US intelligence investigates Pakistan's nuclear security and the military's loyalty to Musharraf as the Northwest Frontier Province spins further out of control
As the security situation in the Northwest Frontier Province continues to deteriorate and President Pervez Musharraf's political stock continues to drop, the US military intelligence community is "urgently assessing how secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons would be in the event President Gen. Pervez Musharraf were replaced."
Meanwhile, the Taliban and al Qaeda have dispersed operatives from the training camps in the Northwest Frontier Province and are preparing to fight on their own terms.
With the Pakistani government facing a robust Taliban insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province, a significant al Qaeda presence inside the country and a violent cadre of homegrown Islamist extremists, the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal has taken on an elevated importance. The US intelligence community believes it has a handle on the location of Pakistan's nuclear warhead, but there are questions over who controls the launch codes in the event of Musharraf's passing.
Mr. Shahzad reported there were 29 al Qaeda and Taliban camps in North and South Waziristan, and all but one "have been dismantled...
The al Qaeda and Taliban personnel abandoned the 28 camps after "the US had presented Islamabad with a dossier detailing the location of the bases as advance information on likely US targets," Mr. Shahzad reported. "All other leading Taliban commanders, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, Gul Bahadur, Baitullah Mehsud and Haji Omar, have disappeared," said Mr. Shahzad.