Daily brief: CIA station shooter was local guard – Officials
Inside the wire U.S. officials revealed Monday that the Afghan man who killed a CIA contractor and wounded another Sunday at the CIA station in Kabul was a local guard employed by the U.S. government (Reuters, CNN, CBS). Taliban spokespeople initially contacted after the attack would not comment on the attack, although one Taliban commander ...
Inside the wire
Inside the wire
U.S. officials revealed Monday that the Afghan man who killed a CIA contractor and wounded another Sunday at the CIA station in Kabul was a local guard employed by the U.S. government (Reuters, CNN, CBS). Taliban spokespeople initially contacted after the attack would not comment on the attack, although one Taliban commander based in Pakistan told Reuters that the group was behind the shooting (Reuters). Though the attacker’s motivation remains unclear, the incident has reignited mistrust between Afghan security personnel and Western forces, more than two dozen of whom have been killed by Afghan soldiers or police in the past year, according to the Journal (WSJ).
In a press conference Monday, an official with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that Afghan authorities had arrested a key figure in the killing of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, and that the killing was planned outside of Afghanistan, potentially by the Taliban leaders in the Quetta Shura (Reuters, CNN). Former NDS chief Amrullah Saleh led hundreds of protesters through Kabul Tuesday to call for an end to peace talks with the Taliban (Pajhwok). And the governor of Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor, told Tolo News Monday that, "There is no way to make peace with the Taliban. I urge all the supporters of our leader Burhanuddin Rabbani to remain united and take revenge" (Tolo). Bonus read: Michael Wahid Hanna, "Is reconciliation finished in Afghanistan?" (FP).
A suicide car bombing near the Afghan police headquarters in the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah has killed five people, an attack later claimed by the Taliban (AFP, BBC, AP). Afghanistan’s foreign ministry called in the Pakistani ambassador to Kabul to deliver an official protest over recent shelling of Afghan villages along the border with Pakistan (ET). And the AP reports that civilian Air Force employee Michael Furlong, who is accused of running an illegal private spying ring in Afghanistan, resigned from his job earlier this year (AP).
U.S. officials and their Pakistani counterparts are reportedly attempting to soothe relations between the countries, less than a week after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen accused Pakistan of supporting the insurgent Haqqani Network (Dawn, ET, Dawn, ET). The United States is said to be considering adding the Haqqani Network to its list of banned terrorist organizations, while the Taliban issued a statement Tuesday saying that they — not Pakistan — control the Haqqanis (AFP, AFP). And Carlotta Gall has a must-read about a 2007 ambush of Americans and Afghans along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that left an American officer dead, and may have been a deliberate attack by Pakistani troops (NYT).
Meanwhile, China’s Public Security Minister was in Pakistan Tuesday to discuss counterterrorism cooperation, while the Tribune reports that Pakistan has been secretly lobbying for a defense treaty with China (Dawn, ET). And Pakistani Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh told a Washington audience Monday that his country would repay $1.2 billion in loans owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this year, and that "We are not looking for [a] perpetual kind of government-to-government help. What we are looking for is a chance for our people to be allowed to compete with the rest" (AFP, Dawn, ET).
Norwegian prosecutors filed charges against three men Tuesday over an alleged plot to attack a Danish cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad, a plot believed to have been coordinated in part in Pakistan (BBC, AP). Three of the men involved in a suspected plot to stage bombings in the United Kingdom, including two said to have trained in Pakistan, allegedly made "suicide videos" before their arrests (Tel, CNN). Back in Pakistan, 10 Frontier Corps personnel were hurt Monday in a bombing in Dera Bugti, while three NATO fuel trucks were destroyed in the province Tuesday (ET, ET). And Karen Brulliard delves into the dramatic rise in deadly bombings in Pakistan since 2001, an increase many Pakistanis blame on the United States (Post).
Four stories round out the day: At least 37 people, including 30 schoolchildren, were killed Monday when their bus crashed 100 miles east of Islamabad (Tel, Dawn, ET). The toll from dengue fever continues to rise in Punjab province, while NPR reports that a strain of polio prevalent in Pakistan may have spread to western China (ET, NPR). A school in Khyber-Puktunkhwa province has expelled a 13-year-old Christian girl for blasphemy after she misspelled a word related to the Prophet Muhammad, a move that has sparked protests (Dawn, ET). And Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has set up a new body to deal with water projects and dam construction in neighboring countries, the Pakistan Transborder Water Organization (Dawn).
Going around the courts
A hacker who refers to himself by the online handle "Zombie_Ksa" has hacked the website for Pakistan’s Supreme Court, the second time the website has been attacked this way (BBC). In addition to posting insults about the court and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the hacker asked Chaudhry to help the poor and ban pornographic websites.
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