Pakistan detains senior officer for alleged ties to militants
Pakistani policemen scuffle with members of the militant Hizb ut Tahrir activist group during a protest in Karachi on April 17, 2011.
June 21st, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Pakistan detains senior officer for alleged ties to militants

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Pakistan detained a senior Army officer for suspected connections to a militant organization, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Brig. Ali Khan, stationed at military headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi for the past two years, has been in custody for the past two days over alleged links to the militant group Hizb ut-Tahrir, said spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.

He said the Pakistani army follows a "zero tolerance policy" for anyone "indulging in such illegal and unauthorized activities." An investigation into Khan is ongoing.

Khan's detainment comes as Pakistan's ties to the United States have been strained over strategy in combating terrorism.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Pakistan
June 21st, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Pakistan rejects new U.S. accusation of leaks

Islamabad, Pakistan(CNN) - Pakistan's security forces are not tipping off militants about upcoming raids, the country's top military spokesman said Monday, adding that tribal elders are sometimes notified before the military moves into their regions.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas called allegations of leaks "part of a malicious campaign against us."

He was responding to a Sunday report in The New York Times that militants were fleeing bomb-making factories after American intelligence officials told Pakistan about them, heightening U.S. concerns that tips were leaking from Pakistani security to insurgents.

Abbas suggested Pakistan had no interest in letting information get to the targets of the raids, saying: "These are the same bomb-making facilities that are used to kill our soldiers."

But he said tribal elders are sometimes notified before security forces move into a region for an operation. The raids take place in semi-autonomous areas where the Pakistani government's control is tenuous.

Abbas said the exact location of the raids is never revealed. He did not say how much notice or detail the military gave tribal leaders, or how it ensured that they did not pass information to the targets of the raid.

Some tribal leaders are sympathetic to the Taliban. Others oppose them, and some have shifting loyalties.

A second high-ranking military official also rejected allegations by American lawmakers that Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI, has contacts with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, another militant group that sometimes works with the Taliban.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Pakistan
June 16th, 2011
12:21 AM ET

KTH: Is Pakistan friend or foe?

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper takes a look at the troubled relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.

May 17th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

U.S. official: Bin Laden communicated with Yemen-based terror group

Washington (CNN) - Materials taken from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan confirm that the al Qaeda leader communicated with the Yemen-based group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to a U.S. official familiar with the ongoing U.S. analysis of the documents.

It is not clear whether that group ever received the communications or if it acted upon them, said the official, who could not be named due to the sensitivity of the intelligence information.

The United States is still trying to determine if the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was in direct communication with bin Laden. Washington considers the Yemen-based group a very active wing of al Qaeda. Several attempted bombing plots targeting the United States - including the unsuccessful Times Square bombing of 2010 and the attempt to blow up courier planes with explosives hidden in printer cartridges - were hatched in Yemen.

The search through bin Laden's materials, which were recovered after the al Qaeda leader was killed in a May 2 raid on his compound by U.S. Navy SEALs, has also found direct evidence that while in hiding in Pakistan, bin Laden was involved in planning attacks. The materials confirmed that bin Laden was encouraging direct plots to attack Americans and U.S. interests in Europe late last year, according to the U.S. official.

The source emphasized there were several threats at the time that led the United States to issue an October 2010 alert for Americans traveling in Europe.

Bin Laden was "aware, supportive and trying to motivate his operatives in Europe. He was pushing them," the source said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
U.S., Pakistan must heal relationship, Sen. Kerry says
Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) listens to John Kerry (3L) during a meeting at the Prime Minister's house in Islamabad on Monday.
May 16th, 2011
02:45 PM ET

U.S., Pakistan must heal relationship, Sen. Kerry says

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - The United States need not apologize to Pakistan for the successful raid that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, but it is important that the countries find a way to mend their frayed relationship in the wake of the attack, U.S. Sen. John Kerry said Monday during a visit to Islamabad.

Kerry said his goal in visiting was to begin a process that would leave the United States and Pakistan in a position where "isolated episodes, no matter how profound, do not jeopardize the relationships between our countries."

But he said Pakistan must choose between being a haven for extremists or a tolerant democracy and that the United States is willing to help the country.

"Our progress in the days ahead will be measured by actions, not words," he said.

Although many in Pakistan have accused the United States of violating Pakistani sovereignty by launching a unilateral military attack inside the country, Kerry said Pakistanis should direct their ire at bin Laden and his legion of foreign fighters, who he said were responsible for thousands of deaths inside Pakistan.

The Pakistani parliament recently condemned the raid, adopting a resolution calling for a review of its counter-terrorism cooperation agreement with the United States. The resolution also ordered the immediate end of drone attacks in a tribal region of Pakistan near the Afghan border.

Failure to end unilateral U.S. raids and drone attacks will force Pakistan "to consider taking necessary steps, including withdrawal of (a) transit facility" that NATO uses to send troops and supplies into Afghanistan, the resolution said.

U.S. officials have questioned how the world's most wanted terrorist managed to live in plain sight for years in Pakistan - near the country's elite military academy - without being detected.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 14th, 2011
12:28 AM ET

Video: Tony Blair speaks out on bin Laden

Editor's note: In this special, web-only extended version of the interview, CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to Tony Blair about the West's relationship with the Muslim world after bin Laden's death.

Related: Ideology bin Laden represented still a problem for the West, says Blair

Filed under: Afghanistan • Big Interview • Islam • Middle East • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 14th, 2011
12:20 AM ET
May 13th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Suicide attacks in Pakistan kill 80; Taliban claim bin Laden revenge

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for suicide attacks on a military training facility in the nation's northwest, saying they were carried out in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The twin suicide bombings killed at least 80 people, nearly all of them military recruits who had just completed their training, said Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a senior provincial minister. About 140 others were wounded.

"Pakistani and the U.S. forces should be ready for more attacks," said Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, who accused the Pakistani military of having alerted the United States to bin Laden's location.

"Osama was our great leader and the killers of Osama will have to pay its price," he said.

The back-to-back explosions took place shortly after scores of recruits had left the Shabqadar Fort, a training facility in the district of Charsadda, said Jahan Zeb Khan, a senior police officer.

Afterward, video of the blood-soaked ground outside the training facility showed it littered with burned vehicles and broken glass.

The recruits had just completed a nine-month training program when the attackers struck.

The district of Charsadda borders Mohmand Agency, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.

Mohmand is believed to be a hideout for Taliban fighters and al Qaeda-linked militants fleeing last year's military operation in the district of South Waziristan and ongoing U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan.

The Pakistani army has carried out numerous ground and air operations in Mohmand but it has not been able to stamp out the militants.

The Pakistani Taliban represent a confederation of Taliban groups in northwestern Pakistan, where they are based, said Bill Roggio, military-affairs analyst who is managing editor of The Long War Journal.

Those fighters attack targets in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

The group, which is headquartered in Quetta, is different from the Afghan Taliban, which has been focused on re-establishing the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan.

Both groups swear allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and have close ties to al Qaeda, he said.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 13th, 2011
12:02 AM ET

KTH: Bin Laden complacent in Pakistan

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper reports on what the U.S. is learning in the wake of the bin Laden raid.

Related: U.S. interviews 'hostile' bin Laden widows, with Pakistan officials

May 12th, 2011
10:16 PM ET

Sources: U.S. grills 'hostile' bin Laden wives, via Pakistan officials

(CNN) - Three of Osama bin Laden's wives have been interrogated by U.S. intelligence officers under the supervision of Pakistani's intelligence service, according to sources in both governments.

The women - who were all interviewed together - were "hostile" toward the Americans, according to a senior Pakistani government official with direct knowledge of the post-bin Laden investigation and two senior U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter. The eldest of the three wives spoke for the group.

Members of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence were in the room along with the U.S. intelligence officers, the officials said. The Americans had wanted to question the wives separately to figure out inconsistencies in their stories.

All three officials said that the interrogation didn't yield much new information, while adding that it was early in the process.

Both the senior Pakistani and senior U.S. officials said that - despite some well-publicized strains - there is an ongoing exchange of intelligence between the two countries.

The story was first reported Thursday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper: 360."


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
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