Original Articles

Bannu prison break remains unexamined by Pakistani and international media

Source: WSF

“Intelligence failure” is the most easily available excuse for the government in Pakistan following the daring Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba jailbreak in the northern city of Bannu early on April 15. However, more than intelligence failure, the jailbreak appears to be an outcome of a well-planned drama by certain pro-Taliban elements in Pakistani security agencies, which wanted to reinforce the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and their affiliates (Jihadi-sectarian groups eg, ASWJ aka SSP) operating in Pakistan.

According to Akbar Hoti, the police chief of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, where the jailbreak was carried out, between 150 and 200 attackers fired rockets on the main gate of the jail and released around 384 dangerous prisoners, 20 of whom are described as “very dangerous,” including Adnan Rashid, who was convicted of participating in an attack on former President Pervez Musharraf. A large number of the escaped prisoners belonged to the Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (operating as ASWJ and LeJ) and other Jihadi-Salafi and Jihadi-Deobandi militants.

Bannu borders the restive North Waziristan tribal agency where Pakistan army is currently busy in playing hide and seek with the Taliban (also known as Good Taliban Bad Taliban game). However, the April 15 jailbreak was particularly shocking and raises many questions about the collusion between Pakistan army and Taliban/ASWJ.

How did hundreds of Taliban militants manage to cross scores of police and army checkpoints inside the city, as well as entry and exit points to and from adjacent tribal areas?

Why did no police or army reinforcements reach the site, even though the attack continued for more than two hours?

And if an “intelligence failure” is really to be blamed, how can the security of other cities — like Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, and Peshawar, which are located on the periphery of the tribal districts — be guaranteed in the days ahead?

Does the little or no resistance shown by prison guards point to the demoralization of the security force, making them sitting ducks for the Taliban and its supporters all over the country, or does that indicate the fact that the mother of all agencies had advised the police to step aside and let the Good Taliban do their urgent work?

Many security experts and top officials in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government believe that the involvement of senior officials in intelligence agencies cannot be ruled out.

Malak Naveed Khan, former chief of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police, says it is unbelievable to think that 150 to 200 heavily armed men could have entered the city, broken into the prison, and taken away nearly 400 prisoners without anyone moving to intercept them at any one of numerous checkpoints.

Equally important are the statements of the prison’s telephone operator, Shahab Khan, and Rahmatullah, one of the escaped prisoners who, with others, returned to the jail the next morning to surrender.

Shahab Khan said he was sending requests for reinforcements for more than two hours and that each time he was assured that help was on the way.

Rahmatullah said he saw 50 to 60 pickup trucks parked around the jail on the main highway, ostensibly used to transport the attackers, and heard the attackers shouting at the prisoners in Urdu to leave the vicinity.

So what really happened?

We’ll have to wait at least 15 days for the conclusions of an inquiry report into the attack by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government. That may provide some answers. But of course the world is still waiting for the results of an official inquiry into the events of May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, when Osama bin Laden was killed.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Source: Daud Khattak, RFERL

Despite the duration of the attack, the prison guards apparently received no back-up from the military.

“We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack. Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way,” a Taliban spokesman told Reuters.

Reports said that anywhere up to 100 fighters were involved in the attack that began sometime before dawn, and were equipped with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

Having breached the walls of the jail, the militants apparently made their way to the section where prisoners who are on death row were held.

Their priority appears to have been securing the release of Adnan Rashid, who was in jail for his role in a failed assassination against former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

For up to two hours the militants fought with the jail’s guards before setting part of the jail on fire and releasing the inmates. Officials said 20 of those who escaped were considered particularly dangerous.

The incident is a reminder that the Pakistani military has little appetite to confront militants who are not a threat to the state.

Imtiaz Gul, an author and head of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, an Islamabad-based think-tank, said the incident was a huge embarrassment that demanded a full investigation. He said it appeared that the militants had received inside information about the location of their jailed colleagues.

“This is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan. It’s a huge embarrassment for the entire security apparatus,” he said. “This went on for two hours and the army or paramilitaries should have had time to get there.” (Source)

Who is Adnan Rashid and why did he enjoy special facilities in prison?

Adnan Rashid, a high profile prisoner who escaped from Bannu Central Prison on Sunday morning, was enjoying the facility of cellular phone inside the death cells of different jails where he was lodged after being sentenced to death by a field general court martial for his alleged attempt on the life of Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf.

A former junior technician of Pakistan Air Force, Adnan Rashid is a resident of Chota Lahor area of Swabi district. He is fluent in English, Pashto and Urdu. He used to contribute to several social networking sites including Blogs and Facebook from the prison. He had joined PAF in 1997. He was around 24 when he was arrested in early 2004.

The escaped prisoner was in contact with the world outside the prison through his cellular phone, according to sources. He was also in touch with several journalists and used to send them messages through short message service (SMS).

Prior to his escape, Adnan continued to plead his innocence and claimed that his only crime was that he had voted “No” in the referendum held by the then military president Gen Musharraf.

He had pinned high hopes on the judiciary led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when his review petition along with that of several other convicts against their conviction was pending but after dismissal of his petition in March 2011 he started questioning the independence of judiciary.

Recently, he sent a sarcastic SMS to different persons which states: “There are millions of cases pending before high courts and Supreme Court, 99.9 per cent of these are actually appeals against verdicts of lower courts. Billions of rupees are being spent on higher civil courts so why not this judicial system is replaced by military courts; these are swift, require no judge, no special courtrooms or bars, and most interesting court martial are unchallengeable so no more need of high and supreme courts. It saves time and money of nation. What do you think? From a court martial convict.”

In the first life attempt on Gen Musharraf that took place near Jhanda Chichi Bridge at Rawalpindi on Dec 14, 2003, six personnel of PAF including Adnan Rashid were convicted by a field general court martial on Oct 3, 2005, at PAF Base Chaklala.

Besides Adnan, four others — ex-chief technician Khalid Mehmood, ex-senior technician, Karam Din, ex-corporal Nawazish and ex-junior technician Niaz Mohammad — were sentenced to death whereas another junior technician, Nasrullah, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Their appeal was dismissed by a PAF appellate court in Feb 2006. Later on, their petitions were dismissed by Lahore High Court on March 28, 2006. Against that judgment they filed appeals before the Supreme Court and a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry rejected the same on Sept 25, 2006.

The bench held that under Article 199 of the Constitution, civil courts had no jurisdiction to issue writ against orders passed by military courts. Their review petitions were also dismissed on March 31, 2011 by the apex court.

A soldier of Pakistan Army, Abdul Islam Siddiqui, who was separately tried in the same case by a court martial, had already been hanged on Aug 20, 2005.

The interviews of Adnan Rashid, when he was in prison, were also uploaded on Facebook, wherein he argued against flaws in Army Act, Pakistan Air Force Act and Navy Act and urged the Supreme Court to intervene in these cases. He had also sent several letters to Chief Justice of Pakistan requesting him to look into the flaws in their cases.

In one of his letters to the chief justice, he claimed that at the time of the said occurrence he was on duty in Quetta and was picked up by personnel of an intelligence agency on Jan 9, 2004.

When he was transferred to civil detention facility, he was initially lodged in a death cell at Haripur prison from where he was shifted to Peshawar jail. In Sept last he was shifted to Bannu prison.One of the reporters receiving regular messages from him said that in almost all the prisons he was having cellular phones. He had to change his number several times as during search operations in the prisons on several occasions he was deprived of his phone. However, after few days he was again enjoying the said facility. (Source)

Intelligence Debacle or a ISI-Taliban-ASWJ Collusion?

Somewhere between 100 and 150 militants launched an assault on Bannu Central Prison soon after midnight on Saturday. Blowing the main gates apart with rocket-propelled grenades, they caused 384 of over 900 inmates in the facility to escape in what is being described as the country’s biggest jailbreak. It is disturbing to know that the most high-profile of the escaped prisoners was Adnan Rashid, sentenced to death for an attempt on the life of Pervez Musharraf and whose release was the apparent objective of the assault. Equally alarming is the escape of some other hardened criminals on death row including known militants. The raid, responsibility for which has been claimed by the TTP, was obviously well planned; while some men were inside the jail, others erected barricades at all the access roads. As it turned out, though, the militants met with virtually no resistance.

Such a lapse (if it is an unintentional lapse at all) of intelligence, after a series of security breaches including the GHQ attack and later the undetected presence of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and the assault on PNS Mehran, casts serious doubts over the abilities as well as intention of the security and law-enforcement establishments. The area from Bannu to Miramshah has long been considered militant-infested and the Pakistan Army maintains a significant presence there. Unlike the tribal areas, the law-enforcement apparatus is extant; Pakistan army has numerous check-posts on roads leading to FATA and across the border. The fact that dozens of Taliban-ASWJ vehicles attacked a prison, spent good four or five hours in the prison, celebrated their victory, then travelled back safe and secure to Waziristan shows there is much more than what meets eyes. Such a strike, which must have taken months of planning, cannot be conducted without the knowledge of the intelligence network. Why should Pakistanis, or indeed the world, trust the ISI and Pakistan army when they say they have the security situation under control? Not only did a convoy of vehicles reach the jail without difficulty, the absence of a rapid response betrayed the security apparatus’s total lack of preparedness, to say the least. And this despite more than a decade of resisting militant groups that appear to be far more organised.

As a result of this debacle, the militants’ ranks are sure to be swelled by a large number of new recruits, with the Pakistani Taliban and their sectarian affiliates (Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan) being even further emboldened. This incident should make clear to those who give excuses and justifications for the militants’ excesses what the intentions of such elements towards the Pakistani state are: they have not simply declared a war on drone strikes or the American presence in Afghanistan. As for the security establishment, so often in the news for sordid tales such as ‘Mehrangate’, the incident should serve as a reminder of what its priorities should be. (Source)

Taliban’s statement

A Taliban commander who helped plan an assault on a Pakistani jail on Sunday which freed nearly 400 prisoners said his group had inside information.Pakistan’s Taleban movement, which is close to al-Qaeda and Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ), said it was behind the brazen assault by militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles.

“We had maps of the area and we had complete maps and plans of the jail as well,” the commander, a senior member of the Taleban, said by phone. “All I have to say is we have people who support us in Bannu. It was with their support that this operation was successful.”

The Bannu attackers arrived in a convoy of vehicles, blocking off all access points to the jail before firing rocket-propelled grenades at the black, metal gates of the prison and forcing their way in.

They moved through the prison quickly, facing little resistance, until they found Adnan Rasheed, who took part in one of the attempts to kill Gen Musharraf, and then freed him and 383 others.

Citing preliminary investigations, Mr Majeed said 150 guards were supposed to be on duty when the militants struck, but only 36 were.

The Taleban commander, based in North Waziristan, said 150 fighters, including foreigners, launched the prison assault after months of training.

Police officials said 76 escapees were now back in custody.

One, Zahir Shah, 29, said: “They took us with them to the main gate. Outside there were many cars. I think 20 cars in all. They shoved me into one of the vehicles and drove off really fast.” However, he turned himself in, saying: “I could be out in a few years for good behaviour. I don’t want to ruin my chances.” (Source)

ISI’s officials claim no intelligence failure in Bannu jailbreak

Reported by Waqar Ahmed, The News, April 17, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Concerned officials have strongly denied that the Bannu jailbreak incident was the result of intelligence failure. They added that the militants had only taken away one hardcore terrorist.

Speaking here on Monday morning, concerned officials said that on January 5, 2012 a letter was sent to all concerned warning of terrorist attacks. The letter stated: “Reportedly terrorist commander Askari, ex Tariq Jeedar group, is planning to carry out massive terrorist activity in KP and Kohat area.” The letter identified possible targets as the Lachi Police Station, PAF Base Kohat, Kohat Cantt and Bannu Jail to free terrorists.

The letter added: “This merits extreme vigilance and heightened security measures at all levels.” Unfortunately, the Bannu jail authorities ignored the warning.Sources well versed with the development said that 341 prisoners had escaped. This included 145 who were in judicial custody, 95 who were under 302 PPC, 30 were serving sentences for narcotics offences, 21 were serving life imprisonment, 21 were on death row, 24 held under the Frontier Crimes Regulation and five were female prisoners. They said the only important prisoner who was taken away by the militants was Adnan Rasheed, involved in an attack on General Pervez Musharraf. “Therefore, reports about large-scale breakout of the Taliban from the jail and intelligence failure are totally false,” they added. (Source)

Nazir Naji writes:

پاکستان میں دہشت گردوں نے ایک بڑی کارروائی کی۔ شاید پاکستان کی تاریخ میں یہ چھاپہ ماروں کی سب سے بڑی کارروائی تھی۔ ساٹھ ستر گاڑیوں پر دہشت گردوں کا ایک قافلہ بھاری اور جدید اسلحہ سے لیس ‘ کسی نوٹس میں آئے بغیر بنوں کی جیل تک پہنچا۔ بنوں کی یہ جیل جدید انتظامات کے ساتھ تعمیر کی گئی تھی اور اس میں خطرناک قیدیوں کو رکھا گیا تھا۔ 20 کے قریب قیدی ایسے تھے‘ جنہیں انتہائی خطرناک قرار دے کر پھانسی کی سزائیں دی جا چکی تھیں اور وہ خصوصی حفاظتی انتظامات کے تحت موت کی کوٹھڑیوں میں رکھے گئے تھے۔ ظاہر ہے ایک نئی اور محفوظ جیل کی نگرانی کے لئے جو انتظامات ممکن تھے‘ وہ کئے گئے ہوں گے اور بنوں جو کہ شمالی وزیرستان سے زیادہ فاصلے پر نہیں‘ وہاں دہشت گردی کی جنگ بھی جاری ہے اور پاک فوج کی تادیبی کارروائیوں کی مہمات بھی چلائی جا رہی ہیں۔ بنوں جیل پر حملہ آور ہونے والے دہشت گردوں کی تعداد چار اور پانچ سو کے درمیان بتائی جا رہی ہے۔ یہ سارا ہجوم ہماری سکیورٹی کے تمام انتظامات کو درہم برہم کرتا ہو بنوں جیل تک کیسے پہنچ گیا؟ انہوں نے جیل کے دو بھاری آہنی دروازوں کو توڑ پھینکنے میں کیسے کامیابی حاصل کی؟ اور پھر علیحدہ علیحدہ بیرکوں اور کوٹھڑیوں میں بند قیدیوں تک کیسے پہنچے؟ خبریں یہ ہیں کہ وہ جیل کے اندر چار پانچ گھنٹے تک اپنے ساتھیوں سے ملتے‘ خوشی کے نعرے لگاتے اور اپنی کامیابی کا جشن مناتے رہے۔ ایک اطلاع تو یہ ہے کہ پرویزمشرف پر قاتلانہ حملہ کرنے کے ملزم کو سہرا پہنا کر دلہا بھی بنایا گیا اور اس کے بعد یہ پورا جلوس قریباً 400 قیدیوں کو ساتھ لے کر پاکستانی سرحد عبور کرنے میں کامیاب ہو گیا۔ خبروں میں کہیں یہ نہیں بتایا گیا کہ جیل کے حفاظتی عملے کی طرف سے کیا مزاحمت ہوئی؟ کتنے محافظ ہلاک ہوئے؟ کتنے زخمی ہوئے؟ کتنے دہشت گرد زخمی یا مار گرائے گئے؟ یہ جیل خانہ تھا یا کوئی مہمان خانہ؟ جہاں حملہ آوروں نے اتنی آسانی سے سینکڑوں قیدوں کو چھڑایا اور انہیں ساتھ لے کر کوئی نقصان اٹھائے بغیر نکل گئے۔ آج کے دور میں یہ ناقابل فہم بات ہے۔ قابل فہم تو اس سے پہلے والے کچھ واقعات بھی نہیں۔ جیسے جی ایچ کیو پر دہشت گردوں کی کارروائی اور کئی گھنٹے تک فوج کے اعلیٰ افسروں کو ان کے اپنے ہیڈکوارٹر کے اندر یرغمالی بنا کر رکھنا۔ مہران نیول بیس پر دہشت گردوں کے آزادانہ حملے اور پھر ایبٹ آباد کا واقعہ۔

Jang’s editorial:

توار کی رات بنوں سنٹرل جیل پر عسکریت پسندوں کے لشکر کا حملہ دہشت گردی کا بہت بڑا واقعہ ہے جو اپنی سنگینی کے اعتبار سے مہران بیس اور جی ایچ کیو پر ہونے والے حملوں اور پھر ایبٹ آباد میں امریکی جنگی ہیلی کاپٹروں کی جارحانہ کارروائی سے کسی طور کم اہمیت کا حامل نہیں۔ راکٹ لانچروں، مارٹر گولوں، دستی بموں اور دوسرے جدید ہتھیاروں سے لیس 500سے زائد شدت پسندوں نے بنوں سنٹرل جیل پر حملہ کرکے اہم طالبان کمانڈروں سمیت 386قیدیوں کو چھڑا لیا۔ حیرت کی بات یہ ہے کہ تقریباً 60تیزرفتار گاڑیوں پر سوار حملہ آور رات ڈیڑھ بجے جنگی کانوائے کی صورت میں جیل پہنچے لیکن نہ تو راستے میں انہیں روکنے والا کوئی تھا، نہ فورسز کو خبر ہوئی۔ حملہ آوروں نے پہلے مین گیٹ پھر دوسرے بڑے دروازوں کو راکٹوں سے اڑایا، جیل کے عملے کو یرغمال بنا کر نہایت دیدہ دلیری سے قیدیوں کے پھانسی گھاٹ اور بیرکوں میں داخل ہوئے اور تقریباً ڈیڑھ گھنٹہ تک فائرنگ کرتے اور قیدیوں کو چھڑاتے رہے۔ اس موقع پر جیل کی حفاظت پر مامور 104پولیس اہلکاروں میں سے صرف 35ڈیوٹی پر موجود تھے۔ ان میں سے کئی فائرنگ سے زخمی ہوگئے۔ عینی شاہدین کا کہنا ہے کہ انتظامیہ کو بروقت اطلاع دی گئی اس کے باوجود پولیس یا کسی دوسری سکیورٹی فورس کی اضافی نفری مدد کیلئے نہیں بلائی گئی۔ حملہ آوروں نے پرویز مشرف حملہ کیس کے ملزم کو چھڑانے کے بعد اطمینان سے اس کی دستاربندی کی اور جلوس کی شکل میں اسے اپنے ساتھ لے کر شمالی وزیرستان چلے گئے۔ مذکورہ واقعہ سے حکومتی عملداری کے موثر ہونے اور سکیورٹی ایجنسیوں کی فعالیت کے حوالے سے بعض سنگین سوالات جنم لے رہے ہیں۔ جبکہ دوسری جانب ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے کہ ملک اور اس کے عوام کو قانون شکنوں اورجرائم پیشہ عناصر کے رحم و کرم پر چھوڑ دیا گیاہے۔بلوچستان اور گلگت بلتستان میں جوکچھ ہورہا ہے اورکراچی میں بے گناہ لوگوں کا جو خون بہہ رہاہے اس سے قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں کی عوام کی جان و مال کے تحفظ میں ناکامی کا اظہار ہوتا ہے۔

Hamid Mir writes:

کیا یہ محض ایک اتفاق ہے؟ گزشتہ سال اپریل میں افغان طالبان نے قندھار کی ایک بڑی جیل پر حملہ کیا جس میں پانچ سو سے زیادہ قیدی فرار ہوگئے۔ فرار ہونے والوں میں اکثریت طالبان کی تھی۔ اس سال اپریل میں شمالی وزیرستان سے چند کلو میٹر کے فاصلے پر واقع بنوں کی ایک جیل پر حملہ کیا گیا اور ساڑھے چار سو سے زیادہ قیدیوں کو بھگا دیا گیا۔ بھاگنے والوں میں بڑی تعداد ایسے قیدیوں کی ہے جن پر طالبان اور کچھ کالعدم تنظیموں کے ساتھ تعلق کا الزام ہے۔ بنوں جیل کی انتظامیہ نے دعویٰ کیا ہے کہ حملہ آوروں کی تعداد تین سو سے زیادہ تھی۔ سوال یہ ہے کہ تین سو حملہ آور بھاری اسلحہ کے ساتھ پیدل آئے تھے یا گاڑیوں پر بیٹھ کر آئے تھے؟ تین سو حملہ آوروں نے ساڑھے تین سو قیدیوں کو آزاد کرایا اور پھر یہ ساڑھے چھ سو لوگ رات کی تاریکی میں کدھر غائب ہوگئے؟ سب جانتے ہیں کہ کوہاٹ سے بنوں یا ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان سے بنوں کی طرف آنے جانے والے راستوں پر جگہ جگہ ناکے موجود ہیں۔ شمالی وزیرستان اور بنوں کے درمیان سرحد پر سیکورٹی فورسز کا سخت پہرہ ہوتا ہے۔ بنوں جیل سے سینکڑوں قیدیوں کے فرار کو اگر ہم ایک بہت بڑی ملی بھگت نہ بھی کہیں تو یہ ایک ناقابل فراموش نااہلی ہے۔

Video reports:

Express Tribune’s video

Taliban’s video

http://youtu.be/CxIIvF-_PCg

http://youtu.be/8X1ezqjXvrI

http://youtu.be/vn3Yf1KXAEc

About the author

Abdul Nishapuri

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  • Justification by a usual suspect.

    Bannu offers no surprises
    By Ejaz Haider
    Published: April 17, 2012

    The writer is a senior journalist and has held several editorial positions including most recently at The Friday Times. He was a Ford Scholar at UIUC, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and is executive director of the Jinnah Institute
    Bannu jailbreak. A huge setback, but no one should be surprised. Consider.
    Many factors have contributed to what has happened. Any appreciation must begin with the basics. First, any attack, in this case a large-scale raid, is essentially a contest between two plans, that of the attacker and the defender’s. The defender has to devise a plan that prepares him for all possible contingencies. Men are prepared for those contingencies, equipment is acquired, SOPs established, battle drills practised. The plan is a wedding of men and equipment, men trained to use the equipment intelligently and to the optimal level.
    The downside of SOPs and drill procedures is that they can take the shine off initiative and dull innovative responses to any plan by the attackers. The leaders at all levels must therefore be adaptable, think on their feet and harness the strengths of their men, while an attack is unfolding, to respond to the attacker’s innovation.
    The second factor relates to the operational environment. In this case, the location of the jail and the inmates it was holding: in Bannu, close to Frontier Region Bannu and the North Waziristan Agency. Close enough for the attacker to enjoy a shorter line of communication. The location and the inmates of the jail had made it a Vulnerable Area (VA). In other words, it was vulnerable to both the possibility of an attack and an actual attack. The attacker then has to determine the Vulnerable Points (VPs) both in accessing the VA and in attacking a target by identifying its VPs, both tangible (physical/material) and intangible (defenders’ training, etc).
    Third, while the defender has the advantage of an entrenched position, the attacker has the advantage of selecting the time and mode of attack. Depending on the VA and its defences, the attacker must devise his plan and varnish it with speed and surprise.
    Fourth, the attacker in devising his plan has the advantage, on the basis of selecting the time and mode of the attack, to recce the target thoroughly, get intelligence on SOPs and drills, equipment held by the defender, number of men defending the VA, their possible responses on the basis of deployment, level of training and motivation, any back-up that they can call upon, etc.
    The degree of difficulty for the attacker to get this vital intelligence will also depend on what kind of systems the defender has put in place, what procedures adopted for screening the men assigned to defend the VA, in short the nature of the security culture at the VA.
    This is by no means an exhaustive list. Each point or requirement contains in itself multiple other requirements necessitating taking requisite measures. But for our purposes it is enough to apply these broad benchmarks to the force tasked with defending the VA.
    The force defending the VA, a mix of police and the Jails Department security personnel, had a cat’s chance in hell against the attackers. It is difficult without seeing the area physically to build a detailed picture but it is safe to say that the Bannu jail was not prepared for defending against such an attack which is why the attackers could accomplish their mission with almost no resistance from the defenders. The leaders and men are poorly trained and motivated, they hold obsolete equipment, the VA is not connected to any back-up, quick-reaction force and there is no provision for calling in helicopters in the event that such an attack goes through and results in a partial or complete jailbreak.
    The security culture is almost non-existent and comprises stale procedures, the security is not layered, and approaches to the jail are not monitored — which can prevent an attacking force reaching the VA unchallenged. There is no concept of a Personnel Reliability Programme for screening and monitoring personnel. Outmoded procedures also make it difficult to work out contingencies or train for them.
    Budgets are low and corruption is rife. Appointments are made for every reason other than professional competence. When such a force is tasked to defend a jail that holds high-value terrorists the terrorist groups would like to get released, the result would inevitably be disastrous.
    There is almost no learning process. Previous such successful attacks on defenders better equipped and trained should have forced planners to create a list of potential VAs and devise plans against possible attacks involving different modi operandi. Despite budget constraints, good planning and training men is possible. The police force is in a terrible shape, but while effort must be done to reorganise the force and create specialisations in the medium to long term, in the short term some areas and vulnerabilities can be addressed.
    The attackers on the other hand were highly trained, had reconnoitred the target and knew the level of external and internal security, had trained for the attack for months keeping in mind the defending forces’ vulnerabilities and possible strengths and, at least one report says, had inside information. A pattern for such attacks has already emerged. It would be highly irresponsible if the security specialists continued to ignore the pattern in planning for defending possible VAs.
    Another crucial point relates to opacity. So far we have not seen any reports made public on any of the high-drama attacks. I also do not know of any studies conducted either by the military or the Ministry of Interior to tackle the problem in its several dimensions. There have been intelligence failures, security lapses and breaches, operational mishandling. No heads have rolled, no lessons learnt. Has anyone, for instance, studied why and how the terrorist groups can train their men so well in a span of four to six months while the military and police schools and training centres cannot?
    The question assumes great importance because in all such cases we have witnessed capability mismatch that has allowed these attacks to go through successfully.
    Unless the security planners begin to take up the challenge scientifically and plan accordingly, there will be more such exhibits of incompetence.
    Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/366086/bannu-offers-no-surprises/

  • IN PURSUIT OF JUSTICE -The Story of Terrorized PAF Airmen, victims of Musharraf Regime – by Adnan Rashid

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=169303726456397

    by Stop hanging of 12 innocent Prisoners (SOS!)

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-hanging-of-12-innocent-Prisoners-SOS/169095076477262

    on Monday, April 18, 2011

    CIVILIANS can express their sentiments through demonstrations protest congregations and press conferences. But being Armed Forces personnel even delay or relent in complying with an order is an offence. You have no choice; you have to do or die and are not supposed to ask “why”?

    The controversial war on terror which was joined by one of history’s most notorious despot and venal General without consensus of the nation spread anger and resentment in armed forces as well as across the nation.

    The ironic curtain of Armed Forces never leak any news of its defamation. There were some of the patriots in PAF who never welcomed the NATO and US forces at the PAF Air Bases. Who could not help expressing their sentiments? They denied guarding alien aircrafts. They become the forthright critics of Parvaiz Musharraf’s anti-Islamic and anti-Pakistan policies. They voted “No” in a referendum of 2002 considering it a way to save Pakistan’s ideology.

    Such types of their actions infuriated the loyals of despots in Secret Services, and then what happened?

    They were subjected to disappearances from their duty places by Special Investigation Branch (SIB). In habeas corpus, they faced humiliation brutal and barbaric torture and coercive interrogation tactics such as forced nudity, beating, flogging, sleep deprivation etc. by perverted torturers. One corporal Hashmat Kohat of Risalpur Airbase lost his life while suffering torture in PAF custody at AHQ Islamabad.

    For obtaining confessional statements of uncommitted crimes they were brutally beaten into submission. They were told that their families were in custody of the Secret Agencies. They were threatened to cooperate and make a confessional statement as per direction, otherwise their wives would be raped. Finally after 130 days, driven by torture and pressure, they made confessional statements of the heinous crimes they never committed.

    They were court-martialed by the biased prejudiced and military chauvinist PAF Officer’s Tribunal after 21 months of their disappearance. The trial was declared secret and proceedings were tampered in the name of confidentiality. No incriminating evidence or pertaining to the case was brought against them. All witnesses were “primed” as to who the detained and disappeared Airmen were, and their reinstatement to the duties were linked to the prosecution’s desired evidence. Some of them turned “hostile.” In reprisal of turning hostile, they were also court-martialed and sentenced.

    Six airmen were framed-up with fake charges of the Jhanda Chichi bridge bomb blast of 14 Dec 2004. Their plaintiff was the then president and Army Chief. So these all described elements that resulted in a terrible miscarriage of justice, and they were finally awarded death punishment because “law goes as king pleases.”

    From the whole procedure of court-martial in 2005 until now they have been manacled in shackles and bar-fetters. No one can imagine the tribulation of a condemned prisoner because what the eye does not see the heart does not grieve over.

    Since their disappearance in 2004, they have been facing perpetual apprehensions, persecutions, torture and human rights abuses. They are deprived even from their basic and inalienable constitutional rights, in the name of security.

    The doors of higher civil courts are closed for them because the Supreme Court, who rejected their appeal in a ruling in September 2006, said that the higher civil courts did not have the authority to hear appeals against the Court Martial’s verdicts. But, this ill treatment exists only for them on the behest of hidden elements. Captain Usman Ameer’s death sentence was revoked by Apex Court on the 22nd of May in 2008, which was awarded by FGCM earlier. Lt. Colonel Munir Ahmed Gul was acquitted and restored to duty by LHC on the 12th of January in 2009, who had been sentenced to two years RI by FGCM. Civilian Imran Munir was released by the Supreme Court in July of 2007, who had been sentenced to 8 years RI by FGCM. Civilian contractor Ghulam Abbas’s sentence was quashed by SC on the 8th of May in 2009. He was given twenty three years RI by PAF FGCM in the jet fuel corruption case. Is it not the paradox of judiciary?

    Still, they are deprived of the copies of their trial proceedings. Is it not ironic, that some airmen, to be hanged, cannot even see their conviction proceedings?

    Verdicts of civil courts including apex court, can be challenged, criticized, and blamed with biasing and prejudice. Their punishments can be termed as harsh, cruel, political and sometime called “judicial killing” such as in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s case. But armed forces and their courts are “sacred cows.”

    Unaware of Criminal Law, careless of the Constitution, Armed Forces Officers’ verdicts cannot be challenged. One should recall Army roll in Pakistan history. It means that wisdom of an Armed Forces Officer is more worthy than a full bench of Supreme Court Justices in criminal cases.

    Was ZAB’s (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto) crucifixion a “judicial killing?” A matter is going to be settled. ZAB’s trial was less prejudiced by military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq than the Airmen’s trial because courts and judges were civilians at least, and that was an open trial. But in the Airmen’s case the tribunal consisted of PAF Musharraf’s loyal Officers, the trial was “top secret” and the plaintiff was the then head of the state and military chief. ZAB cannot come back by the re-opening of his case, but twelve innocent lives can be saved by the re-opening of their case.

    More than 200 PAF and Army personnel were subjected to disappearances in 2004. All were detained for more than 18 months without charges. They were all declared to be “high profile terrorists” and sent to civil high security jails designed and funded by the CIA, similar to Guantanamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray.

    How ridiculous! These Airmen joined the Air Force in their teens, long before the “War on Terror.” Assuming the fact that they are “high profile terrorists” means that the Armed Forces are the massive producer of terrorists.

    What do these oppressed, ill-fated and unlucky Airmen actually want? They want their case to be remitted for rehearing, in open court, before an impartial Tribunal of Supreme Court Justices. They seek legal redress for maltreatment, unjust and unfair conviction.

    ZAB’s hanging case is going to be re-opened. For what? To prove his innocence. Will somebody dare to claim the hanging of Sepoy Islam Siddiqui, who was hanged in Multan Jail on the 20th of August 2005, without giving him right of any appeal a “military’s judicial killing?” (For details http://archives.dawn.com/archives/44282) and will someone raise the question why a Corporal Technician Hashmat was tortured to death?

    By: Adnan Rashid

    Condemned Prisoner

    Ex Junior Technician of PAF

    Pak No. 862476

    A Court Martialed convict of

    the first attempt on Musharraf’s life case.

    And other convicts are:

    Ex-Chief Technician Khalid Mehmood Pak/851866 Condemned Prisoner.

    Ex-Senior Technician Karam Din Pak/ 854096 Lifer.

    Ex-Corporal Tech Nawazish Pak/489906 Condemned prisoner.

    Ex-Junior Tech Niaz Muhammad Pak/860186 Condemned prisoner

    Ex-junior Tech Nasrullah Pak/865001 Lifer

    http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/adnan-rashids-facebook-rebuttal-of-charges-against-him/

    ———-

    In Letter, Escaped Al-Qaeda Militant Adnan Rashid’s Friend In Pakistan Air Force Recounts Days Spent Together: ‘He Was An Extremely Close Member of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda; He Also Showed Me His Pictures…With Al-Qaeda Leaders’

    In a letter, a member of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recounts some months he spent with Adnan Rashid, a former Pakistani soldier and Al-Qaeda militant who had been jailed for a 2003 assassination attempt on the life of Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.

    In April 2012, Adnan Shahid escaped along with hundreds of other Taliban militants after the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the Bannu Central Jail in northwest Pakistan. The name of the PAF serviceman who wrote the letter has not been revealed.

    Following are excerpts from the letter, as translated from Urdu language:

    To read the full report

    http://www.thememriblog.org/urdupashtu/blog_personal/en/41999.htm

  • Pakistani media is hiding that in all likelihood Adnan Rashid, ex PAF, was a planner behind the Kamra attack.

    http://youtu.be/glNbYqtjF7o

    http://dawn.com/2012/08/16/paf-base-attacked-in-kamra/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/militants-storm-pakistan-air-base-eight-killed/2012/08/16/a11a1a3c-e746-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_story.html

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/pakistans-war/202635-breaking-news-attack-kamra-air-base-52.html

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/422821/attack-on-paf-airbase-live-updates/

    Pakistan army & media will never say that most likely attackers on Kamra came from this place: http://criticalppp.com/archives/76081

    PAF Base Kamra is home to Pakistan’s most prized aviation asset the Saab 2000 (est. costs $300 Million each), PAF has 4 Saab 2000.

    At least some of Pakistan’s strategic (nuclear) assets are also rumoured to be placed at Kamra. The attack will reignite global concerns about security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

    One security person Sepoy Asif‚ who was the first to challenge ASWJ-Taliban terrorists embraced martyrdom.

    Pakistan nation must learn from brave people of Parachinar. Identifying enemy is crucial so that it could be defeated.

    “Pity the nation whose national security is in the hands of Dangerous Duffers.” #Pakistan

    Pak’s dilemma: those who must clearly identify & neutralize terrorists are busy in obfuscating & deflecting. #Army #Media #Polit.

    As long as security institutions are supporting non-State actors & courts are releasing terrorists, we’ll see repeats of Kamra, Mehran etc

    As noted by Nasim Zehra, from Data Darbar to GHQ, from Mehran base to Marriot, from imambargahs 2 janaza processions…are targets & still its not our war?

    On Lailatul Qadr, our thoughts are with brave airmen who saved PAF base Kamra from Taliban/ASWJ terrorists. Terrorists can never be assets!

    Punjabi Taliban (aka LeJ)’s best friend Hamid Mir has already declared that Kamra attack was carried out by Afghanistan based militants.

    Dear General Kayani: GHQ, Mehran, Kamra & so on. Still you are unwilling to abandon support for Jihadi assets?

    Look at this man, a mutual asset of Geo TV and Pakistani agencies, he is still in denial:

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    Why Pakistani intelligence agencies were sleeping when Afghanistan based militants planned and stormed Kamra air base???

    Ahmed Quraishi ‏@AQpk
    When #Pakistani borders & politics are penetrated by foreign implants, it’s not difficult to break into bases | #Kamra

    Faizan Malik ‏@Jiyaala
    Terrorists attacked #KAMRA Airbase have been identified and are foreign nationals. Photos of terrorists will be released soon #GEO reported

    anjum kiani ‏@AnjumKiani
    #Kamra is a ‘Probe attack by foreign backed mercenaries inorder to collate information on #Pakistan army readiness & morale.

    Ahmed S K Durrani ‏@askdurrani
    A foreign conspiracy or not, security at our military bases must be profound to avoid future attacks. About time we learnt a lesson! #Kamra

    Roohullah Gulzari ‏@roohgulzari
    @HamidMirGEO Are you sure they were #Afghan based terrorists? Still you r giving room the #Pakistani taliban( #TTP ).

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @roohgulzari Pakistani Taliban are getting arms and money from Afghanistan.U r trying to create confusion but we know our enemies well.

    Ali Asad ‏@e_clicker
    @HamidMirGEO @roohgulzari We should not put our selves in Denial anymore with Good/Bad/Afghan/Pakistani #Taliban.

    Syed Naeem Abbas ‏@SNaeemAbbas
    @HamidMirGEO how do u know dat these r Afghan based militants?

    Hamid Mir ‏@HamidMirGEO
    @SNaeemAbbas TTP accepted responsibility of many attacks in Dir from Afghanistan Mullah Fazalullah kidnapped Pakistanis took them to Kunar

    Courte12 ‏@Courte13
    Taliban based in Waziristan have claimed many such attacks in the past. Why did not you blame them if speculation was your only evidence.

    Imran Jattala ‏@ijattala
    Do you mean Mullah Umar? Pakistan’s @SenRehmanMalik says ‘Terrorists are working on the agenda of their foreign masters’ #Kamra

  • Allahu Akbar! Was the best news of the year masha’Allah! Long live the brave mujahideen! May Allah subhanahu wa’ta’ala send a million cancers on the murtadeen and their supporters AAMEEN

  • Taliban release Bannu jailbreak video, vow to free more prisoners
    Zahir Shah | DAWN.COM | 16th May, 2012 3

    The Pakistani Taliban, on Tuesday, released a video showing the attack carried out by them last month to release prisoners from the Bannu jail.

    The video shows the pre-attack planning, the jailbreak operation and the release of Taliban prisoners, including Adnan Rashid, a key suspect in the attack on former president Pervez Musharraf.

    The 34-minute video by militants, begins with a previously recorded message from former Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud and the Meshud Taliban chief Waliur Rehman Mehsud and goes on with a tirade against Pakistan’s army and democratic and judicial systems. The militant leaders are also seen making renewed threats to continue such attacks to for the release of Taliban prisoners.

    In the pre-attack phase, the video shows militants’ planning with hand-made maps and sketches of Bannu Central Jail’s surroundings and interiors, showing security pickets and details of security cordons. At an unknown location believed to be in North or South Waziristan tribal areas, a masked militant instructs the fighters, detailing how they are supposed to carry out attacks on the security pickets of the jail from all sides and the main gate.

    “The main motive of our attack is to set free innocent people from the custody of the tyrant rulers and provide them easy and cheap justice,” Waliur Rehman says, with a white flag in the background.

    “The Bannu Jail operation will help in the release of those deprived, innocent people who had no say in Pakistan,” Waliur Rehman goes on to say in his Urdu-language speech.

    “Listen my prisoner brothers, we are coming to get you out of these black holes and you will be free soon,” he remarks, with the concluding message: “True shahriah will be implemented in Pakistan very soon.”

    As the main gate is blown up by missile attacks, scores of Taliban fighters are seen entering the jail while firing rockets and with their heavy and light machine guns amid sloganeering.

    Militants are seen speaking in Punjabi language as well as the Pashto language spoken in the tribal areas, showing that the militants a sizeable number of non-Pashtun fighters among them.

    The militants broke open the locks with hammers and by firing at the gates to help the escaping prisoners, among whom was Rashid, who the authorities believe was the key man for whom the jail break was planned.

    Many of the Taliban prisoners hugged and shook hands with their saviours from behind the bars, as if they had been waiting for the moment as the video showed there was no resistance from more than 128 policemen and other security personnel deployed at the jail.

    Several prisoners also raised slogans and kept on moving out of the jail but some insiders believe many of the policemen also shed their uniforms and started sloganeering with the fleeing prisoners, as the heavily-armed militants entered the jail.

    At least 384 prisoners, some sentenced to death along with four key TTP commanders escaped the jail. Women were also among these escaping prisoners.

    While some prisoners returned to the prison and some were arrested, but several others are still at large.

    Earlier, in a one-and-half minute video, Rashid was shown being greeted by militants in Wasiristan Agency. In the new video, Rashid justifies his stance of attacking General Musharraf and vows to continue fighting the Pakistani security forces.

    The Bannu jailbreak inquiry report will be discussed on May 16, by the provincial cabinet of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It is expected that the government will take action against more than 150 officers and officials, which could lead to their termination.

    Meanwhile, after the apparent failure of the National Data Base Registration Authority (Nadra) to provide the KP Home Department with details of the prisoners, the Home Department has requested the Federal Government to direct the DG Nadra to furnish them the information at the earliest.

    http://dawn.com/2012/05/16/taliban-release-bannu-jailbreak-video-vow-to-free-more-prisoners/

    ————-

    Prison break: Taliban attack Bannu jail, nearly 400 inmates escape
    By Fida Adeel / Zulfiqar Ali / Ifthikar Firdous / Web DeskPublished: April 15, 2012

    DERA ISMAIL KHAN / BANNU / PESHAWAR: More than 200 heavily armed Taliban militants travelling in several vehicles attacked the Central Jail in Bannu, Southern District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, releasing 384 prisoners in a pre-dawn assault on Sunday, officials said.
    The Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for raiding the jail. TTP spokesperson Asimullah Mehsud told The Express Tribune from an undisclosed location that they (TTP) attacked the jail with hundreds of fighters. “The purpose was to free some of our men”, he said, adding “we attacked with 150 Fidaeen (suicide bombers) and took over the area for more than two hours.”
    Four police officials who were injured in the attack were taken to the District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ). Another policeman on guard at the main gate of the police station said that dozens of the militants were in vehicles and hundreds of them were on foot carrying Ak-47s and rocket launchers. “The gate was rooted out after one fired a rocket at it” he explained. Residents of the area said militants had destroyed the boundary wall to aid in their escape.
    A large number of militants had recently been moved to the jail from neighbouring Kohat and Lakki Marwat prisons, which are being converted into centres to rehabilitate former insurgents, the security official said.
    Top militants freed
    A senior official of the Township Police station told The Express Tribune that the FIR registered says that hundreds of militants attacked the Bannu central jail around 1:15am and 384 prisoners were released. He said, ‘Some of them are men that are most wanted’.
    Explaining the category of the militants that managed to escape, the official said there were 20 men who were facing death sentences and are very dangerous.
    ‘Where is Adnan?’
    Officials believe that the attacker’s main aim was to release Adnan Rashid, a former junior technician of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), allegedly involved in plotting the murder of former president Parvez Musharraf. Inspector General Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (IG) Akbar Khan Hoti, said that the whole plan seemed to have been for the release of the top militant.
    A police official from the central jail, on condition of anonymity said that the militants entered the premises of the jail after firing hand grenades and rockets and the only question they asked was “Where is Adnan?”
    “They spoke different languages” he claimed, adding that “their attire was typical to the Taliban with boots, grown hair and loaded with arms.”
    An investigative officer said that there was English and Arabic jihadi literature recovered from the cell where Adnan was kept, along with other important evidence. He refrained from giving further details.
    Adnan Rashid joined PAF as a junior technician in 1997. Security officials apprehended him from Balochistan in 2004 in connection with a plot to assassinate Musharraf. Sources said that he was shifted from Kohat to Bannu Jail some eigth months ago. Amongst the prisoners is also Aijaz, a militant who had previously managed to escape from the same jail. The names of the rest of the ‘most wanted’ could not be ascertained immediately.
    Rehman Malik suspects inside job
    Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik suspected the involvement of certain prison officials in the attack, Express News reported.
    Speaking to media in Islamabad, the interior minister added that the attack was due to security failure and that a high level enquiry will be conducted in this regard.
    “We will find out about who had kept Adnan Rashid in Bannu jail,” Malik added.
    The minister also announced a meeting of Inspector(s) General Jail from all over the country, on Wednesday, to discuss improvements in prison security in the country.
    Malik also said that cellular service providers would be asked to block their service inside prisons. A mobile call traced to a Quetta jail revealed correspondence between banned outfits, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/365064/prison-break-militants-attack-bannu-jail-over-900-inmates-freed/

    ————-

    Bannu jailbreak

    In one of the biggest jailbreaks in the country’s history, between 100 and 200 heavily armed Taliban attacked the Bannu jail early morning on Sunday to free Adnan Rashid, an ex-Air Force employee condemned to death by a military court for the 2003 assassination attempt on ex-president General (retd) Musharraf. In the process, they also freed 384 of the 944 prisoners in the jail, of whom a handful returned voluntarily and still fewer were rearrested. Smashing the main gate of the prison open, the terrorists came with a well-coordinated plan that included attacking from all sides of the prison while blocking all the approach roads to cut off reinforcements. While the attack was a classic manoeuvre, the guards inside the prison hardly put up even a token resistance and obeyed the orders of the attackers to stand aside. The Taliban’s intelligence seemed to know exactly where Adnan Rashid was being held. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility. The attackers operated at will for about two hours inside the prison, with nary any sign of reinforcements, although the prison authorities later claimed news of the attack had been relayed almost immediately. The police reinforcements arrived after the attackers had withdrawn, making even their precautionary blockade of routes leading to the prison unnecessary. As is usual in such matters, an inquiry has been ordered to investigate the lack of response or resistance by the staff and guards of the prison, why the movement of such large numbers of armed terrorists riding vehicles went undetected, whether the attackers had inside support (given their accurate intelligence), and last but not least, a probing of the massive intelligence and security failure.

    As in many instances over the years since the TTP and affiliated groups took up arms against the state, it is by now obvious that no place in the country is adequately protected or safe, from north to south (to jog the memory, the attack on the Mehran base in Karachi will suffice). In their usual fashion, the authorities have now set up check posts on all routes leading out of Bannu, particularly towards the tribal areas. This is a classic case of bolting the stable gate after the horse has long fled. Alarmingly, there are reports in the media that Adnan Rashid, whose appeals against his death sentence have been rejected by the High and Supreme Courts, enjoyed the ‘facility’ of a cell phone in all the prisons he was kept in, and even had access to social networks on the internet, on which he regularly posted messages. The cell phones, taken away at times but soon restored, allowed Adnan Rashid to keep in touch with various journalists. None of these champions of the media thought it their duty to report the fact to the authorities, no doubt in the hope of exclusive information/stories from Adnan Rashid.

    There are many serious problems with the manner in which we are conducting the campaign against terrorists of various hues and shapes. Our judicial system is not equipped, either in law or prosecution capacity, to meet the challenge of putting terrorists away. The recently concluded International Judicial Conference in Islamabad admitted as much when no less than the Chief Justice of Pakistan remarked that Pakistan’s laws needed to be brought into conformity with international legal provisions against terrorism. Our intelligence and security services and the police are woefully inadequately equipped, conceptually or in practice, to combat the most serious existential threat the state has faced in its entire history. The Bannu jailbreak is only the latest demonstration of this fact. Everything is ‘business as usual’, notwithstanding occasional reactive steps whenever an incident like Bannu occurs. Unfortunately, inertia sets in all too soon and this return to the usual laxity is what the terrorists rely on and wait for before taking action. What Pakistan needs is an overarching anti-terrorism agency able to coordinate federal and provincial law enforcement authorities, provide the requisite training to anti-terrorism outfits, and raise if necessary specialised units and experts dedicated to wiping out this scourge. Relying on our normal intelligence, security and law enforcement machinery is unlikely to prove equal to the task.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C04%5C17%5Cstory_17-4-2012_pg3_1

    ———

    Prisoner speaks about Bannu jailbreak

    April 15, 2012 – Updated 1615 PKT
    From Web Edition

    24 3 1 0

    BANNU: One of Bannu jailbreak escapees, who later changed his mind and returned back to the prison, said that at least 400-500 heavily armed attackers had stormed the jail to set the prisoners free, Geo News reported.

    Giving an eyewitness account to Geo News, he said there were at least fifty fast-moving four-wheel-drive vehicles packed with the long-haired insurgents who spoke in Urdu and weilded state-of-the-art weaponry.

    “Bearded bandits barged into the jail shooting/bombing and told us to flee amid fire and thunder of the guns, panicked, we did follow them out of the prison for some distance, but then decided to turn back fearing police may not open fire at us form behind”, said the backtracking escapee.

    To a question, he said that he changed his mind because his term was almost over and the jailbreak would have been of no consequence for him except more trouble.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-44535-Prisoner-speaks-about-Bannu-jailbreak

    ———-

    Pakistani Taliban release video of Bannu jailbreak
    By BILL ROGGIOMay 17, 2012

    Hakeemullah Mehsud [right] as he organized the attack on a prison in Bannu.

    The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan released a propaganda video that details the April 15 jailbreak in Bannu that freed 384 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban members and an al Qaeda-linked terrorist who attempted to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf. Two of the top leaders of he Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, who are often reported to be at odds with each other, are shown organizing the attack and mustering more than 150 fighters.

    The 34-minute-long video, which was produced by Umar Studio, the propaganda arm of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, was originally being sold in bazaars in North and South Waziristan, according to the International News Network. The videotape was then published in three parts on YouTube by the Khyber News Channel [see parts 1, 2 and 3].

    Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the group’s leader in South Waziristan, both appear in the video. Both men give speeches, and Hakeemullah vows to fight the Pakistani government and military to “the last bullet and the last man.” Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman are routinely said to be in violent opposition to each other, and were even wrongly reported to have killed each other during a shura meeting in August 2009 to select Baitullah Mehsud’s successor.

    In the video, both Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman are shown directing an estimated 150 fighters who are gathering to conduct the attack. The Taliban leaders are organizing the large Taliban group in the daylight out in the open. The location of the meeting place is not clear.

    The Taliban appear to have had good intelligence on the layout of the Bannu prison. A Taliban leader, whose face is digitally blurred, uses a detailed hand-drawn map to brief the Taliban commanders and fighters on the plan of attack.

    The fighters are then shown eating and praying before being put into vans and driven to the Bannu prison. The tape shows the nighttime assault as the Taliban attack the prison with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine-guns, and assault rifles. The Taliban are then shown opening the jail cells and releasing the prisoners.

    The video also includes interviews of the freed commanders and prisoners. Adnan Rasheed, a Pakistani terrorist who was involved in the Dec. 14, 2003 assassination attempt against then-President Pervez Musharraf, is among those interviewed. Rasheed was a member of the Pakistani Air Force and has been sentenced to death for his role.

    Rasheed worked for Amjad Farooqi, the Pakistani terrorist who engineered the two assassination attempts against Musharraf in December 2003 at the behest of al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al Libi; Farooqi is suspected of involvement in other terror attacks as well. Farooqi was a member of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan; the Harkat-ul-Ansar and its successor, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami; and Jaish-e-Mohammed. He served as a close aide to Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. In addition, Farooqi served as the group’s representative to al Qaeda’s International Islamic Front.

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/05/pakistani_taliban_re_2.php#ixzz2OacFjg1L

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    Taliban video of Bannu jailbreak sold in Pakistani markets
    By BILL ROGGIOMay 16, 2012 12:16 AM

    According to the International News Network, the Pakistani Taliban are selling a video of the Bannu jailbreak that freed 384 prisoners, including Adnan Rasheed, one of the would-be assassins of former President Pervez Musharraf [emphasis below is mine]:

    Taliban have released the video of Bannu jail attack in which leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Hakeemullah Mehsud is briefing his fighters’ squad.
    Tape also contains messages of Adnan Rasheed who was allegedly involved in plotting the murder of former president Parvez Musharraf.

    A 34 minutes video is being sold openly in various areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan in which Hakeemullah Mehsud is briefing his warrior’s team through map containing different routes leading towards Bannu jail and also briefing the inside situation of the jail.

    The video tape shows some 150 fighters including Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman gathered at one place and form a strategy to assault the jail and attacked the jail with heavy weaponry without facing any hurdle from police side. Other scenes after the attack are also present in the tape having top militants who managed to escape from the jail.

    Clearly the top leaders of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan can gather with 150 fighters to plot and execute operations without fear of attack, despite Pakistan’s military offensives in the tribal areas and the US drones hovering over North and South Waziristan.

    Additionally, it has been reported numerous times in the past that Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman have been at odds with each other and even came to blows at the so-called “battle at the shura,” where the two supposedly shot it out over who would succeed Baitullah Mehsud. The report was of course false, and was debunked when the two appeared together in a video.

    The rumors that the top two Pakistani Taliban leaders remain at odds and ready to kill each other persist, and will continue to do so, despite the release of videos such as the one described above.

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2012/05/taliban_video_on_bannu_jailbre.php#ixzz2OacKZTvh

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    Bannu jailbreak: Surrendering escapee makes revelations

    April 15, 2012 – Updated 1615 PKT
    37 11 24 1 Print this story

    BANNU: One of Bannu jailbreak escapees, who later changed his mind and returned back to the prison, said that at least 400-500 heavily armed attackers had stormed the jail to set the prisoners free, Geo News reported.

    Giving an eyewitness account to Geo News, he said there were at least fifty fast-moving four-wheel-drive vehicles packed with the long-haired insurgents who spoke in Urdu and weilded state-of-the-art weaponry.

    “Bearded bandits barged into the jail shooting/bombing and told us to flee amid fire and thunder of the guns, panicked, we did follow them out of the prison for some distance, but then decided to turn back fearing police may not open fire at us form behind”, said the backtracking escapee.

    To a question, he said that he changed his mind because his term was almost over and the jailbreak would have been of no consequence for him except more trouble.

    http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=44535