Secret U.S. Intelligence Documents Reveal that Pakistan is Top Surveillance Target

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Pakistan is supposedly a strong U.S. ally worthy of tens of billions of dollars in aid. But the country is also a top surveillance target of American spy agencies because the Obama administration has concerns over the Pakistani nuclear arsenal and the government’s commitment to counterterrorism.


After reviewing classified materials regarding the U.S. intelligence budget, The Washington Post concluded: “No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern.”


Information obtained from whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. has increased its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms. American spies are also trying to learn more about Pakistani biological and chemical sites, and whether counterterrorism sources recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency can be trusted.


The “black budget” documents also revealed that the Obama administration has critical intelligence gaps when it comes to knowing what’s going on inside Pakistan, which has received nearly $26 billion in U.S. aid over the past 12 years.


“If the Americans are expanding their surveillance capabilities, it can only mean one thing,” Husain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States until two years ago, told the Post. “The mistrust now exceeds the trust.”


The story also mentioned that other classified documents provided to the newspaper discussed new allegations of human rights abuses in Pakistan. American intelligence efforts found that high-ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officials knew of, and possibly sanctioned, extrajudicial killings of militants and other adversaries.


In response to the Post’s article, the Pakistani government said its nuclear arsenal is safe and secure, and that its nuclear policy is one of “restraint and responsibility.” The statement did not comment on the apparent mistrust Washington has towards Islamabad.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Top-Secret U.S. Intelligence Files Show New Levels of Distrust of Pakistan (by Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman, Washington Post)

Pakistan Says Nuclear Controls are Firmly in Place (by Pamela Constable, Washington Post)

Secret Pakistan Report Documents High Civilian Death Toll from U.S. Drone Strikes (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)    

Bush Administration Considered Pakistan’s Spy Agency a Terrorist Organization (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)           

“Father of Islamic Bomb” Freed From House Arrest (AllGov)


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