Posts Tagged ‘Baitullah Mehsud’

Hakimullah Mehsud declared as the New Taliban Chief in Pakistan, Faqir Muhammad is not the Chief :: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

August 23, 2009

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Pakistan Taliban name Hakimullah Mehsud as new leader

REUTERS 23 August 2009, 01:23pm IST

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban ( Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,TTP)  announced a successor to slain commander Baitullah Mehsud, but intelligence officials said on Sunday it was probably a smokescreen meant to hold together a movement left leaderless for almost three weeks. ( Watch Video )

Taliban officials rang journalists in northwest Pakistan on Saturday to say Hakimullah Mehsud, a young militant who commands fighters in the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram tribal regions, had been chosen as the new chief by a leadership council, or shura.

Western governments with troops in Afghanistan are watching to see if any new Pakistani Taliban leader would shift focus from fighting the Pakistani government and put the movement’s weight behind the Afghan insurgency led by Mullah Mohammad Omar.

A BBC report quoted Faqir Mohammad, head of the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal region, as saying Hakimullah was selected. fkr

Tribal elders told Reuters that Hakimullah was named after Faqir Mohammad was dissuaded from taking the leadership, although earlier he had said he was taking temporary command.

“There’s confusion. Two days ago, Fariq Mohammad claimed he’s acting chief and now he says Hakimullah is,” one senior intelligence officer in northwest Pakistan said. “It’s a trick.”

Intelligence officials insisted Hakimullah was killed or gravely wounded in a shootout with a rival days after Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. missile strike on Aug. 5.

“The announcement is real, but the man isn’t,” the officer said. “The real Hakimullah is dead.”

Another senior officer, who requested anonymity, speculated that the Taliban leadership was trying to buy time until one of Hakimullah’s brothers returned from fighting in the Afghan insurgency to take command of his men.

Verifying anything in the Taliban-held tribal regions is difficult and the past few weeks have seen a spate of claims and counter-claims by the Pakistani authorities and the militants.

Taliban officials say Pakistani intelligence agents were spreading misinformation to create divisions in the movement.

The Pakistani authorities say the Pakistani Taliban is in disarray and the statements made are meant to preserve some sense of unity until a new leader embaierges.

The Taliban have denied that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the missile strike, but say he is seriously ill.

After the reports of a shootout between Hakimullah and a rival, a Reuters journalist subsequently received calls from both of them denying that there had been any fight.

Intelligence officials doubt whether the callers were who they said they were, even though the journalist knew both men’s voices and believed they were genuine.

Baitullah had united 13 militant factions in northwest Pakistan to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in late 2007, and the Pakistani authorities are hoping that death would hasten the disintegration of the loose-knit alliance.

A virtual silence over the succession issue in South Waziristan, the stronghold of Baitullah and region where the largest number of fighters is concentrated, made intelligence officials doubt if consensus on a new leader had been reached.

South Waziristan lies at the southwest end of the tribal lands bordering Afghanistan, and Bajaur is at the northeast end.

Tribal elders said Faqir Mohammad was told to drop ideas of leading the Taliban as it would only bring more trouble to Bajaur, a region where the army declared victory in March after a six-month campaign against the militants.

Security forces have surrounded Baitullah’s redoubt in the mountains and carried out bombing raids, though a ground offensive does not appear imminent.

Who is Alive and Who is Dead ? In Pakistan Terrorism is Alive, Peace is Dead.

August 18, 2009

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Maulvi Omar captured, says Baitullah is dead

ISLAMABAD: Security forces captured Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s top spokesman, and he acknowledged the death of the group’s leader in a recent US missile strike, officials said on Tuesday.

‘Everybody knows that Maulvi Omar has been arrested. He was a spokesman for the Taliban,’ said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for the North West Frontier Province.

‘We will catch them all. All Taliban will have to face the same fate,’ he told AFP, adding that Omar had been moved to the provincial capital Peshawar.

‘Intelligence agencies have given me information that Maulvi Omar has confirmed the death of Baitullah during interrogation,’ he added.

US and Pakistani officials have said they were almost certain that the chief, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in the August 5 strike, but at least three Taliban operatives, including the detainee, Maulvi Omar, had called media organisations following the attack to say he was still alive.

Omar’s comments – relayed by an intelligence official who took part in the questioning – would be the first admission by the Taliban that Mehsud was dead.

The spokesman’s capture was the second arrest of a prominent Taliban figure in 24 hours.

As the official spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Omar frequently called journalists to claim responsibility for terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

As well as being the movement’s mouthpiece, Omar was an influential aide to Mehsud and ranking member of the Taliban.

Omar initially operated relatively openly – a reflection of the former government’s reluctance to tackle the group.

Reporters had his home and cell phone numbers. Omar would occasionally summon reporters stationed in Khar, the main city in Bajaur tribal region, for news conferences at his headquarters in nearby Mohmand town.

But after the army began an offensive in April, Omar changed phone numbers frequently. He never appeared in public, but still continued to telephone the media with messages from the Taliban leadership.

He was captured along with two associates in a village in the Mohmand tribal region Monday night while he was travelling in a car to South Waziristan, a Taliban stronghold, said Javed Khan, a local government administrator.

‘Maulvi Omar is in our custody, and he is being questioned,’ Khan told The Associated Press without giving any further details.

Earlier, three intelligence officials said local tribal elders assisted troops in locating Omar in the village of Khawazeo.

Omar’s capture came a day after police arrested militant commander Qair Saifullah, another close Mehsud aide, as he was being treated in a private hospital in Islamabad, the capital.

Saifullah, who is reportedly linked to al-Qaida, told police he had been wounded in an American missile strike in South Waziristan, said two police officials. It was unclear if it was the same strike believed to have killed Mehsud.

Saifullah appeared on Tuesday before a special anti-terrorism court along with Zaid Ikram, an aide arrested along with him. Both were ordered held for four days for investigation, prosecutor Raja Yaseen said, but he would not elaborate on what charges they would face.

The two men were being questioned for possible roles in attacks on US and allied forces in Afghanistan as well as terrorist attacks in Pakistan, said Islamabad police operations chief Tahir Alam Khan.

Saifullah is affiliated to Harkat Jihad-e-Islami, an al-Qaida-linked group that recruits militants to fight foreign forces in Afghanistan, Khan said. Ikram – who is Saifullah’s younger brother – played a major role in a bomb attack on Islamabad’s Marriott hotel in 2004, in which one guard was killed in the parking lot, he said.

Maulvi Fazalullah is alive: Gen Nadeem

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Updated at: 1600 PST, Tuesday, August 18, 2009  

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Special Support Group Lieutenant General Nadeem said Maulvi Fazalullah is alive but his infrastructure has been destroyed in Swat.

Lft. Gen Nadeem stated this during a briefing to US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke.

He said Muslim Khan made a call to commissioner Malakand yesterday who urged Muslim Khan to lay down arms as ground realities have been changed now.

Chairman special support said artillery and aerial operation is continued in Waziristan, however, ground operation could take several months. Baitullah Mehsud has been dead but his system is still exists, he added.

Source: The International News .

Islamist Terrorists attacked again in Pakistan||Suicide Blast in Hangu, 23 Killed

April 20, 2009

Mon, 20 Apr, 2009 | Rabi-us-Sani 23, 1430

Bomber eliminates 23 troops in Hangu attack

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By Abdus Sami Paracha|| The Dawn Media Group
Saturday, 18 Apr, 2009 | 10:16 PM PST | 10:54 PM PST |KOHAT

The country’s security apparatus suffered a devastating blow on Saturday when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a military checkpost in Hangu, eliminating 23 soldiers.
Seven policemen, 10 security personnel and nine civilians were injured in the blast.
‘A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into our check-post close to a police station in Doaba,’ a security official said. ‘We suffered the most casualties.’
Some officials said the bomber had rammed his vehicle into a Thall-bound military convoy in Doaba, on Hangu-Parachinar highway.
They said 11 vehicles, which were part of the convoy, had been destroyed in the attack, which happened not far from the army camp. The military, however, denied its convoy had been hit.
Eyewitnesses said security forces cordoned off the area and blocked the Kohat-Parachinar highway at Doaba and nobody was allowed to go near the scene of the explosion.
The army called its own bomb disposal squad from Thall Garrison. The check-post was located on the Hangu-Parachinar road, which remained closed for more than a year when militants blocked the artery to stop food and fuel supplies from reaching Parachinar, the Kurram Agency’s headquarters.
In another incident earlier on Saturday morning, one person was killed and three were injured in a blast in Malikabad area of Hangu bazaar.
The SHO of Doaba police station, Ammal Khan, and constable Asal Murad, who were sitting in a mobile van close to the army camp, were injured.
Police said the bomber had used 100kg of explosives. They blamed the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan for the strike, but the banned militant outfit did not claim responsibility for the bombing.
The dead and the seriously injured were taken to the civil hospital in Hangu and the Combined Military Hospital in Thall, a police spokesman for the Kohat region said.
Preliminary reports suggested that the suicide bomber had come to the area on Friday and took up residence in Hangu. ‘It was in the knowledge of the terrorists that a convoy would pass through the camp on Saturday afternoon,’ a local said.
Hangu has seen bloodletting bred by sectarianism over the past two years. A total of 48 people had died in sectarian clashes during Muharram last year.
The military had carried out a major clean-up operation in Doaba in August last year to flush out militants who had infiltrated from nearby Kurram and Orakzai regions.
Helicopter gunships have been attacking suspected militant hideouts in Orakzai during the last couple of weeks. ‘Most of the casualties are security forces and some policemen have also been killed,’ a security official said.
‘The bomber was driving a pick-up truck which he rammed into a convoy passing by a security checkpost,’ senior police officer Fareed Khan said in Kohat.
President Asif Ali Zardari, who is in China attending an international economic conference, ‘condemned the attack and vowed to root out terrorism and extremism from the country’, the presidency said in a statement.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ‘strongly condemned’ the incident, describing the suicide attack as ‘a cowardly act of terrorism’, his office said in a statement.

alertpak adds: Actually , the Police Check Post in Doaba, Hangu has been made into ruins and the contingent forces posted there were not prepared anyway to combat such Talibani disasters. No body from Talibani Forces or other Mujaheedin outfits did not claim this great credit so far. But the expert sources confirm that all these Talibani attacks , severe blasts or suicidal attacks are occurred out of design of Baitullah Mehsud , “ Blast once in Two Weeks” or Blast Twice in a Week” as far as practical. The disturbed zone of Hangu Districts is encompassed by some tribal areas like – North Wazirstan Orakzai, Kurram etc. On 15th April, 09 another blast tolled 16 lives including 10 police personnel in Harichand locality in Charas Adda. The Talibanis were successful to destroy an office of a NGO and a Cable TV Office through a big blast in NWFP on 16th April, 2009. So Baitullah is not only a man of words , He is also a man of deeds.

Some Details of Blast on 15th April ,2009
Islamabad, April 15,2009

At least 16 people, including 10 policemen, were killed and several more injured Wednesday in a suicide bombing in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, officials said.
The bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a police checkpoint in the Tangi area of the province’s Charsadda district, said Mohammad Yar, the district’s police officer.
“Nine policemen, including two officers, and six civilians died on the spot, while one officer succumbed to his injuries at the hospital” Yar told DPA.
He feared that death toll might increase as some of the around one dozen injured are in critical condition.
“I see here six civilian vehicles, all of them destroyed,” local journalist Sabaz Ali Tareen told DPA over telephone from the scene.
“It’s hard to believe that anyone on board these vehicles would have survived,” he added.
“The road is littered with human blood and flesh and I can still smell gunpowder,” Tareen said.
Last updated on Apr 15th, 2009 at 22:25 pm IST–DPA

The Baitullah Volcano Shaking the Pakistani Earth frquently

April 3, 2009

Lahore Police Academy attacked by Talibani Outfits, 35 Died at clash, 6 Terrorists captured alive

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Pak cops held hostage for 8 hrs

The Nation/ANN & PTI/The Statesman, Kolkata

LAHORE, March 30: Barely a month after the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka was taken over by mutineers allegedly at the behest of Islamic militants operating in Bangladesh, heavily-armed terrorists today gunned down at least nine persons, including eight police officers, and injured 90 others as they stormed into a police academy near here. The eight-hour siege that followed ended with four terrorists being shot dead and several being captured alive by security forces.
Earlier reports had put the death toll at 27 (35 as reported by other sources) but the figure was scaled down after security forces conducted a sweep of the training centre after killing or overpowering the attackers. The attack came within a month of a brazen attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in this city. Thanks God ! This time the Cops took the pro-active stand unlike the reluctant contingent on 3/3 at Gaddafi Stadium duty point.
Lobbing grenades and firing indiscriminately, the terrorists, said to number between 10 and 16, struck the academy as trainees prepared for the morning drill, killing guards at the gate and later holed up inside with hostages. Authorities clamped a curfew, and called in the army and paramilitary rangers who along with police laid a siege to the sprawling complex where an estimated 800 unarmed policemen were present. Helicopters and armoured carriers were deployed by the security forces to monitor the situation inside, which authorities described as a hostage crisis.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Interior ministry chief Mr Rehman Malik said suspicion was on the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Taliban. Mr Malik said the attack bore resemblance to the Mumbai terror strikes. But India, which expressed deep concern, refused to draw a parallel between the incident and the Mumbai attacks. “We are deeply concerned. We condemn these terrorist attacks…,” home minister Mr P Chidambaram said in New Delhi. External affairs minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee said the incident proves that terrorism has not been eliminated in Pakistan and was continuing unabated.
Prior to the attack, which started between 7-8 a.m, a series of at least five blasts were heard at the training centre at Manawan, 12 km from the Indian border at Wagah. This was followed by an exchange of fire between the attackers and policemen that continued for more than eight hours. Most of the casualties occurred near the gate of the centre when the terrorists lobbed several grenades and then fired indiscriminately. DIG (investigations) Mr Mushtaq Sukhera said 850 recruits were present in the centre at the time of the attack. Lahore police commissioner Mr Azam Suleman said 34 people had been admitted to hospitals.
Elite commandos and security personnel surrounded the premises and used teargas shells to flush the terrorists out. “The operation has ended with overpowering of a number of terrorists. While four were shot dead, several more were arrested,” interior ministry chief Mr Malik said. One of the captured terrorists is 19-20 years old and is an Afghan national, he said. A joint investigation team has been formed to probe the attack, Mr Malik said.
The USA today asked the ISI to sever all its ties with extremists groups including Al Qaida, the Taliban and LeT. “What we need to do is try and help the Pakistanis understand these groups are now an existential threat to them…,” US defence secretary Mr Robert Gates told Fox News today. US state department spokesman Mr Gordon Duguid called today’s attack an attack on Pakistan’s institutions and said Pakistan needs the USA’s help, and that of the international community in fighting terrorism successfully.

Pak security at alert……
Amid warning by Intelligence agencies that 14 terrorists had sneaked into the federal capital and Lahore, Pakistan Premier Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday ordered authorities across the country to beef up security at key institutions and remain vigilant to thwart possible militant attacks.
Mr Gilani chaired a high-level meeting in Islamabad and asked Interior Ministry chief Mr Rehman Malik to enhance security at important institutions and ensure the safety of people, an official statement said.
The meeting came as Pakistani Intelligence agencies warned authorities that 14 terrorists had entered Islamabad and Lahore in the guise of Islamic preachers (Moulavi) to carry out strikes. The warning follows Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud’s threats that his group planned to carry out more attacks across the country in retaliation for continued US drone attacks in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, says AP from Islamabad.

Suicide attack kills 11 in northwest Pakistan
26 Mar 2009, 1116 hrs IST, AFP

PAKISTAN: A suicide bomber struck a restaurant in volatile northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 11 people including militants opposed to the country’s top Taliban commander, intelligence officials said.

Pockets of northwest Pakistan are strongholds for Taliban, al-Qaida and other militant groups, not all of whom get along.

Even as Pakistan has battled the extremists and the U.S. has carried out dozens of missile attacks against the militants, including a suspected American strike that killed eight on Wednesday, the armed groups have also attacked one another.

The attack on Thursday morning occurred just outside the South Waziristan tribal region near the town of Tank at a roadside restaurant where some two dozen militants loyal to Turkistan Bittani were eating, two intelligence officials told The Associated Press.

Several other people were wounded in the attack, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly to the media.

Bittani was not present. South Waziristan is the stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, a Bittani rival.

The tribal region also was the target of Wednesday’s alleged US missile strike, whose death toll included several foreigners, according to two other intelligence officials said. Wednesday’s strike damaged two vehicles near Makeen, a town that borders Afghanistan.

The strike came as President Barack Obama’s administration prepares to unveil a new strategy to quell Islamist insurgents threatening Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

American officials have indicated that attacks along Pakistan’s un-policed western frontier, apparently carried out by unmanned CIA aircraft and stepped up since last year, will continue despite protests from the Pakistani government.

The officials discussed the missile strike on condition of anonymity because they also were not authorized to speak to the media. Reporters cannot verify reports from the area because authorities and militants limit access.

US officials say the strikes have killed a string of militant leaders and put al-Qaida on the defensive in an area considered a possible hiding place for its fugitive leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri.

However, the Pakistani government argues that the tactic is counterproductive because it kills civilians, stokes anti-American feeling in the Islamic world’s only nuclear-armed country and undermines its own efforts to isolate extremists.

US announces $5m reward for info about Haqqani, Mehsud
26 Mar 2009, 2101 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday offered $5 million bounty each for Sirajuddin Haqqani, believed to have been involved in the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul at the instance of Pakistan’s ISI, and Baitullah Mehsud, a suspect in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The remuneration, under the state department’s Rewards for Justice scheme, is for ”information leading to the location, arrest, and/or conviction,” of Haqqani and Mehsud, officials said. A separate $1 million reward was also announced for Abu Yahya al-Libi, described as a prominent member of al-Qaida.

The reward for Haqqani particularly will interest New Delhi since Washington believes the Haqqani network executed the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul at the instance of ISI.

US electronic intercepts is said to have yielded ”ISI fingerprints” on the operation in the form of communication about the attack, which some experts believe was conducted by Pakistan to warn India about its growing influence in Afghanistan.

The US reward incidentally covers only Siraj Haqqani while leaving out his father Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was once seen as an American ally during the Afghan War when Washington used the mujaheddin to oust the then Soviet Union. Haqqani sr. is also believed to be ailing and close to death.

Terrorism analyst Bill Roggio told ToI that the reward for the junior Haqqani alone was probably made at the behest of ISI, which believes it can cause a rift between the father and son.

Pakistan has routinely tried the strategy of playing off one faction of extremists against another to achieve its tactical goals. In Swat, Islamabad has signed a peace deal with what it regards as a moderate Talibanist, Sufi Mohammed, in an effort to rein in his more extremist son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah.

Subsequent to the Kabul attack, Pakistan’s army chief Pervez Ashraf Kiyani, a former ISI Director General, had described Haqqani as a strategic asset. It was not clear whether he was referring to the father or son or both.

In another example of the wages of Pakistan’s divide-and-rule tactics, a suicide bomber sent by Baitullah Mehsud on Thursday blew himself up in a restaurant near the town of Tank in an effort to kill a pro-government militant named Turkistan Bitani, resulting in the death of 11 Bitani men. Bitani himself escaped the attack.

The Mehsud and Bitani clans have been at loggerheads in Pakistan’s restive frontier province. Mehsud had killed Bitani’s brother, who was strangely named Hindustan, in an attack last year to avenge the death of 35 of his men. Such internecine fighting is in any case common in the Frontier region.

The rewards for justice program has unclaimed booty of $ 25 million each for Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, both accused in the 9/11 attacks and on the lam in nearly a decade since.

However, the program has paid more than $77 million to over 50 people who provided information that ”prevented international terrorist attacks or helped bring to justice those involved in prior acts.”

Those reported under the program include Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusai, first World Trade Center attack accused Ramzi Yousef, and Mir Aimal Kansi, who was charged with the brazen assassination of CIA analysts right outside the agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Any information ? You may contact :
YOUR NATIONAL OR LOCAL POLICE
ICPO-INTERPOL General Secretariat, (Command & Coordination Center, Tel: +33 472 44 76 76 – Email : ccc@interpol.int

Covert ISI Support for Talibans :: Afghan Taliban gets Pakistan Help – U.S.

March 27, 2009

bmSpy agency in bid to offset India’s influence in Afghanistan
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COVERT ISI SUPPORT FOR TALIBANs
Afghan strikes by Taliban get Pak help, say US aides

M MAZZETTI ,E SCHMITT and M RAHAMAN
Washington, Islamabad & New Delhi, March 26: The shadowy “S Wing” of the ISI of Pakistan Government is directly backing the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan, senior Pakistani officers admit, explaining the nexus is meant not so much harm the US force as to offset Indian influence in Afghanistan.
According to US officials, the Taliban’s fight against Western forces has been made possible by support from Pakistan’s military intelligence agency. The support consists of money, military supplies and strategic planning guidance.
As New Delhi reacts that a new dimension is needed to repair the decaying Democracy in Pakistan at present, the conventional anti Indian stand is being adopted again to stay on the political scenario by both the parties in power and opposition in Pakistan. Tactfully, they are trying to switch over the situation into the Kashmir issue again, even taking the most dangerous help from the talibani and other Islamofascist group more active in Pakistan having its root in Afghanistan also.
The Taliban’s widening campaign in southern Afghanistan is made possible in part by direct support from operatives in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, despite Pakistani government promises to sever ties to militant groups fighting in Afghanistan, according to American government officials.
The support consists of money, military supplies and strategic planning guidance to Taliban commanders who are gearing up to confront the international force in Afghanistan that will soon include some 17,000 American reinforcements.
Support for the Taliban, as well as other militant groups, is coordinated by operatives inside the shadowy S Wing of Pakistan’s spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, the officials said. There is even evidence that ISI operatives meet regularly with Taliban commanders to discuss whether to intensify or scale back violence before the Afghan elections.
Details of the ISI’s continuing ties to militant groups were described by a half-dozen American, Pakistani and other security officials during recent interviews in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. All requested anonymity because they were discussing classified and sensitive intelligence information.
The American officials said proof of the ties between the Taliban and Pakistani spies came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. The Pakistani officials interviewed said that they had firsthand knowledge of the connections, though they denied that the ties were strengthening the insurgency.
American officials have complained for more than a year about the ISI’s support to groups like the Taliban. But the new details reveal that the spy agency is aiding a broader array of militant networks with more diverse types of support than was previously known — even months after Pakistani officials said that the days of the ISI’ playing a “double game” had ended.
Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders publicly deny any government ties to militant groups, and American officials say it is unlikely that top officials in Islamabad are directly coordinating the clandestine efforts. American officials have also said that midlevel ISI operatives occasionally cultivate relationships that are not approved by their bosses.
In a sign of just how resigned Western officials are to the ties, the British government has sent several dispatches to Islamabad in recent months asking that the ISI use its strategy meetings with the Taliban to persuade its commanders to scale back violence in Afghanistan before the August presidential election there, according to one official.
But the inability, or unwillingness, of the embattled civilian government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, to break the ties that bind the ISI to the militants illustrates the complexities of a region of shifting alliances. Obama administration officials admit that they are struggling to understand these allegiances as they try to forge a strategy to quell violence in Afghanistan, which has intensified because of a resurgent Taliban. Fighting this insurgency is difficult enough, officials said, without having to worry about an allied spy service’s supporting the enemy.
But the Pakistanis offered a more nuanced portrait. They said the contacts were less threatening than the American officials depicted and were part of a strategy to maintain influence in Afghanistan for the day when American forces would withdraw and leave what they fear could be a power vacuum to be filled by India, Pakistan’s archenemy. A senior Pakistani military officer said, “In intelligence, you have to be in contact with your enemy or you are running blind.”
The ISI helped create and nurture the Taliban movement in the 1990s to bring stability to a nation that had been devastated by years of civil war between rival warlords, and one Pakistani official explained that Islamabad needed to use groups like the Taliban as “proxy forces to preserve our interests”.
A spokesman at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington declined to comment for this article.
Over the past year, a parade of senior American diplomats, military officers and intelligence officials has flown to Islamabad to urge Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders to cut off support for militant groups, and Washington has threatened to put conditions on more than $1 billion in annual military aid to Pakistan. On Saturday, the director of the CIA, Leon E. Panetta, met top Pakistani officials in Islamabad.
Little is publicly known about the ISI’s S Wing, which officials say directs intelligence operations outside of Pakistan. American officials said that the S Wing provided direct support to three major groups carrying out attacks in Afghanistan: the Taliban based in Quetta, Pakistan, commanded by Mullah Muhammad Omar; the militant network run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; and a different group run by the guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani.
Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, recently told senators that the Pakistanis “draw distinctions” among different militant groups.
“There are some they believe have to be hit and that we should cooperate on hitting, and there are others they think don’t constitute as much of a threat to them and that they think are best left alone,” Blair said.
The Haqqani network, which focuses its attacks on Afghanistan, is considered a strategic asset to Pakistan, according to American and Pakistani officials, in contrast to the militant network run by Baitullah Mehsud, which has the goal of overthrowing Pakistan’s government.
Top American officials speak bluntly about how the situation has changed little since last summer, when evidence showed that ISI operatives helped plan the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, an attack that killed 54 people.
“They have been very attached to many of these extremist organisations, and it’s my belief that in the long run, they have got to completely cut ties with those in order to really move in the right direction,” Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recently on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS.
The Taliban has been able to finance a military campaign inside Afghanistan largely through proceeds from the illegal drug trade and wealthy individuals from the Persian Gulf. But American officials said that when fighters needed fuel or ammunition to sustain their attacks against American troops, they would often turn to the ISI.
When the groups needed to replenish their ranks, it would be operatives from the S Wing who often slipped into radical madrasas across Pakistan to drum up recruits, the officials said.
The ISI support for militants extends beyond those operating in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. American officials said the spy agency had also shared intelligence with Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Pakistan-based militant group suspected in the deadly attacks in Mumbai and provided protection for it.
Zardari took steps last summer to purge the ISI’s top ranks after the United States confronted Pakistan with evidence about the Indian Embassy bombing. Mr. Zardari pledged that the ISI would be “handled,” and that anyone working with militants would be dismissed.
Yet with the future of Zardari’s government uncertain in the current political turmoil and with Obama officials seeing few immediate alternatives, American officials and outside experts said that Pakistan’s military establishment appears to see little advantage in responding to the demands of civilian officials in Islamabad or Washington.
As a result, when the Haqqani fighters need to stay a step ahead of American forces stalking them on the ground and in the air, they rely on moles within the spy agency to tip them off to allied missions planned against them, American military officials said.
Anyway , the experts on contemporary middle-east and Pakistan view that such supports from both sides in the matter of Jihadi-Talibani militancy can only expose the truth and must count down the de-regimentation of these terrorists forces, facing a hard challenge from the global community.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, Eric Schmitt from Washington and Islamabad, Pakistan and M Rahaman from New Delhi

Courtesy :: NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE, THE TELEGRAPH CALCUTTA & ALERTPAKTIMES NEW DELHI

Pak Terrorists pace towards India to paralyse Parliamentary Election.

March 25, 2009

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Kashmir on alert amid fears of militant incursion: Police Chief

Wed, Mar 25 10:39 AM
Indian Associate News Services // Yahoo News Services.

Jammu, March 25 (IANS) Areas in Jammu and Kashmir bordering Pakistan have been put on ‘highest alert’ after reports that militants are getting together to penetrate into India ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, says the state’s police chief.
Director General of Police Kuldeep Khuda said after a brief ‘deceptive lull’, Pakistan has restarted pushing infiltrators into the state.
Security forces ‘have been asked to be on highest alert on the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border’ after reports that militants are grouping to infiltrate to this side, Khuda told IANS in an interview.
He said Pakistan continued to support militancy and push terrorists into Kashmir though there had been a drop in infiltration and ‘terrorist activities after the Nov 26 Mumbai attacks’.
‘I don’t find a change in the attitude of Pakistan as far as terrorism is concerned. Also there are indications that it (Pakistan) might gradually raise the pitch as per (its) convenience,’ Khuda said.
‘Pakistan resorted to cosmetic actions (after Mumbai attacks). But things reversed in no time,’ the police chief added, referring to increased movement of militants in the Kashmir Valley, particularly in the border district of Kupwara.
At least 19 people, including 11 guerrillas and eight army troopers, were killed in a long- drawn gun fight between militants and security forces in the Shamswari forests of Kupwara early this week.
The police chief still feels confident that the situation in the state is ‘well under control’ ahead of the five-phase parliamentary polls, which begin April 16 and end May 13.
‘Though there are terrorists still operating in the state, the situation is well under control,’ he said.
He said parliamentary polls threw challenges to the police like ‘atmosphere where people can come out freely to vote without any intimidation or threat of militants and separatists to boycott’.
The most important challenge, he said, was the security of candidates, public meetings, campaigners, political activists, polling booths and voters.
‘Prime requirement is to create a security atmosphere where people feel and participate in the electoral process and cast their votes.’
According to the police chief, there are about 700 to 800 militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir with ’40 percent of them (being) foreigners’.
‘Pakistani terrorists are taking initiative and carrying out major strikes while locals are being used as helpers,’ he said.
Khuda noted with concern the developments in Pakistan where the ‘establishment has virtually given up its role in Swat and Peshawar, thus giving boost to the morale of militants operating there. And if (militant) activities increase, it is a matter of concern not only for Pakistan but for us.’

About the reports that Taliban or Al Qaeda members may have sneaked into the state, the police chief said: ‘Taliban/Al Qaeda is no different from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) or Al-Badr who are operating (in Jammu and Kashmir).
‘The common link between most of these terror outfits is support of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and the (Pakistani) establishment. It does not matter whether Taliban or Lashkar is operating against us. So we are dealing with these outfits in any case.’

Pakistan has finished the Democratic Process there. The high rise of Islamist Force in various groups has already destroyed the democracy in Pakistan. The militants groups with the collaboration of ISI and some Political Parties there, now have fixed there destination to heart land India via Kashmir valley. This is turned as a big threat to the Indian contingent vowed to maintain all possible safety and security to the electorates to vote for the ensuing Parliamentary Election tagged with the world’s largest Democracy in India.
It is very alarming that Baitullah Mehsud , the most notorious Taliban Leader has already sheltered 20 Uzbek terrorist in Pakistan with deadly weapons and dirty bomb devices to send them India to destroy the entire electioneering in India, as the experts gaze on.

Binoo Joshi & Mijanur Rahaman

Binoo Joshi can be contacted at binoo.j@ians.in
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Mijanur Rahaman can be contacted at mijanurrahaman786@yahoo.com

Peace Process Punctured in Pakistan, Blast in Islamabad.

March 24, 2009

Suspected suicide blast kills over 10 in Islamabad on Pakistan Day

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Suicide bomber targets Pak police Special Branch
Unofficial sources said that casualties touched 35 with 150 injured

Islamabad, March 23 (Agencies): A suicide bomber killed a policeman who had stopped him at the entrance to a police station in Islamabad today on Pakistan Day, police said.
The police Special Branch operated from the station in the Sitara Market neighbourhood of the capital, police said.
The Special Branch is responsible for collecting intelligence on terrorism, sectarianism and political activities in the country.
“The bomber was on foot, and when the guards tried to stop him at the check post he blew himself up,” said Rana Akbar, a senior official in the city administration.
He said one policeman was killed. Five other persons, most of them policeman, were injured.
Witnesses said the bomber was accompanied by another person but his whereabouts could not be traced.
Waris Raja, a reporter from Islamabad reported in the Rajasthan Patrika , a prime Hindi Daily in India that unofficial sources estimate a casualties over 35, injuring another 150 . Some are very serious. The authorities want to suppress the severity of the blast to a lead story of success about the peace progress in this destabilized country tormented between terrorism and communalism.
Though Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said: “ We were on high alert, but there is no way to detect a person who is determined to blow himself up.”
Malik said intelligence agencies had recently reported that five to six suicide bombers were likely to enter Islamabad to attack political leaders and rallies. Islamabad and other cities were on high alert, he added.
Police cordoned off the site, but an eyewitness described the scene.
“I can see human flesh scattered on the road and the damaged police check post at the gate,” Abdul Saboor said.
Taliban militants and jihadi groups linked to al Qaida have run a campaign of violence to try to destabilise nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Islamist militants are blamed for near-daily attacks in the Western-allied but increasingly unstable country, though little information on today’s bomber was available.
A suicide truck bomb attack on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad last September, tolled more than 50 and the assault by gunmen on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore this month were measures of the growing danger.
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari called on Britain and the US earlier today to do more to help his government fight terrorism.
Zardari said his Pakistan People’s Party had brought democracy to the country after more than eight years under the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf, and the international community should now play its part.
Asked in an interview on Sky News television to outline his key message to Britain and the US, Zardari said: “The message is: You’ve got democracy, democracy is part of the solution — but … the second part of the solution is with you, so please give us the help that we need.

Red Alert in Pakistan Capital

Pak intelligence warns of terror attacks; security beefed up

24 Mar 2009, 1432 hrs IST, PTI

ISLAMABAD: Security was tightened across Pakistan on Tuesday following an intelligence warning that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud had sent 20 foreign militants, most of them Uzbeks, to carry out terror strikes in major cities.

The move came after a suicide bomber struck at an office of the special branch of police in Islamabad last night, killing a policeman and injuring five others.

Officials said there could have been more casualties if the bomber was not stopped at the gate of the office.

The intelligence agencies had warned that terrorists could strike in Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi and other major cities, a senior police official told the Dawn newspaper.

Adequate protective measures had been put in place, security around police installations had been tightened and patrolling had been increased. Vehicles and people are being randomly checked in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, he said.

Police teams are also checking hotels and had rounded up 36 “suspicious” people. A total of 79 motorbikes, 19 cars and two rickshaws have also been impounded, he said.

Police have also arrested 20 people on charges of committing crimes and seized weapons from them, the official said.