Monday, August 27, 2012


Before describing the past week's heavy fighting in the federally administered tribal area (FATA), OSINT News researched this area's geography to learn about the provinces, cities and towns in this mysterious NW part of Pakistan. The radical elements in these tribal areas are of concern to the U.S. because they have the potential to eventually undermine a nuclear Pakistan itself. 
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The tribal region we describe below is located on the frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan and is the center of terrorist activity in the world today. Since 2001, Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters have regrouped here, using its mountainous terrain as a safe haven in which to train, plan major terror attacks, send insurgents to Afghanistan, and recruit ever-younger fighters. It is a region of militancy with a lethal mixture of ultra-conservatism, hatred of the West, economic under-development and an absence of law and order...all factors that breed a radicalized populace, with grave consequences for the stability of a nuclear
Pakistan. OSINT News believes these 28 tribal areas pose an international security risk unlike any other.

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The are 28 major tribal area agencies- Makeen, Parachinar, Angoor Ada, Jamrud, Wana, Pakistan, Landi Kotal, Spinkai, Alizai, Kurram, Mir Ali, Pakistan, Miranshah, Sadda, Fata, Zira Khel, Lahor, Fata, Shindand, Pakistan, Khar, Bajaur, Damadola, Upper Orakzai, Ghulam Khan, Bara Tehsil, Ayub Kaley, and Beliamen.
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There is a village named Alizai Alizai in the FATAs, located near the Durand Line border with Afghanistan . It is occupied by the Turi Tribe and both Shia and Sunni Muslims dwell in Alizai. It is considered a peaceful place in the Kurram Agency although some civil unrest took place recently. The United States has maintained detention facilities in the Alizai tribal area and it has been rumored that this site has been used to torture prisoners. The tribal area Angoor Ada Angoor, also called Angorada, means "Grape Base" in Pashto. OSINT News gathered information regarding Angorada from the data supplied by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and a Department of Defense (DoD) Combat Support Agency. It is a village and a border crossing straddling the South Waziristan Agency of Pakistan 's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Afghanistan 's Paktika Province.
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Angorada is one of the few easy passages across a very mountainous border, and one of two between Paktika and Waziristan, the other passage being the Gumal River. The Afghan village Shkin lies just to the west of Angoor Ada. The actual authoritative Durand Line international boundary, first demarcated in 1895, slices through the east side of the main bazaar area, placing most of the built up area legally in Afghanistan. However, the military forces and gates enforcing border control are several hundred meters west of the boundary and thus west of the main bazaar area.

Eighty-five (85) militants and 17 civilians comprised the 102 persons killed last week in the Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA). Here's blow-by-blow details of the murderous events:

Security Forces on August 26 killed at least 20 militants and injured 10 others in a clash during a raid in Batwar area of Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

At least 28 militants and four members of the Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar were killed and 10 militants and four Security Force (SF) personnel injured as the fighting continued for the second day on August 25 along the border area of Batwar in Bajaur Agency. In addition, seven persons belonging to one family were killed and eight others, including women and
children, were injured when two mortar shells hit a house in Qambarkhel area of Bara region in Khyber Agency. 
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Eighteen suspected militants were killed and another six were injured when missiles fired by United States (US) drones slammed into suspected militants' hideouts in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on August 24. Also, eight militants were killed and two of their hideouts destroyed after SFs shelling in Gawaki area of Orakzai Agency. Also, six militants and two Lashkars (tribal militia) were killed and five civilians were injured when at least 100 militants from across the Afghanistan border entered Batwar village in Salarzai tehsil (revenue unit) in Bajaur Agency and started firing on the posts set up by Salarzai Qaumi Lashkar.

Five militants were killed and two others injured when a US drone fired missiles at a vehicle near Shnakhura village in NWA on August 21.

Whew...what a week! OSINT News studied the history of these turbulent tribal areas. They, by law, are all semi-autonomous and governed by rules dating back to the British colonial era. Today, unfortunately, they provide safe havens for international terrorists, training grounds for regional militants, and are a destabilizing threat to the Pakistani state. Since 9/11, the Pakistani government has pursued different strategies to address these overlapping threats to national and international security, ranging from heavy military operations to negotiations. All have failed.

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). A portion (10%) of this site's ad revenues is donated to the AFIO. The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. OSINT News is always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form

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