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The War Within Islam (11 May 2010 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Islam’s Nowhere Men

By Fouad Ajami

'A Muslim has no nationality except his belief," the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb's "children" are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb's doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.

Qutb was executed by the secular dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966. But his thoughts and legacy endure. Globalization, the shaking up of continents, the ease of travel, and the doors for immigration flung wide open by Western liberal societies have given Qutb's worldview greater power and relevance. What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?

The Islamists are now within the gates. They fled the fires and the failures of the Islamic world but brought the ruin with them. They mock national borders and identities. A parliamentary report issued by Britain’s House of Commons on the London Underground bombings of July 7, 2005 lays bare this menace and the challenge it poses to a system of open borders and modern citizenship.

The four men who pulled off those brutal attacks, the report noted, “were apparently well integrated into British society.” Three of them were second generation Britons born in West Yorkshire. The oldest, a 30-year-old father of a 14-month-old infant, “appeared to others as a role model to young people.” One of the four, 22 years of age, was a boy of some privilege; he owned a red Mercedes given to him by his father and was given to fashionable hairstyles and designer clothing. This young man played cricket on the eve of the bombings. The next day, the day of the terror, a surveillance camera filmed him in a store. “He buys snacks, quibbles with the cashier over his change, looks directly at the CCTV camera, and leaves.” Two of the four, rather like Faisal Shahzad, had spent time in Pakistan before they pulled off their deed.

In an earlier age—I speak here autobiographically, and not of some vanished world long ago but of the 1960s when I made my way to the United States—the world was altogether different. Mass migration from the Islamic world had not begun. The immigrants who turned up in Western lands were few, and they were keen to put the old lands, and their feuds and attachments, behind them. Islam was then a religion of Afro-Asia; it had not yet put down roots in Western Europe and the New World. Air travel was costly and infrequent.

The new lands, too, made their own claims, and the dominant ideology was one of assimilation. The national borders were real, and reflected deep civilizational differences. It was easy to tell where “the East” ended and Western lands began. Postmodernist ideas had not made their appearance. Western guilt had not become an article of faith in the West itself.

Nowadays the Islamic faith is portable. It is carried by itinerant preachers and imams who transmit its teachings to all corners of the world, and from the safety and plenty of the West they often agitate against the very economic and moral order that sustains them. Satellite television plays its part in this new agitation, and the Islam of the tele-preachers is invariably one of damnation and fire. From tranquil, banal places (Dubai and Qatar), satellite television offers an incendiary version of the faith to younger immigrants unsettled by a modern civilization they can neither master nor reject.

And home, the Old Country, is never far. Pakistani authorities say Faisal Shahzad made 13 visits to Pakistan in the last seven years. This would have been unthinkable three or four decades earlier. Shahzad lived on the seam between the Old Country and the New. The path of citizenship he took gave him the precious gift of an American passport but made no demands on him.

From Pakistan comes a profile of Shahzad’s father, a man of high military rank, and of property and standing: He was “a man of modern thinking and of the modern age,” it was said of him in his ancestral village of Mohib Banda in recent days. That arc from a secular father to a radicalized son is, in many ways, the arc of Pakistan since its birth as a nation-state six decades ago. The secular parents and the radicalized children is also a tale of Islam, that broken pact with modernity, the mothers who fought to shed the veil and the daughters who now wish to wear the burqa in Paris and Milan.

In its beginnings, the Pakistan of Faisal Shahzad’s parents was animated by the modern ideals of its founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In that vision, Pakistan was to be a state for the Muslims of the subcontinent, but not an Islamic state in the way it ordered its political and cultural life. The bureaucratic and military elites who dominated the state, and defined its culture, were a worldly breed. The British Raj had been their formative culture.

But the world of Pakistan was recast in the 1980s under a zealous and stern military leader, Zia ul-Haq. Zia offered Pakistan Islamization and despotism. He had ridden the jihad in Afghanistan next door to supreme power; he brought the mullahs into the political world, and they, in turn, brought the militants with them.

This was the Pakistan in which young Faisal Shahzad was formed; the world of his parents was irretrievable. The maxim that Pakistan is governed by a trinity—Allah, Army, America—gives away this confusion: The young man who would do his best to secure an American education before succumbing to the call of the jihad is a man in the grip of a deep schizophrenia. The overcrowded cities of Islam—from Karachi and Casablanca to Cairo—and those cities in Europe and North America where the Islamic diaspora is now present in force have untold multitudes of men like Faisal Shahzad.

This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can’t wish it away. No strategy of winning “hearts and minds,” no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can’t conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere—Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes—are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/islam’s-nowhere-men-/d/2831





TOTAL COMMENTS:-   3


  • Prof Fouad Ajami is supposed to be a historian but a sarkari one -US govt’s. He has totally ignored the role of Western govts during the last many centuries to promote radical Islam to keep down nationalist and socialist governments at bay .Of couose WSJ will use only such false histories.

    Let us look at the history how Britain and then USA have promoted Islamic fundamentalism against popular, nationalist and socialist governments in Muslim countries to safeguard Western interests.

    In his book "Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam," Robert Dreyfuss paints a vivid picture of how the United States spent the last century taking over the British imperial apparatus in the Middle East ;sponsoring and manipulating Islamic fundamentalism to control and exploit petroleum resources and politics. Dreyfuss's book based on major academic literature and actors on the scene is an excellent survey of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various 20th-Century offshoots.

    The United States, Dreyfuss argues, has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, "sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." He writes about U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood against Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, whose goal was to end Western domination and control in the Middle East. Western interests used the Islamic Brotherhood to destabilize the Nasser government. The Brotherhood remains active and continues to conduct terrorist activities in Egypt.

    Britain's Imperial History of Divide and Rule in Middle East

    Although the Muslim Brotherhood was formally launched in Egypt in 1928, the roots of the British-sponsored policy began in the last quarter of the 19th Century , when the British intelligence sponsored the career of a Persian-born Shia named Jamaleddin, later known as Jamaleddin al-Afghani (1838-97) to hide his sect. A British (and French) Freemason and a professed atheist, al-Afghani spent his entire adult life as an agent of British intelligence, fomenting "Islamist" insurrections where they suited British imperial goals. At points in his fascinating career, he served as Minister of War and Prime Minister of Iran, before leading an insurrection against the Shah. He was a founder of the Young Egypt movement, which was part of a worldwide network of British Jacobin fronts that waged war against Britain's imperial rivals during the second half of the 19th Century. In Sudan, following the Mahdi-led nationalist revolt and the murder of Britain's Lord Gordon, al-Afghani organized an "Islamist" counterrevolution in support of restoration of British colonial control.

    Al-Afghani was backed by the British with funding, a publishing house and other amenities. Al-Afghani's leading disciple and fellow British agent was Mohammed Abduh (1849-1905). The Egypt born Abduh founded the Salafiyya movement, under the patronage of the British proconsul of Egypt, Lord Cromer. In the 1870s, al-Afghani and Abduh founded the Young Egypt movement, which battled against secular Egyptian nationalists.

    In 1899, two years after al-Afghani's death, Lord Cromer made Abduh the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Abduh in turn, begot Syrian Mohammed Rashid Rida (1865-1935), his leading disciple. Rida founded the organization that would be the immediate precursor to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Society of Propaganda and Guidance and an Institute. It published a journal, The Lighthouse, which provided "Islamist" backing to the British colonial rule over Egypt, by attacking Egyptian nationalists as "atheists and infidels." In Cairo, under British patronage, Rida brought in Islamists from every part of the Muslim world to be trained in political agitation in support of British colonial rule.

    Hassan al-Banna (1906-49), a graduate of the Institute for Propaganda and Guidance, founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, which was an unabashed British intelligence front. The mosque in Ismailia, Egypt, which was the first headquarters of the Brotherhood, was built by the (British) Suez Canal Company, near a British World War I military base. During World War II, the Muslim Brotherhood functioned as a de facto branch of the British military. In 1942, the Brotherhood created the "Secret Apparatus," an underground paramilitary organization that specialized in assassinations and espionage.

    Hitler's and London's Grand Mufti

    During the formative years of the Muslim Brotherhood, the British were simultaneously promoting the career of another "Islamist" named Haj Amin al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite with little Islamic theological training , he was promoted by Sir Ronald Storrs, the British Governor General and in 1921 installed as president of the Supreme Muslim Council, a British-sponsored association of hand-picked Muslim religious leaders . With British rigging , Al-Husseini was 'elected ' next year the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. During the World War II, al-Husseini, and al-Banna, wound up in Berlin as a propagandist for the Nazi assault against the Jews. But al-Husseini was back in the Holy Land, again on the British intelligence payroll, now a firebrand anti-communist propagandist for the Middle East Broadcasting Station. [The current Western proxy leaders in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabbi and Ex Prime Minister Iyad Alawi , have been unabashed operatives of CIA,MI6 and others .So the pattern continues]

    Hassan al-Banna was assassinated in 1949 by Egyptian security but by that time, the Muslim Brotherhood had vastly expanded its ranks, and had spread to other parts of the Middle East, where the British had a major postwar presence. The Muslim Brotherhood established branches in Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

    'British Brains and American Brawn to rule the world' ? Churchill

    After the untimely death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 , Winston Churchill 's famous "Iron Curtain" address came to define the Cold War. An Anglo-American partnership that Churchill once described: "With British brains and American brawn, we can rule the world."

    During the 1950s the United States sided with Great Britain against the legitimate, popular secularist governments of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iran's Mohammed Mossadegh. And in both instances, the Anglo-Americans used the Muslim Brotherhood as the battering ram to bring down the popular regimes. In the case of Egypt, President Dwight Eisenhower, in a most decisive postwar break with London, neutralized the joint British-French-Israeli invasion of Suez in 1956, temporarily backing the Nasser regime. (For years after the Suez crisis, Eisenhower and the United States were admired in Egypt).

    One of the architects of playing the Islamists against the nationalist /socialist /communists in the Middle East was Dr. Bernard Lewis, a wartime British intelligence Arab Bureau spy, who in his crucial 1953 essay "Communism and Islam," argued for a strategy of promoting right-wing Islamist movements and regimes as a weapon against Soviet backed nationalist and socialist regimes in the region. Lewis's scheme was embraced by the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster and CIA Director Allen, despite reservations from President Eisenhower and some leading CIA Middle East specialists.

    Despite Washington's ambivalence about Nasser, Britain's Prime Minister Anthony Eden had no doubt that the Egyptian President was a menace to British interests and had to be eliminated. George Young, a top MI6 officer posted in Cairo, ordered by Eden to assassinate Nasser, according to MI6 documents, turned to the Muslim Brotherhood's for the job , leading to a full-scale war between the Brotherhood and Nasser. Thousands were killed, and eventually, the Brotherhood was forced to flee, taking refuge in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other pro-US/UK Arab regimes. Saudi Arabia funded Egypt's Brothers against Nasser .Riyadh also funded the Brothers in Jordan as King Hussein complained when I was posted at Amman (1989-92).

    Operations in Iran: 'Made in England'

    Contrary to popular assumptions, the Muslim Brotherhood was not exclusively a Sunni movement. In Iran, a Shia cleric, Ayatollah Seyyed Abolqassin Kashani, was a close collaborator of al-Banna, his heir Ramadan, and other Brothers. In 1943, he founded an Iranian Shia branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called the Devotees of Islam. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Devotees had their own assassination squads. They failed, in 1949, to assassinate the Shah.

    The author remembers what Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan told him in 1990s, when Tehran re-established diplomatic relations with Amman. As the Iranian CDA spent most of his time in the National Assembly where after the recent elections the Muslim Brotherhood had a sizable presence  Hassan wryly commented that the CDA thought that he was accredited to the Assembly and not to the Palace of Hashemite King Hussein, his brother.

    The appointment of Mohammed Mossadegh as the new Prime Minister, led to yet-another Anglo-American coup against a secular nationalist regime, falsely branded "communist." As in Egypt, the British turned to the local Muslim Brotherhood?the Devotees of Islam?to stage the street riots and other actions that led to the overthrow of Mossadegh. The coup in Iran became the food of legend, about CIA officers Kermit and Archibald Roosevelt, who organized the bazaari to stem the tide of communism and stop the nationalization of British oil holdings.

    "A well-informed Iranian source reported that Mossadegh made the decision to step down, rather than either side with the Soviet-backed Iranian Communist Party or unleash his own mass base of supporters to battle the Muslim Brothers and the allied bazaari. It was Mossadegh's concern about the Iranian people that had more to do with the success of the so-called "coup," than the clandestine prowess of the Roosevelt boys and their British partners."

    The Khomeini Revolution

    The Khomeini revolution was a blowback against UK-US supported Shah's repressive regime and resentment against the overthrow of popular and nationalist Mossadegh government. From the beginning, not all Iranians fully supported the Islamic revolution (in which skillful use was made of Karbala - where Imam Hussein and his army and family fought and died for Islam - and other Shia imagery), its agenda and implementation. Khomeini was a rallying point for all against the Shah (caricatured as the sultan or the caliph), the corroding corruption, the excesses of the Savak secret police and its backers, the CIA, the hopes and aspirations of the youth for social justice, the masses suffering from inflation and sudden oil wealth inequities.

    Khomeini provided that unflinching moral and spiritual bulwark against the Shah's armed-to-the-teeth military machine and his capacity to deny whatever concessions were demanded, and what was held out in the end was too little too late. Many Iranians who opposed the hard line clerics and their killjoy agenda were eliminated, forced to flee or went underground. Even in 1980, disenchanted, only one fourth of Iranians went to the parliamentary polls. Expectedly, many clerics, some even senior to Khomeini, like Shariatmadari, favored political parties and more freedoms. But by sheer force, the radical conservatives took over power, sometimes in spite of Khomeini.
    It is the current US policies which have strengthened radical forces in Iran and catapulted President Mahmud Ahmedinejed against a reformer like President Khatami.

    Syrian Brothers

    The next British-backed battle between fundamentalist Islam and nationalism occurred in Syria where the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Ramadan. When a Baathist military coup took place in 1969, the Brotherhood began a campaign of irregular warfare, that built momentum throughout the 1970s. In 1979, the Muslim Brotherhood staged a military assault on the Syrian Army academy at Hama, setting the main building on fire and killing 83 cadets mostly from Alawaite sect belonging to the ruling Assad regime. The government killed many thousands of Syrian brothers who then escaped to Saudi Arabia.

    Afghanistan and Muslim Brotherhood

    Dreyfuss gives a brief history of the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan with roots in Egypt. A group of young Afghan students after spending several years at the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, a center of Muslim Brotherhood activity, returned to Afghanistan and formed a branch of the Brothers, the Islamic Society. "The Professors," as they were known, would later form the backbone of the Afghan Mujahedeen, who waged a West and Saudi backed decade-long war against the Soviet Army occupation. The three leading "Professors" were: Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Sayyaf and Hekmatyar, in particular, were backed by the Pakistani ISI, and by Pakistan's own Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Group, founded by Abdul Ala Mawdudi. The three professors led the major factions of the Afghan insurgency.

    One of the key recruiters for the Jihad in Afghanistan was a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member Abdullah Azzam. In 1984, under Anglo-American and Pakistani sponsorship, Azzam and a leading prot?g?, bin Laden, founded the Service Bureau in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Service Bureau served as a hospitality service for incoming jihadists.

    USA and the Rise of the Taliban to Power

    In April 1992 various guerrilla armies took over Kabul, where they promptly started fighting among themselves for power. There were street fights in the capital, battles for control of strategic positions. The U.S encouraged and enabled Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to support one faction , whose army had destroyed most of Kabul in 1993. Iran, Russia, India, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan chose other factions to back. For the next three years, the United States would support first one, then another fundamentalist faction in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the people suffered, caught in endless civil war.

    Around 1993, the Pakistani government became interested in opening up trade with the new Central Asian republics that had split from the old USSR. USA was interested in American UNOCAL laying energy pipelines from central Asia to Pakistan and beyond. But the warfare in Afghanistan blocked the roads. A way to end the warfare was needed.

    The Pakistan government once again set up schools for guerrillas, masked as religious schools. They were recruited from the Afghan refugee camps. The Taliban were nurtured in these schools and camps. They were supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, when JUI entered the government coalition of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, ties between JUI and the Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only re-instated a hard line Islamic government, they also "handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions..."

    By the summer of 1994 the first grouping of guerrillas was ready. It was led by older religious teachers and Pakistani soldiers, and armed by Saudi Arabia, with the cooperation from the CIA. The arms, food and four wheel drive vehicles gave the Taliban the material means to grow rapidly, against those less equipped. Jane Defense Weekly confirms that "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originated in Pakistan under the ISI". The Taliban Islamic State was to serve US geopolitical interests.

    The Taliban were only one more armed reactionary band in a country with lots of them. Yet in a couple of years they were able to take power. They profited from the advanced decomposition of the state apparatus and were able to take entire cities without combat. Some of the war lords preferred to join the Taliban, while others fled instead of fighting.

    The Taliban presented themselves as champions against corruption and against the rule of war lords. They appeared as austere, disinterested combatants, opposed to pillage and respecting private property. They received at least the resigned consent of the population to end the civil war, even if that meant giving up the most basic liberties.

    The Koran was already the law of the land, and rights of women hardly existed. After the Taliban took control of Kabul in September 1996, Glyn Davies, a State Department spokesman, said that the United States saw "nothing criticizable in the measures now taken by the Taliban movement to impose Islamic law in the zones which it controls." U.S. imperialism saw the Taliban as establishing order. UNOCAL, the giant California-based oil company, looked forward to being able to build a giant pipeline across the country.

    After coming to power, the Taliban again opened training camps for recruits from fundamentalist groups around the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    The Pakistani Taliban ? Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan

    The Pakistani Taliban or the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are led by Baitullah Mahsud. Centered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that lie between the North-West Frontier Province, it differs from their Afghan cousins in being mostly tribal rather than clerically trained in madrasahs (though they have some clerics among them). While Pakistan's population is 165 million or so, the population of FATA is about 3.5 million. Moreover, many clans in the tribal agencies actively oppose the TTP and have engaged in battles with them. The Pakistani Taliban are a relatively small group, probably a few thousand strong but they are powerful in North and South Waziristan and also in the northern agency of Bajaur. Apparently they have gained strength in the Khyber Agency, as well. Since FATA abuts Peshawar, the Pakistani Taliban have on several occasions encroached on that city. The Khyber Agency lies between Peshawar and the Khyber Pass, the easiest road into southern Afghanistan from Pakistan.

    The War in Chechnya

    The main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of Hezbollah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war

    Mujaheddin in Balkans and US involvement

    The JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahabi movements also played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. The Golden Crescent drug trade was used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) /There is evidence that Mujaheddin mercenaries were fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.

    On US support to Mujaheddin in the Balkans read extracts from "Turkey: 'Sow war and reap terror' by K Gajendra Singh , Atimes.com ,22 November, 2003( extracts form this article , hosted by over a hundred websites, and quoted by many reputed columnists including USA's Tom Engelhardt)
    "During the current debate, the Balkan chapter of the 1990s and the US and European role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and subsequent events are not scrutinized closely. The origins of al-Qaeda and other terror groups during the Afghan war of 1979-1992, their fight against the Soviet army and the role of the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others is well documented, including Osama bin Laden's drive to recruit Muslim volunteers world-wide. US officials estimate that tens of thousands of foreign fighters were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and guerrilla warfare tactics in Afghan camps that the US Central Intelligence Agency helped set up between1985-92.

    "After the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Najibullah communist regime collapsed in 1992, the Afghan mujahideen became irrelevant to the US. But the mujahideen had acquired a taste for fighting, and now they had no cause. But soon a new cause arose.

    "During 1992-95, the Pentagon helped with the movement of thousands of mujahideen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia, even some Turks, into Europe to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs.

    "It was very important in the rise of mujahideen forces and in the emergence of current cross-border Islamic terrorist groups who think nothing of moving from state to state in the search of outlets for their jihadi mission. In moving to Bosnia, Islamic fighters were transported from the caves of Afghanistan and the Middle East into Europe; from an outdated battleground of the Cold War to the major world conflict of the day; from being yesterday's men to fighting alongside the West's favored side in the clash of the Balkans. If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahideen, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalized it."

    There is a Dutch government report after investigations, prepared by Professor C Wiebes of Amsterdam University, into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, entitled "Intelligence and the War in Bosnia", published in April 2002.

    It details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East and their efforts to assist Bosnia's Muslims. By 1993, a vast amount of weapons were being smuggled through Croatia to the Muslims, organized by "clandestine agencies" of the US, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included the Afghan Mujahideen and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia - airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the US was "very closely involved". [ The same gang which fought against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan , was now fighting against Russia's Slav Orthodox ally ,Yugoslavia and succeeded in breaking up the secular socialist state.]

    The Pentagon's alliance with Islamic elements permitted mujahideen fighters to be "flown in" as shock troops for particularly hazardous operations against Serb forces. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 mujahideen from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe reached Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America's former chief Balkans peace negotiator, said as much. The Bosnian Muslims "wouldn't have survived" without the imported mujahideen, which was a "pact with the devil" from which Bosnia would take long to recover. If the US made a pact with the devil, then the Muslim mujahideen made a pact with Satan. They temporized with the Christian West to defeat the ungodly Russian communists, now they are after the US-led Crusaders." ---

    "But by the end of the 1990s, State Department officials (as now vis-a-vis the Pentagon), were increasingly worried about the consequences of this devil's pact sponsored by the Pentagon. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord, the foreign mujahideen units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the "hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists" who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who will remain a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. "

    US officials claimed that "one of bin Laden's top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia", and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a "staging area and safe haven" for al-Qaeda and others. The Bill Clinton administration learned that it was one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it was quite another to rein them back in again. "

    And in spite of the official US stand against jihadis, it permitted the growth and movement of mujahideen cadres in Europe during the 1990s. In the run up to Clinton and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the US backed the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against Serbia. The Jerusalem Post reported in 1998 that KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims earlier, were "provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries", and had been "bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters and mujahideen ... [some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan". So the US's pact with the devil continued.

    The aspect of the mujahideen's encouragement by the US and its growth in Balkan Europe has been largely overlooked, and the Bosnia connection remains largely unexplored. In Jason Burke's excellent Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, Bosnia is mentioned only in passing. Kimberley McCloud and Adam Dolnik of the Monterey Institute of International Studies have written some incisive commentary calling for rational thinking when assessing al-Qaeda's origins and threat - but little on the Bosnian link.

    A cool analysis of today's disparate Islamic terror groups, created in Afghanistan and emboldened by the Bosnian experience, would do much to shed some light on precisely the dangers of such intervention. Car bombers in Istanbul on November 15 and 20 [2003] are perhaps the results. "

    Taliban and UNOCAL

    In December 1997, the Taliban visited UNOCAL's Houston refinery operations. Interestingly, the chief Taliban leader based in Kandahar, Mullah Mohammed Omar, now on America's international Most Wanted List now, was firmly in the UNOCAL camp. UNOCAL had pumped large sums of money to the Taliban hierarchy in Kandahar and its expatriate Afghan supporters in the United States. During the Bush administration, beholden to the oil interests that pumped millions of dollars into the 2000 campaign, , various Taliban envoys were received at the State Department, CIA, and National Security Council. The CIA, which appears, more than ever, to be a virtual extended family of the Bush oil interests, facilitated a renewed approach to the Taliban.

    There were even reports that the CIA met with bin Laden in the months before September 11 attacks. The French newspaper Le Figaro quoted an Arab specialist named Antoine Sfeir who postulated that the CIA met with bin Laden in July in a failed attempt to bring him back under its fold. Sfeir said the CIA maintained links with bin Laden before the U.S. attacked his terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in 1998 and, more astonishingly, kept them going even after the attacks. Sfeir told the paper, "Until the last minute, CIA agents hoped bin Laden would return to U.S. command, as was the case before 1998." Bin Laden actually officially broke with the US in 1991 when US troops began arriving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. Bin Laden felt this was a violation of the Saudi regime's responsibility to protect the Islamic Holy Shrines of Mecca and Medina from the infidels. Bin Laden's anti-American and anti-House of Saud rhetoric soon reached a fever pitch.


    By k.Gajendra singh -



  • Robert Wright on the making of a terrorist:

     http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/the-making-of-a-terrorist/?ref=opinion.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin -



  • Mr. Ajami defines radical Islamism but offers no antidote. The ill effects of Gen. Zia's policies are well known, but how should Pakistan reverse course? It took a major and daring effort on the part of Khrushchev and his colleagues to bring about de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union. Is the present Pakistani leadership capable of mounting a similar effort against radical Islamism?


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin -



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