist groups who have been sent across the border to fight India. Furthermore, the article argues that in trying to discern whether the ISI knew about bin Laden’s location in Abbottabad, the answer “may finally come from an unlikely source: Bin Laden himself, or rather, his documents.” In a separate report, the Wall Street Journal citesAfghan officials who have complained that the ISI has “repeatedly interfered to derail Kabul’s attempts to talk with insurgent leaders.” However, the media outlet reports that Afghan officials now possess leverage over their Pakistani counterparts due to suspicions that members of Pakistan’s military provided bin Laden with refuge.[iv]
  • Despite rumors swirling over a possible Pakistani role in helping to hide bin Laden, an unidentified U.S. official has stated that "At the end of the day, a relationship with Pakistan is critical. Wherever this goes, we have to find some way to get along with the Pakistanis." White House spokesperson Jay Carney has said that "It remains very much in the interests of the American people that we maintain a cooperative relationship with Pakistan. It is vital to our national security interests.”[v]
  • On Wednesday, Pakistan officials said that they would not share the wreckage of a U.S. helicopter used in the raid that killed bin Laden with China, following rumors that the aircraft possessed secret technology that reduced noise and foiled radar detection systems. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said “Pakistan is not going to share any technology, and I don’t think our friends in China have shown any interest in doing so.”[vi]
  • According to family members, bin Laden once gave his wives the choice of fleeing Afghanistan, but his young Yemeni wife Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada decided to stay and be “martyred” alongside the terrorist leader. Amal al-Sada, now in Pakistani custody, had also allegedly told her father, “It’s true that my life is one of moving between caves in Afghanistan, but despite the bitterness of this life ... I’m comfortable with Osama.”[vii]


  • Seven militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Thursday. The drone fired two missiles on a vehicle traveling in the area. A local official estimated the death toll to be as high as eight and said that foreign militants were among the dead.[viii]

Sanctions against Haqqani Leader

  • The U.S. State and Treasury departments have expanded sanctions against leaders of the Haqqani Network . On Wednesday, Badruddin Haqqani, the son of the network’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, was added to the departments’ list of “specially designated global terrorists.” The move will freeze his assets in the United States as well as bar Americans from conducting business with him. A State Department press release alleged that Badruddin is in charge of kidnappings for the network and helps lead militants in attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan.[ix]

Afghan-Pakistani Clashes

  • Five people were killed in a clash between Pakistani tribesmen and Afghan soldiers in the Lawara Mandi area in North Waziristan on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Two Afghan soldiers died in the fighting, while three of the dead were Pakistani tribesmen, though an unidentified source claims that the Pakistanis killed in the clash were militants. The Afghan soldiers reportedly opened fire and killed the three Pakistanis during an inspection at a security check point.[x]



[i] “Cooperation between ISI-CIA broken down: Gilani,” Dawn, May 12, 2011. Available at
[ii] Kimberly Dozier, “Officials: Bin Laden eyed small cities as targets,” Associated Press, May 12, 2011. Available at
[iii] Jane Perlez, “Pakistani Is Seeking Inquiry On U.S. Raid,” New York Times, May 11, 2011. Available at
[iv] “Bin Laden capture fuels mistrust of Pakistan’s premier spy agency,” Associated Press, May 11, 2011. Available at
[v] “Even after bin Laden, U.S. can't walk away from Pakistan,” McClatchy DC, May 11, 2011. Available at
[vi] “Pakistan says will not share US helicopter wreckage,” AFP, May 12, 2011. Available at
[vii] “Family: Bin Laden’s Yemeni wife decided to stay and be “martyred” with her “noble” spouse,” Associated Press, May 11, 2011. Available at
[viii] “US drone strike kills seven in N. Waziristan,” AFP, May 12, 2011. Available at
[ix] “US hits Haqqani network commander with sanctions,” AP, May 11, 2011. Available at
[x] “Five killed in Pak-Afghan border clashes,” Dawn, May 12, 2011. Available at
[xi] Saleem Shahid, “Five bodies found in Balochistan,” Dawn, May 12, 2011. Available at
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