Skip to comments.Al Zawahiri behind assassination attempts on Musharraf
Posted on 07/13/2005 9:23:55 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter
Washington: The attempts on President Pervez Musharrafs life were made under the personal directions of Ayman Al Zawahiri, it was revealed here.
Alexis Debat, a noted terrorism expert, who once worked for the French defence ministry, told a meeting at the Nixon Centre here last week that this information was provided by the captured Al Qaeda figure, Abu Farraj Al Libbi.
According to the terrorism expert, who recently spent time in Pakistan and claims to have received extensive briefings from the Pakistan army, the US carried out precision strikes on certain compounds in both North and South Waziristan, but the Pakistani military doesnt like to acknowledge that fact.
Debat said the Pakistan military acknowledges the fact that it has no precision-guided munitions in its arsenal, so the precision strikes could only have been undertaken by the Americans. In all, he said, 326 militants were killed and through a combination of force and cash payments and agreements, the Pakistani authorities were able to keep the tribes in check and collect some information about Al Qaedas physical infrastructures in Waziristan. In a raid in June 2004 in the Shakai Valley, the military discovered Al Qaedas operational headquarters in Pakistan. Not only were lots of weapons found but also extensive video equipment. There was also a location where a lot of propaganda was produced, filmed and cut, and dozens of computers. Also found were CD-ROMs and tapes that are distributed throughout the tribal areas and the Gulf.
He said the arrest of Abu Farraj Al Libbi had yielded much information about the use of Pakistan as a base, and not just the tribal areas, but the entire country as a base for Al Qaeda. He gave out the names of about 100 operatives in the Gulf who were in charge of logistical planning and raising funds for the organisation in the United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
He said Al Qaedas Chechen-Uzbek component favours attacking the Pakistani government and establishing a jihad against the Pakistanis. The Arab element is in favour of not attacking the Pakistanis but using the tribal areas as a base to conduct operations across the border against American and coalition forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It looks like this component has won the argument for now, because the operations against the Pakistani military have ceased. And weve seen a increasing amount of attacks across the border in Afghanistan, he added.
Debat said he had been taken to a house north of Peshawar that was controlled by the Jamaat-i-Islami and which for the last four years had served as a safehouse for Ayman Al Zawahiri. He said it became clear to him that there is a very clear, non-institutional but very clear link between Jamaat-i-Islami all the way down to Al Qaeda. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he recalled, was picked up in a house that was also the house of a former ISI major and Jamaat official. So this partys fingerprints are all over the mujahideen movement in Pakistan, and that raises some very fundamental questions about US foreign policy, he added. He went on to wonder whether about the fingerprints of the ISI in all this and asked whether it is an institutional policy or if it is through personal connections and personal relationships.
Ramzi Binalshibh, he pointed out, was picked up in a house in Karachi owned by Jaish-e-Muhammad. Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by Harakat-ul-Mujahideen. He was held by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and beheaded by Yemeni militants linked to Al Qaeda, the first link between all of those groups working together on a specific operation.
According to Debat, contrary to what the Pakistan government has been saying, Al Qaeda has an ideological and political base in Pakistan. It doesnt make Pakistan an enemy of the United States. Quite the contrary. It makes sections of the Pakistani society antagonistic and enemies of the United States, and dangerous enemies of the United States. It makes Pakistan an extremely important country. It makes the necessity of expulsing, rooting out the Al Qaeda-Taliban component from the tribal areas an absolute necessity, he stressed.
He said it is also clear that the Pakistan government is very ambiguous in its commitment to help the United States in the war on terror. Islamabad was committed but within the confines of its own national interest. There were many things it could do to help but it was not doing them because that would be detrimental to the present governments interest. He said Pakistan wants security and assurances. According to him, every Al Qaeda leader picked up in Pakistan was because of CIA-provided information. He said Pakistan wants the United States to stay in Afghanistan and a long-term commitment by Washington to Islamabad, as Pakistan wants to be a long-term ally of the United States. It wants the same deal that the United States is offering India. He emphasised the need of engaging the Pakistani public and giving Pakistan what it wants.
Debat, turning to India-Pakistan relations, said that both countries and the United States have a common interest in the economic development of the region. And thats one of Musharrafs main strengths is that he has put economic development on top of his priorities, he added. He said the settlement of the Kashmir issue was essential. According to him, We absolutely need to resolve the Kashmir issue. Theres a peace process now. From past experience the Pakistani and especially the Indian foreign policy bureaucracies have been able to drag this process for year and years and years and years without any significant progress. We need to bring India and Pakistan together in the same interest.
Interesting not bin Laden? What does that mean?
Lots of interesting items in this article.
The upshot of it with regard to Pakistan was that Musharraf is cooperating as much as he dare with the U.S., because he must walk a fine line to stay in power, due to the fact that there is much sympathy amongst the very large mooslim population in Pakistan to Osama bin Hidin' (if he's still alive), al Zawharri (sp?), and the rest of al Queda.
Thanks for the article and the ping.
I am sure this will make Musharraf even more serious about eliminating Al Qaeda.
There are layers in this story like the layers of an onion. For example, AZ is a Palestinian, a fact never mentioned in any media articles. Jordan is Palestine. Transjordan was created for the purpose of providing a State for the "Arabs of Palestine", and indeed 90% of its population are Palestinians.
Here's the Bon Mot in this whole piece: Pakistan wants the kind of aid we are plowing into India.
Anyone who has read about the al-Qaeda-ISI connection to the Daniel Pearl execution needs to understand that the Pakistani government should be held at an arm's length, and even then, we should prepare ourselves for this next inevitable front in the War on Terrorism.
The War on Terrorism means the regime change in several hostile countries. Pakistan is one of them, despite Musharaff's pathetic offerings.
Well, or course not, since they have been denying that Bin Laden is in Pakistan for 2 years now. The "discoveries" of the video lab in Waziristan pretty much puts the lie to that.
Maybe these US strikes made things a little hotter for bin laden!
I hope he gets a little prep course for hell!
Zawahiri is Osama's right-hand man, and essentially the chief executive officer for Al Qaeda, with Osama as chairman of the board.
Orders from Zawahiri can be considered orders from the top.
We speculated there was something big going on in the Shakai Valley when this raid took place.
I'll speculate AGAIN....the video equipment was no doubt used to make the Zawahiri and Binny tapes.
I think it means what a bunch of us have been saying for a couple of years...bin Laden is worm food in the bottom of a collapsed cave in Tora Bora!
There was an article in the WSJ this morning noting that if the London terrorists are found to have trained in Pakistan - and it appears that at least one of them did - the US is going to have to rethink its policies towards Pakistan, because Musharref had assured us that these madrassas were being closely watched, did not promote violence, etc.
I realize that Musahrref has to walk a fine line and probably does not even have the ability to clean up all the terrorists there. But it does seem as though way too much AQ activity is emanating from Pakistan, and I hope we are not foolish enough to go ahead with the military weapons deal we were offering them a few days ago.
Thanks for the ping SV. From what I understand, many in Musharraf's military want him out of the way. If that happens, we would have a nuclear armed Islamic state to deal with.
That would put nukes in the hands of the terrorists. I remember Rice saying something to the effect the Pentagon has plans to secure those nukes in that event.
I don't know exactly what the deal is with India, but Karzai desperately wants US bases in Afghanistan and I don't know why we don't make the commitment to it -- except lack of strategic value?
ASA......could it be EBL is dead..........NAH.
Fascinating stuff. I'd expect some of this stuff, such as the 300+ supposedly killed in precision strikes in Pakistan, to make the mainstream news.