Why The Pakistani Taliban’s Attack In Peshawar Was A Strategic Move


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Whether the truck was driven into the building or was detonated just outside remains unclear.According to some unverified reports, a firefight took place before the detonation. While the vehicle may have broken through an insufficiently prepared checkpoint, the attack could well represent an inside job.

The TTP has successfully carried out a significant number of attacks in and around Peshawar. It mounted a suicide bombing against the Frontier Corps outside Peshawar on May 13, killing at least 80 and injuring over 100. Elsewhere, a TTP vehicle-borne improvised explosive device leveled the CID office in Karachi in November 2010, killing at least 15 people.

The TTP has targeted the CID for several reasons. The CID plays a key role in intelligence and law enforcement operations against jihadists, and militants often are harshly interrogated in its facilities. Moreover, its facilities are not as well-protected as army, Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau installations (though the Peshawar ISI office was leveled in a November 2009 suicide bombing).

A TTP spokesman has said that the Taliban will continue attacks on Pakistani security forces until an Islamic system is implemented in Pakistan, adding that it will step up these attacks to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden. Taliban public relations aside, these attacks are part of an overall strategy to weaken the country’s security system and create a crisis between Pakistan and the United States. The TTP even announced May 2 that it would attack Pakistani government interests first and U.S. interests second. By successfully attacking a military and security-service dominated part of the city, the TTP has succeeded in making the Pakistani government appear weak once again to its people and to the world.

This post originally appeared at STRATFOR, the world’s leading private intelligence firm. To get access to more intelligence from STRATFOR, click here.