‘Apocalyptic’ Intelligence on the Situation in Pakistan
Apparently, Barack Obama didn’t ask them to unclench their fists nicely enough: Obama told: help Pakistan or risk a repeat of 9/11 in America or Britain.
A team headed by Bruce Riedel, a former CIA Middle East expert, asked to overhaul US policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, has concluded that stabilising Pakistan is now the higher priority, a source familiar with the discussions has revealed.
The report, prepared in conjunction with the National Security Council, will focus on the need to co-opt moderate Taliban elements and shut down militant safe havens in Pakistan’s he lawless northwest border region. It will also urge a sharp increase in military and civil assistance.
But The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the need to prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks has become the driving force behind the review, which could be published as early as this week.
Mr Riedel, who served on the NSC under three previous presidents, believes that unless serious action is taken, Pakistan will become a “terrorist university”, posing a far greater threat to the security of the US and Europe than Afghanistan before the September 11 atrocities.
Recent “apocalyptic” intelligence on the situation in Pakistan has sent shockwaves through the upper echelons of the Obama administration and convinced Mr Riedel’s review team that radicals trained in Pakistan are the greatest threat to Western security.
One White House aide emerged from an intelligence briefing on Pakistan three days after Mr Obama’s inauguration to exclaim: “Holy s—t!”