Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief-October 28, 2010


Naturalized American from Pakistan arrested after involvement in D.C. terror plot; Third drone strike in 24 hours kills seven in North Waziristan; Afghan’s want the U.S. to pressure Pakistan over militant hideouts;   17 militants killed in clashes in FATA; Gunmen attack Japanese consular vehicle in Karachi.


Virginia Terror Plot

  • Authorities have arrested a Virginia man in connection with an alleged plot to bomb prominent metro rail stations in the Washington D.C. area.  Farooque Ahmed, a naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan was taken into custody yesterday after an investigation revealed that Ahmed had turned over video of the D.C. metro systems and other “surveillance” material to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda operatives.  According to an unsealed two count indictment, Farooque now faces one charge to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and another charge to collect information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility.[1] 


Drone Operations

  • As many as seven militants were killed on Thursday in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan.   Two missiles were fired at a compound in the village of Ismail Khel, 25 miles west of Miram Shah. Thursday’s early morning strike was the third U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan in the last 24 hours.  [2]


Af-Pak Relations

  • At a closed door meeting held Wednesday in Kabul, top Afghan security officials pressed their American counterparts to increase pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militants operating in the country’s tribal areas.  According to reports, Afghan officials are worried that the recent success of kinetic operations against the Taliban will be “short-lived” if insurgents are able to regroup in Pakistan.  Afghanistan’s National Security Advisior, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, summed up the position of the country’s security establishment, “If we do not get rid of them, we're just wasting time, lives and money.” [3]


Judicial Obstacles

  • According to a report by the Los Angeles Times¸ hundreds of militants involved in the plotting and execution of some the deadliest terror attacks in Pakistan are walking free because of inadequacies in the country’s judicial system.  The article alleges that most of the country’s terrorism cases, about 4 out of every 6, end in acquittal because these cases are based on “shoddy police work” that is then subject to the procedures of an “antiquated” justice system.  Additionally, “witnesses” are often insufficiently protected by the courts and many of those who do come forth to offer testimony against suspected terrorists, often disappear before trial. In the words of Mohammed Tayyab, Islamabad’s top terrorist prosecutor, “Our criminal justice system is weak… It's rubbish and needs a lot of improvement.”[4]



  • At least 17 militants were killed on Wednesday during clashes with security forces in the tribal areas.  In Mohmand five militants and were killed and another 10 were wounded after government forces shelled their positions.  Meanwhile, helicopter gunships attacked militant hideouts in the Khadezai, Mushti Kandao and Mamuzai areas of Orakzai, killing 12 miliants.[5]

  • The beheaded bodies of three “criminals” were found in the Yaka Ghand district of Mohmand tribal agency.  Local officials report that the trio were kidnapped by militants two days ago and their decapitated bodies found in a field with a note that said the men were “criminals,…we killed them so others may learn a lesson from this.” [6]

  • Sirajuddin Haqqani and other key players from around Pakistan’s tribal region are allegedly working to avert a bloody revival of sectarian conflict in the Kurram agency between the local Shia community and elements of the Taliban.  It has been reported, that Mullah Toofan, and thousands of his Taliban soldiers based in Orakzai, are planning a coordinated campaign against the Shia community of Parachinar in neighboring Kurram agency. Kurram is the only tribal agency with a Shia majority, and the agency’s proximity to Afghanistan makes it a prime target for Taliban militants.     [7]



  • Two people were injured on Thursday, after gunmen on motorcycle opened fire on a Japanese consular vehicle in Karachi.  Japanese foreign ministry officials have confirmed that those injured were not Japanese diplomatic officials.  Security officials in Karachi believe the shooting was an attempted robbery because the vehicle had stopped at a bank prior to the attack.[8] 


[1] Peter Finn, Spencer S. Hsu, and Caitlin Gibson, "Feds arrest N.VA. man in D.C. Metro bomb plot," The Washington Post, October 28, 2010.  Available at
[2] Mohammad Farooq, "Gunmen attack Japanese consular car in Pakistan," Associated Press, October 28, 2010.  Available at  “Seven killed in North Waziristan drone attack,” The Express Tribune, October 28, 2010.  Available at
[3] Yaroslav Trofimov and Maria Abi-Habib,"Afgans Blast Pakistan over Insurgent Fight," The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2010.  Available at
[4] Alex Rofriquez, "Pakistan criminal justive system proves no match for terrorism cases," The Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2010.  Available at,0,6815868,print.story.
[5] “Security forces kill 17 militants in FATA operations,” The Express Tribune, October 28, 2010.  Available at
[6] “Militants behead ‘fake’ Taliban in Mohmand,” Dawn, October 28, 2010.  Available at
[7] Zia Khan, "Averting a doomsday senario," The Express Tribune, October 28, 2010.  Available at
[8] “Gunmen attack Japanese diplomatic vehicle in Karachi,” Dawn, October 28, 2010.  Available at
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