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Posts Tagged Pakistan
From the FBI:
A Pakistani native who operated a Chicago-based immigration business was sentenced today to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist plot in Denmark and providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba, a terrorist organization operating in Pakistan that was responsible for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. The defendant, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, was convicted of the charges on June 9, 2011, following a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
“Avoiding the Wars That Never End is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By George Friedman
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would transfer the primary responsibility for combat operations in Afghanistan to the Afghan military in the coming months, a major step toward the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Also last week, France began an intervention in Mali designed to block jihadists from taking control of the country and creating a base of operations in France’s former African colonies.
The two events are linked in a way that transcends the issue of Islamist insurgency and points to a larger geopolitical shift. The United States is not just drawing down its combat commitments; it is moving away from the view that it has the primary responsibility for trying to manage the world on behalf of itself, the Europeans and its other allies. Instead, that burden is shifting to those who have immediate interests involved. Read the rest of this entry »
The suit involves a rejected Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch for the release of more than 50 images of the terrorist leader’s body.
Judicial Watch said in its appeal that the government has not “demonstrated that the release of the images of a somber, dignified burial at sea reasonably could be expected to cause identifiable or describable exceptionally grave damage to national security.”
“In Pakistan, Mixed Results From a Peshawar Attack is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Ben West
The Pakistani Taliban continue to undermine Pakistan’s government and military establishment, and in doing so, they continue to raise questions over the security of the country’s nuclear arsenal. On Dec. 15, 10 militants armed with suicide vests and grenades attacked Peshawar Air Force Base, the site of a third major operation by the Pakistani Taliban since May 2011. Tactically, the attack was relatively unsuccessful — all the militants were killed, and the perimeter of the air base was not breached — but the Pakistani Taliban nonetheless achieved their objective.
The attack began the night of Dec. 15 with a volley of three to five mortar shells. As the shells were fired, militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near the perimeter wall of the air base. Reports indicate that all five militants inside the vehicle were killed. The other five militants engaged security forces in a nearby residential area and eventually were driven back before they could enter the air base. The next day, security forces acting on a report of suspicious activity confronted the militants, who all died in the resultant shootout. Read the rest of this entry »
One significant trend is the expansion of al Qaeda’s global network. The leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Shabaab in Somalia, al Qaeda in Iraq, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (in North Africa) have sworn bayat, or loyalty, to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and provided him with funding, global influence, and a cadre of trained fighters. None of these affiliate organizations existed a decade ago. But, over the past several years, attacks by these affiliates have increased.
Twitter was asked by the government to stop a discussion about a contest over Muhammad caricatures, something it refused to do. As a result, access to the site has been blocked, according to the Express Tribune. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority passed down the directive to Internet service providers in the country, and said it couldn’t say how long the site would be blocked.
By Scott Stewart
On June 4, four U.S. diplomats assigned to the Consulate General of the United States in Peshawar, Pakistan, were stopped at a military checkpoint and temporarily detained after refusing to allow their two vehicles to be searched. The diplomats — including a vice consul — were traveling in a two-vehicle motorcade and were accompanied by three Pakistani Foreign Service National (FSN) security officers.
According to media reports, the Pakistani military has charged that the diplomats had traveled to Malakand without first obtaining permission from the Pakistani government. Malakand is a city located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Peshawar in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, formerly known as the Northwest Frontier Province. Because of the problems Pakistan has had with foreign jihadists in its border badlands, all foreigners are required to obtain something called a No Objection Certificate from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry before visiting areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the adjacent Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Furthermore, the Pakistani press noted that the Pakistani military also objected to the Americans and their Pakistani FSNs’ being armed and operating vehicles with fake license plates to disguise the diplomatic vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »
Republished from STRATFOR:
By Scott Stewart
U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman announced April 3 that the U.S. government’s “Rewards for Justice” (RFJ) program was offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In other Rewards for Justice cases involving Pakistan, suspects such as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abdel Basit and Mir Amal Kansi have hidden in Pakistan and maintained relatively low profiles. In this case, Saeed is a very public figure in Pakistan. He even held a news conference April 4 in Rawalpindi announcing his location and taunting the United States by saying he was willing to share his schedule with U.S. officials.
While the Saeed case is clearly a political matter rather than a pure law enforcement or intelligence issue, the case has focused a great deal of attention on Rewards for Justice, and it seems an opportune time to examine the history and mechanics of the program. Read the rest of this entry »
It is believed that Hafiz Mohammad Saeed planned the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the US is now offering a bounty for any “information leading to the arrest and conviction” of Saeed.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the decision to place a bounty on Saeed was driven by his alleged role in the November 2008 attacks in India’s financial capital Mumbai and recent high-profile public appearances.
“It has everything to do with Mumbai and his brazen flouting of the justice system,” Nuland said in Washington.
This report is republished from STRATFOR:
By George Friedman
Simply put, China has three core strategic interests.
Paramount among them is the maintenance of domestic security. Historically, when China involves itself in global trade, as it did in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the coastal region prospers, while the interior of China — which begins about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the coast and runs about 1,600 kilometers to the west — languishes. Roughly 80 percent of all Chinese citizens currently have household incomes lower than the average household income in Bolivia. Most of China’s poor are located west of the richer coastal region. This disparity of wealth time and again has exposed tensions between the interests of the coast and those of the interior. After a failed rising in Shanghai in 1927, Mao Zedong exploited these tensions by undertaking the Long March into the interior, raising a peasant army and ultimately conquering the coastal region. He shut China off from the international trading system, leaving China more united and equal, but extremely poor.
The current government has sought a more wealth-friendly means of achieving stability: buying popular loyalty with mass employment. Plans for industrial expansion are implemented with little thought to markets or margins; instead, maximum employment is the driving goal. Private savings are harnessed to finance the industrial effort, leaving little domestic capital to purchase the output. China must export accordingly. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a report from STRATFOR:
By Scott Stewart
In this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman discussed the geopolitical cycles that change with each generation. Frequently, especially in recent years, those geopolitical cycles have intersected with changes in the way the tactic of terrorism is employed and in the actors employing it.
The Arab terrorism that began in the 1960s resulted from the Cold War and the Soviet decision to fund, train and otherwise encourage groups in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and its Middle Eastern proxies also sponsored Marxist terrorist groups in Europe and Latin America. They even backed the Japanese Red Army terrorist group. Places like South Yemen and Libya became havens where Marxist militants of many different nationalities gathered to learn terrorist tradecraft, often instructed by personnel from the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi and from other militants.
The Cold War also spawned al Qaeda and the broader global jihadist movement as militants flocking to fight the Soviet troops who had invaded Afghanistan were trained in camps in northern Pakistan by instructors from the CIA’s Office of Technical Services and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Emboldened by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and claiming credit for the subsequent Soviet collapse, these militants decided to expand their efforts to other parts of the world. Read the rest of this entry »
By Kamran Bokhari
In an eight-minute video clip titled “Onward, Lions of Syria” disseminated on the Internet Feb. 12, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri expressed al Qaeda’s support for the popular unrest in Syria. In it, al-Zawahiri urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels battling Damascus. The statement comes just days after a McClatchy report quoted unnamed American intelligence officials as saying that the Iraqi node of the global jihadist network carried out two attacks against Syrian intelligence facilities in Damascus, while Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in a recent interview with AFP that Iraqi jihadists were moving fighters and weapons into neighboring Syria.
Al Qaeda’s long-term goal has been to oust Arab governments to facilitate the return of a transnational caliphate. Its tactics have involved mainly terrorism intended to cause U.S. intervention in the region. Al Qaeda has hoped such interventions would in turn incite popular uprisings that would bring down the Arab regimes, opening the way for the jihadists to eventually take power. But the jihadist network’s efforts have failed and they have remained a marginal player in the Arab world. By addressing Syria, al Qaeda hopes to tap into the past year of Arab unrest, a movement in which it played little to no part. Read the rest of this entry »
By George Friedman
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested last week that the United States could wrap up combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2013, well before the longstanding 2014 deadline when full control is to be ceded to Kabul. Troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2014, as agreed upon at the 2010 Lisbon Summit, and would be engaged in two roles until at least 2014 and perhaps even later. One role would be continuing the training of Afghan security forces. The other would involve special operations troops carrying out capture or kill operations against high-value targets.
Along with this announcement, the White House gave The New York Times some details on negotiations that have been under way with the Taliban. According to the Times, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the senior-most leader of the Afghan Taliban, last summer made overtures to the White House offering negotiations. An intermediary claiming to speak for Mullah Omar delivered the proposal, an unsigned document purportedly from Mullah Omar that could not be established as authentic. The letter demanded the release of some Taliban prisoners before any talks. In spite of the ambiguities, which included a recent public denial by the Taliban that the offer came from Mullah Omar, U.S. officials, obviously acting on other intelligence, regarded the proposal as both authentic and representative of the views of the Taliban leadership and, in all likelihood, those of Mullah Omar, too. Read the rest of this entry »
A Deadly U.S. Attack on Pakistani Soil is republished with permission of STRATFOR.
By Nate Hughes
In the early hours of Nov. 26 on the Afghan-Pakistani border, what was almost certainly a flight of U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and an AC-130 gunship killed some two dozen Pakistani servicemen at two border outposts inside Pakistan. Details remain scarce, conflicting and disputed, but the incident was known to have taken place near the border of the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar and the Mohmand agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The death toll inflicted by the United States against Pakistani servicemen is unprecedented, and while U.S. commanders and NATO leaders have expressed regret over the incident, the reaction from Pakistan has been severe.
Claims and Interests
The initial Pakistani narrative of the incident describes an unprovoked and aggressive attack on well-established outposts more than a mile inside Pakistani territory — outposts known to the Americans and ones that representatives of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had visited in the past. The attack supposedly lasted for some two hours despite distressed communications from the outpost to the Pakistani military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi. Read the rest of this entry »
“Pakistan objected furiously when a NATO airstrike along its border with Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, while NATO claimed the attack came after a U.S.-Afghan patrol came under fire.
Now a report discloses that the overwhelmingly majority of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan have in fact come along that border.
The CNS News report shows that a total of 1,527 American troops have died while engaged in combat in Afghanistan, and 1,089 of them — 71 percent — died in the 10 Afghan provinces that border Pakistan.
That compares to 438 combat deaths in all of Afghanistan’s other 24 provinces.
Including non-combat deaths, 1,168 Americans have died in Afghanistan’s border provinces as of Nov. 30, according to CNS News.
Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, at least 1,172 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan, accounting for 67 percent of the total casualties in the 10-year-long war.”