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Thursday, June 25

NDS fingers Pakistani ISI officer, Haqqani Network commander in planning attack on Afghan Parliament

[flipping a pen in the air] Sigh. Sigh. 

From VOA today:  
[...] According to Sediqi an ISI officer, Bilal, helped Haqqani network operational commander Maulvi Sherin in the planning. The attackers were provided about $75,000 for the execution of the attack on the Afghan legislative body.
Sediqi did not have enough information to determine whether Bilal was working on behalf of ISI or on his own.
The two countries have recently signed a first of its kind memorandum of understanding to cooperate on intelligence sharing, as well as possible joint investigations of terrorism suspects. According to Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's advisor on national security and foreign affairs, the deal was initiated by Kabul.
But Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, informed the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday the “ratification of the (ISI-NDS) agreement has not been received yet.”
Afghan NDS spokesman Sediqi could not say whether there would be a joint investigation between the intelligence agencies of the two countries in the case of the parliament attack.
“Our president and our ministry of foreign affairs have also declared that this MoU was on general principles and more operational details have to be discussed about this cooperation,” Sediqi explained. [...]
From Pajhwok (Afghanistan) June 24
ISI officer involved in Afghan parliament attack: NDS
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan spy service on Wednesday alleged the Monday’s group suicide attack on the parliament was carried out by the Haqqani Network in line with a plan designed by an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesman, Hasib Siddiqui, told Pajhwok Afghan News the attack had been jointly designed by Maulvi Sherin, the Haqqani Network’s operational commander, and the ISI officer, Bilal, in the Board area of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He said Bilal hailing from the Zakhil tribe maintained close and direct links with militants in the Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.

The NDS official added 7.5 million Pakistani rupees had been set aside for the attack on the Afghan parliament.
He said the Afghan spy agency had dispatched prior information to the ministries of defence and interior about possibility of such an attack.
According to Hasib, additional troops had been deployed in the vicinity of parliament to foil the attack and Essa Khan, a brave soldier who eliminated six assailants, had been part of the reinforcement.
In Islamabad, Dawn.com quoted Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah as rejecting the allegation on ISI. He said this was not the first time such claims had been made by Afghanistan's intelligence personnel.
The June 24 Associated Press report on the same NDS announcement adds this detail:
Sediqqi says the suicide car bomb used in Monday's attack was manufactured in Peshawar, Pakistan, just across the border.
And the report specifically refers to Bilal as an "intelligence officer," although whether the term is meant precisely in this case, I have no idea. 

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