ISI supported attack on US Embassy, ISAF HQ in Kabul

If you are wondering what prompted US officials, including Secretary of Defense Panetta and Admiral Mullen, Pakistan’s biggest supporter, to make a sudden about face and turn on Pakistan for its support of the Haqqani Network, this report at Reuters will explain why:

The U.S. government has evidence that militants who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan last week were in telephone contact with people connected to Pakistan’s principal intelligence agency, according to an expert who has advised the White House.

Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst who advised President Barack Obama on Afghan policy, told Reuters administration officials have told him militants who attacked the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on September 13 telephoned individuals connected with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) before and during the attack.

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

Keep in mind that since 2008, four other similar attacks where Pakistani surrogates communicated with their ISI-linked handlers in Pakistan have been traced:

To reiterate: There have been four such attacks against Indian and Afghan targets that have been linked to the ISI between July 2008 and August 2011, and yet the US government and military have repeatedly called for cooperation with Pakistan. Suddenly, the US Embassy and the ISAF HQ comes under a similar attack, and US officials are up in arms over Pakistan’s complicity and double dealing. Did senior US officials expect to be insulated from such attacks, particularly given what we know about how the ISI operates in the region, and especially given how Pakistan has been coddled and afforded cover after such attacks?

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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21 Comments

  • The jihadist elements operating out of Pakistan are so stage-managed by Pakistan and so dependent on it that tracing the connection between these entities and Pakistani government is no longer unavoidable. The jihadist employees of the ISI should have known that well in advance.
    Also, ever since Bin Laden was liquidated by the US deep inside Pakistan, the enraged rank and file of the ISI has now taken to open warfare on the US entities based in the region.
    This is not the kind of semi-declared warfare Pakistanis are good at. As a nation that couldn

  • Luca says:

    It makes little sense to me to blame Adm. Mullen for being “Pak’s bggest supporter”. It is through no fault of his: it comes with the job of being JCS, representing America’s Armed Forces and being the point of contact for mil to mil contacts. Speaking of which, they are the ONLY channel available in Pak – speak to the civilians and you will accomplish jack. For all of those who think that South Asian complexities such as the West’s relations with Pakmil can be easily dealt with through superior western firepower, I would caution that assuming our ability to do so and our democratic capability to stomach a protracted brutal and ultimately genocidal assault on Pakistan, We would probably achieve exactly the opposite of what we set out to do 10 years ago which is stabilising the region and get our boys out of there.
    The silver lining in this situation is that Pakmil is being mauled by the TTP and their backstabbing punjabi and arab brethren while the afghan taliban (barring HQN) are liable to be subservient to paki agenda only insofar as they reside on pak territory at the ISI’s pleasure. ISI enjoys a monopoly of contacts with QST and has trapped the talibs – they know it and make no mistake they don’t like it. They go along with it coz they have no choice and w/o paki help they would have been done for along ago. If the ISI thinks post 2014 is going to be a rerun of the 90’s they’ve got another thing coming…

  • Samrat X says:

    Pak, ISI, Taliban and embassy attacks in Kabul. What’s different from 2008 to now? Ans: Then it was India, now it’s US.

  • Bungo says:

    I agree w/ Muthuswamy. Pacify Pakistan and you will pacify a huge portion of the middle east. The problems, of course, are how to do it, at what cost and who will be responsible for a massive cleanup and reorganization of Pakistan afterwards. Would it be worth it or do we ride it out, try to finesse the situation and let them spiral into an even more dissfunctional islamic military state? Maybe it’s India’s and Great Britains responsibility.

  • gfgwgc says:

    Pakistan’s reaction is typical:
    First, deny everything.
    Second, position themselves as a victim.
    Thirdly, play the China card.
    Then back to business as usual.
    We must expand drone strikes outside of Waziristan to send them the message that we are serious. The US is dealing with a warped mindset that will lie brazenly and until they are blue in the face. Even their taliban allies do not trust the Pakistanis nor must we.

  • Gudien says:

    Non of this matters, only the next US election where the current POTUS is looking weak in the polls. That is where the current focus is, and not on some obscure country which targets American citizens.

  • Soccer says:

    The Taliban deny this is a true story. One of their affiliates has posted a response, as follows:
    American Terrorist Government Admiral Mike Mullen Accused Pakistan Of Exporting Terror In Afghanistan. The head of the devil US terrorist government military Admiral Mike Mullen has accused Pakistan on Thursday of “exporting” violent extremism to Afghanistan by allowing militants to act as an “arm” of Islamabad’s intelligence service.
    In an unprecedented public condemnation of Pakistan, terrorist Admiral Mike Mullen said the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was actively supporting Haqqani network, which has been inflecting heavy losses on the American invaders in Afghanistan, and the American invading forces can not do anything to protect themselves against these lions of Islam, thus rather then packing up their bags and acknowledge their defeat, the US terrorist government has to put the blame on some else for their own ineffectiveness when it comes to fighting the Mujahideen.
    It has been almost ten years since American terror forces invaded Afghanistan, and what do they have to show for, nothing just a big zero, yet during this same time the Mujahideen have not only killed and wounded thousands of American terrorists, but have inflected heavy military equipment losses, the cost of which exceeds trillions of dollars, and on the other side of the world the American economy is on the verge of collapsing, but the arrogance of the devil American terrorist government does not want to recognize this reality in front of the world, so the duper is once again trying to extend it’s extortionist policies by threatening Pakistan under the clouds that the Pakistani Army and ISI (intelligence service) are helping the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, in order to justify it’s future policies in trying to destabilize or breakup Pakistan, to suit its geopolitical objectives in this region.
    The US terrorist government choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, to implement its terror policy it has established close to 1250 military bases all over the world, from were it terrorizes millions of people directly or through its proxies, yet terrorist Admiral Mike Mullen accuses Pakistan for exporting terror to Afghanistan what a hypocrite. The brave people of Afghanistan do not need anyone’s help in librating their country from the invaders, as history is a testament of this fact. Please Check Out This Video: Amir-Ul-Momineen (Leader Of The Believers) Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid (May Allah Preserve Him) Interview In His Actual Voice With The BBC Radio On 15th Nov, 2001 With English Subtitles” —-END QUOTE

  • Victor says:

    Indeed. As I have said before, The Pakistanis have on over developed sense of martial prowess, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Mine and blockade ports, enforce an aerial blockade, and cut off the money….Let’s see how long this ‘state’ continues to exist

  • Tayyab says:

    LeT using mobiles as communication means during attacks makes sense as they don’t have much to lose(Mumbai) but for a national security organization to do so during attacks on world largest power knowing fully well that the communications will be listened to makes no sense whatsoever.

  • It has become apparent that Pakistan is increasingly overreaching itself.
    Bruce Riedel, writing in

  • The dominant Pakistani army which controls the ISI and the state itself has a revealing motto.
    It is :

  • Charu says:

    “The United States, despite the past mistakes, is NO India.”
    Agreed, and the corollary, India is NO US, is also true. Which is why your advice to leverage India is contradictory. The present government in India is incapable of doing anything against the threat from Pakistan; this even after the ISI links to the Mumbai massacre were established. At the best, India (like Israel during the Gulf war, but again so unlike Israel due to a severe lack of political will), could be requested not to retaliate when Pakistan inevitably lashes out to an attack by the US by lobbing missiles onto Delhi in an attempt to broaden the war by invoking religion – just as Saddam tried to do.

  • Charles says:

    Likely the right thing to do is to declare the ISI a terrorist organization — as distinct from the rest of the Pakistani government. Sure there’s a lot of guys in the Pakistani government wearing multiple hats. They just have to know that the ISI hat is anti Pakistani. If thing keep going the way they are — the ISI will be taken over by the Haqqani network.

  • Charu says:

    Nice analysis about the religious compulsions in Pakistan, M. Muthuswamy. I am increasingly convinced that the only way to manage Pakistan is to whittle it down to its landlocked Punjabi core. Give the Pashtuns and Sindhis and Baluchis a stake at their own nations, and they will fight to protect it from the Punjabi military overlords. At the very least it will distract the ISI from spreading its tentacles to the non-Pashtun regions in Afghanistan, and to India, and even to Europe and the US through their Lashkar proxies.

  • Thank you for the kind words, Charu.
    The suggestion you have made with regard to land-locking Punjab is probably a must with regard to mitigating the Pakistani jihadist threat.
    Great call, by the way!
    In fact, one could even argue that this is essential for the well-being of the people in the state called Pakistan itself, let alone those who are unfortunate enough to be its neighbours.
    That said, grasp of Pakistan

  • naresh c. says:

    ISI has been a terrorist organization for a long time.
    It’s ultimate goal is to establish an Islamic Caliphate with Pakistan as center. If you understand Urdu and watch any Pakistani local TV for some length of time, it will be obvious to you. Now,
    Pakistan does not have the capability to establish an Islamic Caliphate. But that does not stop it from sponsoring terrorism. Unless the US establishment was living in Mars, it should have known it for a long time.
    US kept arming Pakistan to the teeth and gave it free money. So, why is the US complaining now? Is it planning to change the rules of the game? So, no more F-16s and P3C Orions for free to Pakistan? I wouldn’t count on it. At least, not yet. We have to see more evidence before concluding that US is willing to change the rules of the game.

  • Charley says:

    Nice article on the topic by Lara Logan
    Fundamental lies exposed in splintering U.S.-Pakistan alliance
    //www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20111778-503543.html

  • optonto says:

    KAYANI: You have already responded materially and effectively against NATO for 10 years!! You can’t hide in Pakistan forever…The alliance has implemented there own proxy & we don’t take attacks by our friends from Pakistan intelligence lightly…Sirjay Haqqani & his Haqqani terror network including its chain of command will be black listed with the State department ASAP. Our stake holders will continue diplomatic efforts with Pakistan in finding a solution to this crisis YOU put Pakistan into!! Any continued transportation of Haqqani operatives or militants including suicide bombers to the Afghan border using bogus convoys on the ground or in the air will put you in the eye of the STARE!! Any continued attacks on intelligence facilities,embassies using sleepers or otherwise that even have an inkling to a ISI link will put my TEAMS on DRF3!!

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    CHARU ur comments are spot on. Problem: Nuclear weapons. Where are they and how do we protect them? Breaking up Pakistan is really our “nuclear plan” in a sense.

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