Role of alleged CIA asset in Mumbai attacks being downplayed

Role of alleged CIA asset in Mumbai attacks being

downplayed

By Jeremy R. Hammond


(FPJ) — The role in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month of an underworld kingpin that heads an organization known as D-Company, has known ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and who is alleged to have ties with the CIA is apparently being whitewashed, suggesting that his capture and handover to India might prove inconvenient for either the ISI or the CIA, or both.

It was Dawood Ibrahim who was initially characterized by press reports as being the mastermind behind the attacks. Now, that title of “mastermind” is being given to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by numerous media accounts reporting that Pakistan security forces have raided a training camp of the group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which evidence has indicated was behind the attacks. Lakhvi was reportedly captured in the raid and is now in custody.

At the same time Ibrahim’s role is being downplayed, Lakhvi’s known role is being exaggerated. Initial reports described him as the training specialist for LeT, but the major media outlets like the New York Times and the London Times, citing government sources, have since promoted his status to that of commander of operations for the group.

The only terrorist from the Mumbai attacks to be captured alive, Azam Amir Kasab, characterized Ibrahim, not Lakhvi, as the mastermind of those attacks, according to earlier press accounts.

Kasab reportedly told his interrogators that he and his fellow terrorists were trained under Lakhvi, also known as “Chacha,” at a camp in Pakistan. Indian officials also traced calls from a satellite phone used by the terrorists to Lakhvi.

But the phone had also been used to call Yusuf Muzammil, also known as Abu Yusuf, Abu Hurrera, and “Yahah.” And it has been Muzammil, not Lakhvi, who has previously been described as the military commander of LeT. It was an intercepted call to Muzammil on November 18 that put the Indian Navy and Coast Guard on high alert to be on the lookout for any foreign vessels from Pakistan entering Indian waters.

Kasab told his interrogators that his team had set out from Karachi, Pakistan, on a ship belonging to Dawood Ibrahim, the MV Alpha. They then hijacked an Indian fishing trawler, the Kuber, to pass through Indian territorial waters to elude the Navy and Coast Guard that were boarding and searching suspect ships.

Although the MV Alpha was subsequently found and seized by the Indian Navy, there have been few, if any, developments about this aspect of the investigation in press accounts, such as whether it has been confirmed or not that the ship was owned by Ibrahim.

Upon arriving off the coast near the city, they were received by inflatable rubber dinghies that had been arranged by an associate of Ibrahim’s in Mumbai.

The planning and execution of the attacks are indicative of the mastermind role not of either Lakhvi or Muzammil, but of Ibrahim, an Indian who is intimately familiar with the city. It was in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) that Ibrahim rose through the ranks of the underworld to become a major organized crime boss.

At least two other Indians were also connected to the attacks, Mukhtar Ahmed and Tausef Rahman. They were arrested for their role in obtaining SIM cards used in the cell phones of the terrorists. Ahmed, according to Indian officials, had in fact been recruited by a special counter-insurgency police task force as an undercover operative. His exact role is still being investigated.

One of the SIM cards used was possibly purchased from New Jersey. Investigators are looking into this potential link to the US, as well.

Dawood Ibrahim went from underworld kingpin to terrorist in 1993, when he was connected to a series of bombings in Bombay that resulted in 250 deaths. He is wanted by Interpol and was designated by the US as a global terrorist in 2003.

It’s believed Ibrahim has been residing in Karachi, and Indian officials have accused Pakistan’s ISI of protecting him.

Ibrahim is known to be a major drug trafficker responsible for shipping narcotics into the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), most Afghan opium (or its derivative, heroin, which is increasingly being produced in the country before export) is smuggled through Iran and Turkey en route by land to Europe; but the percentage that goes to Pakistan seems to mostly find its way directly to the UK, either by plane or by ship.

Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of opium, a trend that developed during the CIA-backed mujahedeen effort to oust the Soviet Union from the country, with the drug trade serving to help finance the war.

The principle recipient of CIA-ISI funding was Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, one of the major drug lords. Hekmatyar has since joined with the Taliban in the insurgency effort to expel foreign forces from the country – not the Soviet Union, this time, but the US.

A Taliban ban on the cultivation of opium poppies in 2000 resulted in the near total eradication of the crop. But since the US overthrow of the regime in 2001, Afghanistan has once again become the world’s leading producer of opium, surpassing all previous records.

While Hekmatyar chose to side with anti-government forces, a number of other warlords involved in the drug trade were members of the Northern Alliance to whom the CIA doled out cash in the US effort to overthrow the Taliban following the 9/11 attacks.

One such warlord is Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was appointed Chief of Staff of the army under the government of Hamid Karzai, and who has been described in US intelligence’s own files as a “Tier One Warlord.”

That list includes a number of other high ranking officials within the Afghanistan government, including former defense minister and parliament member Marshal Mohammad Fahim, Interior Minister for Counter-Narcotics General Mohammad Daoud, and former governor of Helmand province (now by far the largest producer of opium) Sher Mohammed Akhundzada.

Although government officials parroted by the mainstream media tend to characterize the Afghan opium trade as being controlled by the Taliban, in fact the estimated drug profits of all anti-government elements (AGEs) is a mere fraction of the trade’s total estimated export value. The UNODC estimated the export value this year at $3.4 billion. Of that, AGEs profited between $250-470 million, less than 14% of the total trade. Moreover, what fraction of that percentage has gone specifically to the Taliban as opposed to other AGEs is unknown.

Furthermore, while the Taliban profits from the production of opium through ushr, a 10% tax on all agricultural products, and possibly through a protection racket in which it receives compensation for providing security along smuggling routes, the UNODC has acknowledged that there is little indication that the Taliban itself is responsible for either the actual production or trafficking of the drug.

This is an inconvenient truth for the US, which has so far managed through its propaganda efforts to successfully obfuscate the truth about the Afghan drug trade and portray the Taliban as being almost wholly responsible.

A known drug trafficker, Dawood Ibrahim is naturally also involved in money laundering, which is perhaps where the role of gambling operations in Nepal comes into the picture.

Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, wrote last month after the Mumbai attacks that Ibrahim had worked with the US to help finance the mujahedeen during the 1980s and that because he knows too much about the US’s “darker secrets” in the region, he could never be allowed to be turned over to India.

The recent promotion of Lakhvi to “mastermind” of the attacks while Ibrahim’s name disappears from media reports would seem to lend credence to Shimatsu’s assertion.

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen similarly reported that according to intelligence sources, Dawood Ibrahim is a CIA asset, both as a veteran of the mujahedeen war and in a continuing connection with his casino and drug trade operations in Kathmandu, Nepal. A deal had been made earlier this year to have Pakistan hand Ibrahim over to India, but the CIA was fearful that this would lead to too many of its dirty secrets coming to light, including the criminal activities of high level personnel within the agency.

One theory on the Mumbai attacks is that it was backlash for this double-cross that was among other things intended to serve as a warning that any such arrangement could have further serious consequences.

Although designated as a major international terrorist by the US, media reports in India have characterized the US’s past interest in seeing Ibrahim handed over as less than enthusiastic. Former Indian Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani wrote in his memoir, “My Country My Life,” that he made a great effort to get Pakistan to hand over Ibrahim, and met with then US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice (now Secretary of State) to pressure Pakistan to do so. But he was informed by Powell that Pakistan would hand over Ibrahim only “with some strings attached” and that then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would need more time before doing so.

The handover, needless to say, never occurred. The Pakistan government has also publicly denied that Ibrahim is even in the country; a denial that was repeated following the recent Mumbai attacks.

Others suspected of involvement in the attacks and named among the 20 individuals India wants Pakistan to turn over also have possible connections to the CIA, including Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of LeT, and Maulana Masood Azhar, both veterans of the CIA-backed mujahedeen effort.

Azhar had been captured in 1994 and imprisoned in India for his role as leader of the Pakistani-based terrorist group Karkut-ul-Mujahideen. He was released, however, in 1999 in exchange for hostages from the takeover of Indian Airlines Flight 814, which was hijacked during its flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India and redirected to Afghanistan. After Azhar’s release, he formed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which was responsible for an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 that led Pakistan and India to the brink of war. LeT was also blamed for the attack alongside JeM.

Both LeT and JeM have links to the ISI, which has used the groups as proxies in the conflict with India over the territory of Kashmir.

Hafiz Saeed travelled to Peshawar to join the mujahedeen cause during the Soviet-Afghan war. Peshawar served as the base of operations for the CIA, which worked closely with the ISI to finance, arm, and train the mujahedeen. It was in Peshawar that Saeed became the protégé of Abdullah Azzam, who founded an organization called Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) along with a Saudi individual named Osama bin Laden.

MAK worked alongside the CIA-ISI operations to recruit Arabs to the ranks of the mujahedeen. The ISI, acting as proxy for the CIA, chose mainly to channel its support to Afghans, such as Gulbaddin Hekmatyar. The U.S. claims the CIA had no relationship with MAK, but bin Laden’s operation, which later evolved into “al-Qaeda,” must certainly have been known to, and approved by, the CIA.

But there are indications that the CIA’s relationship with MAK and al-Qaeda go well beyond having shared a common enemy and mutual interests in the Soviet-Afghan war. A number of al-Qaeda associates appear to have been protected individuals.

Branches of MAK existed elsewhere, including in the United States. The US Treasury Department lists one of MAK’s aliases as Al-Kifah. The Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, New York, served as a recruitment center during the 1980s, but its operations did not end after the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Kifah was also a recruitment center for efforts by extremist groups in the Balkans.

Just as in Afghanistan, the US also had mutual interests with Bosnian Muslims and extremist groups acting in the Balkans. MAK had since evolved into al-Qaeda under Osama bin Laden, which had links to groups operating in Bosnia. Despite an arms embargo against such groups, they managed to obtain weapons and supply shipments in which the US at best looked the other way and at worst played an active role.

The operations to arm al-Qaeda linked groups in Bosnia were carried under the watch of then director of the US European Command Intelligence Directorate Gen. Michael V. Hayden. Hayden subsequently served as the director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and is currently the Director of Central Intelligence, or DCI, which is the head of the CIA.

A former official at the US consular office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Michael Springman went public after 9/11 to explain how his office was used by the CIA to bring recruits to the US for training during the 1980s.

The Jeddah office is where most of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas to enter the US.

Two other of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, were in fact known to the CIA and were being monitored. Despite being known al-Qaeda operatives, they were allowed to enter the US under their real names and neither the FBI nor the State Department were notified.

The US explains this as the result of the CIA losing the terrorists’ trail when they travelled to Thailand after an al-Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur. But this explanation does not stand up to scrutiny since it was known that they had obtained visas to enter the US. Thus, even if the CIA did in fact lose track of the terrorists, standard procedure should have dictated that the FBI and State Department be alerted.

The 9/11 Joint Inquiry and subsequent 9/11 Commission were apparently satisfied with the CIA’s explanation that it lost al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar, and nobody was ever held accountable for the “mistake” of knowingly allowing two known al-Qaeda operatives on the terrorist watchlist to enter the United States unhindered.

Upon arriving in the US, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were assisted by an individual under FBI surveillance for his possible connections to terrorist groups and, furthermore, even lived in a house rented from an FBI informant. But the FBI claims that it didn’t know anything about the men, despite them using their real names and being listed in the phone book, because the CIA hadn’t informed them the two were in the country. The Joint Inquiry report described this as perhaps the single greatest missed opportunity to break up the 9/11 operation and prevent the attacks.

Additionally, it was in fact the CIA who not once, but at least on six separate occasions, approved a visa, including from the office in Jeddah, for or the entry of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a.k.a. “the Blind Sheikh,” into the US, despite his known connection to terrorist acts in Egypt, including the assassination of Anwar Sadat, and despite having been on the State Department’s terrorist watchlist. This, too, was described as a series of “mistakes” after the government was forced to admit that it had occurred – an explanation that the New York Times, which reported this information in a series of articles, seemed to find perfectly satisfactory.

Many, however, find such incompetency and coincidence theories to be simply not credible, preferring instead alternative, oftentimes much more plausible, conspiracy theories.

The Blind Sheikh had also travelled to Peshawar during the mujahedeen effort, and was good friends with Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, the CIA’s top asset during the Soviet-Afghan war. He later became the spiritual head of the terrorist group that carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, a plot which the FBI had known about in advance through two or more informants.

One of the informants served as a bodyguard for the Blind Sheikh and was made responsible for obtaining materials to make the bomb with. Tape recordings he secretly made of conversations with his FBI handlers reveal that the original sting operation involved a plan to replace a chemical used in making the bomb with an inert simulant that would render it inoperative. But this plan was withdrawn by a supervisor at the FBI and the terrorist cell was allowed to go ahead and make a real bomb – which was then used to blow up the World Trade Center.

Another notable character connected to Al-Kifah training and recruitment efforts for al-Qaeda is Ali Mohammed. He also happened to be an in FBI informant, a CIA asset, and a member of the special forces in the US Army. It is Ali Mohammed whom some suspect of actually being the mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing. He was later charged in connection to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but has since seemingly disappeared off the map.

After the 9/11 attacks, the investigation into the financing of the attacks led to Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin. According to Indian officials, a joint investigation with the FBI revealed evidence that it was at the direction of the head of the ISI, Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, that Omar Sheikh transferred $100,000 to lead hijacker Mohammed Atta in Florida.

Omar Sheikh, a known associate of Osama bin Laden, was captured and imprisoned in India for his role in the kidnapping of American and British nationals in 1994. He was released in 1999 along with Maulana Massod Azhar in exchange for the hostages from Flight 814. According to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, Omar Sheikh was also an agent of Britain’s spy agency, MI6, for whom he served in operations in the Balkans.

Omar Sheikh’s role in the 9/11 attacks has also been downplayed. Mention of him in the media instead focus on his role as the man responsible for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He is currently being held in Pakistan on charges relating to Pearl’s murder.

After Mahmud Ahmed’s alleged role in the 9/11 attacks became known publicly, Musharraf quietly replaced him and the whole affair was hushed up in the US. When a reporter from a foreign news agency asked then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice whether she was aware of the reports that the ISI chief had financed the hijackers and was in Washington meeting with high level officials at the time of the attacks, she denied having seen “that report” and protested that, “he was certainly not meeting with me.”

Interestingly, the White House website transcript of the press briefing censored the words “ISI chief” from the reporter’s question, despite the words clearly being audible in the video of the briefing.

The 9/11 Commission also acted to whitewash Mahmud Ahmed’s alleged role in the attacks. Despite the question of the ISI chief’s involvement being included on a list of items for the Commission to investigate from families of the victims of the attacks, the Commission’s report made no mention of it, either to confirm or deny the information, which, despite having received zero coverage in the US major media (with the one exception of a citation of a report from the Times of India in a blog on the Wall Street Journal’s opinion website), was widely reported internationally (as well as in US alternative media).

Rather, the 9/11 Commission simply acted as though such reports didn’t exist. Despite Bob Graham, one of the chairs of the earlier Congressional Joint Inquiry, publicly stating that he was surprised by the evidence of foreign government involvement (he added that this information would not be made public for another twenty or thirty years when it would be due for release to the national archives), the 9/11 Commission report arrived at the opposite conclusion, saying there was no evidence of any such involvement and, moreover, that the question of who financed the attacks was “of little practical significance.”

Another former head of the ISI is now being privately accused by the US of involvement with the group responsible for the Mumbai attacks, according to reports citing a document listing former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul and four other former heads of Pakistan’s intelligence agency as being involved in supporting terrorist networks. The individuals named have been recommended to the UN Security Council to be named as international terrorists, according to Pakistan’s The News.

The document has been provided to the Pakistan government and also accuses Gul, who was head of the ISI from 1987-1989, of providing assistance to criminal groups in Kabul, as well as to groups responsible for recruiting and training militants to attack US-led forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban.

Hamid Gul responded to the reports by calling the allegations hilarious. The US denied that it had made any such recommendations to the UN.

But the US has similarly accused the ISI of involvement in the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul last July. This was unusual not because of the allegation of an ISI connection to terrorism but because it was in such stark contrast with US attempts to publicly portray Pakistan as a staunch ally in its “war on terrorism” when the country was under the dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf.

The US attitude toward Pakistan shifted once an elected government came to power that has been more willing to side with the overwhelming belief among the public that it is the “war on terrorism” itself that has exacerbated the problem of extremist militant groups and led to further terrorist attacks within the country, such as the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last year or the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in September. While the world’s attention has been focused on the attacks in Mumbai, a bomb blast in Peshawar last week killed 21 and injured 90.

While the purported US document names Gul and others as terrorist supporters, another report, from Indian intelligence, indicates that the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Mumbai were among 500 trained by instructors from the Pakistan military, according to the Sunday edition of The Times. This training of the 10 known Mumbai terrorists would have taken place prior to their recent preparation for these specific attacks by the LeT training specialist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

But while Lakhvi, Muzammil, and Hafiz Saeed have continued to be named in connection with last month’s attacks in Mumbai, the name of Dawood Ibrahim seems to be either disappearing altogether or his originally designated role as the accused mastermind of the attacks being credited now instead to Lakhvi in media accounts.

Whether this is a deliberate effort to downplay Ibrahim’s role in the attacks so as not to have to force Pakistan to turn him over because of embarrassing revelations pertaining to the CIA’s involvement with known terrorists and drug traffickers that development could possibly produce isn’t certain. But what is certain is that the CIA has had a long history of involvement with such characters and that the US has a track record of attempting to keep information about the nature of such involvement in the dark or to cover it up once it reaches the light of public scrutiny.

This article originally appeared at Foreign Policy Journal. It may be reprinted with attribution and a link to the source.

Related: The Mumbai Attacks: More than Meets the Eye

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy from outside of the standard framework offered by government officials and the mainstream corporate media, particularly with regard to the “war on terrorism” and events in the Middle East. He has also written for numerous other online publications. You can contact him at jeremy@foreignpolicyjournal.com.

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“The attacks on New York and Washington were an Israeli-engineered attempt at a coup against the government of the United States”

“The attacks on New York and Washington were an

Israeli-engineered attempt at a coup against the

government of the United States”

General  Hamid Gul

General  Hameed Gul was director general of the Pakistani Intelligence Services ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and a close ally of America, working hand in hand with the American CIA. Gul was also a great supporter of the “American Way Of Life” and Western democracy. General Gul turned against America for betrayal and countless broken promises.

He is, “still today very influential in Pakistan” according to the German daily DIE WELT (Sep. 28, 2001, p. 7).

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — The retired Pakistani general who is closest to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden contends the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington were the work of renegade U.S. Air Force elements working with the Israelis. Gen. Hameed Gul led Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Gul serves as an adviser to Pakistan’s extremist religious political parties, which oppose their government’s decision to support the United States in any action against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. Gul contends bin Laden had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, saying instead that they were the work of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service — a version of events that has been endorsed by Islamic fundamentalist clerics and is widely accepted by Muslims throughout the Arab world.

Here is the transcript of the exclusive interview Gul gave to Arnaud de Borchgrave, United Press International editor at large: NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE, Sep. 14, 2001

Transcript: UPI United Press International, Sep. 26, 2001 interviews General Gul

“The attacks against the twin towers started at 8:45 a.m. and four flights are diverted from their assigned air space and no air traffic controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon perhaps? Radars are jammed, transponders fail. No IFF — friend or foe identification — challenge. In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scrambled and the aircraft is shot down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job. Bush was afraid and rushed to the shelter of a nuclear bunker. He clearly feared a nuclear situation. Who could that have been? Will that also be hushed up in the investigation, like the Warren report after the Kennedy assassination?”

De Borchgrave: So who did Black Sept. 11?

Gul: Mossad and its accomplices. The U.S. spends $40 billion a year on its 11 intelligence agencies. That’s $400 billion in 10 years. Yet the Bush Administration says it was taken by surprise. I don’t believe it. Within 10 minutes of the second twin tower being hit in the World Trade Center CNN said Osama bin Laden had done it. That was a planned piece of disinformation by the real perpetrators. It created an instant mindset and put public opinion into a trance, which prevented even intelligent people from thinking for themselves.

Q: So you’re already convinced bin Laden didn’t do it?

A: I know bin Laden and his associates. I’ve been with them here, in Europe and the Middle East. They are graduates of the best universities and are highly intelligent with impressive degrees and speak impeccable English. These are people who have rediscovered fundamental Islamic values. Many come from the Gulf countries where ruling royal families have generated hatred by the way they flout divine law, wasting billions on gratifying their whims, jetting around in large private jets by themselves, and sailing the Mediterranean in big private boats for weeks on end. Osama’s best recruits come from feudal areas that are U.S. protectorates and where millions of poor people are seeking human dignity. I have even visited a Christian convent school in Murree, 60 miles from here, where my 13-year-old daughter is studying. The young girls there have told me Osama is their hero. Osama’s followers identify with Mujahideen freedom fighters wherever they are defending Islam and its values.

Q: So what makes you think Osama wasn’t behind Sept. 11?

A: From a cave inside a mountain or a peasant’s hovel? Let’s be serious. Osama inspires countless millions by standing up for Islam against American and Israeli imperialism. He doesn’t have the means for such a sophisticated operation.

Q: Why Mossad?

A: Mossad and its American associates are the obvious culprits. Who benefits from the crime? The attacks against the twin towers started at 8:45 a.m. and four flights are diverted from their assigned air space and no air traffic controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon perhaps? Radars are jammed, transponders fail. No IFF — friend or foe identification — challenge. In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scrambled and the aircraft is shot down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job. Bush was afraid and rushed to the shelter of a nuclear bunker. He clearly feared a nuclear situation. Who could that have been? Will that also be hushed up in the investigation, like the Warren report after the Kennedy assassination?

Q: At this point, someone might be asking what you’ve been smoking. What is Israel’s interest in such a monstrous plot, which, of course, no one believes except Islamist extremists who concocted this piece of disinformation in the first place, presumably to detract from the real culprits?

A: Jews never agreed to Bush 41 (George H.W. Bush, the 41st president) or 43 (his son George W. Bush, the 43rd president). They made sure Bush senior didn’t get a second term. His land-for-peace pressure in Palestine didn’t suit Israel. They were also against the young Bush because he was considered too close to oil interests and the Gulf countries. Bush senior and Jim Baker had raised $150 million for Bush junior, much of it from Mideast sources or their American go-betweens. Bush 41 and Baker, as private citizens, had also facilitated the new strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I have this from sources in both countries. So clearly the prospect of a Bush 43 was a potential danger to Israel.

Jews were stunned by the way Bush stole the election in Florida. They had put big money on Al Gore. Israel has given its imperialist guardian parent opportunities to turn disaster into a pretext for imposing an all-encompassing military, political and economic agenda to further the cause of global capitalism. While Colin Powell is cautious and others are reckless and want to make up for their failure to defeat Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War 10 years ago, the global agenda is the same.

Israel knows it has a short shelf-life before it is overwhelmed by demographics. It is a state that was born in terrorism that terrorized Palestinians into the exile of refugee camps, where they have now subsisted in squalid refugee camps, and is now very much afraid of Pakistan’s nuclear capability.

Israel has now handed the Bush family the opportunity it has been waiting for to consolidate America’s imperial grip on the Gulf and acquire control of the Caspian basin by extending its military presence in Central Asia. Bush conveniently overlooks — or is not told — the fact that Islamic fundamentalists got their big boost in the modern age as CIA assets in the covert campaign I was also involved with to force the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Bush senior was vice president during that entire campaign. And no sooner did he become president on Jan. 20, 1989, than he summoned an inter-agency intelligence meeting and issued an order, among several others, to clip the wings of ISI (Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence) that had been coordinating the entire operation in Afghanistan. I know this firsthand as I was DGISI at the time (director general, ISI).

Q: So how do you read U.S. strategy in Pakistan?

A: The destabilization of Pakistan is part of the U.S. plan because it is a Muslim nuclear state. The U.S. wants to isolate Pakistan from China as part of its containment policy. President Nixon’s book “The Real War” said China would be the superpower of the 21st Century. The U.S. is also creating hostility between Pakistan and Afghanistan, two Muslim states to reverse the perception that the Islamic world now has its own nuclear weapons. Bush 43 doesn’t realize he is being manipulated by people who understand geopolitics. He is not leading but being led. All he can do is think in terms of the wanted-dead-or-alive culture, which is how Hollywood conditions the masses to think and act.

All summer long we heard about America’s shrinking surplus and that the Pentagon would not have sufficient funds to modernize for the 21st century. And now, all of a sudden, the Pentagon can get what it wants without any Democratic Party opposition. How very convenient! Even your cherished civil liberties can now be abridged with impunity to protect the expansion of the hegemony of transnational capitalism. There is now a new excuse to crush anti-globalization protests.

Bush 43 follows Bush 41. Iraq was baited into the Kuwaiti trap when the U.S. told Saddam it was not interested in his inter-Arab squabbles. Two days later, he moved into Kuwait, which was an Iraqi province anyway before the British Empire decreed otherwise. Roosevelt baited the Pearl Harbor trap for the Japanese empire, which provided the pretext for entering World War II.

And now the Israelis have given the U.S. the pretext for further expansion into an area that will be critical in the next 25 years – the Caspian basin.

Q: Were you a fundamentalist in the days of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan when you worked closely with the CIA?

A: Not as much as I am today.

Q: What turned you against America?

A: Betrayals and broken promises and what was done to my army career.

Q: And what was that?

A: President Ishaq Khan, who succeeded Zia ul-Haq after his plane was blown out of the sky, wanted to appoint me chief of staff, the highest position in the Pakistani army. The U.S., which by then had clipped ISI’s wings, also blocked my promotion by informing the president I was unacceptable. So I was moved to a corps commander position. As ISI director, I held the whole Mujahideen movement in the palm of my hands. We were all pro-American. But then America left us in the lurch and everything went to pieces, including Afghanistan.

The U.S. pushed for a broad-based Afghan government of seven factions and then waved goodbye. Even in the best of democracies, a broad-based coalition does not work. So we quickly had seven jokers in Kabul interested in only one thing – jockeying for power. The gunplay quickly followed, which led to the creation of Taliban, the students of the original Mujahideen, who decided to put an end to it.

Q: What happened to the 1,000 shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that were supplied by president Reagan in 1986 and 87 to the Mujahideen, and that literally grounded the Soviet air force?

A: After the Soviets pulled out, the CIA allocated $60 million to try to buy them back. This just drove the black market price up for one Stinger from $100,000 to $300,000. The Taliban still have about 250 of them for the kind of situation they face today against U.S. aircraft.

Q: Is the U.S. now your enemy?

A: Is the U.S. national interest in contradiction with the Muslim world? The U.S. needs oil, as do its European allies. You have between 6 and 8 million American Muslims and their ranks are growing. About the same number in Europe. Israel aside, we are America’s natural allies. Prof. Sam Huntington in his “Clash of Civilizations” puts Confucius and Judeo-Christians in one corner, and us in the other. His prescription is wrong but is being adopted by Bush 43 who has now put 60 countries on his hit list. This is the diabolical school that wants to launch an anti-Muslim “crusade.” Muslims understood what Bush meant when he used that word.

We need a meeting, not a clash, of civilizations. We are on the brink of disaster. It is time to pull back from the brink and reassess before we blow ourselves up. The purpose of Islam is service to humanity. The time for like-minded people to have a meeting of the minds is now.

Q: But you are against democracy, so how can there be a meeting of the minds?

A: Democracy does not work. Politicians are constantly thinking of their next election, not the public good, which means, at best, constantly shading the truth to hide it from their constituents. Their pronouncements are laced with lies and the voters are lulled or gulled into believing utter nonsense. The Koran says call a spade a spade. It is the supreme law and tells right from wrong. There is no notion of “my country right or wrong” under divine law. The creator’s will predominates. All if subservient to Allah’s will and adherence to a set of basic, fundamental values.

Q: So what kind of a system are you advocating?

A: The world needs a post-modern state system. Right now, the nation-state and round the clock satellite TV lead people to imitate America’s way of life. Which is mathematically impossible. You have 4 percent of the world’s population consuming 32 percent of the world’s resources. The creator through Prophet Mohammed said equal distribution. Capitalism is the negation of the creator’s will. It leads to imperialism and unilateralism.

Q: So what does this post-modern state system look like?

A: A global village under divine order, or we will have global bloodshed until good triumphs over evil. Islam encapsulates all the principal religions and what was handed down 1,400 years ago was the normal evolutionary sequel to Judaism and Christianity. The prophet’s last sermon was a universal document of human rights for everyone that surpasses everything that came since, including America’s declaration of independence and the U.N. Charter of universal rights. If you superimpose true secular values on true Islamic values, there is no difference. So surely divine law should supersede man-made law. Islam is egalitarian, tolerant and progressive. It is the wave of the future.

Q: Marxism also believed that the nation-state would eventually wither away.

A: Socialism jumped the rails when it was co-opted by the imperialist Soviet state. Islam believes in dynamism, Christianity stands for static statism. The pope in all his pronouncements has expressed a dogmatic attachment to the status quo. Why are so many black Americans converting to Islam? Because they are looking for true equality which they cannot find under capitalism. Allah has no gender, neither male nor female. Islam has no indirect taxation in an interest-free economy. Usury was a Jewish concept.

Q: Is Iran your model?

A: There isn’t a single true Islamic state in the world today. Iran has moved forward from its 1979 revolution, but I am not sure whether it’s the right direction.

Q: And Taliban?

A: They represent Islam in its purest form so far. It’s a clean sheet. And they were also moving in the right direction when this crisis was cooked up by the U.S. Until Sept. 11, they had perfect law and order with no formal police force, only traffic cops without sidearms. Now, in less than two weeks, they have mobilized some 300,000 volunteers to fight American and British invaders if they come.

Q: And your reaction to U.S. demands on Pakistan?

A: If Pakistan gives the U.S. base rights we will have a national upheaval. And if the U.S. attacks Afghanistan, there will be a call — a fatwa — for a general jihad. All borders will then disappear and it will be a no-holds-barred Islamic uprising against Israel and American imperialism. Pakistan will be engulfed in the firestorm. So I can only hope that cooler heads will prevail in Washington.

Q: What about the other U.S. demands?

A: Overflight rights are meaningless since the U.S. violates air space daily all over the world. As for intelligence sharing with ISI, you can’t even catch your own terrorists. And what ISI gives you will be of marginal value anyway.

Q: President (Pervez) Musharraf has made strong statements supporting the U.S.

A: He was my student in the army. He is a good man, but he doesn’t understand Islam. The army will never fight the masses. If push comes to shove, Musharraf will say no to the Americans rather than turn against the people. He is not just facing a handful of angry people. By his own admission, it’s 10 percent to 15 percent of the population, or at least 10 million people willing to fight. For openers, they would close the port of Karachi. A country cannot breathe without lungs.

Q: Back to Osama’s terrorist network. Who was behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya?

A: Mossad is strong in both countries. Remember the Israeli operation to free hostages in Entebbe (Uganda)? Both Kenya and Tanzania were part of the logistical tail. A so-called associate of Osama was framed at Karachi airport. The incidents took place on Aug. 8, 1999, and on the 10th a short, clean-shaven man disembarks at Karachi airport and presents the passport of a bearded man. Not your passport, he was told. He then tries to bribe the clerk with 200 rupees. A ludicrously small sum given the circumstances. The clerk says no and turns him in and he starts singing right away. Not plausible. Osama has sworn to me on the Koran it was not him and he is truthful to a fault. Pious Muslims do not kill innocent civilians who included many Muslim victims. The passport must have been switched while the man was asleep on the plane in what has all the earmarks of a Mossad operation. For 10 years, the Mujahideen fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and not a single Soviet embassy was touched anywhere in the world. So this could not have been Osama’s followers.

Q: What if bin Laden has been lying to you and is guilty. Is that inconceivable?

A: If Taliban are given irrefutable evidence of his guilt, I am in favor of a fair trial. In America, one is entitled to a jury of peers. But he has no American peers. The Taliban would not object, in the event of a prima face case, to an international Islamic court meeting in The Hague. They would turn extradite Osama to the Netherlands.

End of transcript: UPI United Press International, Sep. 26, 2001, Interview with General Gul

CIA Drug Trafficking and remembering Gary Webb

[HOW MANY REPORTERS DIED BY GETTINGTOO CLOSE

TO THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CIA?  OR HERE]

CIA Drug Trafficking and remembering Gary Webb

December 10, 2008 – 10:33am.

Check out this new story by Robert Parry reflecting on journalist Garry Webb’s suicide, after being totally blacklisted by the mainstream media because he had the guts to speak the truth about the CIA and other parts of the US government that helped the Contras and their allies import cocaine into the US, during the period that President Reagan was talking about “fighting drugs” and locking up all those drug users in a cage, beefing up the police state and the prison industrial complex. CIA drug trafficking had already been well documented (albeit ignored by the mainstream media) but Webb linked this cocaine to “Freeway” Rick Ross, who was almost single-handedly responsible for the crack epidemic in LA and around the country.

Read Parry’s (who as a mainstream journalist broke the CIA-Contra-cocaine story in the 1980s) article here:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/120908.html

Many critics sympathetic to Webb, noted that his story would have been much stronger if he had acknowledged all the other proof of CIA drug trafficking over the years, notably “The Politics of Heroin” by Alfred McCoy, and directly relating to CIA-Contra cocaine trafficking there was Senator John Kerry’s 89 commission, which established beyond any doubt that the Contras and their allies were bringing cocaine into the US with the help of the CIA.

So, in the interests of that, I am including below the definitive summary of CIA drug trafficking, written by William Blum. Check out all the footnotes below, to learn more, but my overall favorite book, which summarizes all the best dirt we have on the CIA, is “Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press” by Counterpunch’s Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St.Clair
—————–
The CIA and Drugs
Just say “Why not?”
by William Blum

“In my 30-year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA.”
Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit.{1}

On August 18, 1996, the San Jose Mercury initiated an extended series of articles about the CIA connection to the crack epidemic in Los Angeles. Though the CIA and influential media like The Washington Post , The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times went out of their way to belittle the significance of the articles, the basic ingredients of the story were not really new — the CIA’s Contra army, fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua, turning to smuggling cocaine into the U.S., under CIA protection, to raise money for their military and personal use.

What was unique about the articles was (A) they appeared in a “respectable” daily newspaper and not an “alternative” publication, which could have and would have been completely ignored by the powers that be; and (B) they followed the cocaine into Los Angeles’ inner city, into the hands of the Crips and the Bloods, at the time that street-level drug users were figuring out how to make cocaine affordable: by changing the costly white powder into powerful little nuggets of crack that could be smoked cheaply.

The Contra dealers, principally Oscar Danilo Blandon and his boss Juan Norwin Meneses, both from the Nicaraguan privileged class, operated out of the San Francisco Bay Area and sold tons of cocaine — a drug that was virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before — to Los Angeles street gangs. They then funneled millions in drug profits to the Contra cause, while helping to fuel a disastrous crack explosion in L.A. and other cities, and enabling the gangs to buy automatic weapons, sometimes from Blandon himself.

The principal objection raised by the establishment critics to this scenario was that, even if correct, it didn’t prove that the CIA was complicit, or even had any knowledge of it. However, to arrive at this conclusion, they had to ignore things like the following from the SJM series:

a) Cocaine flights from Central America landed with impunity in various spots in the United States, including a U.S. Air Force base in Texas. In 1985, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent assigned to El Salvador reported to headquarters the details on cocaine flights from El Salvador to the U.S. The DEA did nothing but force him out of the agency{2}.

b) When Blandon was finally arrested in October 1986, after congress resumed funding for the Contras, and he admitted to crimes that have sent others away for life, the Justice Department turned him loose on unsupervised probation after only 28 months behind bars and has paid him more than $166,000 since.

c) According to a legal motion filed in a 1990 police corruption trial: In the 1986 raid on Blandon’s money-launderer, the police carted away numerous documents purportedly linking the U.S. government to cocaine trafficking and money-laundering on behalf of the Contras. CIA personnel appeared at the sheriff’s department within 48 hours of the raid and removed the seized files from the evidence room. This motion drew media coverage in 1990 but, at the request of the Justice Department, a federal judge issued a gag order barring any discussion of the matter.

d) Blandon subsequently became a full-time informant for the DEA. When he testified in 1996 as a prosecution witness, the federal prosecutors obtained a court order preventing defense lawyers from delving into Blandon’s ties to the CIA.

e) Though Meneses is listed in the DEA’s computers as a major international drug smuggler and was implicated in 45 separate federal investigations since 1974, he lived openly and conspicuously in California until 1989 and never spent a day in a U.S. prison. The DEA, U.S. Customs, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement have complained that a number of the probes of Meneses were stymied by the CIA or unnamed “national security” interests.

f) The U.S. Attorney in San Francisco gave back to an arrested Nicaraguan drug dealer the $36,000 found in his possession. The money was returned after two Contra leaders sent letters to the court swearing that the drug dealer had been given the cash to buy supplies “for the reinstatement of democracy in Nicaragua”. The letters were hurriedly sealed after prosecutors invoked the Classified Information Procedures Act, a law designed to keep national security secrets from leaking out during trials. When a U.S. Senate subcommittee later inquired of the Justice Department the reason for this unusual turn of events, they ran into a wall of secrecy. “The Justice Department flipped out to prevent us from getting access to people, records — finding anything out about it,” recalled Jack Blum, former chief counsel to the Senate subcommittee that investigated allegations of Contra cocaine trafficking. “It was one of the most frustrating exercises that I can ever recall.”

A Brief History of CIA Involvement in Drug Trafficking

1947 to 1951, France

CIA arms, money, and disinformation enabled Corsican criminal syndicates in Marseille to wrestle control of labor unions from the Communist Party. The Corsicans gained political influence and control over the docks — ideal conditions for cementing a long-term partnership with mafia drug distributors, which turned Marseille into the postwar heroin capital of the Western world. Marseille’s first heroin laboratories were opened in 1951, only months after the Corsicans took over the waterfront.{3}

Early 1950s, Southeast Asia

The Nationalist Chinese army, organized by the CIA to wage war against Communist China, became the opium barons of The Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand and Laos), the world’s largest source of opium and heroin. Air America, the CIA’s principal airline proprietary, flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia.{4}

1950s to early 1970s, Indochina

During U.S. military involvement in Laos and other parts of Indochina, Air America flew opium and heroin throughout the area. Many GI’s in Vietnam became addicts. A laboratory built at CIA headquarters in northern Laos was used to refine heroin. After a decade of American military intervention, Southeast Asia had become the source of 70 percent of the world’s illicit opium and the major supplier of raw materials for America’s booming heroin market.{5}

1973-80, Australia

The Nugan Hand Bank of Sydney was a CIA bank in all but name. Among its officers were a network of US generals, admirals and CIA men, including former CIA Director William Colby, who was also one of its lawyers. With branches in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Southeast Asia, South America and the U.S., Nugan Hand Bank financed drug trafficking, money laundering and international arms dealings. In 1980, amidst several mysterious deaths, the bank collapsed, $50 million in debt.{6}

1970s and 1980s, Panama

For more than a decade, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a highly paid CIA asset and collaborator, despite knowledge by U.S. drug authorities as early as 1971 that the general was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega facilitated “guns-for-drugs” flights for the Contras, providing protection and pilots, as well as safe havens for drug cartel officials, and discreet banking facilities. U.S. officials, including then-CIA Director William Webster and several DEA officers, sent Noriega letters of praise for efforts to thwart drug trafficking (albeit only against competitors of his Medellin Cartel patrons). When a confluence of circumstances led to Noriega’s political luck running out, the Bush administration was reluctantly obliged to turn against him, invading Panama in December 1989, kidnapping the general, and falsely ascribing the invasion to the war on drugs. Ironically, drug trafficking through Panama was not abated after the US invasion.{7}

1980s, Central America

Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the Contras. In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating: “There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region. … U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua. … In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter. … Senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras’ funding problems.”{8}

In Costa Rica, which served as the “Southern Front” for the Contras (Honduras being the Northern Front), there were several different CIA-Contra networks involved in drug trafficking, including that of CIA operative John Hull, whose farms along Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua were the main staging area for the Contras. Hull and other CIA-connected Contra supporters and pilots teamed up with George Morales, a major Miami-based Colombian drug trafficker who later admitted to giving $3 million in cash and several planes to Contra leaders.{9} In 1989, after the Costa Rica government indicted Hull for drug trafficking, a DEA-hired plane clandestinely and illegally flew him to Miami, via Haiti. The US repeatedly thwarted Costa Rican efforts to extradite Hull back to Costa Rica to stand trial.{10}

Another Costa Rican-based drug ring involved a group of Cuban Americans whom the CIA had hired as military trainers for the Contras. Many had long been involved with the CIA and drug trafficking. They used Contra planes and a Costa Rican-based shrimp company, which laundered money for the CIA, to move cocaine to the U.S.{11}

Costa Rica was not the only route. Other way stations along the cocaine highway — and closely associated with the CIA — were the Guatemalan military intelligence service,which harbored many drug traffickers, and Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador, a key component of the U.S. military intervention against the country’s guerrillas.{12}
The Contras provided both protection and infrastructure (planes, pilots, airstrips, warehouses, front companies and banks) to these CIA-linked drug networks. At least four transport companies under investigation for drug trafficking received US government contracts to carry non-lethal supplies to the Contras.{13} Southern Air Transport, “formerly” CIA-owned, and later under Pentagon contract, was involved in the drug running as well.{14} Cocaine-laden planes flew to Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other locations, including several military bases. Designated as “Contra Craft,” these shipments were not to be inspected. When some authority wasn’t clued in and made an arrest, powerful strings were pulled on behalf of dropping the case, acquittal, reduced sentence, or deportation.{15}

1980s to early 1990s, Afghanistan

CIA-supported Moujahedeen rebels engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The Agency’s principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and leading heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan-Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. US officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies.{16} In 1993, an official of the DEA called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.{17}

Mid-1980s to early 1990s, Haiti

While working to keep key Haitian military and political leaders in power, the CIA turned a blind eye to their clients’ drug trafficking. In 1986, the Agency added some more names to its payroll by creating a new Haitian organization, the National Intelligence Service (SIN). SIN was purportedly created to fight the cocaine trade, though SIN officers themselves engaged in the trafficking, a trade aided and abetted by some of the Haitian military and political leaders.{18}

NOTES

1. Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1991, pp. x-xi.

2. Celerino Castillo, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War, Mosaic Press, 1994, passim.

3. Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, New York: Harper & Row, 1972, chapter 2.

4. Christopher Robbins, Air America, New York: Avon Books, 1985, chapter 9; McCoy, passim

5. McCoy, chapter 7; Robbins, p. 128 and chapter 9

6. Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money and the CIA, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1987, passim; William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995, p. 420, note 33.

7. a) Scott & Marshall, passim

b) John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, New York: Random House, 1991, passim
c) Murray Waas, “Cocaine and the White House Connection”, Los Angeles Weekly, Sept. 30-Oct. 6 and Oct. 7-13, 1988, passim
d) National Security Archive Documentation Packet: “The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations” (Washington, D.C.), passim

8. “Kerry Report”: Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, 1989, pp. 2, 36, 41

9. Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994.

10. Martha Honey and David Myers, “U.S. Probing Drug Agent’s Activities in Costa Rica,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1991.

11. Honey, Hostile Acts.

12. Frank Smyth, “In Guatemala, The DEA Fights the CIA”, New Republic, June 5, 1995; Martha Honey, “Cocaine’s Certified Public Accountant,” two-part series, The Source, August and September, 1994; Blum, p. 239.

13. Kerry report, passim.

14. Scott & Marshall, pp. 17-18

15. Scott & Marshall, passim; Waas, passim; NSA, passim.

16. Blum, p. 351; Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget, New York: Warner Books, 1990, pp. 151-2

17. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 1993

18. New York Times, Nov. 14, 1993; The Nation, Oct. 3, 1994, p. 346

Written by William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II; email:bblum6@aol.com

UN SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN OVER ‘CONTINUOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS’

SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING DEEP

CONCERN OVER ‘CONTINUOUS TERRORIST

ATTACKS’,

<!–

–>Expressing deep concern over “continuous terrorist attacks around the world”, the Security Council this afternoon called on Member States to renew the degree of international solidarity against the scourge that was manifested immediately after the tragic 11 September 2001 attacks, following a day-long meeting during which some speakers warned that the Mumbai carnage of 26 to 29 November could mark a new stage in the violence.

In a statement read out by the President of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, Council members underlined the need to strengthen existing mechanisms and cooperation in order to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice any person who supported, facilitated or participated in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts.

It also condemned in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts and repudiated attempts at the justification or glorification of such acts, and reaffirmed the importance of countering radicalization and the exploitation of young people by violent extremists.

At the same time, the Council emphasized the need to enhance dialogue among civilizations and address regional conflicts, underdevelopment, and the full range of global issues to help build international cooperation, which, by itself, was necessary to sustain “the broadest possible fight against terrorism”. In that vein, members said they believed that “the strengthening of mutual trust among Member States of the United Nations will facilitate the creation of conditions for the successful fight against terrorism”.

(full report here)

Daniel Pearl and the Mumbai Attackers

danielpearl_narrowweb__300x4230

Daniel Pearl and the Mumbai Attackers

By: Peter Chamberlin

Pakistan may be forced to divert troops toward the Indian border from the Afghanistan border, where Pakistan’s army has been helping prevent Osama bin Laden and other accused terrorists from fleeing.”

Military analysts believe there is a real threat that India could launch airstrikes in the Kashmir region to target the training bases of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Tuesday, Punjab police sought to arrest Mr. Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammed at his home in Bahawalpur. The cleric was released from a prison in Indian-controlled Kashmir in December 1999 in an exchange for passengers by the hijackers of an Indian plane taken to Afghanistan.

The preceding quotes do not refer to today’s India/Pakistani crisis; they are quotes from the last three articles written by Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, before his horrific murder in Karachi in 2002.

The story he was investigating, which brought about his brutal decapitation, is the same international conspiracy that is being investigated today, in the Mumbai terror attacks.  Even the names of the suspects have remained the same– Lashkar-e-Taiba, Massod Azhar, Ibrahim Dawood.  The recent crackdown on the Kashmiri militant groups who were fingered in the Mumbai attacks, and the arrest of their leaders (Massod Azhar, a founder of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group and Zaki-ur-Rehmen Lakhvi, commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba) is the same illusory solution proffered by Pakistan in the previous eruption.

maulana_masood_azhar_200812Maulana Masood Azhar

hazif_mohammed_saeed_200812Hafiz Mohammed Saeed

Pakistan Moves Against Militants In An Attempt To Reduce Tensions,                                       Daniel Pearl, Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2001

“ISLAMABAD, Pakistan –Pakistan is intensifying a crackdown on militant groups that operate in the disputed region of Kashmir as the country tries to avert armed conflict with India over a Dec. 13 attack on India’s parliament building in New Delhi.”

At the time of his kidnapping, Pearl served as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, stationed in Mumbai, India.  He had been investigating the connections between the “shoe-bomber,” Richard C. Reid, and a Muslim “militant,” Sheik Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani.

gilaniSheikh Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani is spiritual leader of an obscure Muslim militant group named Jamaat ul-Fuqra (“The Impoverished”).

A story in the January 6 edition of The Boston Globe got Pearl on the case.                                                    Bomb Probe Eyes Pakistan Links Extremist May Have Influenced Reid

“He [Reed] is not a follower, and he is not known to any of the people within our system,’ Khalid Khawaja, a close friend of Gilani, said of Reid. ‘If there was anything like that, we would have known it…’

Over the years, Gilani has sent young men to wage jihad against Indian rule in Kashmir, against Russians in Chechnya, Serbs in Bosnia, and to fight Israelis. He set up training camps in Abbotabad, Pakistan, about a three-hour drive from the capital, and other parts of the country.”

In late September 2001, Daniel and his wife Pearl flew to Karachi.

In The Journalist and The Terrorist, Robert Anson traces Pearl’s last days in Karachi, and the many dead-ends he encountered, while trying to follow the shoe bomber story to the Kashmiri militant groups.  The trail led him to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (the same extremist who was later named by Benazir Bhutto, in an interview with David Frost.   Ms. Bhutto revealed that Omar was one of the men who had tried to kill her the month before in the first assassination attempt.  At 6:13 into the interview she reveals:  “Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Osama bin Laden.”).                                                  

“Sheikh joined up with Aftab Ansari, an Indian-born gangster…With recruits picked up from other jihadi groups, Sheikh and Ansari, meanwhile, were mounting their first big operation, the October 1 suicide truck-bomb attack on the Kashmir assembly, which left 36 dead. On December 13 they struck again, with a shooting and grenade assault on the Parliament building in New Delhi. That incident – which India charged was staged at the direction of the ISI – claimed 14 lives and prompted India to mass half a million troops on the Pakistan border.”

Pearl was kidnapped while researching the nexus of militant Islam and the local mafia in Pakistan’s Frontier region, which led him to Kashmiri groups Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba and the primary suspect in the Parliament attack, notorious Mumbai crime boss, Dawood Ibrahim.

dawood_ibrahim_20081215Dawood Ibrahim

This is from India’s most wanted list:

“DAWOOD IBRAHIM KAKSAR: He is a key suspect in March 12, 1993, serial blasts in Bombay, India’s financial capital, after the demolition of a 16th century mosque by Hindu nationalists in the north Indian town of Ayodhya. He fled to Dubai and later shifted to Karachi.’

Here is more info on Dawood, and here.

Whatever angle Pearl was following that led him to Dawood, his interest in him intensified with his January 9, 2002 report on Taliban reliance on smuggling– Afghanistan provides valuable route for smugglers shipping goods to Pakistan.

“Smugglers have operated across the Afghan-Pakistani border since Pakistan became independent in 1947. In the 1980s, huge amounts of United States money flooded the region, as the Central Intelligence Agency used Pakistani proxies to fund the mujahedeen resistance to Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government. Smuggling of electronics, tires, crockery and textiles gave some mujahedeen commanders a way to enrich themselves and keep supporters employed. For its part, “the government of Pakistan encouraged people to invest in this business.

Much of this trading relies on the illegal hawala currency-exchange system. (Hawala means “change” in Arabic.) Black-market consumer-electronics dealers in Pakistan say that after they place orders with traders in Dubai, they pay for the goods by giving Pakistani rupees to a hawala dealer in Peshawar. The hawala dealer telephones a counterpart in Dubai, who hands over United Arab Emirates dirhams to a consumer-electronics trader in Dubai. The hawala dealers settle their accounts later, splitting the commission.”

The Dubai smuggling angle is the connection with Dawood’s organization, which motivated Pearl to pursue the organized crime connection to CIA “Islamists,” probably the reason for his murder.

In this key article Pearl was one of the first researchers to uncover the                                                             CIA/al Qaida/drugs/criminals network which millions of people simply refer to today as “al Qaida.”  At the time of Pearl’s investigation, the US was beginning the war in Afghanistan and preparing to butcher Iraq.  He simply could not be allowed to expose the CIA’s hand in drugs, smuggling and state terrorism, but most importantly, he could not be allowed to reveal the American hand in creating the war of terror itself.  It is doubtful that Pearl could accept, or even comprehend the direction his investigation was taking him in.

The evidence trail that compelled Pearl to his death was influenced by information gleaned from two computers which had been purchased in Kabul by Moscow correspondent Alan Cullison.  These computer files allegedly originated in the bombed-out headquarters of bin Laden associate Mohammed Atef.

Pearl’s revelations, which cost him his life, are brought up to date in the recent reports of Wayne Madsen:

Dawood Ibrahim fits the billing for one of Cheney’s “unsavory” intelligence sources

Madsen claims that it was Dawood’s network that found Pearl’s killers.

“Ibrahim’s enterprises, called “D-Company,” ensured that U.S. supply ships in the Arabian Sea were protected from attack, that the U.S. embassy in Islamabad was not targeted for terrorist attack, arranged for reasonable port fees to be assessed for U.S. ships in Dubai in support of the Iraq war, that U.S. sailors and contractors in Dubai were protected, and that all the kickbacks for Cheney’s Halliburton and other U.S. contractors were properly laundered through Dubai banks. Ibrahim’s network also ensured that the land route from Karachi to Afghanistan allowed U.S., Indian, and other nations’ goods to move into the landlocked country unimpeded.

In return for Ibrahim’s assistance, the CIA looked the other way and made sure other U.S. agencies followed suit on D-Company’s involvement in currency and driver’s license counterfeiting, the heroin trade, counterfeit CDs, protection rackets, British and Pakistani-based cricket betting operations, extortion, hawala loans, Pakistani and Indian passport forgery, nuclear black marketing, murder-for-hire, and Moroccan hashish trafficking in a criminal network that stretches from Dubai and Sharjah to Lisbon, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Bangkok that employs thousands of people. It is estimated that Ibrahim controls a third of the tourism infrastructure in Kathmandu — hotels, guesthouses, casinos, restaurants, and travel agencies. In fact, the Kathmandu network of Ibrahim enabled many of the 1993 Mumbai serial bombing attackers to escape via Nepal back to Pakistan.”

Pearl’s killers, the attackers of Mumbai in 1993 and the attackers of the Parliament in 2001 all come from the same network of militants and underworld figures and their CIA/ISI handlers, just like today’s Mumbai attackers.  We are left to figure-out who has the most to gain from destabilizing India and Pakistan by provoking a military conflagration, or creating the impression that Pakistan might move its troops from the Frontier war against the fake “Taliban,” to a real war on its eastern front with India.  This one question tells us that the real master minds who have killed so many people in all of these false flag attacks have had very complex strategic geo-political intentions, definitely not just a “bunch of stirred-up Muslims.”

But we have the benefit of hindsight today and many years of exhaustive research into the CIA/al Qaida/drugs/criminals network that has killed thousands of people over the last eight years.  The leads that Pearl was killed for can no longer be silenced by assassins’ hands, there are just too many of us who understand the ugly truth today.

Pakistan and India have to step back from the brink of war and face the facts about the American hand in their troubles, specifically the official secret US policy of using rogue elements in national militaries and intelligence agencies, to hire criminals and terrorist mercenaries to stage “false flag” attacks, for the purpose of igniting inter-religious strife, in order to advance the imperialist agenda.  Stop denying to the world and to yourselves that your military and intelligence agencies are guiltless in these ongoing terror attacks; the CIA could not carry-out these precision attacks without assistance from your own rogue agencies.  Indian government agents have been charged for the same attacks which are still being blamed upon Pakistan’s rogue agents, agents in both governments are subverting them to America’s will.

The perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and the follow-up bomb blasts in Peshawar are the same people who have been staging terror attacks upon innocent Pakistanis with Predator drones.

There are lessons for all of us in the dual investigations of today’s attacks on Mumbai  and Pearl’s investigation of the people behind the 2001 attack on Parliament.  The main question is not about the terrorists themselves, or even about their trainers and sponsors; it is the question of the powerful actors who have ordered the training and state sponsorship of the mission.  Only a superpower can actually order other states to take actions that are hazardous to their people.  The mission of that lone superpower is to sow violence and to destabilize the nations in the region which has been targeted for assimilation.

Perhaps we can find insight today by studying the previous investigation that was being methodically conducted by Daniel Pearl.

On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village restaurant in Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped by an unknown militant group calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty.”

Gilani was later interviewed on CBS Sixty Minutes II, by Charlie Wilson’s War author George Crile, shortly after Pearl’s murder.  Sheik Gilani: CBS’ Man In Pakistan Tracks Him Down”, CBS News, 13 March 2002.

In that interview, Gilani told Crile:

“American Muslims are better off than any part of the world, there are more freedoms…and they will never do anything wrong against their country.”


That doesn’t sound like a militant jihadi, does it?

Who is Mubarak Gilani?

“El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Jilani is from Ahli-Bayt, a direct descendant of the Holy Last Messenger, Syedena Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). One of his forefathers, Hazrat Sheikh Syed Muhyuddin Abdul Qadir Jilani, (May Allah Shower His Mercies upon him) is acknowledged throughout the Islamic world as being the supreme saint of Islam. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani devoted his whole being to the worship and servitude of Allah, caring nothing for the empty pleasures of the worldly life. His efforts were rewarded by his attainment of spiritual stations unmatched by any other Wali (saint). He was endowed with the power to heal the sick, and manifested many other miraculous powers.”

In 1976, a group of Muslim psychiatrists at the Psychiatric Research Center of Shahar Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia, set out to scientifically prove Gilani’s gift of healing applying the spiritual teachings of the Holy Qur’an.

In his interview with Crile, Gilani conveyed these religious beliefs and related them to the present world crisis.  He blamed mankind’s crisis on invisible beings, the jinn, explaining that they are a greater danger to America than terrorism:

“Human beings can be made to do things against their will. They can be made to commit crimes. They can made to go and kill people. You know? And all your missiles, all your rockets, space ships go up. And electronics, they can be damaged, influenced, and misdirected through the agencies of jinn beings.”


Even though the belief in “jinn” is rejected by most people in the West, a growing segment of society does believe that America and the world are negatively influenced, perhaps even dominated by an unseen hand which leads us “sheeple” to our eventual slavery.

In another video, Gilani’s views are examined in a report by WTBS-TV of Atlanta:



“They are the Illuminati.

It’s a Jewish world order…they are enslaving the world… They worship Satan.    They have Satan as their god.

They are involved in sexual perversion and other activities.

All these things are being done by the Jewish world order.

Muslims and Christians must join hands together.”

Finally, here is the reporter’s summation of Gilani’s words:

“Zionists use terror to pit one enemy against another that they fear Muslims and Christians joining hands.  The world order is located in a Bohemian Grove.  The Illuminate call themselves Jews but they are not Jews that they don’t follow the Torah.”

Gilani is correct in his assessment that real “Jews” follow the Torah, not the Talmud.  His criticism pertains to the Zionist Talmudists who are behind the war on terror and the New World Order, a common belief in the students of the secret history of the world.

Except for conspiracy theorists, the Gilani lead, like everything else about the war on terror is a dead end, ending at the doors of the CIA.  This is the answer to Mumbai and all the questions about why we are heading for certain destruction in the immediate future.

What are we going to do about it?

peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

IAF fighters and naval ships on standby

IAF fighters and naval ships on standby


First Published : 10 Dec 2008 03:55:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 10 Dec 2008 12:35:29 PM IST

KOCHI: India has deployed naval ships and put fighters on standby across the country as it waits for definitive Pakistani action to bring the terror brains to book.Top sources told to this website’s newspaper that the Indian Air Force had fully armed its strike fighters as well as interceptor combat aircraft. The fighters are in scrambleready mode with pilots on standby in operation rooms. The state of readiness, referred to as Passive Air Defence in operational jargon, is the highest that the force has seen since Operation Parakram. The next phase — and the penultimate before a strike is ordered — will be the Active Air Defence.While all squadrons along the western border are maintaining a high alert, Air Force assets in Bangalore and Chennai have also been put in flight-ready mode.“The fighters are fully armed with various types of attack missiles. The southern stations will play an interceptive role in case of any intrusion from the Pakistani side,” sources said.The Air Force is not allowing its personnel to avail leave. Leave granted to personnel handling crucial operations has been cancelled. Top sources also told Express that several batteries of surfaceto- air missiles have been moved to forward areas from the Gwalior base.“They are not offensive weapons. The deployment is part of a standard drill aimed at insulating air stations that are in operational readiness,” sources said.In a related development, the Indian Navy has deployed 18 ships capable of playing combat roles in the western theatre.Though the deployment is under the guise of a stricter scrutiny of vessel movement, sources said the strength is far greater than that needed for such an operation. “Eighteen ships in an area can be effectively used to slap a sea-denial on Pakistan in case of any escalation of the situation. During the height of the Kargil war, the Navy adopted the same strategy to transmit a clear message. It is a repeat, minus the Army movement, of operation Parakram,” sources said.Operation Parakram, launched immediately after the Parliament attack, saw massive troop mobilisation from all over the country on the western border. The tension prevailed for a couple of months before it fizzled out due to American pressure. But this time there is not much mobilisation of ground forces as the bid is to project power through sophisticated weaponry like BrahMos rather than rev up battalions along the border.

And now for a world government

And now for a world government

By Gideon Rachman

Published: December 8 2008 19:13 | Last updated: December 8 2008 19:13

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James Ferguson

I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.

A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.

So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might.

First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.

Second, it could be done. The transport and communications revolutions have shrunk the world so that, as Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, has written: “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr Blainey foresees an attempt to form a world government at some point in the next two centuries, which is an unusually long time horizon for the average newspaper column.

But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.

Barack Obama, America’s president-in-waiting, does not share the Bush administration’s disdain for international agreements and treaties. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he argued that: “When the world’s sole superpower willingly restrains its power and abides by internationally agreed-upon standards of conduct, it sends a message that these are rules worth following.” The importance that Mr Obama attaches to the UN is shown by the fact that he has appointed Susan Rice, one of his closest aides, as America’s ambassador to the UN, and given her a seat in the cabinet.

A taste of the ideas doing the rounds in Obama circles is offered by a recent report from the Managing Global Insecurity project, whose small US advisory group includes John Podesta, the man heading Mr Obama’s transition team and Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution, from which Ms Rice has just emerged.

The MGI report argues for the creation of a UN high commissioner for counter-terrorist activity, a legally binding climate-change agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN and the creation of a 50,000-strong UN peacekeeping force. Once countries had pledged troops to this reserve army, the UN would have first call upon them.

These are the kind of ideas that get people reaching for their rifles in America’s talk-radio heartland. Aware of the political sensitivity of its ideas, the MGI report opts for soothing language. It emphasises the need for American leadership and uses the term, “responsible sovereignty” – when calling for international co-operation – rather than the more radical-sounding phrase favoured in Europe, “shared sovereignty”. It also talks about “global governance” rather than world government.

But some European thinkers think that they recognise what is going on. Jacques Attali, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, argues that: “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government.” As far as he is concerned, some form of global government cannot come too soon. Mr Attali believes that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law”.

So, it seems, everything is in place. For the first time since homo sapiens began to doodle on cave walls, there is an argument, an opportunity and a means to make serious steps towards a world government.

But let us not get carried away. While it seems feasible that some sort of world government might emerge over the next century, any push for “global governance” in the here and now will be a painful, slow process.

There are good and bad reasons for this. The bad reason is a lack of will and determination on the part of national, political leaders who – while they might like to talk about “a planet in peril” – are ultimately still much more focused on their next election, at home.

But this “problem” also hints at a more welcome reason why making progress on global governance will be slow sledding. Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.

The world’s most pressing political problems may indeed be international in nature, but the average citizen’s political identity remains stubbornly local. Until somebody cracks this problem, that plan for world government may have to stay locked away in a safe at the UN.

gideon.rachman@ft.com