Sunday, December 04, 2005

Our Man in Islamabad

WTC and PakistanMy earlier posts about Jamaat ul-Fuqra discussed the founder and leader of the organization, Sheikh Gilani, who happens to be a Pakistani.

Tablighi Jamaat, the huge umbrella organization whose fingers seem to reach into every terrorist group, was founded by a Pakistani and is based in Pakistan.

Pakistan is home to hundreds of extremist madrassas, those “schools” of indoctrination that have unleashed thousands of would-be terrorists to all corners of the globe.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was primarily a creature of the Pakistani military and Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI.

Osama bin Laden was a protégé of Pakistan’s General Musharraf, resided in Pakistan for a period, and was supported and maintained by Pakistan in his Afghan operations.

The leadership and rank-and-file of Al Qaeda contain numerous Pakistanis. Almost every time a major Al Qaeda operative is captured or killed, it turns out that he is either a Pakistani or is residing in Pakistan.

Just look at this rogues’ gallery:

John Walker Lindh

John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban”, trained in Pakistan
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Pakistani 9/11 planner
Richard Reid

Richard Reid, the “Shoe Bomber”, trained in Pakistan
Ramzi Youssef

Ramzi Youssef, 1993 WTC bomber, traced to Pakistan

Now look at this article in the Bharat Rakshak Monitor from the fall of 2002.
     The other person who is widely perceived to be knowledgeable about the [9/11] conspiracy is Pakistan dictator Pervez Musharraf. He has recently commented [Hilton020808] that the sophistication of the 9/11 plot was far beyond the capabilities of Osama bin Laden as he knew him. Freudian slip or not, this agrees with several media reports regarding the involvement of Pakistani entities in most plots, attempts and actual terrorist attacks upon the United States in the last decade.
The highest levels of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services are deeply intertwined with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Notorious terrorists reside and operate with seeming impunity in Pakistan, only to be “captured” or killed suddenly at politically expedient moments. The latest example is Hamza Rabia.

Why is it, then, that Pakistan is repeatedly identified as our “ally in the War on Terror”?

According to the Bharat Rakshak Monitor,
    …it is worthwhile to note that many of the 9/11 hijackers are reported to have attended or signed up for flight schools in the US and elsewhere — but none are reported to have actually demonstrated proficiency as pilots of large aircraft. In fact, most are pooh-poohed for incompetence. One hijacker is indeed reported to have had a Saudi commercial pilot license — but had gone around failing basic flying courses in the US!
It is useful to ask whether an organization known for “meticulous planning” would depend on such hit-or-miss training of their spearheads. Atta and his PAF classmate are reported to have won top honors at the technical school in Hamburg. During the 9/11 hijackings, the terrorist pilots showed high levels of proficiency in avoiding Air Traffic Control, finding targets accurately, and zeroing in on the WTC Tower using a high-G turn. In the Pentagon attack, the plane came in at 400 knots near-ground level. These skills went far beyond those implied by their scattered piloting lessons, and they worked in four teams with all the ruthless assurance of military squads. The flight school stories appear to be ways of establishing false identities and hiding the true piloting credentials of the terrorists and their military backgrounds.
So all of that training in American flight schools, all of the “I don’t need to learn how to take off or land, I only need to learn how to fly the plane once it’s up” folderol, was just a smokescreen to mislead the inevitable investigators who would come sniffing down the pilots’ trail after 9/11. All of it was designed to protect the air forces of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, but the planning, direction, training, logistics, and financing were largely undertaken by Pakistan and Pakistani surrogates.

So what does Pakistan get out of all this dangerous behavior?

First of all, the Pakistani zealots — the true-believer Islamists — get to attack the Great Satan and the hated infidels.

The rest of the oligarchy that rules Pakistan — the cynics, power-brokers, rich playboys, and time-servers — get to raise vast quantities of money via the jihad process, utilizing the Islamic “charities” and the time-honored practices of extortion and hostage-taking. Lacking the oil resources of Saudi Arabia and Iran, the leaders of Pakistan, by milking the terrorist enterprise, are able to maintain themselves in power.

And why is all of this not widely known? Why do the media concentrate on Iraq and Afghanistan, and ignore Pakistan?

Even Michael Ledeen means Iran when he says, “Faster, please.”

Why does Pakistan get a free pass? Is it because of the nukes?

The danger that Pakistan poses for the United States has been downplayed, ignored, or dismissed out of hand for at least fifteen years, throughout the current and three previous administrations. The breadth and depth of aid that America provides to a country which so obviously works toward our destruction is perverse. This is a malign enterprise.

Now look at the official web page for the capital of Pakistan, whose title is “Islamabad, The Capital of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

My emphasis.

Update: commenter Hank_F_M points out that the Islamabad site is not, in fact, an official web page. I stand corrected.


Pastorius said...

I have always wondered about the way the one plane hit the Pentagon. That does seem pretty impressive. However, this sounds like conspiracy theory stuff to me. The only thing the pilots did was fly the plane according to a plan, which is, according to my understanding, the easiest part of piloting. The harder parts are

1) attending to protocol

2) taking off and landing.

I'm sure those were the reasons these guys were having trouble passing tests.

Pakistan is no friend, but I'm sorry, I don't think this guy has offered any proof that any of what the four pilots did had a huge degree of difficulty which meant the Pakistanis had to have been involved.

And, why do we treat the Pakistanis as allies, when they are clearly not friends? Two reasons, in my opinion,

1) We need some friends, and Musharraf is willing to publicly act like a friend,

2) nukes

Those seem like good enough reasons to me.

unaha-closp said...

Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, but the planning, direction, training, logistics, and financing were largely undertaken by Pakistan and Pakistani surrogates.

Where does this come from?

Logically it does not stand up. Pakistan is dirt poor, Saudi is mega rich. Pakistan is secular and a military dictatorship, Saudi is a religious fiefdom. Pakistan exports manufactured goods, Saudi exports oil and religion. Pakistani islamists are recipients of Saudi funds.

Seriously it is Saudi Arabia all the way.

Always On Watch said...

Can any Islamic nation be a true ally of a Western nation?

Just a question...

hank_F_M said...


Bharat Rakshak is a private effort dedicated to the Indian military. It has no official connection to the Indian Military. It describes it self as a “Consortium of Indian Military Websites.” The history and service sections have quality material.

One characteristic of the site is the understandable assumption that Pakistan=bad therefore anything bad said about Pakistan must be true.. I would take their assertions about general Pakistani (as opposed to military technical subjects) subjects with a grain of salt.

A subsequent article by the same author in is here. It like the first is an opinion piece based on a large number of items that do not have any necessary connection to each other. The comments about PAK AF officers are not sourced.

There is more than meets the eye on events in Pakistan, and we should be suspicious, but I would like a lot more glue before assuming this collection of information can hold together as a PLOT™.

The Islamabad site you link to is a “yellow pages” site, not an official government site. (I clicked on the about us link.)

hank_F_M said...

I give up

Posting html links make IBM BAL look like childs play.

Can you get rid of the dead posts>


Baron Bodissey said...


I take everything I read with a grain of salt. But, if you look at that article, everything that's asserted is accompanied with a citation. Some of the citations I had already read, prior to encountering the article. A lot was drawn from Tony Blair's presentation to Parliament. Many others were from the NYT, the Washington Post, etc., hardly hotbeds of conspiracy theories.

The Indians are most definitely anti-Pak, but with good reason. There are, after all, no Hindu suicide bombers to speak of blowing up markets in Karachi.

Even if only half of what was cited is true, it's quite alarming.

As for the piloting skills -- I accept expert opinions on the topic, because I am certainly no expert. But the PAF associations for Atta's roommate are interesting, aren't they?

Pakistan was deeply involved with the Taliban and the terrorists, and a lot of the complicit folks have simply been shuffled around in the government or the services, making them less visible.

I'm sure that the US gov't is well aware of all this. It must have its reasons for handling things this way. If it's not the nukes, though, I don't know what it is.

Baron Bodissey said...

Hank, I take your point about the Islamabad site. I'll put in an update.

Baron Bodissey said...

unahaclosp --

I agree that a lot of terrorist funding comes through the Saudis; that's not in dispute. But one of the points of the Bharat Rakshak article is that there are other sources of funding for the Al Qaeda terrorists.

If Pakistan is to be anything other than a Saudi vassal, it must have other methods of funding its activities. If you believe the article, one of the methods is hostage-taking (by terrorist gangs), which has paid off to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

When I was researching Sheikh Gilani, one of the facts that stood out was that the money obtained through welfare and other fraud in this country was being sent back to him in Pakistan. Obviously, he does not want to be dependent upon the Saudis, and wants his own source of funds -- presumably so that he doesn't have to answer to the Gulf emirs.

Another fact that stands out is that Pakistan is most definitely not entirely secular. It has its share of Islamist zealots, and many of them are in the upper levels of the government, the military, and especially the ISI.

unaha-closp said...

Thank you hank-f-m.

"private effort dedicated to the Indian military."

Explains a bit.

So what does Pakistan get out of all this dangerous behavior?

Financial assistance from my favourite people:

Although the Taliban became active in late 1994, it did not immediately attract Saudi assistance; the Saudi-Taliban relationship began only after Pakistan adopted the Taliban as proxies. Prince Turki al-Faisal Saud, head of the Saudi General Intelligence Agency, traveled to Pakistan in July 1996; shortly thereafter Saudi Arabia became the Taliban's main financial supporter.138

Saudi assistance to the Taliban has at times extended beyond the strictly financial to encompass military and organizational assistance. Western journalists saw white-painted C-130 Hercules transport aircraft which they identified as Saudi Arabian at Qandahar airport in 1996 delivering artillery and small-arms ammunition to Taliban soldiers.139 The Taliban security service, the Ministry of Enforcement of Virtue and Suppression of Vice, bears the same name as its sister service in Saudi Arabia and has been funded directly by Saudi Arabia; this relatively generous funding-as compared to the general poverty of other government organs in the Taliban administration-enabled it to become the most powerful agency within the Islamic Emirate.140

With a little skimmed as it passes through Pakistan, nice little earner.

unaha-closp said...

Musharraf is not ISI he comes from the old school military. ISI is a adjunct of the civil intelligence services that are outside of military control reporting direct to the President and it was strongly supported by Musharaffs predecessor (Narwaz Sharif who he overthrew). Since his taking power a lot of ISI loyal to the old regime have been purged and since 911 further purging of fundamentalists has occured.

He is the reason Pakistan is our friend (him and the nukes).

unaha-closp said...

Another fact that stands out is that Pakistan is most definitely not entirely secular.

Yeah you're right. But it is secular in the sense that the government does not claim a mandate from G*d, even though you almost have to be Muslim to be Pakistani.

felix said...

The assertion that the 911 terrorists had prior pilot training from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan before coming to the US is astonishing and I have not heard it before. Arguing against this is that enrolling in the various US flight schools might have (actually almost did) blown the mission, and would have been unnecessary. Who Knows?

unaha-closp said...

Musharraf is attempting to play both sides. I don't care if he has nukes or not, he won't be using them on us and the sooner his crap-hole of a country gets wiped, the sooner we see real progress towards peace.


Pakistan is a fence sitter, taking American money and Saudi to play one off against the other. To stop him playing both sides you could "wipe" his country and maybe lose a city or two to nukes in the process. And though I admire your bravery accepting the chance of being annihilated in a nuclear blast, to take one for the team, - there is an easier way.

Eliminate the other side. And since the other side consists of an inbred bunch of alcoholics running a kleptocratic kingdom with virtually no military to speak of (and no nukes whatsoever) it can't be that hard.

unaha-closp said...

I have being saying the same damn thing. And the really upsetting thing for me is that it wouldn't even take an army to do it. Just get some little Saudi Musharraf clone to stage a coup and hey presto no more terrorism*. It has worked in Pakistan.

Attacking Pakistan is pointless, you are paying Musharaff to do your killing for you. It is a good thing. If you attack all you end up with is another tinpot dictator who is even less popular than Mushareff.

Plus invading will be a bitch. It is almost certain that Pakistan could deliver a nuke or two through Al Qaeda equivalent networks. And they would use tactical nukes against ground forces in the event of an invasion.

*Terrorism reduced by measurable amounts in some parts of the world.

Baron Bodissey said...

Unaha (et al.) --

The thing is, I don't see why we have to declare repeatedly that Pakistan is our "friend".

This time next year, when the mullahs have their first nuclear warheads ready to go, we will have to respect them; we will have to be circumspect about Iran. But we won't call them our "friend". We won't say that they're our ally.

I don't think we're getting enough bang for our buck with Pakistan. But that's just my opinion.

unaha-closp said...

Short term Mainly because they gutted the Taliban from the inside.

Long term they are not friends (their muslims), but right now its better to be these guys than the Islamist opposition. If the islamists can neutered by ripping the Saud out of Arabia, then a democratic opposition can be fostered there or Christian missionairies sent. But whilst the islamists are well funded the USA is going to have to be friendly with complete bastards everywhere.

bordergal said...

Funny how little Johnny Walker doesn't look quite so sweet and harmless in that picture as he did at his trial.

I'd go so far as to call that a rather murderous look.

Too bad the jury never gets the same view as our police and soldiers.

unaha-closp said...


Secular with the qualification as long as you are muslim. But if you're not muslim then it is a problem.

Partition was a massacre, but is it relevent to now.

Okay now know less about ISI organisation than i did this morning - spent all of 3 hours looking 2 years ago MSM only - seems to be messy. One reference says it reports to PM another to COAS.

Is a stretch to call him Osama's man - one old meeting then he used Osama to do some dirty work for Pakistan. Nothing that particularly hardcore Islamist (by Pakistani standards).

Baron Bodissey said...


You are a veritable fountain of useful links!

Now I will never get any other work done...

unaha-closp said...


One of two things have to happen in Saudi: 1 - choke off all money flow into the country. 2 - seize the country with US forces.

Too much profitabilty would be lost by disrupting Saudi crude. Profits are split 80% Saud and 20% American/British, 20% of trillions is billions. Disruption must be avoided.

The petro-dollars would still be flowing into a country filled with radical muslims.

It would be dictatorship, so the radical muslims could get connected to allah via 7.62 mm. The whole point of having a coup would be to ensure that the radicals did not win. In the best possible world the leader could be a Shia from the oil region. In the worst possible world radicals win and end up with Saudi (an unarmed country surrounded by enemies) not a problem.

It could even be argued that at least the Saudi princes pretend to like us. I don't believe their replacements would bother pretending.

That IMHO is the worst thing, they killed 3000 on 911 and they pretend to be friendly. Now there is a pretend war on terrorism, in which the Americans chase shadows and the Sauds sit down with a good Scotch in 100 room palaces.

Thomas von der Trave said...

Those guys look like poster boys for fetal alcohol syndrome.

Gryffilion said...

Indeed, they got a bad case of The Uglies.