Islamabad: In its bid to hunt US spies, the Pakistan Taliban has created a “vigilance cell”. The cell will look for people who are suspected of providing information to US in their drone attacks on the militants, said a report. 

The cell also known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan, has been assigned the task of identifying, capturing and executing suspects working for “web of local spies” created by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The Lashkar gets strength from the Haqqani network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, two Taliban factions that manages regions along the Afghan border, according to the report.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Hakimullah Mehsud has its sympathies for the cell and provides occasional "active cooperation" to the Lashkar.

The exact number of the members of the Lashkar is not known but it is estimated to be more than 300, according to a source.

The regions where the cell works are Datta Khel, Miramshah, Mir Ali and surrounding areas where US drone strikes occur on frequent basis.

The cell was established  last year by top commanders of the Haqqani network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, which have a "tacit peace understanding" with Pakistan troops operating in South Waziristan.

The military operation in South Waziristan is focused at rooting out home-grown Taliban striking inside Pakistan.

"In the beginning, it was a loose network with members casually going out and trying to find out who is providing information to the US... It is more organised now and they are
working scientifically on the counter-intelligence line," an associate of one of the groups told the daily.

The existence and activities of the Lashkar has been confirmed by an intelligence official at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi and local sources in Mir Ali and Miramshah. But they appeared unaware of its structure, said the report.


The US stepped up its drone campaign in the mountainous border regions last year to eliminate what US officials called high-value targets, including top leaders of Al Qaeda and their local facilitators.

(Agencies)