Pakistan Security Brief

U.S. intelligence officials comment on “operational capabilities” of al Qaeda; U.S. asks Pakistan to further restrict LeT; U.S. and Pakistan discuss energy in Islamabad; Conditions to improve in Karachi after Supreme Court case; Karachi violence improving; Hospitals vulnerable to terrorist attacks; ISI officials killed by the Pakistani Taliban; Pakistani Taliban claims attack on school bus; Militants kidnap and kill three in Khyber Agency; LeT leader killed by Indian forces; Abbottabad Commission visits bin Laden compound; Balochistan government calls for Musharraf arrest warrant; Security officials take safety measures in Quetta; Protests continue in Balochistan; Female suicide bombers “dangerous trend”; Rains and flooding kill 233; Satellite launched by China enters test orbit.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations

  • During public testimony on Tuesday, CIA director David H. Petraeus told reporters that the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had opened “an important window of vulnerability for the core al Qaeda organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan” and that continued U.S. pressure on al Qaeda could damage the terrorist organization to the point of “render[ing] al Qaeda remnants in Pakistan incapable of carrying out attacks.”[1]

  • In a recent visit to Islamabad, U.S. officials reportedly asked Pakistan to re-examine the activities of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.  Despite being banned by the Pakistani government, LeT continues to operate within Pakistan. The U.S. has consequently “demanded that the Pakistani authorities…proceed against LeT to dismantle its vast jihadi infrastructure,” as officials believe that the group has the potential to be as powerful and dangerous as al Qaeda.[2]

  • The U.S. Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs, Carlos Pascual, arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday and will be meeting with Pakistani officials to discuss energy cooperation between the two countries.  The talks come after Pakistan agreed to complete the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project this week in Tehran, despite U.S. opposition.   The U.S. and Pakistan were scheduled to discuss the possibility of the U.S. financing the Diamer Basha Dam project, although there has been speculation that the U.S. may use the talks to persuade Pakistan to abandon the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project.[3]

Karachi Violence

  • Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry stated during the Supreme Court hearing on violence in Karachi that conditions in the city would improve once a verdict on the case had been issued.  He also commented that if Karachi violence were to become worse than violence in North Waziristan, the country would be in danger of being referred to as a failed state.[4]

  • Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated Tuesday that law and order in Karachi was improving and that security operations were being conducted “without any discrimination [and] with the sole objective to bring normalcy and ensure peace.”  Malik told reporters that the suspects arrested in Karachi were affiliated with multiple political parties, although he resisted the idea that the suspects were actually hired by political parties.  Later in the day, Malik spoke of Pakistan’s joint efforts with Australia, which are focused on intelligence sharing as well as combating terrorism, transnational crime, and human trafficking.  Australia has been assisting Pakistan financially and in “capacity building of [its] police and law enforcement."[5]

 Terrorism Threat to Hospitals

  • The National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Ministry of Interior has issued a letter warning law enforcement officials of the danger of a terrorist attack at a hospital, due to the current dengue epidemic sweeping the country.  Such an attack could result in a “huge loss” of human life, as hospitals have been inundated with patients.  The statement also warned law enforcement officials that a potential “suicide bomber is likely to be disguised as a patient.”[6]


  • Three low-ranking Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials were killed and one was wounded when their vehicle was attacked by armed militants, believed to have been Pakistani Taliban.  The attack took place on a road in the tribal region of Bannu.[7]

  • The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) officially claimed an attack on a school bus that killed four children, and injured 18 others on Tuesday.  TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was to “punish the Kakakhel tribe” for forming a lashkar, or tribal militia, in opposition to the TTP.  Ehsan alleged that the Kakakhel tribe had been “warned” but had failed to disband its militia. Kakakhel tribesmen denied the existence of a tribal lashkar.[8]



Abbottabad Investigation

  • The Abbottabad Commission spent over two hours at the compound of deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Tuesday. The Commission was reportedly trying to “get an in-depth understanding of [the compound’s] layout,” before continuing with the extensive interviewing of eyewitnesses, notably those who saw the American helicopters used in the May 2 raid in an attempt to determine the helicopters’ flight path.  The Commission will report its finding once the full investigation is complete.[11]


  • The Balochistan government appealed to the High Court for four weeks to issue an arrest warrant for the former President Pervez Musharraf for the murder of Baloch separatist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.  The court’s deputy attorney general told the government that Musharraf could not be extradited from the U.K. until arrest warrants had submitted.[12]

  • Following last week’s twin suicide bombing in Quetta, security officials blocked off many of the region’s key roads and bridges due to safety concerns.  Residents have encountered a week of traffic jams as security forces have placed barricades and police throughout the city, with a concentration of forces dedicated to the area surrounding the “residences of provincial ministers and secretaries.”[13]

  • The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) staged a protest on Tuesday against the “deteriorating law and order situation and the killings targeting the Hazara community.”  Protesters were angry that the provincial government had been failing to provide security in Quetta, citing the Eid suicide attacks that killed 13 people, and called for its resignation.[14]

Female Suicide Bombing

  • Women suicide bombers are a new kind of threat in Pakistan, according to a report in The News.  The report claims that female suicide bombers are especially dangerous because Pakistani security officials rarely check women for explosives or suicide vests due to conservative cultural norms in the country.  The report calls on the government to “take special measures to counter this dangerous trend.”[15]


  • Officials estimated that at least 233 people have died in rain and flooding throughout Pakistan.  The National Disaster Management Authority Chairman, Zafar Iqbal Qadir, stated that over 5.5 million people have been affected by flooding since heavy rain began in August.  According to Qadir, the “worst affected areas are the Sindh cities of Badin and Mirpurkhas."[16]

Pakistani Satellite

  • A Pakistani communications satellite launched by China on August 12 has entered its test orbit.  The satellite will soon provide “a range of services, including broadband Internet, telecom and broadcasting, covering regions in Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and eastern Africa.”[17]

[1] Miller, Greg and Whitlock, Craig.  “Al-Qaeda could lose ‘operational capabilities’ within 2 years, U.S. official says,” Washington Post, September 14, 2011. Available at
[2] Mir, Amir. “US asks Pakistan to move against LeT,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at
[3] “US likely to persuade Pakistan to abandon Iran gas pipeline project,” Express Tribune, September 14, 2011. Available at
[4] “Karachi situation to improve after SC verdict, says CJ,” Dawn, September 14, 2011. Available at
[5] “Karachi operation to continue without discrimination: Malik,” Dawn, September 13, 2011. Available at
Anjum, Shakeel. “Criminals in Karachi to be eliminated at all costs: Malik,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at
[6] Dogar, Arshad. “Terrorists might strike sensitive installations, hospitals,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at
[7] “Three Pakistani intelligence officials killed in Bannu,” Reuters, September 14, 2011. Available at
[8] Ali, Manzoor. “Mattani attack: Taliban target children,” Express Tribune, September 13, 2011. Available at
[9] “3 supporters of lashkar found dead,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at
[10]Hussain, Aijaz. “Kashmir police: rebel leader killed in gunbattle,” AP, September 14, 2011. Available at
[11] Yasin, Asim. “Abbottabad Commission visits Osama’s compound,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at  
[12]“Bugti murder case: Balochistan govt seeks arrest warrant for Musharraf,” Express Tribune, September 14, 2011. Available at
[13] “Balochistan security measures: Key roads blocked as security tightens,” Express Tribune, September 14, 2011. Available at
[14] “Balochistan violence: Hazara Democratic Party stages protest,” Express Tribune, September 14, 2011. Available at
[15] Marwat, Abdul Zahoor Khan. “Women suicide bombers in Pakistan: a deadly phenomenon,” The News, September 14, 2011. Available at
[17] “Satellite launched for Pakistan enters test orbit,” Dawn, September 14, 2011. Available at
View Citations


Arrow down red
Oct '11
Sep '11
Aug '11