Waziristan

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Interactive map of North Waziristan depicting the agency's boundaries, sub-districts, military bases and key towns and locations. Click to navigate, zoom, tilt and pan the map.
 

  Sub-district headquarters           Town/village          Major Pakistan Army base

              = Sub-district               = Frontier Region


North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) serves as a haven for al Qaeda, Afghan and Pakistani Taliban militants, and numerous regional and international terrorist organizations. Several terrorist attacks or plots against Western interests have been traced back to the region, which also serves as a refuge for militants operating against U.S. and coalition forces across the border in Afghanistan as well as against the Pakistani state. Here, the Critical Threats Project has compiled a tracker summarizing events and reports involving North Waziristan and the groups operating out of the agency. Updates will be posted on a daily basis (For a daily summary encompassing a broader range of security issues in Pakistan, read the Pakistan Security Brief ). 

 

Drone Strike       Attack / Engagement Announcement / Key Report
Diplomacy          Military Activity              Law-enforcement Activity

 

 

 

September 10, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 9, 2011

  • The North Waziristan Taliban has renounced the militant organization, Khurasan. According to a pamphlet released by the North Waziristan Taliban Shura, “We want to inform the people of North Waziristan that we failed to bring this organization on the right path and we have nothing to do with this group”. The Khurasan militant group has been accused of frequently kidnapping and killing people they allege were spying for the U.S. and Pakistan. (The News)

 

September 8 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 6, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 5, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 4, 2011

  • A U.S drone strike killed seven miliants in North Waziristan late Sunday night. The attack marks the 50th drone strike of the year in Pakistan and raises the year’s death toll to 451 people, most of whom were suspected militants. (MSN)

 

September 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

September 2, 2011

  • A U.S drone strike targeted a vehicle in the city of Miram shah in North Waziristan killing four militants. (AFP)

 

 

September, 1 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 31, 2011

  • Three majorfactions of the TTP have reportedly strengthened their alliance and plan to launch joint operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan. According to a Taliban source, a new group called Lashkar-e-Khorasan, which consists of six members from each faction, as well as the factions of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir in South Waziristan, has been formed to monitor drone spies in South and North Waziristan. The group reportedly operates “under the aegis of Bahadur.” (ANI)

 

August 30, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 29, 2011

  • Abdur Razziq was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of retired Col. Shakeel Ahmed Tariq. Razziq belonged to a gang of professional abductors based in Miram shah, North Waziristan’s capital city. (“Killer of Retired Col Arrested,” Daily Today’s Muslim Peshawar, August 30, 2011. Available at nexis.com)

 

August 28, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 27, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 26, 2011

  • Several hundred foreign al Qaeda fighters have settled into North Waziristan. These militants operate with near impunity between the tribal areas and the rest of the country, and are increasingly blending into and marrying into the local tribal cultures and structures. While the fighters are mostly foreign, including Arabs, Uzbeks and Chechens, more and more Pakistanis are joining the ranks and dead fighters are quickly and easily replaced. Many fighters rent homes for themselves and for less well off al Qaeda and Taliban militants with funds gleaned from kidnappings for ransom. (Express Tribune)

  • Punjab's Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, announced that the kidnappers of Salmaan Taseer's son, Shahbaz Taseer, were part of a North Waziristan based militant group. (“Salmaan Taseer's son abducted by militant groups: Sanaullah,Plus News, August 26, 2011. Available at nexis.com)

 

August 25, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 24, 2011

  • Taliban militants in North Waziristan killed an Afghan man they believed was a spy for American forces. The body was found 5km from Miram Shah in a canal and with a note on it warning locals against cooperating with the U.S. (PTI)

 

August 23, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 22, 2011

  • A drone strike reportedly killed al Qaeda’s second in command, Atiyah Abd al Rahman, in North Waziristan. Libyan-born Rahman was considered a key al Qaeda figure and operational commander and, according to files gleaned from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, was in constant contact with the late al Qaeda leader. Rahman was operationally extremely active and was involved in the Khost base bombing in December 2009 that killed several CIA operatives and several plots that put countries in Western Europe on high alert in late 2010. (Washington Post, CNN)

 

August 21, 2011

  • A soldier was killed by militants after Pakistan Army troops engaged the militants in a firefight at a Pasht Ziarat checkpoint in the border region between North and South Waziristan. Six troops were also injured; in addition, three militants were killed and seven injured. (Dawn

  • A convoy of security forces was attacked by tribal militants in the Qutab Khel area outside of Miram Shah. The militants targeted a military convoy with an IED, wounding five soldiers. The militants fled the scene of the attack but were later caught by local Taliban militants loyal to Hafiz Gul Bahadur. A firefight erupted between the groups in which a senior Taliban commander and aide to Gul Bahadur was killed. (Express Tribune)

 

August 20, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 19, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 18, 2011

  • Pakistan Army officials stated that they were waiting for an uprising, to be led by local tribal leaders in the region, against foreign terrorists so that the Army did not have to intervene in North Waziristan. (ANI)

 

August 17, 2011

  • Fifteen rockets were allegedly fired at a Razmak area security checkpoint, but no injuries were reported. (“Militants clash in Khyber Agency; 5 dead,” Plus NEWS, August 18, 2011. Available at nexis.com)

 

August 16, 2011

  • A U.S. Predator drone allegedly killed four militants and wounded two after firing two missiles and hitting a vehicle and residence in the Nurak area of Miram Shah. The identities of the militants were not immediately released. (Dawn)

 

August 15, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 14, 2011

  • Three Frontier Corps soldiers were killed and 25 wounded on Pakistan’s Independence Day after four rockets hit their Miram Shah paramilitary camp. The soldiers were reportedly preparing for an Independence Day celebration at the time of the attack. (AFP)

 

August 13, 2011

  • Four family members were injured and a young girl killed when a grenade was thrown into their home in the Tappi region. Officials had no immediate suspects for the attack.(The News)

 

August 12, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 11, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 10, 2011

  • A drone strike targeting a house in Miram Shah killed at least twenty-five militants. Among the dead were Arab and Uzbek fighters and militants belonging to the Haqqani Network. The drone also fired a missile “destroying a vehicle carrying food for the pre-dawn meal,” common during Ramadan, according to the Telegraph. (Reuters, Telegraph)

  • Nine people were killed in clashes between pro-government tribesmen and militants near Shawal in South Waziristan. Five militants and four tribesmen were killed when a group of tribesmen attacked a militant hideout. The Shawal mountain range crosses the border from northern South Waziristan Agency into the Shawal area of North Waziristan. (ET)

 

 

August 9, 2011

  • According to “tribal sources,” unidentified armed men abducted Rahmatullah Darpakhel, a local journalist, in Miram Shah. Darpakhel reportedly wrote for Ausaf and repeatedly refused to cooperate with “the foreign media” for fear of damaging his credibility and incurring the wrath of militants. (The News)

 

August 8, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 6, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 5, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

August 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

 

August 2, 2011

  • A drone strike killed four militants in Qutub Khel, three miles east of Miram Shah. The drone fired two missiles at a vehicle carrying the militants. No details are available yet on the target of the strike. (AFP)

 

August 1, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 31, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 30, 2011

  • The Taliban distributed leaflets in Miram Shah stating that they were banning murder for the month of Ramadan. The leaflets were reportedly distributed “on behalf of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the Taliban commander for North Waziristan.” Anyone caught committing a murder will be fined Rs500,000 ($5,765). (The News)

 

July 29, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 28, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 27, 2011

  • The North Waziristan Taliban-faction led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur denied recent reports that they had asked rival militant groups, specifically the TTP led by Hakimullah Mehsud, to leave the region. Bahadur’s spokesman, Ahmadullah Ahmadi, denied the reports and said there were no other militants to speak of. (The News)

 

July 26, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 25, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 24, 2011

  • No incidents to report today,

 

July 23, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 22, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 21, 2011

  • Four people were killed in a drone strike in Mir Ali. Two missiles struck a house in the Khushali Toori Khel area of Mir Ali. The death toll is expected to rise as locals continue the rescue operation. (Express Tribune)

 

July 20, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 19, 2011

  • Members of the peace committee that reportedly repelled militants attempting to cross from Afghanistan to launch an attack on July 17 have denied the incident occurred. A representative from the committee emphasized that their role was to “help peace initiatives between the government and Taliban and promote peace in the tribal region.” He expressed that the committee had never promised the government of Pakistan that they would secure the border and that militants had never crossed from Afghanistan into North Waziristan to launch an attack. (The News)

 

July 18, 2011

  • No incidents to report today

 

July 17, 2011

  • A local peace committee reportedly pushed back militants attempting to enter the Loni Faqiraan area of North Waziristan from Afghanistan. The peace committee volunteers fired at militants trying to cross the border and launch an attack. They exchanged fire until the militants were eventually pushed back. (The News)

 

July 16, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 15, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 14, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 13, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 12, 2011

  • U.S. drone attacks killed at least 52 suspected militants in North and South Waziristan of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), one of the highest single death tolls in the drone program to-date. The attacks reportedly commenced Monday night when drones fired nine missiles at a compound in Shawal sub-district, North Waziristan, killing 25 insurgents, according to local intelligence officials. A strike in Bermel, South Waziristan a short while later killed a further five suspected militants. A third strike on Tuesday morning targeting a house and vehicle in Datta Khel, North Waziristan killed 15 militants. A fourth drone strike was launched on Tuesday evening targeting a compound in Godi Waila village in Datta Khel tehsil and killing seven militants. The compound was reportedly owned by Rahim Noor, a tribesman linked to militant groups. (Reuters, Express Tribune, Dawn)

 

July 11, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 10, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 9, 2011

  • Dawn reports Taliban leaders in North Waziristan agency are strongly denying complicity in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a Pakistani military convoy last Tuesday that killed three soldiers and wounded 14 more. A one page statement released after a shura was held by the leadership of the Gul Bahadur Taliban faction stated: “Mujahideen Shura of the North Waziristan gives last warning to those elements who carried out the improvised explosive device attack and opened fire from main bazaar a few days ago. If these people don’t stop their activities then action will be taken against them.” The shura further claimed the attack had been carried out by “U.S. agents” and not its own personnel. (Dawn)

 

July 8, 2011

  • Dawn reports NATO forces in Afghanistan allegedly fired sixteen mortar shells which landed near a Pakistani security post across the border in North Waziristan. Pakistani forces reportedly returned fire. No casualties have been reported. (Dawn)

 

July 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today

 

July 6, 2011

  • Pakistani troops with attack helicopter support clashed with militants in Miram Shah. The clash allegedly began after Pakistani troops tried to blow up a private hospital used by militants. Militants then began “firing on Pakistan army checkposts with automatic weapons and rocket launchers.” Witnesses claim Pakistani helicopters attacked a school where militants were hiding. Other witnesses claim to have heard militants speaking Uzbek and Urdu. AFP reports the clashes show no signs of being “the start of a major operation.” The Express Tribune reports four militants have been killed. Troops have shut down the market and instituted a curfew. (AFP, Express Tribune)

 

 

July 5, 2011

  • A drone strike killed at least four militants in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. Two missiles struck a house located two hundred yards away from the town bazaar. Up to ten suspected militants were in the house, and as many as six are being reported dead. (AFP)

 

  • According to the Express Tribune, mortar shells fired from Afghanistan wounded four Pakistanis in the Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan on Monday. Local officials suspect militants fired the shells from Khost. (Express Tribune)

  • A roadside bomb targeting an army vehicle killed two soldiers in Miran Shah. (Dawn)

 

July 4, 2011

  • According to Dawn, leaders from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) attended a jirga on July 4 to discuss their opposition to drone strikes. The leaders demanded President Asif Ali Zardari put an end to drone strikes in the region. (Dawn)

 

July 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 2, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

July 1, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 30, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 29, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

  

June 28, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 27, 2011

  • Drone strikes killed twenty-seven in Waziristan. The first strike hit a vehicle in Sarakhawra area near Shawal, North Waziristan, killing six. The second strike hit a house in Mandoi area, South Wazistan, killing twenty one people. (The News)

  • The commander of the Fidayeen-e-Islam wing of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Shakirullah Shakir, was shot and killed near Miran Shah. Shakir was reportedly involved in training suicide bombers. He was riding his motorcycle when gunmen fired at him from a car with tinted windows. (AP)

 

June 26, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 25, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 24, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 23, 2011

  • While visiting Wana, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said the army would continue military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) until the “job was done” or the tribes were capable of securing the region alone. He also blamed the security situation in the FATA on “foreign elements.” (The News, Dawn)


 

June 22, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 
June 21, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 20, 2011

  • AFP reports that six of the twelve militants killed in Monday’s drone attack in Kurram were “Afghan fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.” The attack marked the first drone strike in Kurram Agency this year, and the fourth ever. Monday’s attack was linked to reports that members of the Haqqani network has expanded into Kurram in anticipation of a military operation targeting their North Waziristan headquarters. (AFP)

 

June 19, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 18, 2011

  • A girl and a woman were killed and nine more were injured “when a mortar shell hit a house and a hotel” in North Waziristan. The shells were fired by Frontier Corps personnel who were retaliating against a militant rocket attack on their security post near Miram Shah. (The News)

 

June 17, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 16, 2011

  • On Thursday, tribesman in North Waziristan protested U.S. drone strikes in the region by “block[ing] the main Bannu-Miramshah Road . . . [with the] bodies of the four tribesmen killed in Wednesday’s drone attack.” The four tribesmen were killed when their car was struck by drone-fired missiles. According to The News, the vehicle did not have tinted windows “and those seated in it were clearly visible.” (The News)

 

  • Dawn reports local residents are concerned about being displaced in the event of a military operation in North Waziristan. Although no operation has been officially announced, the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has “a contingency capability in place to respond to new displacement situations that may occur in the region.” (Dawn)

 

June 15, 2011

  • Three missiles killed at least fifteen suspected militants in North and South Waziristan. The first two struck a compound near Wana, South Waziristan, killing ten. In a separate attack, four missiles struck a vehicle 6.2 miles east of Miram Shah, North Waziristan, killing five. (Dawn)

 

June 14, 2011

  • According to the Associated Press, Pakistan is planning to seek the help of tribal militias to combat militants in North Waziristan. Emphasizing the use of tribal militias could be an attempt to deflect U.S. pressure regarding a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan. Two “prominent North Waziristan locals” told AP they thought local lashkars would be ineffective and difficult to sustain given insufficient government support. (Associated Press)

 

June 13, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 12, 2011

  • The leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Syed Munawar Hasan said the JI would resist a military operation in North Waziristan. He warned the government against launching the operation at the behest of the U.S., claiming it “would bring huge destruction across the country.” (Dawn)

 

June 11, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 10, 2011

  • At a meeting in Islamabad, CIA director Leon Panetta gave Pakistan’s Director General for Inter-Services Intelligece (ISI) Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha alleged evidence of “collusion” between Pakistani security officials and militants. Panetta displayed satellite pictures of bomb-making facilities in North and South Waziristan that were conspicuously evacuated soon after intelligence on their existence was given to the ISI, and before Pakistani soldiers were able to raid them. (New York Times)

 

June 9, 2011

  • At the Corps Commanders’ Conference, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani told participants the army would not adhere to outside pressures to launch operations. He said operations would only be launched on the basis of political consensus. Gen. Kayani’s comments come in the wake of U.S. statements asking Pakistan to launch an operation targeting militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan. (Daily India)

 

June 8, 2011

  • Drone strikes targeted a militant compound and a vehicle in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, killing at least twenty-three. The compound was reportedly being used by militants loyal to Hafiz Gul Bahadar. (Express Tribune, New York Times, The News)

 

June 7, 2011

  • In an interview with NPR, Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik said he already had five brigades on the ground in North Waziristan when asked whether or not the army was capable of launching an operation there. When asked if he was specifically targeting the Haqqani network in North Waziristan, as the U.S. has requested, he responded that he targeted all militant groups “indiscriminate[ly].” (NPR)

 

June 6, 2011

  • CNN reports three drone strikes killed twenty-one people in North and South Waziristan. Four missiles hit two militant hideouts in Wacha Dana, South Waziristan killing nine, while a fifth struck a vehicle in Shawal, North Waziristan killing twelve more. (CNN)

 

June 5, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

June 3, 2011

  •  According to The News, senior officials of the Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps personnel, administration officials and members of peace committees in North Waziristan have pledged to work together to maintain peace in the region. The proclamation came as the administration officials visited tribal elders in various areas of North Waziristan. The officials later held a meeting with tribal elders in Miram Shah and rejected reports about a potential military operation in the region. (The News)

June 2, 2011

  • A group of tribal elders in North Waziristan has expressed their opposition to a potential military operation in the agency. At a press conference, the tribesmen said that “educational institutions, hospitals and offices were functioning smoothly which indicated that normalcy prevailed in the area” and that there was no need for a military operation. (Dawn)

 

  • The News reports that the United States has given Pakistani officials a one-month deadline, until July 2011, to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan Agency. Pakistan security forces have additionally been asked to capture five “most wanted” al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Ilyas Kashmiri and Atia Abdur Rehman. (The News)

 

June 1, 2011

  • Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik denied rumors that an imminent offensive in North Waziristan would occur. He said, “I have no such plans as far as I am concerned….We will undertake operations when we want to do it, when it is militarily and otherwise in the national interest to undertake such operations." He said that the military must first consolidate strategic gains in areas such as Mohmand Agency before opening new fronts. Meanwhile, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee briefing, a top diplomatic official confirmed that “the government has not made any commitment with the U.S. on Waziristan operation.” (Reuters)

 

May 31, 2011

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Pakistan's army may be taking preliminary steps towards conducting a military operation in North Waziristan. A senior Pakistani army general last week told tribal elders in Kurram Agency that security forces were planning an attack on Taliban militants in their region in order to better position the military for operations in North Waziristan. (Wall Street Journal)

 

  • Dawn reports that the offensive would be "intelligence-led" and limited in scope, as “there are only two to three pockets having terrorist presence which need to be cleared,” according to a military source. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, a top Pakistani army commander, said that the military has “no imminent plans to launch an offensive,” despite speculation that Pakistani officials were convinced to initiate an operation as a means of improving ties with the U.S. Malik stated that, “There is no change in North Waziristan in past months and weeks…We will undertake an operation when we want to, when it's in the national interest." (Dawn, Associated Press)

 

May 30, 2011

  • The News reports that Pakistan has agreed “in principle” to initiate a security operation in North Waziristan Agency. Sources report that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will kick-off the military offensive in the agency with strikes to “soften up militant targets under the ‘targeted military offensive’ before ground operations [are] launched,” against militants of the Pakistani Taliban, led by Hakimullah Mehsud. However, Pakistani officials allegedly face pressure from the U.S. to also target members of the Haqqani network in the agency. The News also states that the decision to undertake the operation had been readied some time ago, but was finalized during the recent visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen to Pakistan. In an interview on Monday, Admiral Mullen told atelevision network that “It’s a very important fight and a very important operation.” A senior official with an international humanitarian agency reported that humanitarian agencies in the region have been notified to prepare for the displacement of up to 365,000 people in advance of the operation. However, a Pakistani military official has told The Express Tribune that a decision on the operation has not been made. Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will reportedly meet this week with senior officials to discuss U.S. "demands" for a security operation. (The News, Dawn, Reuters, Express Tribune)

 

  • A blast in North Waziristan on Monday killed one person and wounded eight others. Five women were among the injured, including a female minor. The improvised explosive device detonated at a roadside restaurant in Miram Shah. (The News

 

  • A political agent of North Waziristan confirmed that a NATO helicopter crossed into Pakistani airspace and detained five alleged members of the Haqqani network in the area of Gorveet in North Waziristan. However, the U.S. embassy in Islamabad has rejected the reports. (Express Tribune)

 

May 29, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 28, 2011

  • All military checkpoints between North Waziristan’s Khajuri and Frontier Region Bannu have been removed due to an improvement in the area’s security. In addition, the Razmak Cadet College in FR Bannu has been re-opened after having been closed for two years. (Dawn)

 

May 27, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 26, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 25, 2011

  • 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. (Dawn)

 

May 24, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 23, 2011

  • A U.S. drone strike on Monday hit a vehicle and killed seven people in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. Two drones fired four missiles at the van, killing those inside. A security official said “I do not know whether there was a high-value target. We received reports that those killed in the van were all foreigners.” (Dawn)

 

May 22, 2011

  • CIA Deputy Chief Michael Morrell met with ISI Director General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and reiterated US demands for the Pakistan Army to initiate operations in North Waziristan, particularly against the Haqqani network. Although the network is one of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)’s deadliest foes, it is believed that Pakistan considers Haqqani to be a potential ally in post-ISAF Afghanistan, and is therefore unwilling to move against the militant network. According to sources present during the meeting, General Pasha told Deputy Chief Morrell that the Army is already fighting militants on multiple fronts and lacks the resources to initiate any operations in North Waziristan. (The News)

 

  • According to newly released diplomatic cables, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Afrasiab Khattak told an American diplomat in 2009 that the Pakistani military was protecting the Haqqani network. A cable sent to Washington by Lynne Tracy, the Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, reads, “Khattak described the Pakistani military as treating the Haqqanis ‘separately… from other militants.’” (Dawn, The Long War Journal)

 

May 21, 2011

  • According to sources within Pakistan’s security establishment, U.S. intelligence officers have informed Pakistani officials that al Qaeda’s recently-appointed acting chief, Saif al Adal, has created a three-member special operations council whose objectives include targeting Pakistan’s political and military leadership. Al Adal is believed to be operating from the militant stronghold of North Waziristan. (The News)

 

May 20, 2011

  • A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks said that the Pakistani “military had twice, in late 2009, approved the deployment of U.S. Special Operations teams to North Waziristan and South Waziristan to provide intelligence and surveillance assistance during Pakistani military operations.” The cable, signed by then-U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, stated that the cooperation would likely end if it became public. A separate cable written by Patterson revealed that U.S. special operations forces “were embedded with Pakistani troops for intelligence gathering by the summer of 2009 and deployed with them on joint operations in Pakistani territory by September that year.” Though the Pakistani military has issued a statement of denial, the cable reports that intelligence "fusion cells" were embedded with Pakistani military units during operations. (Washington Post, Dawn)

 

  • A drone strike in North Waziristan killed six suspected militants in the Tappi area, east of Miram Shah. The drone fired two missiles at a vehicle traveling in the area, killing its occupants. According to a local security official, the identity of those killed in the attack was not immediately known. (Dawn)

 

  • Fresh leaks of U.S. government cables by WikiLeaks, have divulged new information about the U.S. drone program in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The cables reveal support by Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders for drone strikes in the tribal region, even as they have condemned them to the general public. In a meeting in January 2008 with U.S. CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon, Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani requested the U.S. “to provide ‘continuous Predator coverage of the conflict area’ in South Waziristan where the army was conducting operations against militants.” However, the cables do not clarify if Kayani had requested missile-armed drones or simple air surveillance in the region. In response to the appeal, Admiral Fallon stated that drones would not be possible due to resource shortages but offered U.S. Marines to coordinate air strikes for the Pakistani military on the ground.  General Kayani reportedly turned down the offer of U.S. soldiers on the ground due to political sensitivities. The Pakistan Army has issued a statement denying that Kayani had asked for more drone strikes in Pakistan. In addition, a cable sent from the U.S. Embassy Islamabad on March 24 details a meeting between U.S. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and General Kayani, where Mullen “[approved] a third Restricted Operating Zone for US aircraft over the FATA.” (Dawn, Express Tribune)

 

May 19, 2011

  • The News reports that Saif al Adal, the new interim chief of al Qaeda, is believed to be operating from the Waziristan region after being freed by the Iranian government in 2010. Following his release, al Adal was asked by Ayman al Zawahiri to travel to North Waziristan to resume his previous role as al Qaeda's military chief. Al Adal was tasked with “boosting up the military might of al Qaeda against the Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan and stepping up cross-border ambushes against the US-led Allied Forces stationed in Afghanistan.” He is purported to be working in tandem with Ilyas Kashmiri, the operational commander of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI). (The News)

 

May 18, 2011

  • The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is reportedly pushing the insurgent Haqqani Network to participate in peace talks with the Afghan government. U.S. officials have argued that the group is closely allied with al Qaeda and have urged action against the group’s safe havens in North Waziristan. However, the ISI has resisted initiating security operations against the group, and now wants the insurgent network to be “a force for peace” in Afghanistan. A tribal elder from North Waziristan reported that the Haqqanis have been “spooked by an unrelenting campaign of CIA drone strikes and the death of bin Laden….and may be increasingly amenable to talks.” (Wall Street Journal)

 

May 17, 2011

  • On Tuesday, two NATO helicopters reportedly attacked a Pakistani military post near the Afghan border after receiving fire from the Pakistani side of the border. The NATO helicopters flew into Pakistani airspace in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan and fired on the post, killing two Pakistani soldiers. Following the incident, Pakistani security forces lodged a "strong protest" with NATO. (Washington Post, Express Tribune)

 

May 16, 2011

  • In the fifth drone strike in the past eleven days, ten militants were killed in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. The first strike destroyed a suspected militant safe haven, while the second targeted a vehicle carrying militants in the area. According to intelligence officials, one of those killed was the son of al Qaeda operative Abu Kashif. (Dawn, CNN, Reuters)

 

May 15, 2011

  • The bodies of three men were found in the Nawi Adda and Boya areas of Miram Shah in North Waziristan Agency on Sunday. A note accompanied the bodies, accusing the men of spying for the U.S. Two of the deceased were local tribesmen, while the third was an Afghan national. Meanwhile, a curfew has been instituted in areas of North Waziristan, including Razmak, Dos Ali, Mir Ali, and Miram Shah. (The News, AFP)

 

May 14, 2011

  • Authorities recovered two kidnapped contractors of the Frontier Works Organization (FWO). The contractors had been held in North Waziristan since December 2010. In order to secure their release, the regional administration suspended the privileges afforded to the Bhittani tribe, forcing tribal elders to convene “repeated jirgas to get the kidnapped persons recovered.” (The News)

 

May 13, 2011

  • On Friday, a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan killed at least four militants. The strike took place in the Khar Kamar area when a U.S. drone fired two missiles at a vehicle traveling in the area. (Dawn)

 

May 12, 2011

  • Pakistan police said they have arrested four militants affiliated with the Punjabi Taliban who were allegedly planning attacks in Karachi. A police raid in the Pirabad area recovered suicide vests and explosives from the men. A senior police official declared that, "They have told us that Taliban commander Badar Mansoor had sent them to Karachi to launch terror attacks on security forces and government buildings. They would extort money from the business community and had plans to attack police offices, security agencies and sensitive government establishments.” The men had purportedly trained in the North Waziristan tribal region. (AFP, Daily Times)

 

  • Seven militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Thursday. The drone fired two missiles at a pickup truck traveling in the area. A local official estimated the death toll to be as high as eight and said that foreign militants were among the dead. (Dawn)

 

May 11, 2011

  • The U.S. State and Treasury departments have expanded sanctions against leaders of the Haqqani Network, a militant group that operates primarily out of North Waziristan. On Wednesday,Badruddin Haqqani, the son of the network’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, was added to the departments’ list of “specially designated global terrorists.” The move will freeze his assets in the United States as well as bar Americans from conducting business with him. A State Department press release alleged that Badruddin is in charge of kidnappings for the network and helps lead militants in attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan. (Dawn, U.S. State Department)

 

May 10, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 9, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 8, 2011

  • A German man, identified as Rami M., was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison after confessing to being a member of al Qaeda. He confessed to receiving militant training in the tribal regions of Pakistan between 2009 and 2010 and taking part in militant-led attacks on Pakistani security forces. German authorities believe that the accused was intending to work as al-Qaeda’s contact and fundraiser in Germany. (Reuters, Reuters)

 

May 7, 2011

  • An Afghan intelligence spokesman, Lutfullah Mashal, told reporters that four young boys were detained trying to enter Afghanistan at the main Torkham border crossing, near Peshawar. One of the boys, 13-year-old Fazil Rahman, told reporters, “We were told to go and carry out a suicide attack in Logar province. I was told to press the detonating button…They said the [infidels] will be killed, and you will live.” Last month, a 14-year-old boy told Pakistani authorities that he had spent two months at a militant training camp in Mir Ali, where dozens of boys had been recruited on the understanding that they would be smuggled into Afghanistan to kill ISAF forces through suicide attacks. (Reuters)

 

May 6, 2011

  • At least fifteen suspected militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Friday. The strike targeted a vehicle that allegedly was carrying foreign militants. At least one civilian died in the attack when a missile damaged a nearby home and restaurant. The Washington Post reports that “Friday’s strikes — the first since the U.S. helicopter raid on the compound of Osama bin Laden in northwest Pakistan on Monday — are likely to further stoke tensions between the two allies.” (AP, Washington Post)

 

May 5, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

May 2, 2011

  • An indefinite curfew has been instituted in the areas of Mir Ali, Razmak, and Miram Shah. In addition, the main Bannu-Miram Shah road has been closed and traffic has been halted at the Afghan-Pakistani Torkham border crossing following an alleged suicide-bombing alert. (The Nation)

 

  • A Pakistani soldier was killed in a remote-controlled bomb attack in Miram Shah. A security official said that the roadside bomb had been planted by militants and targeted a local security patrol. A search operation commenced following the incident. (The Nation)

 

May 1, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 30, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 29, 2011

  • Three militants were killed in a clash between two groups in the Miram Shah area of North Waziristan on Friday. Militants loyal to Taliban commander Tariq Afridi attacked members of a rival group led by Momin Afridi in a Miram Shah bazaar, killing three of the insurgents. The News reports that Tariq Afridi “[accused] Momin Afridi and his men of being pro-government and has carried several attacks on them including a devastating suicide attack in a mosque at [Darra Adam Khel]. (The News)

 

April 28, 2011

  • The Associated Press reports that the recent dissolution of unity among militant groups in North Waziristan could provide the Pakistan army with an opportunity to conduct a limited offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in Mir Ali. Because the Haqqani group will most likely not be targeted by the operation, the media outlet argues that “If the Haqqanis and other militant groups in North Waziristan cooperate with a military assault against the Pakistani Taliban, that would give the army more options.” The report describes fractures among the militants, which were evident in the killing of Colonel Imam in February; despite pleas by the leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network, members of the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Taliban executed the former intelligence officer. A Pakistani intelligence official declared, "We always thought that the Afghan Taliban had a sway over these groups, but Col. Imam's killing shows that no one is in control of anyone there. His death was a shock for us." (Associated Press)

 

April 27, 2011

  • A Pakistani security officer was killed and two others injured when Afghan forces fired on a border checkpoint in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan on Wednesday. In retaliatory fire, Pakistani security officers killed three Afghan soldiers. Six local residents were injured and dozens of shops were damaged due to the clash. Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistani and Afghan security forces traded fire in North Waziristan. No injuries were reported and the two incidents appeared to be unrelated. (Associated Press, Dawn)

 

  • Planned political reforms in the FATA have been delayed due to reservations of the security agencies in the country. An unidentified source told the Express Tribune that, “The reforms cannot be implemented in [the FATA] as long as fighting against terrorists continues in the tribal regions and [neighboring] Afghanistan.” The proposed reforms aim to remove restrictions on political activities as well as curtail the powers of the administration to arbitrarily detain people. Meanwhile, a tribal parliamentarian told the media outlet that “the reforms were being introduced at the behest of the United States which wanted to deprive [FATA] of political autonomy the region has been enjoying since the creation of Pakistan.” (Express Tribune)

 

April 26, 2011

  • A curfew instituted in North Waziristan has brought life to a standstill since Saturday. The curfew, instituted on the Bannu-Miram Shah Road, resulted in the closing of all educational institutions, government offices, and commercial banks in the area. The News reports that “the political administration clamps curfew for two days every week in Waziristan for movement of the security forces in the restive tribal region.” In addition, an unannounced curfew has been instituted in Kajhori and Mir Ali by the local administration on a daily basis. (The News)

 

April 25, 2011

  • The main Pakistani supply route for vehicles carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan reopened on Monday. The demonstrations were held in opposition to U.S. drone strikes in the tribal region. The chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan, stated that if the drone strikes do not cease within thirty days, demonstrators will block all NATO supply routes in the country and stage a march to Islamabad. Khan additionally declared that the drone strikes were being conducted with the consent of the Pakistani government. (Dawn, Express Tribune)

 

April 24, 2011

  • The main supply route for vehicles carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan remained closed as thousands of people blocked a key highway in Peshawar to protest against U.S. drone strikes, which occur primarily in North Waziristan Agency. Imran Khan, the former cricketer who founded the political party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), called for the supply line to be blocked when U.S. officials rejected Pakistan's demand for a sharp reduction in the use of armed drones. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said that the two-day blockade would have no impact on their operations in Afghanistan. (Reuters)

 

April 23, 2011

  • During a televised address to the cadets at a military academy in the northwestern town of Kakool, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani praised “the tremendous success” of his soldiers in the campaign against Islamist militancy. The army chief declared that the “backbone” of militancy in the country had been broken – apparently rebutting mounting American criticism of Islamabad’s efforts to tackle the threat posed by extremist groups in Pakistan. (Associated Foreign Press)

 

  • A two-day sit-in has begun in Peshawar to block the main supply route for NATO troops in Afghanistan. Political party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) organized the sit-in, which is meant to protest U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, particularly North Waziristan. Vehicles transporting goods and fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan will not drive through the area until Monday, April 25. (The News)

 

  • The oldest English medium educational institution in Pakistan’s tribal areas was closed due to financial constraints. The Tochi Public School was located in Miram Shah, and once hosted 700 students. A teacher at the school told reporters that the political administration could not allocate the funds necessary to keep the school running. Parents and tribal elders expressed disappointment at the announcement, and asked for the government to reconsider its decision. (Dawn)

 

April 22, 2011

  • A U.S. drone strike in Spin Wam village of North Waziristan killed at least twenty-six people on Friday, a day after Pakistani army chief General Kayani condemned such attacks. It is believed that three children and two women are among the dead. The attack reportedly targeted a compound of a local militant commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur. According to Reuters, foreign militants were among the dead, but their nationalities and numbers could not be verified.  Meanwhile, the Express Tribune reports that on Wednesday,  U.S. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen told General Kayani that the “CIA-led Predator strikes would continue until Pakistan eliminates [the] Haqqani network from its tribal region.” (Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters, Express Tribune)

 

April 21, 2011

  • A U.S. military official has told Reuters that the U.S. will provide Pakistan with eighty-five small ‘Raven’ drone aircraft, a “key step to addressing Islamabad's calls for access to U.S. drone technology.” The official did not disclose the cost of the surveillance aircraft, however, Reuters reports that Pakistan anticipates receiving around $3 billion in U.S. military aid in the upcoming fiscal year. The media outlet additionally states that, “the Raven drone order is separate from U.S. plans to offer Pakistan much larger, longer-range surveillance drones, a proposition put forward by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a visit to Pakistan in January 2010.” A senior U.S. defense official said that talks on offering Pakistan surveillance drone technology are in final discussions.(Reuters)

 

April 20, 2011

  • President Zardari has announced that the federal government is dedicated to compensating “the past negligence of socio-economic development of the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and [FATA] by focusing on provision of new vistas of economic and political opportunities to the people of these areas.” He said that the provision of economic opportunities to the people in the region was necessary in order to incorporate the citizens into the mainstream of national life as well as keep unemployed locals from turning to militancy.(The News)

 

April 19, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 18, 2011

  • A Pakistani interior ministry report states that an underground meeting of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was recently held in South Waziristan and attended by the leaders of the Haqqani group, Al Haq Brigade, Fidayi Force, Allah Dad group, Lashkar-e-Islam (LI), Jaish-e-Islam, and the Mujahid Khalid group. Members of the groups gathered to discuss how to respond to a potential military operation in North Waziristan. The Express Tribune reports that, “The militant leaders reportedly reviewed the availability of funds from donors in the Arab world, and created a strategic plan to conduct large-scale attacks against important buildings, military installations and high-profile individuals in the coming year, including Prime Minister [Yousuf] Raza Gilani and his son.” (Express Tribune)

  • A spokesperson for the Fidayeen-e-Islam group of the Taliban has claimed that they have established three facilities in North and South Waziristan to train potential suicide bombers. He maintained that “We have three facilities exclusively for fidayeen (suicide bombers). Each one has more than 350 men being trained in it.” The spokesman also asserted that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Hakimullah Mehsud has recently “separated the operations of suicide bombers from the overall activities of the group.” (Express Tribune)

 

April 17, 2011

  • The government of Pakistan announced that it would halt the movement of NATO supply trucks on April 23 and 24. The political party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) has scheduled a protest in Peshawar on those days, and authorities are determined to prevent any incidence of violence. PTI leader Imran Khan and Chief Organizer of FATA Dr. Bashir Ahmed have encouraged residents of North and South Waziristan to stage similar protests. (Daily Mail Pakistan)

 

April 16, 2011

  • The News reports that the two Frenchmen whose arrest on terrorism charges was made public on April 14, had, in fact, been arrested on January 23, after meeting with Tahir Shehzad, a Pakistani national with links to al-Qaeda. It has been said that the Frenchmen wanted to travel to North Waziristan to meet with Umar Patek, a key leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). One detained French citizen is of Pakistani origin, and the other is a convert to Islam. (The News)

 

April 15, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 14, 2011

  • Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani inaugurated a road linking the towns of Bannu, Mir Ali, Miran Shah, and Ghulam Khan. The road’s construction has been funded by the Army to encourage the development of the FATA. The Frontier Works Organization will complete the road in 1.5 years, linking remote areas of North Waziristan to other parts of the country. Its total length will be 50 miles, and its projected cost is $47 million (Rs 4 billion). The project will provide employment opportunities to approximately 2,000 locals. Addressing tribal elders at the inauguration, Kayani acknowledged the sacrifices of tribesmen in the struggle against terrorism. He told the audience that the army resolves to protect the lives and properties of tribesmen against both “internal” and “external” threats. (Daily Times)

  • In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir condemned Wednesday’s drone attack in South Waziristan that killed six militants from the Haqqani network (HQN). The Foreign Office issued a statement which said, “Pakistan strongly condemns the drone attack at Angoor Adda today. We have repeatedly said that such attacks are counter-productive and only contribute to strengthening the hands of terrorists.” In a statement to the National Assembly, Prime Minister Gilani said that, “We admit we are against them. We were able to separate militants from local tribal people, and when drone attack takes place the local tribes get united with militants.” (Dawn, Reuters)

  • The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has issued its 2010 annual report, which claims that over 900 people were killed by drone strikes last year. In addition, the report states that 1,100 people were killed in terrorist attacks. (Dawn)

  •  Two French citizens have been apprehended in Pakistan in connection to the arrest of Umar Patek, the alleged mastermind behind the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings. An unidentified Pakistani official said that the two suspects had planned to travel to North Waziristan with Umar Patek before he was arrested in March. (Dawn)

 

April 13, 2011

  • On Wednesday, a U.S. drone strike killed six militants from the Haqqani network (HQN) in South Waziristan. The attack in the town of Angoor Adda was the first since the U.S. drone strike that killed thirty-nine people in North Waziristan on March 17. (Express Tribune)

  • Despite Wednesday’s drone strike that killed six in Angoor Adda, a senior Pakistan official has stated that the drone campaign has been “frozen for the moment” until the United States and Pakistan “agree on new rules that would reduce the number of CIA missile strikes.” However, there are conflicting reports on whether there would be new constraints on the drone campaign, with U.S. officials maintaining that “aside from pledging to give Pakistan greater visibility into the decisions behind drone strikes, there are no new restrictions on the CIA’s ability to fire.” The Washington Post reports that in Monday’s meeting with CIA director Leon Panetta, ISI head Lieutenant General Pasha did not formally request a halt to the strikes. However, the Los Angeles Times reports that “Pakistan now wants the U.S. to further reduce the frequency of drone strikes.” (Washington Post, Los Angeles Times)

 

April 12, 2011

  • Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has stated that Zarmalook, the Pakistani militant who had allegedly directed an attack on a NATO base in Afghanistan on April 6, had received training at a Taliban camp in North Waziristan. A second militant who had reportedly been planning a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Khalid Alrahman, told reporters that he had received training at a Taliban camp in Miram Shah along with hundreds of other men. He stated that, “We learned different types of suicide bombings in the training center.” (Gulf Times)

  • The Hafiz Gul Bahadur-led Taliban group in North Waziristan has vowed to prohibit militants from targeting educational institutions in the tribal areas. A spokesperson for Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Ahmadullah Ahmadi, said that the Taliban had “always supported male and female education in the tribal region and provided full security to their schools.” Ahmadi also condemned the recent attack on a girls’ school in Dande Darpa Khel. He vowed that the perpetrator would be punished according to Shariah law. (The News)

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pakistani government has privately demanded that the U.S. cease drone strikes in its territory. The media outlet makes the claim that, “The CIA's covert drone program has operated under an arrangement in which Pakistani officials deny involvement in the strikes and criticize them publicly, even as Pakistan's intelligence agency secretly relays targeting information to the CIA and allowed the agency to operate from its territory.” However, Pakistani officials have allegedly sent messages to the Obama administration in recent weeks which condemn the strikes. An unidentified U.S. official also said that the Pakistani government has asked for more “visibility” on the strikes. Kayani has also told officials of the Obama administration that the drone campaign in the FATA has “gotten out of control.” (Wall Street Journal, New York Times)

 

April 11, 2011

  • The Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC) has stated that a drone strike has not been launched in Pakistan for three weeks, since the attack on March 17 which killed forty people in Datta Khel. A spokesperson for the CMC said that the attacks “had almost dried up during Davis’s detention but soon after his release a major attack was conducted in North Waziristan which was condemned by General Kayani for the first time.” A senior Pakistani intelligence officer has also told Reuters that joint intelligence operations between the United States and Pakistan have been suspended since late January. (The News, Reuters)

 

April 10, 2011

  • President Zardari, in his upcoming visit to the U.S., is expected to ask President Obama to turn over drone technology to Pakistan so that future strikes could be conducted under a “Pakistani flag.” The Guardian reports that though the request for drone technology has been turned down in the past, Zardari is “hopeful the Americans would be more receptive this time, given the huge anger and rising anti-American feeling that the drone attacks were causing.” (Guardian)
  • Asia Despatch reports that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) suicide squad chief Qari Hussain Mehsud (alias Qari Sahib) was killed in a drone strike last year, despite persistent denials by the TTP. The strike took place in October 2010 in Mir Ali. At the time, Mehsud was holding a meeting with “German Jihadis” about the strategic goals of Al-Qaeda and the TTP, as they relate to Europe. Sources within the Taliban told Asia Despatch, “We couldn’t announce his death in order to avoid a possible downturn of morale within our ranks as we were in preparation to take on security forces in…South Waziristan.” Qari Hussain Mehsud was among the founding members of the TTP, and was commonly known amongst militants as “Ustad-e-Fidayeen” (trainer of the suicide bombers). It is believed that he masterminded almost every suicide attack across Pakistan prior to his death. US authorities also believe he indoctrinated the 2010 Times Square car bomber, Faisal Shahzad. The deaths of Qari Hussain Mehsud, and Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the TTP, constitute two serious blows to the TTP, and they were both inflicted by a drone strike. (Asia Despatch)

 

April 9, 2011

  • A senior Pakistani intelligence officer has told Reuters that joint U.S.-Pakistan intelligence operations have been halted since late January. The media outlet states that they were halted following the incident involving Raymond Davis, the CIA-contractor who killed two Pakistani men on January 27 in Lahore. "Presently, joint operations are on hold," he said. (Reuters)
  • The President of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Syed Munawar Hassan, told members of the press that his religious political party opposed military operations in Pakistan. He said that if military activity were initiated in North Waziristan, the United States would then “force” the government to take similar actions in Southern Punjab, leading to “total chaos” in Pakistan. (Pakistan Observer)
 

April 8, 2011

  • The bodies of three men killed by the Taliban for allegedly working as U.S. spies were found in North Waziristan on Friday. Notes which accompanied the bodies claimed that “the men provided information to the U.S.” and cautioned that “others who did the same would face a similar fate.” (Associated Press)

  • A teenager arrested for his role in the April 3 bombing of a Sufi shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan told local media outlets that “up to 400 suicide bombers are being groomed to wage carnage in the nuclear-armed nation.” According to the boy, Umar Fidayee, the bombers are being trained in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. Prior to the bombing that killed fifty people, Fidayee spent two months at a training camp in Mir Ali and “saw many boys being trained there.” He also stated that he was “initially recruited on the understanding that he would be smuggled into Afghanistan to kill non-Muslims,” but he was instead taken to Dera Ghazi Khan to participate in the bombing. (AFP)

 

April 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 6, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 5, 2011

  • The main militant commander in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, has condemned the recent assassination attempts on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. A spokesperson for Gul Bahadur stated that the attacks were a conspiracy and the perpetrators would be punished publicly. He said that the “motives behind the attacks were to create hatred against Muslims and jihad.” (Dawn)

 

April 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

April 3, 2011

  • Forty-one people were killed and over a hundred others wounded in two suicide bomb attacks outside of a shrine in Punjab’s Dera Ghazi Khan district on Sunday. The shrine of the Sufi saint Ahmed Sultan was surrounded by hundreds of worshippers for a religious ceremony when the attacks took place. A spokesperson for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attacks and told local media outlets that it was in response to U.S. drone strikes in the tribal region and military action in the Waziristan region.  Both of the teenage bombers were from North Waziristan, though the attack was allegedly planned in Bajaur Agency. (AFP, CNN, Express Tribune, AP)

 

April 2, 2011

  • On Saturday, President Zardari pledged to implement reforms in the FATA region. According to The News, the President affirmed that the Political Parties Act “reforms would help remove the sense of deprivation among the people and hoped that the remaining problems of tribal areas would also be solved with the implementation of reforms.” A representative for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also urged Zardari to announce an economic package for the FATA region. (The News)

 

April 1, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 31, 2011

  • Following the announcement that the government of Pakistan will compensate the families of 39 people who died in a U.S. drone strike on March 17, some tribesmen in the area have refused to accept the compensation and demanded that the drone strikes in the region cease. In a press conference, tribesmen said "We will not accept the money. We ask the Pakistani rulers to stop strikes by American spy aircraft in future." They also condemned the increased security by Frontier Constabulary soldiers and local militia members at three checkpoints in the agency, stating that the search is against tribal traditions and should be carried out at just one checkpoint. (Xinhua)

 

March 30, 2011

  • Unidentified militants fired four rockets at a military camp in Miram Shah on Wednesday. The attack did not result in any casualties or damage to property. It is still unclear who fired the rockets, which originated from neighbouring mountains. (The News)

 

March 29, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 28, 2011

  • The News retracted earlier reports that stated that General Davis Petraeus had apologized to General Kayani for the recent drone attack in North Waziristan that killed over forty people. A U.S. military source denied the reports, affirming that, “With regards to the allegation that General Petraeus contacted the Pakistani military or that he expressed regret over this alleged incident, I can assure you that General Petraeus hasn’t had any contact with Pakistani military leaders since his meeting with General Kayani on March 3.” He also added that, “With regards to the alleged drone incident, we do not comment on these allegations. However, the US mission in Pakistan is to conduct training and provide support to Pakistan’s fight against violent extremists.” (The News)

 

March 27, 2011

  • The News reports that General David Petraeus, the ISAF commander in Afghanistan, warned the U.S. government that drone attacks which target tribesmen should be avoided in the future in order to maintain the U.S. relationship with the Pakistani Army within the War on Terror. In a phone call with General Petraeus, military officials apparently made it clear that future attacks should not be based on intelligence coming from local agents who could be supporting the militants. Petraeus also reportedly expressed regret for the drone attack that killed over forty people in Datta Khel on March 17. (The News)

 

  • Speaking at a panel in Brussels, Ambassador Marc Grossman, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, expressed regrets for civilian casualties in Pakistan. This statement is seen as a response to public outcry at a drone strike that killed several tribal elders in North Waziristan on March 17. “[W]hen civilians are killed, we regret it. We deeply regret it,” Grossman told the audience of “Bridging the Trust Deficit with Pakistan,” a panel at the Brussels Forum. Pakistani representatives were scheduled to attend a trilateral meeting with the US and Afghanistan on March 26, but pulled out after the March 17 drone strike. (Associated Press of Pakistan)

 

March 26, 2011

  • The government of Pakistan will compensate the families of 39 people who died in a drone strike in Datta Khel on March 17. Tribal administration official Asghar Khan said, “Each of the families will be paid Rs300,000 ($3,500), while Rs100,000 ($1,200) will be paid to each of the six injured.” Khan added that the payments would commence on Monday. This will be the first time that compensation has been given for drone strike casualties. (Express Tribune)

 

March 25, 2011

  • The News reports that that the families of the victims of the recent U.S. drone strike that killed forty people last week have yet to be compensated. The media outlet has stated that residents in Datta Khel were “not only upset over the cold response of the government but were angry with their MNA [Member of National Assembly] for not raising the issue of killing of innocent tribesmen in the National Assembly. (The News)

 

March 24, 2011

  • On Thursday, President Zardari condemned U.S. drone strikes in the tribal region and said the Obama Administration would have to end them. Zardari also told a U.S. delegation led by Congressman Rob Wittman that the “recent drone attack on a peace Jirga in North Waziristan was intolerable.” (Dawn)

 

March 23, 2011

  • The celebration of Pakistan Day on March 23 was boycotted by tribesmen in North Waziristan in response to the recent drone strikes which killed over forty people last week. Anonymous tribal elders reportedly told The News that they had been “advised through pamphlets, believed to be circulated by the local Taliban, to avoid attending the government-sponsored functions.” (The News)

 

March 22, 2011

  • A seven-year-old girl, who was injured by security personnel in Miram Shah on Monday, died at the Agency Headquarters Hospital on Tuesday. The girl and three others were wounded when security personnel opened fire on them for allegedly violating the imposed curfew near Miram Shah. The girl’s family stated that she was on her way to a local seminary when the military convoy fired upon her. (The News)

 

March 21, 2011

  • Four people were hurt in Miram Shah after security personnel opened fire on them for allegedly violating curfew. A curfew had been instituted around the Miram Shah-Datta Khel road due to movement by security forces. The News has also cited statements by unidentified officials who defended that the troops opened fired in self-defense after militants attacked their convoy. (The News)

 

  • Militants have allegedly killed four men who were suspected of assisting the U.S. in carrying out the deadly drone strike in North Waziristan on March 17. Notes were found with their bodies in Datta Khel and Mir Ali, outlining their role in the attacks. (Associated Press)

 

March 20, 2011

  • Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur has threatened to end his three-year peace accord with the government of Pakistan. Through his spokesman, Bahadur accused Pakistani officials of welcoming US drone strikes at the cost of “innocent people.” His statement, which was delivered to members of the press, also threatened General Ghayoor, who days earlier had dismissed the “myth” of large civilian casualties from drone strikes and affirmed that the strikes in North Waziristan have been, for the most part, “on target.” (The News)

 

  • A press release issued by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has warned that it will lay siege to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Pakistan if the drone strikes in the tribal region do not cease. The JI press release also suggested that the Pakistan government block supplies traveling through Pakistan to NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as pull out of the U.S.-led “War on Terror.” (Dawn)

 

March 19, 2011

  • In protest against the drone attack that killed over forty people in North Waziristan, Islamabad announced it would pull out of the upcoming trilateral meeting with the United States and Afghanistan. According to media reports, U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who allegedly told Munter that “It [is] evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited.” This is the second time that one of the participating governments has pulled out of the trilateral meeting, which was originally scheduled for February before being postponed to March 26 in Brussels. The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. Embassy claims it was unaware any meeting had been proposed. (Dawn, Associated Press)

 

  • According to BBC Urdu, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is on a high alert and conducting “strict vigilance” of the country’s airspace. The news service said that air patrols have been intensified over the country’s northwestern tribal areas. A PAF spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the reports. (Dawn)

 

March 18, 2011

  • In protest against the drone attack that killed over forty people in North Waziristan on Thursday, Islamabad announced it would pull out of the upcoming trilateral meeting with the United States and Afghanistan. According to media reports,U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who allegedly told Munter that “It [is] evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited.” This is the second time that one of the participating governments has pulled out of the trilateral meeting, which was originally scheduled for February before being postponed to March 26 in Brussels. The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. Embassy claims it was unaware any meeting had been proposed. (Dawn, Associated Press)

 

  • In a rare public statement, the Pakistan Army’s Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, condemned the U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan that killed around forty people on Thursday, an unusually high death toll for a drone strike. Kayani said that the attack struck a peaceful meeting of tribal elders, calling it "unjustified and intolerable." The statement contradicts previous statements made on Thursday by anonymous intelligence officials claiming that the people killed in the strike were mainly militants. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Tehmina Janjua, also stated, “The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strike which has resulted in a large number of casualties. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed this strong condemnation to US ambassador Cameron Munter and has demanded an apology and explanation.” In a separate statement, Prime Minister Gilani said that the attack “will only strengthen the hands of radical and extremist elements.” (Dawn, Dawn)

 

  • Pakistani intelligence officials claimed that yesterday’s drone strike hit a meeting hosted by members of the Taliban, who had been asked to mediate a dispute between two tribes over a local chromite mine. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said twelve Taliban fighters and twenty-four civilians were killed when the missiles struck their meeting place in Datta Khel. (Associated Press)

 

  • Over 1,000 tribesmen protested in Miram Shah, calling for an end to drone strikes in North Waziristan and compensation for the families of those killed. Yesterday’s drone strike in Datta Khel prompted the protest. Although intelligence sources in Peshawar say the dead included twelve militants, Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders have condemned the attack, which also killed tribal elders who had been attending a meeting with Taliban militants at the time of the strike. (Express Tribune)

 

  • The head of the North Waziristan Jirga, Malik Jalal Sarhadi Wazir, said that yesterday’s drone strike had killed innocent tribesmen, not militants. He added that the tribesmen were prepared to wage “jihad” against the U.S. and its allies. “We have allowed our youth to carry out suicide attacks on Americans and we will show to the world how to take revenge for the atrocities on our tribesmen,” Wazir said. The tribal elder also denied that al-Qaeda and Taliban militants were present in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. (Dawn)

 

March 17, 2011

  •  

    Around thirty-eight militants were killed by U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan on Thursday. The attacks took place in Datta Khel when four missiles were fired at a house in the area. An unidentified official reported that militants affiliated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban commander, were inside the house at the time of the strikes. Accounts differed on the identities of those killed in the attack. A senior Pakistani intelligence official stated that the dead were militants who were meeting to confer about plans to send fighters to Afghanistan, while a local governor said they were innocent tribal elders and policemen. Yet another account claimed that Taliban leaders were mediating a meeting between two warring militant groups. According to intelligence officials, Sharabat Khan, Bahadur’s top militant commander in Datta Khel, is believed to be among the dead, as are several foreign militants. (AP, Dawn)

 

March 16, 2011

  • Five militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan. The drone fired three missiles at a militant compound in Datta Khel, resulting in the insurgents’ deaths. The identities of the targeted militants are unknown. (Dawn)

 

March 15, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 14, 2011

  • A Frontier Corps soldier and a child were killed on Monday in two rocket attacks in Razmak sub-district of North Waziristan. The first rocket, fired from mountains in South Waziristan, landed on the Razmak military camp and exploded, killing the FC officer. A second rocket landed outside of the military camp, fatally wounding the child. (The News)

 

  • Three suspected militants were killed when a drone targeted their vehicle in Malik Jashdar, North Waziristan. According to Pakistani intelligence officials, this was the fourth drone strike in North and South Waziristan in the space of 24 hours. The identity of those killed was not released by authorities. (Associated Foreign Press)

 

March 13, 2011

  • Six suspected militants were killed and five wounded by a drone strike in North Waziristan. The attack took place in the mountainous village of Spalga in Miram Shah sub-district, southeast of Miram Shah town. “US drones fired six missiles targeting a militant vehicle and a nearby rebel compound owned by a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, Rahimullah, killing six militants,” a senior security official in Miram Shah told AFP. (Express Tribune)

 

  • Four suspected militants were killed when a drone strike targeted their vehicle near Isha check-post in Miram Shah sub-district of North Waziristan. Witnesses said the vehicle was coming from Mir Ali when four missiles were fired at it. (Dawn)

 

March 12, 2011

  • Pakistani security agencies arrested two operatives of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) group for their suspected involvement in a suicide car bomb attack near an ISI office in Faisalabad a few days prior. "The suspects arrested today belong to a splinter group of the Sipah-e-Sahaba that is collaborating with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to target law enforcement agencies," an officer told the press. He also said the vehicle used by the suicide bomber had been brought to Faisalabad from North Waziristan. (Siasat)

 

  • The FATA Disaster Management Authority has been asked to prepare a contingency plan for the thousands of families that would be uprooted in the event of a military operation in North Waziristan Agency, an official told Dawn. “The FDMA has received directives from the federal authorities to chalk out a plan in consultation with the United Nations’ agencies and other humanitarian bodies to cope with the displacement,” the official said. He added that 50,000 families could be displaced from NWA. (Dawn)

 

March 11, 2011

  • Fourteen people were killed in two separate drone strikes in the area of Mir Ali, North Waziristan. Tribal sources said eight drones were seen flying over the town of Mir Ali before the missile strikes. In the first attack, the drones fired four missiles and hit a car carrying four suspected militants in Ghureeski village. Shortly thereafter, drones carried out a second attack, targeting a double-cabin pickup truck near Jailar Village on Khaisur Road. Villagers said 10 missiles were fired on the moving vehicle. Ten bodies were retrieved from the wreckage. (The News)

 

March 10, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 9, 2011

  • For the first time, the Pakistani military has issued official details about U.S. drone strikes in the tribal region, providing figures on militant fatalities from 2007-2011. Major General Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing that, “Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners… Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements.” Maj. Gen. Mehmood admitted, however, that the drone attacks have had negative repercussions, frightening the local population and causing displacement. (Dawn)

 

March 8, 2011

  • Urdu TV channel ARY News reports that U.S. drones fired two missiles at a house in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, killing five people and injuring three. The attack follows an earlier drone strike which killed five people in the Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan. (Xinhua)

 

March 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 6, 2011

  • According to official and tribal sources, NATO forces in Afghanistan fired nine mortar shells into North Waziristan. The nine mortars reportedly fell in Mir Ali sub-district, Spin Wam sub-district and Titi Madda Khel on Sunday evening. Information about casualties could not be garnered because the area’s communication system has been disrupted. (The News)

 

March 5, 2011

  • After repeated demands from tribesmen, the government began compensating victims of militancy and military operations in North Waziristan. Compensation checks worth $130,000 (Rs11 million) were distributed among 50 families. The government paid $3,500 (Rs300,000) to the family of every slain person and $1,200 (Rs100,000) to those who had been injured. The political administration has prepared a list of 650 victims in total. “Official sources” quoted by the news report say the political administration has long been in possession of money intended for the families of victims, but has neglected to distribute it. (The News)

  • Late on Saturday, four NATO helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and travelled five kilometres to Powara Mandi area in Miram Shah. An official confirmed that the NATO helicopters returned to Afghanistan after flying over the area for 10 minutes, without taking any action. (The News)

 

March 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

March 2, 2011

  • The Frontier Region (FR) Tank administration has failed to secure the release of two contractors of the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), who were kidnapped by militants in late December. The administration announced that no more time would be given to the Bhittani tribal committee to continue negotiations with the militants, believed to be from North Waziristan. The kidnappers had demanded $90,000 (Rs 8 million) for the release of the hostages. (The News)

 

MARCH 1, 2011

  • Taliban militants in North Waziristan killed four local tribesmen whom they accused of spying on behalf of the United States. The bodies were discovered in Miram Shah along with notes which read, “We killed them because they were spying for America, anyone who acts like this will face the same fate.” (Dawn)

 

FEBRUARY 28, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

FEBRUARY 27, 2011

  • Taliban members have demanded a ransom of Rs 8 million for the release of two Pakistani army contractors abducted in South Waziristan in December of last year. The two men worked for the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), a construction and military engineering administrative branch of the Pakistani Army. Officials have said that the militants moved the men to North Waziristan, where they are still being held. The demand for a ransom payment was made during negotiations with local tribal elders. (MSN)

 

FEBRUARY 26, 2011

  • Two soldiers were injured in a roadside blast in Dos Ali, North Waziristan. Official sources said the soldiers of Frontier Scouts’ Shawal Rifles were on a routine patrol when their vehicle hit an IED on the Razmak-Datta Khel Road. The injured soldiers were taken to a nearby hospital, and their condition is stable. The security forces subsequently enforced a curfew in the area. (The News)

  • During a news conference, officials from Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, the country's main intelligence agency, presented three would-be suicide bombers in handcuffs. One of them, a 14-year-old boy from North Waziristan, was prompted to tell reporters how the Taliban recruited him. The boy said he was abducted as he was walking to school in Miram Shah. Taliban commanders told him that he was to carry out a suicide attack in Afghanistan, targeting “infidels”. The boy apparently refused, but was told, “If you don't carry out an attack, we will kill you”. He was then taken to a training camp, where he was given a suicide vest designated for an attack on an Afghan army base. (The Washington Post)

 

FEBRUARY 25, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

FEBRUARY 24, 2011

  • Five militants were killed by U.S. drone strikes. The separate attacks targeted a house and car near Muhammad Khel village in Miram Shah sub-district, killing five and injuring several others. Two of the dead were reportedly foreign militants of Turkic origin. (BBC)

 

FEBRUARY 23, 2011

  • A main road in North Waziristan has been blocked by two rival tribes for the past five days. The Mir Ali-Thall Road has been closed following a land dispute between the Miami Khwaja Khel and Miami Madda Khel tribes in the Shawal Valley. Educational institutions in the area have additionally been closed due to the fighting between the tribes. (The News)

 

February 22, 2011

  • A report by the Los Angeles Times has found that the CIA passed up a chance last year to kill Sirajuddin Haqqani by drone attack, due to the presence of women and children in the vicinity. An unidentified Pakistani official declared that allowing high-value targets such as Haqqani to escape reflects a decision by the U.S. to use increased prudence in the drone strikes. (Los Angeles Times)

 

February 21, 2011

  • In the first U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan in nearly a month, eight people were killed by drone attacks at Malik Ashdar village, near Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. Sources claim that ten U.S. spy planes had been hovering over various villages in Mir Ali and Miram Shah sub-districts throughout the day on Monday. The drones reportedly fired four missiles and struck two rooms and a car parked inside a mud house. (The News)

  • The Washington Post has reported that among the 581 militants killed by drone strikes last year, only 2 were important enough to appear on the U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists. Last year saw a record of 118 drone strikes, which cost more than $1 million apiece, but increasingly targeted “mere foot soldiers,” according to an anonymous Pakistani official. The New America Foundation stated that 12 "militant leaders" were killed by drone attacks in 2010, compared with 10 in 2008. However, the number of strikes had significantly increased over that period, from 33 to 118. Factors cited for the change in scope of the attacks include a shift in CIA targeting procedures, an expansion beyond al Qaeda fighters to other militant groups, and an increase in the number of operating drones. (Washington Post)

 

February 20, 2011

  • The body of Colonel Imam, the former intelligence official, was found in Karam Kot, near the town of Mir Ali. Sources say the body had been dumped on a street corner. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for killing the former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) official. Colonel Imam was kidnapped last March with a former ISI colleage, Khalid Khwaja, and a British journalist of Pakistan descent, Asad Qureshi. He is believed to have played a key role in the growth of the Afghan Taliban. (Dawn)

  • The bodies of two men were found discarded on Miram Shah-Datta Khel Road in North Waziristan on Sunday. The men were accused of being U.S. spies. No group has claimed responsibility for their deaths. (The News)

 

February 19, 2011

  • Pajhwok Afghan News has issued a report that claims the February 19th attack on a bank in Nangarhar, Afghanistan was planned in Pakistan. Zmaray Bashari, an Afghan ministry spokesperson, said that one of the suicide bombers captured by security forces during the operation hails from North Waziristan.The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed thirty-seven. (Pajhwok Afghan News)

 

February 18, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 17, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 16, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 15, 2011

 

  • Militants executed two men in New Adda in Datakhel on charges of spying. The insurgents shot the men in front of a crowd before leaving notes which stated that there would be similar consequences for those suspected of spying. The men had been kidnapped from the Datakhel area three weeks prior. (Central Asia Online)

 

February 14, 2011

 

  • The Express Tribune reports that the Haqqani network has grown in strength, despite increased U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan which aim to restrict its movement. Unidentified officials have claimed that the group has recruited new militants from within various movements across Pakistan, contributing to an estimated 15,000- 25,000 active supporters. A local, Mirajuddin Wazir, told the paper that, “Nothing has changed. Everything looks just as it was before drones started attacking the network.”

 

  • A report issued by Reuters details the effect of U.S. drone strikes on popular support for the Pakistani government. The article points to civilian causalities and continued violations of sovereignty, which have reportedly undermined recent progress in winning the hearts and minds of the North Waziristan population. (Reuters)

 

February 13, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 12, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 11, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 10, 2011

 

  • Militants killed three people, including two Khasadar officers in Mirali Tehsil. The two officers, Taq Noor and Laiq Noor, were accused of spying on behalf of the U.S. The bodies were accompanied with a note of warning that anybody else suspected to be spying on the Taliban would meet the same fate. (Central Asia Online)

 

  • Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack which killed thirty-one people in Mardan. The teenage suicide bomber wearing a school boy uniform was able to get through six checkpoints by wearing a uniform for Aziz Bhatti College, a school located inside the compound.  Tariq said the attack was meant to avenge the men and women killed by U.S. drone attacks and by security operations in the FATA. (BBC News)

 

February 9, 2011

 

  • The government instituted a curfew for the remainder of Wednesday, covering the Miram Shah Colony Checkpoint to Datta Khel, Gharlamay and Ghulam Khan. The Miram Shah-Datta Khel Road and Miram Shah-Ghulam Khan Road remained under curfew until 6:30 a.m. (The News)

 

February 8, 2011

 

  • Authorities instituted a curfew in the entirety of North Waziristan, including the administrative capital of Miramshah. All educational and health institutions, government offices, and the sole branch of the National Bank of Pakistan remained close. (The News)

 

  • A videotape of the kidnapped son-in-law of the former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Tariq Majid, reveals that he is in the custody of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants. A message released by Amir Aftab Malik stated that his kidnappers are asking for ransom money as well as the release of 153 militants being held in Pakistani prisons, including Malik Mohammad Ishaq, the founder of the LeJ. Sources allege that Amir Malik has been confined within North Waziristan by the Punjabi Taliban. (The News)

 

February 7, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 6, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

February 5, 2011

 

  • Twenty-two mortar shells fired from across the Durand Line by NATO and Afghan forces fell in North Waziristan on Saturday. The shells landed in Nari Doog, Nawab Mandi, Bangidar and the surrounding areas. Tribesmen in Naro Doog and Tabiwal threatened to obstruct the routes passing through Ghulam Khan and Saidgi areas of North Waziristan if shells continued to land in the area. (The News)

 

  • A security officer injured in a roadside blast in Janikhel died at a hospital in Bannu. Sepoy Mohammad Sajjad was injured when a security convoy hit a landmine in the Janikhel area. The convoy was traveling from Miramshah to Bannu. (The News)

 

February 4, 2011

 

  • Intermitted shelling between Afghan and Pakistani forces continued through the night on Friday. Sources report that some of the shells landed in civilian-populated areas in Nari Doog, Nawab Mandi, and Bangidar, but no fatalities were reported. (The News)

 

February 3, 2011

 

  • Pakistani and Afghan troops reportedly traded gunfire on Thursday, after NATO and Afghan troops fired mortar shells into North Waziristan. Sources said that security forces in Khost province of Afghanistan fired three mortar shells on Nawab Camp in North Waziristan. Pakistani troops returned fire, directed at the Tor Khobay area of Gurbaz district, across the Afghan border. The shelling continued for three hours. (The News)

 

February 2, 2011

 

  • A Pakistani security officer was killed and eight others wounded when NATO and Afghan forces fired mortar shells on a security checkpoint in Bandigar. Schools and bazaars subsequently were closed in the border villages of North Waziristan. (The News)

February 1, 2011

 

  • General David Rodriguez, a deputy U.S. commander in Afghanistan, declared on Tuesday that the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan can still win the war even if Pakistan fails to commence military operations against militants in North Waziristan. Rodriguez said, “We need them to do more. We’re going to encourage them to do more because that makes it easier on what we’re doing. But I think it’s still doable, without them decreasing what they’ve been doing, which is significant.” His remarks contrast sharply with previous evaluations by U.S. intelligence agencies, who have cautioned that Pakistan’s unwillingness to take action against the Haqqani network in North Waziristan may challenge the war effort. Admiral Mike Mullen also had previously warned that extremism could not be defeated without the eradication of militant safe havens in Pakistan. (Dawn)

 

January 31, 2011

 

  • The North Waziristan shura (militant council) distributed leaflets warning those involved in kidnapping and car lifting that they would be punished and their houses would be burnt. The leaflets were written in Urdu and distributed in Miram Shah. The leaflets also promised to reward villagers who provide the shura with information about kidnapped persons or snatched vehicles. (The News)

 

January 30, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 29, 2011

 

  • Colonel Imam, the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operator who died recently in North Waziristan, had ties with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, The Express Tribune reports. A close friend of his told reporters that Imam established strong ties with the Arabs who travelled to Pakistan to help the Afghan Mujahideen two decades ago. The Pakistani Taliban has yet to claim responsibility for Imam’s death, but his family believes the Punjabi Taliban are involved. (The Express Tribune)

 

 

 

  • The suicide bomber who killed 16 people in Lahore on January 25 had been sent from North Waziristan, The Nation reports. According to CIA sources, several of the bomber’s fingers and the lower part of a foot were recovered from the scene, and these indicated that he had been a teenager. The bomber’s appearance and the make-up of his suicide vest led investigators to believe that he had been sent from North Waziristan. (The Nation)

 

January 28, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 27, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

 

January 26, 2011

  • SITE Intelligence Group reports that al Qaeda's head of media and preaching in Pakistan, Ustadh Ahmad Farooq, made a rare admission: that the terror network is losing territory and fighters amid the U.S. drone campaign. The authenticity of the audio recording could not be independently verified. “There were many areas where we once had freedom, but now they have been lost," Farooq says on the recording. "We are the ones that are losing people, we are the ones facing shortages of resources. Our land is shrinking and drones are flying in the sky.” (AP)  

 

January 25, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.    

 

January 24, 2011

  • Tribal elders and members of a North Waziristan “peace committee” refuted media reports of the death of Colonel Imam, the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official. The chief of the peace committee, Maulvi Gul Ramzan, said that Sultan Amir Tarar, known as “Colonel Imam”, was neither kidnapped nor killed in the North Waziristan Agency. Ramzan said the tribal people and peace committee members would not allow others to carry out such activities on their soil. (The News)  

  • Police seized arms and ammunitions from a truck that left Miram Shah and was heading for Karachi. Police director Ahmed Khan Solangi told reporters that the truck was intercepted near Kotri Kabir. “Four suicide jackets, 40 hand-grenades, two rocket-launchers along with 11 projectiles, three Kalashnikov rifles, 32 detonators, 10 fuses and a large quantity of drugs were found,” Dawn reports. Solangi said the weapons were hidden amongst crates of oranges. (Dawn)    

 

January 23, 2011

  • Three U.S. drone strikes killed at least 13 militants in North Waziristan. The first two strikes took place in Datta Khel, some 25 miles west of North Waziristan’s main town of Miram Shah. The third took place in Mando Khel, around 30 miles south of the town. In the first strike, two missiles were fired at a vehicle as it stopped outside a house in Datta Khel, officials said. An intelligence official in Miram Shah told AFP, “Preliminary reports said all of them were local militants but we are trying to get more information.” The second drone strike took place in the same town. A missile was fired at a motorcycle, killing three militants, local officials said. It was not immediately clear if the drones were pursuing a high value target, but a foreigner was likely among those killed in the second attack. The third drone strike hit a vehicle parked inside a suspected militant compound. Intelligence officials said that six militants were killed and three injured. (Dawn)  

  • Former Pakistani intelligence officer Sultan Amir Tarar, known as "Colonel Imam", died of an alleged heart attack while in captivity in North Waziristan, a senior government official said. He was considered a “godfather” to the Afghan Taliban, and was kidnapped by militants last March while travelling with another ex-spy and a British journalist in North Waziristan. Tariq Hayat, the top administrative official for FATA, said district officials had informed him of Tarar's death. "I was told by the political administration of North Waziristan that he died from a heart attack," Hayat told AFP. "He died from a heart attack, but I will say that he was killed by the Taliban because he was a heart patient and if you don't provide medicine to a heart patient you are going to kill him," he added. Tarar’s body has not been recovered and neither military nor intelligence officials have been able to confirm his death. (AFP)  

 

January 22, 2011

  • A group of militants attacked a security check post in Miram Shah, North Waziristan. In the gun battle that ensued, four of the attackers were killed, a security official said. (Daily Times)  

 

January 21, 2011

  • The Associated Press reports that approximately 2,000 tribesmen participated in a demonstration against American drone strikes in the town of Miram Shah, North Waziristan. Some 150 Taliban fighters reportedly kept vigil over the demonstration, calling into question whether those attending the rally were doing so of their free will, the report states. (AP)  

  • The Shawal Rifles of the paramilitary Frontier Corps distributed food and blankets among internally displaced people in North Waziristan. In October 2009, a military operation was launched against Hakimullah Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), displacing large numbers of Mehsuds from Makin, Ladha and other towns in South Waziristan. They have since been living in villages by Razmak and Mir Ali. According to news reports, the Shawal Rifles assured the IDPs they would continue to help them until they could return to their homes. (The News)  

 

January 20, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.  

 

January 19, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.  

 

January 18, 2011

  • A senior Pakistani security official told AFP that a U.S. drone “fired two missiles at a militant compound in Dashgah village killing at least five militants." He added that officials were trying to ascertain the nationality of those killed. (AFP)  

  • Taliban militants fired a rocket at a security force check post in the town of Razmak, North Waziristan. Three soldiers are known to have died in the attack, and three more were wounded. “This is the work of the Taliban,” a security official said. (The Nation)  

  • The North Waziristan grand peace jirga (council) condemned a militant attack on a Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in the Shawal Valley and assured the government and military authorities of their full support. The jirga members, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, held a meeting with political and military officials to defuse the tension that developed after a recent terrorist attack on a convoy of the Shawal Rifles, a wing of the paramilitary Frontier Corps. (The News)  

 

January 17, 2011

  • Pakistan’s refusal to launch military operations in North Waziristan has a silver lining for the U.S. officials who authorize drone strikes, The New York Times reports. A number of American intelligence officials have stated that military activity in other Agencies have driven militants to congregate in North Waziristan, making it easier for drones to target them en masse. (New York Times)  

 

January 16, 2011

  • Six soldiers sustained injuries in a roadside blast close to the Dangin checkpost in North Waziristan. A security forces convoy was en route to Dos Ali from Razmak when a bomb exploded, apparently triggered by a remote-control device. After the incident, security forces cordoned the area to conduct a search operation.  (The News)  

  • Militants in North Waziristan distributed leaflets warning tribesmen of “severe consequences” if they enlisted in Pakistan’s security forces. The leaflets were written in Urdu and distributed on behalf of the “Ameer and Shura of the Mujahideen,” North Waziristan. This is the name often used by local militants led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur. The leaflet warned, “We have learnt from reliable sources that the tribesmen are being recruited for use against us. This recruitment will create conditions for civil war in North Waziristan.” (The News)  

 

January 15, 2011   

  • No incidents to report today.  

January 14, 2011

  • Asia Times Online reported that twelve Canadians are presently in al Qaeda training camps in North Waziristan, preparing to carry out terrorist missions in Canada. Arif Wazir, described in the Asia Times Online report as a North Waziristan local militant, said the twelve men departed for Afghanistan last February and after nine months, al Qaeda sent them to Darpa Khel, North Waziristan. “In Afghanistan, they received basic Jihadi training, while currently they are busy doing some special courses,” the paper quoted Wazir as saying. “Their main learning is how to use sophisticated weapons and how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America…They are also learning how to use ordinary material like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives. These militants will then return to their country to execute al Qaeda’s plan of targeting big cities in Canada,” Wazir said. According to the report, the twelve Canadians joined Jihad al-Islami (JAI), the Egyptian militant organisation, which helped them travel to Afghanistan. The report says that the group leader is a 30 year old recent convert to Islam, who has “a golden beard,” and goes by the alias Abu Shahid. (Pakistan Observer)

 

  • U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters at a news briefing that President Obama did not ask President Zardari to launch a military operation in North Waziristan during their meeting at the White House. Donilon was asked whether the topic of North Waziristan was discussed, and he responded, “They didn’t get into the details of those kinds of military or counter-terrorism operations.” Both Donilon and Pakistan’s Ambassador Hussain Haqqani told reporters that such specific discussions were avoided because the purpose of Mr. Zardari’s visit to Washington was to attend Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s memorial service. (Dawn)  

 

January 13, 2011

  • At a weekly news briefing, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in reference to army operations in North Waziristan that Islamabad was moving ahead methodically and in view of its strategic objectives. Basit added that the U.S. understood Pakistan’s position very well with regard to a full-scale operation in the agency. Later in the briefing, Basit said that all countries in the region ought to adhere to a policy of “non-interference and non-intervention in Afghanistan”. (Daily Times)

  • Mortars seemingly fired from Afghanistan hit a house in North Waziristan, killing five men and three women. The mortar attack occurred in Titi Madda Khel village. Officials said 11 additional people were wounded as a result of the attack. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, Pakistani intelligence officials said the mortars were fired by Afghan or foreign forces in Afghanistan. NATO officials in Afghanistan said these allegations were being investigated. (Associated Press)  

  • Central Asia Online has reported that U.S. drone strikes, coupled with the fear of imminent military action, have forced many members of the Haqqani network to relocate from North Waziristan to Afghanistan. According to former FATA security chief Brig. (ret.) Mehmood Shah, “Haqqani has no more fighting elements left in Waziristan Agency.” Shah told Central Asia Online, “Air strikes on militant convoys have blown up the network’s logistical tail in Waziristan.” (Central Asia Online)  

 

January 12, 2011

  • Three militants were killed on Wednesday as a result of a drone strike in North Waziristan. Pakistani officials in Haider Khel village confirm that a U.S. drone fired two missiles at a militant compound, killing three and injuring two. Pakistani officials were reportedly working to ascertain the identity of those killed, but referred to them as “foreigners”, a term used to describe Taliban and al Qaeda linked non-Pashtun militants. (Dawn)  

  • U.S. Vice President Biden met with Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani and assured him that “no U.S. boot will tread on Pakistani soil.” The Vice President also addressed anti-American sentiment in the country, saying, “There are some sections in Pakistani society and elsewhere that suggest America disrespects Islam and its followers…We are not the enemies of Islam and we embrace those who practice that great religion in our country.” (Daily Times)  

  • In an interview with GEO News, Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referred to Pakistan as the “epicenter” of global terrorism. Mullen stated he was “confident” that the Pakistani military was aware of what needs to be done to eliminate the extremist threat, and said the U.S. would continue to push for a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan to eradicate militants in the area. (Dawn)

 

January 11, 2011

  • Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington told reporters that his government is committed to mounting military assaults against Taliban and al-Qaeda positions in North Waziristan. “It’s only a matter of how, when and in what manner do we conduct operations there against the extremists and terrorists,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani said. The Ambassador also reiterated Pakistan’s position that putting U.S. “boots on the ground is not going to happen, and [is] not needed.” (Bloomberg)

 

January 10, 2011

  • The Pakistani military has said it will indefinitely postpone a military operation in North Waziristan due to freezing winter conditions that typically last six months or more in the mountainous tribal region. Unnamed sources within Pakistan’s military establishment confirmed the decision to postpone any potential operation but indicated that U.S. drone strikes will still continue to target militant hideouts in North Waziristan. Another military source gave his assurances that despite the postponement, “taking the ongoing war in the tribal areas and other regions to its logical conclusion is the first and foremost priority for the Pakistan Army.” (Express Tribune)

 

January 9, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 8, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 7, 2011

  • At least five militants were killed when four missiles fired by a suspected U.S. drone struck a house and a vehicle in Ghar Laley village, just outside of Miram Shah. (Dawn)

 

January 6, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 5, 2011

  • Several U.S. officials have indicated that the strategic relationship between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has become seriously strained. Among the reasons for the recent tensions between the two intelligence agencies are continued frustration from U.S. officials over Pakistan’s refusal to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, and the long standing issue of the ISI’s alleged support for extremist militant groups. (Reuters)

 

January 4, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 3, 2011

  • No incidents to report today.

 

January 2, 2011

  • Sources within Pakistan’s military intelligence services claim that Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of senior Haqqani Network founder and commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, was arrested sometime during the past week while he was driving from Peshawar to North Waziristan. The United Nations has described Nasiruddin as being one of Jalaluddin Haqqani’s three eldest sons who acts as “an emissary for the network” and “spends a lot of time fundraising.” (CNN)

 

January 1, 2011

  • Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed that at least 18 militants have been killed in three separate drone strikes in the Mohammed Khel area. The first strike killed nine militants riding in a vehicle while a second drone strike two hours later killed an additional five militants who were retrieving bodies from the site of the earlier strike. Missiles fired from a third drone killed four more militants riding in a vehicle in a nearby area. (AP)

 

December 31, 2010

  • At least four militants were killed when two missiles fired by a U.S. drone struck their vehicle as it was traveling through the Ghulam Khan area. Local security officials said that the slain militants belonged to the Haqqani network. (AFP)

  • A new article from the Washington Post examines the fruitless attempts made by U.S. officials to persuade Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to launch a military operation in North Waziristan. Despite efforts at diplomatic and social persuasion, General Kayani has remained steadfast in his refusal to commit Pakistan’s military forces to battling insurgents in this key border region due to a lack of both sufficient troops and public support for such an operation. Despite General Kayani’s promises to launch an operation when the timing is right he has still refused to provide any indication of when that might be. According to the article, U.S. officials have also called General Kayani “one of the most anti-India chiefs Pakistan has ever had” and point out that his reluctance to commit to a North Waziristan operation has been a result of his concern about the “end state in South Asia” and his attempts to hedge Pakistan’s bets ahead of the planned U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan which is set to begin this summer. (Washington Post)

 

December 30, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 29, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 28, 2010

  • According to a new intelligent report, rival insurgent groups along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network, are putting aside their differences to carry out an increasing number of joint raids against U.S. and NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan. The assessment concludes that militant organizations are engaging in an unprecedented level of cooperation and have come together to both collectively plan and launch attacks. In one case, evidence found on the bodies of slain militants following an attack on a U.S. military outpost revealed that the fighters were from at least three different factions. Military officials said that this newfound cooperation has been a result of the recent successes made by U.S. and coalition forces in pushing back the Taliban. (New York Times)

 

December 27, 2010

  • Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed that at least 18 militants were killed in a series of drone strikes in Mir Ali. At least four foreign militants were killed when their vehicle was struck by four to six missiles fired by a U.S. drone. Shortly afterwards, another 14 militants belonging to the TTP were also killed in drone attack as they arrived at the site of the previous attacks. Separate reports indicate the second group of militants were killed in a drone strike which targeted a compound in the same area. (BBC, CNN, AFP, Wall Street Journal)

 

December 26, 2010

 

  • A classified portion of the White House’s end of year assessment on the war in Afghanistan concludes that heightened military efforts by U.S. commandos have hindered the momentum of the Haqqani network. The report points out that the Haqqanis have not carried out a large-scale attack in Kabul in more than seven months, an outcome which has largely been the product of increased U.S. pressure to cripple the network’s bomb makers and logistics experts. However, the Obama administration has reportedly tried to downplay these successes as it remains well aware of the fragility of these gains and the difficulty involved in fundamentally destabilizing the Haqqani network’s capabilities. (New York Times)

  • General David Petraeus praised Pakistan’s “impressive” counterinsurgency efforts against militant extremists in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan and also called on Pakistan to cooperate in more “hammer and anvil operations.” General Petraeus said that Pakistan acknowledged its “need to do more to solidify their gains” in the FATA and added that the U.S. was “going to coordinate with [Pakistan] to help their operations,” pointing out the two countries have already carried out coordinated military action on both sides of the border. (AP)

  • While speaking to reporters during a trip to Balochistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the U.S. drone campaign in North Waziristan and other areas of the FATA has been counterproductive. Mr. Gilani claimed that U.S. drone strikes have worsened problems of militant extremism in Pakistan’s tribal areas and also called on the U.S. to hand over its drone technology to Pakistan. (Dawn)

 

 

December 25, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 24, 2010

  • Pakistani security officials claim that increased U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan over the past several months have led to a sharp rise in the slayings of local tribesmen as extremist groups attempt to root out potential U.S. spies. According to regional military commander Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, militant groups are “just spreading terror by killing anyone” and are also purging their own ranks by executing alleged spies with little or no evidence. Interviews with North Waziristan residents reveal the pervasive atmosphere of fear and mistrust among the local population who are at risk of being accused of spying due to either Taliban paranoia or false allegations from rival tribesman looking to settle scores. (Washington Post)

 

December 23, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 22, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 21, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 20, 2010

  • A proposal has been issued by senior U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan and Washington requesting permission for Special Operations forces to take ground action in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The military officials are well aware that increased cross-border activity by U.S. forces holds the significant risk of “provoking a backlash” from Pakistan but appear to still be convinced that conducting such operations has a new sense of urgency due to the approaching deadline for withdrawal in Afghanistan combined with the high potential of acquiring valuable intelligence from captured militants across the border. Although the White House as not yet approved the proposal, one U.S. military officer anonymously told reporters, “We’ve never been as close as we are now to getting the go-ahead to go across. It has also been revealed by the New York Times that Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams, comprised of elite Afghan soldiers, have in recent weeks carried out offensive operations against militant targets inside Pakistani territory.  Though the existence of these Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams has been known for some time, their previous missions were thought to be limited to intelligence-gathering operations. (New York Times)

  • A senior Pakistani military official says that a six-month timeframe “is about right” for when the military is set to launch an offensive into North Waziristan, adding that the operation will likely begin by the coming summer. The official also indicated that many militants have fled North Waziristan for the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency in order to escape the increased tempo of U.S. drone strikes in the region. This new development likely explains the motivation behind the three drone strikes in Khyber Agency over the weekend, a region which has rarely been targeted by U.S. attacks. (CNN)

 

December 19, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 18, 2010

  • According to political analysts and intelligence officials in Islamabad, The Pakistani military is reportedly on the verge of launching a new offensive against the Taliban and al Qaeda in North Waziristan. One ISI official said that “the decision has been taken” to step up the intensity of “limited, targeted actions” which the military began conducting in the region four months ago. However, the official also said that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is still undecided on whether or not to launch a full-scale operation. Ashraf Ali of the FATA Research Center in Islamabad said that the military’s reluctance to escalate its actions in North Waziristan partially stems from concerns that militant groups will unite if they conclude that “the Pakistani government intends to annihilate them,” resulting in a backlash that would hit the entire country. (The National)

 

December 17, 2010

  • Following its annual review of the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Obama administration has announced that the U.S. plans to increase its attacks against militants operating in the FATA due to Pakistan’s refusal to eliminate al Qaeda safe havens in the region, especially those in North Waziristan. According to the report, such attacks will most likely include more drone strikes and possibly Special Forces operations along the border with Pakistan. Administration officials also indicated that the Pakistani government has privately assured them that the military will launch a North Waziristan operation in 2011. (New York Times)

  • According to a Washington Post report, the Haqqani network continues to maintain the Manba Uloom madrassa on the outskirts of Miram Shah to train and shelter its fighters. U.S. officials have described the madrassa as a “focal point of Haqqani operations”  but have refrained from targeting the site with drone strikes for fear that attacking a religious site, where children are also known to be present, would trigger a violent backlash. Despite claims from Pakistani security officials that security forces have raided the madrassa on several occasions and have found no evidence of militant activity, the U.S. insists that militants regularly use the building for “recruitment, training, and planning” and also added that “there is a strong likelihood that senior Haqqani leaders meet there on a regular basis.” (Washington Post)

  • The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, said in a news conference that Pakistan’s reluctance to launch new military operations against Taliban and al Qaeda safe havens in the FATA was a “matter of capacity and not of will.” Mr. Munter also said that he believes Pakistan is sincere about eliminating militant hideouts in the region, pointing out that the Pakistan Army has a significant number of forces dedicated to holding the ground it has “won at great cost.” Although Mr. Munter said that the U.S. “would like [the Pakistani military] to move tomorrow” he also said that the U.S. understands the Pakistan’s strained military capacity, saying that “when they are able, we are convinced they will move in.” (Dawn)

 

December 16, 2010

  • According to Pakistani security officials, two “white” British members of al Qaeda were among those militants slain in a U.S. drone strike in Khadar Khel village in Datta Khel sub-district on December 10. Officials revealed the surnames of the men as Stephen and Dearsmith but indicated that they were going by the aliases Abu Bakr and Mansoor Ahmed. Mr. Stephen, who is believed to have had “a previous history of operations” with al Qaeda in Afghanistan, was reportedly training militants at various Taliban camps throughout the region in weapon use and combat tactics. (BBC)

  • A summary of the Obama Administration’s annual review of the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan concludes that “Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001.”The review states that “Pakistan has made progress against extremist safe havens” through military action in six out of seven of the FATA’s tribal agencies. These gains are also attributed tothe “substantial, but also uneven” progress the U.S. has made in strengthening its relationship with Pakistan, including an increase in training and military assistance.In order to continue this momentum in the “right direction” the review calls for greater U.S. cooperation with Pakistan to facilitate the “denial of extremist safe havens” combined with effective “development strategies” in order to advance the goal of achieving peace and security in the region. (Washington Post)

 

December 15, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 14, 2010

  • U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen traveled to Islamabad for a meeting with several top Pakistani government and military officials, including Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Admiral Mullen later indicated to reporters that the elimination of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan’s tribal areas, particularly North Waziristan, was once again foremost among the topics of discussion. Despite a clear understanding between both parties of the impacts militant safe havens have on the war in Afghanistan, the Pakistani officials reiterated their stated stance that Pakistan will not launch another military operation in North Waziristan at this time since its forces are currently stretched thin fighting in other areas of the FATA. (AP, Daily Times)

  • In a new article from the Washington Post, the former senior U.S. ambassador in Kandahar, Bill Harris, says that the “staggering progress” U.S. forces have made against battling militants in the area is continuously threatened by the existence of militant safe havens in nearby Pakistan. Harris said that for a year he and U.S. forces in Kandahar watched as “the insurgents who attacked us were going to Pakistan to re-equip, replenish, retrain and get orders to attack us again.” A senior military official was also quoted as saying that “Pakistani sanctuaries are crucial: If you can’t solve the problem, you can’t win.” (Washington Post)

  • At least four militants were killed when two missiles fired by a suspected U.S. drone struck a vehicle in Spalga village, just south of Miram Shah. A local security official confirmed the strike but said that the nationalities of those killed in the attack is still unknown. (Express Tribune)

 

December 13, 2010

  • Kareem Khan, the Pakistani journalist who claims two of his relatives were innocent victims of a drone strike in North Waziristan last year, has begun a civil law suit against the U.S. government seeking $500 million dollars in damages. Khan also began legal efforts against the CIA’s Islamabad station chief, Jonathan Banks, urging authorities not to allow Banks to escape from Pakistan and demanding that he be “arrested and executed in this country.” Khan claims that his slain relatives had nothing to do with the Taliban while U.S. media reports surrounding the drone strike allege that the target of the attack were men connected to Taliban commander Haji Omar. (The Guardian)

  • Last week political authorities in North Waziristan announced the completion of several development projects for the benefit of local communities. According to a press release issued by the FATA Secretariat’s Directorate of Information, the completed projects included a 457-meter long flood protection dyke in Shazada Kot, 3,200 meters of paved roads, and 1,500 meters of roadside drainage for residents of the Mussaki area. The press release further announced that a proposal had been made to construct a tube well for residents of Kotha Dawood Khan. (Express Tribune)

 

December 12, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 11, 2010

  • Two new National Intelligence Estimates, one on Afghanistan and one on Pakistan, conclude that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won unless Pakistan takes decisive military action to shut down insurgent bases in its tribal regions which, according to the report, is something the Pakistani government and military are “not willing to do.” The report further stated that Pakistan was merely paying lip service to the notion of cooperating with the U.S. to eliminate terrorist bases in the FATA while it continues its clandestine support for the Taliban in order to maintain influence in Afghanistan in anticipation of the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region. The National Intelligence Estimates, which were released to the Senate and House intelligence committees, are the first such reports on Afghanistan and Pakistan in two and six years, respectively. (AP)

 

December 10, 2010

  • A suspected U.S. drone strike killed at least four militants when two missiles struck a vehicle and a house in the town of Khadar Khel in Mir Ali sub-district. The identities of those killed in the attack are still unknown. (CNN, AP, Express Tribune, Dawn)

 

December 9, 2010

  • A group of tribesmen from North Waziristan held a silent protest outside the parliament building in Islamabad to speak out against U.S. drone strikes in the region. The demonstrators, who say they are relatives of civilians who have been killed or wounded in U.S. drone strikes, have threatened to sue the U.S. unless the families of the victims receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation payments. (AP)

  • A news report warning that the Swat Taliban is regrouping in Mohmand Agency suggests that Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah may be hiding out in either North Waziristan or Orakzai Agency. Fazlullah has also reportedly been sighted in the eastern Afghan provinces of Nuristan and Kunar. (Express Tribune)

 

December 8, 2010

  •  

    A new report examines the history and evolution of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan from a domestic Islamic revolutionary outfit into several splinter groups based out of North Waziristan which are responsible for conducting terror attacks throughout South and Central Asia. Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author and journalist, posited al Qaeda’s possible role in facilitating the splintering of the IMU following the death of its leader and co-founder, Tahir Yuldashev, in a 2009 drone strike as a “means for keeping control of these groups.” One of the IMU’s affiliates, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), is believed to be involved with al Qaeda in plotting Mumbai-style terror attacks in Europe, while other groups connected with the IMU have been connected with several terror attacks across the region. (Radio Free Europe)

     

  • In an ABC news interview, General David Petraeus praised Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts against militants in the country’s tribal areas. Although Petraeus said that the results of Pakistan’s military operations in the FATA have been “very impressive,” he said that “more clearly needs to be done in the tribal areas of Pakistan to week out al Qaeda.” Towards this end, General Petraeus pointed out that he continues to meet regularly with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, saying that the two leaders meet about every 45-60 days at the most, and added that the U.S. will continue to put “considerable pressure” on militants operating in these regions. (Dawn)

 

December 7, 2010

  • Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Asif Yasin dismissed a television news report that the military is currently preparing to launch an operation in North Waziristan. Lieutenant General Yasin stated that although a military operation was not imminent the military was committed to combating militancy in the region. He further claimed that as a result of the military’s ongoing efforts in the FATA “half of the area has been cleared of terrorists” and said that therefore a “guarantee from the Taliban” is not necessary for achieving piece in the tribal areas. (Daily Times)

 

December 6, 2010

  • Approximately five people were killed when four missiles fired from a U.S. drone struck a vehicle and a building in Khushali village of Mir Ali sub-district. Two militants were killed when two missiles struck a vehicle traveling through the village. Intelligence officials said that a third militant in the vehicle had escaped the blast and fled into a nearby shop. A U.S. drone then reportedly fired two more missiles into the building, killing the fleeing militant as well as two civilians who were also in the shop at the time. (CNN, Express Tribune, AP, AFP)

 

December 5, 2010

  • A rally organized by the radical religious political group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) drew approximately 3,000 demonstrators to Islamabad in protest of Pakistan’s cooperation with the U.S. among other domestic concerns. Amid declarations demanding that Pakistani policymakers tell America “no more,” a senior JI official, Syed Munawar Hassan, also warned that military action in North Waziristan would set off a new wave of terror attacks throughout Pakistan. (AFP)

 

December 4, 2010

  • According to a Frontier Post report, “reliable sources” have indicated that the army has established a committee comprised of senior military and political leaders in preparation for a North Waziristan operation. The committee is allegedly chaired by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor Owais Ahmad Ghani and includes members such as Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Asif Yaseen Malik, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s inspector general of police Fayyaz Ahmad Toru, and Khyber-Pakhtunkwha’s chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti.The report claims that the committee pledged its “full cooperation” with military forces during the operation and decided that additional security forces will be deployed along the FATA border to protect Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from terror attacks. (Frontier Post)

  • A Geo TV news report claims that five suspects have been arrested in connection with a suicide attack on an ISI building in Lahore last year that left 24 people dead. Police chief Aslam Tareen told reporters that the suspects had confessed to their involvement in the attack after being arrested from the Shahdara neighborhood of Lahore. Police also said that the suspects had trained in North Waziristan and belonged to a previously unknown faction of the TTP called Al-Toheed-wa-al-Jihad. (“Pakistan: Five arrested over attack on spy agency building in Lahore,” BBC Monitoring South Asia, December 4, 2010. Available at nexis.com)

 

December 3, 2010

  • Five Pakistani military soldiers were wounded when an army convoy was hit by a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) in North Waziristan’s Spin Wam sub-district. The convoy was headed from Mir Ali to a military garrison in Thal and was attacked near Tauda China. A curfew was established on the road and a search operation conducted after the attack. Pakistani military convoys have come under IED attack on roads in North Waziristan on several previous occasions.

  • A top Pakistani nuclear scientist claims that large reserves of copper and gold have been discovered in North Waziristan. Dr. Samar Mubarakmand equated the value of the region’s natural resources to that of another recent discovery of copper and gold reserves in Balochistan which has an estimated value of $273 billion. (Dawn)

 

December 2, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

December 1, 2010

  • Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables reveal that in 2009 Pakistan gave its approval to allow small teams of U.S. special operations forces soldiers to accompany Pakistani military forces to assist them in fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in North and South Waziristan. A total of 16 soldiers were deployed between September and October of 2009 whose job was to provide “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance” support and “general operational advice” to Pakistani military units operating in the region. The U.S. troops also helped to set up a live satellite feed from U.S. drones flying over the FATA and to help pinpoint targets for the aerial strikes. (The Guardian)

  • A cable written by U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson indicates that Pakistan’s political leadership openly agreed to allow U.S. drone strikes in the FATA. Patterson wrote that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that he didn’t care if the U.S. launched drone strikes “as long as they get the right people” and said that his government would protest the strikes in the National Assembly “and then ignore it.” (Dawn)

 

November 30, 2010

  • Police arrested four TTP militants in Karachi planning to carry out “terror attacks” in the city. A senior police official told reporters that the arrested suspects revealed that TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud dispatched them from North Waziristan to “attack police offices, shrines and tombs and kill political and religious leaders” in Karachi. The four militants were discovered with suicide jackets, rifles, pistols, and explosive material in their possession at the time of their arrest. (Dawn/AFP, Geo)


  • Six people were killed, including one police officer, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a police van in Bannu, a district which shares a border with North Waziristan. Local police officials said that at least 17 other people were also wounded in the blast. A TTP spokesman later claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP)

 

November 29, 2010

  • The CIA is under threat of a lawsuit from a Pakistani man who is demanding compensation for the death of his son and brother in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan in December 2009. The alleged victim, Kareem Khan, says that his lawyers will sue CIA director Leon Panetta, a man they claim to be the CIA station chief in Islamabad, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates for the “wrongful death” of his family members if he does not receive $500 million in the next two weeks. Khan claims that his son and brother were innocent victims and were not members of any extremist groups. (AP)

  • Commanders representing the Afghan Taliban Haqqani network and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), both currently based in North Waziristan, met with Turi tribal elders from Kurram Agency to discuss a peace agreement in the region as well as the opening of the Thall-Parachinar road, a closure that has left Parachinar cut off from the rest of the country for three years. Sources said that the meeting, which allegedly took place in Islamabad, did not come to a final agreement but indicated that another meeting to discuss the matters will be held in Islamabad on Tuesday. However, the local Taliban did reportedly agree to release several captured Turi tribesmen. (Dawn)

 

November 28, 2010

  • Security officials reported that at least three militants were killed when two missiles fired from a U.S. drone hit their vehicle as it was traveling in Hasan Khel village. However, a later report indicates that the militants may have survived the attack by bailing out of their vehicle after being alerted to the drone’s presence when the first missile missed its target. (AFP, CNN)

  •  

    During a press conference in which Pakistan criticized the nature of U.S.-Pakistan relations, saying that the country has become the “most bullied U.S. ally,” a senior military official outlined some of the key issues pertaining to military action in North Waziristan. The official acknowledged that U.S. pressure for a North Waziristan operation was “understandable” and that the question of launching an offensive in the region is not a question of “if but when and how to tackle it militarily.” However, the official outlined several conditions that need to be met before a North Waziristan can be launched, saying that South Waziristan must be resettled, the country must prepare for the “serious blowback” the operation will cause, and that it is necessary to reach a “political consensus” on the issue much in the same way as was reached prior to the 2009 military operation in Swat. (Dawn)

     

 

November 27, 2010

  • No incidents to report today

 

November 26, 2010

  • Four militants were killed in Pir Kali village when their vehicle was struck by two missiles fired from a suspected U.S. drone. Two intelligence officials anonymously confirmed the strikes but did not disclose the identities of the slain militants. (Dawn/AP, CNN)

  • Three people were wounded when two NATO helicopters fired into Lawra Mandi village in the Datta Khel area. Local residents claims that the two helicopters hovered over the area for approximately ten minutes before returning to Afghanistan. (Frontier Post)

 

November 25, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

November 24, 2010

  • The civilian government has granted Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani the authority to determine when and how a military operation in North Waziristan will be launched. The decision came during a meeting with General Kayani, President Asif Ali Zardari, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in which the officials discussed key security issues facing Pakistan. (Express Tribune)

  • A Pentagon report evaluating the situation in Afghanistan between April and September of this year claims that Pakistan has still failed to produce “measurable results” in eliminating militant safe havens in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. However, the report did acknowledge Pakistan’s steadily increasing cooperation with NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. (Geo)

 

November 23, 2010

  • Pakistan has reportedly delayed launching a military operation in North Waziristan by at least four to six months. According to reports, the primary reason for the delay was President Barack Obama’s recent trip to India in which he backed India’s bid for a seat on the U.N. security council, a move which former ISI director General Hamid Gul said was “very heavily felt” in Pakistan. Other reasons for the delay allegedly include diplomatic turmoil over U.S. cross-border raids, continued U.S. drone strikes in the FATA, and differences over the recently announced 2014 withdrawal date for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Military officials in Pakistan also cited resource constraints and fears that a North Waziristan operation will set off a heightened wave of terror attacks across Pakistan as reasons for not launching the operation at any time in the near future. (Telegraph, Express Tribune)

 

November 22, 2010

  • At least five militants were killed when two missiles fired by a U.S. drone struck a car and a motorcycle in the Khushali area. The identities of those killed in the strike are still unknown. (AP, Express Tribune, Dawn)

 

November 21, 2010

  • German authorities are actively searching for two suspected suicide bombers who are believed to have traveled to Berlin from North Waziristan around six weeks ago. According to investigators, the would-be bombers are waiting for a shipment of bomb detonators that are being transported from Turkey to Berlin and may be intending to attack the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. Authorities said that the men are attempting to evade detection by wearing western clothing, avoiding mosques, and regularly shifting hideouts. The information about the plot allegedly comes from a militant abroad who is looking to defect. According to the source, the cell involved in the attack is six men strong: two men already in Germany and four others still attempting to infiltrate the country. (Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel)

  • Pakistan has rejected the United States’ request to expand its drone operations into other areas of the country. The CIA has reportedly been pressuring the Pakistani government to permit drone strikes in the areas surrounding the city of Quetta, where many high-ranking leaders of the Afghan Taliban are believed to be hiding, as well as into other parts of the FATA. However, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit announced that the expansion of drone strikes has been rejected, saying that although Pakistan is an ally of the U.S. in the war on terror “Pakistan will not compromise on sovereignty.” (LA Times, Washington Post)

  • A suspected U.S. drone strike killed as many as nine militants, including a local Taliban commander. The militants were killed when four missiles struck a house in Khaddi village in Mir Ali sub-district. The slain commander was identified only as “Mustafa” and is believed to have had ties with local Taliban leader Sadiq Noor. Foreign fighters were also reported to have been among the dead. (AP, Dawn, Express Tribune)

 

November 20, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

November 19, 2010

  • As many as four militants were killed when two missiles fired by a suspected U.S. drone struck a moving vehicle in Naurak village in Mir Ali sub-district (a conflicting report claims the target was in Marsi Khel village, north of Naurak, and also in Mir Ali sub-district). Pakistani intelligence sources indicated that the slain militants belonged to the Haqqani network. Local sources claim that both foreign fighters and militants loyal to TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud have recently begun operating in the Marsi Khel area. (AFP, AP, Express Tribune)

 

November 18, 2010

  • A U.S. intelligence official revealed that approximately 25 al Qaeda-affiliated militants divided into three to five separate cells were plotting to launch Mumbai-style terror attacks in Britain, France, and Germany but indicated that around 10 of these militants were killed by U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan in September and October. The official said that the remaining militants are still at large and may still be planning to strike soon. Germany remains on high alert after intelligence officials announced that they have continued to uncover an increasing number of messages over the past several months suggesting that an attack on German soil is imminent. German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere said that investigators are actively pursuing leads on the potential attacks, including following the trail of suspected German nationals who allegedly traveled to Pakistan to train in terrorist camps.(New York Times, Wall Street Journal)

 

November 17, 2010

  • German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere announced that European intelligence agencies have come across concrete evidence that al Qaeda is planning to launch a terror attack in Germany at the end of the November. Security officials in Germany have ordered increased patrols at major transportation hubs as well as at other possible targets. De Maiziere further added that the evidence of the potential attacks gives legitimate “cause for concern but not for hysteria.” Intelligence agencies believe the attacks are being planned by groups in, or with links to groups in, North Waziristan. (Der Spiegel, CNN, BBC)

  • Sectarian extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which maintains safe havens for its militants in North Waziristan, is reportedly in the process of splitting into at least eight smaller cells with the goal of launching terror attacks across Pakistan. According to an unnamed intelligence official, “each sub-group is responsible for carrying out activities in a specific geographic location.” The official also added that by splintering into separate cells, LeJ will have “better chances of survival by diverting the focus of law enforcement agencies.” (Express Tribune) [It is pertinent to note that the “cells” named in the news report are all known to have existed prior to this report of “splintering.”]

 

November 16, 2010

  • A U.S. drone strike killed at least 20 militants when four missiles struck a vehicle and a “fortress-like” compound in Bangi Dar village in Ghulam Khan sub-district. Some of the slain militants were reportedly returning from the fighting in Afghanistan on foot when the drone strike occurred. Intelligence sources are still trying to ascertain the identities of those killed in the strikes and whether any high value targets were killed in the attack. (BBC, Dawn, AP, CNN, Reuters)

  • Unknown gunmen executed three tribesmen accused of being U.S. spies. The bodies of two of the victims were found dumped in separate areas of Miram Shah. The third victim was shot to death in Madda Khel village in Datta Khel sub-district. Local tribesmen discovered letters on each of the victims that accused them of spying on the Taliban for U.S forces in Afghanistan.(“Three killed in Pakistan’s North Waziristan on charges of spying for US,” BBC Monitoring South Asia, November 16, 2010. Available at nexis.com)

 

November 15, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

November 14, 2010

  • According to top Pakistani security and intelligence officials, one of al-Qaeda’s current strategies is to seek out new partnerships with militant groups to conduct terror attacks in metropolitan areas of Pakistan as part of an effort to divert the military’s attention away from its safe havens in North Waziristan. One senior Pakistani law enforcement official said that “more shrine bombings and targeted assassinations” can be expected in cities like Lahore and Karachi in the coming months. Security officials said that al-Qaeda’s reaching out to militant groups outside of the tribal areas is a result of dwindling support among the FATA population, of whom two-thirds reject both al-Qaeda and the TTP. (Daily Times)

 

November 13, 2010

  • At least four militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in Ahmad Khel village, located just outside of Miram Shah. Missiles fired from the drone struck a vehicle carrying militants as it was traveling through the village, including at least three foreign fighters. Another report indicates that a house in the village that was being used as a militant compound was also targeted during the strikes. (AFP, AP, CNN)

  • An article from Reuters claims that many Pakistan security analysts believe that the Pakistani military is reluctant to launch an operation in North Waziristan for fear of retaliation from some of the country’s most powerful militant groups. Rahimullah Yusufzai, an expert on tribal and militant affairs and editor of The News International in Pakistan, said that the retaliation on civilian and military targets from militant groups would be “in proportion to the attacks and operations against them,” adding that if the Pakistani military were to launch a large scale operation it could expect the militant groups to “launch big attacks” in return. (Reuters)

 

November 12, 2010

  • Senior U.S. and European intelligence officials say that al Qaeda is still plotting to carry out Mumbai-style terror attacks in both the U.S. and Europe. Former State Secretary of Germany’s Interior Ministry, Dr. August Hanning, said that information on the potential attacks came from multiple sources, including Ahmed Siddiqi, a German militant from Hamburg who was captured in Afghanistan in July. Counter-terrorism officials also claim to have discovered that senior al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri, now operating out of North Waziristan, had a role in planning the attacks and that Osama bin Laden personally approved the plot. (CNN)

 

November 11, 2010

  • At least six militants were killed when multiple U.S. drones fired six missiles into a compound in Guli Khel village of Ghulam Khan sub-district, located just outside of Miram Shah. Security officials said that the slain militants had just arrived at the compound after traveling on foot from insurgent bases in Afghanistan. One local resident claimed that the targeted compound belonged to the Haqqani network. (AFP, CNN, Express Tribune)

 

November 10, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

November 9, 2010

  • Speaking during a one-day visit to Malaysia, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the “heart” of al-Qaeda is still active in the border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gates further added that al-Qaeda leaders headquartered in these areas provide guidance, priorities, and legitimacy to “other al-Qaeda affiliates that are developing in other places,” such as the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. (Dawn)

  • TTP commander Tariq Afridi claims that his group is not responsible for the kidnapping of Vice Chancellor Ajmal Khan of Islamia College University in Peshawar. Afridi admitted to the kidnapping and subsequent release of another university vice chancellor but said that the Taliban in Waziristan were behind the kidnapping of Ajmal Khan. A recently released video shows Khan dictating a deadline of November 20 to meet the Taliban’s demands, sparking off strikes and university closures by teachers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as a means of urging the government to take action and secure Khan’s safe release. (Express Tribune, BBC)

 

November 8, 2010

  • TTP spokesman Azam Tariq claimed in a newly released interview transcript that both Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain have not been killed in U.S. drone strikes, declaring the reports of their deaths as “false propaganda.” In the interview Tariq also announced that six Taliban factions have joined the TTP in South Waziristan, criticized President Obama’s visit to India as proof of “U.S. enmity for Pakistan,” and denounced U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan, saying that such attacks have bolstered the TTP’s ranks. (Flashpoint Partners)

 

November 7, 2010

  • Two U.S. drone strikes an hour apart killed at least 14 militants in different areas of North Waziristan. Nine militants were killed in the first attack when two missiles struck a house and a vehicle carrying a suspected militant commander in the town of Ghulam Khan, north of Miram Shah. Another five militants were killed in a second drone strike an hour later when two missiles struck a car in the Datta Khel area. Local intelligence officials indicated that all of those killed in the second strike were foreign fighters. (AP, CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, AFP)

  • Three local tribesmen accused of being U.S. spies were publicly executed by the Taliban. A local policy official said that the Taliban asked local residents to “come and witness the fate of U.S. spies” prior to the execution. The blindfolded men were then lined up outside a gas station along a road near Miram Shah and shot to death. (Geo)

  • The recent report about the Haqqani network’s shift into Kurram Agency and other tribal agencies to the north has raised strategic and diplomatic concerns for the U.S. The mountainous terrain of Kurram provides an ideal staging area for the Haqqani network to launch strikes into Afghanistan and presents a greater challenge for NATO forces to “gather intelligence and strike the group.” The Haqqani network’s movement into bases in Kurram also means that an expanded area of operations for U.S. drone strikes could strain relations with Islamabad and weaken public opinion of the U.S. in Pakistan. (Los Angeles Times)

 

November 6, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

November 5, 2010

  • A new report indicates that the heightened U.S. drone campaign against militant bases in the FATA has pushed the Taliban into shifting some of its fighters from its bases in North Waziristan to other agencies of the FATA. Although it appears that the Taliban is not abandoning its holdings in North Waziristan, both military and local tribal sources have said that an as of yet undetermined number of militants are heading towards Kurram and Orakzai agencies, two areas where the Pakistani military already has a significant number of forces deployed and ready to act. (WSJ)

 

November 4, 2010

  • During a debate on the deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan, the parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML), Senator Ishaq Dar, warned the government against launching a military operation in North Waziristan on the basis of dictation from external powers. Dar stressed the importance of preserving Pakistan’s sovereignty when it comes to the issue of conducting new military offensives against militants in the FATA, saying that such actions should only be considered in view of the national interest. (“Pakistan party warns government against launching North Waziristan operation,” BBC Monitoring South Asia, November 5, 2010. Available at nexis.com)

 

November 3, 2010

  • At least 13 militants were killed in three separate drone attacks in different locations throughout North Waziristan. The first drone attack struck a vehicle in Qutab Khel, a suburb of Miram Shah, killing five Uzbek militants. Four more militants were killed in the second drone strike when missiles struck a house in Khaso Khel village near Mir Ali. The third drone strike targeted a vehicle in Pai Khel village in the Datta Khel area, killing another four militants. Intelligence sources in the region are still trying to determine if any high value targets were killed in the strikes. (AP, CNN, BBC, Daily Times)

  • U.S. General David Petraeus and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met in Islamabad to discuss how to address the threat posed by the Haqqani network in North Waziristan. General Petraeus reportedly told General Kayani that military action in North Waziristan is a necessary component for achieving victory in Afghanistan while General Kayani maintained the position that Pakistan would not launch a new offensive in North Waziristan at this time. An unnamed senior Pakistan military official said in regard to the talks that “at some stage, we will have to carry out targeted and limited operations in North Waziristan but there are no immediate plans.” (Express Tribune)

  • A Washington Times article outlines the assessment by Pakistani officials and regional specialists on why Islamabad is reluctant to carry out a North Waziristan in the near future. One of the primary concerns is that such an offensive could trigger a “backlash” of terror strikes throughout Pakistan, noting that the Haqqani network has already warned the Pakistan government of an “endless war” in response to a North Waziristan operation. Other reasons for the avoiding the operation include a lack of resources due to other ongoing military operations in the FATA as well as the Pakistani intelligence service’s connection with militant groups in the region. (Washington Times)

 

November 2, 2010

 

  • An article from Nawa-i-Waqt reports that the provincial government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been given directions to “devise strategies” in order to prepare for dealing with the secondary effects of a military operation in North Waziristan, including keeping law enforcement agencies in the region on high alert. Sources have also indicated that certain portions of the $2 billion U.S. aid package to Pakistan are attached to the condition of a North Waziristan operation. According to the article, Pakistani policymakers are still reluctant to launch such a new military offensive in North Waziristan. This is in part due to the fear that the region’s diverse militant groups could unite in response to an incursion on their territory and policymakers are insisting on pursuing alternate counterinsurgency strategies short of a direct military confrontation. (Salman Ghani, “Provincial government on high alert due to terror threats,” Nawa-i-Waqt, November 2, 2010. Available at nexis.com).

 

November 1, 2010

  • A suspected U.S. drone strike killed at least five people when between two and four missiles reportedly struck a house in Haider Khel village in Mir Ali sub-district. Intelligence officials said that the house belonged to a local tribesman and was being used as a “hub of militants’ movement.” The identities of those killed in the attack are still unknown. (AFP, AP, Dawn, BBC)

  • The brother of former TTP leader Beitullah Mehsud was found shot to death in a field in Mir Ali. Local authorities said that unidentified men killed Mehsud’s brother, Yaqoob Khan, and that an investigation into the murder has been launched. Some Pakistani news sources separately reported that Khan was among those killed in Monday’s drone strike in Haider Khel. (Express Tribune, Dawn, BBC)

  • Government authorities announced a curfew along the roads between Colony checkpoint in Miram Shah and the Datta Khel, Razmak, and Ghulam Khan areas. The official announcement indicated that the curfew was imposed to protect the movement of security forces through these areas. (The News)

 

October 31, 2010

 

  • Security forces shot and killed an eight year old who allegedly violated the curfew placed along the Bannu-Miramshah Road put in place to ensure the security of an army convoy moving through the area. Family members of the victim, who was a student studying at the Kurram Model School at Serai Darpa Khel in Miram Shah bazaar, said that he was shot in the head by soldiers while returning home from school in the afternoon. The family began a protest in response to the killing and asked top military officials to launch a probe into the incident. (The News)

 

October 30, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

October 29, 2010

  • Security officials in Pakistan have identified the eight German militants killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan earlier this month. Their findings reveal that at least three of the militants held dual citizenship with Germany and either Saudi Arabia or Turkey. The head of operations for Ittehad Jihad-ul Islami (Alliance for Islamic Jihad), an umbrella group under which many European militants operate, as well as a bomb making expert and a financier for European militants in North Waziristan were among those killed in the strike. (Express Tribune)

 

October 28, 2010

  • Seven militants, including several foreign fighters, were killed when two missiles fired by a U.S. drone struck a compound in the village of Ismail Khel in the Datta Khel area located west of Miram Shah. Both foreign and local militants are believed to have been killed in the strike but it is not yet known if any high value targets were present at the time of the attack. (Dawn, Express Tribune, CNN)

 

October 27, 2010

  • Two separate U.S. drone strikes pounded militant held areas of North Waziristan, killing at least seven militants. Three people were killed in the first strike that targeted a house in the Spin Wam area at approximately 3:30am. Four more people were killed when missiles fired from a second U.S. drone struck a vehicle in the Degan area of Datta Khel at around 2:45pm. Intelligence officials reported that the victims of the second strike, two Arabs and two westerners, were foreign militants belonging to the Haqqani network. (AP, AFP)

 

October 26, 2010

  • The top military commander in Pakistan’s northwest, Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, has said that the time is “not right” for an operation in North Waziristan due to the fact that military forces in the region are stretched too thin. Malik stressed the need to “stabilize” active combat zones in Bajaur and Mohmand agencies, which he says will take at least six months, as well as other areas of the FATA where the military has been previously been engaged. Malik also added that he would need “more resources” to launch a North Waziristan offensive but pointed out that there are “already six brigades in North Waziristan which carry out daily operations.” Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas also questioned the possibility of success for a potential operation in North Waziristan since doing so would “open up a new front” and risk destabilizing nearby areas. (Reuters, AP)

  • The FATA Civil Secretariat has ordered the FATA Health Directorate to close around 180 health units in North Waziristan out of the agency’s total of 274. The move came after a decision reached by the Civil Secretariat in August in response to reports of illegal use of the buildings by tribal elders and other individuals. Many influential tribal elders in the region have taken over many health units and converted them to guesthouses and cattle pens. The Civil Secretariat has ordered the closing of a total of 450 health units throughout the FATA. (Dawn)

 

October 25, 2010

  • The local Taliban has handed out pamphlets in Miram Shah claiming that its fighters will migrate to Afghanistan and appeal to President Hamid Karzai for protection if the Pakistani military launches an offensive in North Waziristan. The pamphlets were allegedly distributed by the “Mujahideen Shura of North Waziristan.” The group stated, nonetheless, that it would honor its 2007 peace agreement with the government. (Dawn)

  • Intelligence officials and think tank analysts in Europe claim to have strong evidence which suggests that Saif al-Adel, a previous al Qaeda military chief, has returned to North Waziristan and has taken up his former post after having been released from house arrest in Iran. Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian national, is a highly valuable asset to al Qaeda who is believed to have had a role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya as well as various other terror attacks in Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Der Spiegel)

  • The government of Pakistan has agreed to engage in more targeted operations against militant elements in the tribal areas through the use of its special operations forces but has said it will do so without the participation of U.S. personnel. The agreement was reached during last week’s strategic dialogue in Washington that culminated in the U.S. announcement of a $2 billion military aid package to Pakistan. (Dawn)

  • Accroding to an Associated Press article, Pakistani and U.S. security officials estimate that North Waziristan is home to approximately 10,000 foreign militants, including Afghans, Uzbeks, Arabs, Tajiks, Chechens, Indonesians, Bengalis, as well as a growing number of “white Jihadis.” Kamran Khan, a member of parliament from Miram Shah, points out the agency’s problems of development and education have lead to the dominance of an extremist Islamic ideology. Mullahs frequently tell local worshippers to embrace jihad against the West while many residents regularly house militants and suicide bombers who prepare to launch attacks against targets in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The reoprt also argues that a Pakistani military operation would likely not target the Haqqani network due to the domestic political backlash that would result because of the sympathy the group enjoys among the country’s Pashtun population. (AP)

 

October 24, 2010

  • Two teachers have been the only instructors for more than 350 students at the Government Degree College for Girls in Miram Shah during the past several months. Local parents have complained to FATA government authorities regarding the insufficient teaching staff. Lack of funding for the schools led to the departure of the majority of the 18 other teachers after the government was unable to pay their salaries. (The News)

 

October 23, 2010

  • The U.S. has reportedly been pressuring the Pakistani government over the last several weeks to allow access for more CIA officers and military trainers from special operations into the country as part of joint efforts to target Taliban and al Qaeda havens along the Afghan border. Islamabad has so far denied the requests. (Wall Street Journal)

  • Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Mir Ali to protest against the Taliban and al Qaeda presence in North Waziristan and to demand their immediate departure from the region. A tribal elder who organized the demonstration told reporters that residents of the town have been angered by the kidnappings of locals by al Qaeda and foreign militants, including the most recent kidnapping of a Mir Ali resident on Friday. He further said that local residents would no longer allow militants to stay in the area and threatened to “get rid of them by force if necessary.” (CNN)

 

October 22, 2010

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally announces a $2 billion military and security aid package to Pakistan over the next five years that will be submitted to congress for final approval. The announcement came on the final day of the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington. Although the U.S. has not attached the requirement for Pakistan to launch a new offensive in North Waziristan as a condition for the aid package, the Obama administration has reportedly made it clear to Pakistani leaders that the U.S. may reduce its military assistance if it feels that Pakistan is not doing enough to combat militancy in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. (BBC, AP, Wall Street Journal)

 

October 21, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

October 20, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

October 19, 2010

  • According to CIA Director Leon Panetta, the agency’s operations in Pakistan “[are] taking a serious toll” on al Qaeda’s capability to operate throughout the region. Pannetta refrained from specifically mentioning the heightened levels of U.S. drone strikes that have pounded militant sanctuaries throughout North Waziristan over the past month-and-a-half, a program that the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge. Panetta also confirmed popular speculation that “the threat streams…on potential attacks in Europe” were a primary motivation for increased CIA operations in tribal areas of Pakistan. (Los Angeles Times)

 

OCTOBER 18, 2010

 

  • At least six militants were killed when two U.S. drones fired missiles at a compound and a vehicle in Sanzalai village in the Datta Khel area. A local militant commander said that the militants killed in the strike belonged to the group of Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur while local residents said that slain militants who were riding in the vehicle when it was struck were fighters from Turkmenistan. Security officials said that the identities of those killed in the strike are still unknown. (AFP, BBC)

 

  • The Obama administration is reportedly finalizing the details on a security aid package totaling $2 billion over the next five years, a proposal which is due to be brought up during this week’s U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington. The package would include the sale of U.S. military equipment to Pakistan, counterinsurgency training and assistance for Pakistani troops, and a program allowing Pakistani military officers to study at U.S. war colleges. However, one senior U.S. security official warned that the Obama administration would find it difficult to convince Congress or the American public to continue supporting Pakistan if it refused to increase its efforts against militants in North Waziristan. (New York Times, Reuters)

 

OCTOBER 17, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

OCTOBER 16, 2010

  • Unconfirmed reports suggest that wanted TTP commander and the group’s top trainer of suicide bombers Qari Hussain Mehsud may have been killed in a drone strike near Mir Ali on October 4. Accounts differ on whether Hussain was killed instantly, succumbed to wounds sustained during the strike, or survived the attack outright. TTP spokesman Azam Tariq told reporters by phone that Qari Hussain was alive and in good health and said that Hussain would contact the media soon. (Dawn, Daily Times)

 

  • A statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry today defended the country’s policies towards militancy in North Waziristan and other areas of the FATA. Regarding the issue of launching a new military offensive against extremist groups in the tribal regions, the foreign ministry said that “any question relating to when, how, and what is to be done in North Waziristan is based on judgment, keeping in mind our capacities, priorities, and overall national interest” while also pointing out that Pakistan currently has 34,000 troops deployed in North Waziristan. The statement also sought to clarify that any logistical or political constraints “in no way should be interpreted as a lack of Pakistani resolve to fight terrorism.” (AFP)

 

OCTOBER 15, 2010

 

  • At least four militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike in the Mir Ali district. Two missiles struck either a house or vehicle in Machi Khel village, according to conflicting reports. A separate drone strike struck a house in the Aziz Khel area several hours later, killing at least six militants. Initial reports claim that TTP commander Qari Hussain Mehsud may have been killed in one of these drone strikes. (Dawn, AP, Express Tribune)

  • Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani rejected U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen’s previous assertions that Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had personally assured him of an impending offensive against militants in North Waziristan. Gilani said that while Kayani is the highest authority controlling the country’s military matters, the army will still “consult the political leadership as it had done before launching operations in Swat and South Waziristan.” He added that any military action would be determined according to Pakistan’s needs and not at the behest of “external dictation.” (Dawn)    

 

OCTOBER 14, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

OCTOBER 13, 2010

 

  • Four separate drone strikes over a one-hour period targeted militant positions in the Datta Khel area, killing between 8 and 11 militants including three to four foreign fighters. Missiles fired from the drones struck a house in Lataka village and several vehicles nearby and may have also hit the area as militants were collecting bodies from the rubble. The foreigners killed in the strikes were reportedly members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) from Turkmenistan while the local militants killed were said to have been fighters loyal to Hafiz Gul Bahadur. (BBC, Washington Post, Daily Times)

  • The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, reportedly said during an interview that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani personally assured him that the Pakistan Army will launch a military offensive into the tribal areas along the Afghan border, including North Waziristan. Mullen said that Kayani “clearly knows what [U.S.] priorities are” and acknowledged that “North Waziristan is the epicenter of terrorism.” (Dawn)

 

  • A new article reports that both western and Pakistani officials within the region’s intelligence and diplomatic circles believe that “dozens” of western militants are traveling to the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and are “fully motivated” by al Qaeda even before their arrival. The officials pointed out that it is incredibly difficult to track these individuals since most of them have legitimate European passports. The suspects are also able to easily blend in once in Pakistan since they often arrive with a working knowledge of Pashto and familiarity with the local customs and dress. (AFP

 

OCTOBER 12, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

OCTOBER 11, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

OCTOBER 10, 2010

 

  • Between six and eight militants were killed in a series of U.S. drone strikes at an Afghan refugee camp in the Spin Wam area just outside the main town of Mir Ali, an area that is under the control of Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur. The first attack killed six people when a pair of missiles struck two vehicles within the camp while a second strike a few minutes later killed two people on a riverbank outside of the camp. Separate reports regarding the drone strike claims that three to four missiles struck a house in Shewa subdivision. (AFP, CNN, Nation)

 

  • Security officials in Rawalpindi have asserted that the recent wave of U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan were mostly intended to target militant groups which are training “white Jihadis” to carry out terror attacks in Europe. According to the officials, approximately 25 of the 30 attacks in North Waziristan between September 1 and October 8 were launched with the goal of eliminating the leaders of the Islamic Jihad Group and Islamic Army of Great Britain, two groups whose primary focus is attacking targets in the west. (The News)

 

OCTOBER 9, 2010

  • No incidents to report today.

 

OCTOBER 8, 2010

 

  • Two missiles fired from a U.S. drone struck a militant compound in Char Khel village in the Datta Khel area, killing at least five militants. Initial reports indicated that all of the slain militants were local fighters but one intelligence official said that they were investigating reports that Turkmen fighters may have also been among the dead. (AFP)

 

OCTOBER 7, 2010

  • A statement from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was posted on a Turkish-language jihadist website to confirm that an Iranian-German militant named Abu Askar al-Almani was among four militants killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan earlier this week. Al-Almani, alias Shahab Dashti, was described as “one of the colorful faces of the German mujahideen” originally hailing from Hamburg and first appeared in a recruitment video for the IMU in October 2009. (CNN)

 

 

  Sub-district headquarters            Town/village            Major Pakistan Army base

(Alternative place name)                      Tehsil: sub-district         FR: Frontier Region 

 

 

 

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Oct '10