Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – October 4, 2010


TTP claims responsibility for new wave of attacks against NATO tankers; Torkham crossing remains closed to NATO supply vehicles; drone strikes kill 18 militants in North Waziristan; Osama bin Laden appears in new video calling for Muslim countries to increase flood aid to Pakistan; ISI officials believe European citizens training with militants in FATA.



NATO Dispute and Supply Convoys

  • More than 20 NATO oil tankers were destroyed and at least three people were killed during a pre-dawn attack outside Islamabad on Monday. The tankers were refueling at the Attock refinery when militants attacked the vehicles with gunfire and molotov cocktails, sparking off a short gunbattle with security guards at the site before fleeing the area. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s raid as well as another attack in Sindh on Friday that destroyed another two-dozen NATO tankers. TTP spokesman Azam Tariq said that his organization “will not allow the use of Pakistani soil as a supply route for NATO troops based in Afghanistan” and warned that similar attacks would be carried out in the near future. In a separate incident in Balochistan on Monday, unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles destroyed two more NATO supply vehicles in Kalat, killing one driver.[1]

  • The continued closure of the Torkham border crossing following last week’s border incursion by NATO forces has stranded hundreds of vehicles carrying vital supplies for coalition forces in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss the closure during which Rasmussen issued an apology and expressed regret for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers who were killed in the incident while urging Pakistan to reopen the border “as soon as possible.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said that the borders would be reopened when the public reaction regarding the incident “cools down” and when security along the supply lines improves. Pakistan has also dispatched a team to Afghanistan to take part in the joint probe into the cross border attack.[2]


Drone Campaign

  • As many as 18 militants were reported killed in two separate U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan on Saturday. The attacks, which struck several hours apart, targeted houses and a vehicle in the villages of Dashgah and Inzarkas in the Datta Khel area that were being used by suspected militants of the Haqqani network. Several foreign militants were also believed to have been killed in the strikes.[3]

  • The U.S. military is reportedly diverting drones to aid the CIA in its recently increased drone campaign against militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The report indicates that both Predator and Reaper drones have been loaned to the CIA while noting that factories are having difficulty in meeting the increased demand for drones by both the CIA and the Pentagon.[4]


Bin Laden Video

  • On Saturday, Osama bin Laden appeared in a second video in as many days, this time to call for Arab and Muslim countries to increase flood assistance to Pakistan. During the 13-minute speech, entitled “Help Your Pakistani Brothers,” bin Laden chastised donors, saying that “the response did not match the level of the disaster.” Although the authenticity has yet to be fully confirmed, one former U.S. intelligence official posited that bin Laden’s recent videos were part of an effort by the al-Qaeda leader “to counteract his loss of support among people who have come to perceive him as an uncaring terrorist who has no hesitation about spilling the blood even of fellow Muslims.”[5]



  • A senior official of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has revealed that his agency believes that “several dozen” people holding European citizenship are hiding out with militants in the FATA. Both Pakistani and Western intelligence officials have suggested that Islamic extremist groups could be training these operatives to attack targets in European cities.[6]

  • The TTP has claimed responsibility for the killing the chief of the Asian Tigers, the militant group that kidnapped and executed former ISI official Khalid Khawaja back in March. The group also kidnapped another ISI official, a well known Taliban sympathizer who goes by the nickname “Colonel Imam”, and a British journalist, named Asad Qureshi, before releasing the two men several months later. The Asian Tigers’ chief, Sabir Mehsud, was found dead in the Razmuk area of North Waziristan with a letter on his body claiming that the TTP had killed him and two other aides as revenge for the slaying of Khawaja.[7]

  • The bullet-riddled bodies of three alleged U.S. spies were discovered in North Waziristan on Sunday. The victims were found along a roadside in Miramshah with accompanying notes issuing a warning that other spies will suffer the same fate.[8]

  • Helicopter gunships shelled militant positions in central Kurram Agency on Friday evening, killing at least 18 militants and destroying three hideouts. The helicopters struck locations in the Chinarak, Ormegai, and Dombakai

  • Two schools were blown up by suspected Taliban militants in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies on Sunday. An explosion caused significant damage to a government boys’ middle school in the Masood Ziarat area of Mohmand Agency and completely destroyed a boys’ primary school in the Mandan area of Bajaur Agency. No casualties were reported.[10]


Times Square Bombing

  • Attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad is scheduled to face sentencing on Tuesday. Shahzad has reportedly been defiant in his previous court appearances, which assistant U.S. attorney Randall Jackson has said strongly lends to the possibility that Shahzad will receive the “maximum available sentence.”[11]



  • Aid workers and health officials are expecting malaria to affect more than two million flood victims over the next few months following Pakistan’s devastating flood disaster. Although no epidemics have been reported as of yet, over the weekend the UN reported nearly three million cases of skin diseases, diarrhea, and respiratory disorders stemming from the floods.[12]



  • On Friday, police in Islamabad arrested four people and recovered two vehicles carrying large quantities of supplies meant for NATO forces in Afghanistan. Among the equipment recovered were helicopter wings, rotors, wireless radio sets, a heavy-duty generator, and other various mechanical parts.[13]



[1] “Three dead in Pakistan capital, 20 NATO trucks set on fire,” AFP, October 3, 2010. Available at “Taliban claim deadly NATOtanker blaze in Pakistan,” AFP, October 4, 2010. Available at “Gunmen burn two more NATO trucks, kill driver,” Dawn, October 4, 2010. Available at
[3] Haji Mujtaba, “U.S. drone strikes kill 18 militants in Pakistan,” Reuters, October 2, 2010. Available at “US drone strikes kill 15 in North Waziristan,” Dawn, October 3, 2010. Available at
[4] “CIA steps up drone campaign in Pakistan: report,” Dawn, October 2, 2010. Available at
[5] “Bin Laden repeats call for Pakistan flood aid: monitors,” AFP, October 2, 2010. Available at
[6] Kathy Gannon, “Pakistan: Dozens of Europeans in terror training,” AP, Aailable at
[7] “TTP kills Asian Tigers chief for Khawaja’s murder,” Daily Times, October 4, 2010. Available at\10\04\story_4-10-2010_pg7_7.
[9] “Eighteen militants killed in Kurram,” Dawn, October 2, 2010. Available at
[10] “Militants bomb two schools in tribal areas,” Daily Times, October 4, 2010. Available at\10\04\story_4-10-2010_pg7_9.
[12] Declan Walsh, “Malaria threatens 2 million in Pakistan as floodwaters turn stagnant,” The Guardian, October 3, 2010. Available at
[13] Munawer Azeem, “Nato goods seized; four people held,” Dawn, October 2, 2010. Available at
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