Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 3 Issue: 38


According to Copenhagen-based Roj TV on September 29, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) claimed responsibility for an attack on the Turkey-Iran natural gas pipeline. The attack, which occurred on the night of September 28 on the Iranian side of the border, involved explosives and caused damage to the pipeline in the town of Bazargan. The incident interrupted natural gas supplies from Iran to Turkey, and officials said it would take a few days to repair the pipeline. According to the director-general of the National Iranian Gas Company, Seyyed Reza Kasa’izadeh, the volume of gas exported to Turkey is 20 million cubic meters per day (Mehr News Agency, September 29). TAK, which is an off-shoot of the PKK, carried out a series of bombings in Turkish cities in the spring and summer of 2006. Many of their operations consist of attacks against foreigners, which has placed them at odds with some PKK leaders such as Murat Karayilan, who has recently called for a cease-fire with the Turkish government (Assyrian International News Agency, August 24).


Pakistan’s local Taliban have continued their campaign of assassinating potential spies, despite a recently signed peace deal with the government. On September 28, the bullet-ridden body of Malang Rahim Jan, an Afghan national who was living in a refugee camp in Pakistan, was found in Khadi village in North Waziristan (Daily Times, September 29). A letter was attached to his body—which is a common practice among suspected spies killed by local Taliban militants—that warned that “U.S. spies had infiltrated into North Waziristan…[and] Malang had been spying on the Taliban in the North and South Waziristan agencies for Americans.” The note said that the same fate would be met by anyone else found to be spying for the United States. One of the reasons behind the local Taliban’s ability to establish its control in North and South Waziristan has been due to its assassination strategy of killing tribal leaders and others who cooperate with the Pakistani government or who are suspected of collaborating with the United States. Despite the recent peace deal between the Pakistani government and tribal leaders in North Waziristan, it appears that some form of this strategy is continuing.


A new report in the September 29 web edition of the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv outlines the Israeli government’s policy concerning the assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. According to the report, during the recent hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) tried to pin down the location of Nasrallah so that a decision could be made to assassinate him. After the recent cease-fire, however, Israeli government policy has changed and, for the time being, there are no plans to assassinate the Hezbollah chief. This decision was made after considering the international outcry that would occur upon such an incident and, significantly, the belief that his killing would result in a resumption of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, likely in a more escalated form. The Israeli military, for example, had the opportunity to kill Nasrallah in an airstrike on September 22 during Hezbollah’s “victory rally” in Beirut, but considered that the overall costs of the operation—politically and strategically—were not worth the payoffs.