Was Lahore Bombing Payback for Swat Offensive?

Officials Speculate ISI Was Primary Target

Today’s terrorist bombing in Lahore, Pakistan killed at least 30 people, wounded hundreds, and tore the side of the headquarters of the nation’s powerful Interservices Intelligence (ISI) agency. But was it just another of the endless terror strikes across the nation, or was there a deeper message behind it?

Some officials are openly suggesting that the attack may have been revenge for the ongoing military offensive in the Swat Valley. The group claiming credit for the blast calls itself the Tehreek-e Taliban Punjab, and it seems likely it would be affiliated with the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the primary group opposing the military’s Swat invasion.

The TTP launched a previous attack in Lahore in March, seizing a police training center in an act they said was revenge for the repeated US drone attacks in South Waziristan. Today’s attack also destroyed a police station.

But while previously they declared the police station the target, some officials are now speculating that the ISI headquarters was the real target. The ISI has long been alleged to have ties with the militant groups, cultivated as a potentially ally in a war with India. Now, according to at least one official, the ISI is considered an enemy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.