Friday, December 17, 2010

CIA and ISI Spar in War on Terror

Death threats caused the Central Intelligence Agency’s top officer working in Islamabad to leave Pakistan on Thursday. The CIA officer’s cover was blown when villagers named him in a legal complaint for a wrongful death resulting from CIA drone missile attacks, reported the New York Times in an article titled “Pakistani Role Is Suspected In Revealing U.S. Spy’s Name” by Mark Mazzetti and Salman Masood, published on December 17, 2010. The death threats followed shortly afterwards.


The CIA is convinced Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, had purposely exposed the agent. However, this would not be the first time the CIA has suspected the ISI of wrongdoing. Last year, the CIA accused the ISI of sending a double agent, who had claimed he would reveal information about Pakistan’s nuclear program, reported the Washington Times in an article titled “CIA, Pakistan’s ISI entangled in spy battle” by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, published on July 7, 2010. When the CIA alerted the Pakistan government of this the Pakistanis said they would investigate the complaint and then never mentioned the incident again.

American officials also suspect ISI officers assisted in the July 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the New York Times. They also believe the ISI was involved in the Mumbai attacks last year, carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.

US vs. Pakistan

Sparring between the CIA and ISI underscores America’s struggle with the Pakistani government in its War on Terror and its fight against Al Qaeda. The US is constantly battling with Pakistan to allow its continued drone attacks, which are wildly unpopular in Pakistan. It may be possible that the Pakistani government is using the ISI in order to slow down the unpopular drone attacks, while publicly supporting the US battle against Al Qaeda.

It is ironic that the CIA and the ISI had once worked closely together in their fight against the Russians in Afghanistan. The CIA did in fact create the Afghan Mujahideen, a wing of the ISI, which eventually branched off to become Al Qaeda. This characterizes the two-faced and incestuous nature of the War on Terror that began on 9/11, which many believe to have been an inside job.

No comments: