On Terror & State Terror (fwd), Part II

Tony Tracy 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

Concluding Remarks

    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,
        November-December 1999.
     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.
     7. Ibid.
     8. Dipankar Banerjee; Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry,
        India Abroad, 2 December 1994.
     9. Ibid
    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.
    12. Ibid
    13. Ibid.
    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..
    22. Ibid
    23. Ibid.
    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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