SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW-Volume 10, No. 40, April 9, 2012

Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 10, No. 40, April 9, 2012

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Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
ASSESSMENT
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PAKISTAN

Gilgit-Baltistan: Orchestrated Strife
Ajit Kumar Singh
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management

Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has been an area of enduring darkness and oppression since its occupation in 1948, in the wake of India’s bloody Partition, and is, again, reeling under a renewed cycle of acute violence. The current troubles commenced with the killing of 18 Shias in the Kohistan area of neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on February 28, 2012, and took an uglier turn on April 3, 2012. At least 24 people have died and several others have been injured, in incidents across GB, since the morning of April 3 (till the time of writing). Unconfirmed reports put the number of dead at more than 250.

Giving his account of the escalation, GB Police officer Basharat Ali noted that the violence within the region commenced on April 3, when five persons were killed in Gilgit city in clashes between the Police and protesting cadres and sympathizers of the recently banned Sunni formation, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a reincarnation of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). The outfit had called for a strike in Gilgit, to press the Government to release its ‘deputy secretary general’, Maulana Ataullah Sadiq, who was arrested on March 28, 2012, in connection with firing on a Shia procession on March 4, 2012. The March 4 procession had been organized to protest against the February 28, 2012, Kohistan killings.

On April 3, angry protesters burnt tyres and forced shopkeepers to shut down their shops. Meanwhile, an unidentified person hurled a grenade at the protesting ASWJ cadres, killing at least seven protestors. Subsequently, mosques in the Kashroot area of Gilgit made announcements to retaliate against the Shias in the Diamer District of GB and the Kohistan District of KP. Unsurprisingly, 12 Shias were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on buses on Karakoram Highway (KKH) near Gonar Farm in Chilas, headquarter of Diamer District, on April 3. According to eye witnesses, miscreants also set ablaze four buses. In a number of attacks on public transports, some 300 passengers were reported missing, and their whereabouts are yet to be ascertained. Fresh lashkars (armed groups) were reported to have embarked from the Chilas, Diamer and Kohistan areas towards Gilgit and its outskirts, to take the ‘revenge’ for the grenade attack on the ASWJ protestors, but were prevented from entering the town by locals in the outlying villages.

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Pakistani Intelligence Officials Say Local Taliban Leader May Be Dead

ISLAMABAD—Intercepted militant radio communications indicate the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed in a recent U.S. drone strike, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Sunday, but a Taliban official denied the report.

Associated Press

In this Oct. 4, 2009 file photo, Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud arrives to meet with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border.

The report coincided with sectarian violence—a bomb blast in eastern Pakistan that killed 14 people in a Shiite religious procession.

The claim that the Pakistani Taliban chief was killed came from officials who said they intercepted a number of Taliban radio conversations. In about a half a dozen intercepts, the militants discussed whether their chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed Jan. 12 in the North Waziristan tribal area. Some militants confirmed Mr. Mehsud was dead, and one criticized others for talking about the issue over the radio.

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Yemen’s Shiite rebels form political party

chitral

Jan 5, 2012

SANAA // Yemen‘s Shiite rebels has formed a political party in a bid to have role in the government.

The organisers, led by Mohammed Miftah, said the party was not be restricted to any particular sect or a group. Most of the people who attended Al Omah party’s inaugural ceremony were supporters of the Houthis.

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Al-Qaida Claims December 22th Baghdad Bombings | Jih@d

by Florian Flade

Just two days before Christmas numerous bomb explosion hit the predominately Shiite districts of Iraq´s capital Baghdad killing at least 69 people, wounding 180 others – most of them Shiite civilians. The sixteen different attacks took place only about two weeks after U.S. forces officially withdrew from the country.

Immediately blame was on Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaida. Today the “Islamic State of Iraq”, an umbrella organization which de facto represents Al-Qaida, has claimed responsibility for the December 22th Baghdad bombings. A written statement was released and posted in several Jihadi Internet forums.

The multiple attacks, Al-Qaida claims, were carried out “to support the weak Sunnis in the prisons of the apostates and to retaliate for the captives who were executed by the Safavid (Persian) government”. “Special operations”, as Al-Qaida calls the attacks, have allegedly targeted headquarters of the Al-Sadr Militia (Al-Qaida calls them “Army of the Devil”). Continue reading

Maliki acting like Saddam – Sunni bloc leader

English: Former President of Iraq, Saddam Huss...

Image via Wikipedia

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) – Iraq‘s Nuri al-Maliki is acting like Saddam Hussein in trying to silence opposition and he risks provoking a new fightback against dictatorship, one of Maliki‘s predecessors as prime minister said Tuesday.

Iyad Allawi, who leads the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, said the televised confessions Maliki has used to demand the arrest of the country’s Sunni Muslim vice president were fabrications.

Speaking to Reuters two days after the final departure of the U.S. forces that ended Saddam’s Sunni-dominated rule, Allawi called for international efforts to prevent the Shi’ite premier from provoking renewed sectarian warfare of the kind that killed tens of thousands in the years after Saddam fell in 2003.

“This is terrifying, to bring fabricated confessions,” Allawi said shortly before leaving the Jordanian capital Amman to return to Iraq. “It reminds me personally of what Saddam Hussein used to do where he would accuse his political opponents of being terrorists and conspirators.”

Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who has taken refuge in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, denies allegations he ordered bombings and shootings against his opponents. The move against him, on the very day U.S. troops left the country, threatens to upset a balance among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

“We fear the return of dictatorship by this authoritarian way of governing. It’s the latest in a build-up of atrocities, arrests and intimidation that has been going on on a wide scale,” said Allawi, who comes from the Shi’ite Muslim majority but who has drawn support heavily from disaffected Sunnis.

REGIONAL SECTARIAN CONFLICT Continue reading

Suicide Bomber Strikes Shi’ite Muslim Shrine In Kabul

Published 6 December 2011A suicide bomber attacked a Shi’ite Muslim shrine in central Kabul on December 6, killing at least 30 people in what appeared to be a sectarian attack. The bombing took place as worshippers were observing the festival of Ashura.