Frontline: The Torture Question: Interviews: Janis Karpinski

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Frontline interviews Janis Karpinski

In your book you describe that drive from Kuwait into Iraq, that first time you went in. Give me your sense of what it was like to drive up that road.

Well, it doesn't make any difference what anybody expects. I've traveled in the Middle East before. I've been in Kuwait, and I've been in other parts of the Middle East. But, it was completely different than what I expected.

As soon as we crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq, there was a prevalence of fear. There was dust and heat. I mean, you can't see it, but I could feel it from everybody we passed, from everybody we stopped and spoke to from the units, there was this fear. It was almost like a lingering feeling that this was not over yet. They weren't convinced that the fight had really moved into or up to closer to Baghdad or in other parts of Iraq. And I didn't get the impression from soldiers that they felt completely safe.

Along the road there were broken down-vehicles, there were abandoned vehicles, there were burned out vehicles. And there were berms along certain parts of the main supply routes, MSRs, as they were called. And not the whole way, but there was berming where some of the engineer equipment, or troops that were moving through had bermed up some of the sand. And on the other side of those berms, there were very often people that were shooting RPGs or a variety of weapons.


Iraqis, or the remaining opposition. Everybody called them Iraqis, but nobody really knew if they were border crossers, or if they were just disgruntled people, or fearful people, or whoever they were, but they were not of the coalition. This was the opposition.

So in spite of the fact that the war was allegedly over, there was not a feeling of peaceful operations taking hold. It was the leftover, the carcasses of the vehicles and the houses that had been hit initially in that first push through from Kuwait through Iraq. But, it was not anything like what I saw in Baghdad. As we got closer, as we approached the city probably from well, 45 to 50 kilometers outside of Baghdad, the destruction was everywhere. And if you passed a gas station that was actually operational, a fuel station, the lines were miles long waiting for people to get gas. …

Take me to that first meeting with Gen. [Ricardo] Sanchez [shortly after you arrived in Iraq].

… My predecessor brought me in to meet Gen. Sanchez, and he was a rather unpleasant person. And maybe up until that point Gen. Sanchez did not even realize that the new military police brigade commander was a female, because from the jump it was an insult to him that he had to rely very heavily on a general officer, commander of a Reserve unit to do this critical mission, and then you layer on top of that this insult to a warrior's instinct that it's a female. So he was not a very pleasant personality. Whether that had anything to do with me or not he'll never say, but that was my first impression.
I will continue to ask how they can continue to blame seven rogue soldiers on the night shift, when there is the preponderance of hard information from a variety of sources [that] says otherwise.

He was not full of information. He was very sketchy. He said that he needed us there several days before, [and] when we were going to get up there, we were going to be working with the people down at the Coalition Provisional Authority to restore the jails and the prisons and get these criminals off the streets.

... There was no discussion about whether we were equipped or whether we had the right number of people or anything else. It didn't seem to be a concern to him, or a consideration. ...

Tell me a little bit about the preparedness of the unit.

Before I was selected for a promotion to brigadier general, and before I was selected to command the 800th Military Police Brigade, I was already serving full time as the chief of staff for the 81st Regional Support Command, which was the Army Reserve's largest support command. … So I know what the standard was for our units.

We wouldn't let units leave if they were ill equipped or ill prepared or inappropriate for the position that they were filling. And then three months into it, about March timeframe, they came up with this what I've come to call a harebrained scheme about cross-leveling people to fill vacancies. So if you have a unit that's authorized [for] 150 soldiers, and 50 of those soldiers now ... are not qualified -- maybe they're not trained; maybe they have a medical limitation; maybe they have a personal problem, situation, whatever…

Well, in the interest of getting these units pushed out the door, the chief of the Army Reserve and the chief of the National Guard Bureau decided that this cross-leveling scheme would work, and they would bring in soldiers with those qualifications to fill vacancies in these units. Well, right from the jump, that goes contrary to what the Army has always been about, and that's working together as a unit, as a team, in cohesion.

Units were being pushed out of the mobilization stations for deployments, and there was a minimum requirement. The unit was obviously not going to be at 100 percent, but they could not deploy if they were [at] less than 92 percent strength, qualification, appropriate fields, those kind of things. And equipment was not a consideration for some of these locations. Like I said, I know what our standard was in our units, but I saw once I got into the theater that the standard was clearly lacking in some of the other locations. …

The 800th MP Brigade eventually had the same size area of responsibility as Gen. Sanchez. But he had a component of toys. He had a full aviation brigade; he had all of the up-armored equipment he needed; he had all of the combat firepower he needed; he had divisions all over the place. We didn't have any of those things.

You have to plug into a mother ship, for lack of a better expression, the mother ship being CJTF-7 [Combined Joint Task Force Seven]. Well, when we got to Baghdad, the door was closed, and they never opened it. They never embraced us or welcomed us or anything; never made us feel like we were an important component of the team.

You were like the poor stepchild.

We were. And their justification for that was all of the obvious and probably many things that I'm not and hope never to be aware of. But we were a Reserve brigade. We had Reserve and National Guard units. We had military policy personnel assigned. We had the security and detention operation as a mission. We could have become a drain on their resources. So what did they do? They just denied us any access to the resources. ...

Although every single day I was requesting from the CJTF-7 funding, support, forced protection most importantly, it fell on deaf ears. And the deputy commander, Gen. Sanchez's deputy, said to me many times: "You're just not a priority, Janis. Your units are securing Iraqis, bad guys. Some of them were shooting at us a couple of months ago. You're not a priority. My priority is taking care of my units first." I said: "I'm one of those units, too, sir. My soldiers deserve the same attention that the other soldiers are getting."

At one point he tried to reason with me: "You see, you're a Reserve brigade. We have limitations on what we can give to you, but we're trying. We're trying to support you." Well, meanwhile down in Kuwait, the headquarters down there wasn't interested in supporting us at all. "You belong to the CJTF-7 now." So we were the brigade that was not only the stepchild, but we were caught in the middle between people at the senior level who didn't like each other. And they didn't care what our eventual outcome was, of success or failure.

Do you have any special training in prison warden work?

No. My battalion was prisoner-of-war operation. We were very successful. They had a long history of success. They were deployed during the first Gulf War. I was not the battalion commander at the time, but the soldiers were well trained. I had been out on these training exercises many times during the course of five years to see units in the field, to watch what they were doing, to know what they were capable of doing and to deploy with my own units, to practice the mission. ...

Describe your first visit to the now infamous Abu Ghraib.

… We drove out there -- and again, you, it was even more extraordinary driving on this main supply route from the Coalition Provisional Headquarters, out to the Green Zone, out to Abu Ghraib over miles of the most dangerous MSR [main supply route] in the theater. We did occasionally see Bradleys or heavy combat firepower, but at that time there was no developing IED or roadside bomb problem to worry about. Our main concern was people that might be popping up over the berm and firing an RPG or a hand grenade at some of the vehicles.

You're already on edge; your stress level is up considerably; the awareness is unbelievable, how fine-tuned and extreme it becomes. And we got to Abu Ghraib, and I can see, [driving] down the MSR, I can see this huge wall that seems like it goes on for acres. And in fact, it did. And that was the key point of using Abu Ghraib at all. There was this 20-foot-high wall; for the [most] part, at least where we could see from that side, approaching Abu Ghraib, it was not breached. In other facilities, the locals, when they were looting the facilities, they actually removed sections of the walls before they started looting the interiors of these different jails and prisons. But Abu Ghraib, this 20-foot wall was intact. And it was huge. …

You could see three towers. And I said, "Oh, well, they've got good visual." And they said, "Nobody's in the towers because people are shooting at them from the outside." And I said, you know, "It's not a secure area?" "Well, not yet."

So I get to the facility. We go inside, and other than this 20-foot wall, I can tell you that there was nothing at Abu Ghraib that was intact. From the minute we went into the entry control point, with a couple of MPs [military police] standing there controlling access to the extent that they could, everything was rubble. There was huge chunks of concrete; there was rebar; there was metal; there were pieces of metal sheeting and roofs and glass everywhere. It was almost like a disguise from this outside wall that what you were going to see inside was something that resembled a prison.

Some structures were still standing. but everything had been looted or blown to bits or carted off. The doors of all the cells had been removed. The most difficult problem was that the infrastructure [was] out at Abu Ghraib: Water was looted or destroyed; the electrical pipes had been pulled down, and they looted the cooper wire out of the infrastructure. There was no light; there was no running water. There was nothing out there that was working at all. This company, the only the communication they had was their radio systems in their military vehicles.

They were holding a couple of hundred prisoners that were largely, probably 99 percent, Iraqi criminals -- nonviolent crimes, but they had been policed up by the divisions and then turned over to Abu Ghraib, waiting for transfer to other facilities in Baghdad as they became available. ...

We did get them some financing from the Coalition Provisional Authority to begin some of this cleanup work and everything. Two weeks later -- I'd been back several times -- but two weeks later was the first time that I said, "You know, this is really unbelievable." It was like they were using snow shovels to remove the rubble to certain locations.

Tell me about the buildup from a couple of hundred prisoners that day, up until it gets to whatever it gets to -- 8,000? How fast was the ramp-up in terms of population?

July, August, we had incoming prisoners. By and large, the vast majority of them were nonviolent Iraqi criminals caught moving, stealing gas, stealing a car, missing curfew, whatever it might be. And there [was] occasionally a violent prisoner that was arrested and had probably been released when Saddam opened all the jails up and released everybody in October, November of 2002. But by and large they were nonviolent, just disrupting combat operations, so turned over.

July and August, our prisoner population was probably total, in all of our 17 facilities, including the 300 remaining prisoners of war, was less than 2,000, with average intake of about 150 a week, 400 or 500 during the course of the month, and largely because, when the divisions policed these guys up in the course of their operations, they could make a decision that this was a bad guy or this was somebody that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At the end of August -- again, without coordinating with anybody in the 800th MP Brigade, let alone the brigade commander-- the CJTF-7 made assignments to the divisions to undertake these raids to target specific individuals that were either terrorists, associates of terrorists or who had information about terrorists. And the reason for that was because, largely, they had that operation where the 101st got Uday and Qusay [Hussein, Saddam's sons] and the henchmen, and they exploited a lot of the information that they were able to obtain from that site. And so they turned over lists of people, divided it by the division sectors, and the divisions undertook these operations.

So on the 26th or whatever it was of August of 2003, in the dead of the night, these helicopters arrive and turn over 35 "security detainees" to Abu Ghraib. They were able to take them in because they had outside camps set up, and they needed to be isolated from the Iraqi prisoners. And my battalion commander is calling me frantically, saying: "Did you know anything about this? Why are we getting these people?" "No, didn't know anything about it. Let me see what I can find out." And this was going to continue, according to the deputy commander at CJTF-7. These were raids, and by the time that all of the raids were completed, it might be 1,500 or 2,000. …

This relatively new tag on these inbound detainees was "security detainee," which meant they would always remain under the control of the Coalition forces. They could not be housed near or with the criminal element that we were housing, principally, out at Abu Ghraib. And some of them were terrorists, and they were bad, bad people.

The exclusive military interrogation teams that we had out at Abu Ghraib at the time -- there was three or four of them. Each one was three individuals, and they did what they call an immediate interview. So with each one of these 35 security detainees that was coming into Abu Ghraib, they interviewed them, and in the course of just over 24 hours, they said all but two could be released. These two, for some reason in the interview there was information that developed that yes, they might in fact be really terrorists or have more information about where Saddam was, or whatever.

So every night I had a briefing over at the headquarters, and I briefed that we were going to release 33 of these people. And the deputy turned on me, and he said: "You are not to release anyone. Who told you to release anybody?" And I said: "I got that from the interrogators. They said they have no further intel value." And he shouted to get somebody from the intel section, and this captain comes running over there, and he launches into this, almost a tirade, against this captain, that he is not to release to anybody; he does not have the authority. If one person is released in error or if he finds out about it, he's going to come after him and take his head off. "Do you understand me, Captain?" And of course the captain is nodding yes, that he understands completely.

And then when he was dismissed, the deputy turns around and explains to me in a very calm demeanor that we can't release any of them because they might go back and tell their friends, and that could compromise the whole operation. And I said, "Thirty-five is one thing, sir, but if we're going to be required to hold several thousand --" It didn't make any difference. By the end of September, our prisoner population at Abu Ghraib alone had increased by 3,500.

So we charted July and August, and we were briefing every week [about] the increasing prisoner population and the ongoing efforts of restoring other jails that we could transfer prisoners, these Iraqi criminals, to. Abu Ghraib was not in a location for a prison operation. There are hostile communities on three sides of Abu Ghraib. The other side was farmland. And they were beginning to shoot mortars into Abu Ghraib. It's in the middle of the Sunni Triangle, and you don't run detention operations in the middle of a combat zone. You just don't do it. ...

Now, when we get these security detainees in, and family members know that "My brother Abdullah is not a terrorist. And they policed him up. All he was doing was returning a car or visiting his friend," or whatever the circumstances were, they're going to find out. And they knew that these prisoners were being held at Abu Ghraib, so they're launching attacks. They know that the person or the people who are being held are being held unfairly, and nobody seemed to care.

There were limitations put on the information about security detainees. They were not entitled to any visitations. Their names did not have to be entered on the database. That information did not have to be released to family members. It was a long list of everything that was contrary to what military police and soldiers are trained about. And it was a departure from all of the procedures we had been following all along. And by the end of October, the prisoner population of security detainees out at Abu Ghraib far outnumbered the Iraqi criminal element out there. And it was 5,000 or 6,000. ... We had about 360 military police personnel. ...

Where was the authority coming from? Who seemed to be in charge of these "special" detainees?

It was all coming from this ill-conceived plan by the CJTF-7 to find Saddam, to get more actionable intelligence, to do whatever it took through interrogations, to get the information that they wanted. I don't know if anybody believed, if Gen. Sanchez or Ambassador [Paul] Bremer believed, that if they found Saddam they would find Osama bin Laden. I don't know, because nobody ever included me in a meeting. Nobody ever said: "Does this make sense? Is this practical?"

In fact, despite our attempts to make things more manageable in all of these facilities, Gen. Sanchez kept assigning us more missions, requiring further spreading-thin of resources. ...

… How much do you know about what the interrogators are getting, are trying to get, are aiming for in this process of grabbing these detainees?

Well, I will tell you from my experience there, we had one or two military interrogation teams at several of our locations. ...We had the fewest number out at Abu Ghraib because [initially] we weren't holding any security detainees. They were [there] in case there was somebody that came in that maybe had a tattoo or some kind of a mark or was a known associate. Then the interrogation teams would kick right in and do their interview.

But they were, as I said, exclusively military members, and they were doing their job. They were doing it very well. They all belong to the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. That was commanded by Col. Thomas Pappas. And they were spread all across Iraq in different facilities to do their thing.

I saw very little of what they actually did in terms of an interview or an interrogation. And the only reason I know that they were getting any kind of results was because they made a recommendation. They passed it to one of my battalion commanders that these prisoners could be released or they could be held in the general prisoner population as opposed to being held exclusively with the security detainees.

Now, they were of the like mind with the military police, because if you bring in prisoners, no matter who they are, detainees or Iraqi prisoners, and you hold them together for any longer than a couple of hours, they're all going to be saying the same story when you interview them, because they've had a chance to protect each other and build the story as they want to tell it.

So it was very important that these interrogation teams would do these interviews, these hasty interviews right away, and make an immediate determination. And they were very efficient. I would say that without hesitation. ...

But after these raids started to take effect, the military intelligence brigade commander was ordered by Gen. Sanchez to bring more interrogation teams to Abu Ghraib. So he removed them from different missions, wherever they were, and brought them to Abu Ghraib.

And then Gen. [Geoffrey D.] Miller's team visited. And in the course of his visit and subsequent to his visit, there were more interrogation teams showing up. But they, by and large, were not military members. They were contract interrogators. And repeatedly, from the military interrogators, from Col. Pappas, from his staff officers, repeatedly I heard that they were not getting any really viable information from any of them. The vast majority of them -- some estimates started at 75 percent; my estimate would be much higher, about 90 percent of them -- were innocent of any terrorism or related activity.

Did you feel the imperative to get information about the insurgency? Was it coming to Sanchez from Washington? Did it come to you? Did you pass it on?

From the security detention side of the hustle, I had concerns because the military intelligence brigade commander and a few of his senior staff officers would tell me, would share with me, that there was so much pressure being put on Col. Pappas to get more actionable intelligence. And it wasn't just pressure from Gen. Sanchez, who, on several occasions, put his finger in Col. Pappas' chest and told him, in no uncertain terms, he wanted the information, and he was holding Pappas responsible for getting it. ... He was under tremendous pressure to make these interrogations work. …

Col. Pappas, who never did an interrogation himself and never worked in interrogations before, was being held responsible for finding [Saddam]. ...

[Was military intelligence a kind of] different animal?

Military intelligence has a different objective. Their objective, their goal is to get information to the commander on the battlefield. And in this case, it was to get information to the commander of the CJTF-7 in an effort to get this situation in Iraq under control -- this growing insurgency, Saddam still on the loose, widely suspected that he was orchestrating all of this insurgent activity.

The military police, on the other hand, are trained, and were trying to take care of prisoners, get them medical attention if necessary, treat them fairly and humanely, in compliance with Geneva Conventions. And so the way that it's supposed to work, by doctrine, is that interrogators will come and request a particular prisoner, and then take them out to a separate interrogation facility to do their thing, and never the two shall mix.

The military police know that when they sign that individual out, he's in good health. He has no signs of bruising or anything else, and has not eaten for 24 hours or has eaten too much in 24 hours -- whatever the circumstances might be, and they put that in a log. [They then] turn the prisoner over to an interrogation team, who then remove them to an interrogation facility. And whatever goes on in an interrogation facility goes on in an interrogation facility. They come back, and they turn the same prisoner over to the military police personnel, who make any notes if there's any signs of bruising or beatings or anything. But they do a complete shakedown and make sure that the person hasn't picked up a weapon or an implement en route, and they put him back in the cell.

[Before Gen. Miller's visit] did that line get blurred? Was there pressure from Pappas, [Gen. Barbara] Fast and others to have the MPs do things, soften people up, segregate them, deal with them in a separate way?

There was no pressure. There was no blurring of the lines. I looked at the logbooks when I went out to these different facilities. And remember that most of our prisoners at Abu Ghraib were being held in these outside compounds. So one prisoner would not be taken out, beaten up and returned that way, and the whole compound not get excited about it.

These events and the photographs occurred exclusively in Cellblock 1A, and some in 1B. But the majority of it took place in Cellblock 1A. And that was under the control of Col. Pappas and the military intelligence interrogators from the beginning of September, in the course of Miller's visit. …

If Sanchez is acting the way Sanchez is acting, finger in the chest of Pappas, pushing hard, … how much pressure do you figure is coming his way from [the Pentagon] at that time?

Oh, absolutely they were. Because they were having these video teleconferences from the Pentagon with General Sanchez.

Tell me about this.

And I never sat in on one of them. But afterwards, he would be particularly ornery. And, you know, people that did sit in on the conferences said that Gen. Sanchez was getting beat up by Rumsfeld, or he didn't have correct answers. They were becoming very impatient. And he was using Col. Pappas' name a lot in those video teleconferences, so.

He, Sanchez.

He being Sanchez. … They'd have these video teleconferences where they would call and ask, you know, "What are the interrogations producing?" Because the mindset apparently at that time -- and it was prevalent down at Coalition Provisional Authority and over at the headquarters -- the mindset was that these insurgents were increasing. The insurgency was increasing in activity because Saddam was still influencing them. And even they expected with the demise of Uday and Qusay and the henchmen, that it would start to unfold, that, you know, it would start to collapse.

That didn't happen. In fact, it got worse. So there must have been legitimacy to this prevailing attitude that you get Saddam, and this war is now going to start to turn in our favor. It was ridiculous because clearly some of the people that were learning how to shoot an RPG effectively didn't have anything to do with the Fedayeen.

And unfortunately, some of those people would be arrested and brought in. But in the initial interview, they were determined to be just simple Iraqi criminals. So they would be turned over to the Iraqi criminal element compound. It appeared that the military interrogation teams, as good as they are, as good as they were, they were not prepared or trained to determine who was an insurgent or who was a guerrilla, or who was a foreign fighter. They could not distinguish the small differences between a Syrian or a Yemeni or a Saudi and an Iraqi. No fault of their own -- people that are there now still can't do that. And of course the insurgency has become more effective than ever. …

What did Sanchez say he was [bringing in Gen. Miller] for?

He never told me. But his operations officer told me that this team was coming to assist with the interrogation operations. And I said, "Hey, if it means that they're going to be able to release more of these security detainees, fine with me." But he said, "Well, apparently, they're very successful down at Guantanamo Bay." And I said, "Yes sir. He has over 800 MPs to guard 600 prisoners down there, so our numbers are a little bit different. We have 8,000 prisoners, and we have 380 MPs to guard them." So he goes: "Well, you make a good point. Make sure you tell him that." ...

[What happened at your first meeting with him?]

… It was during that meeting that he used the expression that he was going to "Gitmoize" the operation. And military intelligence, they were all listening and pay attention and taking notes. And occasionally, I'd look across the room, and I'd see somebody roll their eyes or, you know, look down at their notepad.

Because I was thinking, he's going to learn in the next couple of hours that Iraq is not like Guantanamo Bay. We have people shooting at us here. We are not in full control of Abu Ghraib or anywhere else in this country yet. He's going to learn that very quickly. But this is not the kind of person that you can tell that to. He's sure of everything, and he clearly has all the answers.

One of the military interrogators said: "If we could do something quickly -- because we think we're doing what we know how to do -- our belief is that some of the people don't have any information, so putting them back in the box to get more information is fruitless. What would you recommend that we do to enhance our efforts immediately? Is there anything you could recommend -- you know … a fix, quick fix?"

And he said: "Well, there are no quick fixes, but I can tell you this. Just in talking to Gen. Fast, your boss, you're too nice to the prisoners. They don't know that you're in charge. And you have to be tough with them. Down at Guantanamo Bay, we are in charge from the minute the prisoner is captured and turned over to us, and they know that we're in charge. They never move anywhere without belly chains and leg irons and hand irons. They are given an orange jumpsuit. The rules that they follow are black and white, and they are escorted everywhere they go by two military police soldiers."

My hand refused to stay down, and I said: "Sir, our circumstances here in Iraq are different. You have 800 military police personnel to guard 650 prisoners [at Guantanamo], and we have 380 military police personnel to guard more than 4,000."

And he said: "You can take control in an easy way, and this is the way you do it, that they know that you're in charge. Everything that they earn" -- and he used that expression at that time. "You have to treat the prisoners like dogs. If you treat them, or if they believe that they're any different than dogs, you have effectively lost control of your interrogation from the very start. So they have to earn everything they get. And it works.

"This is what we do down at Guantanamo Bay. They come in; they're escorted everywhere; they're treated very aggressively. They have an orange jumpsuit. And they don't like those orange jumpsuits, because they see people in white jumpsuits and different-colored jumpsuits, and they want to be in that category. But they have to earn it. And if they're cooperative, and if they follow the rules, the first thing that they can earn is a white jumpsuit or a two-piece garment. ... It's actually a class structure." ...

I said: "Sir, we don't have enough money and enough funding for one jumpsuit alone, let alone exchanging colors of jumpsuits. We don't have hand irons and leg irons and belly chains. They're not moved that way. We don't have the ability to do those things you're doing down in Guantanamo Bay."

And he completely waved me off. He said, "It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter." He said, "My budget is $125 million a year at Guantanamo Bay, and I'm going to give Pappas all the financial resources he needs to make this happen."

I'm thinking, this is one Army, right? We can't [find] $25 to buy soap for prisoners in a prison in Baghdad, and he's going to give them $125 million to buy leg irons and hand irons and different-colored jumpsuits? Have at it, you know?

So I was pretty much turning him off to this idea. I believed, very naively, that he was going to discover in the course of his assistance visit that life was different in Iraq. And you could not turn a switch and get supplies and everything else delivered. But you want to do this? You want to Gitmoize the operation? Go forth and do great things. ...

But only one time during the course of the 10-day visit did I see Gen. Miller. He had visited a couple of our facilities. He went over to where the deck of cards were being held. I learned from Gen. Miller afterwards, when he was getting ready to go down and brief Gen. Sanchez, that he'd visited those facilities to determine which one would be the best location to centralize interrogation operations. So he made the determination that he wanted Abu Ghraib.

How does he tell you that?

... The day that he was getting ready to go down to brief Gen. Sanchez, he summoned me and told my operations officer that I couldn't bring a whole crew. I could bring my command sergeant major to talk about troop issues, and I could bring the operations officer. But he wanted to brief me from the visit, and he was going down to talk to Gen. Sanchez about his decisions.

So we go over to the briefing, and he's got his whole team assembled on one side of the conference table, about 20 of them. He's in the middle, and directly opposite from him, there were three places there for me, my operations officer and my command sergeant major. So we sit down, and I remember saying to my major, "We're kind of outnumbered here."

So he says: "OK, we've been here for 10 days, and we've seen a lot, a lot. And I want you to give me Abu Ghraib."

Just like that?

Just like that. I said to him: "Sir, Abu Ghraib is not mine to give you. It doesn't belong to me." So he says, "OK, everybody out, out." And simultaneously, his whole team stood up on that side of the table and left, as if it was planned. My guys, on the other hand, are sitting there looking at me. And I said, "Go on." And the command sergeant major says, "Ma'am?" And I said, "Just wait outside the door." …

I spoke up first. I said: "Look, sir, I don't know who told you I was going to be difficult. I'm not being difficult. Abu Ghraib is not mine to give you. It belongs to Ambassador Bremer. It belongs to the Coalition Provisional Authority. We're just doing detention operations out there." I started to [tell him] about the interim facility, and he said, "I don't care." He said, "Rick Sanchez. Rick Sanchez said I could have any facility I wanted, and I want Abu Ghraib." He said to me, "We can do this my way, or we can do this the hard way."

I wanted to say to him: "You know, we're on the same team here. What do you mean, the hard way?" I said: "Sir, if Ambassador Bremer says to turn Abu Ghraib over to you for interrogation operations, I'm not going to stand in the way. But it is not my facility. I don't have the authority to give it to you." And he didn't care. He clearly had the authority to take and use whatever facility he so chose to centralize interrogation operations.

He said he was going to use the MPs out there. They were going to know how to assist the interrogators. I said: "Sir, they're not trained to do interrogations. As I told you in your in brief, they don't move prisoners with leg irons." He said, "It's going to change." He said, "I'm leaving training materials with the commander, and we're going to change the nature of interrogation out at Abu Ghraib." … They wanted to blur the lines and then make them disappear altogether. …

He said that he had already started on this plan to bring these MILVANs [military-owned containers for transporting cargo] in to make individual cells out at Abu Ghraib. Now I'm thinking, we've got several thousand prisoners out there. How are you going to bring in all of these MILVANs, and where are they coming from? We couldn't even get building materials safely up from the port at Um Qasr, and he's going to bring in thousands of these MILVANs to build prison cells? …

I thought, they're going to somehow turn this around to us and say: "Well, it's your responsibility. They're prison cells, so find a way to make this work." Well, now all of a sudden, we're what, supposed to be a transportation brigade? So all of those fears were being processed through my mind. But it was this complete unawareness of what the obstacles were in Iraq, throughout Iraq -- not of my making, not of my doing, and I certainly knew that I didn't have the resources to fix it either. ...

After Miller has left, is Sanchez going easier on Pappas?

No, he is not. And in fact, Gen. Fast is now a far more frequent visitor out to Abu Ghraib and spending a lot of time with Col. Pappas and the interrogation teams. And there's more people arriving. Every day, there's more people arriving out at Abu Ghraib to be interrogators, and they either had experience in Afghanistan or down at Guantanamo Bay. Many of them were personally selected by Gen. Miller and sent to Iraq. ... Many of them were contractors.

I have to tell you that, at the time, number one, that wasn't my lane, so I wasn't paying attention. But I saw a lot more civilians. I thought they were all translators arriving out at Abu Ghraib, because my experience with the contractors up until that point was that they were all translators. ...

The number of security detainees coming into Abu Ghraib was growing enormously large. We were still working on transferring our Iraqi criminals out to other facilities, and we were very successful with that. So there was more interrogation teams, more resources showing up at Abu Ghraib, and they were still not getting the results from any of the interrogations.

Largely, in these outside compounds that were built for 500 people, by October and November, some of those compounds were over 500 people. So that's the number that were being held out there. Mortar fire as becoming more accurate, coming more often.

Many of my units at that time were leaving in November and December. So I had to bring a company up from another facility. They had been working with the multinationals down near Najaf. And that particular unit was already under strength. They were down to about 70 percent personnel strength, but it was the only company we had that had any kind of longevity left in the theater. They would not be due to rotate back to the United States until March, or at the latest April of 2004. …

So they come up to replace a 160-[person] military police company. They send about 60 soldiers up to replace this company. Their briefing is, Cellblock 1A and [1]B is largely under the control of the military intelligence, and it's people that are higher value or might have higher value in the information that they have. The outside compounds are pretty much under control, but they're overcrowded. The brigade is working on getting the release procedures stepped up. It's the best we can do.

So the experienced company that has far more personnel resources, they rotate home, and in comes the 372nd Military Police Company, at 50 percent strength at best, and not very happy because they know they're moving into a far more dangerous location as opposed to where they were.

Who's in that group?

At the time that this unit came up and got their briefing, Staff Sgt. [Ivan L. "Chip"] Frederick was in that group. [Pfc.] Lynndie England was in that group, [Spc. Megan] Ambuhl, [Sgt.] Javal Davis, all of the players photographed in those photographs that were released. ...

Sgt. [Charles] Graner was not in the original group that came up to Abu Ghraib. He in fact a week later was summoned up to Abu Ghraib away from his personnel security mission that he was doing for the multinationals, and brought up to Abu Ghraib specifically to work on the night shift in Cellblock 1A and [1]B. …

[What happened with this company? Was it] the "midnight shift at animal house"?

Well, I think that that was the spin that was put on what happened to cause these photographs to be taken. I believe that they were instructed by some of the other people in those photographs, or by people outside of the window of the photographs. I don't know who it would have been, but there's some likely possibilities.

People that were under tremendous pressure to get more actionable intelligence, then through the chain of command might give instructions to do whatever you need to do to get that information. It's open to interpretation: What do you mean by "do whatever we need to do"?

Now, you have some contractors, some civilians who are not under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, who have been sent there specifically to do interrogation work with great liberties to get more actionable intelligence, some of them sent specifically, identified and sent specifically by Gen. Miller because of their success in other locations.

So they have inflated egos perhaps, and now they're facing the night shift of these prisoners with suspected more information than what they're sharing. And all the gloves come off. "Do whatever we need to do." So somebody, being one of these very seasoned contract interrogators, comes up with an idea that that when we bring a detainee in who's going to be subjected to interrogation, we have to spend six, eight hours working through this and trying to get to the starting point.

A photograph would be very helpful. Sit this individual down in the interrogation room. First picture that pops up on the computer, a laptop computer, or projected on a wall is this pyramid of naked prisoners. And you say: "Maybe you'll recognize somebody in here. Start talking, or tomorrow night you're on the bottom of the pile." You cut to the chase. And in interrogation, it saves valuable hours, valuable effort. And you get what you want, maybe anyway.

So, well, we need some pictures taken first. You take a personality similar to a Graner, and you say: "You know, you guys have done a great job up to this point. Sleep deprivation has worked, and they're really talking now. But we need you to do something else." And now you have photographs. Now, it takes an extraordinary mistake to put yourself in a photograph with these acts being set up or conducted.

But I can tell you that these soldiers, these MPs -- Lynndie England was not even an MP, nor was one of the other soldiers. He was a mechanic. OK, they were brought over there specifically to work with these, setting up these photographs and everything. Lynndie England might have been over there for a variety of reasons, but they were brought over there specifically that night. And I know, with no doubt, that these soldiers didn't wake up that morning and say: "Hey, let's go screw with some prisoners tonight. Let's take some pictures. Let's violate everything we know to be decent and correct and fair." Lynndie England surely did not show up in Iraq with a dog collar and a dog leash.

So those items either came from previous experience at other locations with interrogations, or other people with bizarre ideas brought those pieces of equipment independent of any instructions. But somebody who understood what humiliation is to an Arab person designed these techniques. And military police personnel do not study the Arab mind. But my guess is that interrogators should or do; at least they know more, maybe from previous experience or otherwise. But somebody instructed this group of people on the night shift to do these things, and if they made them believe that it would take them out of Abu Ghraib or out of Iraq a day, even one day sooner than what the plan was, that would be incentive enough to get them to do it. I can't tell you specifically, because even though I've been held accountable for all of those soldiers' behavior, I never had the chance to speak to any one of them from when those pictures first surfaced. ...

In November … the prison, by order, was transferred from control of the military police brigade to the military intelligence brigade.

So it was taken from you?

Yes, it was. And again, no discussion, no "Sit down; this is how it's going to change; this is why we're doing it." None whatsoever. I was not even in Baghdad when that decision was made. That decision was made by Gen. Fast. Gen. Fast went to the operations section of the headquarters. She was a staff officer. She wasn't a commander. No discussion with either Col. Pappas or myself.

And when the prison, by official order, was transferred under the control of the military intelligence brigade, ... it blurred the lines completely. You have a military intelligence commander in charge of all the operations, including detention, out at Abu Ghraib. And not only did he not have any idea about interrogations before he was placed in the middle of it, but he certainly had no idea whatsoever of detention operations or how military police personnel think. ...

The effect of this on a soldier, on an MP, any of them, is what?

… They fall back to their basic chain of command. A solider will talk to a squad leader, who will talk to a platoon sergeant, who will talk to the first sergeant, who will talk to the battalion commander, and on and on and on. Some of those people were missing. They didn't have a squad leader, or they didn't have a platoon sergeant. Or the platoon sergeant was being split into a million different places out there at Col. Pappas' instruction and being used in a variety of ways. So soldiers are trying to manage, and they're designing the rules that they're going to follow as they're following them -- whatever works. ...

We could not travel after dark, so I was not allowed to go out to Abu Ghraib or any other facility after dark. Col. Pappas was living out at Abu Ghraib at the time. He relocated out there at the instructions of Gen. Miller. So you have a colonel on site who is walking around, but likely knows anyway what's going on with interrogations. …

So maybe there was a plan to make some of the photographs, but they didn't want to get Col. Pappas involved or implicated or whatever. I don't know that from Col. Pappas, and I certainly don't know that from any of the people that were holding the cameras. But it was allegedly or apparently by design, a specific night, specific hours, when these kind of activities would be conducted, because there was no chance at all of Gen. Karpinski dropping in, because they knew that there were restrictions placed on travel after the hours of darkness. ...

When do you discover [what was really going on at Abu Ghraib]?

Sadly ... I didn't find out that anything was awry or amiss at Abu Ghraib until the 12th of January. I was at our other location, near the Iranian border, and I came back from a meeting with the leaders of that organization, and it was very close to midnight. But I made a habit out of checking my classified e-mail traffic, and I opened it up, and there was an e-mail in there from the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division [CID], and he was colonel. And the e-mail said, "Ma'am, just wanted to let you know I'm going in to brief the CG [Commanding General] " -- meaning Sanchez -- "on the progress of the investigation out at Abu Ghraib. This involves the allegations of detainee abuse and the photographs."

That was the first I heard of it. I didn't hear about it from Gen. Sanchez, the person who was going to accuse me of being irresponsible in the future. I didn't hear about it from Gen. Fast; I didn't hear about it from Col. Pappas; I didn't hear it about it from my battalion commander. Nobody in my brigade, in the operations center, knew anything about this ongoing investigation. So at daybreak the next day, we were on our way to Abu Ghraib to get some details or background. "What investigation? What ongoing? What photographs?"

What happened? Did you get a pit in your stomach? Your heart leaped to your throat?

Yes. I said, "This is what happens," in my mind, and I even said it out loud in so many words to my operations officer. ..."This is unbelievable. This is what happens when you transfer a prison under the control of people who have a different goal in mind." That was what I thought.

What was the goal?

The goal for the military intelligence people is to get information that will save soldiers and units from further attacks. And they don't really care about humane treatment of prisoners. ... They looked at the MPs to handle the medical, the food, the showers, the logistics of the operation. Were not interested in it at all. Again, it was a second-class priority, a third-class priority. ...

[How did the constant pressure to produce more intelligence affect the] company of MPs in 1A and 1B?

... In March they were scheduled to rotate back home to begin their redeployment from Kuwait. And they got down to Kuwait, and they were told that they weren't going anywhere, that they had been extended for 120 days. And those soldiers believed that they were going to be sent back up to Abu Ghraib, that they were going to be housed in a separate building on the grounds of Abu Ghraib to continue this detention mission, and that by design there was going to be a mortar attack, and they were all going to be killed, so all of the evidence of this investigation was going to be conveniently removed.

When they got notice of that extension, that's when those disks with the photographs made their way back to the United States and then found their way into the media channels. But I remember specifically sitting there at night, in January, reading that e-mail on the computer. And it was like a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, saying, "This has gone terribly wrong." And [I] imagined that they had taken some pictures of prisoners behind the wire or behind the cell doors. Didn't have the details in that e-mail about what the photographs were all about, and never heard anything about the photographs until I saw them on the 23rd of January.

And I was absolutely shocked. People said, "Well, couldn't you imagine?" No, I couldn't imagine that the MPs were participating in any of this, that they -- I mean, I was just dumbfounded. ... And I only saw about a dozen of the photographs. But my office was spinning, I felt like the walls were closing in on me. It was unbelievable. And then the CID commander said to me, "And I'm supposed to tell you to go and see Gen. Sanchez after you see the photographs."

So I thought, you know, this is not going to be fun. And I was right. But it wasn't nearly what I expected from him, either. He hardly exchanged one word with me. ...

Somehow it became OK to make soldiers, PFCs at the specialist level, my responsibility. The rest of the chain of command that's a time-honored tradition of the Army goes away. I am held accountable for soldiers that I've never had a chance to exchange one word with or find out from them themselves what happened. And in fact was told by the JAG [judge advocate general] officer sitting in that room that night that I wasn't allowed to speak to them because they weren't under my control.

… I come into [Gen. Sanchez's] office and he's sitting on one side of the table, and I sit down at the other side, and he puts his hand on top of a piece of paper and turns it like this and pushes it at me. He doesn't even discuss it with me. And he is saying that the ongoing investigation has revealed that soldiers are misbehaving, but he's already removed them from their positions out there, and they're under his control at Camp Victory. Of the individuals that he mentions in the letter, he wants me to do an assessment of their leadership abilities and turn that report over to his deputy, Gen. Wodjakowski, the next day, within 24 hours. And he is admonishing me to take control of my brigade -- which is, by the way, spread all over the entire country of Iraq at 17 different prison facilities. …

Did you know you were going to get tagged right at that moment?

No, because I still, unfortunately, had this inherent trust in the system; that fine, do the investigation, and it's going to open up, and you're going to find out that of those 32 boots [in the photographs], there were contractors, there was military intelligence, that people may have known about this, but certainly not me, and the investigation is going to show that, because I believed at that time that the investigation was under the control of the Criminal Investigation Division, who was very thorough, and let the chips roll where they may. ...

Did you have any idea how big this would all play in the United States?

... I left Kuwait around the middle of April 2004, the 10th or the 11th or something like that. And I did so after a meeting with Gen. [David D.] McKiernan, when he said to me, "There was mistakes made, sure, but they weren't necessarily your mistakes. ... I would be very careful about discussing it until the investigation is completed, especially with those soldiers that you're so concerned with."

He said, "Look, there's a great future for Janis Karpinski in the Army Reserves." And he said, "Travel safe," and "There's a lot of lessons to be learned from this, and you can share that with other people."

When did you know that the administration's response was that it was the midnight shift at the animal house, that it was a bunch of rogue soldiers, enlisted people, that it was Col. Pappas and you and really never going to be [higher], at least in the short term? When did that dawn on you?

When I left Fort Benning [in Georgia] -- I had to go there to complete my demobilization process. And I was on leave, because I had accumulated leave in the time that I was on active duty. And I returned to my home in South Carolina. And it was 10:00 at night I guess. I get a phone call from my sister in New Jersey, and she says, "Do you have on 60 Minutes?" I said, "No, I don't watch the show." She said, "Turn it on." I said, "No, I don't watch it." She said, "Turn it on; you're on it."

And I turned it on, and here they were, talking, showing some of the photographs. And the only person's name that they mentioned in conjunction with those photographs was mine: "These soldiers belong to a company under the control of Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, a reservist from" wherever. And I remember sitting in the dark, watching that TV set, saying, "You have got to be kidding."

They did this. It was by design. They waited until I was back in the States, before I had even an inkling of going to the press to talk about any of this. ...

What happened to you? What did they do to you?

Oh, they just blamed me for everything -- silenced me, or attempted to silence me. Accused me of shoplifting in October of 2002 and used that as the reason to vacate my promotion to brigadier general, and have made me out to be a worthless, incapable leader. At the very beginning they were trying to make it appear like I had somehow crawled out from the back of a cave and said, "Make me a general, and I'll go to Iraq and fight this war." Baloney. I earned my promotions. I earned my promotions because I took the toughest jobs and was completely dedicated to the purpose of the Army Reserves and to the Army. And my soldiers throughout my career know that. I never had a bad day, ever, that involved a soldier.

And they can do whatever they want. They could make it appear any way they want. I will not be silenced, and I will continue to tell the truth. And I will continue to ask how they can continue to blame seven rogue soldiers on the night shift, when there is the preponderance of hard information from a variety of sources [that] says otherwise.

Guardian : Study rejects claim that Muslim areas harbour terrorists

Monday, November 20, 2006

Study rejects claim that Muslim areas harbour terrorists

· Researchers cite home of July 7 bombers
· Government has focused on segregation as problem

Vikram Dodd | The Guardian | November 20, 2006

Muslims living in ghettos are no more likely to become involved in terrorism than those living in mixed areas, according to research to be published today.

The study by Manchester University says that "terrorist hotbeds" are a fantasy and concludes that Islamist terrorists are as likely to come from towns and cities with small Muslim populations as from so-called "self-segregating" Muslim areas.

In the wake of the July 7 bombings the government set up a special commission on integration aiming to tackle "segregation" which it has been claimed contributes to violent extremism.

Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality, claimed that "maximising integration" led to "minimising extremism" in his September 2005 speech in which he claimed Britain was "sleepwalking to segregation".

Draft documents from the Department for Education asking universities to help anti-terrorism police identify potential extremists warned that Muslims from "segregated" backgrounds were more likely to hold radical views than those who have "integrated into wider society", according to a version obtained by the Guardian.

The Manchester University study examined the cases of 75 Muslims charged with terrorism offences. It looked at the areas they came from and examined what percentage of the population were Muslim, as stated in the 2001 census.

The study's authors said they could not examine the backgrounds of those convicted, as only nine out of 27 people found guilty of terrorist offences since September 11 2001 are Muslim, and therefore would provide too small a sample.

In districts with the highest proportion of people who follow Islam there was a one in 25,436 chance of a Muslim being charged with terrorism.

In areas with a low percentage of Muslims, there was a higher chance of people being charged with terrorist offences. In such areas the probability was one in 14,692 of a Muslim being charged with terrorism.

The study authors say this is probably just a statistical quirk and say more research needs to be done.

But the study is firm about the findings about its initial research: "Muslims charged with terrorism under UK legislation are no more likely to come from districts where the proportion of Muslims are highest, than from other districts.

Indeed, the residential distribution of Muslims charged with terrorism over the four district types is very similar to that of the Muslim population as a whole.

"The assumption that 'Muslim terrorists' are most likely to reside in places with high proportions of Muslims is unfounded and should not be used to inform debate or strategies to tackle terrorism."

Beeston in Leeds, where three of the four July 7 bombers lived, has a Muslim population of 3%. A ghetto is classed as an area where two-thirds of the population come from the same group.

Jermaine Lindsay, the other July 7 bomber, came from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, which has a relatively small Muslim population. Saajid Badat, who was convicted of plotting to blow up a passenger plane, came from Gloucester, which also has a small Muslim population.

Ludi Simpson, who co-authored the study, said: "The research suggests that Muslims living in large numbers together are not more likely to be involved in terrorism. The so-called danger of segregated areas does not seem to be based on evidence." The study is the second one in recent weeks to fail to support government thinking on social cohesion.

Research from the University of Lancaster showed that white schoolchildren were less willing to integrate than Asian Muslim children of a similar age. That study, paid for by the government, found that white children were more intolerant of other faiths and races when educated separately than Asian Muslim pupils.

The Scotsman : Deadlock over extradition treaty

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Deadlock over extradition treaty


A LAST-minute death-penalty row has held up the completion of an extradition treaty which could see a key suspect in the foiled plot to bomb transatlantic airliners returned to Britain.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, had been expected to agree the deal with Pakistan on a visit to Lahore yesterday.

But, dashing British security officials' hopes of a breakthrough, he now is expected to leave the country this morning without having signed the deal.

The Prime Minister yesterday said Britain's relations with Pakistan are strengthening and are now at their "highest point". But the two countries do not have an extradition treaty, something that has hampered terrorist investigations and ordinary criminal cases alike.

It took police more than two years to secure the convictions of the men who killed Kriss Donald, the Glasgow schoolboy, because three of his murderers fled to Pakistan after the attack.

Aftab Sherpao, the Pakistani interior minister, said last week that the treaty has been agreed and simply needs to be signed by the two governments. British officials had also been optimistic.

Mr Blair yesterday held a press conference with Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, where the Prime Minister gave thanks for the "increasingly close co-operation" of the Pakistani authorities in assisting with bringing criminal cases in the UK. But he made no mention of the extradition talks, and the treaty was not included in a statement the leaders issued, promising to tackle Islamic extremism.

It is believed that the two governments are still unable to agree about the death penalty: Pakistan routinely executes criminals, but Britain refuses to extradite suspects if they could face that penalty.

Should the deadlock be broken, a treaty could see Rashid Rauf deported to Britain, where police and intelligence officials urgently want to question him about the plot said to have been foiled in August.

Despite Mr Blair's praise for the Pakistani authorities for their help in August, British officials are since said to have become frustrated about the lack of access they have had to Rauf, who is originally from Birmingham.

Rauf was arrested in August in Pakistan, but his exact whereabouts and legal status have been shrouded in secrecy ever since - Pakistani authorities admitted only on 30 October he was in custody.

The veil of secrecy covering Rauf has fuelled suspicions he may have been subjected to controversial interrogation techniques and even torture in secret detention facilities in Pakistan.

In August, Britain requested Rauf's extradition, in connection with a 2002 murder case not connected to terrorism, but the Pakistanis have so far made no move to hand him over.

BBC : Pakistan's role in fight against terror

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pakistan's role in fight against terror

By Paul Reynolds | World affairs correspondent, BBC News website | November 19, 2006

The UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Pakistan indicates how important Pakistan is, not just to the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan, but also to the UK's own efforts to stop British citizens of Pakistani origin from turning to terrorism.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Pakistan has provided intelligence to the UK in the fight against terror

Mr Blair's provision of more aid to encourage the Pakistani President General Musharraf's plan to reform the Islamic religious schools (madrassas) shows how concerned the UK government is that young British Muslims might fall under the influence of extremists in them.

Pakistan is both a help to the British authorities in the fight against terrorism, and a source of the terrorist threat itself.

It is a help because it has provided intelligence and it has made arrests.

In August, for example, the Pakistanis arrested a suspect named Rashid Rauf as part of the investigation into the alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners.

Pakistan is said to have played a key role in the investigation, which has led to a number of people being charged.

After the London bombings of 7 July 2005, Pakistan tracked the movements of two of the bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, both of whom visited Pakistan in late 2004 and early 2005.

They are thought to have developed al-Qaeda contacts during this visit.

British links

President Musharraf has emerged as a key ally in countering terrorism, not just for the UK but also for the US.

Indeed, so important was he in helping to overthrow the Taleban, which was protecting al-Qaeda, that Pakistan escaped American punishment even though its leading nuclear scientist, A Q Khan, was found to have provided nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Pakistan, however, is also a source of the threat because of the links between it and young British Muslims whose families originally came from there.

Three of the four London bombers - Khan, Tanweer and Hasib Hussain - were second generation Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan.

Pakistan is a source of inspiration to potential terrorists because of its proximity to Afghanistan and the history of Kashmir.

During the war against the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan, jihadists like Osama bin Laden were encouraged by the CIA, which co-opted Pakistan's intelligence service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to be one of the main channels of arms and aid to the mujahideen.

This spawned a whole generation of fighters, some of whom turned on the West after the fall of the Soviet Union and founded al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda remains a source of inspiration to some young Muslims around the world.

Kashmir connection

There is also some suspicion that the ISI, or elements of it, remains ambivalent about helping the West too much. And India certainly accuses the ISI of organising the terrorist attacks that are inflicted on India from time to time.

Kashmir is a source of burning anger to many Pakistanis and their descendants in Britain and elsewhere

UK and Pakistan forge terror pact
These are usually connected with the second aspect of the threat from Pakistan - Kashmir.

In an article in New Republic magazine in August this year, entitled "Kashmir on the Thames", a leading al-Qaeda watcher Peter Bergen wrote: "Though conventional wisdom holds that anger toward US foreign policy is most responsible for creating new terrorists, among British Pakistanis, Kashmir is probably just as important."

A majority of British citizens of Pakistani origin came originally from the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir.

Invasion launched

Kashmir is a source of burning anger to many Pakistanis and their descendants in Britain and elsewhere. This is because the state of Kashmir, as it existed during the British rule in India, became divided when the British left in 1948.

What happened was that the state's ruler, Maharaja Harri Singh, a Hindu, could not make his mind up whether he would join India or Pakistan. All states had the right to choose.

The majority of the population was Muslim and they became restive at the indecision, eventually launching an invasion towards the capital Srinagar from tribal areas in the west of the state.

Harri Singh called on the Indians to help but the Governor-General Lord Louis Mountbatten insisted that, before India sent troops, Kashmir had to join India. It did so. Or half of it did.

In the subsequent fighting, it became divided between India and Pakistan and continue to be so, remaining also the main source of tension and conflict between India and Pakistan.

It is also a reason why young British Muslims become inspired to join their fighting brethren from Kashmir.

From that, it is but a short journey to identifying Kashmir's problems with those of Muslims in general and thence to attacking the West, or Britain in particular.

The Hindu : Call for comprehensive strategy against terrorism

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Call for comprehensive strategy against terrorism

November 19, 2006

NEW DELHI: Pakistan has called for a comprehensive strategy, including greater regional cooperation, to tackle extremism and terrorism.

In her statement at the second regional cooperation conference on Afghanistan on Saturday, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said terrorism posed a serious challenge to economic development. Pakistan was in the "vanguard" of the international campaign against terrorism.

Peace and stability in the region was the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign and security policy, she claimed. "We believe that peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for regional security and development ... "

No less serious was the challenge of narcotics. "We have to join hands to overcome it effectively ... Pakistan is already assisting Afghanistan through capacity-building and tighter checks on the border. We shall continue extending full cooperation."

Ms. Khar said: "Pakistan is equally keen on regional energy cooperation. We are aiming at becoming an energy hub of the area. Gawadar [port in Balochistan] can become a key nodal point for storage and supply of oil. We are pursuing the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline projects."

Irish Examiner : Blair, Musharraf re-commit to fight against terrorism

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blair, Musharraf re-commit to fight against terrorism

November 19, 2006

The UK and Pakistan have renewed their commitment to fight terrorism during talks between country's two leaders in Lahore

Tony Blair and President Pervez Musharraf have reached a deal on strengthening ties to tackle what Mr Blair called “the global struggle against Islamic extremism”.

The two leaders say restoring order in Afghanistan is a priority.

President Musharraf also answered accusations that his country hasn't done enough in the past and said his country was committed to fighting the threat of terrorism.

Mr Blair backed this sentiment, describing the weekend's talks as "immensely constructive", and saluted President Musharraf’s "courage and his leadership in taking Pakistan on this journey of change and modernisation".

Among the new proposals is the promise by the UK to double the aid to Pakistan to deal with the reform of the country’s religious schools, which some believe promote extremism.

Aljazeera : Blair set to boost Pakistan funding

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blair set to boost Pakistan funding

November 19, 2006

The British prime minister is to hold talks with Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, and is expected to offer the government further funds.

He is expected to announce funding of $447 million, being made available over the next three years for security, and is more than double London's initial pledge.

Sunday's trip is the third by Blair to Pakistan since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.

The bulk of the cash will go towards Musharraf's efforts to push "enlightened moderation", particularly in education. Musharraf has been targetting religious schools, saying that they are radicalising youngsters.

The British government has also been on a drive to curb what it sees as an apparent rise in radicalism among young men in its 1.6-million Muslim population, particularly after last year's attacks on London's public transport system that killed 56.

Three of the four bombers were Britons of Pakistani origin, while two of them visited Pakistan in the year before the attacks, allegedly for training and instruction from al-Qaeda.

British intelligence and police have in recent months expressed concerns about Pakistan's role in influencing British Muslims travelling there.

A number of people, including one British Pakistani, were detained in Pakistan in August this year as part of an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic passenger jets from Britain with liquid explosives.

Blair will also meet religious scholars, visit a mosque, and hold talks with Shaukat Aziz, the Pakistani prime minister.

The talks with Musharraf will touch on the situation in Afghanistan, where about 4,500 British soldiers are engaged in fighting the Taliban in the south of the country as part of a UN-sanctioned, Nato-led mission.

The leaders' last meeting in London in September was overshadowed by a document written for a British military think-tank that claimed that elements of the Pakistani intelligence were indirectly supporting groups such as al-Qaeda.

Pakistan's commitment

There have since been fears among senior Nato figures and Afghan officials about Pakistan's commitment to tackling fighters opposed to the Afghan government who hide out along the countries' rugged border.

Musharraf has defended his actions, pointing to the number of arrests of suspected al-Qaeda figures on the West's behalf, as well as targeting centres allegedly used by militants.

Britain - home to 800,000 people of Pakistani origin - has said it is "satisfied" with the level of co-operation from Pakistan and is keen to build upon the partnership as well as support Musharraf's reform agenda.

Blair's visit comes as his office sought to play down comments he made during an interview with Sir David Frost on Al Jazeera's English television channel on Friday in which he agreed that the war in Iraq had been "disastrous".

As Blair flew to Islamabad, Gordon Brown, his finance minister and likely successor, met British troops in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and pledged nearly $190m over the next three years for reconstruction.

Guardian : Blair in Pakistan anti-terror talks

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blair in Pakistan anti-terror talks

Press Association | November 19, 2006

Tony Blair will talks with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf aimed at bolstering co-operation in the international "war on terror".

The two leaders will announce a new joint working group from the Home Office and the Pakistani Interior Ministry on counter terrorism and counter narcotics.

At the same time, Mr Blair - who flew into the capital Islamabad - will pledge a doubling of British development aid to Pakistan from £236 million to £480 million over the next three years.

In addition, there is a counter-terrorism package worth around £8 million in technical assistance and support for preventative investigations, crisis management and tracking down terrorist finance.

The development money will be used to support General Musharraf's educational reforms designed to counter the influence of the radical madrassas which have been a hotbed of Islamic militancy.

Downing Street acknowledged that some cash would go to religious schools, but insisted that it would not be used to support those involved in extremism.

"It is not just designed to counter radicalism but also to train people in the skills which allow the Pakistan economy to develop," the Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters travelling with Mr Blair.

Pakistan's strategic location and extensive family ties with Britain has made it a key player in the fight against Islamic terrorism, both in Britain and more widely.

MI5 director general Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller recently highlighted to role of al Qaida operatives in Pakistan in providing training and guidance to young British Muslims involved in terror plots in the UK.

At the same time Pakistan has faced criticism for failing to prevent militants crossing the border into neighbouring Afghanistan to join the fighting against the Nato force - including 6,000 British troops - stationed there.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.

WP : West fighting terrorism properly now, Blair says

Sunday, November 19, 2006

West fighting terrorism properly now, Blair says

By Sophie Walker | Reuters | November 19, 2006

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - Western allies in Iraq and Afghanistan are now giving more weight to reconstruction and wider political issues alongside military force to fight their war on terrorism "properly," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Sunday.

Blair met Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Lahore to discuss how to beat the Afghan Taliban, pool counter-terrorist intelligence and quell militancy in Pakistani religious schools.

He announced a doubling of British aid, some of it to boost Pakistan's moderate Muslim schools to counter Islamic extremism.

"We begin to win when we start fighting properly, and I think we are now fighting properly," Blair told a news conference. "But we've got to do more."

Asked to clarify Blair's remarks, his spokesman added later: "This is all about learning as we go in the war against terrorism. First, the world recognizes the global threat of this extremist ideology, second it takes security measures to address that and thirdly it has to recognize issues like Palestine."

British government officials have been lining up in recent days to warn about the threat of plots by Muslim militants to launch terror attacks in Britain, while British forces in Afghanistan have faced some of the fiercest fighting from a resurgent Taliban since it was overthrown in 2001.

On Friday, Blair briefly appeared on Friday to accept an Al Jazeera interviewer's contention that the Western intervention in Iraq had been disastrous -- although he went on to point the figure at outside forces fomenting sectarian violence, and his office said he had not meant to endorse the questioner's view.

Both Blair and Musharraf were adamant that progress was being made, both in the fight against terrorism and against the Taliban in particular. But both said military might needed to be backed by political solutions and reconstruction work.

Musharraf has faced longstanding criticism over accusations that the Taliban receive support in his country, as well as shelter on the Pakistani side of the lawless frontier.

"Taliban problem is an Afghan problem. It is in the southeast region of Afghanistan, being supported by elements from this side," Musharraf told the news conference with Blair.

"We need to put our house in order, here on our side, and make sure that this support is cut off, but the main battle is in Afghanistan," he said.

Britain has about 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, part of a 31,000-strong NATO-led force battling the Taliban.

Musharraf said Afghanistan needed reconstruction help on the scale of Marshall Plan for Europe after World War Two.


The two leaders also discussed the need for the Middle East peace process to resume.

Blair last week told a group advising U.S. President George W. Bush that progress towards resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would help reduce the bloodshed in Iraq.

He told journalists in Lahore: "Global extremism is based on an ideology that exploits grievance, so what we've got to do is -- at the same time that we are taking on that ideology -- we've got to take away the opportunity to exploit a grievance."

"This took a generation to grow and it will take a generation to defeat," he said.

British government sources say they are concerned about the flow of people and ideas between Britain and Pakistan, where some madrasas, or religious schools, double as training camps for Islamic militants. Nearly three-quarters of a million British Muslims have roots in Pakistan.

The two countries' interior ministries are to set up a joint working group to pool intelligence work and for Britain to provide technical help and training in forensics, crisis management and tracking terrorist funds.

The Independent : Blair in £480m terrorism deal with Pakistan

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blair in £480m terrorism deal with Pakistan

"Pakistan is not a banana republic. We have a disciplined army" - Pervez Musharraf

By Colin Brown | Islamabad | November 19, 2006

Tony Blair flew into Pakistan last night on a mission to seek more co-operation from Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, on the war in terrorism in Britain.

Mr Blair announced a doubling in aid from £236m to £480m over the next three years to the Pakistan Government to support "moderate" schools in Pakistan. It is part of a strategy of undermining the hardline madrassas which are alleged to have brainwashed students in extremist forms of Islam and to have provided radical converts for al-Qa'ida operations in Britain.

The Prime Minister is also seeking improvements in intelligence-sharing between MI6 and Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, the ISI, in spite of suspicions - denied by President Musharraf - that they have sympathies with the Taliban. British sources said it was intelligence from Pakistan that led to arrests and the summer alert over an alleged plot to blow up about 10 airliners bound for the United States from British airports.

One million people in Britain are of Pakistani origin. Two of the suicide bombers who blew themselves up in London on 7 July last year had visited Pakistan shortly beforehand, and a British national, Rashid Rauf, is still held in Pakistan over the alleged airliner plot.

High on Mr Blair's agenda for talks with President Musharraf today will be the need to stop the flow of men and weapons across the leaky border with Afghanistan, where the resurgent Taliban are attacking British forces. There have been 36 British casualties this year, many in the lawless Helmand province, where British forces were deployed to protect reconstruction schemes but have become bogged down in a vicious war with the Taliban.

Senior British officials admitted the accuracy of the assessment by Tom Koenigs, the German diplomat heading the UN mission in Afghanistan, that Nato forces could not win without the backing of Afghan troops. "We have tactically defeated the Taliban, as one Nato general said, but we recognise that there are difficulties. It has to be a combination of military action and reconstruction," said one official with Mr Blair's party.

British commanders have complained of shortages of helicopters and armoured vehicles to protect against roadside bombs and suicide bombers. Mr Blair, determined that Afghanistan does not become a second Iraq, is urgently seeking reinforcements, and Britain will be calling for more support at a Nato conference in Riga. Although 37 nations are contributing to the Afghan force, many have rules of engagement which prevent their deployment in southern Afghanistan and Nato is still awaiting troops for a rapid reaction force there.

In his talks with President Musharraf, Mr Blair is almost certain to raise the question of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qa'ida leader believed to be hiding on the border, but officials made plain he would not be criticising the Pakistani leader in public. When they last met, at Chequers on 28 September, Mr Blair had to apologise privately for a leaked defence report - later dismissed as "research notes" - which said there was still considerable support for the Taliban in the ISI.

"Pakistan is not a banana republic," President Musharraf reportedly told the German magazine Focus last week. "We have an extremely loyal and disciplined army. The secret service is made up mainly of military men."

Mr Blair has little alternative but to accept the assurances of his key ally in the region.

IHT : British, Pakistani leaders say terrorism can be defeated only by backing moderate policies

Saturday, November 18, 2006

British, Pakistani leaders say terrorism can be defeated only by backing moderate policies

The Associated Press | November 18, 2006

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: British Prime Minister Tony Blair said military force alone can't defeat terrorism, acknowledging Sunday that solving the Mideast crisis was key to curbing violent extremism. Pakistan's pro-U.S. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf admitted local militants were aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Sunday's meeting between the two leaders, crucial players in the U.S.-led war on terror, led to the signing of security, aid and education packages aimed at promoting a moderate brand of Islam and preventing Pakistan becoming a haven for extremists bent on attacking Western interests.

Blair's visit comes amid increased Taliban violence in Afghanistan, where 36 British soldiers have died this year.

In Pakistan, pro-Taliban and al-Qaida militants have been waging bloody attacks on Pakistani soldiers in semiautonomous tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Britain and its allies are supplementing the U.S.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq with increased help for reconstruction projects, and a new impetus to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Blair said.

"We begin to win when we start fighting properly, and I think we are now fighting properly — but we have got to do more," Blair told reporters in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore, in an apparent acknowledgment that a previous military-only strategy would not win moderate Muslims' support.

"What we have to realize is that where there are people standing up for a different way forward, we have to back them," Blair said.

His comments followed an interview Friday with Al-Jazeera's English-language channel, in which he appeared to agree with broadcaster David Frost's claim that operations in Iraq had "been pretty much of a disaster."

His office said Blair had made a "straightforward slip of the tongue," and had only "half-listened" to Frost's question.

Securing Israeli-Palestinian peace would have a positive impact across the region, Blair said.

"This global extremism is an ideology that exploits grievances. So what we have to do is at the same time as we are taking on the ideology, we have to take away those elements of grievance," he said at the Punjab Governor's Residence in Lahore.

"This took a generation to grow, and it will take a generation to defeat," he said.

The threat from homegrown extremists — such as the four young Muslims who killed 52 commuters and themselves in bomb attacks on London's transport network in July 2005 — was a problem Britain shared with many nations.

"In the end, the security measures are in place, but they only take you so far. We have got to win hearts and minds," Blair told Pakistan's Geo TV.

Three of the four bombers had family ties to Pakistan and visited this country. Officials have warned of hundreds moving between Britain and Pakistan to train, plan and raise funds for terror plots.

Musharraf said tackling broader concerns over Mideast peace were key to fighting extremism.

"This knot of terrorism will be untied through first resolving the Palestinian dispute," said Musharraf, who switched his country's support from the Taliban to the U.S. war on terror following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Musharraf's government is trying to sever the broad-based support the Taliban receives in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, but the president acknowledged the had not achieved "100 percent success."

"The Taliban problem is an Afghan problem ... being supported by elements from this side," he said. "We need to put our house in order on our side."

Blair and Musharraf formally signed a pledge to double a 480 million pounds (US$910 million; €710 million) three-year aid package to fund moderate Islamic schools and other projects.

Some 20 million pounds (US$38 million, €30 million) would be released immediately, Blair said, for poverty alleviation work in Pakistan, a majority Muslim state of 160 million people where al-Qaida and Taliban militants have long found sanctuaries of support.

Blair later met Pakistan's prime minister and Muslim leaders at Islamabad's towering Faisal Mosque.

Musharraf said greater reconstruction aid was badly needed in southeastern Afghanistan to prevent the country falling into the Taliban's hands.

"I have indicated to the prime minister that I believe there is a requirement for a massive inflow of development funds there — some kind of Marshall Plan for billions of dollars to be put in," he said.

Blair's office said US$10.5 billion (€8.2 billion) in Afghan aid was pledged at a January London donor's conference, but the problem was getting the infrastructure in place to spend the money.

Britain will also provide two MI-17 helicopters by next April for anti-narcotics forces patrolling the Afghan-Pakistan border to help curb Afghanistan's massive opium trade, Blair said.

The Australian : Pakistani MP admits terrorist link

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pakistani MP admits terrorist link

by Bruce Loudon | South Asia correspondent | November 17, 2006

A NEW deal between India and Pakistan to set up a joint anti-terrorism commission was overshadowed yesterday by reports that Islamabad's Parliamentary Defence Secretary was "actively linked" to Lashkar-e-Toiba.

According to The Asian Age, Major Tanvir Hussain, speaking in a national assembly debate on the controversial attack by Pakistan's armed forces on a madrassa religious school in the Bajaur agency, said: "I want to inform this house that I, too, have been a member of this Lashkar-e-Toiba organisation."

The incendiary admission came just hours after top diplomats from the nuclear-armed neighbours wrapped up fresh talks in New Delhi.

Outside parliament, Major Tanvir reaffirmed his active links with the group and said he often addressed its meetings.

"I extend support to jihadi activists when they approach me seeking co-operation," Major Tanvir said. "I am still a member of LeT. I go to its congregations and deliver speeches."

At any time, Major Tanvir's statement would be acutely embarrassing to the Government of President Pervez Musharraf. Coinciding as it did with the conclusion of the talks in the Indian capital, it is potentially devastating for the modest progress on improved bilateral relations.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said he was surprised by the admission. "We will look into this and then tell you what is really behind this," he said yesterday.

Pakistan's negotiator in the New Delhi talks, Riaz Mohammad Khan, responded by suggesting the focus should be on what governments do and not on what individuals say.

Peace talks between Pakistan and India were suspended in July after the Mumbai train bombings, which killed 186 people and injured a further 800.

Yesterday, officials from both countries hailed the resumed negotiations, which also secured agreement to exchange information to prevent inadvertent nuclear conflict, as a significant step in the peace process.

But security analysts dismissed the talks as symbolic, saying they did little to reduce the risk of conflict between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

There was no progress on the core issue of Kashmir, the Himalayan territory claimed by both sides, or the number of troops on its Siachen glacier - the highest battlefield in the world.

Nor was any ground broken over India's allegations that Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency helped jihadis from LeT plan the blast and a string of other terrorist attacks on Indian soil.

Yet expectations of the resumed peace negotiations were always going to be modest. At their meeting in Cuba in September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and General Musharraf agreed to try to implement a "joint anti-terrorism mechanism" to help the two countries work together to defeat the terrorist aims of groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Mr Menon, who led the Indian delegation at this week's bilateral talks, said the Mumbai attacks, so central to the dispute over terrorism between India and Pakistan, had not been discussed, out of respect for legal process.

"We cannot today give them (the Pakistanis) formal material or evidence, or make demands until we have completed our own legal processes," he said.

Instead, he agreed with his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Khan, to set up a three-person commission to share information about terrorist threats.

Analysts said this week's main achievement was that the two sides had met at all, so soon after the Mumbai train bombings.

"These talks are part of a process of building confidence between two countries which are very suspicious of each other," Jane's Defence Weekly Asia editor Robert Karniol said.

Additional reporting: The Times

The Hindu : MP flaunts links with Lashkar

Thursday, November 16, 2006

MP flaunts links with Lashkar

Helps jihadi activists whenever they seek his co-operation

by Nirupama Subramanian | November 16, 2006

ISLAMABAD : A Pakistani parliamentarian has created a kerfuffle with his disclosure in the National Assembly of his membership with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), often linked by India to terrorist attacks on its soil and a banned outfit in this country.

The Post newspaper here reported that Major Tanvir Hussain, who is also the parliamentary secretary of defence, said this during the course of a debate on the bombing of a madrasa in Bajaur that killed 80 people.

The parliamentarian later reiterated to the newspaper that he had been an active member of the LeT, and said he "often addressed congregations organised by the same outfit to deliver speeches doing advocacy for jihad."

"Still member"

"I am still a member of the LeT. I go to its congregations and deliver speeches," he said adding that he helps jihadi activists whenever they asked him for his "co-operation." He did not say what kind of co-operation he extended to them.

icSurrey Online : Court told how terror suspect 'missed his mum'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Court told how terror suspect 'missed his mum'

Nov 15 2006

A TERROR suspect cried himself to sleep at a military training camp and said that he missed his mum, a court heard.

Shujah Ud-Dir-Mahmood, 19, is one of four Crawley men accused of being in a gang of seven British muslims which allegedly plotted to build a deadly fertiliser bomb.

A trial at the Old Bailey heard how members of the group attended a training camp in Pakistan in 2003 where they learned to fire weapons, it is claimed.

The court heard last week how Mahmood - who was 16 at the time - said the experience had been one of the worst in his life.

On his first day in the witness stand Mahmood described how his brother and fellow defendant Omar Khyam, 24, also of Crawley, had left him on the first day.

He said: "I got quite depressed when I was there. I used to spend a lot of time on my own, sitting in a ditch.

"I used to start crying when everyone else went to sleep. I missed my mum a lot."

Later in the trial Mahmood told the jury he had been at the camp for about three weeks.

He said: "They would give you an AK-47, loaded. There was one for each person.

"There wasn't really any instruction. It was sort of a role play."

Mahmood told the court he was sent to Pakistan in the summer of 2003 by his mother because he was getting into trouble at home.

He claimed he thought he would be spending time with his brother and father.

But within two days of arriving, Khyam had allegedly abandoned him at the camp with fellow defendants Anthony Garcia, 24, and Jawad Akbar, 23.

He said: "I never meant to start any training.I remember Khyam coming up before the end of the camp and I spoke to him about it.

"I said to him: 'Look, I'm at this camp, we're doing training, we're not being fed well, we're doing night training, what is this c***?

"I said I wanted to leave. But he said: 'It's not as simple as calling a taxi and saying let's go mate.

"He said I was going to have to stick it out and I couldn't just go like that."

Mahmood is accused of plotting to build a bomb alongside Khyam, also of Crawley, Jawad Akbar, 23, from Crawley, Anthony Garcia, 24, from Essex, Waheed Mahmood, 35, from Crawley, Nabeel Hussain and Salhuddir Amin, of Luton, Beds.

The group was arrested in March 2004, following months of undercover work and bugging by MI5.

Recordings picked up Akbar and Khyam allegedly discussing targets, including the Ministry of Sound nightclub in central London and Bluewater shopping mall, in Kent.

All seven deny conspiracy with others to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or injure property between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.

Hussain, Garcia and Khyam also deny possessing the 600kg of fertiliser for the purposes of terrorism between November 11, 2003 and March 31, 2004.

Khyam and Shujah Mahmodd further deny possessing aluminium powder for purposes connected with terrorism between October 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.

The trial continues.