31 December 2007

The shockwaves of 5%, where jihad meets economics

From al-Reuters 31 DEC 2007:

UPDATE 3-Turkmenistan stops gas exports to Iran
Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:08pm GMT
(Adds Mehr report, analyst comment, paragraphs 2, 5, 12-15)

By Zahra Hosseinian

TEHRAN, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Turkmenistan has stopped natural gas exports to Iran, causing winter shortages in some parts of its neighbour, Iranian officials said on Monday.

The major Central Asia producer blamed technical problems but some Iranian media reports suggested it had halted deliveries because it wanted to raise the price of gas.

Turkmenistan normally supplies 5 percent of Iran's gas consumption with 20-23 million cubic metres per day, the National Iranian Gas Company said.

Turkmen officials were unavailable for comment on Monday. Turkmen media have said an Iranian delegation visited Ashgabat on Dec 26-27 to discuss gas prices for next year.

"In their comments, some (Iranian) officials have said that Turkmenistan has doubled the price of gas," the semi-official Mehr News Agency said, without quoting any of them by name.

Ebadollah Ghanbari, who heads the public relations unit of the national gas company, said Turkmenistan on Saturday slashed exports to Iran by half to 10 million cubic metres, before stopping deliveries completely a day later.

"In an official letter they said it was due to technical problems," he told state broadcaster IRIB. "Since yesterday evening Turkmenistan has completely cut its gas exports to Iran."

Despite its massive gas reserves, Iran has been a net importer of gas since 2002.


The cuts caused difficulties in parts of northern Iran in the middle of winter. Some hospitals were affected, bakeries faced shortages and gas was turned off to some government offices to make more available for households.

"Because of the sharp decrease in the pressure of natural gas many restaurants and motels ... are completely or partially closed," state radio said.

The state gas company urged Iranians to use less energy.

Jonathan Stern of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies described the timing of the supply disruption as odd and said it might be linked to Turkmen price demands.

"It's very oddly timed, nobody does 'repairs' at this time of year unless there's been some kind of accident which is not mentioned here," Stern told Reuters.

"With Russians paying 30 percent more from tomorrow and 50 percent more from July, I would expect the Iranians to be facing similar demands," he said.

Stern was referring to a price agreement in November between Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) and Turkmenistan, which now charges $130 per 1,000 cubic metres.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Turkmenistan was working to sort things out. "There are a certain number of technical problems and they are trying to solve the problems over there in Turkmenistan," he said.

Iran sits on the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia. But sanctions, politics and construction delays have slowed gas development, and analysts say it is unlikely to become a major exporter for a decade.

(Additional reporting by Marat Gurt in Ashgabat, Barbara Lewis in London, writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by William Hardy)
Well, if you haven't read my previous stuff on Iran's Oil Problem and its Oil Outlook, now is the time to, because Iran just hit the wall.

Iran subsidizes natural gas so as to keep things running and folks happy. They don't use natural gas to rejuvenate their oil fields, which is one of the cheapest ways to do it. Instead, with non-market prices they get steep use and an increase in that use. If an energy source is cheaper than others, it gets over-utilized, just ask the folks in Iraq who don't pay monthly bills for electricity but get the 'all you can eat with a flat tax' deal from the Government. If there were meters, Iraq's power problem would diminish greatly, but that would also stall out the economic recovery so it will wait. Iran, however, is selling the natural gas at a rate cheaper than re-utilizing it for their oil fields. In theory they should have more than enough to export.

Which brings up the prime question: Why is Iran importing any natural gas?

And why is 5% of their natural gas supplies coming from imports via Turkmenistan?

This was supposed to be a money making export, as they had just finished a pipeline deal with India for natural gas. So *what* are they going to put in that pipeline? Right now the answer is NOTHING.

The folks in Turkmenistan suddenly had a great awakening: they were keeping the Iranian natural gas market afloat and NO ONE ELSE WOULD SELL TO THEM.

If you were in that position, what would *you* do?

Can you say: raise the prices?

And if Iran doesn't play pattycake?

'We have *repairs* so no natural gas for you until we are done.'

In other words: pay up, or else.

Iran, with its refineries in disrepair can't capture enough natural gas to keep its own markets going and hasn't invested much of anything in marginal expansion or new gas field work since 1979. And since folks pay under the market price to help keep the economy going, you can't very well raise the price of it, can you?

So what does Iran do?

'Pretty please, don't use as much.'

Iran can't complain it doesn't have enough natural gas... no that second largest reserve of same on the planet demonstrates just the opposite.

Iran can't complain that the contracts aren't 'fair' as they do *worse* with their oil contracts.

Iran can't raise the price without causing a major recession or depression and starting to shut down some sectors of the economy. Plus, if they raise the prices for natural gas, they will be raising the cost of operating gas fired electrical facilities. A 'double-whammy' on the economy.

Iran might start 'rationing' it, but how they would do that is beyond me. Maybe start closing shut-off valves to certain neighborhoods for half-a-day at a time? That will start to cause some *serious* complaints, not just from college students or government employees, but from everyday folks.

Iran has only one solution that it tends to use for everything, and that is to shift terror operations. So Turkmenistan can expect to get its own little Hezbollah and meet-ups with the Qods forces. Which will be a blessing for Iraq and a 'holding pattern' in Lebanon. Unless, of course, Turkmenistan is *serious* in which case the next year in Iran is make or break.

And if Iran has to *pay up* a lot of terrorist cash will suddenly *dry up*.

Thank you to Turkmenistan!

If you can hold out you just might start solving the problem of Iran in a real hurry.

Terrorism and Pakistan, part 2

This post is the follow up toTerrorism and Pakistan, part 1.

Picking up from part 1, we are looking for the individuals in the post-Bhutto phone conversation between Baitullah Mehsud and one of his operatives Maulvi Sahib. To understand that this is not the *name* of someone but a title, we need to understand what that title means. The Hindu Business Line featured an article on 14 April 2006 by Rasheeda Baghat talking about the problems in the Bihar province in India, and that comes up with this definition, which is a social one:

In what ways should Muslims change?

First, pursue modern education. Be progressive and retrieve the masses from the clutches of the mullahs and maulvis... because these people, in the name of religion want to keep people illiterate to retain their hold on the masses. They are exploiting the masses. Unless we develop a modern outlook skewed towards scientific education, there is no future for us. And we have to come into the mainstream. This doesn't mean we have to forget our religion or culture.


But then as you said it is the mullahs who encourage and trigger all this?

Yes, but the mullah is only a tendency... an attitude of mind. A friend of mine in Delhi gave a good definition of a maulvi... jo apni duniya aur aapki akhiriyat ke liye fikarmand ho, wohi maulvi hei. (A maulvi is one who is worried about his present existence, and yours after death.)

Unfortunately, we are living in times when anybody can grow a beard, wear a pagdi and become a mufti! But the media is also exploiting these weaknesses and presenting the Muslim community in a very bad light... terrorism, triple talaq and polygamy. But do you know that the 1961 Census — after which figures on polygamy were not published — stated that polygamy among Muslims is 4.7 per 1000, among Hindus it is 4.8 per 1,000, Buddhists over 14, Jains over 6, and Adivasis over 16? Even then Muslims are whipped all the time on the polygamy issue.
And then from MSN Encarta dictionary on maulvi:
Islamic scholar: a respected Muslim teacher or highly educated man, especially somebody with special knowledge of Islamic law.
We are familiar with the Mullah, who is a public figure and a cleric, and the Maulvi is a Mullah with education in Islamic law, often a private figure. The honorific title can also gain much wider acceptance by a Mullah who becomes closely involved with large numbers of people who become followers.

Then to MSN Encarta on sahib:
South Asia Indian form of address for men: a respectful form of address for men, formerly widely used to address white men during the colonial period. The term is also used as a title, placed after the man's name.
Thus Maulvi Sahib is a title that is descriptive of a Cleric and one that is respected by the speaker. So when trying to figure out who this is in respect to Baitullah Mehsud, we will keep an eye out for a Cleric, particularly one involved in Sharia law.

The actual names given by Maulvi Sahib are much less likely to show up, as they are or were most certainly operatives, and if they were directly involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, then those should become apparent. Thus the names, just so we can keep an eye out for them:

1) Saeed

2) Bilal from Badar

3) Ikramullah

Like many terrorist organizations and organized crime syndicates, individuals also have aliases, so that the listed names may be operational or other names given to them. 'Bilal from Badar', is of interest as there is the al-Badar (al-Badr) terrorist organization (Source: Terror Knowledge Base), which started off from Hizb-e-Islami which is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's organization which is linked to the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI), and is normally involved with activities in Jammu and Kashmir. When al-Badr broke off from Hizb-e-Islami, the ISI continued to fund it, so Bhutto's warning given before her death implicating the head of the ISI, Ejaz Shah, is well taken.

From this we also have a few organizations that would be implicated in the plot, as well as higher level individuals in each, as the indication of an al-Badr operative points at high level involvement by the ISI. From that the beginning list of organizations and individuals is taking shape:

1) Baitullah Mehsud - Sipah-e-Sahaba/Pakistan (SSP) (Source: TKB and SATP) [now Millat-e-Islamia/Pakistan via the SIPS name table] and its main factional group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Source: SATP). Baitullah Mehsud does not *lead* either of these organizations, instead being a leader of a Lashkar (from TKB: Lashkar: Literally “battalion” in Urdu, the term is often part of the name of many South Asian terrorist groups) of 30,000 to 35,000 Mehsud tribesmen and other terrorist followers. Thus he is a military leader of import, with a sizeable following of Pashtuns. He is also cited as being commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban (Source: SATP, SAIR Report 31 DEC 2007) or Taliban Movement Pakistan (Source: e-Ariana).

2) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - via implication - "Gulbuddin Hikmatyar is the founder of the Hizb-I Islami Party and the splinter group Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)" (Source: TKB). The actual relationship is that the Hizb-i-Islami Party is the political party of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, which serves as a 'front' and representational organization for this terrorist organization. As noted he was originally backed by the ISI starting with Bhutto's father in 1979 [mid-to-late 1970's before the Zia coup]. The al-Badr organization also operated under him during the Afghan war against the USSR (Source: SATP), even though al-Badr was a pre-existing organization. There are also indications that al-Badr works in association with al Qaeda and Taliban.

Now, looking at the e-Ariana source, above, we can see the use of Maulvi in association with Baitullah Mehsud's organization, the report is dated 29 DEC 2007, after the assassination:
'The government is trying to defame the tribesmen,' Maulvi Omar, a spokesman for the militants, told the BBC's Urdu Service by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is an umbrella organization of several Islamic militant groups in the country's ungoverned tribal areas, where thousands of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters sough refuge after US invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Its leader Mehsud is also believed to have close ties with al-Qaeda.
This does not, in particular, tie Maulvi Omar to the event in question without further sourcing, but shows how a 'Maulvi' is used in colloquial terms.

Further along we see the intensely tribal nature of Pakistan:
But Omar claimed Benazir Bhutto's murder was a political matter.

'There is a very strong possibility that the (country's) intelligence agencies were behind the attack,' he said, adding that the murder seemed to be the continuation of the same political feud between the Bhutto family and the military through which her father and two brothers were killed.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir's father, was ousted as prime minister in 1977 by military dictator Zia ul Haq and later hanged. His sons Shahnawaz Bhutto and Murtza Bhutto both also died under mysterious circumstances in the following years. Bhutto supporters blamed the country's intelligence agencies for their deaths.
It is interesting that the very same ISI cited by the Maulvi is *also* behind the organizations that Mehsud has been with. Also note that there are variants in spelling of names as seen by this Khabrein.info article of 29 DEC 2007 on the exact same press release:
Islamabad, Dec 29: Baitullah Mehsud, the Al Qaeda-linked Pakistani militant who has been named as a key suspect in the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has denied any involvement in the assassination, his spokespersons said Saturday.

"I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women," BBC quoted Mehsud's spokesperson Maulvi Umer as saying from unknown location. Umer is the spokesperson of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan chapter of the Taliban which was formed recently.

"This is absolutely wrong to say that Taliban or any member of the Taliban were involved in murder of Benazir Bhutto," Umer said.


Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema had on Friday said that authorities had intercepted a conversation between Mehsud and an unknown cleric exchanging greetings on the assassination.
Which also gives us the source of the previously released transcript.

Tehrik-e-Taliban did not spring out of thin air, however, and came from an existing organization Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat- e-Mohammadi (TNSM, Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws) (Source: Jamestown Foundation article 30 NOV 2006) that was started by Sufi Mohammad (now in prison) and currently run by his son-in-law Maulana Fazalullah, who has his own radio station for propaganda. It is unlikely that either of these are 'Maulvi', for all the fact they run an organization trying to get Sharia law put in place. It is very interesting the parsing of the denial as the TTP is a recently formed up organization out of both the Taliban and TNSM, neither of which has shown any problem with killing women.

Some of the background from TNSM comes from SATP:

The Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) was founded in 1992 with the objective of a militant enforcement of Sharia (Islamic law).

Ideology and Objectives

The TNSM is a militant Wahabi outfit whose primary objective is the imposition of Sharia in Pakistan.

Ideologically, it is dedicated to transform Pakistan into a Taliban style state. In an August 1998-speech in Peshawar, Maulana Sufi Mohammed, its leader who is currently imprisoned in Pakistan, reportedly declared that those opposing the imposition of Sharia in Pakistan were wajib-ul-qatl (worthy of death).

The outfit while rejecting democracy has termed it as ‘un-Islamic’. In an interview, Maulana Sufi Mohammed said, "We want enforcement of the Islamic judicial system in totality: judicial, political, economic, jihad, fi sabilillah, education and health. In my opinion the life of the faithful will automatically be moulded according to the Islamic system when the judicial system is enforced."

TNSM rejects all political and religio-political parties as, according to it, they follow the western style of democracy.

TNSM openly condones the use of force in what they see as a Jihad.
Our friends the Saudis at work again. So, let me get this straight... according to Maulvi Omar/Umer the TTP is part of an organization that is anti-democratic, deems those in support of democracy as 'worthy of death', and has alliances with similar organizations that have had no compunction in executing and killing women, like the Taliban and al Qaeda. A quick check at the listing of JeV attacks (via TKB), that Mehsud is *also* a member of, reveals a number of highly indiscriminant attacks against those going to religious shrines, in funerals and just rounding folks up to kill them. Of course a WaPo story of a 2004 attack (via NucNews) has this view of who is and is not permissible to kill from one of the SSP's (Source: TKB) founders:
In October 2002, Azam Tariq, the leader of a banned Sunni extremist group, was even allowed to run for parliament, "despite more than 20 charges of terrorism registered against him in various courts," the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based research organization that monitors global conflicts, noted in a report in January. Tariq, who won a seat from Punjab province, had previously said it was permissible to kill Shiites because they were not true Muslims. Tariq was assassinated in October 2003 in an apparent retaliatory killing by Shiite militants.
Why does this idea of 'not killing women' sound like it is not holding much water?

Back to chasing down Maulvi Omar! This from MSN News of India, 23 OCT 2007:
According to a report in the Pushto daily Wahdat, 25 commanders from six groups gathered Monday morning in the tribal area and decided to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Taliban movement, to fight against the presence of US forces in Afghanistan and areas bordering Pakistan.

Spokesperson for the new group, Abu Noman, said a 16-member council had been formed to guide future activities. Omar Khalid was appointed chief of the group while Maulana Gull Muhammad was deputy chief, he said.
One 'Omar Khalid' being appointed the head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, which is, perhaps, a good an indication as any as to who Maulvi Omar is.

An Omar Khalid also shows up before the stand-up of the TTP in the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) episode in Pakistan on 30 JUL 2007, as seen at the BBC:
A local journalist, Mukaram Khan Atif, who visited the shrine on Sunday, told the BBC's Urdu service that heavily armed militants wearing masks had taken up positions in the surrounding areas and were frisking everyone who entered the mosque or the shrine.

He said the militants' leader, who introduced himself as Omar Khalid, told him that a seminary for boys, named after Haji Sahib Turangzai, and another for girls, named Jamia Hafsa Umme Hassan, would soon be built on the premises.

The assistant political agent of Mohmand Agency, Syed Ahmad Jan, told the BBC Urdu service on Monday that Haji Sahib Turangzai's heirs had asked local elders to try to persuade the militants to leave the shrine.
This excerpt looks at the term 'sahib' as used locally, normally after the first name of an individual. Omar Khalid would then lead individuals to take over another shrine to turn it into another 'Red Mosque' on 30 JUL 2007, UPI via Moldova.org:
Islamic militants, in an incident similar to one that caused a conflict at the Red Mosque in Islamabad, have taken over a mosque in Pakistan's tribal area.

The BBC reported Monday about 70 pro-Taliban militants occupied the Haji Sahib Turangzai shrine in Pakistan's Northwest Province, near the border with Afghanistan, after driving out the shrine officials.

The site was renamed the Red Mosque after the complex in Islamabad that the Pakistani army took earlier this month from Islamic militants after a major assault in which dozens died.

The militants also said they were establishing a seminary similar to the one in the Islamabad mosque.

A local journalist told the BBC that heavily armed militants, wearing masks, searched all those entering the mosque in the Northwest Province.

The journalist said Omar Khalid, the leader of the militants, told him his men vowed to set up similar mosques and seminaries across the country.

Haji Sahib Turangzai, after whom the mosque was named, was a reformist in the 19th century.
Bill Roggio at Long War Journal would look at the connection between this Omar Khalid and the standing up of what would become the TTP on 28 AUG 2007:
The Mohmand Taliban at the New Red Mosque is led by Omar Khalid, who claims to have 3,000 armed and trained fighters under his command. After seizing the mosque, he denied links with the Taliban and al Qaeda even as he pledged allegiance Red Mosque leader Ghazi Abdur Rashid. "If [the Taliban] come to us, we will welcome them," said Khalid. "We will continue Ghazi Abdur Rashid’s mission even if it means sacrificing our lives." Khalid also threatened to "use suicide bombers in self defence" if the new Red Mosque was raided. He seeks to “Islamize” the local tribes and plans establishing a "vice and virtue force."
At this point with the connection made with the TTP just a couple of months later and this article linking Omar Khalid to the Red Mosque, we can say that this is, with a high degree of certainty, the same individual. Apparently the Taliban didn't need to 'come to him' as he was already working with them.

Here we have a leader that: supports the take-over of religious Mosques and shrines, supports radical madrassas, creates new madrassas when he takes a place over, is associated with the TTB and two radical clerics, and tends to have a loose association with the truth behind his activities. With that I do believe it is fair to peg this is 'Maulvi Omar' as at least a hard supporter of Islamic law, with a high degree of possibility that it comes from scholarship. At least he *supports* such scholarship, such as it is.

On 15 DEC 2007 from the Dawn newspaper of Pakistan site we see Mehsud's involvement with the TTP:
TANK/WANA, Dec 14: Local Taliban from tribal areas and some districts of the NWFP on Friday decided to set up a centralised organisation for a joint war against US and Nato forces in Afghanistan and appointed Baitullah Mehsud as their Central Amir, a spokesman for the militant commander told Dawn.

The militants have named their movement as Tehrik Taliban-i-Pakistan and said the aim of the movement was to enforce Sharia in their respective areas.

The decision was taken at a meeting of 40 Taliban leaders, held in an undisclosed place in South Waziristan Agency.

“The sole objective of the Shura meeting was to unite the Taliban against Nato forces in Afghanistan and to wage a ‘defensive jihad’ against Pakistani forces here,” Baitullah’s spokesman Maulvi Omar said.He claimed that Pakistani forces were bombing seminaries and killing people and the Taliban wanted to avenge the forces’ action.


They demanded release of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and other Taliban jailed across the country.In another development, Baitullah Mehsud on Friday withdrew his threat to subvert the polls and allowed candidates to run their election campaigns in the South Waziristan.

Thus the TTP organization that has Baittulah Mehsud as one of its supporting members also has a Maulvi Omar in it, and an Omar Khalid that would be elected to head up the group a few days later. The support of Lal Masjid is not only verbal as given by this report from Global News Blog on 06 SEP 2007:
2. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ( IMU) led by Yuri Yuldeshev now co-ordinates the training of volunteers from different jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan as well as from other countries of the world. Till last year, its training infrastructure was located in South Waziristan, but after clashes with some sections of the local tribals, it has shifted its infrastructure to North Waziristan. It enjoys the support of the Mehsud sub-tribe of the Pashtuns led by Baitullah Mehsud and of the former students of the two madrasas run by the Lal Masjid of Islamabad. Reliable police and tribal sources in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan say that many, if not most, of the acts of suicide terrorism and attacks on the Pakistani Armed Forces since the Pakistan Army’s commando action in the Lal Masjid between July 10 and 13, 2007, including the killing of three Chinese nationals in Peshawar, were carried out by angry tribals motivated and trained by the IMU. The IMU consists of Uzbeks recruited from Uzbekistan as well as Afghanistan and has a small number of Chechens, Uighurs and Tajiks in its ranks. Till now, the IMU’s acts of terrorism have been confined to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. It has not come to notice for any jihadi activities in other countries.

3. A second Uzbek group operating from North Waziristan, which calls itself the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) or the Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), came into being in Pakistani territory post 9/11 as a result of a split in the IMU following the US military strikes in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It describes Osama bin Laden, Mulla Mohammad Omar, the Amir of the Neo Taliban, and Maulana Samiul Haq, the Amir of a faction of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam Pakistan, as its mentors. It focusses on training volunteers from the Western countries as well as from Uzbekistan.


9. In an interview on May 31, 2007, Ebu Yahya Muhammed Fatih, who describes himself as the Commander of the Islamic Jihad Union, stated as follows:

* “After the fall of the Afganistan Islamic Administration,we who shared the same opinions came together and decided to organize groups which will conduct jihad operations against the infidel constitution of cruel Karimov in Uzbekistan. The sole aim of all the emigrant-mujahedeen brothers was to find war-like solutions against the infidel constitution of cruel Karimov. For this aim our Union was established in 2002.
* “Our Union’s aim is, under the flag of justice and Islam Dominancy, to save our Müslim brothers who have been suffering from the cruelty of pre-Soviet period and Uzbekistan, and to take them out of the swamp of cruelty an infidelity, as well as to help other Müslim brothers all around the world as per God and his Prophet’s orders.
* “Members of our Union are not members of a specific tribe or a nation. As there is no nationalism and tribalism in Islam, our Union is formed of the believers from all over the world and multi-national emigrants travelling to praise the religion.
“Today we proceed according to our targeted goals with all our means. Muslim youth in the republics of former Soviet Union who found the path of Allah and are ready to fight for their religion have been trained in various fields in the training facilities of the Union. One of the armed forces of the Union is active in Afghanistan. Besides, we have been in contact and also been working on our common targets together with Caucasian mujahedeens. We have also been working together on plans and aims against the infidel regime of Uzbekistan which is one of our major targets.”
Not only are the Mehsud's involved with Lal Masjid, but they have taken up the banner of outlaw by the IJU: Baitullah Mehsud and his followers no longer feel themselves constrained by any Nation and consider all Nations as their enemy with only Islam as an acceptable end-state of mankind. In doing this the IJU, Mehsud, Lal Masjid and any that join them are beyond all law and declare themselves to be the law as they see it.

In chasing down who 'Maulvi Sahib' is, we find out that not only is he most likely Omar Khalid, associated with Lal Masjid and TTP, along with Baitullah Mehsud, we have also found their membership in the IMU/IJU which no describes a large number of jihadists as purely outlaws by their own declaration of being of no Nation and respecting no Nation until Islam is global. In finding the proximate actors in Benazir Bhutto's death we also see the larger cause behind it, beyond any support from the ISI: Transnational Islamic Terrorism. Even with ISI involvement, this is larger than the ISI, Pakistan, Afghanistan or any single Nation these individuals operate in, which includes: UK, Germany, Georgia, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and China, amongst many.

That said there are some indicators and individuals linking Ejaz Shah of the ISI to the previous attack on Benazir Bhutto. This from Thaindia News 14 NOV 2007:
In the letter, according to The News, she named Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Ejaz Shah, former director National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Waseem Afzal and former ISI chief Gen. (Rtd) Hameed Gul as conspirators.

Last Thursday, two explosions went off a minute apart shortly after midnight near Karsaz close to the vehicle Bhutto was travelling in.


According to witnesses, the bomber tried to enter the inner security cordon of the PPP workers around Bhutto, but was stopped. He then set off the explosion.

The second blast originated from a golden-coloured Pajero parked on the road, witnesses added.

Earlier, Intelligence reports had warned of threats of suicide attacks against Bhutto by militants linked to al Qaeda, the Taliban and Baitullah Mehsud. (ANI)
Benazir, herself, had fingered some of those she suspected, as previously reported. At The Insider Brief on 21 OCT 2007 Shaan Akbar gives a reason why Ejaz Shah could be behind the assassination attempt that had happened then:
A retired army brigadier, Ejaz Shah is head of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) which falls under the purview of the Interior Ministry. He is also known to be a close friend of Musharraf’s who engineered the electoral rise of the Chaudhry cousins who now head up Pakistan’s king’s party, the PML(Q). By taking a swipe at Shah, Bhutto may be looking to weaken the Chaudhries by taking aim at their chief sponsor.

There is a flip side though. Ejaz Shah may have very well felt threatened by the return of Bhutto as it endangered the Chaudhries’ role in power and thereby his influence in government. Recently, one top official told me, “Ejaz Shah is more sincere to the Chaudhries than he is to Musharraf.” For some time now, there have been some very negative undercurrents flowing in the establishment against the unsavory Ejaz Shah.
Yes, not only the ISI but *politics* and personal power.

As part of the round-up at CounterTerrorism Blog on 19 OCT 2007, we see how the party of Hekmaytar reacts to the attempted assassination:
In the October 20 London Times, Bhutto states: "The cowardly people who planned the attacks on me are not Muslims. No Muslim can attack a woman, no Muslim can attack innocent people." AP reports on October 20 that Mahmoud Al Hasan, a leader of Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen, a militant group aligned to Pakistan's Islamic religious Jamaat-e-Islami party, says: "Benazir Bhutto was totally talking like an infidel. What should be the reaction of jihadis? They should definitely kill her. She is an enemy of Islam. She is an enemy of jihadis. She is an enemy of the country." As reported in the last news roundup, Taliban spokesman Haji Umer told BBC Pashto that "[t]he Taliban will definitely target Benazir Bhutto if she supports the United States and the so-called war on terror."
One does get the feeling that Benazir had more than a few enemies, but also remember the close links between Hekmaytar and the ISI. Even stranger is the career of Ejaz Shah, as seen at Global News Blog on 19 OCT 2007:
5. Brig. Ejaz Shah has been strongly criticised by Mrs. Benazir and her supporters for the security failure and they have demanded his removal and arrest. When he was in the ISI, he used to be the handling officer of Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar, the Amir of the Taliban. After Musharraf seized power in October, 1999, he had him posted as the Home Secretary of Punjab. It was to him that Omar Sheikh, who orchestrated the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist, surrendered because Omar Sheikh knew him before and was confident that Ejaz Shah would see that he was not tortured.

6. After the murder of Pearl, there were many allegations regarding Shah’s role. Musharraf tried to protect him by sending him as the Ambassador to Australia or Indonesia. Both the countries reportedly refused to accept him. Musharraf then made him the DG of the IB. As the DG of the IB, he has seen to it that the death sentence against Omar Sheikh for his role in the Pearl case was not executed. The courts have been repeatedly postponing hearings on the appeal filed by Omar Sheikh against the death sentence.

7. Ejaz Shah played an active role in the campaign to discredit Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Caudhury of the Pakistan Supreme Court after he started calling for the files of a large number of missing persons, who were taken into custody by the police and the intelligence agencies. Reliable sources in Pakistan reported that Gen. Pervez Kiani, who was the DG of the ISI at the time of the suspension of the Chief Justice, was against the suspension, but Musharraf suspended him on the advice of Ejaz Shah and Maj-Gen. Nadim Taj, who was at that time the head of the Directorate-General of Military Intelligence. Maj. Gen. Taj has since been promoted as Lt. Gen. and has succeeded Kiyani as the DG of the ISI.

8. While the ISI under Kiyani refused to file any affidavit against the suspended Chief Justice before the court when it was hearing the petition of the Chief Justice against his suspension, the IB and the DGMI filed affidavits giving details of all the information which their organisations had indicating the alleged unsuitability of the Chief Justice to head the Supreme Court.

9. Despite the political embarrassment caused by the case, which ended in a fiasco, Ejaz Shah continues to enjoy the total confidence of Musharraf.
Yes, a man trusted enough by the kidnappers of Daniel Pearl, of which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has confessed to executing, felt comfortable enough with Ejaz Shat to give up to him. In the annex to the article, B. Raman gives a deeper review of Ejaz Shah:
Before joining as home secretary, Punjab, he worked in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and was once Omar Sheikh’s principal handling officer, as well as one of bin Laden’s and Mullah Omar’s. When the Lahore and Karachi police started searching for Omar Sheikh after the kidnapping of Pearl, he surrendered to Ejaz Shah as he was afraid that the Karachi police might torture him.

Ejaz Shah immediately informed General Mohammad Aziz Khan, presently chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who was No 2 in the ISI until October 1998, and the two carefully debriefed Omar Sheikh as to what he should tell the police during his interrogation. He was kept in their informal custody for a week and, thereafter, handed over to the police, who were told to announce that they had arrested him while searching for him, without mentioning that he had voluntarily surrendered to Shah.

Aziz and Shah did not want Omar Sheikh to admit to the Karachi police any role in the explosion outside the Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir in October, 2001, in the attack on the Indian parliament in December, 2001, and about his having told Lieutenant-General Ehsanul Haq, the present director general of the ISI, who was Corps Commander in Peshawar before October, 2001, about the plans of al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist strikes in the US.

However, Omar Sheikh disregarded their advice and told the Karachi police about these events. The News, a prestigious daily, came to know of some of his confessions to the Karachi police. The editor of the paper rejected a request from the ISI not to publish the story. Musharraf thereupon forced the owner to sack the editor, who went into exile in the US fearing a threat to his life from the ISI.

Thereafter, Musharraf selected Shah for posting as High Commissioner to Australia, which reportedly refused to give its agreement to his appointment. It is now learnt that Musharraf has instructed his Foreign Office that he should be sent as ambassador to Indonesia. It remains to be seen whether Jakarta agrees.
Remember, this would be the man in charge of Benazir Bhutto's safety.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, as seen from his Wikipedia entry, is a terrorist used to hijackings, kidnappings and supporting al Qaeda. In particular he is cited for having sent $100,000 to Muhammed Atta from the UAE. Omar Sheikh is also a member of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) one of the many Kashmir separatist terror groups that resides in Pakistan (Source: SATP). JeM's external contacts are seen from SATP:
The outfit is closely linked, through the Binoria Madrassah in Karachi, with the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan and its protégé, Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda. JeM chief, Masood Azhar was released by Indian authorities in Kandahar and has reportedly met Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan on various occasions.

The JeM is also reported to have links with Sunni terrorist outfits operating in Pakistan such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
Yes the very same LeJ as Baitullah Meshud.

Finally there is the tribal aspect to Ejaz Shah, this found at cyrilalmeida.com, 20 OCT 2007:
Hamid Mir explains why Benazir blames the director general of the Intelligence Bureau:

Asif Ali Zardari told this scribe that Ejaz Shah had old links with Islamic radicals. He claimed that Shah was the person who managed the surrender of Omer Sheikh in 2002, a suspect in the killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Asif Ali Zardari is sure that people like Ejaz Shah have encouraged Islamic radicals to attack Benazir Bhutto. In fact, Ejaz Shah was the home secretary of the Punjab in 2002. He belongs to Nankana Sahib area of the Punjab. Mother of Omer Sheikh was also from Nankana Sahib. When the security agencies raided the house of Omerís grandparents in Nankana Sahib, Ejaz Shah contacted the uncle of the alleged terrorist who was a sessions judge at that time. The uncle convinced his nephew through Ejaz Shah to surrender and that was how Omer Sheikh was arrested.

Some PPP sources have said that Ejaz Shah was the person who created PML-Q in the Punjab. He was also a key figure in breaking more than 20 members of the National Assembly from the PPP after the 2002 election. That is why the PPP leadership has problems with him. People like Abida Hussain, who left the PML-Q and joined the PPP due to the disliking of Ejaz Shah, are also trying to poison Benazir Bhuttoís mind against Ejaz Shah.

Shah is considered a trusted confidant of General Pervez Musharraf but he is also very close to the Chaudhries of Gujrat.

Mir also speculates about Benazir’s motive in doing so:

One source claimed that it was Ejaz Shah who was the head of anti-narcotics force in 1998, when the-then Nawaz Sharif regime tried to involve Asif Ali Zardari in a narcotics case through him. But he refused and later the Nawaz regime booked Zardari in the same fake case through the Punjab police. It is also viewed by some government circles that the head of a civilian intelligence agency is a soft target for the PPP and the real target is the boss of Ejaz Shah, who is no doubt General Pervez Musharraf.
Yes, tribal, regional, political, and organized crime involvement, too.

Finally there is the al Qaeda side, and the best individual there is connected to LeJ: Matiur Rehman. He is the man with the terror database in Pakistan for al Qaeda and the one individual easily able to marshal individuals across multiple terror outfits. With al Qaeda taking credit for the assassination of Bhutto, he is the most obvious choice to help put any disparate group together to do the job. As reported in the SATP entry for LeJ on 01 OCT 2006:
LeJ, the outlawed Sunni group, has reportedly started a recruitment drive and is forming new cells at the district and provincial levels. Matiur Rehman, who is believed to have links with the al Qaeda and is one of the prime suspects in the London airline plot, murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, the multiple assassination plots on President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, and the attack on the US Consulate in Karachi in March 2006 has been tasked with reorganising Lashkar cells. Abdullah Faryad, the LeJ chief at Ditta Khel in the Punjab province, is helping him.
Yes, the 'Bojinka II' plot and Daniel Pearl kidnapping are both things that he helped to organize, and those skills are put to use on the local scale in recruitment and creating new cells for LeJ in Pakistan.

This helps to outline the main ways the assassination plot to kill Bhutto could be organized:

1) Independent work of Mehsud/LeJ/TTP/IMU along with possible help from al Qaeda and/or Taliban.

2) Ejaz Shah based plot, most likely using any of the above organizations in (1).

3) al Qaeda plot starting in LeJ, via Rehman, and then utilizing Mehsud and others to do final logistics and operations.

4) Gulbuddin Hekmaytar, going through his associated organizations and/or those in (1).

Final identification of the attacker(s) should help to sort this out, especially if the al-Badr organization is involved. Still, three individuals were mentioned in the intercepted message (of which that could be a plant by Ejaz Shah), so there is a 1 in 3 possibility that a definite 'fingering' of this may be put off. Some positive IDs will help, as will sources for the weapons and explosives used.

29 December 2007

Terrorism and Pakistan, part 1

As Pakistan now moves into the forefront of the Global War on Terror, it is time to start looking at some of the detail of the problems there.

In JAN 2007 Bill Roggio gave a rundown of the various faction leaders in Waziristan, in Pakistan, which helps give some 'lay of the land', and is an initial grasp on the conflict side in Afghanistan and how that is now emanating from Pakistan. But it is the presence in Pakistan that now shifts to the political side and threateningly so. It is no longer one where 'moderates' are relatively 'safe'. Just the opposite, in fact. Benazir Bhutto had prepared to meet her end in Pakistan as seen by this Newsweek article of 20 OCT 2007:

Benazir Bhutto was worried she would not survive the day. It was, for her, to be a moment of joyous return after eight years of exile, but also an hour of great peril. Just before she left Dubai for Pakistan on Thursday, Oct. 18, Bhutto directed that a letter be hand-delivered to Pervez Musharraf, the embattled Pakistani autocrat with whom she had negotiated a tenuous political alliance. If anything happens to me, please investigate the following individuals in your government, she wrote, according to an account given to NEWSWEEK by her husband, Asif Ali Zardari. Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister, then proceeded to name several senior security officials she considered to be enemies, Zardari said. Principal among those she identified, according to another supporter who works for her Pakistan People's Party, was Ejaz Shah, the head of Pakistan's shadowy Intelligence Bureau, which runs domestic surveillance in somewhat the way M.I.5 does in Britain. Shah, a longtime associate of Musharraf's, is believed by Bhutto supporters to have Islamist sympathies. And Bhutto had boldly challenged Pakistan's Muslim extremists, declaring before her arrival that "the terrorists are trying to take over my country, and we have to stop them."
Not all that goes on with the government there is under Musharraf's control, but it is still his responsibility, nonetheless. Next up one of the local warlords:
Bhutto was certainly prescient about the threat. On Thursday, as her motorcade inched along a parade route guarded by roughly 20,000 Pakistani security forces, one or more suicide bombers set off twin explosions that killed at least 134 bystanders and police, and injured 450 others. The bombs narrowly missed Bhutto, who had ducked into her armored truck minutes before. Shaken but uninjured, she was rushed to safety. Musharraf's government quickly fingered Baitullah Mehsud, a longtime Taliban supporter and director of some of the most lethal training facilities for suicide bombers in the far-off mountains of Waziristan. Mehsud had reportedly threatened Bhutto. She and her husband, however, pointed much closer to home. "We do not buy that it was Mehsud," Zardari told NEWSWEEK. There was no immediate evidence that Shah was connected to the bombing. At a news conference the next day, though, Bhutto noted that the streetlights had mysteriously been turned off on her parade route and said: "I am not accusing the government. I am accusing people, certain individuals who abuse their positions. Who abuse their powers."

Whoever the real culprits turn out to be, the truth is that Pakistan's government has only itself to blame for the carnage in Karachi. Pakistani leaders created the Islamist monster that now operates with near impunity throughout the country. Militant Islamist groups that were originally recruited, trained and armed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) have since become Islamabad's deadliest enemies. Twice they have nearly succeeded in assassinating Musharraf, who was once among their strongest supporters. In the last six years extremists have killed more than 1,000 Pakistani troops.
Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban leader is, of course, opposed to democracy in Pakistan and any form of secular government. The ISI has been involved in this sort of thing, however, since the 1950's in Kashmir and during the '70s under Bhutto's father in Afghanistan. Part of that 'long view' is seen a bit further on and relates to the tribal values of fighting as further supported by the various Pakistani regimes:
After 9/11 Musharraf promised Washington that he would cut off support for such groups, including the Taliban. Early on, he authorized the arrests of several top Qaeda leaders in Pakistani cities, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and Abu Zubaydah, a top Qaeda organizer. But Musharraf's efforts have always been somewhat halfhearted, constrained by the deep sympathies that many of his countrymen have for jihadists. For decades Pakistanis were taught that the guerrillas were Muslim heroes, fighting for national honor and security. Such loyalties cannot be turned off like a tap. Several of the militants' onetime spymasters, both inside and outside the government, maintain links to their former charges. The security services will go after certain figures—particularly foreign Qaeda fighters—but ask others simply to lie low. Many officials—even many ordinary citizens—still think the jihadists should be preserved for future use as a strategic weapon, especially against India, long after America's War on Terror is over.
Yes, the use of such terrorists is seen as a tool of the State to be used against India. The use of such for purely tribal warfare is deeply ingrained in the region in which British Colonial rule didn't do much in Pakistan to wipe out those older systems of warfare. The Taliban and terrorists cited as moving to Pakistan or working from it in the article include: Abdul Majadd, Mullah Momin Ahmed(deceased), Mullah Shabir Ahmad of the Taliban Shura Council, Din Mohammad, Mullah Rehmat, Agha Jan former Taliban Defense Minister, Haji Muhamad Omar naming Bhutto as 'an agent of Washington', Mullah Fazlullah, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Most of these live openly in Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar, and frequent villages noted for weapons production, like Dera Adam Khel, which did similar for those fighting the USSR. Additionally UN refugee camps are cited as being refuges for jihadists, as seen later in the article:
The Afghan refugee camps around Peshawar, meanwhile, have become vast jihadist sanctuaries. The Jalozai and Shamshatu camps, each housing some 100,000 Afghan refugees, date back to the war against the Soviets. Complaints from the Afghan government have forced Islamabad and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to begin the long process of emptying Jalozai, a job that's supposed to be completed by next spring. Many of the camp's high-walled compounds are already abandoned. But few Jalozai residents are returning to Afghanistan when they leave the camps. Most are settling in Peshawar or other towns in the vicinity, which will allow the Taliban more space to operate in. A local mullah was arrested in Jalozai earlier this year after three Pakistani militants blew themselves up while using his house as a bomb factory.

The Shamshatu camp, just south of Peshawar, is the personal fiefdom of the notorious Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. His guerrillas, the Hizb-i-Islami ("Party of Islam"), operate mainly in Afghanistan's Kunar province, but Shamshatu is their power base, in effect an autonomous enclave within Pakistan. Like Jalozai, the place resembles a sprawling, labyrinthine Afghan village of mud-brick houses surrounded by high mud walls, and it's ruled by strict, Taliban-style Islamic law. Music is forbidden—even musical ringtones on cell phones. So is tobacco. Women are banned from venturing outside except in the company of a male relative. (There are girls' schools, though: unlike his Taliban allies, Hekmatyar believes in women's education.)

Shamshatu contains high-security areas that are out of bounds even to camp residents. Camp residents say Hekmatyar's men run private jails in these off- limits areas. Recently a woman who lived in the camp dared to go shopping alone. When she entered a small electronics shop, gunmen followed her. They forced the shopkeeper to close his store, detained the woman and telephoned her husband. "If you won't kill her, we will," they told him, before handing her over with a warning that if they caught her again without an escort, they would kill her. Then they confiscated the shopkeeper's goods and threw him out of the camp.
Hekmatyar was a creature of Bhutto's father against the USSR and now has a life of his own and support network going across the region from Kashmir to Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran and China. But do note he is one of those 'moderate terrorists' who approves of women's education! Mind you women still get killed for going out alone. Still very 'moderate' as these things go... alert Congress!

After that there is the whole Islamic Bomb concept to worry about:

U.S. government officials say that Musharraf's government still has tight control over the nation's nuclear-weapons program. Still, radicals would not need to steal a whole bomb in order to create havoc. Pakistan has never made a public accounting of its nuclear materials, and last year its Atomic Energy Agency began publishing ads in newspapers instructing the public about how to recognize radioactive materials and their symbols. The ads were quickly withdrawn after they incited fears that fissile material had gone missing. But Pervez Hoodbhoy, a noted nuclear physicist at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, says outside experts don't really know how much highly enriched uranium Pakistan has produced in the past and how much remains in existing stocks. "No one has a real idea about that," he says. "That means that stuff could have gotten out. Little bits here or there. But we really don't know."

In Washington, a senior administration official involved in counterterrorism said U.S. intelligence is chronically fearful that Islamists might get hold of nuclear material, equipment or know-how in Pakistan. He recalled that after 9/11, a group of rogue Pakistani nuclear scientists met with Osama bin Laden. "Given that history, we continue to look at this issue very closely," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Yes, we are so good at measuring WMD work like in Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea... how unfortunate we missed the entire 'Pakistan seriously working towards nuclear devices' thing that was going on for decades. And while the people of Pakistan don't really want Islamic Fascism they have other problems:

Few Pakistanis have any desire to live under the militants' rule. The trouble is, the country's moderate alternatives have become almost as unpopular. Musharraf won a third term as president by a unanimous Electoral Assembly vote on Oct. 6 (heavily boycotted by the opposition). In a recent nationwide poll by the International Republican Institute, however, he earned a dismal 21 percent approval rating. Bhutto fared little better, scoring a pitiful 28 percent. Many Pakistanis were appalled by her willingness to cut a deal with Musharraf so that he would allow her to return from exile.
Yes, she was the *best* and greatest hope for trying to get democracy going again. Benazir Bhutto was a flawed woman, in a flawed party, in a Nation that is highly divided and corrupt beyond belief. As to how such radicals can be in Pakistan, there is a final bit from the article worth reading:

The Taliban war effort is also greatly aided by dozens of "retired" former officials in Mullah Omar's defunct Taliban government who now reside in Pakistan, some armed with Pakistani national identity cards. The Taliban don't think they're putting anything past the ISI—"the black snake," as they call the agency. Mullah Shabir Ahmad, a provincial commander, spends upwards of six months of the year inside Pakistan. "The Pakistanis know what we eat for lunch and dinner," he says. Mullah Momin Ahmed, visiting his family in Quetta shortly before his death in September, agreed: "Pakistan knows everything about us, but it seems to ignore us." Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad, the military's chief spokesman, says that Pakistani forces have arrested and deported 1,500 Taliban to Afghanistan, "but many somehow return."
This sounds a lot like 'catch and release' on the US southern border, somehow no matter how much you send them away, they come back. Hekmatyar is used to playing that game, having contacts widely across Pakistan, Afghanistan and Western Iran, he is more than willing to play the 'political' game of make nice and then return to terrorism, as has been the case this year, after declaring in late 2006 he was amenable to the 'political process' and then opening up terror attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan on 03 DEC 2007 to show that he wasn't much interested in that anymore.

From Bill Roggio's listing lets take up start to look at some of the other organizations operating in Pakistan. He would expand upon that in a report on Waziristan in The Weekly Standard on 10 OCT 2007, and some of the roles these individuals play:

Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and allied terror groups operate 29 training camps in North and neighboring South Waziristan. Senior al Qaeda operatives are believed to be operating in North Waziristan, including Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's son and possible successor, and Abu Kasha.

In January 2007, an American military intelligence official told the Long War Journal that Abu Kasha is the key link between al Qaeda's Shura Majlis (consultive body) and the Taliban. Abu Kasha is an Iraqi Arab who runs his organization in Mir Ali. He has two local commanders, Imanullah and Haq Nawaz Dawar, who administer local al Qaeda offices.

Abu Kasha has a working relationship and close communication with the Uzbeki terror groups, including the Islamic Jihad Group, which is run by Najimuddin Uzbek, who also operates out of North Waziristan.

North Waziristan also hosts Taliban commander Sadiq Noor, who runs his operations from Miranshah and hosts Taliban and al Qaeda meetings from his offices. Noor and his Taliban conduct sharia courts, adjudicate local disputes and announce punishments, collect taxes and run a private jail. Sadiq Noor is closely associated with JUI-F (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman). He "fought on the Bagram front in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance. He is also believed to support anti-U.S. entities in Khost, Afghanistan," the Jamestown Foundation reported.
The Taliban and al Qaeda are running their own multi-Nation operation for continuance of operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but using Pakistan as an operational command center. Also note the presence of foreign terror organizations, in Pakistan, beyond those of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir operations. This is supported by a Daily Times of Pakistan article of 09 JAN 2007 on this same topic and indicates where some of the support is coming from in North Waziristan:
Since the signing of the North Waziristan accord, cross borders attacks have increased rather. Mine explosions and rocket attacks against the Pakistan Army are continuing and the writ of the government has been reduced significantly. After consolidating their position in South and North Waziristan, the Taliban have started organising themselves in other FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Area] agencies, including adjoining towns like Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat, and the Dir and Malakand region. Local populations and tribes are fearful of the wrath of the Taliban and are forced to support them even financially.
Here the intimidation/coercion factor of well armed terrorists against local tribes is a key point for extracting payments from those towns and villages. In South Waziristan, prior to the recent outbreak of fighting, this was the situation:

In South Waziristan, according to the sources, the two main Taliban commanders are Baitullah and Abdullah from the Mehsud tribes. The former is the most powerful Taliban commander in the entire South Waziristan. He signed a peace deal with the Pakistani authorities at Sararogha in February 2005. It was agreed that the army will evacuate tribal territories, the Taliban will not attack the army, foreigners will not get protection, the army will not conduct operations against the Taliban if they agreed to help in the completion of development work. After the agreement, the Taliban established 16 offices in different parts of the Mehsud territory which are still functioning. They undertook harsh steps against criminals and dacoits. A ban was imposed on the use of computers/TV/music/dance. Sharia law was imposed. Baitullah has a lashkar of 30,000 armed tribesmen, while Abdullah has 5,000 armed men associated with him. Both groups give training to local youth and organise cross-border attacks. Baitullah Mehsud is associated with JUI-F like Sadiq Noor in North Waziristan while Abdullah Mehsud is attached to Uzbek/Tajik groups.

The sources said that in the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe, there were 14 groups of Taliban until November 2006 but after the appointment of Mullah Nazir as commander, all of them were brought under one leadership. Two Taliban commanders, Ghulam Jan and Ifthikar, do not accept Mullah Nazir as commander. However, Mullah Nazir remains the most powerful Taliban commander. He and other Taliban commanders like Muhammad Umer, Sharif, Noor Islam, Maulvi Abbas and Javed are affiliated with JUI-F. A separate group under commander Zanjeer, associated with Gulbadin Hikmatyar of Hizbe Islami is connected to the Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan.

Taliban commander Noor Islam based in Wana is an active supporter of Uzbek/Tajik and rebel Arabs. Haji Khanan, who is against the presence of Uzbeks, is another important Taliban commander. He is based in the Shakai area of the agency. Uzbek commanders and Abdullah Mehsud groups are more active in attacks on supporters of the government, while Arab commanders are more active in cross-border attacks.
Here the influence of Pakistani based Hekmatyar with Taliban leaders is seen in giving them aid and assistance in Pakistan. The division of labor between local tribes, outside Uzbeks and Arabs is an interesting phenomena used to help discriminate and disperse externally oriented operations.

Now for those of you looking for a scorecard of which group does what, the South Asia Terrorism Portal has listings across the region so a basic understanding can be found. Their Pakistan group listing is a start, but detail is often lacking. The Pak Institute for Peace has a lovely name change scorecard so you can keep track of which organization has decided it needs a new name.

Now for a run down of the players involved in forment chaos in the area:

Abdullah and Baitullah Mehsud

07 FEB 2005 - A Time magazine report suggested the proliferation network of A.Q. Khan sold nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Pakistan called the suggestion “baseless.” On the same day, South Waziristan Pashtun militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and about 100 of his supporters were granted amnesty by the regional administration after vowing to remain peaceful. A Pakistani army spokesman later confirmed that the “peace deal” included giving Mehsud and three other tribal leaders about $540,000 to repay loans they had taken from Al Qaeda. Also, unidentified gunmen shot and killed two journalists in South Waziristan. The act was later called terrorism by Pakistan’s interior minister. Finally, four bombs destroyed a key transportation line in Baluchistan.- 25 APR 2005 in a CRS Report (via GlobalSecurity)

13 MAR 2005 - Abdullah Mehsud, a former prisoner at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay wanted in connection with the October 2004 kidnaping of two Chinese engineers in Waziristan, was reported to have died of a bullet wound sustained in a 3/5 gunbattle. On the same day, Pakistani security forces reportedly arrested ten Al Qaeda suspects in North Waziristan near the Afghan border. - 25 APR 2005 in a CRS Report (via GlobalSecurity)

From The Crime Library:

Who is Baitullah Mehsud? Part 1

By Anthony Bruno

Baitullah Mehsud is not a household name—yet. Terrorist leaders tend to be nameless and faceless until their deeds earn them infamy. Osama bin Laden's name was largely unknown to the public until Sept. 11, 2001. But with General Pervez Musharraf's recent imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan and his desperate struggle to hang onto power, Baitullah's name has begun to emerge in daily news reports coming out of Pakistan. Some portray him as an annoying stone in Musharraf's shoe, just one of several problems confronting the general. But others see Baitullah as a pivotal figure who could tip the political balance in Pakistan toward militant Islam and spark terror attacks throughout the world.


Baitullah's advocates say he has brought peace to the region, but detractors note that the peace came at a price—literally. Like a Mafia boss, he and his lieutenants shake down the populace for protection money. He's closely allied to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and, like the Taliban, he enforces an extreme form of shariah in his territory. Women must observe a strict form of purdah, and men are forbidden to shave their beards. Playing music and watching videos are against the law. He has ordered the murder of adulterers by stoning. There are few Pakistani government courts in the region, and the Waziristanis seldom use them. Instead they go to Baitullah to settle their differences. In South Waziristan and parts of North Waziristan, he is the law.


Baitullah is also said to have ordered the suicide-bomber attack on Benazir Bhutto the day after she returned to the country on October 18, 2007. The explosions were close enough to Bhutto's car to shatter the windshield. Baitullah denies that he was behind the attack, though it's no secret that he despises her for her pro-American stance. He also opposes Musharraf for the same reason.
Part 2 from The Crime Library by Anthony Bruno:
Tribal militant leader Baitullah Mehsud has shown a disturbing interest in Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the controversial father of Pakistan's nuclear arms program, who in 2004 admitted to selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea on the black market. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan reported that when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October of this year, Baitullah instructed Al Qaeda militants in Karachi to kill her for "three major offenses against Islamists." First, she supported the Pakistani military attack on Lal Masjid (the Red Mosque) in Islamabad on July 10, 2007—Lal Masjid was considered a hotbed of Islamist radicalism; one hundred and sixty-four Pakistani special-forces commandos stormed the mosque and madrassah, killing at least 20 and injuring over 100. Second, Bhutto has made it clear that if she takes power in Pakistan, she will allow American forces to search for Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan's borders. Third, she has said that if elected, she would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to question A. Q. Khan.


Until 2005, Baitullah lived in the shadow of his daring and charismatic brother, Abdullah Mehsud, who, with his long black hair, was considered a terrorist rock star. Abdullah fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance and in 1996 lost a leg when he stepped on a land mine. He was taken captive by warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum who turned him over to American forces. Abdullah Mehsud was sent to Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba and held for two years, insisting the whole time that he was just an innocent tribesman. He was released in 2004 for reasons which remain unclear and returned to Waziristan. Soon after his return, he orchestrated the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers working on a dam in his region, proclaiming that Beijing was guilty of killing Muslims. He also ordered an attack on Pakistan's Interior Minister in which 31 people perished. In July 2007 he died in a clash with Pakistani military forces as they raided his residence.


Baitullah made his intentions clear this past January when he said, "As far as jihad is concerned, we will continue to wage it. We will do what is in the interest of Islam." Speaking of the growing threat of Baitullah's militia, Pakistani military analyst, Hasan-Askari Rizvi, told The New York Times, "The army has never faced such a serious challenge in the tribal areas."
And then The Telegraph UK has this exchange 29 DEC 2007:
Here is a translation of the transcript of the alleged telephone conversation from senior al-Qa'eda leader Baitullah Mehsud to another militant said to have been intercepted after the assassination.

Maulvi Sahib (MS): Asalaam Aleikum (Peace be with you)

Baitullah Mehsud (BM): Waleikum Asalam (And also with you)

MS: Chief, how are you?

BM: I am fine.

MS: Congratulations, I just got back during the night.

BM: Congratulations to you, were they our men?

MS: Yes they were ours.

BM: Who were they?

MS: There was Saeed, there was Bilal from Badar and Ikramullah.

BM: The three of them did it?

MS: Ikramullah and Bilal did it.

BM: Then congratulations.
So, while Baitullah Mehsud may claim otherwise, but there is the highest suspicion that his organization was behind the Bhutto assassination. Now to try a bit of decompilation of the message to see if it is more than just gibberish.

On the organizational side of things, the Mehsud group is part of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Source: SATP) or at least has strong organizational affiliations with them. From the Terror Knowledge Base LeJ entry we get one individual who would *definitely* be the man to know - Matiur Rehman. His value for such an operation is given in the TKB listing:
Biography: Born in South Punjab, Pakistan, in 1976 or 1977, Matiur Rehman, rose to prominence in the late 1990s by setting up sophisticated terrorist networks in Pakistan through which he recruited young men to be trained in al-Qaeda's camps.

Rehman passed through a number of training camps sponsored by al-Qaeda and proved himself a skilled explosives expert, with a talent for passing his specialized knowledge to recruits. As well as instructing fellow Pakistanis, Rehman also trained the most promising visiting Western recruits. It is believed that in the late 1990s Rehman helped train thousands of Pakistani, African and Arab militants at al-Qaeda camps.

Rehman was a deputy for the jihadi militant Amjad Farooqi, a reputed organizer of militant training camps, with links to al-Qaeda and the defunct Harakat-ul-Ansar. After Farooqi was killed by Pakistani police in September of 2004, Rehman became the Chief Liaison between al-Qaeda and the Pakistani jihadi community. He took over the extensive directory that has been dubbed by the Intelligence community the “Rolodex of Jihad”. The “Rolodex” is a massive log listing the name, affiliation, skill set and contact information of every Pakistani militant trained by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. This directory served as a database for recruiting volunteers for terrorist operations in South Asia and the West. Farooqi and Rehman relied heavily on the directory to establish a wide-ranging, underground logistical infrastructure that proved crucial to al-Qaeda's senior leadership in Pakistani tribal areas.

Pakistani officials believe Rehman has been deeply involved in most of the major terror attacks in Pakistan in the last few years. For instance, he was reportedly implicated in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, although a conclusive link has not been proven.

Other notorious actions in which he was allegedly involved include multiple assassination attempts by militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003 and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in July 2004. More recently, Rehman is believed to have planned the suicide car bombing on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi in March 2nd, 2006. The attack killed an American diplomat, State Department Foreign Service officer David Foy.

On July 5th, 2006 Pakistan’s government issued a “red book” containing information about the 162 most-wanted terrorists in the country, including Rehman. He is now Pakistan’s most wanted terrorist, and Pakistani authorities have posted a 10-million rupee reward for his capture.

Rehman has also been mentioned as one of the prime suspects in the London Airplane plot of August 12th, 2006. His name surfaced during the questioning of one of the 17 suspects arrested in Pakistan linked with the plot to destroy as many as 10 U.S.-bound jetliners mid-flight. U.S. intelligence officials believe the plot may have been conceived by Rehman. He is also said to have personally supervised the training of young British radicals in the preparation for another major, “spectacular” terror attack. U.S. authorities believe these operations were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001. In discrepancy with the Western Intelligence community, however, Pakistani officials have expressed their doubts about Rehman’s implication in the London plot.

Rehman is reportedly in charge of al-Qaeda's Pakistani organization and is also thought to be chief of al-Qaeda's military committee. Rehman is believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan and remains in constant communication with al Qaeda's top leadership.
So, only if Mehsud were in direct contact with bin Laden or Zawahiri and either of them ordered such a thing could he fit. Any way you cut it, if Bhutto was assassinated by al Qaeda, Rehman was involved. Thus, if you had to get three individuals of high capability together to assassinate a high level politician, then Matiur Rehman is the man to go to for al Qaeda.

That should fill up most folks scorecards pretty well, and I will continue on with this at another time, to start looking into a few other things, like the parent group of LeJ, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lal Majid.

28 December 2007

A quick refresher on Pakistan

This article in no way attempts to go into extreme and great detail on issues of the past few thousand years in the region known as Pakistan. Lets just say the place has had problems since before Alexander the Great.

I will be using Wikipedia as a source for overview and other sources as cited.

The more or less modern history of the place called Pakistan, a coalition of different ethnic groups, tribes and various affiliated parties, begins with the British Empire ending its rule and giving autonomy to India and Pakistan during the Partition of India on 14-15 AUG 1947. By OCT 1947 a little province called Kashmir would touch off the first war between Pakistan and India which would end with a cease-fire on 31 DEC 1948. Yes, not a Peace Treaty, but a cease-fire making it an active war on hiatus, just like the Korean War.

This would also lead to conflicts with Afghanistan over the Pashtun region (Pashtunistan), which would cause Afghanistan to not recognize the boundaries of Pakistan and lead to the formation of the North West Frontier Provinces. Those ethnic tensions go at least as far back as the 19th century and, most likely, farther back than that. Troubles would flare during the late 1940's and 1950's, the USSR wouldn't know what to do before or *after* invading Afghanistan, save to support some form of Pashtun Secession, but that went by the wayside after the invasion. A 100 year agreement for recognition of borders dating back to the British Empire has *lapsed*... yes, it EXPIRED after 100 years, and Afghanistan never recoginzed it as demarckation of borders even when it was in-place. These are some of the currently 'ungovernable' Provinces home to the Taliban and welcomers of al Qaeda.

In 1953 some of the first riots by Ahmadiyya Moslems and cause the first instance of martial law to be declared in Pakistan. Ayub Khan would come to power during this time and, in 1960, seek to have a Constitution put in place for Pakistan. In 1965 Operation Gibraltar would lead to the first attempt to subvert Kashmir by Pakistan, and serve as a founding point for the Pakistani Intelligence Services (ISI) to establish its network in the region. This would see the appearance of mujahideens in Jammu and Kashmir, and attempt to take Kashmir, in full, by subversion. India, coming off of a bitter war with China in 1962 was able to successfully fight this during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

This, like the previous conflict, would end in a 'cease-fire', not a Peace Treaty. By 1969 Ayub Khan would hand power over to Yahya Khan as things started to deteriorate inside Pakistan. East Pakistan would feel disenfranchised as part of the election process that Yahya Khan set up and things would go from bad to worse, even as Khan tried to straighten out internal affairs. The 1965 War would be a debacle on both sides with multiple intelligence failures the first use of non-National forms of illegal military influence in the region. That can of worms remains unclosed.

As part of the Partition, the divided province of Bengal would become East Pakistan and then, with much grief and heartache to all concerned as the Jinnah government attempted to short-change Bengalis and remove their language from Pakistan and then be forced to recognize it. Further Yahya Khan would not be able to handle the internal problems post-1965, the People's Party of Pakistan under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto would gain NO seats in East Pakistan, the Cyclone of 1971 would devistate that region and India would interfere in affairs there, causing an independence movement that would then form East Pakistan into Bangladesh after a War of Liberation in 1971.

Apparently the folks in West Pakistan had this idea that the folks in East Pakistan weren't all that bright and could be easily exploited due to the oppressive poverty there. This would become the starting point of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 as India attempted to use international influence to isolate East Pakistan and prevent China from influencing events, while arming East Pakistani military leaders who had taken refuge in India. India built up a rather sizeable force along the border and Pakistan tried the Israeli 6-day war concept of a surprise attack. And Pakistan would lose not only East Pakistan but also parts of West Pakistan in the ensuing war which ended for East Pakistan in a surrender, to become Bangladesh, and in a 'cease-fire' in the West.

This would also represent the first Super Power influence of the Cold War, with China initially working with Pakistan as an Ally, India aligning with the USSR with a friendship treaty in 1971 and the US aligning with Pakistan as part of Henry Kissinger's idea of rapprochement with China.

Got that?

The US would support a failing military dictatorship to help cement ties with China while the democratic Nation of India would seek support from the Communist and totalitarian USSR. This seemed like a 'good idea' to Henry Kissinger at the time and many *still* think that to open commercial ties with China it was *worth doing*. The USS Enterprise and its attendant ships would enter the Bay of Bengal to show support and provide arms to the Pakistani army (which President Nixon had promised to do), which India saw as a nuclear threat, and would be followed by nuclear armed Soviet ships, casting an unpleasant pall over an already bad situation.
There is a silver lining to all of this: the Simla Agreement of 1972.

Yes, a PEACE TREATY! That only took 25 years to get to...

This would be signed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who would come to power and throw Yahya Khan in jail, thus ending one of the nastiest chapters in both their Nation's histories... if only it would end there.

As part of the Cold War involvement, India would see the opportunity to 'go nuclear' and would detonate a 'peaceful' nuclear device in 1974 (FAS site for timeline). Bhutto would start the first nuclear program in Pakistan to counter this change. Bhutto would help to bring in a second constitution and help the Balochs in Iran during the repression of the Shah. During his time as Prime Minister, Bhutto would succumb to the increasing sway of Moslem extremists and declare the Ahmadiyya followers to be non-Moslems as they did NOT believe in the finality of Mohammed. That would not stop the overthrow of the government in 1977, however, when Bhutto was accused of rigging the election and Zia ul Haq would come to power in a coup.

This is where the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan leads to the arming of Pashtun (remember them? the folks more or less wanting their own place, that Afghanistan was willing to outwait a 100 year declaration on? kind of militant?). President Zia would not only head into radicalization of Islam for Pakistan, help arm the Pashtuns against the Soviets but also put down the Balochs, that have a good sized province in the west of Pakistan, with ethnic kin across the border in Iran and who have some feeling they were swindled out of autonomy way back in 1947. By 1978 President Zia had put in strict Islamic law, removing the socialist based economy in doing so, and put a hand-picked government in place under him. That government would try to weasel its way out of Zia's control and Zia would be killed by a plane crash which indicated sabotage, but no takers on who did it.

After Zia's demise would come a brief respite with democracy returning and see Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif (of the Muslim party) exchange terms in office, each leaving with corruption charges, so two non-consecutive terms for each. The Kargil Conflict threatened to become the third war over Kashmir. That would not happen due to Pakistan not having the resources to exploit gains, India not having the resources to exploit their successful counter attack and to the damned high, cold atmosphere that neither side was prepared to fight in. This would end in bilateral talks to resolve the issue... say, was it? Or is this just another loose end?

In any event, after two Prime Ministers each exchanging office and getting charged with corruption, we now enter the proximal modern era of Pervez Musharraf after Nawaz attempted to replace him, as head of the army, with the head of the ISI Khwaja Ziauddin. Yes, the ISI, which has been running terror and insurgency operations in Kashmir for decades, helped support the Pashtun against the Soviets, backed the Taliban... PM Nawaz wanted the army to be led by the leader of the ISI. While the west hates military dictatorships, the concept of putting the man in charge of funding and supplying radical islamic terror groups as the head of a national army should give some pause.

So, to sum up:

1) Radical Islam has been plaguing Pakistan since at least the 1950's and definitely since the 1970's and Zia ul Haq. And while President Carter helped to arm the Pashtuns, that was seen as an anti-Soviet move that was continued on by the next Administration. It must also be noted that Saudi Arabia would send cash via various individuals, including Osama bin Laden, to fund extensions of the Muslim Brotherhood and other, local, islamic terror groups, like the various ones that cropped up around Kashmir. Those were indigenous organizations originally sponsored by the ISI and Pakistani State Dept, and *not* the product of western influence.

2) The movement to nuclear arms is a result of the Indian-Soviet agreements and some attempt to stand up to the US after sending a nuclear aircraft carrier group to the Bay of Bengal. In currying favor with China and propping up Pakistan, India and the USSR would be close bedfellows for awhile, but the antagonism against China pre-dates US involvement as does China going nuclear. Those worries pre-date the US sending the aircraft carrier group to the region and is more predicated on the proximal cause of China than the far more distant cause of the US. The Nixon Administration, in currying favor with China did put India in an untenable situation by making a bad situation worse, but not by causing the bad situation in the first place.

3) Exporting of insurgent/terrorist groups may have been started by Pakistan, but India had its share with East Pakistan/Bangladesh, which would backfire as external, radical muslim groups would come to seek haven in the destitute Nation of Bangladesh.

4) The PPP, while being no saints and having given in to early Muslim pressure, were far better than the military dictatorship that followed in the 1970's and, while possibly as corrupt as Nawaz Sharif's party, the PPP did *not* try to expand radical islamic views by placing the head of the terror supporting ISI in charge of the army. In a region of the world rife with corruption, that can be seen in excess, but in no way would it be an all-out capitulation to radicalism. Pervez Musharraf is no winner, and that's the truth, and even at holding the line he is coming up short: but then no one has solved the problem of the Pashtuns and radical islam in Pakistan for decades, either. That said the PPP doesn't have its hands clean, either, in this business and did, indeed, help to expand radical islamic supporters under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

5) Pressure by the US to try and get 'reforms' or some sort of 'unified' party structure was pre-doomed to failure as the PPP and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim party have extremely different views on secular government: the former is for it the latter is not. That attempt to put the head of the ISI in charge of the army and bring the entire military and intelligence establishment under unified, extremist muslim control for the export of terrorism and enforcement of it at home should point out the problem. Musharraf is grimly holding on as his Nation disintegrates and Benazir Bhutto would not have been a great 'unifier' in a Nation collapsing into tribal directed and ISI backed terror warfare. Without firm and hard agreements across the political spectrum to not only disavow expanding terrorism, but to root out the cause of it in the ISI, there will be no internal peace in Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto returned to try and help shift the orientation of Pakistan away from the chaos, and for that she was killed by those wishing even more of the same.

Because the ISI has so many contacts and so much influence, its corruption of the system of government and its support for terrorism make it a prime mover in the current problems in Pakistan. There is damn little the US can do about *that* as it was built from the ground up by Pakistanis, and while some US cash in the era of the Afghan civil war did expand it, far more in the way of cash came in from Saudi Arabia, Muslim Brotherhood, Turabi from Sudan and other areas having extremist muslim organizations willing to raise funds to send to Pakistan. The major fault of the US was in *not* doing a damned thing to support the immediate winners in Afghanistan, who were *not* the Taliban, which might have changed the course of events there. There are not hard and fast guarntees of such things, but by just trying to thwart the USSR a much deeper mess was given to the world for the long run.

Expansion of the plans for nuclear devices via the AQ Khan network falls completely at the feet of those that started nuclear research in Pakistan, namely the PPP, then its continuation through Zia, Bhutto and Sharif. That was, finally, uncovered and the amount of corruption to run that extends to Japan, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, Iran, Libya and Syria. It is very telling that the CIA did not pick up any wind of *that* for YEARS. That genie is not only out of the bottle, but the engineering diagrams have most likely gotten into the hands of every dictator thinking that they can get their hands on just enough uranium to make one. As Musharraf cannot incite the moslem population any more by trying to put Khan on trial or allow him to be extradited, his hands are tied at being able to help there much more than he already has... which was enough to get Libya to come clean.

Outside of the absolute and immediate ISI funding for terrorism, are those operatives who have their own, independent funding sources, which I looked at in a previous article. From that we get another name that influenced events in Afghanistan:

First, that reporting from Pakistan showed friction among al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic Party of Gulbudden Hekmatyar. Second, that funding to these groups was drying up due to the loss of state sponsors. While these groups (representative of, but not the entirety of global jihad) continue to receive private donations and surely some rogue regime funding, the loss of Saddam, Libyan, Pakistani and the U.A.E. support could only increase their woes.
That from Afghanistan Online, and the name here is that of Hekmatyar. Mr. Hekmatyar has his *own* base of funding as seen from history commons:

Afghan opium production rises from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991, coinciding with CIA support and funding of the mujaheddin. Alfred McCoy, a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin, says US and Pakistani intelligence officials sanctioned the rebels’ drug trafficking because of their fierce opposition to the Soviets: “If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn’t trouble [the] CIA. They were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in narcotics.” For instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a rebel leader who received about half of all the CIA’s covert weapons, was known to be a major heroin trafficker. Charles Cogan, who directs the CIA’s operation in Afghanistan, later claims he was unaware of the drug trade: “We found out about it later on.” [Atlantic Monthly, 5/1996; Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), 9/30/2001]
Not only heroin, but gold, semi-precious stones, gun running... a veritable clearinghouse for orgnized criminal activity to support terrorism. What is interesting is that even Saudi arms dealer Adnan Keshoggi supported Hekmatyar's group (source: Chicago Tribune, How Saudi wealth fueled holy war, 22 FEB 2004). The main source of his funding was the ISI under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, which gave him a good 'start-up' which he would then expand upon, as seen in this Jamestown Foundation article of 21 SEP 2006:
Apparently, a failed uprising by jihadi leader Ahmad Shah Masoud of the Jamiat-e-Islami party in the Panjshir Valley against Daoud's regime in 1975 contributed to a split between Hekmatyar and Rabbani. It was, however, more Hekmatyar's desire for control that led to the disagreement between the two leaders. Waheed Mujda, who was a former member of Hezb-e-Islami, told The Jamestown Foundation that the main cause of Hekmatyar's clash with Rabbani was his idea of defeating the pro-Russian regime militarily, while Rabbani wanted to reach this goal politically. Strongly backed by the Pakistani government of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Hekmatyar established Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan in 1976. Later in 1979, another clash between Hekmatyar and jihadi leader Mawlawi Khalis evenly divided Hezb-e-Islami into two factions. Khalis established another faction called Hezb-e-Islami's Khalis faction.

Hekmatyar received most of the funding provided by Saudi Arabia, the United States and Pakistan to support the Afghan jihad against the Soviets; this made him the most well know and also the most controversial of the Pakistan-based mujahideen leaders. It was Hekmatyar who received anti-aircraft Stinger missiles from the U.S. government through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). "Hekmatyar's commanders in eastern Afghanistan were those who fired the first Stinger anti-aircraft missiles at Soviet warplanes," explained Mujda [3]. Indeed, it was Hezb-e-Islami Commander Abdul Ghaffar who hit the first Soviet helicopter gunship with an anti-aircraft Stinger missile in eastern Nangarhar province in September 1986 [4].

"Hekmatyar was indeed the key character in collecting money from anti-Soviet factions and countries to make the war continue, but since he was so selfish and hungry for power most of the jihadi leaders did not like him, though they needed him," said Mujda. Mujda quoted Mawlawi Khalis as saying "I pray to god to let Hekmatyar live among us in Pakistan, but I don't want him with us in Afghanistan because he would not let anyone, other than himself, become the country's leader." Hekmatyar was known as an anti-American figure among the Afghan jihadi leaders; ironically, the United States, through the ISI, was his biggest financial and military supporter. Hekmatyar most clearly expressed his anti-American credentials when he refused to shake hands with President Ronald Reagan in 1985 under the roof of the White House. Hekmatyar came under great pressure from Pakistani leaders to meet with Reagan, but his argument was that being seen shaking hands with the U.S. president would strengthen the Soviet claim that the war was not a jihad and was instead a U.S.-led campaign to win the Cold War.

Hekmatyar would, from that, work his way into multiple funding areas. His work in narcotics and such would make him a valuable resource for other groups looking to make some money and worthwhile contacts in the area. And that has links to other organized crime as seen by World Threats in 2003 by Ryan Mauro:
More significantly, shortly after 911, Spanish investigators launched an intense search for Semyon Mogilevich do to his well-known business and close relations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The terrorists' search for weapons of mass destruction could quickly and secretly become successful through their already established business relationship with Mogilevich. In the past, he has attempted to smuggle uranium into France from Russia, and there has been testimony that the has access to nuclear materials and nuclear components. [45] Even worse, Russian security services have confirmed that Mogilevich sold radioactive materials to Bin Laden prior to September 11, 2001. [46] Additionally, the Italian anti-organized crime office has learned, according to a French expert, that Mogilevich sold the parts for a radiological "dirty bomb", and seven American-made enriched uranium fuel rods through his crime syndicates. [47]

The Washington Times has reported in the times closely following September the 11th, 2001, that the Russian Mafia had sold components for chemical and biological, and even nuclear, weapons to Bin Laden and the Taliban. There is also extensive drug trafficking cooperation between the partners. An American official was quoted at this time as speaking of a secret nuclear weapons laboratory in Afghanistan and that the State Department had concluded that Al-Qaeda was probably trying to develop anthrax and sarin gas. [48] In August 2002, the Stanford International Studies Institute released a research report documenting approximately 700 cases of attempted or successful smuggling of radioactive materials worldwide. No doubt, the majority of these incidents had the involvement of the Russian Mafia.

Apparently, the power of the Russian Mafia and their associates (linked to Afghan drug trafficking) boasts nearly unlimited resources and innumerable contacts. US defense sources have said that Al-Qaeda does have the potential to obtain nuclear weapons and weapons-grade uranium in Russia via the organized crime networks. An unidentified senior defense official has confirm that Al-Qaeda made several inquiries about weapons of mass destruction on the black market. Several recent intelligence report have described their efforts to buy nuclear devices and materials in central Asia and Russia. Since 1992, at least a dozen thefts of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium have been reported in Russia alone. [49] The with this is that when a theft is successful in the former Soviet Union, you probably will not even know it. Unfortunately, but hopefully coincidentally, the sharpest rise in incidents involving attempted or successful nuclear weapons-related smuggling occurred from the summer of 1996 to the end of 1998. [50]
These are the very same businesses that Hekmatyar is associated with in Pakistan and Afghanistan to run his terror operations in those countries plus in Kashmir. The 'Red Don', Semion Mogilevich (as I looked at previously) is one of the most far-ranging of the Red Mafia having been involved in everything from stock market manipulation and bank fraud in Canada and the US to being a supplier of Osama bin Laden.

Soon after the fall of the Taliban regime, Hekmatyar would seek to reconcile himself with an unlikely Nation: China. This seen from 07 SEP 2002 Asia Times article:
Sources within the HIA say that the organization has recently reestablished contact with the Chinese government. In the past, Beijing has blamed the HIA for stirring a religious uprising in in the northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang, but Hekmatyar made concerted efforts to placate China, as well as to urge the Muslim leaders in Xinjiang to stop their separatist agitation. Beijing was said to be appreciative of these efforts, but it is yet to be seen how far China will go in supporting the new Afghan freedom struggle against foreign troops, if at all.
While not having much sense for religious extremism, it does have great sense for ensuring that supply points in China are available for use and trying to kiss up after sending his organization into western China in the 1990's (Source: NYT, 13 MAR 1994). Semion Mogilevich runs an airline system that includes China as amongst its destinations for its part in heroin production.

As of this year Mr. Hekmatyar's group, Hizb-i-Islami declared a unilateral ceasefire (source Terror Knowledge Base) after suffering losses due to defections from his 'party'. Reports of his capture have proven premature, however as evidence by the declaration of a ceasefire. On 03 DEC 2007, he would issue the following statement, as seen from UPI:

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Hard-line Islamist and warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar reportedly wants a phased withdrawal of foreign forces and a neutral interim government in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported the leader of the anti-government Hizb-i-Islami group -- which has claimed responsibility for some recent suicide bomb attacks -- says a neutral caretaker government is needed to hold elections in Afghanistan.

In a statement issued during the weekend by a close associate in neighboring Pakistan's Peshawar, Hekmatyar welcomed the Japanese government's decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan and urged NATO members to do the same, the report said.

He called for moving foreign forces to garrisons initially, and then for withdrawing them from the country.

The Dawn report said Hekmatyar, who had once been Afghanistan's prime minister, is wanted by the U.S. government.

In his statement, he said his faction is ready for cooperation with other parties to restore peace to the country.

Hekmatyar helped end the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but since Sept. 11, 2001, has turned against both Pakistan and the United States.
Thus he appears to be turning on the hand that feeds him, unless he is taking money from the ISI to attack inside Pakistan. He is quite capable of making *that* distinction. Still, as an ethnic Pashtun with connection, Hekmatyar is just a much a problem for Pakistan as Afghanistan if not moreso, having the NWFP nominally inside Pakistan (although with a 100 year agreement expiring something really should be done about finalizing that).

So, when you hear political candidates spout off about 'invading Pakistan' or 'sending in wingtips', realize that the former did the British no good and the latter we have done for decades, and we already see the results of that. Just like with Iraq it is time to put 'realism' to pasture and start recognizing the inherent complexities of Nations below the National government level. Because if you think Iraq is 'complex' with all of its tribes and ethnic differences, you haven't even begun to think in terms of Pakistan.

Remember, Pakistan is nuclear armed.

Make your political decisions very, very carefully for they *will* come back to haunt you.