Pakistani Fulbright Scholar Joins Fight Against Terror
Usmani collaborated with Daniel Kirk at Florida Institute of Technology to develop Usmani-Kirk model for analyzing suicide bomb blasts. The model uses various inputs like before-and-after video footage, bombing debris, chemical residues, victims' injuries, casualty patterns, autopsy data and other available clues about suspects and forensic data to piece together the details of each incident and to help identify the cause and the perpetrators.
Upon returning to Pakistan with a doctoral degree, Usmani was introduced by a business executive Adnan Asdar to Karachi's senior police officials who were investigating the Ashura bombing of 28 December, 2009. The police immediately asked him to help.
Before Usmani showed up at the scene, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rahman Malik had already told the media that it was a suicide bombing orchestrated by the TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), and the TTP had accepted responsibility for the "suicide bombing". Usmani took one look at the scene near the banyan tree at the Lighthouse Center and concluded that the casualty pattern did not support Malik's conclusion. Usmani's assertion gained support when Faisal Edhi, son of Abdus Sattar Edhi of Edhi Foundation, and later FIA investigators noticed a large quantity of heavy steel nuts strewn at the scene, according to Steve Inskeep who has described the incident in his recent book about Karachi titled "The Instant City". The steel nuts were too heavy to have been carried by suicide bombers who typically use ball bearings as shrapnel in their explosive vests to inflict maximum casualties. Other metal fragments found at the scene were understood to have come from a metal box that could be seen next to an Edhi ambulance before the blast but not in the post-blast video footage. This metal box apparently contained the explosives and the steel nuts. A body believed by the police to be of the suicide bomber was later confirmed as the body of a boy scout killed in the blast.
Usmani's analysis and detailed presentation persuaded the investigators that it was a remote controlled bomb rather than a suicide bomber that did the damage, and it was most likely perpetrated by a local sectarian outfit, not the TTP who target the security forces rather than ordinary citizens.
Faced with the ruthless and resourceful enemies of the state, Pakistani law-enforcement is in serious need of good intelligence work and competent professional investigators equipped with modern tools and capabilities to bring a semblance of peace and security in Pakistan. What Usmani is doing needs to be developed and replicated across the country. I hope Pakistani state will identify and make full use of all available talent in this area of expertise.
Here's a video of Usmani's presentation at TEDx Lahore:
Pakistan Needs Police Reform
Pakistanis Studying Abroad
Intelligence Failures Amidst Daily Carnage
Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan
Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital
Intellectual Wealth of Nations
Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence
Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices
Scholarships at Foreign Universities
Institute of International Education--Open Doors
UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report
Austrade on Education in Pakistan