Monday, December 31, 2007

Snatch and grab squad on standby for Paki nukes?

US Special forces on standby to safeguard Pakistan Nuclear Arsenal

This makes me feel a little better...
Members of the special forces are already believed to be nearby in neighboring Afghanistan and are on alert, awaiting orders to launch the mission. Satellite surveillance of Pakistan has also been heightened to keep track of the possible movement of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems.

This doesn't....
Internal security at Pakistan’s nuclear storage sites is the responsibility of a 10,000-man security force commanded by a two-star general. Every member of the force is vetted with the aim of weeding out sympathisers of the Taliban and al Qaeda or anyone with extreme Islamic views.

US diplomatic and military initiatives since 2001 have concentrated on trying to ensure that pro-western commanders were in charge at the most sensitive sites.

There has also been pressure to keep Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, thought to contain a number of high-ranking pro-Taliban supporters, out of the nuclear loop.

Especially after reading this

"It's worrying when half of your lower or mid-level Pak intelligence analysts have bin Laden screen-savers on their computers."

The conclusion of a number of U.S. analysts is that al-Qaida and other jihadis have successfully penetrated the armed forces and security services in Pakistan. Backing up their theory that pro-extremists found sympathy and support among influential people in the Pakistani security forces, the sources cited the example of Rashi Rauf, the prime suspect in a recent plot to blow up 10 U.S. passenger airplanes in the United Kingdom last year. Rauf escaped last week while being taken from court in Rawalpindi. The prime suspects are the security personnel, who some believe, have facilitated Rauf's escape, the sources said.

Of the seven or eight attempts to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf, two took place in December 2003 when rockets were fired at his vehicle during a visit to Rawalpindi, the same city where Bhutto was killed on Thursday.

Then there was the attempt to fire on his plane with an anti-aircraft gun in early 2007. There were also two suicide attacks on the Army's General HQ and two attacks outside the offices of the ISI, after Pakistani security forces, on Musharraf's orders, assaulted the Red Mosque, the Lal Masjid, in Islamabad last July when Islamists retrenched inside the mosque with scores of hostages.

Following the two attacks on Musharraf, junior army and air force officers were arrested. The ensuing investigation discovered that they had ties with Jaish-e-Mohammad, an Islamist group. In the rocket attack, the son of an army brigadier general was arrested.

The source says, however, that only lower-ranking army officials were arrested and court-martialed. The investigations are dead in the water.