Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. military plans to reduce number of troops in Pakistan; WikiLeaks: Former finance minister alleges that military officials had failed to inform government of aid; Diplomatic cable reveals UAE concerns that military cooperation made public; Naval officer belonging to Hakimullah Mehsud’s tribe had warned of Karachi attack; Pakistani navy reduces alleged number of base attackers; TTP spokesman: America using nuclear susceptibility as "excuse" to pressure government into fighting the Taliban; Headley provides further testimony at Rana trial; TTP militants fire mortar in NWA; Militant commander killed in Kurram; Largest ever heroin bust; Two militants killed in Kashmir.


U.S.-Pakistani Relations

  • On Wednesday, the U.S. military released a statement stating that it plans to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Pakistan, following a formal request from Islamabad. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said, “We were recently (within the past 2 weeks) notified in writing that the government of Pakistan wished for the US to reduce its footprint in Pakistan. Accordingly, we have begun those reductions.” Lapan said that the entire U.S. military mission in Pakistan has ranged between 200 and 300 officers. The decrease will reportedly target the number of military trainers in the country, which will drop from 120 to less than 50.[i]



Karachi Naval Base Attack


Tahawwur Rana Trial

  • On Wednesday, David Headley provided further testimony at the trial of Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago resident charged with providing material support in connection to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. Headley testified that that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had asked him to penetrate Islamic extremist groups while functioning as an informant. Headley declared that he “later used his relationship with the agency as a cover for his activities with the insurgent group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).” He also revealed that he had attended LeT training camps as well as received espionage training from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. A senior Pakistani intelligence official shrugged off the accusations and said "I have nothing to say on this. This is [Headley’s] opinion, whatever he's saying."[v]
  • Headley said that most of his planning was done in coordination with a retired Pakistani military officer named Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, known as "Pasha." Headley also revealed that he had surveyed targets in Mumbai, including nuclear power plants. He stated that he had spent two years scouting various airport and bus terminals, in addition to Jewish Chabad houses within the country. Reuters reports that Headley and Rana had “gloated over the success of the Mumbai raids and praised its planners, listening to recordings of cell phone conversations between the attackers and Headley’s main Lashkar contact, Sajid Mir, during the raid.” Following the Mumbai attack, Headley and an associate reportedly traveled to the Waziristan region to meet with an al Qaeda representative about a potential terror attack against the Jylland-Posten newspaper in Denmark.[vi]



  • Suspected Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants fired a mortar at a security check point in North Waziristan on Thursday. No causalities have been reported from the attack, which took place outside Miram Shah.[vii]
  • A militant commander was killed and three other Turi tribesmen sustained casualties during clashes in the Balesh Khel and Khar Kallay areas of Kurram Agency on Tuesday. Local elders have held demonstrations in protest against the recent surge in violence and the failure of the local administration for “allegedly supporting militants.” However, during an address to a tribal jirga in Parachinar, the Peshawar corps commander suggested that the military may launch a security operation in the area. Meanwhile, a stalemate was reported in the negotiations with militants for the release of thirty-one kidnapped passengers. The Taliban militants had reportedly demanded $700,000 (Rs60 million) as ransom for the release of the Turi tribesmen whom they kidnapped in late March.[viii]

Heroin Bust

  • On Wednesday, officials from the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) seized its largest ever heroin haul, worth an estimated $44 million. The drugs were captured from a container at the Karachi port and in a subsequent raid in the Quaidabad neighborhood. The heroin was allegedly smuggled from neighboring Afghanistan through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[ix]



[i] “US cutting back troops in Pakistan: Pentagon,” AFP, May 26, 2011. Available at
[ii] Madiha Sattar, “Civil-military tensions over US funding for army,” Dawn, May 26, 2011. Available at
[iii] Umar Cheema, “Arrested helper of militants had warned of PNS Mehran attack,” The News, May 26, 2011. Available at
[iv] Matthew Rosenberg and Owais Tohid, “Taliban Say They Won't Hit Nuclear Arsenal,” Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2011. Available at
[v] Ginger Thompson, “Mumbai Plotter Testifies About Training,” New York Times, May 25, 2011. Available at
[vi] “US trial on Mumbai attacks hears of Pakistan contacts,” Reuters, May 26, 2011/ Available at
[vii] “Militants target check post in North Waziristan,” Reuters, May 25, 2011. Available at
[viii] “Militant commander killed in Kurram clashes,” Dawn, May 25, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Pakistan seizes $44 million worth of heroin,” AFP, May 25, 2011. Available at
[x] “Indian troops kill two militants in Kashmir,” AFP, May 25, 2011. Available at
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