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The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Past, Pakistan’s Future

Posted by mymyboli on March 29, 2014

Apoorva Shah

Source - http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/next-al-qaeda-lashkar-e-taiba-and-future-terrorism-south-asia

For more than two decades, from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s, Pakistan had a higher per capita income than India, the country from which it separated in 1947 and against which it has fought four wars. While independent India enjoyed relative political stability and—following its economic reforms in the early 1990s—material progress, Pakistan has regressed. Poverty and violence have ravaged this country of 160 million people, who suffer from the misrule of an impotent civil government, the paranoia of an omnipotent military and intelligence network, and the terror of radical Islam.

Indeed, almost every ruling government in Pakistan’s history has been marred by violence or political tumult—from General Mohammad Ayub Khan’s coup d’état in 1958 to the hanging of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1979 to the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf in 2008. Pakistan’s military and intelligence services, on the other hand, have wielded disproportionate power over the country’s foreign (and often domestic) policies. In their efforts to subvert India and other foreign rivals, the services have even provided covert training and financial support to Islamist militants and terrorists. After 9/11, these linkages made Pakistan the nucleus of the global war on terrorism and earned it the title of the most dangerous place in the world.

Disproportionately more international terrorists hail from Pakistan than from any other place on earth. For 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and perhaps even Osama bin Laden, this country has served as a refuge or training ground. While radical groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami continue to operate freely in Pakistan and plot attacks against India, the homegrown Pakistani Taliban has become an enemy of the state, responsible for a spate of suicide bombings that have terrorized major Pakistani cities like Karachi and Islamabad. More remote areas of the country such as Swat Valley and Quetta are, or at some point have been, completely under militant rule, devoid of any state control.

Related Essay

What does the news of Osama bin Laden’s death means for Pakistan’s already troubled situation?

What happened? Why has radical Islam become so entrenched in this supposedly secular Muslim state? After all, Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a Scotch-drinking, British-educated barrister, once said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

For many observers, both in South Asia and in the West, Pakistan’s troubles are rooted in specific difficulties: the lack of economic opportunity, political corruption, foreign meddling, or hyper-militarization, for example. By tackling these issues, they say, Pakistan could finally become a “normal” state, saved from the grip of radical Islam. But these ills are effects rather than causes of Pakistan’s troubles. In fact, they underlie a deeper crisis that traces back to the country’s founding movement, a crisis not between the forces of Islamism and secularism—as is commonly perceived among Western policymakers and even secular Pakistani elites—but rather within the nature of the “Islamic Republic” itself.

 

In the late nineteenth century, a growing group of Muslim intellectuals in the Indian independence movement began to push for a separate status for Indian Muslims in the subcontinent. Their motives could be traced to 1857 when, following the first Indian Rebellion against British company rule, the final vestiges of the Mughal Empire were dismantled and the British Crown took control of India. In the minds of the Muslim intellectuals, the end of the Mughal court meant the loss of the South Asian Muslims’ unique culture, language, and kingdom. But by gaining a distinct political status, they could begin to reassert the Muslims’ historical influence and prestige in India.

However, the idea of a separate state for Indian Muslims did not emerge until 1930, when the Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal, then leader of the Muslim League, began to call for two nations within an independent India. Four years later, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was a member of the Indian National Congress from 1905 to 1930 and held the position of “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity,” returned to India from London to help Iqbal revive the Muslim League and direct the movement for an independent Pakistan. In a lecture in Lahore in March 1940, Jinnah articulated the rationale for this new country with the “two-nation theory”: “Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literatures. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. . . . It is quite clear that Hindus and Musalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history.” This theory would ground the “idea of Pakistan,” positing not only that Hindus and Muslims had distinct cultural traditions, but separate histories. For Indian Muslims, this history harked back to the Mughal era of Muslim dominance in India, which, they argued, was what defined and distinguished them from the other cultures and religions of the subcontinent.

In many ways, the mobilization of Islamic leaders was a valid response to the socioeconomic and political challenges their community faced in the subcontinent. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Muslims were increasingly marginalized from major political structures in the colonial government. But while the average Muslim in South Asia faced discrimination and was generally poorer than his Hindu counterpart (as is still the case in India today), there was little historical precedent for the concept of a discrete Muslim identity founded in Mughal rule. Indeed, through the hundreds of years that the Muslim empire had reigned over South Asia, cultures, cuisines, languages, and even peoples had mixed, creating new and unique identities that were neither “purely” Muslim nor Hindu. As Stephen P. Cohen writes in The Idea of Pakistan: “For all their distinctiveness, Muslims shared many interests with the other populations of India, and on the regional level their cultures were intertwined. Punjabis—whether Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh—had a similar worldview and approach to life. Likewise, many South Indian Muslim communities had more in common with their fellow Tamil or Malayalam speakers than with the Urdu or Punjabi speakers to the north.” But as Muslim leaders of South Asia, legitimately concerned with the economic and social state of their minority in the region, escalated their demand from separate status to separate state, their version of history went from being an intellectual and cultural concept to an important political tool. Much of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Lahore speech in 1940 was concerned with practical issues of constitution formation and electoral power rather than with colonial history or cultural inheritance.

Because of this politicization of Islam, not all Indian Muslims accepted the idea of a separate Muslim state. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a former member of the Muslim League who switched to the Indian National Congress in the 1920s, remained loyal to a free but undivided India for all of his life. For leaders like Azad and the prominent Deobandi scholar Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, the idea of creating an Islamic nation was erroneous simply because there was no such thing as an Indian Muslim nation separate from the broader global Muslim community, or ummah.

Yet Jinnah, Iqbal, and other Muslim leaders in British India insisted that South Asian Muslims did have a distinct political identity that merited an independent nation. By crafting a revisionist history of Islam in South Asia, in which centuries of cultural, religious, and ethnic mixture were erased in favor of a “pure” Muslim identity, and by wielding this history as a tool for political autonomy, the leaders achieved their dream of an independent Muslim state. On August 14, 1947, Pakistan—an acronym for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Baluchistan—was born.

 

As the dust of the turbulent independence era settled, Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and his fellow leaders needed to continue to consolidate this national identity among the diverse groups and cultures that lived within Pakistan’s new boundaries. While the country was majority-Muslim, Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, and Pashtun cultures (among many others) were also represented within Pakistan and had their own distinct languages and traditions. It was the job of the elites to instill a unified sense of citizenship among these peoples. The challenges in doing so would become the source of the country’s greatest crises.

A first step was linguistic and ethnic consolidation. Originally encouraged by the Indian Muslim scholar and politician Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the Muslims’ lingua franca in 1867, Urdu (which did not originate in any of the land that became Pakistan but was rather the mother tongue of the Indian Mohajirs from Uttar Pradesh) became Pakistan’s official language and the country’s language of education immediately following independence. But linguistic rifts had already begun by December 1947, when Bengali students in East Pakistan demanded that Bengali be made an official language as well. By the following March, the students had organized a general strike that led to large rallies and confrontations with police. That month, as the crisis grew worse, Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Dhaka and accused a “fifth column” of creating a language controversy to divide the Pakistanis and declared that “Urdu, and only Urdu” would remain the state language. Such conflicts would continue between East and West Pakistan for the next two decades.

A second component of the Pakistani consolidation process was public education. As noted by A. H. Nayyar and Ahmad Salim, in a report for the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan, the educational system in Pakistan was designed “from the very beginning” to reinforce “one particular view of Pakistani nationalism and identity, namely that Pakistan is an Islamic state rather than a country with a majority Muslim population.” Furthermore, the educational system needed to produce an image of a “singular homogeneous majoritarian Muslim identity that could be sharply differentiated from that of India, even though it meant suppressing the many different shades within Pakistan.”

This was done through myth-making and the embellishment of history. In a chapter on “Historical Falsehoods and Inaccuracies” in Pakistani education, Salim observes that many Pakistan Studies textbooks declare that Muhammad-bin-Qasim, an Arab general who led the Umayyad conquest of the Sindh and Punjab regions in the early eighth century, was Pakistan’s first citizen—a full twelve centuries before its independence in 1947. Indeed, one textbook simply declares that “although Pakistan was created in August 1947, . . . the present-day Pakistan has existed, as a more or less single entity, for centuries.”

In addition, the Pakistani public education system developed a strongly anti-Indian and anti-Hindu bias in its curriculum. For example, one social studies textbook from the Punjab Textbook Board declares that “the Hindus in Pakistan were treated very nicely when they were migrating as opposed to the inhuman treatment meted out to the Muslim migrants from India.” A report from the National Commission for Justice and Peace also found that in many textbooks in Pakistan, the word Hindu “rarely appears in a sentence without an adjective such as politically astute, sly, or manipulative.”

All of these observations leave out another aspect of education in Pakistan that has gained international attention in the last decade: privately run, radical Islamic madrassas. Many of these religious schools have been accused of affiliating with organizations like the Taliban and cultivating scores of young terrorists. While these schools are of concern to many observers, it is the state-driven indoctrination that remains the bigger worry. As the SDPI report notes, “the educational material in the government run schools do much more than madrassas. The textbooks tell lies, create hatred, inculcate militancy, and much more.”

Since Pakistan was a state created on the basis of Islamic identity, religion continued to play a critical political role in consolidating nationhood. Indeed, other than Islam, Pakistan only possessed a negative identity: it was Pakistan because it was not India. Thus, religion was the integral tool for cohesion among these disparate and diverse peoples. How exactly this cohesion was to be achieved became a major component of Pakistan’s identity crisis.

 

Following the death of Jinnah in 1948, just one year after independence, Islam in Pakistan remained in limbo. The founding father had never fully articulated the role religion would play in the state. Instead, he had cast a big tent over diverse viewpoints during the process of independence. As Cohen writes in The Idea of Pakistan, Jinnah’s arguments were “deliberately vague” in order to “muster support for independence and opposition to Hindu domination, but not to build a consensus on the kind of state Pakistan was to become.” Subsequently, different interpretations of Jinnah’s intent emerged. Many saw his inaugural speech as a call for secularism and a rejection of overtly pro-Muslim rhetoric. Others, particularly those in the military, began to adopt a more militant and jingoistic view of Islam to suppress what they thought was continued Hindu subversion from India through issues like the Kashmir dispute and the East Pakistani independence movement.

With the rise of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the early 1970s and the “Islamization” of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the late 1970s, Pakistani secularism, as embodied in Jinnah’s inaugural address, effectively disappeared from the country’s political system. By this point, the struggle for the country’s identity had come down to two rival discourses of Islam. In her book Making Sense of Pakistan, British-Pakistani scholar Farzana Shaikh observes that one of them was communal, and favored the Muslim ruling elites and military, while the second was Islamist, and grounded in a radical reading of Islam. In Shaikh’s perception, this dichotomy, “rather than any disjunction between a ‘secular’ leadership and a ‘religious’ establishment,” has defined Pakistan’s crisis of identity.

Today, we see this conflict continue to play out through the division between Pakistan’s powerful military elite, which still views Indian subversion as Pakistan’s biggest threat and supports radical Islamist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba because they plot against their longtime rival, and Pakistan’s radical clerics and Islamist groups like the Pakistani Taliban, who view domestic political institutions and leaders, as well as India and the West, as enemies. This conflict explains the contradiction in which the Pakistani military is eager to weed out domestic terrorists that assassinate political figures and bomb its major cities, but concurrently funds and supports domestic-based terrorists that further Pakistani strategic interests.

But even in 1944, three years before Pakistan’s independence from the British Empire, there were signs of internecine division—rooted in these conflicting discourses of Islam—in what would become the new Muslim nation. Abul Mansur Ahmed, a writer and president of the Bengal Muslim League, declared that ”Religion and culture are not the same thing. Religion transgresses the geographical boundary but tamaddum (culture) cannot go beyond the geographical boundary. . . . For this reason the people of Purba [East] Pakistan are a different nation from the people of the other provinces of India and from the “religious brothers” of Pakistan.” Such sentiments foreshadowed a future of ethnic discord within Pakistan. Instead of allowing ethnic groups like the Bengali movement to operate within the Pakistani federal framework, it resorted to more centralization, consolidation of power, and even military brutality.

The uncertainty over the correct course for Pakistan created significant political instability, and internal conflicts played out through a similar series of coups and undemocratic power shifts. The first was in 1958, when President Iskander Mirza suspended the 1956 constitution due to political instability and declared martial law, only to be deposed by the military chief he appointed, Ayub Khan. In 1977, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq deposed the ruling Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during a period of unrest within the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. Two years later, Bhutto was sentenced to death for murder in a shady trial with significant political meddling from Zia-ul-Haq and numerous judges.

Perhaps the most notable example of this political instability is the aftermath of the 1970 elections in Pakistan. With a larger population, Bengali-speaking East Pakistan had been allocated 162 seats in Parliament while the less populated, Urdu-speaking West Pakistan had 138. That year, as the popularity of the pro-Bengali Awami League party in the East reached an apex, it won 160 of the 162 seats in Parliament, while Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won only 88 out of the 138 seats. So it appeared that parliamentary power would shift over to East Pakistan and that the Awami League would appoint the new prime minister from their party. But Bhutto refused a power-sharing deal and declared that no national government could be formed without the consent of his PPP. As this tension escalated into a general strike across East Pakistan, the West Pakistani–dominated military responded with categorical harshness, and in one particularly violent episode massacred a large number of students at a university that was perceived to be a center of resistance to the regime. Ultimately, these events led to the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War and the independence of East Pakistan from the West in 1971.

By attempting to forcibly create a uniform language, public education, and religion, Pakistan became an unstable society, building a political and economic system over a weak foundation. Tumultuous political transitions have been commonplace in the Pakistani polity since independence, and infighting within political parties has created new parties simply based on the cult of a single personality such as former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. The majority of Pakistani citizens, particularly those in the lower and middle classes, simply have been stuck in the middle of a country struggling to define its raison d’être—and have suffered the consequences: political instability, ideological and cultural persecution, and economic immiseration.

 

In Making Sense of Pakistan, Farzana Shaikh argues that her country’s “problematic and contested relationship with Islam” prevents the country from achieving a coherent national identity and stability as a nation-state. She finds that while this “perennial uncertainty” with Islam created a world “in trouble from the start,” a newly formed civil society, emancipated media, and intellectual community in Pakistan have entered a paradigm shift in which they are reengaging with the common history of South Asia and working to create a more grounded, normal country.

The next challenge for these leaders of public thought, then, will be to justify this social awakening to the political, military, and religious elites in their country, so that they also recognize the multiethnic, multicultural nature of the Pakistani state. Instead of consolidating “Pakistaniness” through an artificial conception of South Asian history or by returning to the ambiguous pseudo-secularism of Jinnah—as some young Pakistanis have pushed for in recent years—Pakistanis can work together to decentralize the country’s governance to pre-existing political structures within states such as Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan, for example. A recognition that Pakistan is nothing more than a confederation of diverse ethnicities, religions, and cultural traditions that just happens to be Muslim-majority will be a difficult but necessary step in the process of renovation.

But it is hard to see how the paradigm shift that Shaikh describes can fully occur until structures such as the military and intelligence services are divested of their centralized power and influence. A confederative system cannot survive in the shadow of a powerful military elite. Nevertheless, the military will retain an important role in eradicating elements within the country that threaten its stability and the stability of its neighbors—in other words, Islamist terrorist groups.

Indeed, as has been noted by Dr. Shaikh, Stephen Cohen, and other observers, Pakistan’s success, in the long run, will require a direct re-examination of the country’s complicated relationship with Islam. Political Islam, which has been a recurring component of the country’s history from the day its “idea” first emerged, does not seem to fit into the new definition of the state’s legitimacy. Rather, this legitimacy will be derived from the simple fact that Pakistan now has its own history, its own cultural tendencies, and its own administrative structure—none of which it had at its founding. As Shaikh concludes, it must reengage with this history (and its extensive ties with “Hindu” India) rather than search for a unique South Asian “Muslimness” that does not exist and never has.

But devolving Islam from the official state apparatus does not mean that Islam itself would be removed from the state. Instead, the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” would merely become the “Republic of Pakistan” that just happens to be Muslim-majority. Stephen Cohen envisions a society that resembles “Catholic Poland or Jewish Israel, or Buddhist Sri Lanka and Thailand, with religion playing an ancillary but ultimately subordinate role.” It would be a society that vindicates the views of Maulana Azad and the other Muslim dissenters in the Indian independence movement who argued that Islam, a universal religion in their minds, should not associate itself with the earthly matters of nationalism or politics.

While these steps may appear far-fetched given the tumult and violence emerging from Pakistan on a daily basis, they are not radical reforms but rather gradual changes based on the existing structure of Pakistani society. They do not re-draw borders, dismantle institutions, or deny the right of existence for the state of Pakistan; they simply stress the need for soul-searching and, ultimately, comfort with a new, reformed “idea of Pakistan” that is neither revolutionary nor reactionary.

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Lashkar-e-Taiba

Posted by mymyboli on March 29, 2014

 Lashkar-e-Taiba
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Lashkar-e-Taiba Description: This symbol features a blue circle enclosed by a black border. The center image includes a black AK-47 rifle, placed against a yellow sun, that extends vertically from an open, green Qur’an. Above the rifle is a black, semi-circular Qur’anic phrase that reads, in Arabic, “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.” The white, Arabic lettering, which is set against a red background, bears the group’s original name: Markaz al-Dawa wa al-Irshad (the Center for Preaching and Guidance).Explanation: The Qur’an signifies the centrality of Islam to Laskhar-e-Taiba’s ideology and highlights the group’s goal to establish an Islamic caliphate in Kashmir and India. The Qur’an is depicted in green, a color that has represented Islam since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, while the sun represents the wisdom and righteousness that emanate from the Qur’an. The rifle and the Qur’anic inscription above it symbolize Laskhar-e-Taiba’s commitment to violent jihad to establish a society based on Islamic precepts.

Name Variations
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Al Mansooreen, Army of the Pure, Army of the Righteous, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Pasban-e-Ahle-Hadith, Pasban-e-Kashmir, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq

Overview
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) is a Pakistani-based terrorist organization that seeks to drive out Indian security forces from Kashmir and establish an Islamic caliphate in the surrounding region. In recent years, LET and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, have embraced a more global agenda that advocates terrorism and propagates virulent rhetoricagainst the U.S., Israel and other perceived enemies, according to the U.S. State Department.

In November 2008, 10 suspected LET gunmen carried out a series of coordinated terror attacks against several locations frequented by Western tourists in Mumbai, killing more than 170 people and injuring approximately 300 others. Although LET never claimed responsibility for the attacks, one of the gunmen captured by Indian authorities reportedly admitted that he belongs to LET and trained with the other gunmen at LET camps in Pakistan in preparation for the attacks. American citizen David Coleman Headley has also admitted to conducting surveillance of the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement and the other targeted locations and providing members of LET with pictures, videos and descriptions of the various targets. India’s National Investigation Agency and the FBI have reportedly confirmed that LET was planning coordinated attacks against other Jewish targets in 2010 or 2011.
LET was founded in the early 1990s as the armed wing of Markaz al-Dawa wa al-Irshad, an Islamic extremist organization and charity that recruited volunteers to fight with the Taliban against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. LET was established with the aid of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, which also opposes Indian presence in Kashmir and provided LET with funding, weapons and intelligence until the U.S. designated LET as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in December 2001 and Pakistan banned it the following month.

After the ban, LET renamed itself Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and posed as a charitable organization to evade sanctions. In January 2009, JUD reportedly change its name to Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal, although the group appears to still have the same leaders and ideology.

According to the U.S. State Department, LET has several thousand members in Pakistan and Kashmir, most of whom are Pakistani and Afghan veterans of the Afghan wars. LET is also strengthened through collaborations with other terrorist groups comprised of non-Pakistanis, and, after a senior Al Qaeda leader was captured in an LET safe house in March 2002, has been linked to Al Qaeda.

Focus of Operations
Pakistan, India, Kashmir

Major Attacks

  • November 26–29, 2008: A series of coordinated attacks against a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish Center: more than 170 killed, approximately 300 injured.
  • July 11, 2006: Coordinated bombings on Mumbai commuter trains: more than 180 killed, more than 800 injured.
  • October 29, 2005: Three coordinated bombings in New Delhi markets and on a bus: at least 63 killed, more than 200 injured.
  • August 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai: 52 killed, 150 injured.
  • September 24, 2002: Raid on Akshardam Temple in Gujarat: 33 killed, 70 injured.
  • May 14, 2002: Attack on Indian Army base in Kaluchak: 36 killed, 48 injured.
  • December 13, 2001: Gunmen attack the Parliament of India in New Delhi in coordination with the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed: nine dead, 18 injured.

 Leaders

  • Co-Founder and Leader: Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
  • Co-Founder and Chief of Operations: Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi a.k.a. Abdullah Azam
  • Military Commander: Maulana Abdul Wahid Kashmiri
  • Chief of Finance: Haji Muhammad Ashraf
  • Financier: Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq

Ideology
LET subscribes to the strict fundamentalist interpretation of Islam upheld in the Wahhabi theological tradition. Based on this radical interpretation of Islam, which is closely related to that associated with Al Qaeda, LET seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate and has declared the U.S., Israel and India as existential enemies of Islam.

Goals
LET seeks to drive out Indian security forces from Kashmir and establish an Islamic caliphate in the surrounding region. In recent years, LET’s agenda has embraced a more global and anti-Western ideology that considers the U.S., Israel and India its primary enemies. As part of this campaign, LET has vowed that it will plant the “flag of Islam” in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

Methods
LET has conducted terrorist operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir using assault rifles, light and heavy machine guns, mortars, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the U.S. State Department. LET has also carried out several high-profile attacks against civilian and military targets in India, including suicide bombings and conventional assault tactics.

Sponsors
LET was established with the aid of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which also opposes Indian presence in Kashmir. The ISI allegedly provided LET with funding, weapons, intelligence and instruction in exchange for promising to confine its attacks to target Hindus in Kashmir. This financial and logistical support seemingly ended in January 2002 when Pakistan banned the group and froze its assets, following the United States designation of LET as a foreign terrorist organization the previous month.

According to the U.S. State Department, LET receives donations from Pakistani expatriate communities in the Middle East and the U.K., as well as from Islamic NGOs and businessmen. Additionally, LET receives funds by siphoning recourses from the charitable activities of its front organizations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation.

U.S.-Related Activities                  

  • Jubair Ahmad, a legal permanent resident from Pakistan was arrested in September 2011 for providing material support to LET. He had received religious and military training at LET camps in Pakistan prior to moving to the U.S., where he produced a propaganda video for the group on YouTube.
  • In March 2010, American citizen David Coleman Headley pleaded guilty to helping plan the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, in which more than 170 people were killed. Headley conducted reconnaissance of the targeted locations and provided members of LET with pictures, videos and descriptions of the various targets prior to the attacks. Headley has also been implicated in several other apparent LET plots, including a plot to attack the offices and employees of a Danish newspaper, a plot to attack Jewish locations in five different cities in India and a plot to attack the U.S. and Indian embassies in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • American citizen Ahmad Abousamra, who currently remains at large, was charged in November 2009 with, among other things, providing material support to terrorists. He allegedly made two trips to Pakistan in 2002 to join the Taliban and LET, but failed in his attempt. Abousamra was charged in the same indictment as Tarek Mehanna, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Egypt who was arrested in Massachusetts in September 2009.
  • In the summer of 2009, American citizen Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, were convicted of attempting to join LET and of shooting casing videos of U.S. landmarks for potential terrorist attacks in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four senior LET leaders in May 2008 in an effort to stifle LET’s fundraising and operational capabilities. Those designated include Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq.
  • In 2007, American citizen Mahmud Faruq Brent was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to send aid to LET and attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. Tariq Shah, an American-born Muslim convert who was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda, trained Brent in martial arts and urban warfare “as part of the conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba,” according to court documents.
  • A group of ten men, dubbed the “Virginia Jihad Network” by prosecutors, were convicted in Virginia on terrorism charges related to LET between 2003 and 2005. The leader of the group, Ali al-Timimi, an American-born Muslim cleric, urged the men to train at LET terrorist camps. The men trained with weapons in Virginia and seven of the defendants traveled to Pakistan to train with LET.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department froze LET’s assets in December 2001 before it was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department later that month. In April 2008, the U.S. designated Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) as an alias of LET, blocking all property and interests in property of JUD.
  • Source - http://archive.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/lashkaretaiba.html

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After hiccups, Pak and Taliban start peace talks

Posted by mymyboli on February 7, 2014

After hiccups, Pak and Taliban start peace talks

Islamabad: The Pakistani government and a Talibannominated committee met for the first time here on Thursday to discuss a roadmap for parleys under the constitution to end a bloody insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.
The government committee demanded that talks should be held under the ambit of the constitution and that any peace pact agreed on should be enforceable only in “troubled areas” or the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. A joint statement issued after the meeting said both sides floated recommendations during the nearly four-hour talks.
Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “father of the Taliban” and a member of the committee nominated by the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), read out the statement which said state negotiators called for stopping all activities that may affect peace efforts.
The state negotiators also called for talks to be smoothly concluded in a short timeframe. The talks were to be originally held on Tuesday but were postponed after state negotiators sought clarifications on several unspecified issues.
Thursday’s meeting was the first test for the ruling PML-N’s efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the insurgency launched by the TTP in late 2007. It was held amid growing scepticism over whether the initiative can yield any deal, with detractors pointing out that all previous peace pacts with the Taliban had collapsed within months. The Taliban have carried out hundreds of bombings that have claimed about 40,000 lives, according to official figures. AGENCIES
Charar-e-Sharief jihadi resurfaces H izbul Mujahideen leader Mast Gul, involved in the 1995 siege of Charar-e-Sharief shrine in Jammu & Kashmir, was behind a suicide attack on Shias in Peshawar that killed nine persons, a Pakistani Taliban commander has said. Mufti Hasaan Swati, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander for Peshawar area, said that he had tasked Mast Gul alias Haroon Khan to carry out attacks on the Shia minority, including the suicide bombing of a hotel on Tuesday. AGENCIES

Source- TOI

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US warns Russia of toothpaste bombs Says Terrorists Could Hide Explosives In US Planes Bound For Sochi Olympics

Posted by mymyboli on February 7, 2014

Washington: The US government warned American and foreign airlines on Wednesday — just ahead of the Sochi Olympics —that terrorists could try to hide explosives in toothpaste tubes on Russia-bound flights.
An official said that it has information “specifically targeting flights to Russia,” where the Winter Games kick off on Friday. In a statement, the department of homeland security said that, “out of an abundance of caution,” it regularly shares relevant information with partners both at home and abroad.
“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” it said.
President Barack Obama’s national security council said the disclosure had notaffected existing guidelines about travel to the resort city of Sochi.
“If we should receive information in the coming days and weeks that changes our assessment of whether people should travel to Sochi, we will make that information public through the state department’s usual channels,” spokeswoman Laura Magnuson said.
Stringent rules about liquids and toothpaste in hand luggage have been standard practice on US carriers after a string of thwarted bomb plots in the years following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Security at the Games, which wrap up on February 23, has been a major concern for Washington following two deadly December suicide attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd. Adding to the nervousness is a stream of threats from Islamist militants in the volatile Caucasus region.
On Wednesday, officials said that two US warships have arrived in the Black Sea and will stand ready to offer assistance in case of an emergency at the biggest event Russia has hosted since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Athletes, meanwhile, have been advised to avoid wearing their uniforms or Team USA logos outside Olympic venues. AFP
Yogurt blocked, may hit Russia-US ties T he relationship between the US and Russia is deeply strained over an unanticipated, but no less momentous subject, at least in certain parts of the US: the delivery of Greek yogurt to the American athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Russian government is apparently blocking a shipment of 5,000 containers of Chobani yogurt — now sitting in limbo in cold storage near Newark Liberty International Airport — that had been bound for the US team. The blockade has prompted protests from yogurt-promoting politicians in New York and in Washington, who express outrage that American athletes could be deprived of a protein-rich food that had been part of their training regimen. The Russian government said that the American-made yogurt cannot enter Russia because the Americans have not submitted the proper paperwork. The US said that the certification required by the Russians would be impossible to attain. NYT NEWS SERVICE
HIGH ALERT: Security forces patrol the streets of Rosa Khutor as Russia gears up for the opening of Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday
Source -TOI

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Indian Mujahideen planning to abduct Arvind Kejriwal for Yaseen Bhatkal’s release: Sources

Posted by mymyboli on January 22, 2014

A team from the security wing of Delhi Police has briefed Kejriwal about this threat and requested him to take ‘Z’ category security cover, the top sources said.

Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

Terror outfit Indian Mujahideen is planning to abduct Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for release of its key member Yaseen Bhatkal who was arrested from Indo-Nepal border on August 27 last year, police sources claimed today.

A team from the security wing of Delhi Police has briefed Kejriwal about this threat and requested him to take ‘Z’ category security cover, the top sources said.

However, it was not immediately clear what was the response of the Delhi Chief Minister in this regard. Senior Police officials said that they have received an input in this regard from intelligence agencies.

Kejriwal has been declining to take security cover keeping up with his Aam Aadmi Party’s policy to end VIP culture in politics.

A special NIA court on Friday allowed the plea by Karnataka Police to interrogate Bhatkal, 30 in connection with the blasts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in April, 2010.

Bhatkal, who hails from Bhatkal village in Udupi district of north Karnataka, was allegedly involved in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, the NIA had said.

He was earlier associated with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and is alleged to have hatched a conspiracy with others to wage a war against India.

Source – DNA news

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Categories of Terrorist Groups

Posted by mymyboli on December 3, 2013

There are many different categories of terrorism and terrorist groups that are currently in use. These categories serve to differentiate terrorist organizations according to specific criteria, which are usually related to the field or specialty of whoever is selecting the categories. Also, some categories are simply labels appended arbitrarily or redundantly, often by the media. For example, every terrorist organization is by definition “radical”, as terror tactics are not the norm for the mainstream of any group.

Separatist. Separatist groups are those with the goal of separation from existing entities through independence, political autonomy, or religious freedom or domination. The ideologies separatists subscribe to include social justice or equity, anti-imperialism, as well as the resistance to conquest or occupation by a foreign power.

Ethnocentric. Groups of this persuasion see race as the defining characteristic of a society, and therefore a basis of cohesion. There is usually the attitude that a particular group is superior because of their inherent racial characteristics.

Nationalistic. The loyalty and devotion to a nation, and the national consciousness derived from placing one nation’s culture and interests above those of other nations or groups. This can find expression in the creation of a new nation, or in splitting away part of an existing state to join with another that shares the perceived “national” identity.

Revolutionary. Dedicated to the overthrow of an established order and replacing it with a new political or social structure. Although often associated with communist political ideologies, this is not always the case, and other political movements can advocate revolutionary methods to achieve their goals.

Political. Political ideologies are concerned with the structure and organization of the forms of government and communities. While observers outside terrorist organizations may stress differences in political ideology, the activities of groups that are diametrically opposed on the political spectrum are similar to each other in practice.

Religious. Religiously inspired terrorism is on the rise, with a forty-three percent increase of total international terror groups espousing religious motivation between 1980 and 1995. While Islamic terrorists and organizations have been the most active, and the greatest recent threat to the United States, all of the major world religions have extremists that have taken up violence to further their perceived religious goals. Religiously motivated terrorists see their objectives as holy writ, and therefore infallible and non-negotiable

Social. Often particular social policies or issues will be so contentious that they will incite extremist behavior and terrorism. Frequently this is referred to as “single issue” or “special interest” terrorism. Some issues that have produced terrorist activities in the United States and other countries include animal rights, abortion, ecology/environment, and minority rights.

Domestic. These terrorists are “home-grown” and operate within and against their home country. They are frequently tied to extreme social or political factions within a particular society, and focus their efforts specifically on their nation’s socio-political arena.

International or Transnational. Often describing the support and operational reach of a group, these terms are often loosely defined, and can be applied to widely different capabilities. International groups typically operate in multiple countries, but retain a geographic focus for their activities. Hezbollah has cells worldwide, and has conducted operations in multiple countries, but is primarily concerned with events in Lebanon and Israel.

Transnational groups operate internationally, but are not tied to a particular country, or even region. Al Qaeda is transnational; being made up of many nationalities, having been based out of multiple countries simultaneously, and conducting operations throughout the world. Their objectives affect dozens of countries with differing political systems, religions, ethnic compositions, and national interests

More details

http://www.terrorism-research.com/

 

 

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UN report detailing Taliban fighter deaths warns of force’s illicit funding

Posted by mymyboli on November 18, 2013

Source -  in Islamabad theguardian.com

Sunday 17 November 2013 18.43 GMT
AFGHANISTAN-FARYAB-TALIBAN-SURRENDER

Earlier this month 20 Taliban rebels surrendered to the Afghan authorities in the country’s northern Faryab province. Photograph: Arui/Xinhua Press/Corbis

As many as 12,000 Taliban fighters have been killed, captured or wounded in Afghanistan in the past year, according to a UN report which warns that despite Afghan military successes, the insurgency will remain resilient as long as it enjoys a wide range of illicit income streams.

According to Afghan government sources and “Taliban internal statistics” quoted in a special report to the UN security council, between 10,000 and 12,000 rebels are thought to have been killed, captured or wounded. Deaths and injuries among the Afghan police and army have also soared in the last year. A UN official said the number of Taliban losses was a threefold increase on the figure for the same period last year.

The US-led Nato alliance has long refused to publish information about the number of Taliban fighters it believes have died on the battlefield.

The report, by the committee in charge of the UN’s list of senior members of the Taliban subject to international sanctions, says Afghanistan’s army and police have performed well in the past 12 months, even succeeding in taking back some Taliban-controlled territory.

A Taliban effort to overrun towns in 2013 had not “led to significant gains for the Taliban, who have neither managed to seize population centres nor gain popular support”, the report says.

But with violence in the country soaring to levels “not seen since 2010″, the report gives little hope of a respite in fighting as the country prepares for the end of the Nato combat mission next year.

A gathering of tribal elders in Kabul will this week debate whether any foreign forces will be allowed to remain after 2014 to support Afghan troops.

The Taliban remains a powerful and well-funded force, the report says, with the movement raising $155m in 2012 from illegal opium production.

Although the amount of protection money that insurgents receive from security companies employed to guard Nato supply convoys has fallen as foreign forces close bases, the report says 2014 is expected to be a bumper year as the alliance ships huge amounts of equipment out of the country.

It also warns that the Taliban is skimming profit off illegally mined gemstones, including rubies and emeralds. Afghanistan has an estimated $1tn worth of mineral reserves, which it is hoped will eventually help to pay for the country’s 352,000-strong security force.

The report says Kabul needs to do much more to prevent high-grade industrial explosives reaching the hands of Taliban bomb-makers, whose weapons are becoming “increasingly sophisticated and technically advanced” and now account for 80% of army and police casualties.

The training of suicide bombers outside Afghanistan is described as “a particularly worrying trend”, with the report citing two cases of suicide attackers sexually abused “in order to be conditioned for their mission”. It also reports an increase in the reliance on pistols with silencers, which have been “used widely in intimidation campaigns” during 2013.

On Sunday, the bodies of six government building contractors were found beheaded in the southern province of Kandahar.

The report says that although there is still a chance of the Taliban entering peace talks, it warns that “those interested in dialogue still appear subordinate to those committed to further fighting”.

It also says the insurgency is becoming increasingly fragmented, with the rise of a new generation of commanders operating their own “fronts” that are largely independent of the movement’s leadership.

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What was Indian Mujahideen’s Yasin Bhatkal doing in Goa for a year?

Posted by mymyboli on September 17, 2013

A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) visited Goa on Monday evening along with Indian Mujahideen terrorist Yasin Bhatkal to probe his links in the coastal state. NIA investigatiosn revealed that Bhatkal had stayed in the tourism state for almost one year in 2011-12.

Police sources confirmed that Bhatkal was staying in the beach belts of Shapora-Vagator, 30kms from Panaji. A five-member NIA team also raided the house where Bhatkal stayed, owned by one Dyneshwar Chari, after it was revealed that the house was rented out illegally.

Yasin, the main accused in the German Bakery Bomb Blast in Pune in 2010, is said to be the mastermind of many blasts all over the country and was caught in an operation on the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar’s Raxaul town.

Goa Police Deputy Inspector General O P Mishra said that last night that the teams of NIA were in Panaji but did not share their intelligence inputs with the state police.

Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal

However, sources in the police department stated that NIA teams were trying to ascertain whether Bhatkal was recruiting youths from Goa into his terror network.

Goa has been on high alert since the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai, as the tourism state attracts over 2.6 million tourists annually, of whom at least half a million are foreigners, including a number of Israeli.

Bhatkal’s NIA custody extended till Sep 22

Meanwhile, the Indian Mujahideen co-founder’s custody with the NIA was on Tuesday extended till Sep 22 by a court in New Delhi. Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar, arrested from the India-Nepal border, were presented in the court here under tight security.

District Judge I.S. Mehta granted the NIA extended custody of Bhatkal after it said he was involved in subversive activities of causing bomb blasts in different parts of India since 2003. “I have perused the case diary and am satisfied that the accused Mohd. Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal is required for interrogation. The accused Yasin Bhatkal is remanded to police custody up to Sep 22,” the judge said.

The NIA, seeking custody of Bhatkal, said: “The objective of the investigation of the case is primarily to uncover each and every aspect of the activity of IM and their hidden sleeper cells and operatives so that the number of terrorist activities being planned by the outfit could be prevented.”

The agency also told the court that Bhatkal had associates in Pakistan, Nepal and Middle East who were also involved in the case and more information regarding them has to be ascertained during his custodial interrogation.The agency’s Hyderabad unit moved a separate plea seeking permission to formally arrest Akhtar in connection with the Feb 21 blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area. The court allowed the plea.

The twin blasts, which claimed 16 lives, were triggered by IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar area.

Bhatkal tops the Delhi Police list of 15 most wanted terrorists involved in bombings across the country.

He is a key suspect in the 2008 serial bombings in Delhi’s Connaught Place, Ghaffar Market and Greater Kailash areas which claimed 26 lives and injured 133 people.

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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

Posted by mymyboli on September 1, 2013

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. 

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five: 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. 

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. 

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle. 

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. 

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win. 

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. 

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships. 

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. 

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. 

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.
 

 

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Glocal Terror: Outfit Morphs Into Network of Local Affiliates

Posted by mymyboli on August 14, 2013

QAIDA STILL A CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER

Glocal Terror: Outfit Morphs Into Network of Local Affiliates

Indrani Bagchi | TNN

Aquarter of a century since it came into existence and 15 years after the al-Qaida burst on the scene with the spectacular bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the outfit continues to be the most powerful driver of global terror. The US, at the vanguard of the fight against this deadly mutating virus, has bled more than $3 trillion over 10 years trying to tame it.
Only last week, the US shut down embassies in 19 countries after it intercepted electronic chatter among the group’s core leadership discussing plans for stunning terror strikes. Around the same time, Saudi Arabia arrested two obscure al-Qaida members from Yemen and Chad suspecting them of planning suicide attacks. This was apparently one of the threats that prompted the US to close its missions.
The US war on terror, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the drone programme in Pakistan and West Asia have struck deep into the al-Qaida core as we know it.
Osama bin Laden’s May 2011 killing at Abbottabad robbed the movement of the “Sheikh’s” iconic presence and Ayman Al Zawahiri, the new leader, hasn’t yet been able to build the organization the way bin Laden may have wanted it. But the outfit has metastasized into a global network of regional and local terror affiliates. It follows a dual track of local agendas tied to ideologies and goals of a pan-Islamist jihad. Al-Qaida isn’t a physical presence – it’s like a charging station, fusing local grievances with a global terror vision, some say.
The al-Qaida functions through affiliates, both autonomous and linked. Their leaders are local men, such as Pakistan’s Bahawal Khan and Mullah Nazir, or Syria’s Al-Amir Gazi al-Haj. These could be groups like Tunisia’s Ansaral Sharia, or Somalia’s Al Shabaab or Ansar Eddine or Boko Haram in Nigeria, Tehreek-e- Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan. All of them function as al-Qaida arms. They wear their affiliation as a badge of honour.
These groups have dodged drone strikes to
evolve. They use the new media to coordinate strikes. They share resources and suicide attackers, build weapons, move fighters from distant countries to fight local wars. Ibrahim Al Asiri, al-Qaida’s maker of the underwear bomb, is a case in point. He’s believed to have created a liquid explosive gel – dip your clothes into it
and they become bombs. Airport security can’t sniff these IEDs.
“Al-Qaida adapted after the Arab uprisings, and was never really marginalized. It views some countries as being in a preparatory phase, where Salafi jihadist ideas can be propagated through dawa, or missionary work, as in Tunisia. Other countries are viewed as open fields of confrontation. The bottom line is that the world has changed. Al-Qaida has sought to adapt to these changes, and in many cases Western analysts were slow to discern how it was doing so.” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, says.
The Arab Spring fooled the West into believing that al-Qaida had become irrelevant — that political Islam could ascend to government — as in Egypt — without resorting to violence. Instead, the Spring turned out to be a springboard for al-Qaida affiliates across West Asia and North Africa.
The al-Qaida threat in Syria is evident — groups like the Jabhat al Nusra and Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiya aren’t only fighting Bashar Assad, but if Assad were to fall, they’d control Syria’s chemical weapons. But in Pakistan, if al-Qaida affiliates dislodge the state, they could be adding mobile nuclear weapons to their arsenal.
In Pakistan, al-Qaida affiliations run deep. Closest to it is the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) Pakistan, which directly threatens the state. Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network, Gul Bahadur and Mullah Nazir are more complex. They’re as close to al-Qaida as they are to the establishment, which uses them to attack Afghanistan and India.
Within the past month al-Qaida groups received a boost with almost coincidental jailbreaks in Libya, Iraq and Pakistan sending thousands of jihadi fighters to places like Syria. Nasir al Wuyashi, AQAP’s general manager, promised to free another tranche of jailed militants in Yemen, where the al-Qaida has now struck roots. On July 21, about 500 jihadis were taken out of Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, putting a big terror talent pool at the front. On July 30, TTP took out 250 prisoners from a Pakistani jail. On July 28, 1,117 inmates fled Benghazi’s Kuafiya prison in Libya. Analysts say these are clear signs that TTP is re-grouping with a new generation of more violent, better armed, more committed fighters.
Syria is the new battlefront. Syria & Iraq affiliates have merged to form ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), that’s claimed series of bombings across Iraq end of Ramadan. Not far behind is Egypt and Afghanistan, which will be up for grabs after US troops draw down in 2014. But terror watchers are keeping an eye out for Myanmar as well, where the conflicts between Buddhists and the Rohingyas look ripe to be adopted by global jihad. US president Barack Obama declared last week that Al Qaeda has been degraded. For many living under the shadow of global terror, the threat has only struck distant roots. It remains armed, dangerous, and committed.
THE AQ MACHINE
AQ arms not populated with automatons; they serve AQ’s broader goals; AQ “core” spread around globe
Affiliates can manifest themselves anywhere any time; Affiliates enjoy latitude in daily ops
Al-Zawahiri served by several committees and advisers
Terror network houses personalities who may clash and have competing interests. This does not mean the network has fragmented

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