The Good ISI vs. the Bad ISI

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Eli Lake with some great reporting about pro-American factions within Pakistan's intelligence service:

"... In the shadows, far from the public rancor, Pakistani-U.S. cooperation quietly continued. In Quetta, the Taliban's capital in exile, U.S. intelligence was monitoring the cellphone of the presumed planner of any Qaeda anniversary attacks, Younis al-Mauritani, the group's newly named external operations chief. The Americans' tracking data--signals intelligence, or sigint, as it's known in the profession--was being shared in real time with the local branch of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps. When his exact location was discovered, the Pakistanis smashed through the doors of his safe house and grabbed him along with two deputies.

Soon he was hundreds of miles away, at a special detention center in Punjab province, under intensive interrogation by a pro-U.S. faction of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. The Americans began getting regular reports on potential threats connected to the anniversary. CIA officials were even given an "unofficial" visit to question Mauritani directly.

Many in the U.S. government regarded the capture as a crowning achievement of a decade-long, multibillion-dollar effort to build a secret network of Pakistani security forces, intelligence operatives, counterterrorism fighters, and detention centers. Its objective had been to create a friendlier, more trustworthy alternative to Pakistan's military and intelligence services.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/the-good-isi-vs-the-bad-isi/249668/