Sunday, July 25, 2004

Osama being treated in Pakistan

WW:  This from the Times of India.  And you think the Pakistani nukes can't be compromised?

 
Osama being treated by Pak ArmyCHIDANAND RAJGHATTATIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2004 12:56:40 PM ]

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's intelligence officials knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks, a well-known American analyst has said, based on a ''stunning document'' that he claims was given by a Pakistani source to the 9/11 Commission on the eve of the publication of its report. The document, from a high-level, but anonymous Pakistani source, also claims that Osama bin Laden has been receiving periodic dialysis in a military hospital in Peshawar, says Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of the news agency UPI.

''The imprints of every major act of international Islamist terrorism invariably passes through Pakistan, right from 9/11 - where virtually all the participants had trained, resided or met in, coordinated with, or received funding from or through Pakistan,'' Borchgrave cites the confidential document as saying.

But one does not have to go to Borchgrave's unnamed sources to find Pakistan’s involvement in terrorist activity leading to 9/11. The 9/11 commission report itself nails Pakistan in chapter after chapter, revealing that the Pakistani intelligence was in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda, far more than Iran and Iraq ever were. Among the inquiry commission's observations, quoted verbatim here * ''Pak[istan's] intel[ligence service] is in bed with bin Laden and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign'' – quoting Richard Clarke * ''Islamabad was behaving like a rogue state in two areas – backing Taliban/bin Laden terror and provoking war with India'' - quoting NSC Bruce Riedel * Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced bin Laden to Taliban leaders in Kandahar -Commission's own observation. * Pakistan's military intelligence service, known as the ISID (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate), was the Taliban's primary patron - Commission's observation * Pakistan helped nurture the Taliban.

The Pakistani army and intelligence services, especially below the top ranks, have long been ambivalent about confronting Islamist extremists. Many in the government have sympathized with or provided support to the extremists - Commission's observation. Next Page: Karachi was gateway for 9/11 hijackers

Elsewhere, even as the Bush administration made a big to-do about ten hijackers passing through Iran and tried to implicate Teheran on that grounds, the 9/11 report shows that several hijackers who rammed the planes into American targets used Karachi as a base and trained there for weeks on end. In fact, the report paints Karachi as the gateway to terrorism, drawing an elaborate picture of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed using the port city to plan the attack, gather the hijackers there, and put them through their paces. ''Much of his (KSM's) activity in mid-1999 had revolved around the collection of training and informational materials for the participants in the planes operation,''the 9/11 report says.

 ''For instance, he collected Western aviation magazines; telephone directories for American cities such as San Diego and Long Beach, California (from Karachi flea markets); brochures for schools; and airline timetables, and he conducted Internet searches on US flight schools.'' ''He also purchased flight simulator software and a few movies depicting hijackings. To house his students, KSM rented a safehouse in Karachi with money provided by bin Laden,'' the report adds. But all this is not good enough for the American media, which has almost completely ignored Pakistan’s role in 9/11 while going on a feeding frenzy over a few speculative morsels tossed out by the Bush administration about the involvement of Iran and Iraq.

Not a single US TV channel or newspaper collated, let alone reported or highlighted, the multiple indictment of Pakistan contained in the report. Even a cursory key word search would have shown more than 200 references to Pakistan, many of them damning. There are less than 100 references to Iran and Iraq combined. While the commission report repeatedly implicates Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI in terrorist activity, it too appears to have failed to record some well-chronicled events that might have pointed to the impending catastrophe.

For instance, the report does not contain any reference to Niaz Khan, a Pakistani waiter in Britain who walked into an FBI office in New Jersey nearly a year before 9/11 and alerted them about a plot to fly planes into buildings. Nor does it go into reports that terrorist mastermind Mohammed Atta received a wire transfer of funds from a source in Karachi connected to the ISI. Despite this, Pakistan finds itself incriminated in the report far more than Iran or Iraq. The commission itself is frequently censorious of Pakistan's role, but in the end it recommends more carrots as a means of bringing back what it suggests is a failed state from the brink. Pakistani officials have issued their pro forma denials about Islamabad's involvement, clutching instead at a few paras in the report that recommend a sustained (and conditional) US engagement with the military dictatorship.

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