Friday, June 24, 2005

Exporting Terror

An interesting article in Wednesday's South Asia Times discusses the export from Pakistan of the manpower for the Great Jihad.
     From Australia to Europe to North America, a spate of arrests, trials and convictions has brought to the world's attention the growing threat posed by jihadis from Pakistan.
On June 5, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a pair of Pakistani-Americans from the sleepy little farming town of Lodi, California. Hamid Hayat, 23, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47, were later charged with lying to the authorities regarding their connection with jihadi training camps. But the formal FBI affidavit contained the bombshell piece of information that the training camps in question were in Pakistan, not in the notorious tribal areas, but right outside the city of Rawalpindi, which also hosts the Pakistan army headquarters.
These busy mujahedeen gathering and training in the terror camps are bound for locales all over the world, including the branch of Lashkar-e-Taiba here in Virginia:
     In 2003, American authorities broke up a terrorist cell in the state of Virginia. During the subsequent trial, six men pleaded guilty, while three more were convicted of terrorism-related charges. The men, belonging to various ethnic backgrounds, admitted to being members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the notorious Pakistani Salafist group that is also active in Indian Kashmir. The US government released their indictment, which laid out the dates and periods when they went to Pakistan to train in LeT's camps.
An amusing detail is the Pakistani government’s version of the “I didn’t hit him, and besides he hit me first” defense:
     For its part, the Pakistani government denies that there are any terrorist camps in its territory. However, even Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri recently admitted during questioning that there were LeT terror camps in Pakistan, but insisted that the government had closed them down. The jihadi groups themselves, which still operate under new names despite being "banned", regularly publish magazines and newsletters that give out the phone numbers and addresses of their recruiters. Many former Pakistani officials have also pointed out that the Pakistan government's denials lack credibility. They note that Pakistan's continued support of Kashmir jihadi elements effectively torpedoes any chances of removing al-Qaeda from Pakistan, since jihadi groups do not tend to distinguish between Kashmir, Afghanistan and the West. "To these tanzeems [outfits], Hindus, Jews and Christians are all the same type of enemy," one Pakistani expert based in the West noted.
Note that the Pakistani official is echoing the assertion that we have been making here for so long: from the point of view of the Great Islamic Jihad, we are all kufr. Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists — same thing.