Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Daood Gilani aka David Headley is an American agent who did NOT go rogue. He worked for the notorious counter intelligence wing of the DEA (US). He successfully penetrated the Lashkar e Toiba and even alerted his US masters about the pending 26/11 which was actually set to take place in September.

FBI managed to warn its Indian counterparts of a planned attack in Mumbai in September 2008. The’s FBI accurate intel about that operation has been corroborated by Azam Amir Kasab, the only surviving terrorist from Mumbai, who admitted under interrogations that the attack was originally set for September but had to be aborted. The Indians thought the FBI alert for September was so specific—even mentioning target hotels, including the eventual main target, the Taj Mahal Palace—that the Bureau might have an informant inside a Pakistani terror group. Indian intelligence believes that it was Headley who passed along that info to the FBI. But then, his information to his American handlers suddenly dried. By the time the terrorists eventually pulled off the successful November attack, U.S. intelligence agencies were caught flat-footed.

An asset who was in the loop till September 2008 does not go rogue suddenly before November 2008.

A few anomalies and truths:


1. US has a habit of getting its terror suspects caught in other countries so that they get the 3rd degree torture to get the truth out. And Pakistan fits the bill given the close co-operation between US & Pakistan. The ideal thing would have been for Headley to reach Pakistan and have him arrested there and get tortured there – away from the prying eyes of US justice system. Did this happen – No !

2. If Headley was an asset that went rogue – why deny Indian intelligence agency access to this rogue agent? If he is rogue – then he is rogue ! Why then have Indian intelligence agencies not been given access? And extradition of Headley, even though a treaty exists between US and India – is just not going to happen

A truth:

1. Indian intelligence agencies were on the “tail” of an American connected with 26/11. This they followed up along with the Bangldeshi trail and were on the verge of getting to Headley which is when the US picked him up. And put him in custody so that he is kept safe from Indian intelligence agencies. KOSHER !!!

2. Omar Sheikh Saeed who called up the Pakistan President posing as India's Home Minister then - Pranab Mukherjee ostensibly threateningly was aimed to rachet up tension to start a war. Now Omar Sheikh Saeed is a known British intelligence asset who travelled to London twice after being freed from Kandahar hijacking - yet never even picked up. And he is wrongly serving sentence in Pakistan for killing Daniel Pearl (Khalid Sh Md killed him) - again keeping him safe from interrogators of other countries. KOSHER AGAIN !!

Headly - US intelligence asset. Omar Sheikh - British intelligence asset. Working in close co-ordination. Throw in Ilyas Kashmiri the ex-SSG Commando who was trained by Michael Vickers and you have the recipe for interesting times.

A side note I am not tired of mentioning. Most terrorism in Central Asia has been tracked back to members of Hizbut Tahrir. It is a banned organization in several of these Islamic nations. Yet, it is head quartered in UK - it is nurtured by the UK. Take your guess as to why this is so.

What may happen?

Headley will be undergoing coaching and Indian agencies will be given limited access and will be under strict orders of what can be asked and what cannot. The red lines will be Headley’s connections to US agencies and work he undertook as part of that. He will only say about LeT’s role in 26/11 – nothing beyond that and that too filtered versions.

What about T Rana – his accomplice?

Terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana complimented members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), saying they did a "good job" during the terror attacks in Mumbai last year, US prosecutors have alleged.

According to a 10-page memo filed by US prosecutors in a court on Monday, Rana asked co-conspirator David Coleman Headley to "pass along a message for me" to LeT Member A, whom Rana had given the name 'Khalid bin waleed'.
"In the world, if there had been...a medal for command, top class," the documents quote as Rana saying.

It further adds that Headley then interrupts Rana and informs him that he already had passed that message and "I (Headley) took your (Rana's) name when I said it". Rana responded "there is no doubt, it is a very befitting name for him. Very good. Good job".

Headley then explained that while LeT Member A briefed the attackers on the targets, Headley identified a different LeT member by name as the trainer of the attackers."Training was by Abu Qahafa....this Jamaat (group) prepares people really well," he said.

Rana responded that "whatever mixture you guys have made, whichever person did it...yeah, there they stood their ground". Prosecutors added that "far from advocating non-violence, Rana's own statements reveal his support for the brutal killing of 170 people...It is quite clear that Rana is no Gandhi".

Hence – if FBI alerted India in September 2008 did it fail to alert deliberately in November 2008 or did it not know?

There are enough and more good reasons why someone in the US may have decided not to alert India in November, assuming they were again in top of the game and knew all its actors and actions. Assuming they did, what would US gain from a LeT attack on India? Logically this would seem opposite of what they are doing and what is strategic – the Indo-US relationship acting as a solid hedge against Islamists to its east and west and a growing China up in the north.

And an attack in India might prompt India to retaliate which would serve Pakistan – it does not want its soldiers to fight its Pushtun brethren and now estranged Pakistan Taliban in its north west. They will relocate their soldiers to their eastern border – thus quelling any chances of ethnic strife within Paksitan and Pakistan Taliban too joining Pakistan Army to fight the infidel Indians. It was not too long ago that when Pakistan attacked India right after partition, the first hordes that went into Kashmir were from the Mehsud tribe of Pakistan Taliban. It was also no idle remark when Shuja Pasha – ISI Head – said Baitullah Mehsud (now dead) was a strategic asset of Pakistan as he vowed to fight India should India attack Pakistan.

Given that an Indian attack on Pakistan will end up uniting all jehadi network behind Pakistan against the bigger enemy – India – why would US willingly allow 26/11 to happen?

US calculated two things – if India attacked, US wins. If India did not attack US wins. HOW ?

IF INDIA ATTACKED : US deduced given the military hardware and stocks that India possessed India was in no position for a prolonged war with Pakistan. At best it could blow up the empty camps of Lashkar e Taiba in Muridke. That would have cooled Indian popular anger and Pakistan would be made to bear this little humiliation without any counter attack. If that happened – US gains the upper hand by playing the mediator and more role in this strategic region than it is getting now. But US would not be very happy with this alone.

If India attacked well – multi fronts and in the cold start strategy suddenly – Pakistan might well have caved in. The US would have used its assets in Taliban to attack in Pakistan’s north west and multiple suicide bombings in city centres creating the ultimate chaos. The result – creation of Pushtunistan and Balochistan. In the Great Game for Central Asian oil and gas and mineral reserves, US plays its best move in the chess.
But sadly India did not do either – so what was the fall back option?

IF INDIA DID NOT ATTACK: The US needed supply lines through Pakistan to feed its troops as well as NATO troops in Afghanistan. And elements hostile to US designs in the region were bombing the supply route enough to make lives of the soldiers miserable and precarious. Other than a fistful of dollars and a take in the lucrative opium trade, the US & ISI could do no more. Some of the tribals were up for sale to the highest bidders but some were Islamists – clearly aligned to Sharia – and could not be bought. They might be pressured by ISI but beyond a point even ISI did not have the right toy for every elder.

How did Headley episode help US in this case?

Actually brilliantly so. Headley must have been played up by his contacts to attack the infidel India and like any Pakistani it did not take much of a prodding. In doing so he effectively infiltrated LeT – willingly and got in touch with serving Pakistani officers who were helping the Islamist cause. Headley himself was a product of elite Pakistani military school, being the son of a former diplomat and a cousin of the current Paksitan PM Gilani.

By getting full information of the extent of collusion between terrorists and terrorist organization with Pakistan Army – Pakistan could under any law be declared as a terrorist country. US may have well spoon fed and helped the contract to nurture only to one day take the knife and plunge into the heart of Pakistan for its own benefit. With US threatening to expose the detailed Paksitani Army links with terrorism and declaring Pakistan as a terrorist nation – it holds the ultimate stick. Now Pakistan Army is under the control of US – it will do its bidding – and if not – the US can brand Pakistan a terrorist nation.

But Pakistan Army after selling its soul to US and fighting in Swat and S Waziristan is now feeling the daily heat of bombings in its cities. It is not getting any better. Pak Army is having second thoughts in moving into N Waziristan or indeed moving on its assets – the Haqqanis etc. But US wants Pakistan to attack Haqqanis too. This is the breaking point we are looking at now.

With US wielding a big stick and Pakistan Army knowing that its links to terrorist organizations exposed – it is staring at an existential threat. If it fights, it will be branded as Pakistan acting as US agents. If it does not, it faces US ire and China is not ready yet to take up Pakistan’s side at the expense of US.

Expected a far better analysis from Stratfor - but there you have it - the US view which does not talk about Headley's alleged ties with DEA or even the work he did for them !

It is time for India to step in and play its historic role. It is time to think that a divided India too suits US. And yes, Col Purohit, the one connected with Abhinav Bharat said that CIA wanted a break up India too.

Break up of states does not mean a break up of India. The pink scarves of Telengana activists resembled the orange revolution that was paid for by CIA. Not making any connections here – just a thought.

Remember Ken Haywood

Ken Haywood's computer was used to send a "terrorist" e-mail minutes before bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, in July 2008. Reportedly, Haywood has links to Abdur Subhan Qureshi, alias Taufique Bilal and Tauqir, reportedly the top terrorist in India. Haywood returned to India in September 2008. (Ahmedabad blasts: Ken Haywood arrives in India 11 Sep 2008, 0215 hrs IST, C Unnikrishnan,TNN) In India, Haywood works for a firm called Campbell White, suspected of being a front for the CIA.

The Indian Express reported on 14 August 2008 that the company's Mumbai office 'is located in two small adjoining rented rooms on the ground floor of Sanpada railway station complex', and that 'the two rooms also serve as prayer rooms for Potter's House... part of the Christian Fellowship Ministries based in Arizona.'

A Post at 'Consortium of Indian Defence Websites' (Cached), 20 Aug 2008: "Haywood's fleeing immediately after the cracking of the Gujarat blasts and capture of the perpetrators is most suspicious. "His escape resembles that of our ex-R&AW traitor,who also escaped with alleged US help. It also indicates that we may have in our intelligence services moles/informants working for foreign agencies tipping off agents within the country.However,the fact the Haywood was working for a bogus 'missionary' outfit is doubly alarming. The role of US so-called missionaries/evangelical groups in India is very controversial,for they are playing a dual role in agressive conversions as well as being part of the CIA destabilisation plan for India.

"Tehelka a few years ago revealed the fact that over 100 US so-called "Christian" evangelical groups/organisations were in fact bogus and part of CIA network."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Article (c) STRATFOR

U.S. President Barack Obama’s long-awaited announcement on U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan is not sitting well in Islamabad or New Delhi. While Pakistan now has to figure out how to keep American forces from taking more aggressive action against jihadists in Pakistan, India does not want to deal with the messy aftermath of a U.S. military exit from the region in two years. Meanwhile, the jihadists operating in Pakistan have a greater incentive to create a crisis on the Indo-Pakistani border through rogue attacks in India — a scenario that could well upset Obama’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.


U.S. President Barack Obama announced Dec. 1 the broad strokes of his administration’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan. In short, he said there are three main objectives:

1)deny al Qaeda a safe haven on the Afghan-Pakistani border,
2)halt the momentum of the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan with an additional 30,000 troops, and
3)train and build Afghan security and civilian forces to deal with the jihadist threat themselves.

Notably, Obama also refused to commit to a long-haul nation-building strategy in Afghanistan. On the contrary, he defined the endgame for the war and specified that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could begin as early as July 2011.

Pakistani Concerns

Pakistan’s primary concern with the strategy has to deal with the first objective: denying al Qaeda a safe haven. It is well known that al Qaeda’s safe haven is not in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are concentrated, but in Pakistan, where Pakistani forces employ a much more nuanced method of distinguishing between “good” and “bad” jihadists.

Under the Obama plan, the U.S. military is evidently working on a tight timeline to demonstrate (prior to the 2012 U.S. elections) that al Qaeda has been defeated. The United States needs results and it needs them fast. Pakistan can thus assume that the United States is about to apply a lot more pressure on Islamabad to dismantle al Qaeda in Pakistan.

But Pakistan’s definition of “bad” jihadists does not mesh with that of the United States. Indeed, the targets of Pakistan’s offensive in Swat and South Waziristan have been those Taliban militants who have clearly turned against the Pakistani state, namely the Tehrik-i-Taliban movement. Al Qaeda and its allies, on the other hand, have strategically kept their focus on Afghanistan while maintaining a safe haven in Pakistan. If Pakistan widens the scope of its counterinsurgency efforts to include the militants on Washington’s hit list — particularly the Haqqani network, the Mullah Omar-led group of Afghan Taliban, Maulvi Nazir, Hafiz Gulf Bahadir and other high-value targets with strong linkages to al Qaeda — then the Pakistani military will be forced to deal with a bigger backlash.

Pakistan continues to deliberate over how the United States actually intends to achieve its objective of denying al Qaeda safe haven in Pakistan.

In private discussions with Pakistani leaders, the United States has delivered an ultimatum to Islamabad: either give up its militant-proxy project and enjoy the political, economic and military benefits of an enhanced relationship with Washington or the United States will take unilateral action on Pakistani soil.

Such unilateral action would go beyond the CIA’s unmanned aerial vehicle strikes in the borderlands and likely entail sending in fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft with special forces for quick “get in and get out” operations against al Qaeda targets deep inside Pakistani territory. The United States carried out such an overt incursion in Pakistan in September 2008 in South Waziristan, which led to widespread popular backlash inside the country.

This type of unilateral U.S. military action is a redline for the Pakistani military. The impression STRATFOR has gotten from Pakistani military sources is that Islamabad is still quite confident that the United States won’t risk a serious destabilization of Pakistan in pursuit of its counterterrorism objectives. In fact, Pakistani officials have made it a point to paint a doomsday scenario for the United States should the Pakistani military be pushed to the edge in its fight against Pakistani jihadists while trying to hold a feeble government and shaky economy together.

Pakistan will thus try to hedge as best it can to keep U.S. forces at bay. The Pakistani military has a strategic imperative to continue along the current path and engage in limited military offensives against those jihadists who have turned on the Pakistani state while turning a blind eye to those jihadists whose efforts are focused on Afghanistan and/or India. But the United States is unlikely to tolerate Pakistan’s way of handling its jihadist threat, particularly now that U.S. forces are under a tight deadline to neutralize al Qaeda in Pakistan.

As U.S. pressure on Islamabad and the threat to Pakistani sovereignty inevitably increase in the months ahead, Pakistan will rely more heavily on intelligence cooperation with Washington to manage its relationship with the United States. STRATFOR’s Geopolitical Intelligence Report this week discusses in depth how the U.S. battle against al Qaeda and its jihadist allies is largely an intelligence war, one in which Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate could play a crucial role in penetrating al Qaeda and the Taliban. The more reliant the United States is on Pakistani intelligence to achieve its aims in Afghanistan, the better able Islamabad will be in convincing Washington that it’s better off leaving the Pakistani segment of the U.S.-jihadist war to the Pakistanis — or so Pakistan hopes.

At the end of the day, Pakistan cannot escape its fear that the United States will take more aggressive action on Pakistani soil with or without Islamabad’s consent.

Pakistan also has a deeper dilemma to contend with concerning its relationship with the United States. Though Pakistan’s alliance with the United States has often left Pakistan feeling betrayed, Pakistan still needs a great power patron with enough interest in the region, like the United States, to counter India. During the Cold War, Pakistan was the key for the United States in containing Soviet expansion in South-Central Asia. Today, Pakistan is the key to containing radical Islamism. In both cases, Pakistan has benefited from U.S. political, economic and military support in its attempts to level the playing field with India.

Though the U.S. partnership with Pakistan against the jihadists is fraught with complications, Pakistan still does not want the day to come when U.S. forces draw down from the region and leave it to Islamabad to pick up the pieces of the jihadist war. If the United States is sufficiently satisfied with its mission in the region by the summer of 2011 to draw down forces according to the timeline Obama laid out, U.S. interest in Pakistan will wane and Islamabad will be left in a difficult position. Pakistan is feeling especially vulnerable these days considering the United States’ growing strategic partnership with India next door.

Pakistan can therefore be expected to lay heavy demands on the United States to restrain India if Washington expects greater cooperation from Islamabad. Pakistan is already urging the United States to restrict Indian influence in Afghanistan, which is viewed by Islamabad as nothing short of an Indian encirclement strategy. Whereas India has been careful to specify that its support for Afghanistan is primarily economic, Pakistan remains convinced that the Indian presence in Afghanistan, whether in the form of consulates or construction companies, is simply a front for Indian Research and Analysis Wing intelligence agents to exploit the Baloch and jihadist insurgencies in Pakistan.

Moreover, Pakistan will continue to insist to the United States that it cannot devote more forces to combating the jihadist threat in its western periphery as long as it has to worry about the high concentration of Indian troops along the Indo-Pakistani border to the east. New Delhi, however, remains convinced that Pakistan continues to support militant proxies against India and is unlikely to heed any U.S. request to back off the border with Pakistan to assuage Islamabad’s concerns when the threat of another militant attack remains real and near.

Indian Skepticism

Obama telephoned Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the eve of his Dec. 1 speech to brief him on his strategy for Afghanistan. India publicly expressed support for the strategy, maintaining the image that U.S.-Indian relations are tightening following Singh’s official state visit to the United States the previous week. Privately, however, India has reason to be skeptical of Obama’s plan.

There is no getting around the fact that Obama is attempting to define an endgame for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, recognizing the need to free up the U.S. military for crises beyond South Asia. This is not to say that the United States will completely abandon the region or that the threat of militant Islam will not persist, but removing thousands of U.S. troops in the region certainly changes the equation in New Delhi’s mind. The last thing India wants is for the United States to draw down its commitment to Afghanistan (and thus ease up pressure on Pakistan) in two years, leaving New Delhi to deal with the aftermath. Indeed, when Singh met with Obama at the White House, he told the U.S. president to stay resolute on his mission in Afghanistan, warning that a U.S. defeat there would have catastrophic consequences.

India sees the benefit of developing a closer partnership with the United States but also wants Washington to do its part to convince Pakistan to give up its decades-long policy of supporting proxy militants against India. Now that Pakistan is experiencing the side effects of its own militant-proxy strategy, India’s hope is that with enough U.S. pressure, Pakistan can be induced to clean up its militant landscape. Yet if the United States is preparing its exit from the region, India may end up losing a valuable lever to use against Pakistan.

Jihadist Wild Card

New Delhi and Islamabad have different reasons to be concerned about U.S. strategy in the region, but there is one area of concern that is common to both: rogue jihadists operating on Pakistani soil.

Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies are examining Obama’s strategy just as intently as everyone else. These jihadists can quite easily deduce that more pressure will be brought to bear on their safe havens in northwest Pakistan, thus threatening their survival. There is a clear intent, therefore, for these jihadists to keep Pakistan focused on the Indian threat on its eastern border in order to alleviate the pressure on their jihadist bases in the northwest. The best way to do this is to create a conflict between India and Pakistan through a large-scale militant attack in hopes of inducing an Indian military response and possibly triggering another near-nuclear confrontation on the border.

Pakistan wants to avoid getting bogged down in a fight with India while trying to deal with its jihadist problems at home. Though Pakistan is trying to rein in many of its former militant proxies, it still has to worry about a number of rogues that could embroil Pakistan in a conflict that it did not ask for. The 2001 bombing of the Indian parliament and the 2008 attacks in Mumbai revealed signs of jihadist involvement that may not have been under direct Pakistani control. Pakistan can attempt to stave off such a crisis by sharing intelligence on militant plots and actors with India through a U.S. channel, but even with enhanced intelligence cooperation, an attack could still happen.

India is already bracing itself for such a scenario and is still grappling with the dilemma that any Indian military response inside Pakistan — even limited strikes — would risk emboldening the jihadists, seriously destabilizing Pakistan and bringing the region to the brink of a nuclear conflagration. India struggled with this issue in the wake of the Mumbai attacks and it appears undecided on how to react to another major attack. In any case, a crisis along the border can be expected, and it would be up to the United States to put out the fire.

The United States is already giving itself a limited timetable to complete its objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and it needs Pakistan’s cooperation to make its strategy work. A crisis on the Indo-Pakistani border would certainly jeopardize those plans, since Pakistan would devote its energy to dealing with India (its primary existential threat) rather than al Qaeda and the Taliban. Throw the threat of nuclear war into the equation, and the United States has an entirely new challenge.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan – the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here – at West Point – where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban – a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them – an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 – the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network, and to protect our common security.

Under the banner of this domestic unity and international legitimacy – and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden – we sent our troops into Afghanistan. Within a matter of months, al Qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed. The Taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels. A place that had known decades of fear now had reason to hope. At a conference convened by the UN, a provisional government was established under President Hamid Karzai. And an International Security Assistance Force was established to help bring a lasting peace to a war-torn country.

Then, in early 2003, the decision was made to wage a second war in Iraq. The wrenching debate over the Iraq War is well-known and need not be repeated here. It is enough to say that for the next six years, the Iraq War drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention – and that the decision to go into Iraq caused substantial rifts between America and much of the world.

Today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end. We will remove our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next summer, and all of our troops by the end of 2011. That we are doing so is a testament to the character of our men and women in uniform. Thanks to their courage, grit and perseverance, we have given Iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to its people.

But while we have achieved hard-earned milestones in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated. After escaping across the border into Pakistan in 2001 and 2002, al Qaeda’s leadership established a safe-haven there. Although a legitimate government was elected by the Afghan people, it has been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient Security Forces. Over the last several years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government. Gradually, the Taliban has begun to take control over swaths of Afghanistan, while engaging in increasingly brazen and devastating acts of terrorism against the Pakistani people.

Throughout this period, our troop levels in Afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. When I took office, we had just over 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in Iraq at the peak of the war. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. That’s why, shortly after taking office, I approved a long-standing request for more troops. After consultations with our allies, I then announced a strategy recognizing the fundamental connection between our war effort in Afghanistan, and the extremist safe-havens in Pakistan. I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian effort.

Since then, we have made progress on some important objectives. High-ranking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed, and we have stepped up the pressure on al Qaeda world-wide. In Pakistan, that nation’s Army has gone on its largest offensive in years. In Afghanistan, we and our allies prevented the Taliban from stopping a presidential election, and – although it was marred by fraud – that election produced a government that is consistent with Afghanistan’s laws and Constitution.

Yet huge challenges remain. Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards. There is no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the Taliban has gained momentum. Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the border. And our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with Afghan Security Forces and better secure the population. Our new Commander in Afghanistan – General McChrystal – has reported that the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. In short: the status quo is not sustainable.
As cadets, you volunteered for service during this time of danger. Some of you have fought in Afghanistan. Many will deploy there. As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. That is why, after the Afghan voting was completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war. Instead, the review has allowed me ask the hard questions, and to explore all of the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and with our key partners. Given the stakes involved, I owed the American people – and our troops – no less.

This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.

I do not make this decision lightly. I opposed the war in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions. We have been at war for eight years, at enormous cost in lives and resources. Years of debate over Iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national security issues in tatters, and created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort. And having just experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people are understandably focused on rebuilding our economy and putting people to work here at home.

Most of all, I know that this decision asks even more of you – a military that, along with your families, has already borne the heaviest of all burdens. As President, I have signed a letter of condolence to the family of each American who gives their life in these wars. I have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed. I have visited our courageous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. I have travelled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans returning home to their final resting place. I see firsthand the terrible wages of war. If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.

So no – I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. This danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region.

Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is not just America’s war. Since 9/11, al Qaeda’s safe-havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali. The people and governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are endangered. And the stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that al Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them.

These facts compel us to act along with our friends and allies. Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.

To meet that goal, we will pursue the following objectives within Afghanistan. We must deny al Qaeda a safe-haven. We must reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan’s Security Forces and government, so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan’s future.

We will meet these objectives in three ways. First, we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity over the next 18 months.

The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 – the fastest pace possible – so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.

Because this is an international effort, I have asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we are confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what’s at stake is not simply a test of NATO’s credibility – what’s at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world.

Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. We will continue to advise and assist Afghanistan’s Security Forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government – and, more importantly, to the Afghan people – that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.

Second, we will work with our partners, the UN, and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security.

This effort must be based on performance. The days of providing a blank check are over. President Karzai’s inauguration speech sent the right message about moving in a new direction. And going forward, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. We will support Afghan Ministries, Governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and deliver for the people. We expect those who are ineffective or corrupt to be held accountable. And we will also focus our assistance in areas – such as agriculture – that can make an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan people.

The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They have been confronted with occupation – by the Soviet Union, and then by foreign al Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes. So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand – America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect – to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron.

Third, we will act with the full recognition that our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan.

We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That is why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border.

In the past, there have been those in Pakistan who have argued that the struggle against extremism is not their fight, and that Pakistan is better off doing little or seeking accommodation with those who use violence. But in recent years, as innocents have been killed from Karachi to Islamabad, it has become clear that it is the Pakistani people who are the most endangered by extremism. Public opinion has turned. The Pakistani Army has waged an offensive in Swat and South Waziristan. And there is no doubt that the United States and Pakistan share a common enemy.

In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over. Moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interests, mutual respect, and mutual trust. We will strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe-haven for terrorists whose location is known, and whose intentions are clear. America is also providing substantial resources to support Pakistan’s democracy and development. We are the largest international supporter for those Pakistanis displaced by the fighting. And going forward, the Pakistani people must know: America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.

These are the three core elements of our strategy: a military effort to create the conditions for a transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan.

I recognize that there are a range of concerns about our approach. So let me briefly address a few of the prominent arguments that I have heard, and which I take very seriously.

First, there are those who suggest that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be stabilized, and we are better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. Yet this argument depends upon a false reading of history. Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. To abandon this area now – and to rely only on efforts against al Qaeda from a distance – would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies.

Second, there are those who acknowledge that we cannot leave Afghanistan in its current state, but suggest that we go forward with the troops that we have. But this would simply maintain a status quo in which we muddle through, and permit a slow deterioration of conditions there. It would ultimately prove more costly and prolong our stay in Afghanistan, because we would never be able to generate the conditions needed to train Afghan Security Forces and give them the space to take over.

Finally, there are those who oppose identifying a timeframe for our transition to Afghan responsibility. Indeed, some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort – one that would commit us to a nation building project of up to a decade. I reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what we can achieve at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests. Furthermore, the absence of a timeframe for transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan government. It must be clear that Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that America has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan.

As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, our or interests. And I must weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. I do not have the luxury of committing to just one. Indeed, I am mindful of the words of President Eisenhower, who – in discussing our national security – said, “Each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs.”

Over the past several years, we have lost that balance, and failed to appreciate the connection between our national security and our economy. In the wake of an economic crisis, too many of our friends and neighbors are out of work and struggle to pay the bills, and too many Americans are worried about the future facing our children. Meanwhile, competition within the global economy has grown more fierce. So we simply cannot afford to ignore the price of these wars.

All told, by the time I took office the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approached a trillion dollars. Going forward, I am committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly. Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly 30 billion dollars for the military this year, and I will work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit.

But as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan responsibility, we must rebuild our strength here at home. Our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. It pays for our military. It underwrites our diplomacy. It taps the potential of our people, and allows investment in new industry. And it will allow us to compete in this century as successfully as we did in the last. That is why our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended – because the nation that I am most interested in building is our own.

Let me be clear: none of this will be easy. The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions and diffuse enemies.

So as a result, America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict. We will have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold – whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere – they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships.

And we cannot count on military might alone. We have to invest in our homeland security, because we cannot capture or kill every violent extremist abroad. We have to improve and better coordinate our intelligence, so that we stay one step ahead of shadowy networks.

We will have to take away the tools of mass destruction. That is why I have made it a central pillar of my foreign policy to secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to pursue the goal of a world without them. Because every nation must understand that true security will never come from an endless race for ever-more destructive weapons – true security will come for those who reject them.

We will have to use diplomacy, because no one nation can meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting alone. I have spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships. And we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim World – one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict, and that promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity.

Finally, we must draw on the strength of our values – for the challenges that we face may have changed, but the things that we believe in must not. That is why we must promote our values by living them at home – which is why I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom, and justice, and opportunity, and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the moral source of America’s authority.

Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service and sacrifice of our grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs. We have spilled American blood in many countries on multiple continents. We have spent our revenue to help others rebuild from rubble and develop their own economies. We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions – from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank – that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.

We have not always been thanked for these efforts, and we have at times made mistakes. But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades – a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, markets open, billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress, and advancing frontiers of human liberty.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours. What we have fought for – and what we continue to fight for – is a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and access opportunity.

As a country, we are not as young – and perhaps not as innocent – as we were when Roosevelt was President. Yet we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom. Now we must summon all of our might and moral suasion to meet the challenges of a new age.

In the end, our security and leadership does not come solely from the strength of our arms. It derives from our people – from the workers and businesses who will rebuild our economy; from the entrepreneurs and researchers who will pioneer new industries; from the teachers that will educate our children, and the service of those who work in our communities at home; from the diplomats and Peace Corps volunteers who spread hope abroad; and from the men and women in uniform who are part of an unbroken line of sacrifice that has made government of the people, by the people, and for the people a reality on this Earth.

This vast and diverse citizenry will not always agree on every issue – nor should we. But I also know that we, as a country, cannot sustain our leadership nor navigate the momentous challenges of our time if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse.

It is easy to forget that when this war began, we were united – bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. I believe with every fiber of my being that we – as Americans – can still come together behind a common purpose. For our values are not simply words written into parchment – they are a creed that calls us together, and that has carried us through the darkest of storms as one nation, one people.

America – we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. Thank you, God bless you, God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.



President Barack Obama's Af-Pak policy ----Mark 2 as unveiled by him in his address to US military officer cadets at West Point on December 2,2009, has been marked by critical words for the Afghan Government and soft words for the rulers of Pakistan----- as if evils such as corruption, poor governance, narcotics production and lack of accountability are confined only to Afghanistan and one does not find these evils in Pakistan.

2. It is these evils long tolerated by successive US administrations that have landed Pakistan in the situation in which it finds itself today----- a breeding ground of extremism and sectarianism of every hue. The cancer of extermism and jihadi terrorism did not spread to Pakistan from Afghanistan. It spread from the madrasas of Pakistan to Afghanistan with the encouragement and often at the instance of Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments. The root of this cancer is in Pakistan and not in Afghanistan. The surgery has to start in Pakistan. This harsh reality has been played down in his address.

3. The Taliban, which nourished Al Qaeda and gave it shelter in Afghan territory, was born in Pakistani territory in 1994. Al Qaeda and the leadership of the Afgan Taliban escaped defeat by the US forces post-9/11 by taking shelter in Pakistani territory----- Al Qaeda in the North Waziristan area of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Neo Taliban headed by Mulla Mohammad Omar in the Quetta area of Balochistan.

4. From there, the surviving senior cadres of the two organisations moved to sanctuaries in the non-tribal areas. A recent report of the "Washington Times" has quoted retired US intelligence sources as saying that Mulla Omar and other leaders of the Neo Taliban have shifted to the Karachi area from the Quetta area to escape attacks by US drone (pilotless) planes in the tribal areas.

5. Many senior Al Qaeda leaders operated from the non-tribal areas of Pakistan----some even before 9/11. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) was reported to have orchestrated the 9/11 strikes in the US from Karachi from where he shifted to Quetta and then to Rawalpindi, where he was ultimately arrested. Abu Zubaidah was caught in Faislabad in Punjab and Ramzi Binalshib in Karachi. One should not be surprised if it ultimately turns out that Osama bin Laden and his No.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri have also been sheltered in the non-tribal areas and that is why the US has not been able to get at them so far despite offers of huge rewards and the Drone strikes.

6. The command and control of both the Neo Taliban and Al Qaeda are now located in Pakistani territory. Obama said in his address at West Point: "Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future. ...... We will strengthen Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe-haven for terrorists whose location is known, and whose intentions are clear."

7. Strong words regarding the safehavens for terrorists in Pakistan. As in the past, strong words do not presage strong action to force Pakistan to destroy those safehavens.The Pakistani military operations in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan are meant to counter a threat to Pakistan's internal security from indigenous elements. They are not directed against the external activities of Al Qaeda. Nor are they directed towards facilitating the military operations of the NATO forces and the Afghan National Army in Afghan territory. The safehavens of organisations, which are seen as an asset and not as a threat to Pakistan, are being shifted from place to place to escape detection and action by the US.

8. If Obama is serious about wanting to start withdrawing from Afghanistan in dignity and honour by the middle of 2011, he has only two options. Either force the Pakistani rulers to act against the safehavens whether they are located in tribal or non-tribal areas or act against them with available US capabilities. The Obama Administration like its predecessor lacks the political will to do so.

9. Seeking partnership with a state perpetrator of terrorism is not the way of ending it. That is what Obama has done in his address. That is why his revised Af-Pak policy is unlikely to meet the objectives which he has set for the US and other NATO countries. Obama's West Point address contains the seeds of its pre-destined failure

Monday, November 30, 2009


Contrary to what you hear about Obama warning Pakistan to act against LeT or Gordon Brown admonishing Pakistan for not capturing Osama bin Laden, hides the true face of the Anglo American Enterprise (AAE). Await for more dollars and goodies to fall into the laps of Pakistani Military in the coming week.

Pakistan is an indispensable country to AAE. And no one can deliver better than Musharraf - and that too in civilian attire. For the past few months, Musharraf has made UK his home and is being actively groomed to taken on the new task.

UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT TO PAKISTAN (irrespective of terror attacks planned on India)

"UK Foreign Secretary Miliband lauded Pakistan’s role in the war against terror and its efforts to bring peace and stability to the region. He added Britain will continue providing unconditional support to Pakistan."

(More on this story over the week)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Brahma Chellany had this to say - and we need to ponder on this:
Would U.S. president have skipped first anniversary of 9/11 to be overseas, the way the Indian PM is observing the 26/11 anniversary abroad?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omar Sheikh, Ilyas Kashmiri, David Headley, Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Bahaziq, 26/11, 9/11, LeT, ISI


The inter-connections are so intricate that it will become almost impossible to state where ISI ends and where global terrorism begins.

Lets start with one point – the Mumbai attacks and then work back as well as front from that point out and draw logical inferences along the way.

26/11 – One terrorist was caught alive that gave India the first real face of terror brewing in its own backyard and the enormous tentacles that it has spawned within India itself. Brigade 313 of Ilyas Kashmiri (which is itself a part of Al – Qaeda’s Laskhar al Zil) and Lashar e Taiba (LeT) were in control of the operations. Hafeez Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi provided the boys, facilities and religious indoctrination. The training and strategy came mainly from Ilyas Kashmiri – former Pakistani SSG commando.

I can safely say that my blog was the first off the blocks when on 27/11 – the next day after 26/11 – broke the SSG connection to the Mumbai attacks. My first lines were : “This was a classic commando raid replete with beach landing et al. It had all the markings of a thorough Pakistani SSG trained operation – which makes it a Pakistani Army action.

It has been a well thought of strategy of Pakistan Army to embed the Taliban and terrorist organizations like Lashkar e Taiyyba, Jaish e Mohammad, Lashkar e Jahagvi with its own soldiers and commandos. These army recruits blend in with Taliban and terror organizations, deemed to have gone "native", maybe without the knowledge of Taliban / terror organizations who are just happy to have received high class "recruits".

Pakistan Army, through ISI, now draws back its own cadres from Taliban and these terror organizations for special operations around the globe. For Mumbai attacks, Lashkar e Taiyyba was chosen - but the actual foot soldiers were ex-army soldiers including SSG commandos (leading the charge) already embedded in these organizations - as well as a few battle hardened fidayeen terrorists. These LeT "terrorists" were given rigourous training by either current or ex-SSG commando trainers (sufficiently bearded to evade detect) who will probably be known as Gen Saab or Gen Mohd (aka John Doe)

(I did not know Ilyas Kashmiri would fit this to the T at that point)

New York Times on 19th October - at least a main stream US media now coming to terms with this factor - Pakistan military and its role in terrorism. "Ex-Military Officer in Pakistan Is Linked to 2 Chicago Terrorism Suspects"

People in the West have amnesia to article like these ones in Times Online:

1) Taliban leader killed by SAS was Pakistan officer

2) PAKISTAN is allowing Taliban fighters wounded in battles with British and other Nato forces in Afghanistan to be treated at safe houses.

Point 1: 26/11 was executed by Brigade 313 and LeT. At this stage we will not get into the detail that there were people behind Brigade 313 and LeT at this stage, rather stick to what is logical and already proven.

Fast forward to November 2009 – 12 months hence. Two Lashkar operatives are captured in US – David Coleman Headley (Daood Gilani) and Tahawwur Hussain Rana – both of Pakistani origin. The role played by the duo, specially David in spotting 26/11 targets is well documented. The handler of Headley was none other than Ilyas Kashmiri.

Pont 2: 26/11 spotter and conspirator was handled by Ilyas Kashmiri.

Step back in time to India winter 1994: As reported in Indian Express- In late 1994, a milkman knocked on the door of a Ghaziabad house. As the door opened, he noticed men with guns inside, but he still delivered the milk. He then tipped off the police who raided the place and rescued several foreign hostages being held by a group of terrorists, seeking the release of some arrested militant leaders including Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar had been arrested in February that year.

When the police reached there, the commander of the terrorist group that called itself Al-Hadid — essentially it was a Harkat-ul Ansar-Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami operation — had just stepped out with his trusted lieutenant Omar Saeed Sheikh. The police confronted them as they returned and, in the gunbattle that ensued, Sheikh was injured and arrested but the commander escaped. He was none other than Ilyas Kashmiri

Point 3: Sh Omar Saeed – the 9/11 conspirator who allegedly wired money to Md Atta too was handled by Ilyas Kashmiri.

Omar Saeed Sheikh was imprisoned in India for kidnapping Westerners. While there, he met Aftab Ansari, another prisoner, an Indian gangster who was released from prison near the end of 1999. Saeed also met another prisoner named Asif Raza Khan, who was also released in 1999.

On being released at the Kandahar hostage exchange, Omar lived with Jaish e Md before going to an ISI safe house in Pakistan where he moved around with impunity. That he traveled to UK twice and was not detained is also open to questions about the complicity of UK intelligence with Omar Sheikh. In Pakistan, Omar works with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling two militant groups; Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan, former deputy chief of the ISI in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammed; and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer. He is well known to other senior ISI officers.

(What is the role of Aziz Khan and Brigadier Abdullah in 26/11? Is he (Brigadier Abdullah) the Brigadier sahab - Qasav mentions?? )

In 2002, French author Bernard-Henri Levy was presented evidence by government officials in New Delhi, India, on Saeed Sheikh making repeated calls to ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed during the summer of 2000. Later, Levy got unofficial confirmation from sources in Washington regarding these calls that the information he was given in India was correct. He noted that someone in the United Arab Emirates using a variety of aliases sends Mohamed Atta slightly over $100,000 between June and September of this year and the timing of these phone calls and the money transfers may have been the source of news reports that Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 to Mohamed Atta.

Now just recall the names of two prisoners who befriended Omar – they were Aftab Ansari and Asif Reza Khan. Both played a crucial role to finance the 9/11 attacks in the USA.

Amir Reza Khan, commander of the Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF), a little known group which was involved in the 2002 attack on the US consulate in Kolkata, West Bengal. Reza, like Rahman, is today in Pakistan. Amir Reza is wanted for the Partho Roy Burman abduction case (July 2001) in which a part of the ransom money, $100,000, was wired to the 9/11 leader Mohammad Atta via Aftab Ansari and Syed Omar Sheikh. The role of the then ISI Chief, Lt. General Mahmud, was also exposed in facilitating the money transfer. Reza is also involved in creating Indian Mujahideen (IM), the new terrorist group which carried a series of attacks in India in 2008.

The role of Ilyas Kashmiri is somehow MISSING from the 9/11 planning – there is no way his footprints will be missing. If anything – he could very well have MASTERMINDED the 9/11 together with ISI. (NOTE : Before 9/11 Pakistan was a bankrupt nation and going down, and after 9/11 it was lavished with money and is being continued to be feted. In inner circles, Al-Qaeda is known as Al-Faeda - faeda in URDU means BENEFIT)

Point 4: Ilyas Kashmiri’s point man Omar Saeed was neck deep in financing the 9/11 as was the Pakistan intelligence wing the ISI. What is defeaning by its silence – is the role of Ilyas Kashmiri in 9/11. It is a matter of time before someone unearths the all important link.

Fast forward to present: As reported in Observer Group research DECODING THE HEADLEY RANA CASE : Within days of the Rana-Headley arrests, the Bangladesh security agencies arrested three LeT operatives from Dhaka--Mufti Harun Izahar, son of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) leader Mufti Izaharul Islam, Shahidul Islam and Al Amin alias Saiful. All three had regular conversations with David Headley, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and LeT’s Bangladesh coordinator, Sheikh Abdur Rehman.

Harun, who also ran an Islamic kindergarten school in Chittagong, said Hafiz Saeed spoke to him on the mobile and asked him to target the US embassy in Dhaka. He said Saeed spoke to him in Arabic and gave him specific instructions on how to carry out the attack. Harun had recently visited Pakistan. For the attack, Harun and his associates got 600,000 takas from LeT’s chief financial officer, Indian-born Saudi national Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. Bahaziq, who recruited Dawood Ibrahim and Azzam Ghauri to LeT, is a close associate of Hafiz Saeed. Ghauri was one of the first LeT commanders in India, and a partner of Abdul Karim Tunda, who became the operational commander of the terrorist group in Bangladesh. Ghauri was killed in an encounter in 2000.

Following the arrest of Harun and his two aides, the Bangladesh police arrested three more LeT operatives subsequently. The police suspect that there were at least 20 more, both Bangladeshi and Indian nationals, who could be involved in the foiled terrorist plot. Some of them are from Kerala and other South Indian states and work primarily in the textile sector.

Harun and his aides were not an independent LeT cell but only part of a larger network which was being strengthened for quite sometime. The first inkling of such a network, incidentally, came when two key LeT leaders were arrested in Bangladesh in July this year--Maulana Mohammad Mansur Ali alias Maulana Habibullah and Mufti Sheikh Obaidullah. Ali is a Afghan Jihad veteran. Both worked closely with HuJI in Bangladesh, training several Indian and Bangladeshi nationals in weapons and explosives.

Two intriguing links can be found in the dossier which project the trans-national nature of LeT’s expansion in Asia for the past several years. One is that both Habibullah and Obaidullah were arrested on the basis of information provided by two aides of Dawood Ibrahim, Zahid Sheikh and Dawood Merchant, arrested in Dhaka earlier. Sheikh said there were about 150-paid D-company men in Bangladesh and their associates included former ministers, senior police officials and top businessmen. LeT operations in Bangladesh, incidentally, draw large funding from some top businessmen dealing in pharmaceuticals.

Both Habibullah and Obaidullah drew a month salary of 7000 takas from Sheikh Abdur Rahman, LeT’s commander for Bangladesh based in Pakistan. Rahman has since been arrested in Pakistan but strangely enough, there is no word on it in the Pakistan media. Rahman had also bankrolled Maulana Harun who was working with David Headley to carry out terrorist attacks. Hardly any detail about Rahman is known. There are two Abdur Rahmans in the LeT hierarchy--one is Mufti Abdur Rahman Hafiz, one of the teachers at Muridke, and another is Abdur Rahman Makki, in charge of LeT’s external affairs, and brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed. Makki, a fierce proponent of suicide terrorism, has been in charge of organising LeT’s networks in Asia and Europe.

Point 5: The top LeT financier in Saudi, Bahaziq is known to be a Saudi intelligence proxy who has embedded himself in the LeT and this relationship is used by the CIA. And Dick Cheney used Dawood Ibrahim’s connection in Paskitan to lavish the Afghan mujahideen that were close to Cheney’s sphere of influence. This role of the US with LeT is (albeit an arm of US intelligence) is most intriguing as well as disturbing. As is the connection of British intelligence with Omar Sheikh.

The curious case of Musharraf and death threats to him and also Musharraf and Osama.

Musharraf was a blue eyed boy of Gen Zia ul Haq who Islamized the Pakistan army was single handedly destroyed democratic institutions in the country. He favoured Musharraf as he was aware of his religious zeal and his connections to the Deoband school of Islam. Musharraf, who was asked by Zia-ul-Haq to control the situation, brutally suppressed the Shia revolt with the help of Osama bin Laden and his Sunni tribal hordes brought in from the NWFP.


SOUTH ASIA ANALYSIS reports: In its issue of May,1990, "Herald", the monthly journal of the "Dawn" group of publications of Karachi, wrote as follows: " In May,1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys."

Gen. Musharraf started a policy of bringing in Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside and settling them down in Gilgit and Baltistan in order to reduce the Kashmiri Shias to a minority in their traditional land and this is continuing till today.

Point 6: Musharraf and Bin Laden jointly undertook military operations to ethnically cleanse the Shias in Gilgit.

Ilyas Kashmiri who beheaded an Indian soldier was gifted Pakistan Rs 100,000 for this deed by none other than President Musharraf. READ: BRIGADE 313

Point 7. Musharraf paid bounty to Ilyas Kashmiri.

Yet, somewhere along the way both Ilyas Kashmiri and his protégé Omar Sheikh wanted to kill Musharraf. The plan to kill Musharraf was foiled, ostensibly once when RAW tipped Musharraf off. The plot of kill Kiyani was shot down by Al – Qaeda high command much to the consternation of Ilyas Kashmiri.

But what takes the cake is this: Long war journal reports - From prison, Omar called Musharraf on his personal cell phone in mid-November and threatened his life. "I am after you, get ready to die," Omar reportedly told Musharraf. The plan was to ambush Musharraf's convoy as he traveled between Army House in Rawalpindi and his farm outside of Islamabad or to blow up a bridge as he traveled to the airport.

The report also points out interestingly: Omar also phoned retired Major General Faisal Alavi, the former commander of Pakistan's Special Service Group, just days before he was killed on Nov. 22.

Point 8: Both Ilyas Kashmiri and Omar Sheikh turned against Musharraf. Perhaps the storming of the Lal Masjid was the last straw - but no doubt Musharraf was neck deep in with Al Qaeda.

Bottom line : The connection between Pakistan Army, ISI, LeT, Al Qaeda is very fused. The Taliban are the special ops regiment of Pakistan Army against any (so called) misadventure by Indian Army. CIA is deeply engaged with ISI in the opium trade and powerful people in both these agencies are making serious money in this global economic meltdown. India is hedging its bets and finds itself sandwiched in the Great Game rapidly unfolding in the Central Asian Regions.

The CIA and ISI used Taliban and Al Qaeda extensively to counter Russia in both central Asia and even in Europe. Now that part of US has fallen out with Al - Qaeda does not mean that Pakistan has to cut its strategic roots with Al-Qaeda and even the Taliban. This has to be understood.

The US (non-rogue CIA elements) has created a counter terrorism cell within the ISI. This cell is completely segregated from the ISI top hierarchy and works in closest of co-ordination with FBI & CIA. Whenever Taliban or Al-Qaeda detainees are questioned, the ISI officers have headphones and an IP camera which beams the images and audio to the FBI / CIA stations and also simultaneous translations (if need be). The questions of FBI / CIA authorities are simultaneously aired through the headphones of the local ISI interrogator. Such is the co-ordination that several top rung ISI officers and Army officials have deep reservations - and bang, comes the attack on ISI offices in Peshawar.

Musharraf is cooling his heels in UK – the same country that headquarters the Islamic Caliphate war mongers – Hizbut tahrir. In an earlier article showcasing the British role in promoting Islamic groups in its soil I wrote: "I have been saying it ad nauseum that Hizb ut Tahrir is a UK run agency – much like Dobermann Pinschers on a leash kept in an idyllic British countryside castle, about to be unleashed by their UK masters as and when deemed necessary. " READ: HIZB-UT TAHRIR PLOTS BLOODLESS COUP IN PAKISTAN - THE LARGER PICTURE AND THE BRITISH ROLE.

The story gets murkier when one reads that UK smuggled opium out of China to make money, probably the same is being done by CIA in collusion with ISI and Dawood Ibrahim in Afghanistan. (READ: UK WAS THE BIGGEST DRUG RUNNER IN 19TH CENTURY)

That the biggest druglord in Afghanistan happens to be Hamid Karzai’s brother and is a CIA asset is a story known to all, but recently broken in mainstream New York Times too. (READ: BROTHER OF AFGHAN LEADER SAID TO BE PAID BY CIA)

The Indian Intelligence will tell you – they know it all. Great. So, what do you do with the knowledge – where is the action? A person like Headley can come in India, set up business, lay undetected for years, run the 26/11 ops out of Pakistan and then safely fly into his nest in Chicago.

If Indian intelligence had balls – I would have seen three incidents –

1) Omar Skeikh killed in UK when he visited his parents after the Kandahar hijack,
2) Dawood Ibrahim along with its inmates blown to smithereens in an apparent truck bombing – "supposedly" done by a rival gang in Karachi. and
3) Flooding Pakistan with fake Paksitani currency

And isn’t it intriguing that Indian intelligence officers had to turn their tails and return empty handed from the US – not even being given a peek at Headley and Rana? Guess, the US is using its old tricks to arm twist Pakistan to deliver more and keeping Indians off the duo is part of the bargain. However, this is just a short term solution. India will probably get to voice match Headley as one of the 26/11 voices from Pakistan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is Kolkata where the police close down a police station out of fear. Spineless policing at its best.

The issue: The area happens to be Muslim dominated (now why is this no longer a surprise??). The police, in connivance with Corporation officials and politicians belonging to all (repeat all) political parties engaged in illegal construction in the area.

The decision to shut the gate was taken after Congress supporters laid siege to the police station to protest the crackdown on illegal constructions in the area. Forward Bloc and CPM supporters had raided the police station a week before that on the same issue.

The area is notorious for smuggling and there is a Fancy Market in this area that sells smuggled goods. And not surprisingly, almost all the sellers are Muslims !

But why is the police station closed and why are the police afraid to venture out? How will they protect the normal citizens if they themselves are afraid of the goons?

The issue is that due to diktat of courts the police had to take action against illegal construction in the area. Now, in the first place the police took money from the said people for helping them illegally construct – naturally political goons belonging to all the parties came and threatened the police. Incidentally all the political goons too were Muslims – again not a surprise. However, let me state one thing here – I am not blaming the Muslims here per se, but all the political parties.

If you sup with the devil, and expect the police to help us in times of need – well we will be in for a nasty surprise.

Instead of shutting the police station and hiding like cowards, the cops should go out and arrest these criminals-turned-promoters who enjoy the backing of political parties. Otherwise, how will we have confidence in them?” asked a teacher who lives in the locality.

Gora Chand Mondal, the director-general of buildings in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, admitted that Ekbalpore was the hub of illegal construction. “Builders and land-owners seldom seek the CMC’s permission before starting work. Most of the buildings in the area are illegal.”

Local Forward Bloc leader Rehan Khan, one of those who had led the mob that gheraoed (encircle) Ekbalpore police station on November 1, blamed the cops for the spurt in illegal construction. “The police and corporation officials allowed illegal constructions in the first place. They earned their share of bribes by doing that and are now out to render people homeless,” he alleged.

Police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti had transferred the former officer-in-charge of the police station and his deputy two months ago on the basis of complaints that they were allowing illegal constructions in the area.

Helplessness of the Police:

A senior officer of the Ekbalpore police station — comprising 68 constables, 26 homeguards, a sergeant, 23 assistant sub-inspectors, 11 sub-inspectors and two inspectors — described the builders’ lobby behind the recent incidents as “local versions of the Maoists”.

The mob that assembled here last Sunday demanded that we allow illegal construction in the area. They tried to force their way in and threatened to lock us up,” he said.

You don’t have to fear the ISI or Chinese or even the Maoists to destabilize India. You just have to look at our own low class Madhu Koda type politicians, corrupt nexus between the political parties, businessmen and police to wreck the fabric of this nation.

And before moving over from here, take another hard look at the closed doors of the police station – the sentinels of our city that are supposed to save us. Over 90% of the police force have out dated guns that don’t even fire and most of them have not had target practice in years.

Lest we forget: An honest and upright police officer DC (port) Mr Vinod Mehta was brutally trapped and murdered in this very area 21 years ago for taking on goons in this area and trying to disrupt their smuggling and anti-national activities. A man Idris Mian was captured who died in police custody but another key accused Moshin remained elusive for a long time.

Mohsin, a key accused in the murder of Deputy Commissioner (Port) of Kolkata police Vinod Mehta and a constable Mokhtar Ali in Metiabruz 21 years ago, revealed during interrogation that with help of ISI, he had in the past shuttled between India and Pakistan despite not possessing any travel document.


I am betting my bottom rupee – any teenager with a mock AK-47 can walk inside any of our police stations in India and see the police take cover that will make Indians proud in 100 meters dash !!! And you are wondering if 26/11 has taught us anything???

Monday, November 9, 2009


Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer winning investigative journalist whose articles are books are taken very seriously by the intelligence as well security establishments across the world.

His article which appeared in The New Yorker today is certain to cause a flutter within the Pakistan Army. His article which I am presenting in details is aptly titled : DEFENDING THE ARSENAL - In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?


In the tumultuous days leading up to the Pakistan Army’s ground offensive in the tribal area of South Waziristan, which began on October 17th, the Pakistani Taliban attacked what should have been some of the country’s best-guarded targets. In the most brazen strike, ten gunmen penetrated the Army’s main headquarters, in Rawalpindi, instigating a twenty-two-hour standoff that left twenty-three dead and the military thoroughly embarrassed. The terrorists had been dressed in Army uniforms. There were also attacks on police installations in Peshawar and Lahore, and, once the offensive began, an Army general was shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles on the streets of Islamabad, the capital. The assassins clearly had advance knowledge of the general’s route, indicating that they had contacts and allies inside the security forces.

Pakistan has been a nuclear power for two decades, and has an estimated eighty to a hundred warheads, scattered in facilities around the country. The success of the latest attacks raised an obvious question: Are the bombs safe? Asked this question the day after the Rawalpindi raid, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We have confidence in the Pakistani government and the military’s control over nuclear weapons.” Clinton—whose own visit to Pakistan, two weeks later, would be disrupted by more terrorist bombs—added that, despite the attacks by the Taliban, “we see no evidence that they are going to take over the state.”

Clinton’s words sounded reassuring, and several current and former officials also said in interviews that the Pakistan Army was in full control of the nuclear arsenal. But the Taliban overrunning Islamabad is not the only, or even the greatest, concern. The principal fear is mutiny—that extremists inside the Pakistani military might stage a coup, take control of some nuclear assets, or even divert a warhead.

On April 29th, President Obama was asked at a news conference whether he could reassure the American people that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could be kept away from terrorists. Obama’s answer remains the clearest delineation of the Administration’s public posture. He was, he said, “gravely concerned” about the fragility of the civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari. “Their biggest threat right now comes internally,” Obama said. “We have huge . . . national-security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state.” The United States, he said, could “make sure that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure—primarily, initially, because the Pakistan Army, I think, recognizes the hazards of those weapons’ falling into the wrong hands.”

The questioner, Chuck Todd, of NBC, began asking whether the American military could, if necessary, move in and secure Pakistan’s bombs. Obama did not let Todd finish. “I’m not going to engage in hypotheticals of that sort,” he said. “I feel confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands. O.K.?”

Obama did not say so, but current and former officials said in interviews in Washington and Pakistan that his Administration has been negotiating highly sensitive understandings with the Pakistani military. These would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani arsenal in case of a crisis. At the same time, the Pakistani military would be given money to equip and train Pakistani soldiers and to improve their housing and facilities—goals that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of the Pakistan Army, has long desired. In June, Congress approved a four-hundred-million-dollar request for what the Administration called the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, providing immediate assistance to the Pakistan Army for equipment, training, and “renovation and construction.”

The secrecy surrounding the understandings was important because there is growing antipathy toward America in Pakistan, as well as a history of distrust. Many Pakistanis believe that America’s true goal is not to keep their weapons safe but to diminish or destroy the Pakistani nuclear complex. The arsenal is a source of great pride among Pakistanis, who view the weapons as symbols of their nation’s status and as an essential deterrent against an attack by India. (India’s first nuclear test took place in 1974, Pakistan’s in 1998.)

A senior Pakistani official who has close ties to Zardari exploded with anger during an interview when the subject turned to the American demands for more information about the arsenal. After the September 11th attacks, he said, there had been an understanding between the Bush Administration and then President Pervez Musharraf “over what Pakistan had and did not have.” Today, he said, “you’d like control of our day-to-day deployment. But why should we give it to you? Even if there was a military coup d’état in Pakistan, no one is going to give up total control of our nuclear weapons. Never. Why are you not afraid of India’s nuclear weapons?” the official asked. “Because India is your friend, and the longtime policies of America and India converge. Between you and the Indians, you will fuck us in every way. The truth is that our weapons are less of a problem for the Obama Administration than finding a respectable way out of Afghanistan.”

The ongoing consultation on nuclear security between Washington and Islamabad intensified after the announcement in March of President Obama’s so-called Af-Pak policy, which called upon the Pakistan Army to take more aggressive action against Taliban enclaves inside Pakistan. I was told that the understandings on nuclear cooperation benefitted from the increasingly close relationship between Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Kayani, his counterpart, although the C.I.A. and the Departments of Defense, State, and Energy have also been involved. (All three departments declined to comment for this article. The national-security council and the C.I.A. denied that there were any agreements in place.)

In response to a series of questions, Admiral Mullen acknowledged that he and Kayani were, in his spokesman’s words, “very close.” The spokesman said that Mullen is deeply involved in day-to-day Pakistani developments and “is almost an action officer for all things Pakistan.” But he denied that he and Kayani, or their staffs, had reached an understanding about the availability of American forces in case of mutiny or a terrorist threat to a nuclear facility. “To my knowledge, we have no military units, special forces or otherwise, involved in such an assignment,” Mullen said through his spokesman. The spokesman added that Mullen had not seen any evidence of growing fundamentalism inside the Pakistani military. In a news conference on May 4th, however, Mullen responded to a query about growing radicalism in Pakistan by saying that “what has clearly happened over the [past] twelve months is the continual decline, gradual decline, in security.” The Admiral also spoke openly about the increased cooperation on nuclear security between the United States and Pakistan: “I know what we’ve done over the last three years, specifically to both invest, assist, and I’ve watched them improve their security fairly dramatically. . . . I’ve looked at this, you know, as hard as I can, over a period of time.” Seventeen days later, he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “We have invested a significant amount of resources through the Department of Energy in the last several years” to help Pakistan improve the controls on its arsenal. “They still have to improve them,” he said.

In interviews in Pakistan, I obtained confirmation that there were continuing conversations with the United States on nuclear-security plans—as well as evidence that the Pakistani leadership put much less weight on them than the Americans did. In some cases, Pakistani officials spoke of the talks principally as a means of placating anxious American politicians. “You needed it,” a senior Pakistani official, who said that he had been briefed on the nuclear issue, told me. His tone was caustic. “We have twenty thousand people working in the nuclear-weapons industry in Pakistan, and here is this American view that Pakistan is bound to fail.” The official added, “The Americans are saying, ‘We want to help protect your weapons.’ We say, ‘Fine. Tell us what you can do for us.’ It’s part of a quid pro quo. You say, also, ‘Come clean on the nuclear program and we’ll insure that India doesn’t put pressure on it.’ So we say, ‘O.K.’ ”

But, the Pakistani official said, “both sides are lying to each other.” The information that the Pakistanis handed over was not as complete as the Americans believed. “We haven’t told you anything that you don’t know,” he said. The Americans didn’t realize that Pakistan would never cede control of its arsenal: “If you try to take the weapons away, you will fail.”

High-level cooperation between Islamabad and Washington on the Pakistani nuclear arsenal began at least eight years ago. Former President Musharraf, when I interviewed him in London recently, acknowledged that his government had held extensive discussions with the Bush Administration after the September 11th attacks, and had given State Department nonproliferation experts insight into the command and control of the Pakistani arsenal and its on-site safety and security procedures. Musharraf also confirmed that Pakistan had constructed a huge tunnel system for the transport and storage of nuclear weaponry. “The tunnels are so deep that a nuclear attack will not touch them,” Musharraf told me, with obvious pride. The tunnels would make it impossible for the American intelligence community—“Big Uncle,” as a Pakistani nuclear-weapons expert called it—to monitor the movements of nuclear components by satellite.

Safeguards have been built into the system. Pakistani nuclear doctrine calls for the warheads (containing an enriched radioactive core) and their triggers (sophisticated devices containing highly explosive lenses, detonators, and krytrons) to be stored separately from each other and from their delivery devices (missiles or aircraft). The goal is to insure that no one can launch a warhead—in the heat of a showdown with India, for example—without pausing to put it together. Final authority to order a nuclear strike requires consensus within Pakistan’s ten-member National Command Authority, with the chairman—by statute, President Zardari—casting the deciding vote.

But the safeguards meant to keep a confrontation with India from escalating too quickly could make the arsenal more vulnerable to terrorists. Nuclear-security experts have war-gamed the process and concluded that the triggers and other elements are most exposed when they are being moved and reassembled—at those moments there would be fewer barriers between an outside group and the bomb. A consultant to the intelligence community said that in one war-gamed scenario disaffected members of the Pakistani military could instigate a terrorist attack inside India, and that the ensuing crisis would give them “a chance to pick up bombs and triggers—in the name of protecting the assets from extremists.”

The triggers are a key element in American contingency plans. An American former senior intelligence official said that a team that has trained for years to remove or dismantle parts of the Pakistani arsenal has now been augmented by a unit of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the élite counterterrorism group. He added that the unit, which had earlier focussed on the warheads’ cores, has begun to concentrate on evacuating the triggers, which have no radioactive material and are thus much easier to handle.

“The Pakistanis gave us a virtual look at the number of warheads, some of their locations, and their command-and-control system,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “We saw their target list and their mobilization plans. We got their security plans, so we could augment them in case of a breach of security,” he said. “We’re there to help the Pakistanis, but we’re also there to extend our own axis of security to their nuclear stockpile.” The detailed American planning even includes an estimate of how many nuclear triggers could be placed inside a C-17 cargo plane, the former official said, and where the triggers could be sequestered. Admiral Mullen, asked about increased American insight into the arsenal, said, through his spokesman, “I am not aware of our receipt of any such information.” (A senior military officer added that the information, if it had been conveyed, would most likely “have gone to another government agency.”)

A spokesman for the Pakistani military said, in an official denial, “Pakistan neither needs any American unit for enhancing the security for its arsenal nor would accept it.” The spokesman added that the Pakistani military “has been providing protection to U.S. troops in a situation of crisis”—a reference to Pakistan’s role in the war on terror—“and hence is quite capable to deal with any untoward situation.”

Early this summer, a consultant to the Department of Defense said, a highly classified military and civil-emergency response team was put on alert after receiving an urgent report from American intelligence officials indicating that a Pakistani nuclear component had gone astray. The team, which operates clandestinely and includes terrorism and nonproliferation experts from the intelligence community, the Pentagon, the F.B.I., and the D.O.E., is under standing orders to deploy from Andrews Air Force Base, in Maryland, within four hours of an alert. When the report turned out to be a false alarm, the mission was aborted, the consultant said. By the time the team got the message, it was already in Dubai.

In an actual crisis, would the Pakistanis give an American team direct access to their arsenal? An adviser to the Pentagon on counterinsurgency said that some analysts suspected that the Pakistani military had taken steps to move elements of the nuclear arsenal “out of the count”—to shift them to a storage facility known only to a very few—as a hedge against mutiny or an American or Indian effort to seize them. “If you thought your American ally was telling your enemy where the weapons were, you’d do the same thing,” the adviser said.

Let me say this about our nuclear deterrent,” President Zardari told me, when asked about any recent understandings between Pakistan and the United States. “We give comfort to each other, and the comfort level is good, because everybody respects everybody’s integrity. We’re all big boys.”

Zardari and I met twice, first in his office, in the grand but isolated Presidential compound in Islamabad, and then, a few days later, alone over dinner in his personal quarters. Zardari, who became President after the assassination, in December, 2007, of his charismatic wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, spent nearly eleven years in jail on corruption charges. He is widely known in Pakistan as Mr. Ten Per Cent, a reference to the commissions he allegedly took on government contracts when Bhutto was in power, and is seen by many Pakistanis as little more than a crook who has grown too close to America; his approval ratings are in the teens. He is chatty but guarded, proud but defensive, and, like many Pakistanis, convinced that the United States will always favor India. Over dinner, he spoke of his suspicions regarding his wife’s death. He said that, despite rumors to the contrary, he would complete his five-year term.

Zardari spoke with derision about what he depicted as America’s obsession with the vulnerability of his nation’s nuclear arsenal. “In your country, you feel that you have to hold the fort for us,” he said. “The American people want a lot of answers for the errors of the past, and it’s very easy to spread fear. Our Army officers are not crazy, like the Taliban. They’re British-trained. Why would they slip up on nuclear security? A mutiny would never happen in Pakistan. It’s a fear being spread by the few who seek to scare the many.”

Zardari offered some advice to Barack Obama: instead of fretting about nuclear security in Pakistan, his Administration should deal with the military disparity between Pakistan and India, which has a much larger army. “You should help us get conventional weapons,” he said. “It’s a balance-of-power issue.”

In May, Zardari, at the urging of the United States, approved a major offensive against the Taliban, sending thirty thousand troops into the Swat Valley, which lies a hundred miles northwest of Islamabad. “The enemy that we were fighting in Swat was made up of twenty per cent thieves and thugs and eighty per cent with the same mind-set as the Taliban,” Zardari said. He depicted the operation as a complete success, but added that his government was not “ready” to kill all the Taliban. His long-term solution, Zardari said, was to provide new business opportunities in Swat and turn the Taliban into entrepreneurs. “Money is the best incentive,” he said. “They can be rented.”

Zardari’s view of the Swat offensive was striking, given that many Pakistanis had been angered by the excessive use of force and the ensuing refugee crisis. The lives of about two million people were torn apart, and, during a summer in which temperatures soared to a hundred and twenty degrees, hundreds of thousands of civilians were crowded into government-run tent cities. Idris Khattak, a former student radical who now works with Amnesty International, said in Peshawar that residents had described nights of heavy, indiscriminate bombing and shelling, followed in the morning by Army sweeps. The villagers, and not the Taliban, had been hit the hardest. “People told us that the bombing the night before was a signal for the Taliban to get out,” he said.

Zardari did not dispute that there were difficulties in the refugee camps—the heat, the lack of facilities. But he insisted that the fault lay with the civilians, who, he said, had been far too tolerant of the Taliban. The suffering could serve a useful purpose: after a summer in the tents, the citizens of Swat might have learned a lesson and would not “let the Taliban back into their cities.”

Rahimullah Yusufzai, an eminent Pakistani journalist, who has twice interviewed Osama bin Laden, had a different explanation for the conditions that led to the offensive. “The Taliban were initially trying to win public support in Swat by delivering justice and peace,” Yusufzai said. “But when they got into power they went crazy and became brutal. Many are from the lowest ranks of society, and they began killing and terrorizing their opponents. The people were afraid.”

The turmoil did not end with the Army’s invasion. “Most of the people who were in the refugee camps told us that the Army was equally bad. There was so much killing,” Yusufzai said. The government had placed limits on reporters who tried to enter the Swat Valley during the attack, but afterward Yusufzai and his colleagues were able to interview officers. “They told us they hated what they were doing—‘We were trained to fight Indians.’ ” But that changed when they sustained heavy losses, especially of junior officers. “They were killing everybody after their colleagues were killed—just like the Americans with their Predator missiles,” Yusufzai said. “What the Army did not understand, and what the Americans don’t understand, is that by demolishing the house of a suspected Taliban or their supporters you are making an enemy of the whole family.” What looked like a tactical victory could turn out to be a strategic failure.

The Obama Administration has had difficulty coming to terms with how unhappy many Pakistanis are with the United States. Secretary of State Clinton, during her three-day “good-will visit” to Pakistan, late last month, seemed taken aback by the angry and, at times, provocative criticism of American policies that dominated many of her public appearances, and responded defensively.

Last year, the Washington Times ran an article about the Pressler Amendment, a 1985 law cutting off most military aid to Pakistan as long as it continued its nuclear program. The measure didn’t stop Pakistan from getting the bomb, or from buying certain weapons, but it did reduce the number of Pakistani officers who were permitted to train with American units. The article quoted Major General John Custer as saying, “The older military leaders love us. They understand American culture and they know we are not the enemy.” The General’s assessment provoked a barrage of e-mail among American officers with experience in Pakistan, and a former member of a Special Forces unit provided me with copies. “The fact that a two-star would make a statement [like] that . . . is at best naïve and actually pure bullshit,” a senior Special Forces officer on duty in Pakistan wrote.

He went on: I have met and interacted with the entire military staff from General Kayani on down and all the general officers on their joint staff and in all the services, and I haven’t spoken to one that “loves us”—whatever that means. In fact, I have read most of the TS [top secret] assessments of all their General Officers and I haven’t read one that comes close to their “loving” us. They play us for everything they can get, and we trip over ourselves trying to give them everything they ask for, and cannot pay for.

Some military men who know Pakistan well believe that, whatever the officer corps’s personal views, the Pakistan Army remains reliable. “They cannot be described as pro-American, but this doesn’t mean they don’t know which side their bread is buttered on,” Brian Cloughley, who served six years as Australia’s defense attaché to Pakistan and is now a contributor to Jane’s Sentinel, told me. “The chance of mutiny is slim. Were this to happen, there would be the most severe reaction” by special security units in the Pakistani military, Cloughley said. “But worry feeds irrationality, and the international consequences could be dire.”

The recollections of Bush Administration officials who dealt with Pakistan in the first round of nuclear consultations after September 11th do not inspire confidence. The Americans’ main contact was Lieutenant General Khalid Kidwai, the head of Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division, the agency that is responsible for nuclear strategy and operations and for the physical security of the weapons complex. At first, a former high-level Bush Administration official told me, Kidwai was reassuring; his professionalism increased their faith in the soundness of Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and its fail-safe procedures. The Army was controlled by Punjabis who, the Americans thought, “did not put up with Pashtuns,” as the former Bush Administration official put it. (The Taliban are mostly Pashtun.) But by the time the official left, at the beginning of George W. Bush’s second term, he had a much darker assessment: “They don’t trust us and they will not tell you the truth.”

No American, for example, was permitted access to A. Q. Khan, the metallurgist and so-called father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, who traded crucial nuclear-weapons components on the international black market. Musharraf placed him under house arrest in early 2004, claiming to have been shocked to learn of Khan’s dealings. At the time, it was widely understood that those activities had been sanctioned by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (I.S.I.). Khan was freed in February, although there are restrictions on his travel. (In an interview last year, Kidwai told David Sanger, for his book “The Inheritance,” that “our security systems are foolproof,” thanks to technical controls; Sanger noted that Bush Administration officials were “not as confident in private as they sound in public.”)

A former State Department official who worked on nuclear issues with Pakistan after September 11th said that he’d come to understand that the Pakistanis “believe that any information we get from them would be shared with others—perhaps even the Indians. To know the command-and-control processes of their nuclear weapons is one thing. To know where the weapons actually are is another thing.”

The former State Department official cited the large Pakistan Air Force base outside Sargodha, west of Lahore, where many of Pakistan’s nuclear-capable F-16s are thought to be stationed. “Is there a nuke ready to go at Sargodha?” the former official asked. “If there is, and Sargodha is the size of Andrews Air Force Base, would we know where to go? Are the warheads stored in Bunker X?” Ignorance could be dangerous. “If our people don’t know where to go and we suddenly show up at a base, there will be a lot of people shooting at them,” he said. “And even if the Pakistanis may have told us that the triggers will be at Bunker X, is it true?”

In the July/August issue of Arms Control Today, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who recently retired after three years as the Department of Energy’s director of intelligence and counter-intelligence, preceded by two decades at the C.I.A., wrote vividly about the “lethal proximity between terrorists, extremists, and nuclear weapons insiders” in Pakistan. “Insiders have facilitated terrorist attacks. Suicide bombings have occurred at air force bases that reportedly serve as nuclear weapons storage sites. It is difficult to ignore such trends,” Mowatt-Larssen wrote. “Purely in actuarial terms, there is a strong possibility that bad apples in the nuclear establishment are willing to cooperate with outsiders for personal gain or out of sympathy for their cause. Nowhere in the world is this threat greater than in Pakistan. . . . Anything that helps upgrade Pakistan’s nuclear security is an investment” in America’s security.

Leslie H. Gelb, a president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, said, “I don’t think there’s any kind of an agreement we can count on. The Pakistanis have learned how to deal with us, and they understand that if they don’t tell us what we want to hear we’ll cut off their goodies.” Gelb added, “In all these years, the C.I.A. never built up assets, but it talks as if there were ‘access.’ I don’t know if Obama understands that the Agency doesn’t know what it’s talking about.”

The former high-level Bush Administration official was just as blunt. “If a Pakistani general is talking to you about nuclear issues, and his lips are moving, he’s lying,” he said. “The Pakistanis wouldn’t share their secrets with anybody, and certainly not with a country that, from their point of view, used them like a Dixie cup and then threw them away.”

Sultan Amir Tarar, known to many as Colonel Imam, is the archetype of the disillusioned Pakistani officer. Tarar spent eighteen years with the I.S.I. in Afghanistan, most of them as an undercover operative. In the mujahideen war against the Soviet Union, in the eighties, he worked closely with C.I.A. agents, and liked the experience. “They were honest and thoughtful and provided the finest equipment,” Tarar said during an interview in Rawalpindi. He spoke with pride of shaking hands with Robert Gates in Afghanistan in 1985. Gates, now the Secretary of Defense, was then a senior C.I.A. official. “I’ve heard all about you,” Gates said, according to Tarar. “Good or bad?” “Oh, my. All good,” Gates replied. Tarar’s view changed after the Russians withdrew and, in his opinion, “the Americans abandoned us.” When I asked if he’d seen “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the movie depicting that abandonment and a Texas congressman’s futile efforts to change the policy, Tarar laughed and said, “I’ve seen Charlie Wilson. I didn’t need to see the movie.”

(Read this article of mine - MICHAEL VICKERS - more IMPORTANT THAN CHARLIE WILSON)

Tarar, who retired in 1995 and has a son in the Army, believed—as did many Pakistani military men—that the American campaign to draw Pakistan deeper into the war against the Taliban would backfire. “The Americans are trying to rent out their war to us,” he said. If the Obama Administration persists, “there will be an uprising here, and this corrupt government will collapse. Every Pakistani will then be his own nuclear bomb—a suicide bomber,” Tarar said. “The longer the war goes on, the longer it will spill over in the tribal territories, and it will lead to a revolutionary stage. People there will flee to the big cities like Lahore and Islamabad.

Tarar believed that the Obama Administration had to negotiate with the Afghan Taliban, even if that meant direct talks with Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. Tarar knew Mullah Omar well. “Omar trained as a young man in my camp in 1985,” he told me. “He was physically fit and mission-oriented—a very honest man who was a practicing Muslim. Nothing beyond that. He was a Talib—a student, and not a mullah. But people respected him. Today, among all the Afghan leaders, Omar has the biggest audience, and this is the right time for you to talk to him.”

Speaking to Tarar and other officers gave a glimpse of the acrimony at the top of the Pakistani government, which has complicated the nuclear equation. Tarar spoke bitterly about the position that General Kayani found himself in, carrying out the “corrupt” policies of the Americans and of Zardari, while Pakistan’s soldiers “were fighting gallantly in Swat against their own people.”

A $7.5-billion American aid package, approved by Congress in September, was, to the surprise of many in Washington, controversial in Pakistan, because it contained provisions seen as strengthening Zardari at the expense of the military. Shaheen Sehbai, a senior editor of the newspaper International, said that Zardari’s “problem is that he’s besieged domestically on all sides, and he thinks only the Americans can save him,” and, as a result, “he’ll open his pants for them.” Sehbai noted that Kayani’s term as Army chief ends in the fall of 2010. If Zardari tried to replace him before then, Kayani’s colleagues would not accept his choice, and there could be “a generals’ coup,” Sehbai said. “America should worry more about the structure and organization of the Army—and keep it intact.”

Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the director general of the I.S.I. in the late eighties and worked with the C.I.A. in Afghanistan. Gul, who is retired, is a devout Muslim and had been accused by the Bush Administration of having ties to the Taliban and Al Qaeda—allegations he has denied. “What would happen if, in a crisis, you tried to get—or did not get—our nuclear triggers? What happens then?” Gul asked when we met. “You will have us as an enemy, with the Chinese and Russians behind us.”

If Pakistani officers had given any assurances about the nuclear arsenal, Gul said, “they are cheating you and they would be right to do so. We should not be aiding and abetting Americans.”

Persuading the Pakistan Army to concentrate on fighting the Taliban, and not India, is crucial to the Obama Administration’s plans for the region. There has been enmity between India and Pakistan since 1947, when Britain’s withdrawal led to the partition of the subcontinent. The state of Kashmir, which was three-quarters Muslim but acceded to Hindu-majority India, has been in dispute ever since, and India and Pakistan have twice gone to war over the territory. Through the years, the Pakistan Army and the I.S.I. have relied on Pakistan-based jihadist groups, most notably Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, to carry out a guerrilla war against the Indians in Kashmir. Many in the Pakistani military consider the groups to be an important strategic reserve.

A retired senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who worked with his C.I.A. counterparts to track down Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said that he was deeply troubled by the prospect of Pakistan ceding any control over its nuclear deterrent. “Suppose the jihadis strike at India again—another attack on the parliament. India will tell the United States to stay out of it, and ‘We’ll sort it out on our own,’ ” he said. “Then there would be a ground attack into Pakistan. As we begin to react, the Americans will be interested in protecting our nuclear assets, and urge us not to go nuclear—‘Let the Indians attack and do not respond!’ They would urge us instead to find those responsible for the attack on India. Our nuclear arsenal was supposed to be our savior, but we would end up protecting it. It doesn’t protect us,” he said.

“My belief today is that it’s better to have the Americans as an enemy rather than as a friend, because you cannot be trusted,” the former officer concluded. “The only good thing the United States did for us was to look the other way about an atomic bomb when it suited the United States to do so.”

Pakistan’s fears about the United States cooperating with India are not irrational. Last year, Congress approved a controversial agreement that enabled India to purchase nuclear fuel and technology from the United States without joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty, making India the only non-signatory to the N.P.T. permitted to do so. Concern about the Pakistani arsenal has since led to greater cooperation between the United States and India in missile defense; the training of the Indian Air Force to use bunker-busting bombs; and “the collection of intelligence on the Pakistani nuclear arsenal,” according to the consultant to the intelligence community. (The Pentagon declined to comment.)

I flew to New Delhi after my stay in Pakistan and met with two senior officials from the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s national intelligence agency. (Of course, as in Pakistan, no allegation about the other side should be taken at face value.) “Our worries are about the nuclear weapons in Pakistan,” one of the officials said. “Not because we are worried about the mullahs taking over the country; we’re worried about those senior officers in the Pakistan Army who are Caliphates”—believers in a fundamentalist pan-Islamic state. “We know some of them and we have names,” he said. “We’ve been watching colonels who are now brigadiers. These are the guys who could blackmail the whole world”—that is, by seizing a nuclear weapon.

The Indian intelligence official went on, “Do we know if the Americans have that intelligence? This is not in the scheme of the way you Americans look at things—‘Kayani is a great guy! Let’s have a drink and smoke a cigar with him and his buddies.’ Some of the men we are watching have notions of leading an Islamic army.”


In an interview the next afternoon, an Indian official who has dealt diplomatically with Pakistan for years said, “Pakistan is in trouble, and it’s worrisome to us because an unstable Pakistan is the worst thing we can have.” But he wasn’t sure what America could do. “They like us better in Pakistan than you Americans,” he said. “I can tell you that in a public-opinion poll we, India, will beat you.”

India and Pakistan, he added, have had back-channel talks for years in an effort to resolve the dispute over Kashmir, but “Pakistan wants talks for the sake of talks, and it does not carry out the agreements already reached.” (In late October, Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, publicly renewed an offer of talks, but tied it to a request that Pakistan crack down on terrorism; Pakistan’s official response was to welcome the overture.)

The Indian official, like his counterparts in Pakistan, believed that Americans did not appreciate what his government had done for them. “Why did the Pakistanis remove two divisions from the border with us?” He was referring to the shifting of Pakistani forces, at the request of the United States, to better engage the Taliban. “It means they have confidence that we will not take advantage of the situation. We deserve a pat on the back for this.” Instead, the official said, with a shrug, “you are too concerned with your relationship with Pakistan.”

Pervez Musharraf lives in unpretentious exile with his wife in an apartment in London, near Hyde Park. Officials who had dealt with him cautioned that, along with his many faults, he had a disarmingly open manner. At the beginning of our talk, I asked him why, on a visit to Washington in late January, he had not met with any senior Obama Administration officials. “I did not ask for a meeting because I was afraid of being told no,” he said. At another point, Musharraf, dressed casually in slacks and a sports shirt, said that he had been troubled by the American-controlled Predator drone attacks on targets inside Pakistan, which began in 2005. “I said to the Americans, ‘Give us the Predators.’ It was refused. I told the Americans, ‘Then just say publicly that you’re giving them to us. You keep on firing them but put Pakistan Air Force markings on them.’ That, too, was denied.”

Musharraf, who was forced out of office in August, 2008, under threat of impeachment, did not spare his successor. “Asif Zardari is a criminal and a fraud,” Musharraf told me. “He’ll do anything to save himself. He’s not a patriot and he’s got no love for Pakistan. He’s a third-rater.”

Musharraf said that he and General Kayani, who had been his nominee for Chief of Army Staff, were still in telephone contact. Musharraf came to power in a military coup in 1999, and remained in uniform until near the end of his Presidency. He said that he didn’t think the Army was capable of mutiny—not the Army he knew. “There are people with fundamentalist ideas in the Army, but I don’t think there is any possibility of these people getting organized and doing an uprising. These ‘fundos’ were disliked and not popular.”

He added, “Muslims think highly of Obama, and he should use his acceptability—even with the Taliban—and try to deal with them politically.”

Musharraf spoke of two prior attempts to create a fundamentalist uprising in the Army. In both cases, he said, the officers involved were arrested and prosecuted. “I created the strategic force that controls all the strategic assets—eighteen to twenty thousand strong. They are monitored for character and for potential fundamentalism,” he said. He acknowledged, however, that things had changed since he’d left office. “People have become alarmed because of the Taliban and what they have done,” he said. “Everyone is now alarmed.”

The rise in militancy is a sensitive subject, and many inside Pakistan insist that American fears, and the implied threat to the nuclear arsenal, are overwrought. Amélie Blom, a political sociologist at Lahore University of Management Sciences, noted that the Army continues to support an unpopular President. “The survival of the coalition government shows that the present Army leadership has an interest in making it work,” she said in an e-mail.

Others are less sure. “Nuclear weapons are only as safe as the people who handle them,” Pervez Hoodbhoy, an eminent nuclear physicist in Pakistan, said in a talk last summer at a Nation and Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy forum in New York. For more than two decades, Hoodbhoy said, “the Pakistan Army has been recruiting on the basis of faithfulness to Islam. As a consequence, there is now a different character present among Army officers and ordinary soldiers. There are half a dozen scenarios that one can imagine.” There was no proof either that the most dire scenarios would be realized or that the arsenal was safe, he said.

The current offensive in South Waziristan marked a significant success for the Obama Administration, which had urged Zardari to take greater control of the tribal areas. There was a risk, too—that the fighting would further radicalize Pakistan. Last week, another Pakistan Army general was the victim of a drive-by assassination attempt, as he was leaving his home in Islamabad. Since the Waziristan operation was announced, more than three hundred people have been killed in a dozen terrorist attacks. “If we push too hard there, we could trigger a social revolution,” the Special Forces adviser said. “We are playing into Al Qaeda’s deep game here. If we blow it, Al Qaeda could come in and scoop up a nuke or two.” He added, “The Pakistani military knows that if there’s any kind of instability there will be a traffic jam to seize their nukes.” More escalation in Pakistan, he said, “will take us to the brink.”

During my stay in Pakistan—my first in five years—there were undeniable signs that militancy and the influence of fundamentalist Islam had grown. In the past, military officers, politicians, and journalists routinely served Johnnie Walker Black during our talks, and drank it themselves. This time, even the most senior retired Army generals offered only juice or tea, even in their own homes. Officials and journalists said that soldiers and middle-level officers were increasingly attracted to the preaching of Zaid Hamid, who joined the mujahideen and fought for nine years in Afghanistan. On CDs and on television, Hamid exhorts soldiers to think of themselves as Muslims first and Pakistanis second. He claims that terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year were staged by India and Western Zionists, aided by the Mossad. Another proselytizer, Dr. Israr Ahmed, writes a column in the Urdu press in which he depicts the Holocaust as “divine punishment,” and advocates the extermination of the Jews. He, too, is said to be popular with the officer corps.


A senior Obama Administration official brought up Hizb ut-Tahrir, a Sunni organization whose goal is to establish the Caliphate. “They’ve penetrated the Pakistani military and now have cells in the Army,” he said. (The Pakistan Army denies this.) In one case, according to the official, Hizb ut-Tahrir had recruited members of a junior officer group, from the most élite Pakistani military academy, who had been sent to England for additional training.

“Where do these guys get socialized and exposed to Islamic evangelism and the fundamentalism narrative?” the Obama Administration official asked. “In services every Friday for Army officers, and at corps and unit meetings where they are addressed by senior commanders and clerics.”