NYT : A Would-Be Warlord Is Given Short Shrift by New Rulers

Sunday, December 16, 2001

A NATION CHALLENGED: DISSENSION; A Would-Be Warlord Is Given Short Shrift by New Rulers

By CARLOTTA GALL | December 16, 2001

Northern Alliance soldiers forced Sayed Jaffar, the would-be governor of Baghlan province, to flee his home here and take to the mountains with his men.

Mr. Jaffar, 35, the American-educated son of a family that has traditionally held the governorship, tried to take the city of Pul-i-Khumri by force on Wednesday but was quickly repulsed by Northern Alliance troops in charge of the town.

A combined force of Tajik soldiers and Pashtun former Taliban fighters who have joined the Northern Alliance pursued him, hilltop by hilltop, from Pul-i-Khumri, to his home village here.

They rode up the mountain paths in pickups, swinging their legs and weapons over the side, hauling up anti-aircraft guns and multiple rocket launchers on heavy military trucks.

The Northern Alliance and the government in Kabul have acted firmly against Mr. Jaffar's attempts to win power by force. They have accused the United States of assisting him and calling in airstrikes against them on Wednesday during his attack on Pul-i-Khumri, an accusation the United States has denied.

Mr. Jaffar does not present a great military threat. The son of the feudal and spiritual leader of Afghanistan's Ismaili sect, an offshoot of the Shiite branch of Islam, he is no battle-hardened warlord and his bid for more power has been swiftly crushed. An alliance defense ministry representative, Mohammed Farid, said the government would not tolerate any action by individuals who tried to take power by force. He said the government was determined to establish security for all citizens. ''Fighting is not the way, and we will not allow it to start again,'' he said.

By afternoon, after a barrage of shells battered the hills around him, Mr. Jaffar and his cousin, Harun, the commander of some of his troops, offered to surrender, contacting the Northern Alliance general, Khalil Anderabi, by walkie-talkie.

''I am not a Talib, why are you fighting with me?'' Harun complained over the handset.

Standing on a hilltop just a mile from Kayan, General Anderabi took the call in front of his soldiers. ''I know you are not a Talib but you wanted to come with a thousand men to attack Pul-i-Khumri,'' he replied.

Harun vowed that his cousin had not intended to attack the town, only to meet and talk. General Anderabi called on them both to surrender. ''We are brothers, dear Harun, and close friends. We should stop fighting and solve this by negotiations.''

Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Jaffar came on the line and agreed to surrender, asking that Northern Alliance soldiers not enter his village. But as he began to lay down conditions, the negotiations broke down and the Northern Alliance resumed their shelling.

Soldiers listening in on their walkie-talkies caught Mr. Jaffar ordering his men to pull out of the village and head for the mountains. He asked one of his commanders for a donkey for the trip. Northern Alliance soldiers laughingly broke in and said they would provide a donkey.

Gen. Atiqullah Baryalai, an alliance deputy defense minister, said tonight he hoped to negotiate with Mr. Jaffar and end the dispute peacefully. He mentioned the possibility of providing a helicopter to get Mr. Jaffar out of the area.

Four men fighting for Mr. Jaffar, who were taken prisoner and held briefly. said they had been paid to join his force and move on Pul-i-Khumri.

''He said we would go as peacekeepers, that we would go to ensure security for the people,'' said Nurullah, 24, who was wounded in the arm. The four were disarmed and then released quickly.

NYT : Anti-Taliban Factions Clash in North

Thursday, December 13, 2001

A NATION CHALLENGED: DISSENSION; Anti-Taliban Factions Clash in North

By CARLOTTA GALL | December 13, 2001

This northern Afghan town erupted in violence today as two anti-Taliban factions clashed, amid reports -- later denied by the Pentagon -- that American warplanes had intervened and bombed both sides.

Two Northern Alliance generals said the fighting began when troops loyal to Sayed Jaffar, the former governor of Baghlan Province, attacked the Northern Alliance soldiers stationed in Pul-i-Khumri, a town just south of Kunduz.

The issue was turf, they said. Sayed Jaffar had left Afghanistan in recent years, but returned this fall and wanted to govern again. He was angry, they said, that the Northern Alliance soldiers from the Panjshir Valley, primarily ethnic Tajiks, were in control of the region.

General Atiqullah Baryalai, deputy defense minister for the Northern Alliance, said that Sayed Jaffar was supported by American aircraft, and that one armored vehicle was destroyed and 20 Northern Alliance soldiers were killed or wounded.

''The Americans bombed us,'' he said. ''It was a very bad mistake. I called them and asked them to stop, and they said they were sorry but they kept bombing.''

But the chief spokesman for the United States Central Command denied that American warplanes had bombed Northern Alliance positions. ''The only place we've bombed since the fall of Kandahar has been the Tora Bora area,'' said Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley. Admiral Quigley said he could not explain the reports of air strikes, adding that the Northern Alliance factions do not have combat aircraft.

If American planes did, indeed, bomb Northern Alliance units, it would not be the first time in the war. Two weeks ago, when the city of Kunduz fell, an American plane attacked a Northern Alliance position in a historic mud fortress inside the city, destroying seven trucks and killing several soldiers. Tajik soldiers blamed that attack on a rival warlord, saying he had called for the air strike on them because he was angry that he did not take the fortress first.

As ground forces here exchanged fire today, stray bullets and shells landed in the town. By afternoon military and civilian casualties began arriving in its two hospitals. A boy of 12 was paralyzed by a bullet to the chest, and a bride of 16 and her mother-in-law were hit by shrapnel when a shell landed by their home.

Gen. Daoud Khan, a Northern Alliance commander in Taliqan, said that in spite of the casualties the Northern Alliance held all of their positions, and Sayed Jaffar withdrew his forces for the night.

''He attacked us, and we defeated him, and he went back to his place,'' the general said.

By moving his newly assembled troops up to positions overlooking the town, Sayed Jaffar appears to have initiated the fighting. Up on the heights with his troops, he could not be reached for comment today. His cousin and representative in Pul-i-Khumri, Sayed Hasanmuddin, and Dr. Shahahmuddin, the commander of one of his military units, said they had not spoken with him since Tuesday afternoon.

Sitting in their house in Pul-i-Khumri, surrounded by guards, they said they thought two groups had clashed by mistake.

Northern Alliance troops accused Sayed Jaffar of trying to seize control of Pul-i-Khumri, and they fired shells at targets on the mountain ridge above the town. Heavy explosions shook the town as shells fired from the mountains came back in reply. Four times during the afternoon jets struck the barren brown mountains, the red flash of the impact and the deafening crack of the explosion sending people ducking for cover.

''I do not know why America is doing that'' said Gen. Khalil Anderabi, the commander of the alliance forces in Pul-i-Khumri. ''We had to fight other groups in the past, and then the Taliban, but now America? What is the matter? They better send their representatives here to see what is happening here.''

If American jets were not involved in the bombing, it is not clear whose planes could have been. But it led to intense debate and confusion on the ground.

Soldiers and townspeople suggested that America was siding with Sayed Jaffar in his efforts to gain control of the town. Others said American planes may have been firing a warning to both sides to stop fighting.

General Anderabi and other commanders said they believed Sayed Jaffar had tricked American forces into believing that there were remnants of Taliban forces in the mountains who should be attacked with air strikes.

''But we captured all the Taliban when we took the town,'' General Anderabi said. ''We have about 350 Taliban prisoners here. So where are the Taliban positions? America is fighting against our division.''

He said air strikes had killed 30 of his men today and injured 40. As he spoke a voice crackled over his walkie-talkie reporting six or seven soldiers dead in one strike. The numbers could not be immediately verified. Thirteen soldiers were brought to the military hospital, injured when their vehicle overturned, doctors said. Unlike liaison programs in Kabul or Mazar-i-Sharif, no American special forces are believed to be working with Northern Alliance troops in Pul-i-Khumri.

There were suggestions, however, that Sayed Jaffar's men were receiving some American assistance. A large column of trucks and pick-ups carrying several hundred of his soldiers moved up a mountain road to the mountain heights east of Pul-i-Khumri on Tuesday. Among them were two trucks with American equipment and back packs. It was not clear if American personnel were inside the vehicles.

Sayed Jaffar's soldiers were dressed in new padded winter clothing provided by the United States to Northern Alliance forces. They carried new weapons, which one of Sayed Jaffar's officers said had also been provided by the United States.

It is clear, however, that there is a struggle for power here.

Sayed Jaffar's family not only are feudal leaders of the Ismaili people in Afghanistan, but traditionally their family has held the position of governor of Pul-i-Khumri. Sayed Jaffar represented his father Sayed Mansur, the leader of Afghanistan's Ismaili community, who lives abroad, and filled the role of governor when the Northern Alliance was in power between 1992 to 1996.

He fled with his family when the Taliban took power and went to live in neighboring Uzbekistan but returned after the Taliban collapsed last month, brought in by the Northern Alliance, which provided him with security.

But the Northern Alliance commanders, who stayed and fought the Taliban for five years, say they have little time for Sayed Jaffar, who sat out the war in comfort and now expects to regain his old position.

''When the Taliban came he took a helicopter and escaped and he left his people behind, and did nothing to help them,'' General Anderabi said. ''We want a governor who helped the people and was here all the time.''

The Northern Alliance forces have the stronger force here. They have about 5,000 battle-hardened troops in and around the town, against Sayed Jaffar's newly assembled force, estimated at 700. General Anderabi said his men had already captured two bases belonging to Sayed Jaffar's troops on the edge of town and arrested some of the guards. They had taken five men prisoner on the front line too, he said.

The Northern Alliance defense minister, General Fahim, was in touch with both sides today, to try to put an end to the clash and also with United States forces to receive an explanation of the air strikes, Gen Anderabi said.

WaPo : White House Mail Machine Has Anthrax

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

White House Mail Machine Has Anthrax

By Sandra Sobieraj | Associated Press Writer | October 23, 2001

WASHINGTON –– President Bush said confidently Tuesday that "I don't have anthrax" after biohazard testing at the White House and the discovery of anthrax on a mail-opening machine at a screening facility six miles away.

All White House mail – more than 40,000 letters a week – is examined at military facilities across the Potomac River.

"Let me put it this way," Bush said. "I'm confident that when I come to work tomorrow, I'll be safe."

Asked if he was tested for the germ that has killed three people already this month, or if he was taking precautionary antibiotics, Bush replied simply: "I don't have anthrax."

At least some White House personnel were given Cipro six weeks ago. White House officials won't discuss who might be receiving the anthrax-treating antibiotic now.

On the night of the Sept. 11 attacks, the White House Medical Office dispensed Cipro to staff accompanying Vice President Dick Cheney as he was secreted off to the safety of Camp David, and told them it was "a precaution," according to one person directly involved.

At that time, nobody could guess the dimensions of the terrorists' plot.

Now, Bush said on Tuesday, "There's no question that the evil-doers are continuing to try to harm America and Americans."

The president spoke in an afternoon Cabinet Room meeting with members of Congress, minutes after his press secretary announced that a "small concentration" of anthrax spores were found on the slitter machine that opens White House mail at a Secret Service-controlled facility on property shared by the Anacostia Naval Station and Bolling Air Force Base.

Between three and eight workers on loan from the U.S. Postal Service had access to that contaminated machine where a trace amount – anywhere from 20 to 500 spores – of anthrax was found, a senior law enforcement official said.

At least 8,000 spores must be inhaled into the lungs to get the most deadly form of anthrax. Substantially fewer spores can cause the highly treatable cutaneous form of anthrax if they enter a cut in the skin.

Inside the iron gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. regular biohazard testing has been stepped up in the past month and no traces of anthrax have been found, said presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Security officials were apparently spooked even before Tuesday's discovery at Bolling, which handles mail processed through the Brentwood postal facility, and halted mail delivery to the White House complex several days earlier.

"We have not seen mail in a while," said a West Wing aide. A staffer on campus at Bolling, in southeast Washington, said the same was true there.

Two postal workers at Brentwood died of pulmonary anthrax – one on Sunday, the other on Monday.

Brentwood is where the anthrax-laced letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was first handled.

The Bolling facility, which also handles mail to the Secret Service, "has been closed for further testing and decontamination," Fleischer said. All employees there and in mailrooms within the White House complex – which includes the mansion, its East and West Wings, and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building – were being tested for exposure to anthrax.

In a statement, the Secret Service said no one connected with the mail facility at Bolling has reported anthrax-like symptoms.

Postal and health officials have said it's possible for one anthrax-tainted letter to contaminate another, meaning the anthrax found on the Bolling machinery could have come from a letter that mixed with other mail at Brentwood.

Experts believe it unlikely that a cross-contaminated letter would have contained enough anthrax to make someone sick.

Fleischer said a sweep of the Bolling facility turned up a "positive culture" around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Given that the U.S. Capitol, network TV news anchors and media companies had already been targeted by anthrax-tainted letters, an attempted attack on the White House was almost to be expected, Fleischer said.

"There is no other target, unfortunately, like the president. ... The White House has always, unfortunately, been a target – a target for terrorists, a target for people who have shot at the building," he added.

At the Treasury Department next door, recent anthrax scares prompted officials to shut down a first-floor mail room and move all mail reception and screening to an annex across the street.

Mail sent to the Supreme Court is also intercepted off-site, where inspectors open and examine everything. Their black "NBC" stamp means the mail is free of nuclear, biological and chemical contamination.

No contamination had been found there as of Tuesday afternoon, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Michel Chossudovsky : Osamagate

Tuesday, October 09, 2001


"Now the Taliban will pay a price" vowed President George W. Bush, as American and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major cities in Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is behind the tragic events of the 11th of September. A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched, yet the evidence amply confirms that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored the "Islamic Militant Network" as part of Washington's foreign policy agenda. In a bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps established in the 1980s by the CIA.

The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.

by Michel Chossudovsky | October 9, 2001

Confronted with mounting evidence, the US Administration can no longer deny its links to Osama. While the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an "intelligence asset" during the Cold War, the relationship is said to "go way back". Most news reports consider that these Osama-CIA links belong to the "bygone era" of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as "irrelevant" to an understanding of present events. Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.
Yes, We did support Him, but "He Went Against Us"

A blatant example of media distortion is the so-called "blowback" thesis: "intelligence assets" are said to "have gone against their sponsors"; "what we've created blows back in our face."1 In a twisted logic, the US government and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims:

The sophisticated methods taught to the Mujahideen, and the thousands of tons of arms supplied to them by the US - and Britain - are now tormenting the West in the phenomenon known as `blowback', whereby a policy strategy rebounds on its own devisers. 2

The US media, nonetheless, concedes that "the Taliban's coming to power [in 1995] is partly the outcome of the U.S. support of the Mujahideen, the radical Islamic group, in the 1980s in the war against the Soviet Union".3 But it also readily dismisses its own factual statements and concludes in chorus, that the CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It's like "a son going against his father".

The "blowback" thesis is a fabrication. The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the "Islamic Militant Network". Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only been maintained, they have in become increasingly sophisticated.

New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden Crescent drug trade were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by the CIA) essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia." 4

Replicating the Iran Contragate Pattern

Remember Ollie North and the Nicaraguan Contras under the Reagan Administration when weapons financed by the drug trade were channeled to "freedom fighters" in Washington's covert war against the Sandinista government. The same pattern was used in the Balkans to arm and equip the Mujahideen fighting in the ranks of the Bosnian Muslim army against the Armed Forces of the Yugoslav Federation.

Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was used by the CIA as a go-between -- to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia. According to a report of the London based International Media Corporation:

"Reliable sources report that the United States is now [1994] actively participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords. US agencies have been providing weapons made in ... China (PRC), North Korea (DPRK) and Iran. The sources indicated that ... Iran, with the knowledge and agreement of the US Government, supplied the Bosnian forces with a large number of multiple rocket launchers and a large quantity of ammunition. These included 107mm and 122mm rockets from the PRC, and VBR-230 multiple rocket launchers ... made in Iran. ... It was [also] reported that 400 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had full knowledge of the operation and that the CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist operations in Western Europe.

During September and October [1994], there has been a stream of "Afghan" Mujahedin ... covertly landed in Ploce, Croatia (South-West of Mostar) from where they have traveled with false papers ... before deploying with the Bosnian Muslim forces in the Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka areas. These forces have recently [late 1994] experienced a significant degree of military success. They have, according to sources in Sarajevo, been aided by the UNPROFOR Bangladesh battalion, which took over from a French battalion early in September [1994].

The Mujahedin landing at Ploce are reported to have been accompanied by US Special Forces equipped with high-tech communications equipment, ... The sources said that the mission of the US troops was to establish a command, control, communications and intelligence network to coordinate and support Bosnian Muslim offensives -- in concert with Mujahideen and Bosnian Croat forces -- in Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka. Some offensives have recently been conducted from within the UN-established safe-havens in the Zenica and Banja Luka regions.


The US Administration has not restricted its involvement to the clandestine contravention of the UN arms embargo on the region ... It [also] committed three high-ranking delegations over the past two years [prior to 1994] in failed attempts to bring the Yugoslav Government into line with US policy. Yugoslavia is the only state in the region to have failed to acquiesce to US pressure.5

"From the Horse's Mouth"

Ironically, the US Administration's undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia have been fully documented by the Republican Party. A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997, largely confirms the International Media Corporation report quoted above. The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network," of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission - and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia - is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), "played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.


Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin ("holy warriors") from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based "humanitarian organization," called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well documented. The Clinton Administration's "hands-on" involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials... the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization ... has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. ... TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [Washington Post, 9/22/96] 6

Complicity of the Clinton Administration

In other words, the Republican Party Committee report confirms unequivocally the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.

The Republicans wanted at the time to undermine the Clinton Administration. However, at a time when the entire country had its eyes riveted on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans no doubt chose not to trigger an untimely "Iran-Bosniagate" affair, which might have unduly diverted public attention away from the Lewinsky scandal. The Republicans wanted to impeach Bill Clinton "for having lied to the American People" regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the more substantive "foreign policy lies" regarding drug running and covert operations in the Balkans, Democrats and Republicans agreed in unison, no doubt pressured by the Pentagon and the CIA not to "spill the beans".

From Bosnia to Kosovo

The "Bosnian pattern" described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was replicated in Kosovo. With the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO's war effort.

Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain's Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with "former and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain's 22nd Special Air Services Regiment], as well as three British and American private security companies".7

The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.' While these covert operations were continuing, serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit's D Squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. 8

While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the "Islamic jihad" were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics.9:

Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, ... Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 ... Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists. 10

Congressional Testimonies on KLA-Osama links

According to Frank Ciluffo of the Globalized Organised Crime Program, in a testimony presented to the House of Representatives Judicial Committee:

What was largely hidden from public view was the fact that the KLA raise part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at the heart of the "Balkan Route" that links the "Golden Crescent" of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined for Europe. 11

According to Ralf Mutschke of Interpol's Criminal Intelligence division also in a testimony to the House Judicial Committee:

The U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden" . Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Jihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict. 12

Madeleine Albright Covets the KLA

These KLA links to international terrorism and organised crime documented by the US Congress were totally ignored by the Clinton Administration. In fact, in the months preceding the bombing of Yugoslavia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was busy building a "political legitimacy" for the KLA. The paramilitary army had --from one day to the next-- been elevated to the status of a bona fide "democratic" force in Kosovo. In turn, Madeleine Albright has forced the pace of international diplomacy: the KLA had been spearheaded into playing a central role in the failed "peace negotiations" at Rambouiillet in early 1999.

The Senate and the House tacitly endorse State Terrorism

While the various Congressional reports confirmed that the US government had been working hand in glove with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, this did not prevent the Clinton and later the Bush Administration from arming and equipping the KLA. The Congressional documents also confirm that members of the Senate and the House knew the relationship of the Administration to international terrorism. To quote the statement of Rep. John Kasich of the House Armed Services Committee: "We connected ourselves [in 1998-99] with the KLA, which was the staging point for bin Laden..." 13

In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, Republicans and Democrats in unison have given their full support to the President to "wage war on Osama".

In 1999, Senator Jo Lieberman had stated authoritatively that "Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." In the hours following the October 7 missile attacks on Afghanistan, the same Jo Lieberman called for punitive air strikes against Iraq: "We're in a war against terrorism... We can't stop with bin Laden and the Taliban." Yet Senator Jo Lieberman, as member of the Armed Services Committee of the Senate had access to all the Congressional documents pertaining to "KLA-Osama" links. In making this statement, he was fully aware that that agencies of the US government as well as NATO were supporting international terrorism.

The War in Macedonia

In the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the terrorist activities of the KLA were extended into Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Meanwhile, the KLA --renamed the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC)-- was elevated to United Nations status, implying the granting of "legitimate" sources of funding through United Nations as well as through bilateral channels, including direct US military aid.

And barely two months after the official inauguration of the KPC under UN auspices (September 1999), KPC-KLA commanders - using UN resources and equipment - were already preparing the assaults into Macedonia, as a logical follow-up to their terrorist activities in Kosovo. According to the Skopje daily Dnevnik, the KPC had established a "sixth operation zone" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia:

Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that the headquarters of the Kosovo protection brigades [i.e. linked to the UN sponsored KPC] have [March 2000] already been formed in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje. They are being prepared in Debar and Struga [on the border with Albania] as well, and their members have defined codes. 14

According to the BBC, "Western special forces were still training the guerrillas" meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up "a sixth operation zone" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia. 15

"The Islamic Militant Network" and NATO join hands in Macedonia

Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting in Macedonia (October 2001) in the ranks of self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), are Mujahideen from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Also within the KLA's proxy force in Macedonia are senior US military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon as well as "soldiers of fortune" from Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. 16

Extensively documented by the Macedonian press and statements of the Macedonian authorities, the US government and the "Islamic Militant Network" are working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia. The NLA is a proxy of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn the KLA and the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) are identical institutions with the same commanders and military personnel. KPC Commanders on UN salaries are fighting in the NLA together with the Mujahideen.

In a bitter twist, while supported and financed by Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, the KLA-NLA is also supported by NATO and the United Nations mission to Kosovo (UNMIK). In fact, the "Islamic Militant Network" --also using Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) as the CIA's go-between-- still constitutes an integral part of Washington's covert military-intelligence operations in Macedonia and Southern Serbia.

The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded from US military aid, the United Nations peace-keeping budget as well as by several Islamic organisations including Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. Drug money is also being used to finance the terrorists with the complicity of the US government. The recruitment of Mujahideen to fight in the ranks of the NLA in Macedonia is implemented through various Islamic groups.

US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia. And the US media calls this a "blowback" where so-called "intelligence assets" have gone against their sponsors!

But this did not happen during the Cold war! It is happening right now in Macedonia. And it is confirmed by numerous press reports, eyewitness accounts, photographic evidence as well as official statements by the Macedonian Prime Minister, who has accused the Western military alliance of supporting the terrorists. Moreover, the official Macedonian New Agency (MIA) has pointed to the complicity between Washington's envoy Ambassador James Pardew and the NLA terrorists. 17 In other words, the so-called "intelligence assets" are still serving the interests of their US sponsors.

Pardew's background is revealing in this regard. He started his Balkans career in 1993 as a senior intelligence officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff responsible for channeling US aid to the Bosnian Muslim Army. Coronel Pardew had been put in charge of arranging the "air-drops" of supplies to Bosnian forces. At the time, these "air drops" were tagged as "civilian aid". It later transpired --confirmed by the RPC Congressional report-- that the US had violated the arms embargo. And James Pardew played an important role as part of the team of intelligence officials working closely with the Chairman of the National Security Council Anthony Lake.

Pardew was later involved in the Dayton negotiations (1995) on behalf of the US Defence Department. In 1999, prior to the bombing of Yugoslavia, he was appointed "Special Representative for Military Stabilisation and Kosovo Implementation" by President Clinton. One of his tasks was to channel support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which at the time was also being supported by Osama bin Laden. Pardew was in this regard instrumental in replicating the "Bosnian pattern" in Kosovo and subsequently in Macedonia...

Justification for Waging War

The Bush Administration has stated that it has proof that Osama bin Laden is behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. In the words of British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "I have seen absolutely powerful and incontrovertible evidence of his [Osama] link to the events of the 11th of September." 18 What Tony Blair fails to mention is that agencies of the US government including the CIA continue to "harbor" Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched by a government which is harboring international terrorism as part of its foreign policy agenda. In other words, the main justification for waging war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.

This decision to mislead the American people was taken barely a few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. Without supporting evidence, Osama had already been tagged as the "prime suspect." Two days later on Thursday the 13th of September --while the FBI investigations had barely commenced-- President Bush pledged to "lead the world to victory". The Administration confirmed its intention to embark on "a sustained military campaign rather than a single dramatic action" directed against Osama bin Laden. 19 In addition to Afghanistan, a number of countries in the Middle East were mentioned as possible targets including Iraq, Iran, Libya and the Sudan. And several prominent US political figures and media pundits have demanded that the air strikes be extended to other countries "which harbour international terrorism." According to intelligence sources, Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda has operations in some 50 to 60 countries providing ample pretext to intervene in several "rogue states" in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Moreover, the entire US Legislature --with only one honest and courageous dissenting voice in the House of Representatives-- has tacitly endorsed the Administration's decision to go war. Members of the House and the Senate have access through the various committees to official confidential reports and intelligence documents which prove beyond doubt that agencies of the US government have ties to international terrorism. They cannot say "we did not know". In fact, most of this evidence is in the public domain.

Under the historical resolution of the US Congress adopted by both the House and the Senate on the 14th of September:

The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Whereas there is no evidence that agencies of the US government "aided the terrorist attacks" on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, there is ample and detailed evidence that agencies of the US government as well as NATO, have since the end of the Cold War continued to "harbor such organizations".

Patriotism cannot be based on a falsehood, particularly when it constitutes a pretext for waging war and killing innocent civilians.

Ironically, the text of the Congressional resolution also constitutes a "blowback" against the US sponsors of international terrorism. The resolution does not exclude the conduct of an "Osamagate" inquiry, as well as appropriate actions against agencies and/or individuals of the US government, who may have collaborated with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. And the evidence indelibly points directly to the Bush Administration.


1. United Press International (UPI), 15 September 2001.

2. The Guardian, London, 15 September 2001.

3. UPI, op cit,

4. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden, Centre for Research on Globalisation, 12 September 2001, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO109C.html.

5. International Media Corporation Defense and Strategy Policy, US Commits Forces, Weapons to Bosnia, London, 31 October 1994.

6. Congressional Press Release, Republican Party Committee (RPC), US Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, 16 January 1997, available on the website of the Centre of Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html. The original document is on the website of the US Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig), at http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/iran.htm)

7. The Scotsman, Glasgow, 29 August 1999.

8. Ibid.

9. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, Arizona, 2 April 1999

10. Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998.

11. US Congress, Testimony of Frank J. Cilluffo , Deputy Director, Global Organized Crime, Program director to the House Judiciary Committee, 13 December 2000.

12. US Congress, Testimony of Ralf Mutschke of Interpol's Criminal Intelligence Division, to the House Judicial Committee, 13 December 2000.

13. US Congress, Transcripts of the House Armed Services Committee, 5 October 1999,

14. Macedonian Information Centre Newsletter, Skopje, 21 March 2000, published by BBC Summary of World Broadcast, 24 March 2000.

15. BBC, 29 January 2001, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1142000/1142478.stm)

16. Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow, 15 June 2001 at http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/text_only.cfm?id=SS01025960, see also UPI, 9 July 2001. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Washington behind Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia, Centre for Research on Globalisation, August 2001, at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO108B.html.)

17. Macedonian Information Agency (MIA), 26 September 2001, available at the Centre for Research on Globalisation at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MNA110A.html

18. Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, London, 1 October 2001.

19. Statement by official following the speech by President George Bush on 14 September 2001 quoted in the International Herald Tribune, Paris, 14 September 2001.

The URL of this article is:

Copyright, Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), October 2001. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to post this text on non-commercial community internet sites, provided the source and the URL are indicated, the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To publish this text in printed and/or other forms, including commercial Internet sites and excerpts, contact the Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) at editor@globalresearch.ca, fax 1-514-4256224.

Jane's International Security News : Vital intelligence on the Taliban may rest with its prime sponsor – Pakistan’s ISI

Monday, October 01, 2001

Vital intelligence on the Taliban may rest with its prime sponsor – Pakistan’s ISI

By Rahul Bedi in New Delhi | October 1, 2001

Pakistan’s sinister Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) remains the key to providing accurate information to the US-led alliance in its war against Osama bin Laden and his Taliban hosts in Afghanistan. Known as Pakistan’s ‘secret army’ and ‘invisible government’, its shadowy past is linked to political assassinations and the smuggling of narcotics as well as nuclear and missile components.

The ISI also openly backs the Taliban and fuels the 12-year-old insurgency in northern India’s disputed Kashmir province by ‘sponsoring’ Muslim militant groups and ministering its policy of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ that so effectively drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan and led to their political demise.

The goings on behind the ISI’s nondescript headquarters, located behind high walls on Khayban-e-Suharwady avenue in the heart of the capital Islamabad and its operational offices in the adjoining garrison town of Rawalpindi, have dominated Pakistan’s domestic, nuclear and foreign policies – especially those relating to Afghanistan – for over two decades.

The ISI chief, Lt Gen Mahmood Ahmed, who was visiting Washington when New York and the Pentagon were attacked, agreed to share desperately needed information about the Taliban with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other US security officials. The CIA has well-established links with the ISI, having trained it in the 1980s to ‘run’ Afghan mujahideen (holy Muslim warriors), Islamic fundamentalists from Pakistan as well as Arab volunteers by providing them with arms and logistic support to evict the Soviet occupation of Kabul.

The ISI is presently the ‘eyes and ears’ of the US-led covert action to seize Bin Laden from the Taliban, since hundreds of its agents and their Pathan ‘assets’ continue to operate across Afghanistan. Its influence with the Taliban can be gauged from the inclusion of Gen Ahmed in the Pakistani military and diplomatic delegation to the militia’s religious capital, Kandhar, in southern Afghanistan in an attempt to defuse the looming military crisis. The Pakistani delegation appealed to the Taliban, albeit in vain, to hand over Bin Laden to the US, which holds him responsible for the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington in which nearly 7000 people are feared to have died.

Founded soon after independence in 1948 to collect intelligence in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh), the ISI was modelled on Savak, the Iranian security agency, and like Savak was trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the SDECE, France’s external intelligence service. The 1979 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan led the CIA, smarting from its retreat from Vietnam, into enhancing the ISI's covert action capabilities by running mujahideen resistance groups against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Former Pakistani president General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, who was ultimately assassinated along with his ISI chief, expanded the agency’s internal charter by tasking it with collecting information on local religious and political groups opposed to his military regime. Under Gen Zia the ISI’s Internal Political Division reportedly assassinated Shah Nawaz Bhutto, one of the two brothers of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, by poisoning him on the French Riviera in 1985. The aim was to intimidate Miss Bhutto into not returning to Pakistan to direct the multi-party movement for the restoration of democracy, but Miss Bhutto refused to be cowed down and returned home, only to be toppled by the ISI soon after becoming prime minister in 1988.

The ISI is believed to have recently formed a secret task force under Gen Ahmed comprising Interior Minister Lt Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider and Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Muzaffar Usmani to ‘destroy’ major political parties and the separatist Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) in southern Sindh province.

This task force has reportedly encouraged not only religious Islamic organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (JuI) but also sectarian organisations such as the fundamentalist Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (which are closely linked to the Taliban and Bin Laden) to extend their activities to Sindh. These organisations are believed to have ‘slipped the ISI collar’ and begun recruiting unemployed Sindhi rural youth for the Taliban, posing a threat to Gen Musharraf's co-operation with Washington by formenting jihad against the West.

After the ignominious Soviet withdrawal from Kabul in 1989 the ISI, determined to achieve its aim of extending Pakistan's ‘strategic depth’ and creating an Islamic Caliphate by controlling Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, began sponsoring a little-known Pathan student movement in Kandhar that emerged as the Taliban. The ISI used funds from Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's federal government and from overseas Islamic remittances to enrol graduates from thousands of madrassahs (Muslim seminaries) across Pakistan to bolster the Taliban (Islamic students), who were led by the reclusive Mullah Muhammad Omar. Thereafter, through a ruthless combination of bribing Afghanistan’s ruling tribal coalition (which was riven with internecine rivalry), guerrilla tactics and military support the ISI installed the Taliban regime in Kabul in 1996. It then helped to extend its control over 95 per cent of the war-torn country and bolster its military capabilities. The ISI is believed to have posted additional operatives in Afghanistan just before the 11 September attacks in the US.

Along with Osama bin Laden, intelligence sources say a number of other infamous names emerged from the 1980s ISI-CIA collaboration in Afghanistan. These included Mir Aimal Kansi, who assassinated two CIA officers outside their office in Langley, Virginia, in 1993, Ramzi Yousef and his accomplices involved in the New York World Trade Center bombing five years later as well as a host of powerful international narcotics smugglers.

Opium cultivation and heroin production in Pakistan’s northern tribal belt and neighbouring Afghanistan was also a vital offshoot of the ISI-CIA co-operation. It succeeded not only in turning Soviet troops into addicts, but also in boosting heroin sales in Europe and the US through an elaborate web of well-documented deceptions, transport networks, couriers and payoffs. This, in turn, offset the cost of the decade-long anti-Soviet ‘unholy war’ in Afghanistan.

"The heroin dollars contributed largely to bolstering the Pakistani economy, its nuclear programme and enabled the ISI to sponsor its covert operations in Afghanistan and northern India's disputed Kashmir state," according to an Indian intelligence officer. In the 1970s, the ISI had established a division to procure military nuclear and missile technology from abroad, particularly from China and North Korea. They also smuggled in critical nuclear components and know-how from Europe – activities known to the US but ones it chose to turn a blind eye to as Washington’s objective of ‘humiliating’ the Soviet bear remained incomplete.

A Director General, always an army officer of the rank of lieutenant general, heads the ISI, which is controlled by Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence and reports directly to the chief of army staff. As the current ISI chief, Gen Ahmed is assisted by three major generals heading the agency’s political, external and administrative divisions, which are divided broadly into eight sections:

* Joint Intelligence North: responsible for the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Kashmir insurgency. This section controls the Army of Islam that comprises Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda group and Kashmiri militant groups like the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (banned by the US last week), Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al Badr and Jaissh-e-Mohammad. Lt Gen Mohammad Aziz, presently commanding the Lahore Corps and a former ISI officer, reportedly heads the Army of Islam, which also controls all opium cultivation and heroin refining and smuggling from Pakistani and Afghan territory

* Joint Intelligence Bureau: responsible for open sources and human intelligence collection locally and abroad

* Joint Counter-Intelligence Bureau: tasked with counter-intelligence activities internally and abroad

* Joint Signals Intelligence Bureau: in-charge of all communications intelligence

* Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous: responsible for covert actions abroad, particularly those related to the clandestine procurement of nuclear and missile technologies

* Joint Intelligence X: looks after administration and accounts

* Joint Intelligence Technical: collects all technical intelligence other than communications intelligence for research and development of equipment

* The Special Wing: runs the Defence Services Intelligence Academy and liaises with foreign intelligence and security agencies.

"The concern now for General Musharraf is whether the ISI will remain loyal to him and provide the US with credible information or continue to pursue its aims of ensuing the Taliban’s continuance in Kabul," said one intelligence officer. The US, he added, will pull out of the region once its objectives have been achieved, but Afghanistan, with its incessant and seemingly irresolute turmoil, will remain Pakistan’s neighbour for good.

WSWS : White House lied about threat to Air Force One

Friday, September 28, 2001

White House lied about threat to Air Force One

By Jerry White | September 28, 2001

The White House has been caught in a lie about the alleged terrorist threat against Air Force One which it had cited as the reason for President Bush’s absence from Washington for most of September 11. According to reports by CBS News and the Washington Post, White House officials have stated that the Secret Service never received a phone call warning of a direct threat to the president’s airplane. The government’s reversal has gone largely unreported in the media.

In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Bush’s movements became a matter of controversy within political and media circles. As the destruction in New York and Washington unfolded and unconfirmed reports emerged of a car bomb at the State Department and the danger of further hijackings, Bush, who began the day in Florida, was whisked from one military installation to another by the Secret Service.

Looking pale and shaken, he taped a brief initial message from an underground bunker at an air force base in Louisiana. Several hours later—when all non-US military aircraft in American air space had been grounded—Bush was flown to another fortified location at the Strategic Air Command headquarters in Nebraska. The president did not return to Washington until 7 p.m., nearly 10 hours after the initial attack.

Bush’s failure to quickly return to Washington sparked pointed criticism, including from within the Republican Party. Under conditions of a massive attack on US civilians, involving the destruction of a symbol of American financial power and the partial destruction of the nerve center of the American military, any appearance of indecisiveness or panic on the part of the US president was of great concern to the American political and financial elite.

New York Times columnist William Safire, a one-time Nixon aide and fixture within the Republican Party, suggested that Bush had panicked and all but abandoned his post in the first hours of the crisis. Writing in a September 12 op-ed piece, Safire said, “Even in the first horrified moments, this was never seen as a nuclear attack by a foreign power. Bush should have insisted on coming right back to the Washington area, broadcasting—live and calm—from a secure facility not far from the White House.”

Stung by such criticisms, Bush’s chief political strategist Karl Rove and other top administration officials worked feverishly to reassure the political, corporate and military establishment, and bolster Bush’s authority among the population at large. By the afternoon of September 12, the Associated Press and Reuters were carrying stories, widely circulated throughout the media, that were intended to diffuse criticism of Bush’s actions the previous day. They quoted a White House spokesperson saying, “There was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets of terrorist attacks and that the plane that hit the Pentagon was headed for the White House.” White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer repeated this claim at an afternoon news briefing that same day, saying the Secret Service had “specific and credible information” that the White House and Air Force One were potential targets.

In a further column in the New York Times on September 13, entitled “Inside the Bunker,” Safire described a conversation with an unnamed “high White House official,” who told him, “A threatening message received by the Secret Service was relayed to the agents with the president that ‘Air Force One is next.’” Safire continued: “According to the high official, American code words were used showing a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible.”

Safire reported that this information was confirmed by Rove, who told him Bush had wanted to return to Washington but the Secret Service “informed him that the threat contained language that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge of his procedures and whereabouts.”

Two weeks after these astonishing claims, the administration has all but admitted it concocted the entire story. CBS Evening News reported September 25 that the call “simply never happened.”

The fact that top officials, at a time of extraordinary crisis and public anxiety, lied to protect the president’s image has immense implications. If, within 24 hours of the terror attacks, the White House was giving out disinformation to deceive the American public and world opinion, then none of the claims made by the government from September 11 to the present can be taken for good coin.

If Bush lied about his activities on the day of the attacks, why should anyone assume he has not lied about the government’s investigation, the identity of the perpetrators, the motives and aims of US war preparations, and the intent and scope of expanded police powers demanded by his administration to wiretap, search and seize, and detain suspects?

This entire episode provides ample grounds for the American people to treat all claims by the government with the utmost suspicion and not accept any of its assertions without independent and verifiable information.

The duplicity of the government is all the more significant since the Bush administration has taken the position that people not only in the US, but throughout the world, must accept on faith its assertions that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network are responsible for the attacks, and that the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan bears direct responsibility because it harbors bin Laden.

It is quite possible that bin Laden played a role in the September 11 atrocities. To date, however, Bush has offered no evidence, and, apparently, has no intention of doing so. Instead the administration insists that the American people place blind trust in the White House and give it a blank check for waging war and trampling on civil liberties.

The phony Air Force One story not only exposes the duplicitous methods of the Bush administration, it also underscores the shamelessness and complicity of the media. When the White House came out with the story of a terrorist phone threat against the president’s plane, the media uncritically repeated it, with banner headlines and chilling segments on the evening news. As it has throughout the present crisis, the media functioned unabashedly as a propaganda arm of the government.

But when the White House, two weeks later, retracted the story, most networks failed to even report the fact, as did leading newspapers such as the New York Times. The Washington Post, for its part, buried the government’s about-face on its inside pages. No media outlet made an issue of this incriminating admission, or discussed its broader implications.

Well before the official retraction, it was widely accepted in the Washington press corps that the administration had made up the Air Force One story. In her column in the September 23 New York Times, Maureen Dowd noted that Karl Rove had “called around town, trying to sell reporters the story— now widely discredited —that Mr. Bush didn’t immediately return to Washington on Sept. 11 because the plane that was headed for the Pentagon may have really been targeting the White House, and that Air Force One was in jeopardy, too” (emphasis added).

Dowd and her colleagues believed the government was lying, but the public had no way of knowing the story was not credible since the news media refused to openly challenge it.

There may be another reason for the silence of the press. The story handed out on September 12 by Rove, Fleischer and other White House officials raised issues even more explosive and potentially damning than Bush’s feckless behavior on September 11.

Safire pointed to one such question in his September 13 New York Times column. Referring to the White House claim that the terrorists had knowledge of secret information about Air Force One, Safire asked: “How did they get the code-word information and transponder know-how that established their mala fides? That knowledge of code words and presidential whereabouts and possession of secret procedures indicates that the terrorists may have a mole in the White House—that, or informants in the Secret Service, FBI, FAA, or CIA.”

Safire’s entirely valid question as to how a supposed terrorist could have knowledge of such top-secret and sensitive information has never been taken up by the media at large, or addressed by the government.

If, indeed, such a phone call took place, it would raise an alternate theory of contact between the terrorists and one or another agency of the government at least as plausible as that suggested by Safire: Namely, that the call was not a threat, but rather a tip-off from an informant for the US who had knowledge of the plans and activities of the terrorists.

The World Socialist Web Site does not claim to have an answer to these questions. But it is legitimate and necessary to raise them, especially since they are posed by the government’s own statements.

One thing is clear: the government lied to the people of America and the world. Either it lied on September 12 when it issued the story of the threat to Air Force One, or it lied two weeks later when it retracted the story. The millions of people who are being told they must accept unbridled militarism and the gutting of their democratic rights in the name of a holy war against terrorism must draw the appropriate conclusions from this indisputable fact.

WP : Kissinger: Destroy The Network

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Destroy The Network

By Henry Kissinger | September 12, 2001

An attack such as yesterday's requires systematic planning, a good organization, a lot of money and a base. You cannot improvise something like this, and you cannot plan it when you're constantly on the move. Heretofore our response to attacks, and understandably so, has been to carry out some retaliatory act that was supposed to even the scales while hunting down the actual people who did it.

This, however, is an attack on the territorial United States, which is a threat to our social way of life and to our existence as a free society. It therefore has to be dealt with in a different way -- with an attack on the system that produces it.

The immediate response, of course, has to be taking care of casualties and restoring some sort of normal life. We must get back to work almost immediately, to show that our life cannot be disrupted. And we should henceforth show more sympathy for people who are daily exposed to this kind of attack, whom we keep telling to be very measured in their individual responses.

But then the government should be charged with a systematic response that, one hopes, will end the way that the attack on Pearl Harbor ended -- with the destruction of the system that is responsible for it. That system is a network of terrorist organizations sheltered in capitals of certain countries. In many cases we do not penalize those countries for sheltering the organizations; in other cases, we maintain something close to normal relations with them.

It is hard to say at this point what should be done in detail. If a week ago I had been asked whether such a coordinated attack as yesterday's was possible, I, no more than most people, would have thought so, so nothing I say is meant as a criticism. But until now we have been trying to do this as a police matter, and now it has to be done in a different way.

Of course there should be some act of retaliation, and I would certainly support it, but it cannot be the end of the process and should not even be the principal part of it. The principal part has to be to get the terrorist system on the run, and by the terrorist system I mean those parts of it that are organized on a global basis and can operate by synchronized means.

We do not yet know whether Osama bin Laden did this, although it appears to have the earmarks of a bin Laden-type operation. But any government that shelters groups capable of this kind of attack, whether or not they can be shown to have been involved in this attack, must pay an exorbitant price.

The question is not so much what kind of blow we can deliver this week or next. And the response, since our own security was threatened, cannot be made dependent on consensus, though this is an issue on which we and our allies must find a cooperative means of resistance that is not simply the lowest common denominator.

It is something we should do calmly, carefully and inexorably.

The writer is a former secretary of state.

Sunday Herald : British double-agent was in Real IRA's Omagh bomb team

Sunday, August 19, 2001

British double-agent was in Real IRA's Omagh bomb team

EXCLUSIVE | by Neil Mackay and Louise Branson | August 19, 2001

SECURITY forces didn't intercept the Real IRA's Omagh bombing team because one of the terrorists was a British double-agent whose cover would have been blown as an informer if the operation was uncovered.

The security forces were forced to hope that their agent would provide them with intelligence to ensure that the bomb would go off without casualties. In the event, due to blundered telephone warnings, 29 people died on August 15 1998.

The revelations follow claims by another British double-agent in the IRA, Kevin Fulton (not his real name), that he phoned a warning to his RUC handlers 48 hours before the Omagh bombing that the Real IRA was planning an attack and gave details of one of the bombing team and the man's car registration.

The RUC chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan claims no such information was received, despite Fulton claiming to have a tape of a conversation with his handler in which the officer appears to admit the tip-off was received.

Both republican and intelligence sources say the RUC did not act on the information as one of the Omagh bombing team was a British informer. It is not known whether he was operating for the police, the army or MI5. There is speculation he may have also been working for the Garda Ð the Irish police.

Last night, the Sunday Herald was told by republican sources that the Real IRA had launched an internal inquiry on Friday morning to find the spy in their midst. The man thought to be the agent is a senior member of the organisation.

Nuala O'Loan, the Northern IrelandÊombudsman, has launched an inquiry into claims by Fulton that the RUC ignored his tip-off. John Reid, the Northern Ireland secretary, described Fulton's claims as Òunfounded allegationsÓ.

One source said: ÒThe only reason the RUC would not act on a tip-off which stated a bomb was in the offing is if a member of the bombing team was a highly-placed agent and they needed to keep him in place.

ÒIf the operation was allowed to go ahead then the agent would be seen as a good guy by the Real IRA; but if it failed, he could have come under suspicion of being an informer and been killed.Ó

Meanwhile, the republican movement was facing the complete collapse of its support base in Washington and across America over the arrest of three alleged IRA men with links to the drug-dealing Marxist terror group, FARC, in Colombia.

Republican congressman, Peter King, one of longest-standing supporters in Congress of Sinn Fein, said: ÒIf the IRA has done what it is accused of then that is inexcusable and disgraceful.Ó

King, seen by many in Northern Ireland as an IRA apologist, said allegations that the IRA was involved in a drugs-for-arms deal with FARC would have a Òserious impactÓ on Sinn Fein's standing in America. He added that the Bush administration wants answers. Bush has helped fund a ÒwarÓ against narco- terrorists in Colombia, including FARC, to combat the flood of drugs smuggled into the USA.

Richard Hass, the president's key advisor on Northern Ireland, has demanded a full explanation from Gerry Adams. Sinn Fein is hugely dependent on both political and financial support from the USA.

The party have been trying without success to distance themselves from the activities of the three men, despite the fact that one of them, Niall Connolly, was exposed by the Cuban government as Sinn Fein's official representative in Latin America.

King hinted that if Adams wished to preserve Sinn Fein's relationship with Capitol Hill he would have to prove that he was not linked to the Òhardcore of the IRAÓ. That will be difficult as it is an accepted fact that both Adams and Martin McGuinness are in regular contact with the IRA's ruling army council.

The three IRA suspects were last night facing deportation from Bogota as early as Wednesday. They would not automatically be sent to the country of their nationality. Instead they could be sent to a country for which they have visas. However, Britain could also request their extradition.

Also last night, came a glimmer of hope that the SDLP might accept Reid's proposals on police reform, which are a major stumbling block to peace. All sides must decide by Tuesday if they will nominate representatives to the Policing Board set up to oversee the transition from the RUC to the new service, which Sinn Fein has already rejected.

By Neil Mackay Home Affairs Editor and Louise Branson in Washington

South Asia Analysis Group : Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

Wednesday, August 01, 2001


by B. Raman | Paper no.287 | August 1, 2001

The intelligence community of Pakistan, which was once described by the "Frontier Post" of Peshawar (May 18,1994) as its "invisible government" and by the "Dawn" of Karachi (April 25,1994) as "our secret godfathers" consists of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the ISI. While the IB comes under the Interior Minister, the ISI is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Each wing of the Armed Forces has also its own intelligence directorate for tactical MI.

The IB is the oldest dating from Pakistan's creation in 1947. It was formed by the division of the pre-partition IB of British India. Its unsatisfactory military intelligence (MI) performance in the first Indo-Pak war of 1947-48 over Jammu & Kashmir (J & K) led to the decision in 1948 to create the ISI, manned by officers from the three Services, to specialise in the collection, analysis and assessment of external intelligence, military and non-military, with the main focus on India.

Initially, the ISI had no role in the collection of internal political intelligence except in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and the Northern Areas (NA--Gilgit and Baltistan). Ayub Khan, suspecting the loyalty and objectivity of the Bengali police officers in the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the IB in Dacca, the capital of the then East Pakistan, entrusted the ISI with the responsibility for the collection of internal political intelligence in East Pakistan.

Similarly, Z.A.Bhutto, when faced with a revolt by Balochi nationalists in Balochistan after the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, suspected the loyalty of the Balochi police officers of the SIB in Quetta and made the military officers of the ISI responsible for internal intelligence in Balochistan.

Zia-ul-Haq expanded the internal intelligence responsibilities of the ISI by making it responsible not only for the collection of intelligence about the activities of the Sindhi nationalist elements in Sindh and for monitoring the activities of Shia organisations all over the country after the success of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, but also for keeping surveillance on the leaders of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto and its allies which had started the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in the early 1980s. The ISI's Internal Political Division had Shah Nawaz Bhutto, one of the two brothers of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto, assassinated through poisoning in the French Riviera in the middle of 1985, in an attempt to intimidate her into not returning to Pakistan for directing the movement against Zia, but she refused to be intimidated and returned to Pakistan.

Even in the 1950s, Ayub Khan had created in the ISI a Covert Action Division for assisting the insurgents in India's North-East and its role was expanded in the late 1960s to assist the Sikh Home Rule Movement of London-based Charan Singh Panchi, which was subsequently transformed into the so-called Khalistan Movement, headed by Jagjit Singh Chauhan. A myriad organisations operating amongst the members of the Sikh diaspora in Europe, the US and Canada joined the movement at the instigation and with the assistance of the ISI.

During the Nixon Administration in the US, when Dr.Henry Kissinger was the National Security Adviser, the intelligence community of the US and the ISI worked in tandem in guiding and assisting the so-called Khalistan movement in the Punjab. The visits of prominent Sikh Home Rule personalities to the US before the Bangladesh Liberation War in December, 1971, to counter Indian allegations of violations of the human rights of the Bengalis of East Pakistan through counter-allegations of violations of the human rights of the Sikhs in Punjab were jointly orchestrated by the ISI, the US intelligence and some officials of the US National Security Council (NSC) Secretariat, then headed by Dr.Kissinger.

This covert colloboration between the ISI and the US intelligence community was also directed at discrediting Mrs.Indira Gandhi's international stature by spreading disinformation about alleged naval base facilities granted by her to the USSR in Vizag and the Andaman & Nicobar, the alleged attachment of KGB advisers to the then Lt.Gen.Sunderji during Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June, 1984, and so on. This collaboration petered out after her assassination in October,1984.

The Afghan war of the 1980s saw the enhancement of the covert action capabilities of the ISI by the CIA. A number of officers from the ISI's Covert Action Division received training in the US and many covert action experts of the CIA were attached to the ISI to guide it in its operations against the Soviet troops by using the Afghan Mujahideen, Islamic fundamentalists of Pakistan and Arab volunteers. Osama bin Laden, Mir Aimal Kansi, who assassinated two CIA officers outside their office in Langley, US, in 1993, Ramzi Yousef and his accomplices involved in the New York World Trade Centre explosion in February, 1993, the leaders of the Muslim separatist movement in the southern Philippines and even many of the narcotics smugglers of Pakistan were the products of the ISI-CIA collaboration in Afghanistan.

The encouragement of opium cultivation and heroin production and smuggling was also an offshoot of this co-operation. The CIA, through the ISI, promoted the smuggling of heroin into Afghanistan in order to make the Soviet troops heroin addicts. Once the Soviet troops were withdrawn in 1988, these heroin smugglers started smuggling the drugs to the West, with the complicity of the ISI. The heroin dollars have largely contributed to preventing the Pakistani economy from collapsing and enabling the ISI to divert the jehadi hordes from Afghanistan to J & K after 1989 and keeping them well motivated and well-equipped.

Even before India's Pokhran I nuclear test of 1974, the ISI had set up a division for the clandestine procurement of military nuclear technology from abroad and, subsequently, for the clandestine purchase and shipment of missiles and missile technology from China and North Korea. This division, which was funded partly by donations from Saudi Arabia and Libya, partly by concealed allocations in Pakistan's State budget and partly by heroin dollars, was instrumental in helping Pakistan achieve a military nuclear and delivery capability despite its lack of adequate human resources with the required expertise.

Thus, the ISI, which was originally started as essentially an agency for the collection of external intelligence, has developed into an agency adept in covert actions and clandestine procurement of denied technologies as well.

The IB, which was patterned after the IB of British India, used to be a largely police organisation, but the post of Director-General (DG), IB, is no longer tenable only by police officers as it was in the past. Serving and retired military officers are being appointed in increasing numbers to senior posts in the IB, including to the post of DG.

In recent years, there has been a controversy in Pakistan as to who really controls the ISI and when was its internal Political Division set up. Testifying before the Supreme Court on June 16,1997, in a petition filed by Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, former chief of the Pakistan Air Force, challenging the legality of the ISI's Political Division accepting a donation of Rs.140 million from a bank for use against PPP candidates during elections, Gen. (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg, former Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), claimed that though the ISI was manned by serving army officers and was part of the MOD, it reported to the Prime Minister and not to the COAS and that its internal Political Division was actually set up by the late Z.A.Bhutto in 1975.

Many Pakistani analysts have challenged this and said that the ISI, though de jure under the Prime Minister, had always been controlled de facto by the COAS and that its internal Political Division had been in existence at least since the days of Ayub Khan, if not earlier.

The ISI is always headed by an Army officer of the rank of Lt.Gen., who is designated as the Director-General (DG). The present DG is Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed. He is assisted by three Deputy Directors-General (DDGs), designated as DDG (Political), DDG-I (External) and DDG-II (Administration). It is divided into the following Divisions:

* The Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB)---Responsible for all Open Sources Intelligence (OSINT) and Human Intelligence (HUMINT) collection, inside Pakistan as well as abroad.

* The Joint Counter-Intelligence (CI) Bureau: Responsible for CI inside Pakistan as well as abroad.

* The Joint Signals Intelligence Bureau (JSIB): Responsible for all communications intelligence inside Pakistan and abroad.

* Joint Intelligence North (JIN): Responsible for the proxy war in Jammu & Kashmir and the control of Afghanistan through the Taliban. Controls the Army of Islam, consisting of organisations such as Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Al Badr and Maulana Masood Azhar's Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM). Lt.Gen.Mohammad Aziz, presently a Corps Commander at Lahore, is the clandestine Chief of Staff of the Army of Islam. It also controls all opium cultivation and heroin refining and smuggling from Pakistani and Afghan territory.

* Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous (JIM): Responsible for covert actions in other parts of the world and for the clandestine procurement of nuclear and missile technologies. Maj Gen (retd) Sultan Habib, an operative of this Division, who had distinguished himself in the clandestine procurement and theft of nuclear material while posted as the Defence Attache in the Pakistani Embassy in Moscow from 1991 to 93, with concurrent accreditation to the Central Asian Republics (CARs), Poland and Czechoslovakia, has recently been posted as Ambassador to North Korea to oversee the clandestine nuclear and missile co-operation between North Korea and Pakistan. After completing his tenure in Moscow, he had co-ordinated the clandestine shipping of missiles from North Korea, the training of Pakistani experts in the missile production and testing facilities of North Korea and the training of North Korean scientists in the nuclear establishments of Pakistan through Capt. (retd) Shafquat Cheema, Third Secretary and acting head of mission, in the Pakistani Embassy in North Korea, from 1992 to 96. Before Maj.Gen. Sultan Habib's transfer to ISI headquarters from Moscow, the North Korean missile and nuclear co-operation project was handled by Maj.Gen.Shujjat from the Baluch Regiment, who worked in the clandestine procurement division of the ISI for five years. On Capt.Cheema's return to headquarters in 1996, the ISI discovered that in addition to acting as the liaison officer of the ISI with the nuclear and missile establishments in North Korea, he was also earning money from the Iranian and the Iraqi intelligence by helping them in their clandestine nuclear and missile technology and material procurement not only from North Korea, but also from Russia and the CARs. On coming to know of the ISI enquiry into his clandestine assistance to Iran and Iraq, he fled to Xinjiang and sought political asylum there, but the Chinese arrested him and handed him over to the ISI. What happened to him subsequently is not known. Capt.Cheema initially got into the ISI and got himself posted to the Pakistani Embassy in North Korea with the help of Col.(retd) Ghulam Sarwar Cheema of the PPP.

* Joint Intelligence X (JIX): Responsible for administration and accounts.

* Joint Intelligence Technical (JIT): Responsible for the collection of all Technical Intelligence (TECHINT) other than communications intelligence and for research and development in gadgetry.

* The Special Wing: Responsible for all intelligence training in the Armed Forces in the Defence Services Intelligence Academy and for liaison with foreign intelligence and security agencies.

Since 1948, there have been three instances when the DG,ISI, was at daggers drawn with the COAS. The first instance was during the first tenure of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister (1988 to 1990). To reduce the powers of the ISI, to re-organise the intelligence community and to enhance the powers of the police officers in the IB, she discontinued the practice of appointing a serving Lt.Gen, recommended by the COAS, as the DG, ISI, and, instead appointed Maj.Gen. (retd) Shamsur Rahman Kallue, a retired officer close to her father, as the DG in replacement of Lt.Gen.Hamid Gul in 1989 and entrusted him with the task of winding up the internal intelligence collection role of the ISI and civilianising the IB and the ISI. Writing in the "Nation" of July 31,1997, Brig.A.R.Siddiqui, who had served as the Press Relations Officer in the army headquarters in the 1970s, said that this action of hers marked the beginning of her trouble with Gen.Beg, the then COAS, which ultimately led to her dismissal in August,1990. Gen.Beg made Maj.Gen.Kallue persona non grata (PNG), stopped inviting him to the Corps Commanders conferences and transferred the responsibility for the proxy war in J & K and for assisting the Sikh extremists in the Punjab from the ISI to the Army intelligence directorate working under the Chief of the General Staff (CGS).

The second instance was during the first tenure of Nawaz Sharif (1990-93), who appointed as the DG,ISI, Lt.Gen.Javed Nasir, a fundamentalist Kashmiri officer, though he was not recommended by the COAS for the post. Lt.Gen.Asif Nawaz Janjua, the then COAS, made Lt.Gen.Nasir PNG and stopped inviting him to the Corps Commanders conferences. Despite this, Lt.Gen.Janjua returned to the ISI the responsibility for the proxy war in J & K and for assisting the Sikh extremists.

During her second tenure (1993-96), Mrs. Bhutto avoided any conflict with Gen.Abdul Waheed Kakkar and Gen. Jehangir Karamat, the Chiefs of the Army Staff in succession, on the appointment of the DG,ISI. Her action in transferring part of the responsibility for the operations in Afghanistan, including the creation and the handling of the Taliban, from the ISI to the Interior Ministry headed by Maj.Gen. (retd) Nasirullah Babar, who handled Afghan operations in the ISI during the tenure of her father, did not create any friction with the army since she had ordered that Lt.Gen. Pervez Musharraf, then Director-General of Military Operations, should be closely associated by Maj.Gen.Babar in the Afghan operations.

However, sections of the ISI, close to Farooq Leghari, the then President of Pakistan, had Murtaza Bhutto, the surviving brother of Mrs.Benazir, assassinated outside his house in Karachi in September,1996, with the complicity of some local police officers and started a disinformation campaign in the media blaming her and her husband, Asif Zirdari, for the murder. This campaign paved the way for her dismissal by Leghari in November,1996.

The third instance was during the second tenure of Nawaz Sharif (1997-99) when his action in appointing Lt.Gen. Ziauddin, an engineer, as the DG,ISI, over-riding the objection of Gen.Musharraf led to the first friction between the two. Gen.Musharraf transferred Lt.Gen.Mohammad Aziz, the then DDG,ISI, on his promotion as Lt.Gen. to the GHQ as the CGS and transferred the entire Joint Intelligence North (JIN), responsible for covert actions in India and Afghanistan to the Directorate-General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) to be supervised by Lt.Gen.Aziz. It is believed that the JIN continues to function under the DGMI even after the appointment of Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed as the DG, ISI, after the overthrow of Sharif on October 12,1999. Gen.Musharraf, as the COAS, made Lt.Gen.Ziauddin PNG and stopped inviting him to the Corps Commanders' conferences. He kept Lt.Gen.Ziauddin totally out of the picture in the planning and implementation of the Kargil operations. After the Kargil war, Nawaz Sharif had sent Lt.Gen.Ziauddin to Washington on a secret visit to inform the Clinton Administration officials of his concerns over the continued loyalty of Gen.Musharraf. After his return from the US, Lt.Gen.Ziauddin went to Kandahar, as ordered by Sharif, to pressurise Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Amir of the Taliban, to stop assisting the anti-Shia Sipah Sahaba Pakistan and to co-operate with the US in the arrest and deportation of bin Laden. On coming to know of this, Gen. Musharraf sent Lt.Gen.Aziz to Kandahar to tell the Amir that he should not carry out the instructions of Lt.Gen.Ziauddin and that he should follow only his (Lt.Gen.Aziz's) instructions.

These instances would show that whenever an elected leadership was in power, the COAS saw to it that the elected Prime Minister did not have effective control over the ISI and that the ISI was marginalised if its head showed any loyalty to the elected Prime Minister.

In their efforts to maintain law and order in Pakistan and weaken nationalist and religious elements and political parties disliked by the army, the ISI and the army followed a policy of divide and rule. After the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, to keep the Shias of Pakistan under control, the ISI encouraged the formation of ant-Shia Sunni extremist organisations such as the Sipah Sahaba . When the Shias of Gilgit rose in revolt in 1988, Musharraf used bin Laden and his tribal hordes from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to suppress them brutally. When the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM---now called the Muttahida Qaumi Movement) of Altaf Hussain rose in revolt in the late 1980s in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur in Sindh, the ISI armed sections of the Sindhi nationalist elements to kill the Mohajirs. It then created a split between Mohajirs of Uttar Pradesh origin (in Altaf Hussain's MQM) and those of Bihar origin in the splinter anti-Altaf Hussain group called MQM (Haquiqi--meaning real). In Altaf Hussain's MQM itself, the ISI unsuccessfully tried to create a wedge between the Sunni and Shia migrants from Uttar Pradesh.

Having failed in his efforts to weaken the PPP by taking advantage of the exile of Mrs.Benazir and faced with growing unity of action between Altaf Hussain's MQM and sections of Sindhi nationalist elements, Musharraf has constituted a secret task force in the ISI headed by Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed, the DG, and consisting of Lt.Gen.(retd) Moinuddin Haider, Interior Minister, and Lt.Gen.Muzaffar Usmani, Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, to break the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists.

This task force has encouraged not only religious political organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (JUI) of Maulana Fazlur Rahman etc, but also sectarian organisations such as the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of Riaz Basra, living under the protection of the Taliban and bin Laden in Kandahar in Afghanistan, to extend their activities to Sindh.

These organisations have now practically got out of the control of the ISI. Instead of attacking the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists and bringing them to heel as Musharraf had hoped they would, they have taken their anti-Shia jehad to Sindh and have been recruiting a large number of unemployed Sindhi rural youth for service with the Taliban. Sindh, which was known for its Sufi traditions of religious tolerance, has seen under Musharraf a resurgence of the street power of the JEI and the JUI, which had been practically driven out of the province in the 1980s, by the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists, and has seen in recent months anti-Shia massacres of the kind used by Musharraf in Gilgit in 1988. Over 200 Shias have been gunned down, including 30 doctors of Karachi, and the latest victims of the sectarian Frankenstein let loose by Musharraf in Sindh have been Shaukat Mirza, the Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil, and Syed Zafar Hussain Zaidi, a Director in the Research Laboratories of the Ministry of Defence, located in Karachi, who were gunned down on July 28 and 30,2001, respectively. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for both these assassinations.

As a result of the policy of divide and rule followed in Sindh by the ISI under Musharraf, one is seeing in Pakistan for the first time sectarian violence inside the Sunni community between the Sunnis of the Deobandi faith belonging to the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Sunnis of the more tolerant Barelvi faith belonging to the Sunni Tehrik formed in the early 1990s to counter the growing Wahabi influence on Islam in Pakistan and the Almi Tanzeem Ahle Sunnat formed in 1998 by Pir Afzal Qadri of Mararian Sharif in Gujrat, Punjab, to counter the activities of the Deobandi Army of Islam headed by Lt.Gen.Mohammed Aziz, Corps Commander, Lahore.

The Tanzeem has been criticising not only the Army of Islam for injecting what it considers the Wahabi poison into the Pakistan society, but also the army of the State headed by Musharraf for misleading the Sunni youth into joining the jehad against the Indian army in J & K and getting killed there in order to avoid the Pakistani army officers getting killed in the jehad for achieving its strategic objective. The ISI, which is afraid of a direct confrontation with the Barelvi organisations, has been inciting the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to counter their activities .

This has led to frequent armed clashes between rival Sunni groups in Sindh, the most sensational of the incidents being the gunning down of Maulana Salim Qadri of the Sunni Tehrik and five of his followers in Karachi on May, 18,2001, by the Sipah Sahaba, which led to a major break-down of law and order in certain areas of Karachi for some days.

Musharraf, the commando, believes in achieving his objective by hook or by crook without worrying about the means used. In his anxiety to bring Sindh under control and to weaken the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists, he has, through the ISI, created new Frankensteins which might one day lead to the Talibanisation of Sindh, a province always known for its sufi traditions of religious tolerance and for its empathy with India.

Musharraf is under pressure from sections of senior army officers concerned over these developments to suppress the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He and Lt.Gen.Haider have been making the pretence of planning to do so. It is to be seen whether they really would and, even if they did, whether they would or could effectively enforce the ban on them.

In India, there is a point of view in some circles that the only way of effectively countering the ISI activities against India is to have an Indian version of the ISI, with extensive powers for clandestine intelligence collection, technology procurement and covert actions and that the proposed Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) should be patterned after Pakistan's ISI rather than after the DIA of the US and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) of the UK, which are essentially agencies for the analysis and assessment of military intelligence in a holistic manner, with powers for clandestine collection only during times of war or when deployed in areas of conflict and with no powers for covert action.

The principle of civilian primacy in the intelligence community is widely accepted in all successful democracies and the discarding of this principle in Pakistan sowed the seeds for the present state of affairs there. In our anxiety for quick results against the ISI, we should not sacrifice time-tested principles as to how intelligence agencies should function in a democratic society.

In the 1970s,Indian policy-makers wisely decided that the Indian intelligence should not get involved in clandestine procurement of denied technologies since the exposure of any such procurement could damage the credibility and trustworthiness of the Indian scientific and technological community in the eyes of other countries.

This is what has happened to Pakistan. Its intelligence community did some spectacular work in clandestine procurement and theft of technologies abroad. But, once the details of this network were exposed, post-graduate students of Pakistan in scientific subjects, its academics, research scholars and scientists are looked upon with suspicion in Western countries and find it difficult to enter universities and research laboratories for higher studies and research and get jobs in establishments dealing in sensitive technologies and are less frequently invited to seminars etc than in the past. In its anxiety to catch up with India in the short term, Pakistan has damaged its long-term potential in science and technology.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-Mail: corde@vsnl.com )