Terror abound: From Faisal Shahzad to General Nadeem Ijaz – by Kamran Shafi

So who’s surprised?

Just as the country was settling down to the usual terrorist attacks on our armed forces and police and the weekly bomb attacks somewhere or other in the Citadel of Islam by the former (?) friends and buddies of our establishment, the self-appointed keeper of this country’s morality and ideology, another jihadi with links to Pakistan, was apprehended in the United States trying to blow up Times Square, New York, New York. Well, surprise, surprise.

This Faisal Shahzad, the son of a retired air vice marshal who is a good man according to those who have known him all his life, has himself said that whilst he was acting alone in planning and executing his botched plan to murder and maim innocents on NYC’s streets, amongst whose number there would have been Pakistani taxi-drivers as friend Dr Omar Ali writing for a website quite poignantly points out, he did visit Waziristan and receive training in making IEDs. (It is a good thing he turned out to be stupid and a bad learner to boot). Also, the Tehrik-i-Taliban, Pakistan, promptly came out with a statement saying it was behind the attempted bombing.

Qari Hussain Mehsud, said he takes “fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA”. Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.

“This attack is a revenge for the great and valuable martyred leaders of the mujahideen,” said Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top trainer of suicide bombers and IED makers. He listed Baitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban who was killed in a Predator strike in August 2009, and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the former leader of Al Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq who was killed by Iraqi forces in mid-April. And although he was not mentioned, an image of Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was also displayed in the images accompanying the audiotape.

Now then, whilst the Taliban have been known to take credit — if blowing up innocent people can ever be called commendable — for acts it had nothing to do with, I would not be surprised at all if they were behind this attempted bombing.

For, please consider that every wannabe mass murderer terrorist in recent times, or shall we say post 9/11 times, has in some way or another had something or the other to do with our unfortunate country. Take the most disgraceful-looking, the most vicious criminals Richard Reid aka Abdul Raheem aka Tariq Raja the shoe bomber and Jose Padilla aka Abdullah al-Muhajir aka Muhajir Abdullah. Please go to the Internet and look at the photographs of these two beauties and read their illuminating bios.

Both were in and out of prison all their lives; from borstal institutions to prisons for hardened criminals, convicted and jailed on charges ranging from minor theft to armed robbery to murder by kicking people’s heads in. Both ‘found’ Islam and became jihadists. Both, you guessed it, travelled to Pakistan several times each to be trained in the art of mass murder.

I have asked this question a hundred times: who was their sponsor when they applied for visas to visit this luckless country? It is important to expose these people, because nothing in the world recommends them for a visa to visit any country, even laid-low Pakistan.

We will never get an answer to the question, however, not in a million years, for at the end of this particularly ugly trail we are bound to find some ugly home truths; home truths that impel the world to refer to our poor Pakistan as the hub of world terror.

In a story published in a section of our press on May 6, 2010, we are told that the former head of Military Intelligence, Maj Gen Nadeem Ijaz was cleared by the three-member ‘fact-finding committee’ on the basis of a two-page letter written by him on Dec 28, 2007, addressed to the COAS after the incident of hosing down the crime scene where Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Dec 27, 2007.

According to the paper: “The people involved in washing down the crime scene, actually spoiled the evidences,” wrote Nadeem Ijaz in the letter. “Many evidences, which could have been useful in criminal investigation, have been washed away,” he added.

This purported letter was reportedly shown to the prime minister by the COAS after the UN report put the blame on the MI chief. The news report again: “Consequently, Prime Minister Gilani, instead of clearing the name of the former MI chief on the basis of the letter written by Nadeem Ijaz on Dec 28, 2007 to the army chief, agreed to do it in a proper manner and constituted a three-member committee on April 24, 2010 with a ‘one-point mandate’ and that was to investigate and find out as to who actually was behind the hosing down of the crime scene in such a hurry after the tragedy”. The rest as they say is history.

Now then, if this is the case, why was the letter not released to the press as soon as the UN report came out? Surely there were no military secrets contained in it — it was just proof that the MI chief had done his duty and done it well, pointing out to the COAS that washing the crime scene was the wrong thing to do. It would have immediately brought the army out in a very good light; there would have been no dark rumours going about; and news and talk-show anchors would not have had several field days. In addition, three government officials would have gone about their regular duties and not wasted their time on something that was already a proven fact; just one day after poor Benazir Bhutto was mercilessly shot to death.

Which be it as it may, I continue to believe that someone high up ordered the crime scene to be washed clean; that a mere CPO could never have done it on his own. So go figure.


Source: Dawn, 11 May, 2010



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