Country Report on Terrorism 2009

Pakistan. Despite increased efforts by Pakistani security forces, al-Qa’ida (AQ) terrorists, Afghan militants, foreign insurgents, and Pakistani militants continued to find safe haven in portions of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and Baluchistan. AQ and other groups such as the Haqqani Network used the FATA to launch attacks in Afghanistan, plan operations worldwide, train, recruit, and disseminate propaganda. The Pakistani Taliban (under the umbrella moniker Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP) also used the FATA to plan attacks against the civilian and military targets across Pakistan. Outside the FATA, the Quetta-based Afghan Taliban and separate insurgent organizations such as Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin used the areas in Baluchistan and the NWFP for safe haven. Islamist Deobandi groups and many local tribesmen in the FATA and the NWFP continued to resist the government’s efforts to improve governance and administrative control. Despite the August death of the Pakistani Taliban’s leader Baitullah Mehsud and Pakistani military operations throughout the FATA and NWFP, the Pakistani Taliban, AQ, and other extremist groups remained dangerous foes to Pakistan and the international community.

Despite international condemnation for its November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) continued to plan regional operations from within Pakistan. LT is an extremely capable terrorist organization with a sophisticated regional network. It continued to view American interests as legitimate targets. While the Government of Pakistan has banned LT, it needs to take further action against this group and its front organizations, which find safe haven within Pakistan.