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Analysis: Al Qaida's privileged sanctuary
United Press International ^

Posted on 06/17/2002 6:17:47 PM PDT by RCW2001

Analysis: Al Qaida's privileged sanctuary

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor-at-Large
From the International Desk
Published 6/17/2002 5:33 PM

WASHINGTON, June 17 (UPI) -- Is Pakistan taking Afghanistan's place as the new fulcrum of transnational terrorism? Intelligence sources in Washington, London, Paris and Rome agree that al Qaida's underground network in Pakistan is functioning with the complicity of the clergy and intelligence services. President Pervez Musharraf's much-publicized crackdown on Islamist extremists is a dismal failure, according to Western intelligence appraisals. Pakistani national police sources in Islamabad estimate that some 10,000 Afghan Taliban cadres and followers and about 5,000 al Qaida fighters are now hiding in Pakistan "with the full support of intelligence authorities, as well as religious and tribal groups," according to one source.

The latest reports from Pakistan are ringing alarm bells throughout the Western intelligence community. Disinformation about U.S. intentions is being circulated by "midlevel" Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency operatives and some field grade army officers. Samples:

-- U.S. forces are not to be trusted "at all."

Pakistan's nuclear program is the key objective.

-- China, working closely with ISI, has saved the Pakistani nuclear program several times by informing Pakistani intelligence of American, Israeli and Indian plans to destroy it.

-- India and Israel will try again to attack Pakistan's nuclear facilities at Kahuta (near Islamabad), just as Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

-- The United States wants to neutralize Peshawar, capital of the Northwest Frontier Province, and Quetta, capital of Baluchistan, where religious groups are working with frontier tribes to neutralize U.S. actions.

-- The U.S. wants to divide Pakistan into seven separate states -- Punjab, Sind, Northwest Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), Karachi and Kashmir. Kashmir, under the U.S. plan, is to become an independent state.

-- The Kashmir declaration of independence is ready, and the United States will demand that Pakistan and India sign it. The U.S. Army will control the region.

-- The CIA is fanning ethnic tensions and planning civil unrest, riots, and killings between the Muslims of Pakistan and Indian Kashmir to prepare all parties for Kashmir independence.

-- The United States and India want Pakistan to become a small Nepal-type state under Indian influence.

-- India will be rewarded with a U.N. Security Council seat for agreeing to Kashmir independence.

-- Out of 4,000-plus workers for NGOs, or non-governmental Organizations, currently working in Pakistan, approximately 1,000 have been identified by ISI as U.S. intelligence agents implementing the U.S. agenda. These American agents are trying "at all levels" to destroy the unity of Pakistani armed forces.

-- Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (executed by Islamist extremists) was a spy for both the United States and Israel. The American media is controlled by Jews, and most U.S. journalists work for secret intelligence services that are fighting Islam.

-- The United States is "planning and scheming" against Pakistan because it is Islam's only nuclear power, which is not acceptable to the G8, the group containing the leading industrialized countries plus Russia.

-- The United States and Israel concocted the 9/11 plot in order to produce conditions favorable for "a new world order controlled by America."

-- The only way to defeat America's global domination strategy is to create a world Muslim order with China's support.

Senior Pakistani officials concede privately they are "deeply concerned" about Punjab province where Kashmiri "freedom fighters" are undergoing training with full government support.

The government plan to clean up the madrassa (religious school) network has been largely ignored. Interior Ministry figures show that there are some 6,000 plus "important" madrassas that "educate" youngsters to believe that to be a jihadi (holy warrior) is Islam's highest calling.

The government has tried to get the mullahs to explain that jihad means "an internal struggle to better oneself" but the clergy continues to teach that it is the sacred duty to resist the American, Israeli and Indian infidels that want Islam's destruction. The demise of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan is repeatedly cited as "proof" of what the mullahs claim.

Punjab province alone has 2,500 madrassas, 80 percent of them in the city of Lahore. Some 600,000 students are still being taught to hate America and Americans. The U.S. has allocated $34 million for madrassa reform during the current fiscal year. Poor families --40 percent of 145 million live below the poverty line -- favor the schools because they provide free meals and lodgings. Mullahs talk proudly about their common heritage, culture and religion and say that the financial strength of the entire "Muslim Ummah" is behind them. The madrassa system is almost entirely dependent on subsidies from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

Despite Musharraf's denials and assurances of total control of Pakistani intelligence agencies, ISI, including many "retired" cadres, is stirring a "witch's brew" designed to force a postponement of next October's elections and the country's return to democratic government. Anti-American forces are "slowly but surely coalescing against American aggression and is using the Palestine issue to join hands with al Qaida as a new Taliban movement," said one former prime minister.

Some 30 Muslim extremist organizations that were blacklisted by the United States are still in business and are proselytizing Muslim countries to join forces with al Qaida.

In Pakistan, al Qaida's Pakistan network is expanding rapidly with full intelligence and private financial support, according to a prominent tribal leader in NWFP who claims that Osama bin Laden has been living in Peshawar since the second week in December, "where he is among friends and admirers and protected by several thousand Pakistani sympathizers." More than 80 percent of Pakistanis, according to a public opinion poll last fall, believe that bin Laden is a "freedom fighter," and not a "terrorist."

ISI operatives are spreading the word, according to this tribal chieftain, that "America is a glass house that is breakable" and predict, "U.S. injustices all over the world, especially in the Middle East, will lead to far worse incidents than Sept. 11."

For Pakistani extremists, the loss of Afghanistan was no more than the destruction of an outpost in a global battlefield. Pakistan has now taken Afghanistan's place. Al Qaida's underground in Pakistan emerged unscathed from Operation Enduring Freedom across the 1,300-mile border. The extent of bin Laden's network in Pakistan can be gauged from the movements of U.S.-born Jose Padilla, who converted to Islam and adopted the name Abdullah al Muhajir. The suspected "dirty" bomber took a bomb-making course at an al Qaida safe house in Lahore last January, then met with senior al Qaida agents in March in Karachi and moved around Pakistan with impunity.

Prior to 9/11, Musharraf estimated that Pakistan harbored about 1.4 million extremists -- or one percent of the population -- who were holding the rest of the population hostage. Since 9/11, Musharraf conceded that 10 percent to 15 percent of the population was opposed to his pro-American foreign policy. That would be 10 million to 14 million people whose sympathies are with America's enemies.

Copyright © 2002 United Press International

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: alqaida; guns; osamabinladen; pakistan; southasialist
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1 posted on 06/17/2002 6:17:47 PM PDT by RCW2001
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To: RCW2001
"The madrassa system is almost entirely dependent on subsidies from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya."

And HERE lies the real problem. Follow the money! I would bet that the Saudis actually provide the majority of the funds, with much smaller amounts from the UAE and Libya.

2 posted on 06/17/2002 6:24:43 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog
The only way to stop this is to take the Saudi oil fields. Without their blood money, they won't be able to support terrorism.
3 posted on 06/17/2002 6:37:43 PM PDT by LarryM
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To: RCW2001
Since at least part of the problem stems from the events of 9-11 last, why not "ask" the Saudis for some money to give to these folks. They, the Saudis seem to have plenty to send to the terrorists all over the place and terrorist breeding grounds in Pakistan and to the families of the "matyrs" in the West Bank and Gaza. We can "ask" softly, as long we show them the "Big Stick" at the same time. If they can'f come up with the money, we'll just have to "reposses" the oilfields, since they more or less belonged to American and British oil companies in the first place.
4 posted on 06/17/2002 6:42:02 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: RCW2001
Pakistan has now taken Afghanistan's place.

Pakistan is, was, and remains the global nexus of Islamist terrorism, nuclear irresponsibility, heroin distribution, and irredeemably corrupt government.

Heroin refinement and distribution has been run by the ISI since 1985, and is to this day (70 percent of the world's output). It funded the nukes, the Taliban, the Kashmir terrorists.

Raise your hand if you seriously believe that Iraq is "the next target."

5 posted on 06/17/2002 6:59:56 PM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor; RCW2001
Pakistan is, was, and remains the global nexus of Islamist terrorism, nuclear irresponsibility and irredeemably corrupt government.


6 posted on 06/17/2002 7:18:26 PM PDT by Brian Allen
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To: angkor
Pakistan is a far more formidable foe than Afghanistan! It's an impoverished, desperate, Islamic country of 140 million, with the Islamic bomb, a powerful ISI and a dictator sympathetic to the extremists. I am sure Al Qaida and Taliban are being afforded all protection there and we'll hear from them sooner or later. It may be too late then!
7 posted on 06/17/2002 7:26:03 PM PDT by mikeIII
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To: RCW2001;grampa Dave;dog gone;;seamole;Lion's Cub;Libertarianize the GOP;Free the USA...
This is scary stuff!

Arnaud de Borchgrave is a very competent journalists!

8 posted on 06/17/2002 7:40:37 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: angkor
It funded the nukes, the Taliban, the Kashmir terrorists

Which could not have been done, except for America's drug laws......

9 posted on 06/17/2002 8:11:26 PM PDT by DAnconia55
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To: Dark Wing;Phil V.
10 posted on 06/17/2002 8:50:01 PM PDT by Thud
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To: RCW2001
SO, Rummy's gotta know-nuttin to WORRY 'bout.
11 posted on 06/17/2002 9:07:09 PM PDT by 1234
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To: Stand Watch Listen
12 posted on 06/17/2002 9:40:17 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: swarthyguy

Ties in with the India thread!

13 posted on 06/17/2002 9:54:23 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Arnaud is no saffronista sympathiser. But is the hardheaded realists who are not enamored by Pakistani double dealing or encumbered by the experience of cooperation during the AfghanJihad of the 80's.

14 posted on 06/17/2002 10:05:28 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: RCW2001
The madrassa system is almost entirely dependent on subsidies from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

Indeed, follow the money. This IS about Islam, and although its ascendance has been taking place in fits and starts for over thirteen centuries, we live in a time when Islam is resurgent, fueled by oil money (the "Gift of Allah to the Faithful").

In the madrassas, the soldiers and officers for the next Islamic Clone War are being methodically indoctrinated for an inevitable attack on the "unbelievers". As their fellows around the world have amply demonstrated, the traditional Islamic values of murder, rapine and plunder are very much alive. We can expect a particularly nasty World War III since NO weapons and NO targets are off-limits to Islamists. It will be the worst war known humanity has ever seen, and it's coming soon.

While I generally don't consider UPI or any of the major news bureaus to be infallible, they do tend to be pretty careful about their facts. Pakistan is a house built on sand, and I've never considered them to be a reliable U.S. ally. Sacking the former head of the ISI was hardly a housecleaning, and probably a Musharraf canard. His personal support of Islamic terrorism is well documented.

Presumably, U.S. strategists are well aware of what's really going on in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, and are simply dancing the deadly dance that must preceed every major war.


15 posted on 06/17/2002 10:27:44 PM PDT by Imal
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To: swarthyguy, shermy, seamole
Thanks sg for a great cartoon that summarizes what is going on in PakkyLand.
16 posted on 06/17/2002 10:36:32 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach, shermy, travis mcgee, clovis skeptic
Thanks for the ping!

I believe that when we crack the codes with al Fuqra, the Black Muslims and al Qeada in America, all roads will lead first to Pakistan. Of course the roads were mainly funded by the Opecker Princes.

17 posted on 06/17/2002 10:39:25 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I agree- I've heard this guy on C-Span, and he actually seems to be a competent reporter without any discernable agenda. A welcome rareity.
18 posted on 06/18/2002 1:14:27 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: Dog Gone;AM2000;Aaron_A
19 posted on 06/18/2002 7:30:33 AM PDT by milestogo
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To: milestogo
I see a growing demand for aluminum/tin foil in Pakistan and across the Islamic ummah! This could be a goldmine for the savvy investor ;)
20 posted on 06/18/2002 8:32:40 AM PDT by Aaron_A
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