WASHINGTON - The controversial WikiLeaks document dump offers a rare glimpse into the tactics U.S. officials use to prevent terror attacks here.
Diplomatic cables the group illegally obtained reveal U.S. officials quietly pushed for expanding cell phone service along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
They also show U.S. counterterror operatives were trying to gather information on all foreign students studying in Yemen.
U.S. embassies in these hotspots of radical Islam reported mixed success, the pilfered cables show, at squeezing the reluctant allies to do more to crush Al Qaeda and its followers.
"We have learned since 9/11 that Pakistan responds, periodically, to U.S. pressure on counterterrorism," Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson wrote in a cable to Washington.
Patterson reported that Pakistan had acquiesced to arresting some Taliban figures and allowing U.S. spy planes inside the country's airspace.
The Pakistanis also agreed to "install cell phone towers in the tribal areas [to] disrupt cross-border attacks and improve our intelligence capabilities."
Experts say the National Security Agency exploits expanded cell phone coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan by listening to Taliban and Al Qaeda calls.
"It's not to help AT&T reach out and touch you, it's for the drones to reach out and touch the enemy," said James Bamford, an intelligence expert and author of "The Shadow Factory."
The first terror leader killed by a drone-fired missile after 9/11 in Afghanistan honed in on the signal of a satellite phone.
The WikiLeaks files show Secretary of State Clinton also pressed Dutch allies to help erect cell towers on NATO bases in Afghanistan.
To further expand their intelligence gathering, Clinton's counterterror adviser Daniel Benjamin asked Yemeni officials for student records after Umar Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jet on Christmas 2009.
Abdulmutallab, a wealthy Nigerian, was radicalized while studying in Yemen.
A senior Yemeni official Benjamin met with "had reservations about sharing information on foreign students in Yemen and complained that the request was too broad," a U.S. embassy cable said.