Cell phones tie Afghan embassy attackers to Pakistan ISI

Taking fingerprints of one of the dead attackers
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The top U.S. military officer accused Pakistani intelligence on Thursday of backing violence against U.S. targets including the American Embassy in Afghanistan…

Admiral Mike Mullen said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) played a role in the September 13 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, supporting militants known as the Haqqani network. That network, he said, is a “veritable arm” of the ISI.

The embassy attack was the latest in a series of violent episodes that were a blow to U.S. efforts to bring the Afghan war to a peaceful close.

Pakistan’s interior minister rejected the U.S. accusations of Islamabad’s links to the Haqqanis, one of the most feared insurgent groups operating in Afghanistan. The minister, Rehman Malik, also warned against a unilateral U.S. ground attack on the Haqqanis, who are based in Pakistan’s ungoverned tribal territories…

A complete break between the United States and Pakistan — sometimes friends, often adversaries — seems unlikely, if only because the United States depends on Pakistan as a route to supply U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and as a base for unmanned U.S. drones…

But support in the U.S. Congress for curbing assistance or making conditions on aid more stringent is rising rapidly. And Mullen, CIA Director David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all met their Pakistani counterparts in recent days to demand Islamabad rein in militants.

Bruce Riedel, a former top CIA analyst with close ties to the Obama White House, which he once advised, told Reuters administration officials have told him that militants who attacked the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on September 13 phoned individuals connected with the ISI before and during the attack.

Following the attacks, Riedel said, U.S. security forces collected cell phones the attackers had used. These are expected to provide further evidence linking militants to ISI.

RTFA for beaucoup details.

The old saw still cuts wood: With friends like this…who needs enemies? And I have to wonder what is required for Pakistan to get serious about joining the community of nations.

Yes, I know all the history and have my own opinion about how things got this way. But, between no legal structure encompassing tribal bandits and apparently little or no inclination to divest backwards elements inside portions of the military and ISI, Pakistan will remain a well-armed and therefore more dangerous variation on the gangster turf which lies between Afghanistan and India. That adds nothing to the future of the people of Pakistan.

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