Counter-Terrorism: Terrorists Resist A Pay Cut


June 26, 2008: Pakistan has finally agreed to apply some decisive pressure on the Islamic terrorist organizations operating in Pakistani Kashmir, where terrorist camps remain undisturbed. From these camps, where terrorist recruits are trained, to fight and sneak across the border and attack Indian troops and police in Indian Kashmir. Over 50,000 have died in Islamic militant violence in Kashmir over the last two decades. This ruined the thriving tourism based economy of Kashmir, and eventually turned the largely Moslem population against the terrorists. But the violence continues, fueled largely by money supplied by a variety of sources. Pakistan has agreed to go after this cash, and that is hurting the Islamic terrorists a lot.

The biggest source of money for terrorism is Islamic charities, most of them in Moslem countries. There is also a lot of cash coming via extortion. The victims here are Kashmiri expatriates. The basic drill is that if the expats (either in the West or other Moslem nations) don't pay up, something bad may happen to family members back in Kashmir. Meanwhile, in Kashmir, the terrorists extort "contributions" from businesses and wealthy families. This is sort of protection racket. A substantial amount of income comes from criminal activities. Drug smuggling and counterfeiting Indian currency are favorite activities, although the Pakistanis encourages the Islamic radicals to keep the drugs in the Indian portion of Kashmir. The counterfeiting operation, which is aided by Pakistani intelligence agencies, provides the terrorists with up to $3 million a year.

The money goes mainly to meet the payroll, buy weapons and equip, and run the camps. Everyone is paid. When a Pakistani joins the terrorists, he gets a "signing bonus" of up to $500. After that, he gets from $60-$200 a month. If he carries out a spectacular attack (killing Indian soldiers or destroying a prominent target) he can get a bonus of up to about $4,000. If a recruit survives and shows leadership skills, he can reach management rank, which pays up to about a thousand dollars a month. If a terrorist is killed, his family gets an immediate payment of about $400, and a monthly stipend of $30-60. The Kashmir terrorists also try to recruit foreign Moslems, who often have needed technical skills. These guys are paid about 50 percent more, but don't get the payments to their family if they are killed.

Over the last year, India, Pakistan, the United States and several Moslem nations in the Persian Gulf have cracked down on fund raising for Islamic terrorists. This has disrupted operations for some powerful criminal gangs, and corrupt officials. The latter two groups can be dangerous to governments, but al Qaeda and its ilk are so unpopular these days that the Arab governments are even getting cooperation from the non-religious criminals.

With income down over 20 percent in the last year, and looking to be down even more this year, the Kashmiri Islamic terrorists are recruiting fewer people, letting go some they already have and cutting back on operations. Many of the terrorists won't work for free, as they have family obligations. Now Pakistan is threatening to restrict access to the terrorist camps in their portion of Kashmir. That might cause civil unrest inside Pakistan, and is unlikely to happen.



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