BRITAIN MUST ACT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
“When Azeem Ahmed Tariq Chainman of the MQM was killed in his house, it was allegedly ‘Syed Mustafa Kamal current ‘mayor’ Nazim of Karachi who opened the door for the killers’. Azeem Ahemd Tariq use to call him ‘nephew”.
MQM gangster Hajji Jalal murdered on the road in broad day light while Altaf Hussain is in full control of Karachi? Hajji Jalal was in the inner circle of the self exiled British Citizen and London based leader of MQM Altaf Hussain. He was one of the criminals wanted in connection with the torture and kidnapping of Pakistan Army Major Kaleem and his companions. He was killed with his two sons in suspicious circumstances and we did not see much of Altaf Hussain usual enthusiasm and performance asking for the arrest of the killers. Why no one from MQM higher command in Karachi attended his funeral and his wife allegedly blaming Altaf Hussain for the killing? He was a man with many secrets? Who ordered and benefited from his elimination?
According to news reports published on 9th July 2009, “Hajji Jalal senior member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), two of his sons and a passer-by were shot dead on 8th July 2009, within the limits of Landhi police station. The deceased include MQM leader Hajji Jalal, 60s, his sons Usman Jalal, Abdullah Jalal and a passer-by Adnan Sohail, while the injured were Ahad and Raja who were admitted with critical injuries. Jalal was elected a counsellor of Landhi 4 in 1987, and was a renowned leader of the MQM. Jalal had been detained in Central Jail Karachi for several years in the case of Major Kaleem”.
He was close ally of the self exiled leader now British asset Altaf Hussain? Then who killed him? Why MQM did not protest as they normally do and no senior leader attended his funeral? He died with lots of secrets with him? Was it an inside job? A source said that when Azeem Ahmed Tariq Chainman of the MQM was killed in his house, it was allegedly ‘Syed Mustafa Kamal current ‘mayor’ Nazim of Karachi who opened the door for the killers’. Azeem Ahemd Tariq use to call him ‘nephew’. Well there are many mafia style skeletons in the MQM’s closet.
MQM terrorists and criminals who were charged and convicted in Major Kaleem case were Altaf Hussain, Saleem Shahzad, Dr Imran Farooq with Rs 50 Laks head money, Aftab Ahmed, Ashfaq Chief, Javed Kazmi and Hajji Jalal, are reportedly in London and frequently appear on TV screens in the meetings of inner circle of Altaf Hussain. The rest are Yousuf, Nadeem Ayubi, Ayub Shah, Ismail alias Sitara is town nazim in Karachi, Ashraf Zaidi in USA, Sajid Azad, Asghar Chacha Rehan Zaidi and Safdar Baqri.
On 5th February 1998 Advocate-General Shaukat Zubedi asked for a RE-TRIAL before a competent court, but the court didn’t agree with his contention and acquitted the appellants. Sind High Court acquitted them because the prosecution seemingly did not peruse the matter. Well if prosecution don’t persue the case under ‘political pressures’, defence is going to win but that does not mean justice has been done.
The incident happened on June 20, 1991 and the FIR of the incident was lodged on June 24. The accused in the case had been charged with kidnapping the army officers and torturing them. Trial before STA Court No. 3, began before judge Ghazanfar Ali Shah in March 1993 and the judgment was delivered on June 9, 1994 when Altaf Hussain was in London and not in Pakistan.
Major Kaleem and three other Pakistan Army officers were patrolling the Landhi area in civilian clothes in an army jeep when about 20-armed terrorists took them hostage after seizing their weapons. The army men were taken to a place called White House in Landhi a torture cell where they were allegedly tortured and kept for seven hours. They were rescued when the police reached the place.
It was Altaf Hussain and MQM who issued a memo to his workers saying,” if there was war between Indian and Pakistan, MQM workers will be remain neutral”. Why Altaf Hussain did issue such treacherous instructions? Whose side is he on? He has already chosen to be a British Citizen.
A senior analyst said, “Altaf Hussian of MQM is becoming a headache for the British Government. His so-called International Secretariat in London is centre of criminal activities. Police would be interested to know who is funding this secretariat and are there any mafia links? Altaf and his cronies allegedly own quite a few properties in London worth millions. Well then what is Serious Fraud Office in Scotland Yard doing about it as it was reported in a London weekly newspaper? Well for Serious Fraud Office properties are allegedly worth Millions and there is no reason for SFO not to investigate if they are not doing already?” A senior British parliamentarian said to me, “I am living here for many decades and I cannot afford these kinds of properties”.
Some one said, ‘in an ideal situation if British Government treat MQM and its leader by law without protecting with legal loopholes, like every one else and not as an ‘asset’, the whole so called Mafia den would be closed down in minutes? Surely security services and GCHQ have records of all the coded communications, speeches?
It seems Altaf Hussain soon will be questioned in local police station under caution for inciting hatred, racism, money laundering, and financial corruption. His passport may be confiscated and travel restrictions might be imposed.
Can someone like (Altaf Hussain) be tried under Race Hate crimes in Britain, (keeping in view his inflammatory speeches), I asked senior British lawyer Amjad Malik?
He said, “I must say that if some one in Britain used his oratory in a negative way and target his audience to create hatred against any other class in that society which results in violent activities against those group or community and/or results in killings and entails acts committed at any time as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population with knowledge of the attacker including offences such as murder, blackmailing, targeted killing in revenge and to create terror, torture, rape, severe deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearance of persons, damage to property or Genocide, Terrorist activities, or organised crimes to advance political aims, or he incites racial and religious hatred by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour the answer is yes, that person may be investigated and later charged under section 18 of Public Order Act 1986 and further for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or displays any writing , sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting under section 4(a) Public Order Act 1986.In my opinion those oratory intimidation and criminal behaviour will be considered racially aggravated offences if racially motivated under section 28(1)a of Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which confirms ‘that at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrates towards the victim of the offence hostility based on the victims membership or (presumed membership) of a racial group; or b) the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards members of a racial group based on their membership of that group’.
Incitement for racial hatred is similar to incitement of race and religious hatred which we see under section 29-a and b) of Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. I will give example the case of Abu Hamza here as an example as in similar situation one can be investigated by UK police under Police and Criminal Evidence Act and may be asked to attend an interview under caution to see if there is a satisfactory response to the allegations of incitement to racial hatred and as a result of that investigation may be charged by the State if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute and one can be tried in UK under existing national laws, and if one is foreign national and/or naturalised, he can be stripped off his nationality and may be extradited to the State where he originally belongs and where those crimes actually take effect subject to some conditions and human rights provisions. In all circumstances Britain will offer a fair trial to the accused”.
There is a possibility that Altaf Hussain and his gang might be extradited to Pakistan under Interpol ‘Red Warrant’ after the nullification of National Reconciliation Ordinance which some people called ‘National Robbers Ordinance’.
Altaf Hussain should be sacked from the leadership, brought to justice and MQM must elect a new local Pakistan based leader if they are a political party and not a mafia. MQM need to be ‘disarmed’ as soon as possible to save more innocent lives in Karachi and in London. Many people in Karachi have grievances against Altaf Hussain’s gang for killings of their relatives. He should be brought to justice before some one brought ‘gang war on the streets of London’.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is award winning journalist and writer on foreign policy & security based in London)
Israel has admitted pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families – a practice it said ended in the 1990s – it emerged at the weekend.
The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic”.
The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. Iran’s state-run Press TV tonight reported the story, illustrated with photographs of dead or badly injured Palestinians.
Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP, said the report incriminated the Israeli army.
The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between Israel and Sweden over a report in the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet.
Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.
The Israeli military confirmed to the programme that the practice took place, but added: “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.”
Hiss said: “We started to harvest corneas … whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family.”
However, there was no evidence that Israel had killed Palestinians to take their organs, as the Swedish paper reported. Aftonbladet quoted Palestinians as saying young men from the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been seized by the Israeli forces and their bodies returned to their families with missing organs. The interview with Hiss was released by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley who had conducted a study of Abu Kabir.
She was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that while Palestinians were “by a long shot” not the only ones affected, she felt the interview must be made public, because “the symbolism, you know, of taking skin of the population considered to be the enemy, [is] something, just in terms of its symbolic weight, that has to be reconsidered.”
Israel demanded that Sweden condemn the Aftonbladet article, calling it an antisemitic “blood libel”. Stockholm refused, saying that to so would violate freedom of speech in the country. The foreign minister then cancelled a visit to Israel, just as Sweden was taking over the EU’s rotating presidency.
Hiss was removed from his post in 2004, when some details about organ harvesting were first reported, but he still works at the forensic institute.
Israel’s health ministry said all harvesting was now done with permission. “The guidelines at that time were not clear,” it said in a statement to Channel 2. “For the last 10 years, Abu Kabir has been working according to ethics and Jewish law.”
• This article was amended on 21 December 2009. The headline was changed as it did not reflect accurately the contents of the story. Nancy Scheper-Hughes’s name was misspelled as Nancy Sheppard-Hughes in the original text.
Many countries carry out false flag operations.
The Dutch secret service, BVD, carried out a false flag operation when it set up the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Netherlands, a fake communist party.
This party was used to trick people into handing over intelligence. (Marxist-Leninist Party of the Netherlands )
According to former UK foreign Secretary Robin Cook, Al-Qaidawas the computer file of people recruited and trained with help from the CIA. (Cached).
Al Qaeda is therefore, reportedly, part of a false flag operation.
Reportedly, Israelis have a long history of carrying out false flag operations
1. The Zambian bridge plot. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
According to The Washington Post, 9 November 1966, Jay Aubrey Elliott and Rolf Dunbier, plotted to blow up the Kafue River bridge in Zambia. They were arrested in new York.
This bridge was vital to Zambia’s Copperbelt.
Violet Elliott (Elliott’s wife), Efraim Ronen, Benjamin Edoui, Yitzhak Markovitch, and Raphael Tseriano were arrested in Israel.
The plotters wanted to blow up the Zambian bridge in order to drive up the world’s copper price and make a huge profit.
Jay Elliott had visited Israel to recruit explosive experts.
2. John Gunther Dean (John Gunther Dienstfertig )
Reportedly, Israel would like to take over Southern Lebanon, in order to get its water supplies.
In 1982, in Beirut, agents attempted to assassinate the US ambassador, John Gunther Dean.
Dean’s parents were both Jewish, but Dean was opposed to Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
The idea of the attack was to make it look as if the Lebanese were to blame.
The attack involved a light tank shell, which bounced off the ambassador’s car.
Reportedly, the Lebanese intelligence found the shell casing and traced it to Israel. ( Source)
“Dean apparently mused to himself on the irony of an American ambassador being subjected to an Israeli assassination attempt with American weapons supplied to Israel for defense.” - (Cached)
Fotograph of Cairo: Martin Steiger
3. US Library in Cairo
In 1954, Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon organized a terrorist attack on the U.S. Information Service library in Cairo.
The idea was to give the USA an excuse for its policy of trying to undermine the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
4. US Embassy in Amman
In November 1968, King Hussein of Jordan reportedly discovered that Israel was behind the Kateb al Nasr commando group that attacked the U.S. embassy in Amman with the deaths of 29 civilians and security personnel.
The idea was to turn Americans against Jordanians and other Arabs. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
5. French Police
Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (Carlos the Jackal) claims that Mossad killed two French police agents and a Lebanese informant in 1975.
Carlos said Mossad was trying to frame him for the murders. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
Berlin by Bleppo
6. BERLIN DISCO
A documentary broadcast by German public television presented compelling evidence that some of the main suspects in the 1986 Berlin disco bombing, the event that provided the pretext for a US air assault on Libya, worked for American and Israeli intelligence. (German TV exposes CIA, Mossad links to 1986 Berlin disco bombing)
According to the TV programme, at least one of the Berlin disco plotters, Musbah Eter, worked for the CIA over many years.
Some of the alleged plotters did not appear in court, reportedly because they are being protected by Western intelligence services.
At least one of those, Mohammed Amairi, is an agent of Mossad, the Israeli secret service.
In 1986, Libyan Information Minister Mohamed Sharafeddin said that Mossad agents were conducting terrorist attacks in western Europe against U.S. targets so that Libya would be blamed.
He said that Israel was hoping that the U.S. Sixth Fleet would strike Libya in retaliation. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
7. US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
It is suspected that the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which become the justification for US missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan, may have been the work of Mossad and the CIA. (Questions mount in Kenya, Tanzania bombings – US government …)
Reportedly Israeli agents conducted false flag operations in Jordan in 1997.
The Israeli agents were discovered to be using Canadian passports.
As a result, Canada withdrew its ambassador from Israel. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
Israeli agents, using Canadian passports, conducted false flag operations in Gaza in 2002.
In 1991, Mossad secretly armed and trained a group of Libyan guerrillas in Chad.
Mossad arranged for Saudi Arabia to finance the operation. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
Reportedly, in 1997, an Israeli agent, Yehuda Gil, produced false reports about the Syrian “threat.”
These were passed by Netanyahu to Washington. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
12. CIA document
Reportedly, a classified CIA document on the Mossad captured by Iranian militants who took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and later published in full, outlined Mossad’s activities around the world, including “false flag” tactics and the blackmailing of U.S. officials. (The little known “false flag” attack to make a killing on the market.)
Few young people express opposition to war
By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU
Korean War veteran Bill McCord of Carson City rallies for peace last month in front of the state’s Legislative Building. McCord, an 80-year-old retired Methodist minister, is among a group of about a dozen senior citizens who have been protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for three years, usually two hours each Monday.
Photo by Cathleen Allison/Special to the Las Vegas Review-Journal
CARSON CITY — Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night have prevented a group of four to 12 senior citizens from turning out every Monday afternoon in front of the Legislative Building to protest America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They might not have as good a record as the U.S. Postal Service — they have missed two Mondays when they decided against standing in deep snow — but they’re pretty close.
They have been protesting the wars for three years, usually two hours each Monday.
“We are here because the war is still on and we are opposed to it,” said Bill McCord, an 80-year-old retired Methodist minister. “We will be here until the war is over.”
McCord is a former Marine and combat veteran of the Korean War.
Fellow protester Jim Knister, 82, is a Navy veteran of World War II.
On one recent Monday afternoon they stood along busy Carson Street with Mary Ann Jennings, a retired state employee, and Knister’s wife, Jackie.
They held signs that read “Honor Warriors, Not War” and “Support Our Troops, End the War.”
Most passing motorists honked their horns, flashed the peace sign or waved in support. Once in a while, a driver would give them the one-finger salute.
They estimate that 75 percent of those who drive by support their cause.
“We aren’t naive,” Knister said. “Some people think we are crazy. I wish we were in a position to send 30,000 trained teachers to Afghanistan, not 30,000 more troops. Our problem is not the al-Qaida. It is ignorance and poverty.”
Their opposition to the war is based mainly on religious reasons. As much as they protest, they realize the U.S. military might be stuck in the Middle East for many more years.
Still they remain optimistic. The war will end, and the economy will improve.
“Yesterday after church somebody said it is getting worse,” McCord said. “Look at it in Jesus’ time? Slavery was accepted. What place in the world is slavery accepted today?”
Tim Tetz, executive director of the state Office of Veterans Services, knows McCord well, recognizes his right to protest, but supports the war on terrorism.
“Bill McCord is an absolutely sincere, decorated hero of the Korean War. It was what he experienced in Korea that made him choose his career as a pastor,” Tetz said.
He said there are groups, although not as visible, that support the troops in pro-war marches in the capital city.
“At the end of the day, we all served so we can give these folks the right to free speech and the ability to protest,” Tetz said.
Knister and McCord come from families where sons from each generation dating back to the Civil War served in the military.
Jennings’ children and grandchildren were veterans or National Guard members.
They do not oppose all wars. To them, World War II was a justified war. But the wars on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan are not.
“We go to war when we are attacked, directly attacked,” McCord said. “What happened at the World Trade Center was a terrorist act by Osama bin Laden. It was not attacking or creating a war against the United States. It was fulminating terrorism.”
Bin Laden should be captured, but his capture should be done through the Navy Seals and commandos, spies and intelligence, McCord said.
What you don’t see on Monday afternoons are young people, teenagers and those in their 20s.
McCord attributes that to the fact that the draft ended after Vietnam. Today there is an all-volunteer military service.
What disturbs him is the perceived mistreatment of the American military.
He has talked with a young man who served six tours in Iraq. Others have done tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
During Vietnam, soldiers served a year and went home. Too often the soldiers today are coming home with delayed-stress syndrome and receive inadequate medical help, McCord said. He sees them every Sunday in church.
The military presence in Afghanistan is not going to deter many farmers there from growing poppies or stop discrimination against women, Knister said. He is embarrassed that many of those poppies end up as heroin purchased by American drug addicts.
McCord is concerned about anti-Islam feelings spreading.
“I see Islam as a peaceful religion,” said McCord, a Methodist minister for 43 years and still a chaplain for the Sheriff’s Department and veterans groups in Carson City. “But you have fundamentalists in both Islam and Christianity. People read the Scriptures in ways to justify wars and killing people. I don’t.”
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at email@example.com or 775-687-3901.
[Is this the piece of paper that commissioned the creation of the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP)?]
June 28, 2005
1. The United States and India have entered a new era, We are transforming our relationship to reflect our common principles and shared national interests. As the world’s two largest democracies, the United States and India agree on the vital importance of political and economic freedom, democratic institutions, the rule of law, security, and opportunity around the world. The leaders of our two countries are building a U.S.-India strategic partnership in pursuit of these principles and interests.
2. Ten years ago, in. January 1995, the Agreed Minute on Defense Relations Between the United States and India was signed. Since then, changes in the international security environment have challenged our countries in ways unforeseen ten years ago. The U.S.-India defense relationship has advanced in a short time to unprecedented levels of cooperation unimaginable in 1995. Today, we agree on a new Framework that builds on past successes, seizes new opportunities, and charts a course for the U.S.-India defense relationship for the next ten years. This defense relationship will support, and will be an element of, the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership.
3. The U.S.-India defense relationship derives from a common belief in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and seeks to advance shared security interests. These interests include;
– maintaining security and stability;
– defeating terrorism and violent religious extremism;
– preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and associated materials, data, and technologies; and
– protecting the free flow of commerce via land, air and sea lanes.
4, In pursuit of this shared vision of an expanded and deeper U.S.-India strategic relationship, our defense establishments shall:
A, conduct joint and combined exercises and exchanges;
B. collaborate in multinational operations when it is in their common interest;
C. strengthen the. capabilities of our militaries to promote security and defeat terrorism;
D. expand interaction with other nations in ways that promote regional and global peace and stability;
E. enhance capabilities to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
F. in the context of our strategic relationship, expand two-way defense trade between our countries. The United States and India will work to conclude defense transactions, not solely as ends in and of themselves, but as a means to strengthen our countries’ security, reinforce our strategic partnership, achieve greater interaction between our armed forces, and build greater understanding between our defense establishments;
G. in the context of defense trade and a framework of technology security safeguards, increase opportunities for technology transfer, collaboration, co-production, and research and development;
H. expand collaboration relating to missile defense;
I. strengthen the abilities of our militaries to respond quickly to disaster situations, including in combined operations;
J. assist in building worldwide capacity to conduct successful peacekeeping operations, with a focus on enabling other countries to field trained, capable forces for these operations;
K. conduct exchanges on defense strategy and defense transformation;
L. increase exchanges of intelligence; and
M. continue strategic-level discussions by senior leadership from the U.S. Department of Defense and India’s- Ministry of Defence, in which the two sides exchange perspectives on international security issues of common interest, with the aim of increasing mutual understanding, promoting shared objectives, and developing common approaches.
5. The Defense Policy Group shall continue to serve as the primary mechanism to guide the U.S,-India strategic defense relationship. The Defense Policy Group will make appropriate adjustments to the structure and frequency of its meetings and of its subgroups, when agreed to by the Defense Policy Group co-chairs, to ensure that it . remains an effective mechanism to advance U.S.-India defense cooperation.
6. In recognition of the growing breadth and depth of the U.S.-India strategic defense relationship, we hereby establish the Defense Procurement and Production Group and institute a Joint Working Group for mid-year review of work overseen by the Defense Policy Group,
– The Defense Procurement and Production Group will oversee defense trade, as well as prospects for co-production and technology collaboration, broadening the scope of its predecessor subgroup the Security Cooperation Group.
– The Defense Joint Working Group will be subordinate to the Defense Policy Group and will meet at least once per year to perform a midyear review of work overseen by the Defense Policy Group and its subgroups (the Defense Procurement and Production Group, the Joint Technical Group, the Military Cooperation Group, and the Senior Technology Security Group), and to prepare issues for the annual meeting of the Defense Policy Group.
7. The Defense Policy Group and its subgroups will rely upon this Framework for guidance on the principles and objectives of the U.S.-India strategic relationship, and will strive to achieve those objectives.
Signed in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on June 28, 2005, in two copies in English, each being equally authentic.
Secretary of Defense Minister of Defence
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF FOR AND ON BEHALF OF
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA REPUBLIC OF INDIA
By Gwynne Dyer
March 5, 2006
Chances are you didn’t hear a single word about U.S.-Indian military links in the mainstream media’s reporting about Gorge Bush’s first visit to India last week. For months the media in both countries have been encouraged to speculate about whether a deal on U.S.-Indian cooperation on civilian nuclear power would be ready in time for the president’s visit, but that deal is just the quid pro quo. The actual “quo” was a de facto military alliance between India and the United States, but we don’t talk about that in front of the children.
“The largest democracy in the world and the oldest democracy in the world are becoming strategic partners, and that is a very consequential development in international politics,” said Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns on Feb. 24 after a visit to New Delhi. “Consequential” is the right word. The two countries that will have the world’s second-and third-largest economies a generation from now have made an alliance against the country that will have the biggest economy, China – but hardly anybody in the media seems to have noticed.
It’s not secret. The joint U.S.-Indian military training exercises of the past few years and the arms sales that are now eagerly awaited by the American defense industry are public knowledge (but only if you have been paying close attention). Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee went to Washington in person last June to sign the ten-year agreement on military cooperation and joint weapons production with the United States. It’s just that talking too loudly about all this would upset the Chinese, and it would upset some people in the United States, too. Not everybody in Washington welcomes the idea of a military alliance to “contain” China.
So let’s pretend our priorities are elsewhere, and send the press chasing off down the wrong path. Happily, there is a different issue that they can be persuaded to believe is important, because New Delhi’s defiant series of nuclear weapons tests in 1998, which were followed by a series of Pakistani nuclear tests, triggered not only U.S. sanctions against the two countries but broader sanctions by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.
Since then, India has faced serious obstacles in importing nuclear fuel and technology for its ambitious civil nuclear power program, because everybody suspected that the sensitive material would end up in India’s nuclear weapons program. This mattered less in practice than it did in theory, since India obviously had nukes already – but international acceptance of a nuclear-armed India is still seen as a prize worth having in New Delhi. So Washington had leverage.
After 9/11, the United States immediately offered to lift sanctions on Pakistan in return for General Pervez Musharraf’s cooperation in the “war on terror.” Logically, that meant that sanctions against India should be lifted too, but since Washington did not need India’s cooperation in the same urgent way – the terrorists who attack India are not the same as those who attack American targets – it could demand a political price from India for ending sanctions. The biggest part of that price was a military alliance with the United States.
It will never formally be called that, in deference to India’s old non-aligned tradition, but the neo-conservatives who run American foreign policy under Bush are determined to build a ring of alliances around China. With the aid of lavish promises about access to next generation American weapons systems, military co-production agreements, shared intelligence, joint exercises, and general American support for India’s aspirations as a great power, the deal was done – except that the United States could not keep its promise to provide India with nuclear fuel and technology unless it could satisfy the Nuclear Suppliers Group that they would not end up in weapons.
The 44 members of the group have promised not to supply such materials to any country that does not accept strict International Atomic Energy Agency controls and inspections. In view of the Bush administration’s current campaign against an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, it would not go down well with the IAEA, the American Congress, or the other members of the United Nations Security Council if the United States just started supplying nuclear materials to India. It needs some political cover.
All the negotiations of the past few months have been about finding some way of disentangling India’s peaceful nuclear power program from its military program, so that it can accept IAEA safeguards on the former and become eligible for U.S. supplies while keeping the latter free from intrusive foreign inspections. Since the two Indian programs have been thoroughly entangled for the past thirty years, that is taking a lot of time – and this is the problem that journalists covering Bush’s visit have been encouraged to focus on. It distracts attention from the military aspects of the relationship, and it creates the impression that both sides are behaving responsibly.
They are not. They are building an alliance that is bound to alarm the Chinese, who cannot fail to see it as directed against them. There is absolutely no evidence for aggressive Chinese intentions toward India or anywhere in South Asia, but Washington and New Delhi are laying the foundations for a new Cold War in Asia.
[All sorts of bad things get started in Chicago, not just the Obama curse.]
(December 21, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) In protecting its national interests and national security, India is perceived as a soft state not only by large sections of its population, but also by intelligence and security professionals in many countries of the world. Many Governmental and non-Governmental professionals in different countries of the world strongly believe that India has not been able to deal effectively with the problem of terrorism of foreign origin because of the lack of security consciousness in large sections of our administration and political class and the permissive nature of our administration. Terrorists such as David Coleman Headley, mafia leaders such as Dawood Ibrahim and intelligence agencies such as Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are aware of this and take full advantage of it.
During the investigation into the Mumbai blasts of March,1993, orchestrated by the ISI with the help of Dawood Ibrahim, it came to notice through intercepted telephone conversations that the members of Dawood’s gang used to get logistics help for their stay during their visits to Delhi through the Personal Assistant to a senior member of the Cabinet of Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister. This PA had helped an associate of Dawood stay in the New Delhi guest house of a public sector corporation.
Another glaring example of the way we function in national security related matters relates to the air dropping of arms and ammunition to some extremists or terrorists by an aircraft piloted by a British pilot in December,1995, in the Purulia area. The moment this pilot was approached by the unidentified extremists for his help in the air drop, he immediately informed the British Defence Ministry through the headquarters of the Royal Air Force. After consulting the Indian authorities, the British asked the pilot to keep passing on information about the air drop to enable the Indian authorities to lay a trap. He reportedly did, but the Indian authorities botched up the operation so badly that the air drop could not be prevented. The extremists managed to collect the air-dropped arms and ammunition and disappear. Till today, we have not been able to identify them though the crew of the aircraft were arrested and prosecuted.
The Headley case is yet another glaring example of the permissive nature of our Administration. It will only confirm the already widely prevalent impression in the professional world that India is a soft state. The massacre of 166 persons— 141 of them Indian citizens— by the 10 terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) between 26 and 29 November of 2008 was the culmination of a conspiracy, which had two places of origin—- the Pakistan end from where the actual executioners were selected, trained and launched and the Chicago end from where the collection of all pre-attack information which made the terrorist attack possible was orchestrated by Headley, an American citizen of Pakistani origin, who used to live and work in Philadelphia as a Muslim under his original name of Daood Gilani and shifted to Chicago and started living there under the changed Christian-sounding name of David Coleman Headley.He shifted from Philadelphia to Chicago in February,2006, after getting his name changed before a Philadelphia court and applied in the Indian Consulate in Chicago for a visa on June 30,2006.
When a person changes his name and applies for a new passport, his new passport is supposed to carry an endorsement to the effect that “this person previously travelled under the name with the passport No “. If the Indian Consulate-General in Chicago had carefully scrutinised his passport and his visa application as they were supposed to under the rules, they might have noticed the following things: Firstly, he had changed his residence from Philadelphia to Chicago just before applying for an Indian visa. Secondly, he had changed his name and obtained a new passport just before applying for an Indian visa. Thirdly, his father was a Muslim with a Muslim-sounding name even though the visa applicant himself had a Christian-sounding name.
This should have immediately resulted in a personal interview with the applicant in order to question him on these points. We know how many of the applicants for foreign visas before missions in India are called for a personal interview and grilled because of suspicious circumstances coming to notice during the scrutiny of their passports.
Anyone who changes his name in order to obtain a new passport is immediately viewed as a suspect by the consular and immigration authorities of all countries of the world. Hard States , which give no quarters to terrorist suspects, have two specific columns in their papers which are to be filled by the applicants: Question No.1: Have you ever travelled by another passport? If so, give particulars. Question No.2: Have you ever travelled under a different name? If so, give particulars. The moment the answers to these questions create any suspicion he has to face an interview.
It is immaterial whether Headley is a Pakistani citizen or an American citizen born in Pakistan or an American citizen born in the US. The most incriminating evidence at the very starting point of this conspiracy is the fact that he changed his name in order to conceal his Muslim background. This could have been found out only in Chicago, the starting point of his journey, and not in India after his arrival.
Even if he is an American citizen born in the US that should not prevent us from questioning him. We saw the way Shah Rukh Khan, the film actor, was questioned for nearly an hour by the US immigration. The fact that he is an honoured Indian citizen and that the US has close relations with India did not inhibit them from questioning him.
All applicants for visas—tourist or business— are required to submit certain documentation along with their passport. These include a to and fro air ticket, particulars of the cities he intended visiting and the places where he will be staying and a letter of sponsorship from someone in India knowing him—whether he be a friend or a relative or a corporate house. Without this documentation, no visa can be given unless the applicant is personally known to the Consul-General and he is in a position to vouch for his reliability.
The scrutiny of the additional documentation is more strict when the applicant applies for a business visa.
The Chicago end of the conspiracy, which led to the massacre of 166 persons by the terrorists, started on the day Headley walked into the Consulate-General with a changed name to conceal his Muslim identity and a new passport with which he had not travelled anywhere before and applied for a business visa. All the papers relating to his visa become important material evidence to reconstruct this conspiracy. The moment the FBI informed the Government of India about the arrest of Headley and his travels in October the MEA should have asked the Consulate-General to put all his papers in a sealed cover and send them to Delhi for scrutiny by the investigating agency. It is surprising this was not done for nearly two months.
We are now given an unconvincing story about the difficulties of retrieving applications from the archives of Indian missions abroad. I had worked as a visa officer abroad for eight years. It should not take more than a few minutes to take out the papers and send them to Delhi. You take out the visa register, find out the number under which the visa was issued to him and take out the application and other papers with the help of that number.
Apart from investigating the circumstances under which the visa application of Headley was processed, the relatives of those killed by the terrorists should consider suing the MEA for acts of alleged negligence which enabled Headley to come to India and set in motion the conspiracy. It was reported that after the 1988 Lockerbie tragedy, in which a Pan-Am aircraft was blown up by the terrorists over Europe, relatives of some of those killed sued the State Department for perceived acts of omission and commission, which resulted in the deaths of their relatives. This had a salutary effect.
It is time for us to have such victim activism in India.
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Published Date: December 21, 2009
By Sue Pleming
With Islamabad resisting US pressure to crack down on militants, Washington is in a quandary as it seeks to balance military goals in the region without causing trouble for Pakistan’s pro-American president. Pakistan’s efforts to oust the Afghan Taleban in its northwestern border areas are critical to US attempts to roll back the Taleban campaign in neighboring Afghanistan where Washington is sending in 30,000 additional troops.
But in recent meetings with US officials, diplomats say Pakistan’s military and political leaders have pushed back against US pressure, saying they cannot move too fast without provoking a backlash against President Asif Ali Zardari. “Pakistan is willing to work with the United States but there is a need to understand and to not press Pakistan to a level where it could destabilize the region further due to lack of popular support,” said Imran Gardezi, the press minister at Pakistan’s embassy in Washington.
This can’t be done in a hurry. There is no quick fix or short-term solution,” Gardezi added.
Underlining tensions with Islamabad over the pace of its military actions, Vice President Joe Biden said this week Pakistan had a “long way to go,” particularly when it came to dismantling a militant network led by veteran militant commander Jalaluddin Haqqani. “Are they doing enough? No,” Biden told MSNBC in an interview on Tuesday, adding that Washington wanted Pakistan to “move on our mutual interest, which includes the Haqqani network and includes the Taleban in Pakistan. But this is a hell of a proces
In a letter delivered by his national security adviser last month to Zardari, President Barack Obama made clear Washington had other options if Pakistan did not cooperate in fighting Afghan Taleban factions seeking refuge in the border areas. These options include increased pilotless drone attacks, which are very unpopular with the Pakistani public, as well as so-called hot pursuit exercises in which US forces could track extremists who crossed over into Pakistan.
Zardari responded to Obama’s letter, promising Pakistan’s help but also making clear his country’s own security concerns must be met and Washington must offer more military assistance and equipment, said one source with knowledge of the response. “There is a disconnect on where American and Pakistani authorities are right now,” said former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, now with the Brookings Institution, a Washington thinktank.
Riedel said the administration was aware its options could affect Zardari and was also weighing Pakistan’s logistical importance as Washington increases its troops in Afghanistan. “I think what (military officials) Petraeus and Mullen are trying to do is just keep pushing the Pakistanis in the right direction without overplaying their hand. But it is tricky,” added Riedel, who led a review in March of the Obama administration’s strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Pakistan on Wednesday, following a trip earlier in the week by General David Petraeus, the head of US forces in the region, who reiterated Obama’s call for more action. In public, most US officials are cautious about criticizing Pakistan, and Special Representative Richard Holbrooke tiptoed around the issue when asked whether Islamabad was doing enough to tackle Afghan Taleban factions.
Is it enough? Well, obviously we want them to do as much as they will do, but I am not going to sit here and demand of a sovereign country what they have to do,” said Holbrooke. “They know what they should do in terms of their own interest and ours,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations.
Holbrooke said he understood Pakistan’s concerns that additional US troops being sent to Afghanistan would likely push over more militants into the southwestern region of Pakistan, as it did in the US campaign in 2001 and 2002. “While it is far from perfect – it’s very complicated because there’s so many moving parts – we have really moved the ball forward here in terms of close coordination (with Pakistan),” said Holbrooke. – Reuters
A somewhat amateurish attempt to clandestinely transport a large consignment of weapons from North Korea to an as yet unknown destination has ended in the consignment, the aircraft transporting it and its crew falling into the hands of security officials from the US and Thailand, who are presently interrogating the crew and examining the consignment and its documentation.
2. The aircraft, which was transporting the consignment, has been identified as an Ilyushin 76 of a dubious background whose operators figured on the black-list of many countries either because of their poor safety standards or because of the suspicion that they were involved in gun-running. The aircraft had a crew of five of whom four were reportedly from Kazakhstan and the fifth was from Belarus.
3.The “Wall Street Journal” has quoted the AeroTransport Data Bank, an Internet service that tracks aircraft, as saying that the plane had recently been seen at airports in Podgorica, Montenegro, and Bujumbura, Burundi. According to the same paper, Russia’s Interfax News Agency has cited a senior transport ministry official in Khazakstan, Radilbek Adimolda, as saying at a news conference that the detained Ilyushin-76 was previously owned by a Kazakh airline, East Wing. The plane was acquired in October by Air West Georgia. The WSJ also says that the East Wing is on the European Union’s blacklist of airlines prohibited from flying in the EU because they violate global air-safety rules. According to AeroTransport Data Bank, East Wing is the successor to another Kazakh airline, GST Aero Co., which also is on the EU blacklist. The WSJ has reported that investigators at Amnesty International and other advocacy organizations have linked GST to international arms trafficking. Mr. Adimolda said the four Kazakh members of the crew were listed among East Wing’s staff, but were on unpaid leave.
4.The aircraft, without any consignment on board, came to Bangkok from the United Arab Emirates on December 9. It was reportedly allowed by the Thai authorities to refuel at the Don Mueang airport in Bangkok. After refueling, it took off for Pyongyang. When it returned to Don Mueang from Pyongyang with the consignment on December 12 the Thai authorities arrested the crew and took the plane in their custody for examination of its consignment.
5. It has been reported that both during the onward and return journey the aircraft was allowed to land in a Thai military airport for refueling. This is surprising and indicates that US intelligence officials were probably already in touch with the crew before the aircraft left the UAE for Pyongyang and facilitated its refueling at the airport in Bangkok in order to lay a trap for capturing the arms consignment during the return journey. If the crew had not been co-operating with the Americans, they would have got suspicious by the ease with which they were able to get the aircraft refueled during the onward journey and avoided re-touching Bangkokduring the return journey.
6. According to media reports in Thailand and South Korea, the plane was carrying about 35 tons of arms and ammunition, including surface-to-air missile parts. Though the crew have reportedly been saying that they were under the impression that the consignment consisted of oil drilling equipment and that they were not aware that it contained weapons, this is not believable. The Americans, who are closely involved in the investigation and the interrogation of the crew, must be able to find out who had ordered the consignment. The needle of suspicion points to Pakistan or Iran.
7. If it was Iran, by now, the US would have gone to town with their allegations against Teheran. The fact that they have not yet done so indicates that they are not yet certain on this. Pakistan has been clandestinely purchasing missiles and missile parts from North Korea and has been using its own aircraft as well as hired planes to transport them.
8. It is an important success for the US in its efforts to stop gun-running by North Korea, but it is unlikely to have any deterrent effect on North Korea. It will continue to look for opportunities for gun-running in order to earn foreign exchange.
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:email@example.com )
[In the middle of the night the Communists Democrats decided how your money will be spent, how employers would have to pay, how much some of you will be fined. And all that concerned the Fascists Republicans was whether taxpayer money would be used for abortions. This is the state of democracy totalitarianism in America today. Once this thing hits the pocketbooks of America there will be no need for us to worry any longer how to mobilize public opinion against the Empire, because this thing will shut the country down and pour protesters into the streets. We thought mistakenly that the New Order would be brought-in at gunpoint, but considering what has been done in the middle of the night in Washington, and before that in Copenhagen (once again in the middle of the night), we see that the dictatorship is to be ushered-in with the flourish of an ink pen. Fucking Communists!]
- Key vote on health bill early Monday splits along party lines
- Many political observers believe Monday’s outcome bodes well for final passage
- The U.S. House has already passed its version of the health care bill
- Republicans rip the majority for passing the measure in the middle of the night
Washington (CNN) — Democrats won a major victory in their push for health care reform early Monday morning as the Senate voted to end debate on a package of controversial revisions to a sweeping $871 billion bill.
The 60 to 40 party-line vote, cast shortly after 1 a.m., kept Senate Democrats on track to pass the bill on Christmas Eve. If it passes, the measure will then have to be merged with a roughly $1 trillion plan passed by House of Representatives in November. The Senate went into recess until noon Monday shortly after the vote.
The vote left President Obama on the cusp of claiming victory on his top domestic priority and enacting the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid over four decades ago.
“Today, the Senate took another historic step toward our goal of delivering access to quality, affordable health care to all Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said in a statement.
The bill will help “promote choice and competition to drive down skyrocketing health care costs for families … all across America.”
The vote was the first of three this week requiring Democrats to win the backing of 60 members — enough to break a GOP filibuster. Final passage of the measure, in the contrast, will require a bare majority in the 100-member chamber.
Many political observers believe Monday’s outcome indicates a likely Democratic win on the remaining procedural hurdles and the final vote.
“The die is cast. It’s done,” New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer proclaimed after the vote.
Republicans ripped the majority for passing the measure in the middle of the night and accused Democrats of ramming the bill through despite growing public opposition.
“Make no mistake: If the people who wrote this bill were proud of it, they wouldn’t be forcing this vote in the dead of night,” argued Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
“Mark my words: this legislation will reshape our nation. And Americans have already issued their verdict. They don’t want it. They don’t like this bill, and they don’t like lawmakers playing games with their health care to secure the votes they need to pass it.”
The unusual timing of the vote was a consequence of Senate rules, Democrats’ determination to pass the bill before adjourning for the holidays, and the GOP’s willingness to use every possible legislative tactic to slow the bill’s progress.
Unanimous Republican opposition has forced Reid to win the support of all 60 members of his traditionally fractious Democratic caucus. Compromises made to win the backing of more conservative members, such as Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, have enraged many liberal Democrats and threatened to undermine support for the bill.
Liberal Democrats are particularly upset with Reid’s decision to abandon a government-run public health insurance option and an expansion of Medicare to Americans as young as age 55 — ideas strongly opposed by Lieberman and other centrists.
Top Democrats, however, argue that the Senate bill as written would still constitute a positive change of historic proportions. The legislation, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would extent health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans while reducing the federal deficit by $132 billion over the next decade.
The deficit would drop by another $1.3 trillion between the years 2019 and 2029.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have now reached agreement on a broad range of changes that could effect every American’s coverage.
Among other things, they have agreed to subsidize insurance for a family of four making up to roughly $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
They have also agreed to create health insurance exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses, the self-employed and the unemployed to pool resources and purchase less expensive coverage. Both the House plan the Senate bill would eventually limit total out-of-pocket expenses and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Insurers would also be barred from charging higher premiums based on a person’s gender or medical history.
Medicaid would be significantly expanded under both proposals. The House bill would extend coverage to individuals earning up to 150 percent of the poverty line, or roughly $33,000 for a family of four; the Senate plan ensures coverage to those earning up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or just over $29,000 for a family of four.
There are, however, major differences between the Senate measure and the more expansive — and hence expensive — House bill.
One of the biggest divides is over how to pay for the plans. The House package is financed through a combination of a tax surcharge on wealthy Americans and new Medicare spending reductions.
Specifically, individuals with annual incomes over $500,000 — as well as families earning more than $1 million — would face a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge.
The Senate bill also cuts Medicare by roughly $500 billion. It does not include a tax surcharge on the wealthy, however. It would instead impose a 40 percent tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans valued at more than $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families.
Proponents of the tax on high-end plans argue it’s one of the most effective ways to curb medical inflation. House Democrats are adamantly opposed to taxing such policies, arguing that such a move would hurt union members who traded higher salaries for more generous benefits.
The Senate bill would also hike Medicare payroll taxes on families making over $250,000; the House bill does not.
Another key sticking point: the dispute over a public option. The House plan includes a public option; the more conservative Senate plan would instead create new nonprofit private plans overseen by the federal government.
Individuals under both plans would be required to purchase coverage, but the House bill includes more stringent penalties for most of those who fail to comply. The House bill would impose a fine of up to 2.5 percent of an individual’s income. The Senate plan would require individuals to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine of up to $750 or 2 percent of his or her income — whichever is greater.
Both versions include a hardship exemption for poorer Americans.
Employers face a much stricter mandate under the House legislation, which would require companies with a payroll of more than $500,000 to provide insurance or pay a penalty of up to 8 percent of their payroll.
The Senate bill would require companies with more than 50 employees to pay a fee of up to $750 per worker if any of its employees relies on government subsidies to purchase coverage.
Abortion has also been a sticking point for both chambers. A late compromise with Catholic and other conservatives in the House led to the adoption of an amendment banning most abortion coverage from the public option.
It would also prohibit abortion coverage in private policies available in the exchange to people receiving federal subsidies.
Senate provisions, made more conservative than initially drafted in order to satisfy Sen. Nelson, would allow states to choose whether to ban abortion coverage in plans offered in the exchanges. Individuals purchasing plans through the exchanges would have to pay for abortion coverage out of their own funds.
Many observers expect the final bill will conform largely to the measure now moving through the Senate.
“Reid had to make a lot of concessions to get his entire caucus behind the Senate bill,” said CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser.
“He can’t afford to a lose a single vote. Every Democratic senator has the power to kill this bill, and that fact gives Senate negotiators tremendous leverage in their negotiations with the House.”
Nelson told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that he would withdraw his support if the final bill gets changed too much from the Senate version under consideration.
Among other things, Nelson had a provision added to the bill requiring the federal government to cover Nebraska’s costs for expanded Medicaid coverage after 2016. No other state is currently slated to receive such a benefit.
Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel
- The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda.
- Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what they define as the Western cultural attack.
- The Saudis are very committed to recruiting, funding, and funneling ideology to embattled Muslim minorities, and use Muslim charities as their tool to implement this policy. The Saudi methodology is to take advantage of a humanitarian crisis to get a foot in the door. Who could be against assisting widows and orphans and setting up schools and clinics? Some of the money is indeed funneled to support terrorism – families of suicide bombers.
- The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and exists under the umbrella of Hamas, which is enabling a revival of global jihadi organizations there such as Jaish al-Islam and others. This phenomenon is radicalizing the already radicalized society in Gaza.
- Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it. If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. And then the frustrated factions within Hamas would break off and join up with the radical global jihadi organizations in Gaza.
The similarity of the November 2008 attack in Mumbai to the attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975 was striking. At that time, a Palestinian organization based outside the borders of Israel, in a safe haven in Lebanon, had undergone months of specialized training. With a high level of prior intelligence, several very dedicated assault groups attacked a high-value target.
The Mumbai attacks were not a conventional suicide attack. Since 1998, al-Qaeda’s hallmark has been suicide attacks, based upon the whole rationale of jihad, sacrifice and martyrdom. But the attacks in Mumbai did not resemble 7/7 in London or the attacks in Madrid or any other al-Qaeda-style attacks.
What Is Lashkar-e-Taiba?
The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda.
The creation and flourishing of Lashkar-e-Taiba would not have been possible unless they were supported by three major elements. The first is the ideology of global jihad. The second is funding and support from external sources. And the third is a territorial base which enables them to conduct activities and maintain training camps.
What is Lashkar-e-Taiba and why is it relevant to the Middle East? Lashkar collects funds from Pakistanis and Kashmiris, as well as the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf, in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Its website appears under the name of Jamaat ud Dawa and the group maintains ties to religious and militant groups around the world. The Jamaat ud Dawa website links directly to the Hamas website.
The Saudi Connection
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi newspapers at the time published calls for jihad to support all Muslim struggles around the world. Kashmir was seen as a place where jihad was taking place, so donations were solicited for the Muslims living there. Allah was said to bless the warriors of this financial jihad.
In August 1999, the Saudi newspaper Al Jazeera reported on a press conference conducted by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-based charity supervised by the government. The group’s secretary-general, Maneh al-Johani, praised the role played by Saudi Arabia in providing assistance to Muslims around the world, especially in Kashmir. Johani equated the Kashmir issue with the situation in Kosovo and Palestine, and called on Muslims to help the Kashmiri people.
Radical Wahhabi, Salafi, Saudi Islam sees the world in confrontation, with zones of jihad where Muslim minorities are struggling politically and religiously against other forces. The struggle can be with Israel, Serbia, India, or the Philippines. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what the former Supreme Religious Authority of Saudi Arabia, the late Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz (Ben Baz), defined as the Western cultural attack.
This is the ideology behind Saudi politics. The Saudis are very committed to recruiting, funding, and funneling ideology to those Muslim minorities, and use Muslim charities as their tool to implement this policy. In September 2000, the Saudi newspaper Al Jazeera reported on an additional press conference by WAMY Secretary-General Johani, who discussed Saudi Arabia’s role in providing aid to Kashmir and asked the Islamic countries to play an effective part in saving Kashmir’s Muslims. Johani described the Kashmiri people’s jihad and noted that they had suffered thousands of casualties. “The Kashmiri people want to protect their Islamic entity and we must help them,” he concluded.
Since the end of the war in Afghanistan in 1989, the Saudi contribution to entrenching the phenomenon of global jihad around the world has mushroomed, whether in Chechnya, the Philippines, Kosovo, or the Palestinian territories. Yet for all this, Saudi Arabia is not held accountable.
The Saudi methodology is to take advantage of a humanitarian crisis to get a foot in the door. Who could be against assisting widows and orphans and setting up schools and clinics? It is a methodology that has been duplicated all around the world. Since direct assistance to armed groups is problematic for Saudi Arabia, they use “charities,” which are actually organizations that use the social network called the dawa to propagate their ideology through mosques, health clinics, and madrassas, to influence minds and recruit supporters to Wahhabi-style ideology and commitment. Some of the money is indeed funneled to support terrorism – families of suicide bombers.
It is now evident that the so-called Saudi non-governmental charities are closely monitored by the Saudi government. The Saudis have understood that they were under pressure from the West and so they were very willing to sacrifice the Al-Haramain charity. It was banned and dismantled, but other charities were not, like the Islamic Relief Organization (IRO). The Saudi charities just change names and, unfortunately, nothing concrete is being done. There is no all-out campaign to dismantle all those charities.
Training Camps in Pakistan
Lashkar-e-Taiba has created an infrastructure inside Pakistan which is relevant to struggles beyond the boundaries of Kashmir or India. It has created an operational capability in its training camps through the use of highly skilled instructors, veterans of the Afghan war. Some well-known terrorists have passed through those training camps before launching their attacks. The shoe bomber, Richard Reid, was trained in a Lashkar training camp, as was Dhiren Barot, a British subject and a Hindu who converted to Islam, who was the mastermind of a failed gas cylinder bombing plot in London and who also prepared detailed blueprints for al-Qaeda of the buildings in New York’s financial district.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is headed by Muhammad Saeed, who plays a key role in the group’s operational activities, terrorist training camps, ideology, and in its worldwide activities. Saeed was reportedly arrested in Pakistan in February 2009. Saeed determines where the graduates of the Lashkar camps in Pakistan are sent to fight and in 2005 he personally organized the infiltration of Lashkar militants into Iraq. He was in Saudi Arabia at the time, with the knowledge of the Saudi government (you cannot enter Saudi Arabia without permission). He also arranged for Lashkar operatives to be sent to Europe as fundraising coordinators. So Saudi Arabia again was a launching pad for sending highly-trained mujahidin to the war against the Americans in Iraq. This shows the global nature of Lashkar-e-Taiba. It is not just a provincial organization but one that has a global reach.
Haji Mohammad Ashraf has been Lashkar’s chief financier since 2003, expanding the organization and increasing its fundraising activities. Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmad Ba’aziq, a Saudi national, served as the Lashkar leader in Saudi Arabia during the 1980s and 1990s, before Ashraf, and coordinated fundraising activity with non-governmental charities and businessmen in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi regime is aware of the money going to Lashkar in Saudi Arabia for its activities around the world.
Lashkar operations chief Zakir Rehman Lakvi was also reportedly arrested in a Pakistani raid on a Lashkar training camp. He was one of the masterminds of the Mumbai attack and was in constant cellular phone contact with the attackers. Lakvi has been very much involved in military operations in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Iraq.
Lashkar-e-Taiba would not have evolved to the scale they have reached without Saudi assistance. One key Saudi who helped build Lashkar into such an efficient and highly-trained organization is Abdul Aziz Barbaros. Barbaros, whose real name is Abdul Ahman el-Dosfari, fought with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He was one of the founding members of Lashkar in Kashmir after the end of the Afghan war. He also traveled to Bosnia to assist the al-Qaeda-oriented mujahidin brigades there. During the 1980s and 1990s Barbaros served as a critical link between Lashkar, wealthy and pious Saudi financiers, and Pakistani and Muslim fanatics around the world.
Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin in Gaza routinely delivered speeches addressed to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant rallies in Kashmir and Pakistan. This is an example of the general mindset of radical Islamic solidarity. The Hamas leader in Gaza showed that he cared about what was happening with other Muslim minorities around the world, as they should care about what is happening in Gaza or the West Bank. This is not necessarily directly connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Iraq, this is seen as a struggle against the American “Crusade occupation.” This reflects Bin Laden’s 1998 declaration of jihad, when he spoke of the Islamic front against the Crusaders and the Jews. So everything is linked and what happened in Mumbai has a wider perspective.
Global Islam Penetrates Gaza
The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and to some extent in the West Bank. This phenomenon exists under the umbrella of Hamas, which enables a revival of global jihadi organizations in Gaza such as Jaish al-Islam and others. The emergence of these groups is worrying because they are very much inspired by the global jihadi, Saudi Wahhabi ideology – a strict interpretation of Islam which is being interpreted into political and terrorist activity. What is important in this phenomenon is the radicalization of the already radicalized society in Gaza.
The bottom line is that we are seeing the same pattern of global jihad-oriented groups starting to be active in Gaza. They have carried out some attacks, mostly directed against foreign, Western institutions like the YMCA and the American School. Yet they have played only a marginal role in attacks against Israeli targets.
Hamas in Gaza
I think the situation of Hamas control in Gaza is irreversible. From my reading of Hamas publications in Arabic, it is clear that there is no way back, only ahead, to take control in the West Bank if they become strong enough. Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it.
If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. It would be something else. And then the frustrated factions within Hamas would break off and join up with the radical global jihadi organizations in Gaza. Those organizations hope to provide a refuge for Hamas radicals who believe that any normalization or pragmatism would be harmful to the Hamas cause.
This is not just my hypothesis. The declarations of Hamas leaders Zahar and Siam have hinted that if Hamas were to lose its real identity, people would shift their loyalties and activities to a more genuine Islamic organization, not a pragmatic, opportunistic, hudna-style one.
Should we talk with Hamas? Is the international community ready to sit down with al-Qaeda? There is no difference. It is a total misrepresentation to say Hamas is like the IRA. There is no political wing of Hamas disconnected from the operational wing. There are no pragmatists to speak to. At the end of the day, those who believe that trying to talk to Hamas is the right way to conduct business here in the Middle East will be in for a big disappointment.
* * *
Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel is a senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT). He is also a member of the International Academic Counter Terrorism Community (ICTAC) and serves as a consultant and expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice on Hamas trials, as well as to private U.S.-based law firms in cases of prosecuting al-Qaeda terrorism. His expertise also includes the Palestinian Authority, Islamist terror groups (Hamas, PIJ, al-Qaeda), funding, Palestinian terrorism and the Palestinian suicide terrorism phenomenon. This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his presentation at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs in Jerusalem on December 9, 2008.