Pakistan Security Brief

Eighty people killed in two bombings in Charsadda; Pakistan calls for inter-agency review of counterterrorism cooperation with the U.S.; New York Times: Kayani unlikely to agree to U.S. demands to root out other militant leaders; General Khalid Shameem Wynne cancels U.S. trip; Bin Laden had become “complacent;” New York Times: Signs of a leadership void in al Qaeda; U.S. helicopters had landed in Swat prior to raid; Three of bin Laden’s widows interviewed by U.S. officials; U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan; Lashkar member killed in Mohmand; TTP issues “code of conduct” in Kurram; Four militants arrested in Karachi.


Suicide Bombing in Charsadda

  • On Friday, eighty people were killed and 140 others were wounded in a suicide bombing and bomb attack in Charsadda. The blasts took place in the Shabqadar sub-district and targeted Frontier Corps personnel who were leaving a training center in the area. A local police chief said that “The suicide bomber came on a motorcycle and blew himself up among the FC personnel. The bomb disposal squad told me the second bomb was planted.” A spokesperson for the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, declaring, “This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” However, senior police officials said that they doubted the attack was actually carried out by the TTP, or that it was in revenge for the raid in Abbottabad. The officials said the attack was most likely carried out by a splinter group of the Taliban led by Omar Khalid, who is currently fighting Pakistani security forces in Mohmand Agency.[i]

Response to bin Laden Operation

  • Amid strained relations over the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani officials said that an inter-agency review would be conducted to “define the extent of counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States.” The decision to institute the inter-agency process came from a defense committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. A statement released by the committee affirmed “Pakistan's readiness to cooperate with the international community in promoting effective joint cooperation in countering terrorism" but said "it would be predicated on Pakistan's security interest." Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is unlikely to agree to U.S. demands to root out other militant leaders. A source close to the general said that Kayani is more likely to “pursue a strategy of decreasing Pakistan’s reliance on the United States, and continuing to offer just enough cooperation to keep the billions of dollars in American aid flowing.” Kayani is set to brief parliament on Friday about bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad and the U.S. operation that killed him.[ii]
  • General Khalid Shamim Wynne, chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, canceled a planned visit to Washington“in view of the prevailing environment,” alluding to the fallout from the raid that killed bin Laden. Wynne informed his counterpart in the U.S., Admiral Mike Mullen, about the cancelation of the trip which was scheduled to take place from May 22 to May 27.[iii]
  • U.S. officials have argued that Osama bin Laden possessed a support network in Pakistan, which allowed him to reside in one location for several years. An unidentified U.S. official said that there “is no apparent sign that bin Laden had a ready escape plan,” and that it looked like he had become complacent. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports on signs of a leadership void in al Qaeda, in response to a statement released by the organization that has called for “do-it-yourself terrorism, urging militants around the world to come up with their own attacks, however modest.”[iv]
  • Frontier Corps officials have said that two U.S. helicopters had landed in the Kala Dhaka area of Swat prior to the operation in Abbottabad that killed bin Laden. However, officials for the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have said that they lack information about a possible helicopter landing.[v]
  • U.S. intelligence officials have interviewed three of Osama bin Laden’s widows under the supervision of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers. A senior Pakistani government official reported that the women were “hostile” towards the Americans. Officials with direct knowledge of the investigation said that the interviews have not yielded much new information.[vi]


  • On Friday, a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan killed at least four militants. The strike took place in the Khar Kamar area when a U.S. drone fired two missiles at a vehicle traveling in the area. [vii]
  • A peace committee member was killed and another was kidnapped in Mohmand Agency on Thursday. Unidentified militants opened fire on the member of the tribal lashkar in the Safi sub-district, while the second peace committee member was kidnapped in the Dawezai area. A spokesperson for the TTP, Mohmand Agency chapter claimed responsibility for both incidents.[viii]
  • On Thursday, members of the TTP issued leaflets in Kurram Agency, demanding local residents to follow its stated “code of conduct.” Men in the agency were asked to grow beards and women to remain covered outside of their households. Among other provisions, the group asked that individuals working with non-governmental organizations “quit their jobs and clarify their position in the Taliban courts,” or be subjected to consequences.[ix]

Militants Arrested in Karachi

  • Pakistan police said they have arrested four militants affiliated with the Punjabi Taliban who were allegedly planning attacks in Karachi. A police raid in the Pirabad area recovered suicide vests and explosives from the men. A senior police official declared that, "They have told us that Taliban commander Badar Mansoor had sent them to Karachi to launch terror attacks on security forces and government buildings. They would extort money from the business community and had plans to attack police offices, security agencies and sensitive government establishments.” The men had purportedly trained in the North Waziristan tribal region.[x]

[i] “Twin blasts kill more than 80 in Charsadda,” Dawn, May 13, 2011. Available at
[ii] Jane Perlez, “Pakistan Army Chief Balks at U.S. Demands to Cooperate,” New York Times, May 12, 2011. Available at
[iii] “Pakistan’s senior military officer cancels visit to US,” AFP, May 13, 2011. Available at
[iv] Barbara Starr and Pam Benson, “Officials: Bin Laden 'complacent' in Pakistan, no sign of escape plan,” CNN, May 12, 2011. Available at
[v]  “2 US choppers landed in Kala Dhaka before Abbottabad operation,” GEO, May 12, 2011. Available at
[vi] Fran Townsend, “U.S. interviews 'hostile' bin Laden widows, with Pakistan officials,” CNN, May 13, 2011. Available at
[vii] “US drone attack kills four in North Waziristan: officials,” Dawn, May 13, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Lashkar man shot dead in Mohmand,” The News, May 13, 2011. Available at
[ix] “TTP in Kurram issues ‘code of conduct’,” The News, May 13, 2011. Available at
[x] “Pakistan police foil Taliban 'terror attacks,'” AFP, May 12, 2011. Available at
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