As seems to be the case with almost every recent attack, the Haqqanis appear to be connected to it in some way. Surely, behind closed doors, there is some sense of alarm in Pakistan about the Haqqani network.
The assassination of a sitting head of state would be an escalation of staggering proportions, with a range of potential consequences Pakistan cannot predict. Whether even that gets Islamabad to lift a finger (no, not that finger) remains to be seen, as Pakistani authorities have already publicly ruled out an operation against the Haqqanis “for the time being.” “Afghans say Karzai assassination plot foiled,” from BBC News, October 5:
Afghan intelligence officials say they have arrested six people who they believe were planning to assassinate President Hamid Karzai.
The alleged plotters had recruited one of Mr Karzai’s bodyguards and had possible links to the militant Haqqani network, the officials said.
Analysts say the arrests may be seen as part of a plan to discredit Pakistan.
Relations between the two countries are tense over alleged links between Pakistan and Haqqani militants.
Militants have killed a string of high-profile figures in Afghanistan in recent months.
A blow to the “poverty causes jihad” theory:
“A dangerous and educated group including teachers and students wanted to assassinate President Hamid Karzai,” National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesman Lutfullah Mashal told a news conference.
“Unfortunately they infiltrated the presidential protection system and recruited one of the president’s bodyguards.”
Mr Mashal said those arrested had ties with a member of al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network based in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s restive tribal belt.
The group was arrested a week ago after members of the elite Afghan forces raided two locations in Kabul’s district 15 and in the eastern city of Jalalabad, officials said.
The six had carried out training for the attack last month, they added.
The BBC’s Bilal Sarwary, in Kabul, says that according to counter-terrorism sources, $150,000 (Â£97,000) had been wired to the group from outside the country. Laptops had been seized showing proposed targets and locations in Kabul, and also movements inside key government institutions, they said.
Our correspondent says security officials believe the group had been trained by two Arab instructors in North Waziristan….