Posted on | April 12, 2012 | 23 Comments
The genius of a person called Mohammad Ali Jinnah created a new country out of British India-Pakistan. It was short lived. Out of it was born Bangladesh. There are near thunders of another creation- Balochistan out of Pakistan; followed by Pakhtunistan and Sindhu Desh. So, that is the short history of Pakistan.
The history of growth of parallel Hindu-Muslim nationalism since 1857 has been chronicled in my voluminous book: Battleground India-Prognosis of Hindu Muslim Exclusivism. In this short essay we cannot condense the history of nearly 1000 years.
I would rather like to focus on the Diamonds and Rasools of Pakistan, besides Jinnah and Addus Salam, the Nobel laureate. Though Chandrashekar and Hargobind Khorana were born in western Punjab before partition, now in Pakistan, they cannot be categorized as Pakistani luminaries.
Z A Bhutto cannot also be called a diamond. He got Pakistan involved in two wars against India, in which Pakistan was badly mauled and humiliated.
The Pakistani sky was star-studded not by great people. That sky has been clouded by several great terrorists and jihadis. They are the new Rasools of Pakistan. We will pick up only a few great warrior of Islam. They were spawned by the ISI and some of them committed earth shaking offences right from Pakistani ISI’s involvement with the CIA, Saudi Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah. These personalities were also intricately connected with the Al Qaeda al Sulbah.
The matter of ISI-Al Qaeda and Taliban collaboration in promoting Islamist terrorism around the globe has been well documented. However, Operation Oplan Bojinka (explosion-in Bosnian language) planned by Al Qaeda and ISI affiliates Ramzi Yousef and Mohammad Khalid Sheikh, both of Pakistani origin, involved hijacking of 11 US aircrafts operating in the Pacific region, assassination of Bill Clinton and Pope Paul II during their visits to the Philippines. These were more ambitious than the 9/11 attacks on the USA. The plan also involved ISI input as Khalid and Ramzi were nurtured, sheltered and trained by the ISI in its Peshawar camp and they had also undergone training in Khowst camp in Afghanistan. The stories of Ramzi, a nephew from the sister of Khalid Sheikh, and Khalid Sheikh himself are intriguing.
Khalid Sheikh would eventually become deeply involved in the world of the ISI, as well as Al Qaeda al Sulbah. But initially he seemed an unlikely candidate for a career in espionage and terrorism. His father, a Baloch Pakistani, had migrated to Kuwait as a religious preacher. Khalid was born in Kuwait. He studied in the USA, a brilliant student attending the best private schools. While still at school, he excelled in studies and displayed little devotion to his religion.
His life took a turn when the CIA, for aiding the Muslim rebels in Bosnia in late 1992, allegedly picked him up. That was the time when he was also contacted by the ISI. The rebel of Pakistani origin returned to Pakistan a committed Muslim radical after his CIA sponsored Bosnian sojourn. Because of his impressive abilities in engineering, as well as fluency in English and complete understanding of Western society he was a very valuable asset to any terrorist group.
In 1993 Khalid and Ramzi Yousef, his nephew, planned the WTC bombing, with the knowledge of the ISI operatives and the Al Qaeda al Sulbah supremo. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, birth name Abdul Basit Karim, was one of the masterminds behind the first World Trade Centre attack. Yousef attended college in the USA. He studied electrical engineering there. Starting in the late 1980s, Yousef started making trips to Pakistan, where he was tutored by his maternal uncle and an ISI operative, simply called Rahmatullah. The same Rahmatullah had latter arranged a tanzeem orientation course for Ramzi at a Markaz-ud-Dawa camp near Lahore.
In 1992, Yousef entered the United States with a false Iraqi passport with his partner, Ahmed Ajaj, who also had a false passport. Yousef rented a Ryder van. On February 26, 1993, the van was loaded with explosives and driven into the garage of the World Trade Centre, where it exploded. He escaped to Pakistan. After meeting Khalid Sheik Mohammed, he stayed in safe houses funded by the ISI. There are reports that Khalid had brought Ramzi in close touch with Osama, who also funded the firebrand Islamist.
While staying in those safe houses, he attempted more terrorist attacks. He and Khalid had chalked out a plan to assassinate Benazir Bhutto allegedly in collaboration with some ISI operatives, who wanted to get rid of the democratically elected prime minister. It was alleged that the ISI had paid Osama to mastermind the assassination plan. The plan was compromised and Ramzi was dispatched by Khalid and Osama to the Philippines. While in the Philippines he had planned for the assassination of President Bill Clinton and Pope Paul II, which did not materialize due to accidental disclosure of his bomb preparation activities.
While in Manila, his first bombing was at a mall in Cebu City, which detonated several hours after Yousef placed it in the generator room. Nobody was hurt. Yousef masterminded the bombing of the Miss Universe pageant at PICC and Roxas Boulevard, both on May 21, 1994. On November 13, 1994, he masterminded the bombing of a Wendy’s hamburger stand at Nataghan Corner at J.P. Laurel Sts. On December 1, his friend Wali Khan Amin Shah, another ISI trained Pakistani, bombed the Greenbelt Theatre in Manila. It may be mentioned that Amin Shah was trained at Peshawar and Muridke camps in preparing explosives and carrying out targeted shooting.
The trial run for the 9/11/2001 attack on the USA was hatched by Khalid Sheikh, Ramzi, Osama bin Laden and a faction of the ISI operatives, in which it was planned to hijack 11 US aircrafts plying over the Pacific and blow them up. The grand Operation Oplan Bojinka had not remained a secret to the ISI operatives, though none in the ruling Pakistan government was involved. But the ISI had failed to tip off the CIA and the other US security agencies. The Filipino intelligence sources later confirmed that Wali Khan Amin Shah had visited the Pakistani embassy in Manila twice to meet the ISI station in charge. In all fairness Pakistan should have alerted the US intelligence and security agencies about the grand Islamic attack against the U.S. properties.
On December 11, Yousef boarded Philippine Airlines Flight 434, which was on a Manila-Cebu-Tokyo route. Yousef assembled a bomb and planted it under his seat on the first leg of the flight. He left the plane at Cebu. The bomb exploded on the second leg, killing one passenger. The plane made an emergency landing in Okinawa, Japan. The dry run was successful. Yousef and Khalid Mohammed had already started crafting Operation Oplan Bojinka. The plot would have had catastrophic consequences if it was carried out. The plot was abandoned after an apartment fire occurred in Manila, Philippines. Yousef’s plan was discovered on a notebook personal computer inside his apartment, two weeks before the apocalyptic acts of terror were contemplated. Murad, an accomplice of Ramzi, was sent to the apartment to retrieve the computer after the fire was extinguished. Ramzi left for Pakistan, and was housed in an ISI safe house but was arrested under the US pressure.
On February 7, 1995, Ramzi Yousef was arrested by a group of FBI, U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, and Pakistani police officers at the Su-Casa Guest House in Islamabad, Pakistan. On September 5, 1996, Yousef, Murad and Shah were convicted for planning Oplan Bojinka.
While Ramzi Yousef was finally neutralized, his maternal uncle Khalid was encouraged by the ISI to migrate to Pakistan in 1992 and continue his jihadist activities under ISI guidance and in collaboration with bin Laden and Mullah Omar of Taliban. Khalid played important roles in training the Al Qaeda al Sulbah and foreign mujahideen in ISI facilities in Peshawar, Karachi and the training camps set up by Mullah Sayyaf and bin Laden. As an engineer he had helped Al Qaeda al Sulbah in establishing an information network based in Karachi, Lahore, Gujarat, Kuwait and Dubai. His involvement in the recruitment of fidayeens for the 9/11 attacks on the USA was known to the ISI but he moved around as a free man till the US authorities compelled Pakistan to arrest him.
Some claims have been made by Pakistani authorities that Khalid was a Kuwaiti national. There is no doubt that Khalid was a Baloch Pakistani born in Kuwait. For his first visit to the USA as a student Khalid had introduced himself as a Pakistani national and Pakistan had issued him the first passport. Khalid had made Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore his main theatres for Al Qaeda al Sulbah operations, with occasional trips to Afghanistan, to meet Zawahiri and Osama and frequent trips to the Arabian Peninsula to recruit fidayeen volunteers to carry out attacks against the US targets. His arrest, trial and subsequent revelations by western intelligence agencies prove beyond doubt that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was one of the most important links between Osama bin Laden and the Inter Services Intelligence. Pakistan had fully supported him till such time it was forced to succumb under US pressure.
In an interview with Al Jazeera television, recorded in May 2002, Khalid Mohammed described himself as the head of Al Qaeda’s military committee. He said, “About two and a half years prior to the ‘holy raids’ on Washington and New York, the military committee held a meeting during which we decided to start planning for a martyrdom operation inside America.” That would date the inception of the 9/11 plot to early 1999. Later, that same year the men who would execute the 9/11 operations were chosen, he said.
In the months after Sept. 11, 2001 Mohammed was moving back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan. One Afghan General, Ziaudeen Deldar, said ‘Khalid Balochi’ was among hundreds of Al Qaeda al Sulbah fighters who escaped on foot to Pakistan from a camp near Shahi Kot in south eastern Afghanistan when American forces launched Operation Anaconda — an attempt, they said, to finish off Al Qaeda al Sulbah. He disappeared in Pakistan and for a while remained under ISI protection, before he was arrested.
The third illustrative face of ISI and Al Qaeda al Sulbah collaboration is Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, s/o Saeed Ahmed, a cloth merchant of Pakistani origin. Omar alias Omar Sheikh alias Saeed Sheikh was born in the UK and was educated there. He grew up in London, a brilliant student, attending the best private schools. He studied mathematics and statistics at the London School of Economics. There are reports that Omar was baptized in terrorism under CIA patronage in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 1993 he emerged in Pakistan as a member of a militant group fighting for the liberation of Kashmir from India. Omar Sheikh drifted closer to Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He was given training by the ISI at Peshawar and Muridke. In 1994, he began training at a training camp in Afghanistan.
Omar Sheikh was arrested in India in 1994 while on a kidnapping mission designed to trade Western tourists for Kashmiri separatists. The ISI paid his legal fees openly; nonetheless, he was sentenced to a long prison term in an Indian jail. While in prison, his natural abilities soon allowed him to become the leader of the jail’s large Muslim population. By his own admission, he lived practically like a Mafia don. Indian intelligence fraternities were certain of Omar’s Pakistan linkage. The same was the case with Maulana Masood Azhar, another ISI backed militant, who took part in crimes along with Sheikh. Masood had earned distinction as a jihadist after taking part in Bosnia and Somalia jihad, especially in killing of the US army personnel in the Mogadisu helicopter (Black Hawk) downing incidents. According to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02: “There are many in Musharraf’s government who believe that Saeed Sheikh’s power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA. The theory is that … Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for.” However, the western intelligence sources are silent about the queer triangular connectivity of Omar and Masood, spanning the handlers in the ISI, CIA and Al Qaeda al Sulbah.
In December 1999, terrorists hijacked an Indian Airlines aircraft and flew it to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Kathmandu and Pakistan based ISI operatives and Afghanistan had masterminded the hijacking with a view to retaliate against the Kargil discomfiture, as well as to secure release of its two important agents –Omar Sheikh and Masood Azhar. Omar was later to play a vital role, in collaboration with the ISI chief and Osama, in organizing the 9/11 attacks on the USA.
After an eight-day standoff at Kandahar, 155 hostages were released in exchange for Omar Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar and other two Pakistani terrorists held by India. Masood Azhar, at the instance of ISI, started a new outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad. Indian intelligence operatives, who had visited Kandahar to negotiate with the hijackers, were convinced that the ISI operatives sheltered in the ATC tower were in constant radio contact with the Taliban leaders and the hijackers. Omar must have been already highly valued by the ISI and Al Qaeda al Sulbah, because the hijacking appeared to have been largely funded and carried out by them. Omar stayed at a Kandahar guesthouse for several days, conferring with Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and Osama bin Laden. An ISI colonel later escorted him to a safe house in Pakistan.
In his roughly two years of freedom before 9/11, Omar was a very busy terrorist. According to Newsweek, once in Pakistan, he lived openly and opulently in a wealthy Lahore neighborhood, hired by the ISI. The US sources had noted that Omar did little to hide his connections to terrorist organizations, and even attended swanky parties attended by senior Pakistani government officials. He visited his parents in Britain in 2000 and again in early 2001. The British citizens kidnapped by Omar in 1994 called the government’s decision not to arrest and prosecute him a ‘disgrace’ and ‘scandalous.’ This mystery has still remained unsolved. Did he have a secret understanding with the MI5 and MI6? It appears that he had either struck a deal with the MI6 or the CIA influenced the British agency. Why was the CIA protective of Omar, the key figure who financed the 9/11 perpetrators at the instance of the ISI chief? Only Washington can reply these gnawing queries, if the American people are interested to know the degree of accountability of their secret services.
It has been reported that Omar Sheikh helped train the hijackers and others in Afghanistan, where he travelled regularly. He also reportedly helped to devise a secure, encrypted Web-based communications system for Al Qaeda al Sulbah. His future in the network seemed limitless; there was even talk of his one day succeeding bin Laden.
At the same time, much of his time was spent working with the ISI. He worked with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Laskar-e-Tayeba, Lieutenant. General Mohammad Aziz Khan, also a former deputy chief of the ISI, in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer, who oversaw ISI operations in Kashmir and sabotage and subversion of Indian Muslims vulnerable to Islamist jihad and related propaganda. He was well known to the senior ISI officers of Joint Intelligence North, Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous and Joint Intelligence X—three important divisions of the military intelligence establishment. He was constantly seen in their company and some dare devil journalists also speculated on his open participation in social events attended by senior army and intelligence officers. It is, however, not known if these ISI officials had prepared Omar for the grand attack on the USA. There is apparently no one to ask these questions as the USA has developed diplomatic amnesia.
During this period Omar made several trips to Kandahar and Kabul to consult Osama bin Laden. He also visited Kuwait, Dubai and Yemen and was constantly in touch with his collaborators in Europe and the USA. The contours of the 9/11 operations were finalized by mid 2000. Someone was transmitting huge funds from the UAE to 9/11 plotters in the USA. Omar Sheikh was suspected to be in the centre of these financial transactions. On October 6, CNN revealed, ‘US investigators now believe Sheik, using the alias Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad, sent more than $100,000 from Pakistan to Mohamed Atta.’ CNN also asserted that this was in fact the same Omar Sheikh who had been released from an Indian prison in 1999.
Soon after the 9/11 attack, President Pervez Musharraf transferred out Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmad, the head of the ISI. It was revealed in Indian and the US media that he was fired for his suspected involvement in the 9/11 attacks. For instance, a Pakistani newspaper stated, “Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmad has been replaced after the FBI investigators established credible links between him and Omar Sheikh, one of the three militants released in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999… Informed sources said there were enough indications with the US intelligence agencies that it was at Gen. Mahmood’s instruction that Sheikh had transferred 100,000 US dollars into the account of Mohammed Atta…” Dawn, 09.10.2001.
Indian newspapers claimed that Indian intelligence had been instrumental in helping to establish the connection. Western media did not highlight this news. In the US, only Wall Street Journal mentioned that, “The US authorities … confirm the fact that $100,000 was wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Omar Sheikh at the instance of General Mahmood.” Wall Street Journal, 10/10/01.
The story would strongly suggest that the ISI played a key role in the 9/11 attacks. Why was the White House silent on such an important piece of evidence of Pakistani collaboration with the 9/11 attackers? The reason was palpably clear. Bush regime had no other option but to cajole Pakistan into a partnership in its war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It simply did not want to antagonize the President of Pakistan, who was rather forced to collaborate with the US war machine. The two fulcrums of evil have had excellent track record of cohabitation for strategic reasons.
With these developments Omar Sheikh, an ISI agent and a collaborator of the CIA, became a persona non grata. He was again mentioned as the 9/11 paymaster the day before the Mahmood story broke and then suddenly, all mention of him ceased. While the FBI and media have been putting forth a series of names sounding remarkably similar to Sheikh or the aliases he used, they had been ignoring solid evidence that linked Sheikh to the funding of 9/11. Such assertions by US agencies would have confirmed Omar’s ISI ties, and the possibility that he was acting on orders from Mahmood, or even President Musharraf. There are reasons to believe, if one trusts secret repots of Indian Intelligence Bureau and the R&AW, President Musharraf was fully aware of the ISI plan of hijacking the Indian airline flight from Kathmandu to Kandahar and the demands put forth by the hijackers. However, diplomatic compulsions have forced India to maintain silence on this earthshaking event.
During the five years Omar Sheikh spent in an Indian prison, he developed friendships with some underworld mafia. One such person was Aftab Ansari. Ansari, an Indian gangster, who was released in 1999 on bail, had fled the country. Omar also met a prisoner named Asif Raza Khan, also released in 1999. Ansari moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and began expanding his India-based criminal network with Asif Raza Khan and others. By early 2001, they had organized a kidnapping network. They kidnapped rich Indian businessmen and used the money to fund terrorist activities. Omar had provided training and weapons to the kidnappers in return for a percentage of the profits.
Ansari’s criminal underground network also assisted the ISI in conducting terrorist attacks inside India. He had set up networking with the HUJI and Jamait-e-Islami of Bangladesh for carrying out jihadist attacks against Indian and US targets in India. In late July 2001, a wealthy Indian shoe manufacturer was kidnapped in Calcutta, India. In early August, his ransom was paid to Ansari’s group, and the victim was released. According to Los Angeles Times, 1/23/02, Ansari gave about $100,000 of the approximately $830,000 in ransom money to Omar, who sent it to 9/11 hijacker Mohamad Atta.
A series of e-mails recovered by intelligence agencies showed that the money was sent just after August 11, 2001. This $100,000 could be the same amount ISI Director Mahmood supposedly told Omar to send to Atta. It could refer to a separate approximately $100,000 sent to Atta from Dubai, UAE, between June and September 2000. There were probably other transactions, since it is believed the hijackers spent between $500,000 and $600,000 in the US. At least $325,000 came from the person using the alias “Mustafa Ahmed” and variants on that name, which is identical with Omar Sheikh. It does not stand to reason to assert that the ISI had conducted only a single money transfer on orders of General Mahmood. Even rudimentary reasoning can lead to the inference that the Pakistani Establishment—may be the President included—were aware of the linkages between Omar, Ansari and money transfer to Mohammad Atta. Musharraf was the CEO of Pakistan at the time of the catastrophic event. Or was it being run by the ISI at the behest of OBL (Osama bin Laden)?
The FBI later confirmed that many of the 9/11 hijackers had passed through Dubai and had met with the paymaster. They were given Visa credit cards, travelers cheques, and help in opening bank accounts. This further confirmed that the paymaster was Omar, since he was making frequent trips to Dubai at this time. It may be interesting to note that during this period Omar Sheikh had befriended another ISI/Al Qaeda al Sulbah operative Khalid Sheikh, who was also frequenting the Middle Eastern countries in connection with the 9/11 attack. According to intelligence sources both Khalid and Omar had at least two meetings with Osama bin Laden before they met in Dubai for consultations. Reliable reports also indicate that Khalid Sheikh had two meetings with a top ISI Deputy Director at Karachi prior to the 9/11 incidents.
The presumption is not correct that ISI sponsored jihadist outfits fighting against India are not connected to the jihadists fighting against the USA, and other western countries. This distinction does not exist in reality. For instance, terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar was freed with Al Qaeda al Sulbah and ISI help in the 1999 Indian airplane-hijacking swap that freed Omar Sheikh. Azhar quickly returned to Pakistan in January 2000, but didn’t face arrest. Instead, a few days after being freed, he told a cheering Pakistani crowd of 10,000 supporters: “I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India.” AP, 1/5/00.
He then toured Pakistan for weeks under the protection of the ISI. Omar had drifted closer to Azhar in Indian prison. In early 2000, Omar and the ISI helped Azhar to form a new terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammad, and soon Azhar was behind more terrorist acts, mostly in Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammad worked with the ISI, Omar Sheikh and Ansari in numerous attacks against Indian targets. For instance, shortly after the October 2001 series of Kashmir bombing, Indian intelligence claimed that Pakistani President Musharraf was given a recording of a phone call between Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar and ISI Director General Mahmood, in which Azhar reported the bombing, was a ‘success.’ In early January 2002, the FBI was interested in questioning Maulana Azhar, and a Pakistani official agreed that the Americans were aware of Azhar meeting bin Laden often, and were convinced that he could give important information about bin Laden’s whereabouts and even on the September 11 attacks.
Besides direct contact with bin Laden, the ISI had maintained through these proxy terrorist groups, deep ties with Al Qaeda al Sulbah. In 1993, the same Azhar and Omar had helped Al Qaeda al Sulbah train and fund Somali warlord forces so they could kill the US soldiers stationed in Somalia. Reports about ISI funding the Somali warlords were never confirmed by the US intelligence agencies, though Indian intelligence fraternities were aware of such connectivity. These attacks forced the US to withdraw from that country.
“None of these details will be unfamiliar to US intelligence operatives who have been compiling extensive reports on these alleged activities.” Jane’s Intelligence Digest 9/20/01. The US media later reported that bin Laden had emergency medical care in Pakistan the day before September 11. He was spirited into a military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. Pakistani military forces guarded him. They also moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. The same issue of Jane’s Intelligence Digest also commented, “It is becoming clear that both the Taliban and Al Qaeda al Sulbah would have found it difficult to have continued functioning—including the latter group’s terrorist activities — without substantial aid and support from Pakistan.”
After the 9/11 incidents, General Musharraf had come under severe US pressure to restrict the activities of ISI’s top agent Omar Sheikh. He was shifted to an ISI safe house in Lahore, Pakistan. In January 2002, he celebrated the birth of his baby at a party he hosted in the city. During this hibernation period Omar Sheikh had acted as a go-between for bin Laden and the ISI. The US aggression in Afghanistan had temporarily disrupted ISI’s communication lines with Osama. Omar Sheikh and the tanzeem members of Lashkar-e-Tayeba and Jaish-e-Mohammad helped out the ISI in maintaining contact with Osama and Mullah Omar.
Meanwhile, Omar collaborated with the ISI and Ansari. On October 1, 2001, a suicide truck-bomb attack on the legislative assembly in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed 36 people. On December 13, 2001, terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament building in New Delhi. Fourteen people, including the five attackers, were killed. On January 22, 2002, gunmen attacked some West Bengal policemen guarding the US Information Service building in Kolkata; four policemen were killed and 21 people injured. It was proved that Omar Sheikh and Ansari were behind all of these attacks. Ansari even called from Dubai to take credit for the Kolkata attack. Jaish-e-Mohammad, Maulana Masood Azhar’s group, was also involved in these attacks. He had mobilized Bangladesh based cadres of the HUJI.
Pakistan was alerted by rumors floating after the 9/11 incidents about involvement of Saeed Omar. It was an open secret that Omar was an active agent of the ISI. British intelligence had begun asking Pakistan for assistance to arrest Omar probably for kidnapping a Briton in India way back in 1994. In November 2001, a US grand jury secretly indicted Sheikh for kidnapping a US citizen seven years earlier. Pressure was put on Pakistan for arresting him. The US ambassador to Pakistan officially requested the Pakistan government for help in arresting and extraditing Omar. It took the events relating to the decapitation of Daniel Pearl for Pakistan to ‘finally discover’ Omar Sheikh’s location. It was an open secret in Lahore and Islamabad that Omar was living in an ISI safe house and was attending official parties as an honored guest.
The ISI was suspected for supplying the blueprint of kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter. Pearl was allegedly snooping around for facts to establish definite proof of connectivity of the ISI with bin Laden, Omar Sheikh and the 9/11 hijackers. Pearl had become fascinated in a number of stories involving the ISI. On December 24, 2001, he reported about ties between the ISI and a Pakistani organization that was working on giving bin Laden nuclear secrets before 9/11. The latter discoveries made by the ISI about top Pakistani nuclear scientists selling nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya had conveniently forgotten to admit that the father of Pakistani nuclear bomb had maintained steady connections with Osama. It could also not be beyond the knowledge of the ISI and Pakistani President that the father of their nuclear technology was selling nuclear secrets to the countries described by Bush as ‘axis of evil.’ However, the USA is well known for developing periodical diplomatic and strategic amnesia and collaborating with strange bedmates.
A few days later, Pearl reported that Jaish-e-Mohammad still had its office running and bank accounts working, even after President Musharraf had claimed to have banned the group. He began investigating links between shoe bomber Richard Reid and Pakistani militants connected to the ISI. His investigation also took him to the secrets of connectivity between Indian mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, a powerful terrorist and gangster, and the ISI. Robert Baer, a former CIA agent, later claimed that he was working with Pearl on investigating 9/11 masterminds, Omar Sheikh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
On January 23, Omar took part in the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl. The FBI Director went to Pakistan next day from India and discussed Omar Sheikh’s involvement in terrorist activities with President Musharraf. Mueller then flew to Dubai on his way back to the US to pressure the government there to arrest Ansari and deport him to India. Ansari was arrested on February 5 and deported four days later. The USA was convinced by Indian intelligence reports about Ansari’s and Omar’s involvement in the attack on the US consulate in Kolkata.
Around January 31, 2002, his kidnappers murdered Daniel Pearl as he had reportedly gathered plenty of evidence of ISI’s involvement in terrorist activities all over the world. Pearl was the first western journalist to spell out Pakistan as the Eastern Fulcrum of Evil. Musharraf even brazenly stated, “Perhaps Daniel Pearl was over-intrusive. A media person should be aware of the dangers of getting into dangerous areas. Unfortunately, he got over-involved.” Hindu, 3/8/02. Did Musharraf know about the ISI plan to assassinate Pearl? It is speculated that Musharraf had decided around the same time to silence Omar Sheikh to hush up ISI involvement in 9/11 incident.
Under pressure, Omar Sheikh finally ‘surrendered’ in February to his ISI boss Ijaz Shah. He and the ISI worked out a deal how much to say to the US authorities. Neither the Pakistani police nor the US Embassy nor the FBI, who were in Islamabad investigating the kidnapping, was informed that Omar was being held by the ISI during this period. The deal done, a brazen Omar Sheikh gave himself up to police, telling them of Pearl’s capture but misleading them on every possible fact, including his ISI linkage. Omar’s surrender was made public on February 13. He then confessed to the murder of Daniel Pearl.
President Musharraf was reluctant to extradite Omar to the USA for fear of exposure and wanted to “hang him myself.” The US media had extensively reported on Omar’s connectivity with the ISI and Al Qaeda al Sulbah. However, under extreme diplomatic pressure the US Secretary of State Colin Powell ruled out any links between “elements of the ISI” and the murderers of reporter Daniel Pearl. The Guardian had boldly contradicted Powell, “If he was extradited to Washington and decided to talk, the entire story would unravel. His families are fearful. They think he might be tried by a summary court and executed to prevent the identity of his confederates being revealed.” Colin Powel was also contradicted by his colleague Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when he “acknowledged reports that Omar Sheikh may have been an ‘asset’ for the ISI. However, under compulsion of having Pakistan as an ally in war against Taliban and Al Qaeda al Sulbah, the US authorities lapsed in incurable amnesia and embraced Pervez Musharraf and the ISI as dearest friends.
A month after, Omar Sheikh was given death penalty Vanity Fair in August 8, 2002 issue, explored all his connections, but the article seemed to make no impact at all. There was no doubt that 9/11 mastermind Omar Sheikh was the killer of Daniel Pearl as well, and may even have cut Pearl’s throat himself. This not only showed that Al Qaeda al Sulbah worked to benefit the ISI in silencing Pearl, but also helped to confirm the theory that Omar had been supported by the ISI. Since Sheikh has been linked to almost many attacks against the United States that in turn raises the possibility that the ISI had also been involved in all of those attacks, at the very least by not helping to arrest Omar and his cohorts.
Had the ISI been leashed by Musharraf? He was hailed for firing ISI Director General Mahmood, and generally has been presented as a pro-Western figure trying to root out the pro-terrorist factions of the ISI. On January 12, 2002, in the face of US pressure, Musharraf made a forceful speech condemning Islamic extremism, and arrested about 2,000 extremists around the same time. Yet, by the end of the month, at least 800 had been quietly released. Since then, almost all of those arrested have been released.
The fact remains that the Islamist Jihadi tanzeems continue to flourish. They are accruing strength and their activities have also been directed against pro-American policies of Musharraf. Pakistani military actions against Al Qaeda al Sulbah in the tribal areas have so far resulted in minor losses to the Arab elements of Al Qaeda. The self-ruling tribal communities have been alienated and it is now openly discussed in Pakistan that without ISI connivance Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar could have not survived the US and Pakistani onslaught.
The case studies of Ramzi Yusef, Khalid Mohammad Sheikh and Omar Sheikh have been narrated in detail as these three players typify Pakistan and its intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence’s (ISI) umbilical connectivity to the CIA, Royal Saudi Intelligence, Al Qaeda al Sulbah, Taliban and acts of the Islamist jihadists in all the continents—America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The ISI and Al Qaeda al Sulbah are equal partners in global Islamist terrorism, fought in India, Central Asian Muslim Republics, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Algeria, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Indonesia, Southern Thailand, and Malaysia and to a lesser extent in Australia, especially the Australian targets abroad.
Pakistan’s emergence as a global exporter of Islamist terrorism has been well documented by scholars and media persons all over the world, though the USA and UK are now feigning that the terror breeding and exporting country is their great ally in war against International Islamist Terrorism.
The Islaim jihadist forces, of which the Jamait-e-Islami, Jammat-Ulema-ul Islami and Markaz-al-Dawa-al-Irshad are spearheads, were encouraged to mill out jihadis from over 50,000 madrassas, which preached unabashed jihadist messages and basically prepared Pakistani and foreign students for jihad against India, communist regime in Afghanistan and for getting involved in global jihad against the Christian and Jewish targets.
Pakistani establishment was the prime moving force that spawned scores of terrorist organizations with the main objectives of fighting jihad against India, assisting Afghan jihadis, coordinating with foreign jihadis recruited by the CIA, ISI and Saudi intelligence and several International Islamist organizations. The Islamist forces of Egypt, who acted as guiding angels, facilitated the resurgence of Islamic jihad by formulating new jihad policies.These jihadist forces were funded by the state of Pakistan, Saudi intelligence, Saudi financed NGOs, and the ISI.
Proliferation of jihadist organizations has become a self-activated mechanism of the societal growth of Pakistan. A vast segment of Pakistani society has been subverted by the mullahs and ISI operatives in collaboration with the Arab jihadists of Egyptian, Saudi and assorted origin. They are now treated as the flag bearers of Islamist jihad all over the world. They are as bigoted as the Al Qaeda al Sulbah, Taliban and other Islamicized groups are in almost all the continents. These new societal elements in Pakistan often stray beyond the briefs provided by the ISI. A number of such jihadist organizations have drifted closer to Al Qaeda al Sulbah and other Islamist organizations that have sprung up all over the world. A new ‘Islamist International’ has emerged mainly due to shortsighted foreign policy of the USA and its allies.
Before finishing, rather a lengthy essay we must not forget the present shining diamond of Pakistan-Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, on whom the US has declared $ 10 million bounty. Whether Pakistan can preserve itself as a nation state or not, it is frenetically trying to protect this new Rasool of Allah. Only US can take care of this Rasool by droning him.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed born 1950 is the amir of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah, a facade charity organization that is widely considered to be a cover organization for Lashkar-e-Tayeba (LeT), one of the largest and most active Islamic terrorist organizations in the world, operating mainly from Pakistan. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia.
India considers Hafiz one of its most wanted terrorists because of his alleged ties with Lashkar-e-Tayeba and his involvement in attacks against India. The United Nations declared Jama’at-ud-Da’wah a terrorist organization in December 2008 and Hafiz Saeed a terrorist as its leader. According to Hafiz Saeed, he has no links with LeT. United States of America has announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafeez Saeed’s head, for his alleged role in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
In 1950, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was born in Sargodha, Punjab. His family originally hailed from Haryana and was engaged in agricultural activities. His family reportedly lost 36 of its members when migrating from Shimla to Lahore during the Partition of India. It was the time when Muslims butchered Hindus in Pakistan and Hindu-Sikhs butchered Muslims in Indian side. He is married and his wife’s name is Maimoona.
General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq appointed Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to the Council on Islamic Ideology, and he later served as an Islamic Studies teacher at the University of Engineering and Technology (Lahore), Pakistan. He was sent to Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s by the University for Higher Studies where he met Saudi Sheikhs who were taking part in the Afghan jihad. They inspired him to join his colleague, Professor Zafar Iqbal, in taking an active role supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. There he met some youth who later became his companions. In 1987 Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, along with Abdullah Azzam, founded Markaz Dawa-Wal-Irshad, in Afghanistan. This group was rooted in the Jamait Ahl-e-Hadis and Al Qaeda.
This organization spawned the jihadist group Lashkar-e-Tayeba in 1990, with the help of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence officers and the Al Qaeda.
Lashkar’s primary target is the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Saeed is also quoted as saying, “There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy.”
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed holds two masters degrees from the University of Punjab and a specialization in Islamic Studies & Arabic Language from King Saud University.
Pakistan detained Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on December 21, 2001 in relation to Indian accusations of his involvement with the December 13, 2001 attack on the Lok Sabha. He was held until March 31, 2002, arrested again on May 15, and was placed under house arrest on October 31 of the same year.
After the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings, the provincial government of Punjab, Pakistan arrested him on August 9, 2006 and kept him under house arrest but he was released on August 28, 2006 after a Lahore High Court order. He was arrested again on the same day by the provincial government and was kept in the Canal Rest House in Sheikhupura. He was finally released after the Lahore High Court order on October 17, 2006.
After the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India submitted a formal request to the U.N. Security Council to put the group Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, was on the list of individuals and organizations sanctioned by the United Nations for association with terrorism. It accused the organization and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, of being virtually interchangeable with Lashkar-e-Tayeba. India said that the close links between the organizations, as well as the 2,500 offices and 11 seminaries that Jamaat-ud-Dawa maintains in Pakistan, “are of immediate concern with regard to their efforts to mobilize and orchestrate terrorist activities.”
On December 10, 2008 Hafiz Muhammad Saeed denied a link between LeT and JuD in an interview with Pakistan’s Geo television stating that “no Lashkar-e-Tayeba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Tayeba.”
On December 11, 2008 Hafiz Muhammed Saeed was again placed under house arrest when the United Nations declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa to be a LeT front. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was held in house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order law, which allows authorities to detain temporarily individuals deemed likely to create disorder, until early June 2009 when the Lahore High Court, deeming the containment to be unconstitutional, ordered Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to be released. India quickly expressed its disappointment with the decision.
On July 6, 2009 the Pakistani government filed an appeal of the court’s decision. Deputy Attorney General Shah Khawar told the Associated Press that “Hafiz Saeed at liberty is a security threat.”
On August 25, 2009 Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice against Hafiz Saeed, along with Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, in response to Indian requests for his extradition.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was again placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities in September 2009. On October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed “In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalize the law.”
This proved him innocent as evidence provided by Indian government and blown by the Indian news channels were not at all successful in proving him a terrorist in the Pakistani court of law. Pakistan did very little to submit additional evidences. The full bench of Lahore High Court in Pakistan declared him free of charge and set him free. Moreover the respected Supreme Court of Pakistan also rejected the proofs given by India in alleged case of terrorism against Hafiz Saeed. In addition he has challenged any one to take him to the international courts and prove him guilty there, but as per now neither USA nor India is ready for it
On May 11, 2011, in an effort to place pressure on Pakistan, India publicly revealed a list of its 50 most wanted fugitives hiding in Pakistan. India believes Hafiz Saeed is a fugitive, this arrest warrant presently has no effect on Saeed’s movements within Pakistan, following the Lahore High Court ruling Saeed has been moving freely around the country.
In 2012, United States announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafeez Saeed’s head, for his alleged role in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Saeed stated that he had nothing to do with the Mumbai attacks and also condemned the attacks. When asked about the bounty, Saeed replied “I am living my life in the open and the US can contact me whenever they want.” He subsequently stated that he is ready to face “any American court” to answer the charges which he denies, adding that if Washington wants to contact him they know where he is: “this is a laughable, absurd announcement. Here I am in front of everyone, not hiding in a cave.” Saeed identified his leading role in the Difa-e-Pakistan council and United States attempts to placate India as reasons behind the bounty.
Hafiz, under direction of just retired ISI chief Shuja Pasha cobbled an organization named Difa-e-Pakistan in 2011. The declared agenda of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council was to oust the United States from the region, break Pak-US ties, back Taliban militants, force the government to revoke the Most Favored Nation status being granted to India and stop the NATO supplies pass through Pakistan. The increasing activities of a recently formed religious and militant parties’ alliance — Difa-e-Pakistan Council — has invited the wrath of United States’ State Department, which has expressed serious concern over the appearance of Jamaat ud Dawa Amir Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in the continuing anti-US rallies being staged across Pakistan.
The US State Department has reminded Islamabad that the JuD was simply a front for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which had been banned by the United Nations Security Council and the United States in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, invoking international sanctions.
The retired director general of the Inter Service Intelligence Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha is considered to be the moving spirit behind the creation of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council which is yet another dummy alliance of religious parties aligned with jihadi non-state actors. Pakistan’s intelligence establishment had been creating such alliances even in the past with a view to fight covert wars in the neighboring states of India and Afghanistan.
The council, which is an umbrella of around 40 banned jihadi outfits and religious groups, seems to have been unleashed by the country’s security establishment because of Pakistan’s fraught relationship with the United States in the aftermath of the November 26 killing of 25 Pakistani army soldiers in a NATO airstrike targeting the Salala check post on the Pak-Afghan border. The council has been holding public meetings and rallies in major Pakistani cities for the past month, announcing that force will be used to spread Islamic ideology in the country by suppressing anti-Islamic, secular and liberal elements.
Hafiz Ibrahim Saeed and Osama bin laden were inspired by the ISI to plan and launch maritime attack on Mumbai on 26/11/2008. Following persons were fully involved in the planning and execution of the attack:
1) Hafeez Muhammad Saeed @ Hafiz Saab,
2) Zaki-Ur-Rehman Lakhvi,
3) Abu Hamza, (Al Qaeda)
4) Abu Al Kama @ Amjid, (Al Qaeda)
5) Abu Kaahfa,
6) Mujjamil alias Yusuf,
7) Zarar Shah,
8) Abu Fahad Ullah,
9) Abu Abdul Rehman,
10) Abu Anas,
11) Abu Bashir,
12) Abu Imran,
13) Abu Mufti Saeed,
14) Hakim Saab,
18) Abu Umar Saeed,
20) Major General Sahab – Name not known (ISI Officer)
21) Kharak Singh, (A suspected Babbar Khalsa member).
22) Mohammed Ishfak,
23) Javid Iqbal,
24) Sajid Iftikhar,
25) Col. R. Saadat Ullah, (ISI Official)
26) Khurram Shahdad,
27) Abu Abdurrehman,
28) Abu Mavia,
29) Abu Anis,
30) Abu Bashir,
31) Abu Hanjla Pathan,
32) Abu Saria,
33) Abu Saif –ur- Rehman,
34) Abu Imran and
35) Hakim Saheb.
Investigations revealed that the terrorists involved in the terrorist attacks underwent a rigorous, arduous and disciplined training schedule. Only on successful completion of the training module did they graduate for the next phase. Training was a very important component of the planned conspiracy and was very vital for the successful execution of the diabolic and nefarious designs of the Lashkar-e-Tayeba. It was revealed during investigation that the terrorists were trained at various locations inside Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The training modules, on a graduating scale, were held at Muridke, Manshera, Muzaffarabad, Azizabad, Paanch Teni, etc. in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The ten terrorist accused underwent a grueling training schedule, graduated with flying colors at every phase, ultimately to be hand-picked for the execution of this audacious and bold mission. They were trained for physical fitness, swimming, weapon handling, tradecraft, battle inoculation, Guerilla warfare, firing sophisticated assault weapons, use of Hand Grenades and Rocket Launchers, Handling of GPS and Satellite Phone, Map Reading etc. They were also indoctrinated in the tenets of Jihad and the recitation of Quran and Hadis. The trainers, namely Abu Fahadullah, Abu Mufti Saeed, Abu Abdurrehman, Abu Maavia, Abu Anis, Abu Bashir, Abu Hanjla Pathan, Abu Saria, Abu Saif-ur-Rehman, Abu Imran, Zaki- ur- Rehman, Hakim Saheb, Hafiz Saeed, Kaahfa, Abu Hamza and others were experts in their field and trained them to a degree of perfection. During the last phase of their training, the selected 10 accused terrorists were shown the maps of the targeted sites of Mumbai City by their co-conspirator Abu Kaahfa. On being questioned as regards the authenticity and accuracy of the maps, Abu Kaahfa informed the terrorist accused that the maps had been meticulously prepared by arrested accused Fahim Arshad Mohammad Yusuf Ansari @ Abu Jarar @ Sakib @ Sahil Pawaskar @ Sameer Shaikh@ Ahmed Hasan, aged-35 yrs, Sabauddin Ahmed Shabbir Ahmed Shaikh @ Saba @ Farhan @ Mubbashir @ Babar @ Sameer Singh@ Sanjiv@ Abu-Al-Kasim@ Iftikhar@ Murshad @ Mohammad Shafik@Ajmal Ali, aged-24 yrs. It is further revealed during the investigation that wanted accused Zaki Ur-Rehman Lakhvi handed over the maps of targeted locations to the attackers before they left Karachi for Mumbai with a direction that the said maps of the sites at Mumbai were prepared by arrested accused Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmad and with the help of the said maps they could reach their assigned targets easily.
Cofounder of the Markaz and LeT was Abdullah Azzam, who was also the initial teacher of Osama bin Laden. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (1941 – November 24, 1989) was a highly influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who preached in favor of defensive jihad by Muslims to help the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet invaders and became the first leader of Al Qaeda. He raised funds, recruited, and organized the international Islamic volunteer effort of Afghan Arabs through the 1980s, and emphasized the political ascension of Islam.
He is also known as a teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden, and persuaded bin Laden to come to Afghanistan and help the jihad, though the two differed as to where the next front in global jihad should be after the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan. He was also a co-founder of Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayeba. He was killed by a bomb blast on November 24, 1989, after he developed differences with Osama.
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was born in 1941 in the village of as-Ba’ah al-Hartiyeh (Silat al-Harithiya village), a few kilometers northwest of the city of Jenin, in the Jenin Sanjak (District), then administered as the British Mandate of Palestine.
After completing his elementary and secondary school education in his home village, he studied agriculture at Khadorri College near Tulkarm. After college graduation, Azzam worked as a teacher in the south Jordanian village of Adder. In 1961, at the age of 20, he married a girl named Umm Muhammad. He subsequently joined Sharia College at the University of Damascus where he obtained a B.A. in Sharia in 1966. After the 1967 Six-Day War ended in Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Azzam left the West Bank and followed the Palestinian exodus to Jordan, where he joined the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.. Azzam, a Palestinian, “deeply driven by the injustice to his people” founded Al-Qaeda. He later turned over leadership of Al-Qaeda to Osama bin Laden due to financial and control pressures, he is quoted as saying of the Saudis, “They will relax, because when they feel Osama is out of control, they can stop him. But I am a Palestinian. They have no way to stop me.
There are several such jihadi diamonds of Pakistan which are still working with Afghan Taliban, LeT, and Jaish-e-Mohammad etc terrorist bodies created by Pakistan. They have not attained Rasool Allah status as yet.