On Terror & State Terror (fwd), Part II
tony at tao.ca
Fri Sep 14 11:49:19 MDT 2001
[ Part II ]
In the Wake of the Cold War
In the wake of the Cold War, the Central Asian region is not only
strategic for its extensive oil reserves, it also produces three
quarters of the World's opium representing multibillion dollar
revenues to business syndicates, financial institutions, intelligence
agencies and organized crime. The annual proceeds of the Golden
Crescent drug trade (between 100 and 200 billion dollars) represents
approximately one third of the Worldwide annual turnover of narcotics,
estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $500 billion.14
With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a new surge in opium
production has unfolded. (According to UN estimates, the production of
opium in Afghanistan in 1998-99 -- coinciding with the build up of
armed insurgencies in the former Soviet republics-- reached a record
high of 4600 metric tons.15 Powerful business syndicates in the former
Soviet Union allied with organized crime are competing for the
strategic control over the heroin routes.
The ISI's extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled
in the wake of the Cold War. The CIA continued to support the Islamic
"jihad" out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion
in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and
intelligence apparatus essentially "served as a catalyst for the
disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim
republics in Central Asia." 16.
Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia
had established themselves in the Muslim republics as well as within
the Russian federation encroaching upon the institutions of the
secular State. Despite its anti-American ideology, Islamic
fundamentalism was largely serving Washington's strategic interests in
the former Soviet Union.
Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the civil war in
Afghanistan continued unabated. The Taliban were being supported by
the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the
Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, JUI entered the government
coalition of Prime Minister Benazzir Bhutto. Ties between JUI, the
Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the
Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only
instated a hardline Islamic government, they also "handed control of
training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions..." 17
And the JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahhabi movements played a
key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the
former Soviet Union.
Jane Defense Weekly confirms in this regard that "half of Taliban
manpower and equipment originate[d] in Pakistan under the ISI" 18
In fact, it would appear that following the Soviet withdrawal both
sides in the Afghan civil war continued to receive covert support
through Pakistan's ISI. 19
In other words, backed by Pakistan's military intelligence (ISI) which
in turn was controlled by the CIA, the Taliban Islamic State was
largely serving American geopolitical interests. The Golden Crescent
drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim
Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army
(KLA). In last few months there is evidence that Mujahideen
mercenaries are fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their
assaults into Macedonia.
No doubt, this explains why Washington has closed its eyes on the
reign of terror imposed by the Taliban including the blatant
derogation of women's rights, the closing down of schools for girls,
the dismissal of women employees from government offices and the
enforcement of "the Sharia laws of punishment".20
The War in Chechnya
With regard to 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 HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 21 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". 22
Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan.
Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism,
the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American
oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and
pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander
Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were
supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in
organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:
[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for
Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic
indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost
province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early
1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir
Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan
to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan,
Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence
officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani,
Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the
ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed
Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very
useful to Basayev.23
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned
to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first
Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive
links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian
organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98,
according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) "Chechen warlords
started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate
firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia" 24
Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets
including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil
pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and
the smuggling of nuclear materials (See Mafia linked to Albania's
collapsed pyramids, 25 Alongside the extensive laundering of drug
money, the proceeds of various illicit activities have been funneled
towards the recruitment of mercenaries and the purchase of weapons.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with
Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander "Al Khattab" who had fought as
a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev's return
to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in
Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the
BBC, Khattab's posting to Chechnya had been "arranged through the
Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a
militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich
individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya".26
Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Ousmane
bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted
list" as the World's foremost terrorist.
While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans
and the former Soviet Union, the FBI --operating as a US based Police
Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some
respects independently of the CIA which has --since the Soviet-Afghan
war-- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.
In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad --featured by the Bush
Adminstration as "a threat to America"-- is blamed for the terrorist
assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same
Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US
military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the
truth must prevail to prevent the Bush Adminstration together with its
NATO partners from embarking upon a military adventure which threatens
the future of humanity.
1. Hugh Davies, International: `Informers' point the finger at bin
Laden; Washington on alert for suicide bombers, The Daily
Telegraph, London, 24 August 1998.
2. See Fred Halliday, "The Un-great game: the Country that lost the
Cold War, Afghanistan, New Republic, 25 March 1996):
3. Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs,
4. Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992.
5. Dilip Hiro, Fallout from the Afghan Jihad, Inter Press Services,
21 November 1995.
6. Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted Clark; 16 August 1998.
8. Dipankar Banerjee; Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry,
India Abroad, 2 December 1994.
10. See Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The
Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford university Press,
New York, 1995. See also the review of Cordovez and Harrison in
International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
11. Alfred McCoy, Drug fallout: the CIA's Forty Year Complicity in the
Narcotics Trade. The Progressive; 1 August 1997.
14. Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a changing World, Technical document no
4, 1998, Vienna UNDCP, p. 4. See also Report of the International
Narcotics Control Board for 1999, E/INCB/1999/1 United Nations
Publication, Vienna 1999, p 49-51, And Richard Lapper, UN Fears
Growth of Heroin Trade, Financial Times, 24 February 2000.
15. Report of the International Narcotics Control Board, op cit, p
49-51, see also Richard Lapper, op. cit.
16. International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
17. Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs,
November- December, 1999, p. 22.
18. Quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, 3 September 1998)
19. Tim McGirk, Kabul learns to live with its bearded conquerors, The
Independent, London, 6 November1996.
20. See K. Subrahmanyam, Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals, India
Abroad, 3 November 1995.
21. Levon Sevunts, Who's calling the shots?: Chechen conflict finds
Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 23 The Gazette,
Montreal, 26 October 1999..
24. See Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, Chechen Front Moves To
Kosovo Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000.
25. The European, 13 February 1997, See also Itar-Tass, 4-5 January
26. BBC, 29 September 1999).
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