Pakistan Security Brief

English-language al Qaeda magazine reveals plot against international oil shipments; Militant commander, two civilians, three soldiers killed in clashes in Khyber Agency; Police thwart bomb plot in Khyber Agency; Suicide bombing targeting JUI-F leader kills 2, injures 22 in Quetta; Over 30,000 people have fled Khyber to date; Iran, Pakistan, trade border fire; PTI chief expects large crowds at Gujrat rally; Indian airports on high-alert following terrorist threat; India asks UK to ban Kashmir solidarity march in London; Pakistani government refuses to hire lobbyists in Washington.

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent

  • On October 19, al Qaeda’s as Sahab Media foundation published the first issue of its new English-language magazine, Resurgence, emphasizing the presence and activity of al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent. The magazine stated that al Qaeda intends to “paralyze international trade” for the United States and its allies by targeting cargo ships and oil tankers passing through strategic chokepoints. As reported by The News, in response to these threats, unidentified Pakistani authorities are concerned that Gwadar Port in Balochistan might be used to target shipments coming through the Strait of Hormuz. In addition, the magazine lauded al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’s (AQIS) recent attack on a Karachi naval yard, stating that it demonstrated the capability of al Qaeda to plan and carry out complex attacks on targets at sea.[1]


  • On October 23, over the course of the day in separate clashes between security forces and militants, a militant commander, two civilians, and three soldiers were killed while at least 11 civilians were injured in clashes in Bara sub-district, Khyber Agency. In the Sepah and Aka Khel areas of Bara sub-district, tribesmen evacuating from Bara sub-district reported that bombers and heavy artillery injured at least 10 civilians and killed a militant commander while targeting militant hideouts. Additionally, Pakistani soldiers reportedly fired upon civilians they mistook for militants, killing two and injuring one, in Seyal Khan Killay, Aka Khel, Bara sub-district. Unidentified attackers killed a soldier in Aziz Market, Aka Khel, Bara sub-district. An improvised explosive device (IED) injured two soldiers in Seyal Khan Killay, Aka Khel, Bara sub-district. The Zakha Khel anti-Taliban militia set fire to the houses of 10 militants in Aka Khel, Bara sub-district.[2]

  • On October 24, police thwarted a militant plot when officers seized a vehicle containing 250 kilograms of explosives in Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency. Security officials believe that the vehicle was intended to be detonated in the Landi Kotal Bazaar and that it was intended to be retaliation for Operation Khyber I.[3]

  • On October 23, a suicide bomber killed one person and injured 22 in a blast targeting the vehicle of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Quetta. Rehman escaped unhurt from the attack. On October 24, police forces reportedly carried out raids in different areas of Quetta and arrested several suspects in connection to the attack.[4] 

Internally Displaced People (IDP)

  • As reported by The Express Tribune on October 24, FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) Coordinator Zia Afridi stated that over 30,000 people have relocated from Bara sub-district and the Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency to Peshawar, Hangu, and other parts of Khyber-Paktunkhwa. On October 23, five Afridi tribes from Khajuri and Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency evacuated from their homes.[5]

  • On October 23, mortar fire injured two internally displaced persons in the Alam Gudar area, Bara sub-district, Khyber.[6]

Iran-Pakistan Relations

  • On October 24, Iranian border guards fired six mortar shells 3 km into Pakistani territory, near the border town of Mashkail in the Balochistan province. Pakistani security forces fired two mortar shells toward the Iranian border in retaliation. No casualties were reported.[7]

Domestic Politics

  • On October 23, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, expressed confidence that the PTI’s planned October 24 rally in Gujarat would command a huge attendance and be a record-breaking rally in the history of Gujarat district. Further on the same day, intelligence agencies warned the local administration of alleged plans by miscreants to disrupt the PTI rally.[8]

Foreign Affairs

  • On October 24, all major airports in India were placed on high alert after the Director of Airports Authority of India received an anonymous letter warning of possible suicide bomb attacks on two Air India flights originating from Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Indian security officials believe that the letter was a hoax but have stepped up security on all airports.[9]

  • According to a report in The News on October 24, India has raised concerns with the British government over the planned “Kashmir Million March” to be held on October 26 in London and requested a ban on the march. The Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and that such a march would be against an open society. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reportedly appreciated Indian concerns but stated that the march could not be banned because the action would be against the British principles of free speech.[10]

  • On October 23, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, clarified that even in the backdrop of the possible passage of a U.S. law restricting aid to Pakistan, the Pakistani government would not hire lobbyists in Washington to represent its interests. Aziz also stressed that the Pakistani community in the U.S. would serve the interests of the country.[11]  

[1] “Al-Qaeda Releases First Issue of English Magazine ‘Resurgence,’” SITE, October 19, 2014. Available at
“Al-Qaeda unveils future terror plot linking Pakistan,” The News, October 24, 2014. Available at
[2] “Operation Khyber-1: Security forces kill 6 militants in Bara,” The Express Tribune, October 24, 2014. Available at
“Six militants, soldier, two civilians killed,” The News, October 24, 2014. Available at,-soldier,-two-civilians-killed
[3] “Major terror bid foiled in Khyber,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
[4]“Quetta unrest: Fazlur Rehman survives suicide blast,” Express tribune, October 24, 2014. Available at
“JUI-F blast: Suspects arrested during search operations in Quetta,” Express Tribune, October 24, 2014. Available at
[5] “Operation Khyber-1: Security forces kill 6 militants in Bara,” The Express Tribune, October 24, 2014. Available at
“More families flee Khajuri, Tirah Valley,” The News, October 24, 2014. Available at,-Tirah-Valley
[6] “Six militants, soldier, two civilians killed,” The News, October 24, 2014. Available at,-soldier,-two-civilians-killed
[7]“Iranian border personnel fire mortar shells inside Pakistan,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
[8]“Imran hopeful of huge rally today,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
“Intelligence reports warn of bid to disrupt PTI Gujrat show,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
[10]“UK tells India ‘Kashmir Million March’ cannot be banned,” The News, October 24, 2014. Available at
[11]“Ministry rejects move to hire lobbyists in US,” Dawn, October 24, 2014. Available at
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