ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Chabad Houses have history of criminal activity

Chabad Houses have history of criminal activity http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20081129

November 29-30, 2008 — Mumbai gangland war and its global tentacles

WMR previously reported that the violent and bloody attack on Mumbai represents a pay-back from exiled Indian Muslim Mumbai gangland warlord Dawood Ibrahim who fears that the CIA was conspiring with the Pakistani government to extradite him from Pakistan to India. Such an event would effectively cede control of Mumbai’s lucrative organized crime territory to Hindu extremist criminal syndicates allied with the Hindu terrorist Shiv Sena group.

The targeting of the Lubavitcher Chabad House in Mumbai, where a New York rabbi and his wife were killed by one team of gangsters that arrived by sea from Pakistan, was likely more score settling by Ibrahim who suspected that Israeli Mafiosi were conspiring with Hindu extremist gangs to supplant Ibrahim’s criminal influence in Mumbai.

There is a history of Chabad Houses not only being used as safehouses and logistics centers for Israeli intelligence but as storefronts for criminal activity. In March 1989, U.S. law enfocement rounded up a criminal network in Seattle, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Colombia, and Israel that involved a Chabad House that was involved in money laundering and currency violations.

The Associated Press reported from Newark, New Jersey that Adi Tal, a former employee of Israel’s El Al Airlines who emigrated to the United States from Israel in 1983, and his chief assistant Nir Goldeshtein, were found guilty by the U.S. District Court in Newark of laundering $25 million. The cash was sent to Panama and Colombia directly and smuggled to Britain, West Germany, and Israel as personal and cashier’s checks, money orders, and cash. The money was then wired to Panamanian bank accounts. Tal and Goldeshtein lived in Edison, New Jersey. They had moved there from Seattle. Goldeshtein had attempted to deposit $437,000 in Citibank’s London branch.

Federal prosecutors said Tal conspired with Jose Stroh, one of the Cali, Colombia drug cartel’s chief money launderers. Sixteen people were indicted in the case but five were never captured. Of the five, Nir Levy, Rea Lev-Ari, and Dov Feldman, escaped to Israel and avoided extradition back to the United States. Among the fugitives was Tal’s recruiter, Enrique Korc of Israel. Among those indicted was Rabbi Sholom Levitin, the founder and head of the Chabad House in Seattle. Tal claimed that the laundered money was Israeli “investments” and Levitin denied knowing that the money he was laundering was illegally obtained. Federal prosecutors said Tal told his “mostly Israeli operatives” that the money was not connected to organized crime but, according to the March 23, 1989 AP report from Newark, told them “the cash came from Israel for investment in the United States or that it was somehow connected to the Mossad, Israel’s secret service.”

UPI reported on March 17, 1989 that one of the Israelis indicted and found guilty, former Israeli Air Force Captain Moshe Begim, said he was told the cash was Mossad money being used to fund anti-Communist guerrillas in Central America. Federal prosecutors described Begim and another member of the Israeli gang, Baruch Zeltzer, as leaders of the Los Angeles and Seattle operations, respectively. Zeltzer lived at the Chabad House in Seattle. Another Seattle Israeli military veteran, Avsholom Hazan, was also found guilty and sentenced to prison. Two Israelis in Begim’s Los Angeles operation, Alon Redko and Guy Marom, also an ex-Israeli Defense Force member, were also found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. Most of the Israelis indicted were also former employees of El Al.

In 2007, Israeli police arrested top Chabad leaders for laundering money from Kfar Chabad, Israel. Israel’s Channel 10 reported that one of the suspected money launderers using the Chabad operation was Arkadi Gaydamak, a Russian-Israeli mafiosi figure who recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Jerusalem. Among those arrested was Yosef Aharanov, director of the Young Chabad Association, who the Jerusalem Post reported had been the head of the “Bibi is Good for the Jews” campaign that championed Chabad support for Likud’s Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister in 1996.

On November 27, 2008, WMR reported: “Bangkok police have long suspected Chabad House as a center for the Israeli Mafia, which runs its Ecstasy and Ice trade from Bangkok for all of Southeast and East Asia. The Israeli Mafia also reportedly runs heroin labs in Myanmar, where an Israeli military officer serves in Myanmar’s feared military counter-intelligence agency.”

There are Chabad Houses located in Bogota and Barranquilla, Colombia; La Paz, Bolivia; Kinshasa, Congo; San Jose, Costa Rica; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Quito, Ecuador; Tbilisi, Georgia; Baku, Quba, and Sumqait, Azerbaijan; Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, China; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Luang Prabang, Laos; Cancun and Tijuana, Mexico; Thamel District of Kathmandu, Nepal; Cusco and Lima, Peru; Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui, Thailand; Caracas, Venezuela; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

In addition to Mumbai, Chabad Houses are also located in Bangalore, Goa, and Manali, India.

Did a Criminal Mastermind Stage the Mumbai Nightmare?

Did a Criminal Mastermind Stage the Mumbai

Nightmare?

As in the case of America’s Afghan war protégé Osama bin Laden, the blowback to U.S. covert policy came suddenly, this time with spectacular effects in Mumbai. The assault on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel will probably go down as the first lethal blow to the incoming Obama administration. The assailants, who spoke Punjabi and not the Deccan dialect, went to a lot of trouble to torch the prestigious hotel, which is owned by the Tata Group. This industrial giant is the largest business supporter of the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, and Tata is now planning to become a nuclear power supplier. The Clintons, as emissaries of Enron, were the first to suggest the nuclear deal with New Delhi, so Obama inherits the Mumbai catastrophe even before he takes office.

By Yoichi Shimatsu, New America Media. Posted November 28, 2008.

The Mumbai attacks carry the signature of Ibrahim Dawood, a Indian living in Pakistan and former crime boss turned self-styled avenger.

dawoodibrahimdecoded

Don’t miss Sandip Roy’s article at the bottom of this report, arguing that the gun-toting, Versacet-shirt-wearing assailant whose image was beamed across the world at the start of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai who could as easily have been one of the victims as one of the terrorists.

The coordinated nighttime assault against seven major targets in Mumbai is reminiscent of the 1993 bombings that devastated the Bombay Stock Exchange. The recent attack bears the fingerprints of the same criminal mastermind – meticulous preparation, ruthless execution and the absence of claims or demands.

The eerie silence that accompanied the blasts are the very signature of Ibrahim Dawood, now a multi-millionaire owner of a construction company in Karachi, Pakistan. His is hardly a household name around the world like Osama bin Laden. Across South Asia, however, Dawood is held in awe and, in a twist on morals, admired for his belated conversion from crime boss to self-styled avenger.

His rise to the highest rungs of India’s underworld began from the most unlikely position as the diligent son of a police constable in the populous commercial capital then known as Bombay.

His childhood familiarity with police routine and inner workings of the justice system gave the ambitious teenager an unmatched ability to outwit the authorities with evermore clever criminal designs. Among the unschooled ranks of Bombay gangland, Ibrahim emerged as the coherent leader of a multi-religious mafia, not just due to his ability to organize extortion campaigns and meet payrolls, but also because of his merciless extermination of rivals.

Dawood, always the professional problem-solver, gained the friendship of aspiring officers in India’s intelligence service known as Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). He soon attracted the attention of American secret agents, then supporting the Islamic mujahideen in their battle against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. Dawood personally assisted many a U.S. deep-cover operation funneling money to Afghan rebels via American-operated casinos in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Eager to please all comers, Dawood occasionally got his wires crossed, providing travel documents and other amenities to Islamist airplane hijackers. In response, Washington spymasters tried to unofficially “impound” his investment in the Nepalese casinos. Dawood’s fury is legendary among locals. An honorable businessman, he held to the strict belief that a deal is a deal and there can be no reneging for any reason.

As Bombay moved into the league of Asia’s premier cities – hotel rates and apartment rentals are the highest in the region – Dawood could have led a comfortable life as top dog. Instead he suffered a spasm of conscience, a newfound moral outrage, when rightwing Hindu nationalists destroyed a mosque in northern India in 1992, slaying 2000 Muslim worshippers, mostly women and children.

One a day in the following May, his henchmen set off bombs across Bombay, killing more than 300 people. His personal convictions had – uncharacteristically – overcome his dispassionate business ethics. Reeling in shock, his top lieutenant, a Hindu, attempted to assassinate Dawood. A bloody intra-gang war followed, but as always Dawood triumphed, even while away in exile in Dubai and Karachi.

In the ensuing decade, at the height of violence in Kashmir, Dawood sent his heavily armed young trainees by boat from Karachi on covert landings onto Indian beaches. This same method was used in the Mumbai assault with more boats, seven craft according to initial navy reports.

Why the timing of this raid, on the dawn of Thanksgiving in America? The leader of India’s opposition and former deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani had long sought Dawood’s extradition from Pakistan, a move opposed by the then military government in Islamabad. With the restoration of civilian rule, the new Pakistani prime minister (Gillani) consented to New Delhi’s deportation request.

Washington and London both agreed with the India’s legal claim and removed the longstanding “official protection” accorded for his past services to Western intelligence agencies. U.S. diplomats, however, could never allow Dawood’s return. He simply knows too much about America’s darker secrets in South Asia and the Gulf, disclosure of which could scuttle U.S.-India relations. Dawood was whisked away in late June to a safe house in Quetta, near the tribal area of Waziristan, and then he disappeared, probably back to the Middle East.

As in the case of America’s Afghan war protégé Osama bin Laden, the blowback to U.S. covert policy came suddenly, this time with spectacular effects in Mumbai. The assault on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel will probably go down as the first lethal blow to the incoming Obama administration. The assailants, who spoke Punjabi and not the Deccan dialect, went to a lot of trouble to torch the prestigious hotel, which is owned by the Tata Group. This industrial giant is the largest business supporter of the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, and Tata is now planning to become a nuclear power supplier. The Clintons, as emissaries of Enron, were the first to suggest the nuclear deal with New Delhi, so Obama inherits the Mumbai catastrophe even before he takes office.

Dawood, ranks fourth on Forbes’ list of the world’s 10 most wanted fugitives from the law. After the new round of attacks that killed more than 100 people and laid waste top five-star hotels, Dawood can now contend for the No.1 spot in the coming months and years. In contrast to the fanatic and often ineffective bin Laden, Dawood is professional on all counts and therefore a far more formidable adversary. Yet some in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency say that Dawood is dead, killed in July. This version of events is much the same as a variation of the bin Laden story. If true, then his underlings are carrying on the mission of an outlaw transfigured into a legend.

Yoichi Shimatsu. Former editor of The Japan Times in Tokyo and journalism lecturer at Tsinghua University in Beijing,, Shimatsu has covered the Kashmir crisis and Afghan War.


Hindutva and Zionism, Agents of Imperialism & Gandhi’s Death

Hindutva and Zionism, Agents of Imperialism &

Gandhi’s Death

What happened to the anti-imperialist anti-Zionist pro-Palestinian heritage of India? First, we might want to start with Gandhi. Towards the end of 1947, Gandhi made his statement, in response to a question by Doon Campbell of Reuters.

“It has become a problem which seems almost insoluble. If I were a Jew, I would tell them: ‘Do not be so silly as to resort to terrorism…’ The Jews should meet the Arabs, make friends with them and not depend on British aid or American aid, save what descends from Jehovah.”
It is interesting to note that Gandhi recognized the actions of the Zionists in the 1940s as “terrorism.” On January 31, 1948 barely months later, a man by the name Nathuram Godse shot Gandhi.

The ruling elite’s in India and Israel should be easily able to find common ground, since most of those elite seem to be racists and bigots.

From India’s caste system, with its degrees of ritual purity and of social status, from the Brahmans to the Untouchables to the Apartheid Jews only State of Israel, with their Rabbis who help formulate law to their version of the untouchables, the indigenous Palestinians, these two countries seem like a good fit for one another.

To help maintain their grip on power, they need “terrorists” incidents and other brazen acts to keep the people in a state of fear, crying out to the same ones who were behind those acts for help.

Israeli agents seemed particulary interested in getting their tentacles into India and Kashmir the year prior to 9/11.

To help set up the MOSSAD/CIA false-flag of 9/11?
(This is a lengthy article, so only part of it is copied here.)

Hindutva and Zionism, Agents of Imperialism

Meanwhile, politically the BJP has embraced Israel and turned a cold shoulder to the Palestinians, betraying the bonds of friendship shared by the Palestinian and Indian people in this process. Hindutva ideologues are talking about Hindu-Yahudi unity and the need to fight against ‘terrorism,’ a euphemism for Palestine’s and India’s Muslims. Hindu extremist websites gloat about the need to work together with Israel to target Muslims in South Asia. Recently a virulent organization calling itself “hinduunity.org” had its website shut down. It came back without a problem when the virulent Jewish extremist Kahane organization (Haktiva) came to the rescue. Rabid extremists working together for a common cause: Muslims are the targets, but also most importantly, the entire peoples of the Arab and Iranian nations, and the great masses of people in South Asia are targets for these two running dogs of American imperialism. Hindutvadis are happy to see such cooperation, while Israel murders Palestinians with impunity, and India reels under the Hindutva onslaught.

Israel has also been suspected of involvement in the incitement of virulent anti-Muslim activities in India, as has been pointed out by Faisal Kutty, a writer from Kerala state who noted that a meeting took place, shrouded in secrecy between BJP high officials and Israeli officials preceding a completely uncharacteristic violent communal anti-Muslim riot in the normally peaceful and harmonious state of Kerala in 1992.

Kerala’s Muslims are the oldest Muslim community in India, tracing their roots to the early Arab Muslim traders who plied the Indian Ocean Arabian Sea trade route. They make up 20 percent of the population in Kerala while Hindus are 60 percent and Christians 20 percent. Kerala has the highest rate of literacy in the country, in no small part due to the work of the ruling Communist Party over the last several decades to build a literate and thriving, secular state. Comparatively, the other South Indian states under the heel of chauvinistic ethnocentric parties have no comparable achievements. Faisal Kutty also notes that the first serious communal clash between Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus and Muslims occurred shortly after the opening of an Israeli interests section in the U.S. Embassy in Colombo. The section was later closed by the Sri Lankan government.

These suspicions cannot be unfounded because of similar reports about Israeli agents wandering in Kashmir as well as the BJP government’s fascination with ‘security cooperation,’ a code word for ‘how to keep the natives in line,’ and the overt statements made by Hindutva ideologues about “Hindu-Yahudi” unity. Recently the BJP has built close security ties with the U.S. and Israel under the guise of “fighting terrorism.” It is certain that this is a step towards turning India into a “security” state as both the U.S. and Israel will provide technological support in terms of arms, intelligence and who knows what else. This will most definitely be used in the BJP’s attack on India’s people, especially Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and anyone opposed to Hindutva, those they call with contempt, “pseudo-secularists.” The people of Kashmir will no doubt also be targeted by these new alliances, as well as Andhra, Punjab, Assam and the North East where militant struggles for human rights and freedom have continued for most of the half century following the British exit.

Organizations like the Bajrang Dal, a Hindutva version of the Storm Troopers, the same group who last year burned to death an elderly Australian missionary and his children, also find inspiration and who knows what else in Zionist Israel. The Indian Express, June 30, 2000 had an article titled “Desi Mossad is getting ready at Bajrang Dal’s Ayodhya camp.” It begins: “I, as a member of Bajrang Dal, swear in the name of Lord Hanuman to always remain prepared to protect my country, religion and culture,” 150 young men, between 15 and 21 years of age, recite in unison. On several occasions, the cadres and their leaders mention Israel and the Mossad as their inspiration.

‘Asked what he did at the camp, an activist whispers, “I am from the secret service of Bajrang Dal. Israel’s Mossad is my inspiration. I can’t tell you more.”

‘Dal leaders in their defence, cite example of Israel where all citizens have to undergo a mandatory training in physical fitness and arms handling. But, isn’t Israel’s geographical situation peculiar? “`India’s even worse. Israel has threat only from outsiders while India faces threat from even those inhabiting it,” Sharma replies.

These are words from people who frequently terrorize India’s Muslims and Christians. They are the paramilitary mobs of Hindutva, not boy scouts or martial artists.

In recent years Israeli “counter-terrorism” assistance is also being mobilized, most evidently in (though not restricted to) Jammu and Kashmir, where the government of India sees a political issue as a ‘security’ issue, in the age-old imperialistic tradition of ignoring the human, civil and political rights of the Kashmiri people while making every effort to suppress the voice of Kashmiris.10

The Times of India, Friday 22 September 2000 reports that

‘A high-level team of Israeli counter-terrorism experts is now touring Jammu and Kashmir and several other states in India at the invitation of Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani to make an assessment of New Delhi’s security needs, high-level government sources said.’

‘The Israeli team, headed by Eli Katzir of the Counter-Terrorism Combat Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office, includes a senior Israel Police commander and Israeli military intelligence officials. The team will prepare a “feasibility study” of Indian security needs and assess the areas in which Israel can offer assistance to New Delhi in tackling the activities of insurgent and terrorist groups.’

BJP’s corruption: money for nothing, and a few lousy Barak missiles, Hindutva Zionism in action.

In the short span of time that the BJP has been in power in Delhi, its claims of being patriotic and honest have been thrown in the dustbin. Earlier this year, a team of investigative journalists videotaped a series of bribe taking and bribe negotiating episodes involving people in the highest levels of government including the armed forces. Using a fictitious arms deal the team easily bribed its way into the offices of high-ranking Indian officials in the armed forces and the government. The ease with which it was possible to bribe these officials shocked the country. Imagine what levels of corruption might be possible when very efficient efforts at the same are carried out by international professional arms dealers, mercenaries and other organizations?

The most damaging episode in this was a videotaped recording of the leader of the BJP, yes, the party leader, taking a wad of money and also mentioning that he prefers dollars! Overnight, the BJP’s never ending charade of patriotism and honesty turned into outright guilt and defensive noises about ‘foreign conspiracy!’ As if the taking of bribes by the highest officials of the land especially for defense related deals, itself does not constitute treason and conspiracy of the highest order! These so-called ‘patriots’ of the BJP are willing to send Indian soldiers as cannon fodder to their stupid warmongering disasters, with equipment that is sub standard, and available only because the officials procuring them were bribed into doing so. Thus the so-called Barak missile found its way from Israel to India, while India’s own Trishul missile, which outperforms the Barak, got pushed out, perhaps because the Indian defense industries couldn’t match the Mossadis in bribery and intrigue!?

Pakistan prepared to abandon war on terror to fight India

Pakistan prepared to abandon war on terror to fight India

By THE CANADIAN PRESS

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan demanded evidence yesterday for Indian charges it was involved in the Mumbai attacks and reversed its decision to send its spy chief to aid the probe.

Deep mistrust between the rivals, who have already fought three wars, endangers efforts by its western allies to battle al-Qaida and Taliban hiding along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Rising tensions yesterday prompted Pakistani security officials to warn the government would pull its troops from the fight along the Afghan border to respond to any Indian mobilization.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi insisted that Pakistani authorities — including intelligence agencies that New Delhi has long accused of sponsoring terrorism — were not behind the carnage. “If they have evidence they should share it with us,” Qureshi said. “Our hands are clean.”

Asked how Pakistan would respond, the second official said it would pull all its troops from the hotspots along the border with Afghanistan to its highly militarized eastern frontier.

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“All troops from our western border would be withdrawn to redeploy them at the eastern border,” the official said. “Not a single soldier will remain”

He acknowledged that there was no indication of India mobilizing its forces; however, he claimed that India’s air force has been put on “red alert.”

U.S. appears to be losing its secret war in Somalia

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U.S. appears to be losing its secret war in Somalia

To glimpse America’s secret war in Africa, you must bang with a rock on the iron gate of the prison in this remote port in northern Somalia…

By Paul Salopek

Mostly, though, it is a policy time bomb that will be inherited by the incoming Obama administration: a little-known front in the global war on terrorism that the U.S. appears to be losing, if it hasn’t already been lost.

BERBERA, Somalia — To glimpse America’s secret war in Africa, you must bang with a rock on the iron gate of the prison in this remote port in northern Somalia. A sleepy guard will yank open a rusty deadbolt. Then, you ask to speak to an inmate named Mohamed Ali Isse.

Isse, 36, is a convicted murderer and jihadist. He is known among his fellow prisoners, with grudging awe, as “The Man with the American Thing in His Leg.”

That “thing” is a stainless-steel surgical pin screwed into his bullet-shattered femur, courtesy, he says, of the U.S. Navy. How it got there — or more to the point, how Isse ended up in this crumbling, stonewalled hellhole at the uttermost end of the Earth — is a story that the U.S. government probably would prefer to remain untold.

That’s because Isse and his fancy surgery scars offer what little tangible evidence exists of a bare-knuckled war that has been waged silently, over the past five years, with the sole aim of preventing anarchic Somalia from becoming the world’s next Afghanistan.

“Your government gets away with a lot here,” said the prison warden, Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim, striding about his antique facility with a pistol tucked in the back of his pants. “In Iraq, the world is watching. In Afghanistan, the world is watching. In Somalia, nobody is watching.”

It is a standoff war in which the Pentagon lobs million-dollar cruise missiles into a famine-haunted African wasteland the size of Texas, hoping to kill lone terror suspects who might be dozing in candlelit huts.

It is a covert war in which the CIA has recruited gangs of unsavory warlords to hunt down and kidnap Islamic militants and — according to Isse and civil rights activists — secretly imprison them offshore, aboard U.S. warships.

“Somalia is one of the great unrecognized U.S. policy failures since 9/11,” said Ken Menkhaus, a leading Somalia scholar at Davidson College in North Carolina. “By any rational metric, what we’ve ended up with there today is the opposite of what we wanted.”

What the Bush administration wanted, when it tacitly backed Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in late 2006, was clear enough: to help a close African ally in the war on terror crush the Islamic Courts Union. The Taliban-like movement emerged from the ashes of more than 15 years of anarchy and lawlessness in Africa’s most infamous failed state, Somalia.

At first, the invasion seemed an easy victory. By early 2007, the Courts had been routed, a pro-Western transitional government installed, and hundreds of Islamic militants in Somalia either captured or killed.

But over the past 18 months, Somalia’s Islamists — now more radical than ever — have regrouped and roared back.

On a single day last month, they flexed their muscles by killing nearly 30 people in a spate of bloody car-bomb attacks that recalled the darkest days of Iraq. And their brutal militia, the Shabab, or “Youth,” today controls much of the destitute nation, a shattered but strategic country that overlooks the vital oil-shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden.

Even worse, Shabab’s fighters have moved to within miles of the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, threatening to topple the weak interim government supported by the U.S. and Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, in the midst of a killing drought, more than 700,000 city dwellers have been driven out of bullet-scarred Mogadishu by the recent clashes between the Islamist rebels and the interim government.

Somalia’s hapless capital has long been considered the Dodge City of Africa — a seaside metropolis sundered by clan fighting ever since the nation’s central government collapsed in 1991. That feral reputation was cemented in 1993, when chanting mobs dragged the bodies of U.S. Army Rangers through the streets in a disastrous U.N. peacekeeping mission chronicled in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.”

The airport — the city’s frail lifeline to the world — is regularly closed by insurgent mortar attacks despite a small and jittery contingent of African Union peacekeepers.

Foreign workers who once toiled quietly for years in Somalia have been evacuated. A U.S. missile strike in May killed the Shabab commander, Aden Hashi Ayro, enraging Islamist militants who have since vowed to kidnap and kill any outsider found in the country.

Today most of Somalia is closed to the world.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way when the U.S. provided intelligence to the invading Ethiopians two years ago.

The homegrown Islamic radicals who controlled most of central and southern Somalia in mid-2006 certainly were no angels. They shuttered Mogadishu’s cinemas, demanded that Somali men grow beards and, according to the U.S. State Department, provided refuge to some 30 local and international jihadists associated with al-Qaida.

But the Islamic Courts Union’s turbaned militiamen had actually defeated Somalia’s hated warlords. And their enforcement of Islamic religious laws, while unpopular among many Somalis, made Mogadishu safe to walk in for the first time in a generation.

When the Islamic movement again strengthened, Isse, the terrorist jailed in Berbera, was a pharmacy owner from the isolated town of Buro in Somaliland, a parched northern enclave that declared independence from Somalia in the early 1990s.

Radicalized by U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is serving a life sentence for organizing the killings of four foreign aid workers in late 2003 and early 2004. Two of his victims were elderly British teachers.

Sources say Isse was snatched in 2004 by the U.S. after fleeing to the safe house of a notorious Islamist militant in Mogadishu.

The job was done by Mohamed Afrah Qanyare, a warlord in a business suit, who said four years ago his militia helped form the kernel of a CIA-created mercenary force called the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism in Somalia.

The unit cobbled together some of the world’s most violent, wily and unreliable clan militias — including gangs that had attacked U.S. forces in the early 1990s — to confront a rising tide of Islamic militancy in Somalia’s anarchic capital.

Isse was wounded in the raid, according to Qanyare, now a member of Somalia’s weak transitional government who divides his days between lawless Mogadishu and luxury hotels in Nairobi. Matt Bryden, one of the world’s leading scholars of the Somali insurgency who has access to intelligence regarding it, confirmed the account. They say Isse was then loaded aboard a U.S. military helicopter summoned by satellite phone and was flown, bleeding, to an offshore U.S. vessel.

Navy doctors spliced a steel rod into Isse’s bullet-shattered leg, according to defense lawyer Bashir Hussein Abdi. Every day for about a month afterward, Isse’s court depositions assert, plainclothes U.S. agents grilled the bedridden Somali at sea about al-Qaida’s presence. The CIA never has publicly acknowledged its operations in Somalia. Agency spokesman George Little declined to comment on Isse’s case.

In June, the British civil-rights group Reprieve contended that as many as 17 U.S. warships may have doubled as floating prisons since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Calling such claims “misleading,” the Pentagon has insisted that U.S. ships have served only as transit stops for terror suspects being shuttled to permanent detention camps such as the one in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

In a terse statement, Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet that patrols the Gulf of Aden, said only that the Navy was “not able to confirm dates” of Isse’s imprisonment.

For reasons that remain unclear, he was later flown to Camp Lemonier, a U.S. military base in the African state of Djibouti, Somali intelligence sources say, and from there to a clandestine prison in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Isse and his lawyer allege he was detained there for six weeks and tortured by Ethiopian military intelligence with electric shocks.

Security officials in neighboring Somaliland confirmed that they collected Isse from the Ethiopian police at a dusty border crossing in late 2004. “The Man with the American Thing in His Leg” was interrogated again. After a local trial, he was locked in the ancient Berbera prison.

The CIA’s anti-terror mercenaries in Mogadishu may have kidnapped a dozen or more wanted Islamists for the Americans, intelligence experts say. But their excesses ended up swelling the ranks of their enemy, the Islamic Courts Union militias.

“It was a stupid idea,” said Bryden, the security analyst. “It actually strengthened the hand of the Islamists and helped trigger the crisis we’re in today.”

Somalia’s 2 million-strong diaspora is of greatest concern. Angry young men, foreign passports in hand, could be lured back to the reopened Shabab training camps, where instructors occasionally use photocopied portraits of Bush as rifle targets.

Some envision no Somalia at all.

With about $8 billion in humanitarian aid fire-hosed into the smoking ruins of Somalia since the early 1990s — the U.S. will donate roughly $200 million this year alone — a growing chorus of policymakers is advocating that the failed state be allowed to fail, to break up into autonomous zones or fiefdoms, such as Isse’s home of Somaliland.

But there is another possible future for Somalia. In Bosaso, a port 300 miles east of Isse’s cell, thousands of people swarm through the town’s scruffy waterfront seeking passage across the Gulf of Aden to the Middle East. Dressed in rags, they sleep by the hundreds in dirt alleys and empty lots. Stranded women and girls are forced into prostitution.

“You can see why we still need America’s help,” said Abdinur Jama, the coast-guard commander for Puntland, the semiautonomous state encompassing Bosaso.

A military think tank at West Point studying Somalia concluded last year that, in some respects, failed states were admirable places to combat al-Qaida, because the absence of local sovereignty permitted “relatively unrestricted Western counterterrorism efforts.”

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Militant Hindutva on the rise – silence that seeks to hide this reality

Women of the Hindu Right:

The RSS (Rashtriya Sevika Samiti)

Militant Hindutva on the

rise – silence that seeks to

hide this reality


A Hindutva recruitment poster

Taking aim: Bajrang Dal women’s brigade, Lucknow, 2001

(Himal
October-November 2007)

by Subhash Gatade

Nanded, in Maharashtra, is a town with a significant population of different faiths – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist. Nanded could well have become a new metaphor for secularism as practised in the Subcontinent, but this was not to be. Instead, Nanded has come to represent the emergent danger of a violent new brand of Hindu militancy, with due support from a section of the state machinery. A place that was once witness to the final days of Guru Gobind Singh, Sikhism’s Tenth Guru, has today metamorphosed into an epicentre of violent Hindutva. Indeed, Nanded represents the build-up of the violent fundamentalist Hinduism of the past half-century. The town has been witness to a new spate of acts that can be inarguably dubbed ‘terrorism’.

The inner workings of this new form of Hindutva were on show recently in two, evidently accidental, explosions in Nanded within a span of nine months, in April 2006 and February 2007. These blasts, which killed four people, took place at the houses of activists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena. The arrival of Nanded on India’s ‘terror’ map was followed by media investigations into similar previous incidents, which also showed the involvement of Hindu youth in terrorist actions.

The new element here is the increasing similarity between Hindu militancy and ‘terrorism’ of other hues. While various enquiry commissions have looked into riots in post-Independence India and corroborated the proactive role played by the RSS in instigating riots, the irony of the situation is that the organisation is still able to maintain its ‘missionary’ image. Part of this is because the group has long maintained a strict division of labour within its ranks, delegating much of the ‘dirty work’ to fringe workers. The Nanded blasts proved to be an exception to this pattern, as the RSS links were obvious. This is why, in the immediate aftermath of the explosions, the Sangh Parivar leadership went to great lengths to suppress the news. Indeed, activist friends of this writer in Maharashtra were themselves unaware that any such incident had taken place.

One set of blasts took place in a house belonging to Laxman Rajkondwar, an old RSS activist, and killed two youths belonging to the Bajrang Dal and RSS, while injuring three others. The explosives that were being made were to be used during the entry into Maharashtra of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani’s Bharat Suraksha Yatra, the idea being to warn of the grave security situation existing in the country. Later investigations found that the plan had been to instigate communal riots in Nanded that could have spread to adjoining areas. Such a situation, it was hoped, would boost the sagging morale of both the BJP and its ageing stalwart, Advani (see accompanying story, “Befuddled, jingoistic party”).

The aim was clearly to instigate a communal conflict. A police raid on one of the deceased’s houses found maps of nearby mosques, as well as clothes and caps usually worn by Muslims in the area, which the activists were going to wear to sneak into and attack the mosques and gurudwaras. The only thing still needed was explosives. The making of bombs in a house owned by an old RSS activist – one who supposedly also dealt in firecrackers, at that – seemed like the perfect plan.

Of course, the story neither begins nor ends in Nanded. Since 2003, at least five, and perhaps six, Hindutva-related explosions have taken place in central Maharashtra alone, in Parbhani, Purna, Jalna and Nanded. Malegaon also witnessed a bomb blast last year, killing 40 people, with strong indications of a Hindutva hand behind it. (The final picture will emerge after an ongoing investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation finishes.) Beyond the geographical similarities, the details of the attacks were uncanny: each took place between 1:45 and 2:00 in the afternoon, just after Friday prayers, at the most prominent mosque in town. (The bomb that went off in Nanded in 2006 exploded on 6 April, a Thursday, but was apparently meant to be set off at an Aurangabad masjid the following day.)

At the same time, this cannot be dubbed a Maharashtra-centric phenomenon. Madhya Pradesh’s former chief minister, Digvijay Singh, has publicly admitted to the involvement of various groups and individuals affiliated with the RSS in similar acts in his state. As for the rest of the country, no systematic study of saffron ‘terror’ has yet been undertaken. One reason for this could be the thin line that separates the different anushangik (affiliated) organisations of the RSS, thereby making it possible to move from the ‘legal’ to the ‘illegal’ without great effort. Indeed, there is every possibility that funds collected from the Hindu diaspora for philanthropic work might also have been channelled to further ‘terrorist’ activities.


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