Counter-Terrorism: Doctor Frankenstein I Presume

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February 7, 2017: In early January 2017 the United States released another batch of documents captured during the 2011 American commando raid on the Osama bin Laden hiding place in Pakistan. One of the documents contained some explosive material about the leader (Ilyas Kashmiri) of an Islamic terrorist group operating from a sanctuary in Pakistani Kashmir and making attacks inside India, particularly Indian Kashmir. In one mid-2010 letter Kashmiri, who also worked for al Qaeda, asked bin Laden for advice on how to destroy his patron (the Pakistani military and its intelligence branch ISI) after India had been driven out of Kashmir. It was no secret that even Islamic terrorist groups that profess loyalty to the Pakistani military contain many members who see that has a necessary lie because so many officers and troops do not believe in Islamic terrorism and do sinful things like watch movies and drink alcoholic beverages. Ultimately people like this must be punished. This is not an unusual attitude among Islamic radicals. It is confirmed when ISI openly admits to using Islamic terrorist groups as “weapons” against neighbors (especially India and Afghanistan). Many Islamic terrorist groups who accept aid from ISI have already turned on their benefactor because these zealots believed the corrupt Pakistani military and ISI were in need of being “cleansed” as soon as possible. The Pakistani military called the unflattering Kashmiri document a fabrication, which either the United States or even bin Landen may have created to confuse their enemies. But many familiar with Islamic terrorism in Pakistan saw that the letter was probably real.

These bin Laden documents revive concerns about the Pakistani military. Since mid-2013, when an official Pakistan investigation into the raid (the Abbottabad Commission report0) was leaked, the Pakistani military leaders realized they had to face some unpleasant realities. The Abbottabad Commission report was commissioned by the Pakistani government in June 2011 to get to the truth of how Osama bin Laden could hide out in Pakistan for a decade and the United States could send in commandos to attack the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad (a military town near the capital) and then get away to Afghanistan without any interference from the Pakistan military. The Abbottabad Commission did a thorough job, so thorough that when the final report was delivered in January 2013 the government ordered it kept from the public. The reason for this was that the report admitted corruption and incompetence in the government and military were the main reasons bin Laden could hide in plain sight, and also why the Americans could fly in from Afghanistan, kill bin Laden, take large quantities of documents from the bin Laden compound and get out without any casualties. After the report became public in mid-2013 the Pakistani military responded by blaming the Pakistani police and domestic intelligence agencies for not noticing the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad and admitted that the military was more concerned with guarding the border with India than the one with Afghanistan. Few people inside or outside Pakistan believed the military on this issue, and much else besides. But what the military leadership has to worry about most is the revelations that the “Islamic weapon” they created in the 1980s has every intention of killing its creators as well as “enemies of Islam” (Hindus, Shia, and non-Moslems in general) in neighboring countries.

 


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