Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – May 26, 2010
Senior U.S. officials present findings from Times Square investigation to Pakistan’s president; Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association believes U.S. “think tanks” behind Times Square plot; Pakistani authorities arrest another suspect in connection with Times Square plot, two killed in attack on courtroom in Lahore; Pakistani intelligence agencies warn U.S. Embassy in Islamabad that military vehicles may be used in future attack; Pakistani intelligence finalizes “new strategy” to stop targeted killings in Karachi; Pakistan’s telecommunications authority expands internet crackdown to include websites critical of the government.
NY bomb investigation
Senior U.S. officials presented Pakistan’s president with a dossier linking Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad to the Pakistani Taliban in a meeting held on Wednesday. The dossier contained a “detailed chart” describing Shahzad’s contacts with the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TPP) before his attempt to detonate a vehicle laden with explosives in New York’s Times Square. The evidence was part of warning delivered last week by National Security Advisor James Jones and CIA director Leon Panetta that Washington would be under “inevitable pressure” to respond if there is an attack traceable to Pakistan that resulted in American casualties.
Officials of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association believe that the failed Times Square bomb was planted by an American “think tank,” rather than detained terror suspect Faisal Shahzad. No specific American “think tank” is named. A New York Times report examines Pakistan’s culture of conspiracy theories, where the primary culprits are normally the United States, Israel, and India. “When the water stops running from the tap, people blame America,” said Shaista Sirajuddin, an English professor in Lahore.
An unidentified Pakistani intelligence source told CNN that on Wednesday a 10th suspect has been arrested by Pakistani authorities in connection with the ongoing investigation into the failed Times Square bombing. The intelligence source identified the man as Qamar Ejaz. There is no information currently available to explain how Ejaz is connected to Faisal Shahzad or the Times Square bombing plot.
Lahore courtroom violence
Two people were killed during an attack on a courthouse in Lahore on Wednesday. The four to five attackers intended to free an individual scheduled to make a courtroom appearance. According to Geo News, after firing at police, the attackers threw hand grenades into the courtroom, killing a lawyer and injuring three others. One attacker was also killed.
US Embassy in Islamabad targeted
Pakistani intelligence agencies warned the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad on Wednesday that two stolen military vehicles owned by the Pakistan Navy may be used in a future attack. Following the report, the Punjab Home Department ordered that security be increased in and around government buildings in the province.
Pakistani intelligence has finalized a “new strategy” designed to bring a stop to targeted killings in Karachi. According to sources, intelligence agencies have compiled a list of 300 suspects believed to threaten the peace in the city and known to possess large numbers of weapons.
Observers in Pakistan are concerned that the government’s ongoing internet crackdown impinges on freedom of expression. Although 70 percent of Pakistanis support a ban on the social networking website Facebook, many believe the government is unlawfully expanding the scope of censorship to include websites deemed to be too critical of the government.