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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation


On 3 June 1947 all the Indian leaders got together and put their seal on the Partition Plan. Seated by the map on the wall is Lord Ismay, Mountbatten's Chief of Staff who probably tampered with the Radcliffe Award and gave Gurdaspur to India to keep the two new countries in a perpetual state of war over Kashmir till eternity!

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect. Apart from Wahhabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution.

The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [fatwas declaring someone as infidel] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers.

Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs. Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilized then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult.

But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs. -- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in an interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946.

This invaluable document has been resurrected and translated by former union minister Arif Mohammad Khan for Covert Magazine. The redoubtable Maulana’s predictions about what will happen to Pakistan, if it got created, have come so uncannily true that they almost read like newspaper headlines.

URL of this Page: http://newageislam.org/NewAgeIslamWarOnTerror_1.aspx?ArticleID=2139


by Shorish Kashmiri, Matbooat Chattan, Lahore

Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gave the following interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. It was a time when the Cabinet Mission was holding its proceedings in Delhi and Simla. Azad made some startling predictions during the course of the interview, saying that religious conflict would tear apart Pakistan and its eastern half would carve out its own future. He even said that Pakistan’s incompetent rulers might pave the way for military rule.

According to Shorish Kashmiri, Azad had earmarked the early hours of the morning for him and the interview was conducted over a period of two weeks. This interview has not been published in any book so far — neither in the Azad centenary volumes nor in any other book comprising his writing or speeches — except for Kashmiri’s own book Abul Kalam Azad, which was printed only once by Matbooat Chattan Lahore, a now-defunct publishing house. Former Union Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammed Khan discovered the book after searching for many years and translated the interview for COVERT

Q: The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Don’t you think that in this situation the birth of Pakistan has become inevitable?

A: If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature. If we use the Muslim League terminology, this new India will be a Hindu state both practically and temperamentally. This will not happen as a result of any conscious decision, but will be a logical consequence of its social realities. How can you expect a society that consists 90% of Hindus, who have lived with their ethos and values since prehistoric times, to grow differently? The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition. The communal hatred it has generated has completely extinguished all possibilities of spreading and preaching Islam. This communal politics has hurt the religion beyond measure.

Muslims have turned away from the Quran. If they had taken their lessons from the Quran and the life of the Holy Prophet and had not forged communal politics in the name of religion then Islam’s growth would not have halted. By the time of the decline of the Mughal rule, the Muslims in India were a little over 22.5 million, that is about 65% of the present numbers. Since then the numbers kept increasing. If the Muslim politicians had not used the offensive language that embittered communal relations, and the other section acting as agents of British interests had not worked to widen the Hindu-Muslim breach, the number of Muslims in India would have grown higher.

The political disputes we created in the name of religion have projected Islam as an instrument of political power and not what it is — a value system meant for the transformation of human soul. Under British influence, we turned Islam into a confined system, and following in the footsteps of other communities like Jews, Parsis and Hindus we transformed ourselves into a hereditary community. The Indian Muslims have frozen Islam and its message and divided themselves into many sects. Some sects were clearly born at the instance of colonial power. Consequently, these sects became devoid of all movement and dynamism and lost faith in Islamic values.

The hallmark of Muslim existence was striving and now the very term is strange to them. Surely they are Muslims, but they follow their own whims and desires. In fact now they easily submit to political power, not to Islamic values. They prefer the religion of politics not the religion of the Quran. Pakistan is a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam. The question is when and where Islam provided for division of territories to settle populations on the basis of belief and unbelief. Does this find any sanction in the Quran or the traditions of the Holy Prophet? Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis? If we accept this division in principle, how shall we reconcile it with Islam as a universal system? How shall we explain the ever growing Muslim presence in non-Muslim lands including India? Do they realise that if Islam had approved this principle then it would not have permitted its followers to go to the non-Muslim lands and many ancestors of the supporters of Pakistan would not have had even entered the fold of Islam? Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda, but it finds no sanction in Islam or Quran.

What is the cherished goal of a devout Muslim? Spreading the light of Islam or dividing territories along religious lines to pursue political ambitions? The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner. How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself will ensure that Islam will become a rare commodity in Pakistan and Muslims in India. This is a surmise and God alone knows what is in the womb of future. Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature.

As far as I can see, the people who will hold the reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.

Q: But many Ulema are with Quaid-e-Azam [M.A. Jinnah].

A: Many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. Our history is replete with the doings of the Ulema who have brought humiliation and disgrace to Islam in every age and period. The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years? There was one Imam Hanbal, one Ibn Taimiyya. In India we remember no Ulema except Shah Waliullah and his family. The courage of Alf Sani is beyond doubt, but those who filled the royal office with complaints against him and got him imprisoned were also Ulema. Where are they now? Does anybody show any respect to them?

Q: Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality? After all, “Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the community.

A: You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such enormities. In the battle of Jamal [fought between Imam Ali and Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet] Qurans were displayed on lances. Was that right? In Karbala the family members of the Holy Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of the Prophet. Was that right? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right? No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive.

If Pakistan was right for Muslims then I would have supported it. But I see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand. I do not expect people to follow me, but it is not possible for me to go against the call of my conscience. People generally submit either to coercion or to the lessons of their experience. Muslims will not hear anything against Pakistan unless they experience it. Today they can call white black, but they will not give up Pakistan. The only way it can be stopped now is either for the government not to concede it or for Mr Jinnah himself — if he agrees to some new proposal.

Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.

We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand, it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have three options before them:

1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there?

2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce (reject) Islam.

The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan. But more than 30 million Muslims will be left behind in India. What promise Pakistan holds for them? The situation that will arise after the expulsion of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan will be still more dangerous for them. Pakistan itself will be afflicted by many serious problems. The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this control will become tight. India will have no problem with this outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan.

The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains (To consider or reject as beneath oneself.) outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all. Gandhiji was not happy with the presidentship of Bose and turned the tide against him by going on a fast unto death at Rajkot. Subhas Bose rose against Gandhiji and disassociated himself from the Congress. The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests.

The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never created durable political unity anywhere in the world. The Arab world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common civilisation and culture and speak a common language. In fact they acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity among them. Their systems of government are different and they are often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility. On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate.

After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we gained and what have we lost.

The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from competent rivals. It will be interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.

I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems:

1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.

Q: But the question is how Muslims can keep their community identity intact and how they can inculcate the attributes of the citizens of a Muslim state.

A: Hollow words cannot falsify the basic realities nor slanted questions can make the answers deficient. It amounts to distortion of the discourse. What is meant by community identity? If this community identity has remained intact during the British slavery, how will it come under threat in a free India in whose affairs Muslims will be equal participants? What attributes of the Muslim state you wish to cultivate? The real issue is the freedom of faith and worship and who can put a cap on that freedom. Will independence reduce the 90 million Muslims into such a helpless state that they will feel constrained in enjoying their religious freedom? If the British, who as a world power could not snatch this liberty, what magic or power do the Hindus have to deny this freedom of religion? These questions have been raised by those, who, under the influence of western culture, have renounced their own heritage and are now raising dust through political gimmickry.

Muslim history is an important part of Indian history. Do you think the Muslim kings were serving the cause of Islam? They had a nominal relationship with Islam; they were not Islamic preachers. Muslims of India owe their gratitude to Sufis, and many of these divines were treated by the kings very cruelly. Most of the kings created a large band of Ulema who were an obstacle in the path of the propagation of Islamic ethos and values.

Islam, in its pristine form, had a tremendous appeal and in the first century won the hearts and minds of a large number of people living in and around Hejaz. But the Islam that came to India was different, the carriers were non-Arabs and the real spirit was missing. Still, the imprint of the Muslim period is writ large (Signified, expressed, or embodied with greater magnitude) on the culture, music, art, architecture and languages of India. What do the cultural centres of India, like Delhi and Lucknow, represent? The underlying Muslim spirit is all too obvious.

If the Muslims still feel under threat and believe that they will be reduced to slavery in free India then I can only pray for their faith and hearts. If a man becomes disenchanted with life he can be helped to revival, but if someone is timid (Lacking self-confidence; shy.)and lacks courage, then it is not possible to help him become brave and gutsy. The Muslims as a community have become cowards. They have no fear of God, instead they fear men. This explains why they are so obsessed with threats to their existence — a figment of their imagination.

After British takeover, the government committed all possible excesses against the Muslims. But Muslims did not cease to exist. On the contrary, they registered a growth that was more than average. The Muslim cultural ethos and values have their own charm. Then India has large Muslim neighbours on three sides. Why on earth the majority in this country will be interested to wipe out the Muslims? How will it promote their self interests? Is it so easy to finish 90 million people? In fact, Muslim culture has such attraction that I shall not be surprised if it comes to have the largest following in free India.

The world needs both, a durable peace and a philosophy of life. If the Hindus can run after Marx and undertake scholarly studies of the philosophy and wisdom of the West, they do not disdain Islam and will be happy to benefit from its principles. In fact they are more familiar with Islam and acknowledge that Islam does not mean parochialism (Narrowly restricted in scope or outlook; provincial: ) of a hereditary community or a despotic system of governance. Islam is a universal call to establish peace on the basis of human equality. They know that Islam is the proclamation of a Messenger who calls to the worship of God and not his own worship. Islam means freedom from all social and economic discriminations and reorganisation of society on three basic principles of God-consciousness, righteous action and knowledge.

In fact, it is we Muslims and our extremist behaviour that has created an aversion among non-Muslims for Islam. If we had not allowed our selfish ambitions to soil the purity of Islam then many seekers of truth would have found comfort in the bosom of Islam. Pakistan has nothing to do with Islam; it is a political demand that is projected by Muslim League as the national goal of Indian Muslims. I feel it is not the solution to the problems Muslims are facing. In fact it is bound to create more problems.

The Holy Prophet has said, “God has made the whole earth a mosque for me.” Now do not ask me to support the idea of the partition of a mosque. If the nine-crore Muslims were thinly scattered all over India, and demand was made to reorganise the states in a manner to ensure their majority in one or two regions, that was understandable. Again such a demand would not have been right from an Islamic viewpoint, but justifiable on administrative grounds. But the situation, as it exists, is drastically different. All the border states of India have Muslim majorities sharing borders with Muslim countries. Tell me, who can eliminate these populations? By demanding Pakistan we are turning our eyes away from the history of the last 1,000 years and, if I may use the League terminology, throwing more than 30 million Muslims into the lap of “Hindu Raj”. The Hindu Muslim problem that has created political tension between Congress and League will become a source of dispute between the two states and with the aid of international powers this may erupt into full scale war anytime in future.

The question is often raised that if the idea of Pakistan is so fraught with dangers for the Muslims, why is it being opposed by the Hindus? I feel that the opposition to the demand is coming from two quarters. One is represented by those who genuinely feel concerned about imperial machinations and strongly believe that a free, united India will be in a better position to defend itself. On the other hand, there is a section who opposes Pakistan with the motive to provoke Muslims to become more determined in their demand and thus get rid of them. Muslims have every right to demand constitutional safeguards, but partition of India cannot promote their interests. The demand is the politically incorrect solution of a communal problem.

In future India will be faced with class problems, not communal disputes; the conflict will be between capital and labour. The communist and socialist movements are growing and it is not possible to ignore them. These movements will increasingly fight for the protection of the interest of the underclass. The Muslim capitalists and the feudal classes are apprehensive of this impending threat. Now they have given this whole issue a communal colour and have turned the economic issue into a religious dispute. But Muslims alone are not responsible for it. This strategy was first adopted by the British government and then endorsed by the political minds of Aligarh. Later, Hindu short-sightedness made matters worse and now freedom has become contingent on the partition of India.

Jinnah himself was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. In one Congress session Sarojini Naidu had commended him with this title. He was a disciple of Dadabhai Naoroji. He had refused to join the 1906 deputation of Muslims that initiated communal politics in India. In 1919 he stood firmly as a nationalist and opposed Muslim demands before the Joint Select Committee. On 3 October 1925, in a letter to the Times of India he rubbished the suggestion that Congress is a Hindu outfit. In the All Parties Conferences of 1925 and 1928, he strongly favoured a joint electorate. While speaking at the National Assembly in 1925, he said, “I am a nationalist first and a nationalist last” and exhorted his colleagues, be they Hindus or Muslims, “not to raise communal issues in the House and help make the Assembly a national institution in the truest sense of the term”.

In 1928, Jinnah supported the Congress call to boycott Simon Commission. Till 1937, he did not favour the demand to partition India. In his message to various student bodies he stressed the need to work for Hindu Muslim unity. But he felt aggrieved when the Congress formed governments in seven states and ignored the Muslim League. In 1940 he decided to pursue the partition demand to check Muslim political decline. In short, the demand for Pakistan is his response to his own political experiences. Mr Jinnah has every right to his opinion about me, but I have no doubts about his intelligence. As a politician he has worked overtime to fortify Muslim communalism and the demand for Pakistan. Now it has become a matter of prestige for him and he will not give it up at any cost.

Q: It is clear that Muslims are not going to turn away from their demand for Pakistan. Why have they become so impervious to all reason and logic of arguments?

A: It is difficult, rather impossible, to fight against the misplaced enthusiasm of a mob, but to suppress one’s conscience is worse than death. Today the Muslims are not walking, they are flowing. The problem is that Muslims have not learnt to walk steady; they either run or flow with the tide.

When a group of people lose confidence and self-respect, they are surrounded by imaginary doubts and dangers and fail to make a distinction between the right and the wrong. The true meaning of life is realised not through numerical strength but through firm faith and righteous action. British politics has sown many seeds of fear and distrust in the mental field of Muslims. Now they are in a frightful state, bemoaning (To express grief over; lament. ) the departure of the British and demanding partition before the foreign masters leave. Do they believe that partition will avert all the dangers to their lives and bodies? If these dangers are real then they will still haunt their borders and any armed conflict will result in much greater loss of lives and possessions.

Q: But Hindus and Muslims are two different nations with different and disparate inclinations. How can the unity between the two be achieved?

A: This is an obsolete debate. I have seen the correspondence between Allama Iqbal and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni on the subject. In the Quran the term qaum has been used not only for the community of believers but has also been used for distinct human groupings generally. What do we wish to achieve by raising this debate about the etymological scope of terms like millat [community], qaum [nation] and ummat [group]? In religious terms India is home to many people — the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs etc. The differences between Hindu religion and Islam are vast in scope. But these differences cannot be allowed to become an obstacle in the path of India gaining her freedom nor do the two distinct and different systems of faith negate the idea of unity of India. The issue is of our national independence and how we can secure it. Freedom is a blessing and is the right of every human being. It cannot be divided on the basis of religion.

(Definition"etymological": The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.)

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect. Apart from Wahabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution. The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [fatwas declaring someone as infidel] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers.
Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs. Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilized then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult.

But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs.

Q: You closed down your journal Al-Hilal a long time back. Was it due to your disappointment with the Muslims who were wallowing in intellectual desolation, or did you feel like proclaiming azan [call to prayer] in a barren desert?

A: I abandoned Al-Hilal not because I had lost faith in its truth. This journal created great awareness among a large section of Muslims. They renewed their faith in Islam, in human freedom and in consistent pursuit of righteous goals. In fact my own life was greatly enriched by this experience and I felt like those who had the privilege of learning under the companionship of the Messenger of God. My own voice entranced me and under its impact I burnt out like a phoenix. Al-Hilal had served its purpose and a new age was dawning.
Based on my experiences, I made a reappraisal of the situation and decided to devote all my time and energy for the attainment of our national freedom. I was firm in my belief that freedom of Asia and Africa largely depends on India’s freedom and Hindu Muslim unity is key to India’s freedom. Even before the First World War, I had realised that India was destined to attain freedom, and no power on earth would be able to deny it. I was also clear in my mind about the role of Muslims. I ardently wished that Muslims would learn to walk together with their countrymen and not give an opportunity to history to say that when Indians were fighting for their independence, Muslims were looking on as spectators. Let nobody say that instead of fighting the waves they were standing on the banks and showing mirth on the drowning of boats carrying the freedom fighters

Courtesy: Covert Magazine

Afghans Punished CIA Agents & Canadians

CAPTION CORRECTION - CORRECTING TRANSLATION OF PLACARD. Afghan protesters hold a picture of a boy, who they claim was killed by foreign forces during military operations in Afghanistan, in Kabul December 30, 2009. Hundreds of Afghans joined street rallies on Wednesday to protest the killing of 10 civilians, most of them teenage students, in a military raid by foreign forces over the weekend. Placard reads " What did I do to be killed?" . REUTERS/Ahmad Masood (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

Israeli crimes caused Ballawi and Nidal reactions!

American support for Israeli crimes caused Ballawi and Nidal reactions!
Despite being ruled by successive King traitors, Jordan is portrayed as one of America staunchest allies in the area. Its intelligence agents have been rendering their services and coordinating efforts with MOSSAD, MI-6 and the CIA in supporting the war on Iraq and in Afghanistan. Furthermore there is a monthly meeting with MOSSAD to share information on Palestinian activities. During summer of 2006, the Jordanian King openly supported the Israelis in their violent attacks on Lebanon and blamed Hezbullah for starting the war, at the time when Israeli warplanes were merciless in bombarding civilian targets and cluster- bombing Palestinian camps. The policies of the Jordanian kings have helped to create a fertile environment for extremists. It was no wonder that the first action of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, was to blow up the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad that is after killing the CIA station chief in Amman.

The common denominator for the massacre at Forthood by Dr Nidal Hassan and the attack on the CIA cell near the Pakistani border by Dr Homam Al-Balwi was no other than the American support for Israeli crimes*. No Arab or Muslim can possibly remain silent after what has happened in Gaza and what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories with the support of successive American Presidents. The Americans are a party to all Israeli crimes.
Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times
* A cousin of King Abdullah II, Major Al-Shareef Ali Bin Zeid, an intelligence officer, was aslo killed while supporting CIA activities.

Amman - The Jordanian Army announced Wednesday that one of its ranking officers was killed earlier in the day in Afghanistan. "Captain Ali bin Zeid was martyred this evening as he performed his humanitarian duty along with other Jordanian troops operating in Afghanistan," the official Petra news agency quoted an army spokesman as saying.

The statement gave no details as to the circumstances of bin Zeid's death, but said that he held the title of "Sherif," an indication that he was close to the ruling family. He is the first Jordanian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

Jordan is the only Arab country that has publicly contributed forces to the US-led military alliance in Afghanistan, but authorities have so far refrained from disclosing the number of troops.

NATO's website listed 90 Jordanian soldiers alongside other contributions to the multinational force.

CIA probes how bomber penetrated Afghan base
31 Dec 2009 18:14:20 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Recasts with details)

WASHINGTON, Dec 31 (Reuters) - The CIA has launched an internal review of how a suicide bomber penetrated its base in eastern Afghanistan, killing seven of its officers, the second-highest death toll in the agency's history, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The CIA officers died in an attack on Wednesday at the base near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the agency said in a statement earlier on Thursday. It added that six other employees were injured in the bombing, the deadliest since a 1983 bombing in Beirut, which killed eight.

The security breach was a setback to the CIA, which has been expanding its presence in Afghanistan to counter the resurgent Taliban militants.

CIA Director Leon Panetta said the deaths would not deter the agency.

"There are plenty of people here who are capable and willing to make sure that these people will be avenged," a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

"This incident is being looked at very, very carefully, and what there is to be learned will be learned," the official added.

The CIA said it would not release the names of those killed or provide details about the work they were doing for the agency, citing "the sensitivity of their mission and other ongoing operations."

CIA agents oversee strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda targets along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

(Reporting by Adam Entous; Editing by Paul Simao)

REFILE - UPDATING CAPTION Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang is seen in a handout photo released to Reuters on December 30, 2009. According to local media reports, Lang and four Canadian soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Wednesday. She was covering the war for the Canwest News Service. REUTERS/Calgary Herald//CANWEST NEWS SERVICE/ Handout (CANADA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY OBITUARY)

Afghan insurgents kill CIA agents, Canadians
31 Dec 2009 02:39:42 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Repeats to fix format)

* Insurgents target CIA agents, Canadian soldiers

* Agents were at base engaged in reconstruction

* Canadian journalist killed in south

By Jonathon Burch

KABUL, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Insurgents intensified their campaign against military targets and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, killing eight U.S. CIA agents at a base and four Canadian servicemen on patrol
U.S. officials said the dead Americans -- killed in a suicide bombing on a military base in southeastern Khost province on Wednesday -- were CIA agents.and a journalist accompanying them.

It was one of the highest foreign non-military death tolls in the eight-year war against the Islamist Taliban.

The four Canadians and the journalist from the Calgary Herald were killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by a bomb in southern Kandahar province on Wednesday, the Canadian Defence Ministry said.

The base in Khost province, Forward Operating Base Chapman, was engaged in reconstruction projects, a key part of U.S. President Barack Obama's strategy to stabilise the country.

Some people were wounded in the explosion, defence officials said, but no U.S. or NATO troops were among them.

Asked whether the suicide blast occurred inside the base, one official said: "That's my understanding." Another senior official confirmed the attack involved an explosive vest.

U.S. President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem the violence, with NATO allies also contributing thousands more.

Washington has pledged a "civilian surge", adding hundreds of U.S. experts to support work on development projects that aim to undermine support for the Taliban and other insurgents.

An Afghan army official on Wednesday said the United States had pledged $16 billion to spend on training and equipping Afghanistan's army and air force. [ID:n30220143]

The blast in Kandahar, about four km (2.5 miles) outside the city, struck the Canadian patrol as it was visiting community reconstruction projects, officials said.

The journalist killed was Michelle Lang, 34, on assignment for the Canwest News Service. She was on on her fist assignment in Afghanistan and had been in the country since Dec. 11.

The attack brought Canada's military deaths in Afghanistan to 138. Canada has a 2,800-strong military mission in Afghanistan, but the mission has become increasingly unpopular at home and it is scheduled to be withdrawn at the end of 2011.


The Taliban's armed campaign is at its bloodiest level since the militants, in power from the mid-1990s, were overthrown by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

Civilian and military casualty tolls have reached record levels. Suicide attackers even targetted United Nations employees at a guesthouse in Kabul, killing five.

Many civilians working outside Kabul have retreated into army bases as the security situation has deteriorated. Bases are heavily fortified and require extensive security checks to enter.

Foreign aid agencies warned earlier this year that the shift into the military bases, and the use of military personnel to carry out development projects, risked a dangerous blurring of the boundaries between troops and civilians.

But intensified activity by the U.S.-led force has also bred resentment among Afghans, particularly as local civilians have been killed in several attacks.

Hundreds protested on Wednesday against the killing of 10 civilians, mostly teenagers, in a raid by foreign forces that NATO forces said occurred in a battle in which nine insurgents were killed.

That attack heightened tensions between President Hamid Karzai's government, under pressure since his disputed re-election last August and NATO. Karzai condemned this week's civilian deaths and ordered an investigation.

Khost is one of the areas of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, and most foreigners there are troops or working under military protection.

In September, a suicide bomber rammed a car into a military convoy of foreign forces there, killing one American. (Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Bill Tarrant)


By AMIR SHAH, Associated Press Writer Amir Shah, Associated Press Writer – 9 mins ago

KABUL – The Taliban claimed responsibility Thursday for a suicide bombing at a base in eastern Afghanistan that killed eight American civilians and one Afghan, the worst loss of life for the U.S. in the country since October. A U.S. congressional official said CIA employees are believed to be among the victims.

Separately, four Canadian soldiers and a journalist imbedded in their unit were killed Wednesday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's south, the bloodiest single incident suffered by that country's military in 2009.

Michelle Lang, a 34-year-old health reporter with the Calgary Herald, was the first Canadian journalist to die in Afghanistan. She arrived in the country just two weeks ago.

Also Thursday, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province in the south said an airstrike by international forces killed and wounded civilians. Dawud Ahmadi said he did not have immediate information on how many died in the attack Wednesday in Babajid district, which he said occurred after an international forces patrol came under fire.

NATO said it was aware of the reports and was investigating. Claims of civilians killed by foreign forces are a highly emotional issue among Afghans and feed strong resentment of international soldiers.

It was not immediately clear how the suicide bomber at the base at the edge of Khost city was able to circumvent security.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that an Afghan National Army officer wearing a suicide vest entered the base Wednesday and blew himself up inside the gym. A U.S. official who was briefed on the blast also said it took place in the gym.

Khost is the capital of Khost province, which borders Pakistan and is a Taliban stronghold.

The U.S. official said eight American civilians and one Afghan were killed; it was not clear if the Afghan victim was military or civilian. Six Americans were wounded, the official said.

The CIA has not yet commented on or confirmed the deaths.

There was no independent confirmation that the bomber was a member of the Afghan military. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said no Afghan National Army soldiers are at the base, named FOB Chapman.

But an Afghan official in Khost said about 200 Afghans have been contracted by the U.S. to take care of security at the base. They are usually deployed on the outer ring of its walls, although some work inside, the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

"It's not the first time that Afghan forces have conducted such an attack to kill Americans or foreigners," the Taliban statement said, citing the killing of an American soldier and the wounding of two Italians this week in Badghis province. NATO has provided no details of that incident, but Afghan Gen. Jalander Shah Bahnam said an Afghan soldier opened fire on a base in the province's Bala Murghab district.

The congressional official in Washington said it was not clear how many of the victims in Khost were assigned to the CIA.

A senior State Department official said all of the victims were civilians. A former senior CIA officer who was stationed at the base said a combination of agency officers and contractors operated out of the remote outpost with the military and other agencies.

All the U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

NATO said only that the base is used by provincial reconstruction teams, which consist of both soldiers and civilians, and other personnel.

A spokesman in Kabul for the international coalition force said no U.S. or NATO troops were killed in the explosion. The attack was the bloodiest for Americans since eight soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack on a base in eastern Afghanistan on Oct. 3.

In the south, NATO said the four Canadian troops and the reporter died when their armored vehicle hit a bomb while on an afternoon patrol south of Kandahar city. It was the third-deadliest day for Canadians in Afghanistan since the war began.

Lang "was one of those journalists who always wanted to get to the bottom of every story so this was an important trip for her," said a Calgary Herald colleague, Colette Derworiz.

The military has not disclosed the names of the Canadian troops because relatives have not all been notified.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard, commander of coalition forces in Kandahar, said the soldiers were conducting a community security patrol.

Wednesday's attack was the second lethal strike against Canadian forces in a week. One Canadian soldier and an Afghan soldier were killed Dec. 23 during a foot patrol in Panjwayi district of Kandahar province. According to figures compiled by The Associated Press, the latest casualties bring to 32 the number of Canadian forces killed in Afghanistan this year; in all, 138 have died in the war.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement of condolence to Americans and Canadians, saying "your children sacrificed their lives for the people of Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism. The Afghans will not forget your sacrifice."

Separately Wednesday, NATO questioned Afghan reports that international troops killed 10 civilians, including children, in a weekend attack that prompted hundreds of angry Afghan protesters to burn an effigy of President Barack Obama and chant "death" to America.

The head of an investigative team appointed by Karzai told AP that eight students between the ages of 12 and 14 were among the dead discovered in a village house in a remote section of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan. NATO said late Wednesday that there was no direct evidence to substantiate the claims, but requested a joint investigation.

Although insurgents are responsible for the deaths of far more civilians, those blamed on coalition forces spark the most resentment and undermine the fight against militants. With 37,000 more U.S. and NATO troops being deployed to the battle zone, concern over civilian casualties is unlikely to ease anytime soon.

Several hundred Afghans demonstrated in Kabul and in the eastern city of Jalalabad in the wake of the reported deaths.


Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann and Jim Heintz in Kabul; Matthew Lee, Pam Hess and Pauline Jelinek in Washington, and Adam Goldman in New York City contributed to this report.


Bomber who killed CIA operatives in Afghanistan was triple agent

Ex-Jordanian militant had agreed to help CIA find al-Qaida chief before turning against US spy agency

The suicide bomber who killed eight people at a US base in eastern Afghanistan last week was a triple agent brought to the outpost after offering information to catch a leading al-Qaida aide.

The attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province killed seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer said to have brought the bomber, a Jordanian doctor, to the spy agency outpost.

US news agencies, citing intelligence sources, identified the attacker as Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old doctor from the town of Zarqa, Jordan.

Balawi was arrested by Jordanian intelligence more than a year ago on suspicion of extremist sympathies, then apparently agreed to support the US in its fight against al-Qaida.

Jordanian authorities believed Balawi had reformed and handed him over to the CIA so that he could infiltrate al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
He was invited to the remote base on the restive border with Pakistan after offering urgent information to help locate Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, Associated Press reported. Officials said he was not searched for bombs when he entered the base. A CIA spokeswoman declined to comment.

The latest account of the attack contradicted a statement by the Taliban soon after the blast, which was said to have occurred as CIA officers began questioning Balawi at the base. A Taliban spokesman initially said the attacker was a sympathiser in the Afghan national army.

The CIA has vowed to avenge the attack, which killed four CIA officers, including the base's female chief, and three contract security guards.

Shortly after the attack, Barack Obama sent a letter of condolence to CIA employees, saying the spy agency has been tested "as never before" since the September 11 attacks. The letter, which was released to the White House press corps, was criticised for its open acknowledgement of the secretive CIA's role in the Afghanistan war.

The attack was the biggest loss of life for the CIA since the 1983 bombing of the agency's Beirut station, which killed 17 officers.

Zarqa, a bleak industrial town north-east of the Jordanian capital Amman, has spawned other killers. In 2006, a man from the town killed a British tourist and wounded five others when he opened fire on a tour group in Amman. Zarqa was also the hometown of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the self-styled leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was killed by a US air strike in 2006.

The attack has occurred as the US is sending 30,000 more troops to the country, bringing the total number of its forces to about 100,000. Last year was the deadliest for US and Nato forces since the Taliban were overthrown by US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001. Bin Laden and Zawahiri, also a doctor, are said to have taken refuge in the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan after the US invasion.

CIA attack a blow but won't stop anti-terror hunt

By ANNE GEARAN and PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writers Anne Gearan And Pamela Hess, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 31 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The use of pilotless drones was supposed to minimize U.S. casualties in the campaign to hunt and kill militants. But the deaths of seven CIA employees along the Pakistan-Afghan border has exposed an unfortunate truth: Drone strikes depend in part on good tips gathered through old-fashioned spycraft that sometimes goes terribly awry.

The deaths in Afghanistan last week were a severe blow to the expertise and talent pool of the CIA in a little-understood country where its spies are now most at risk. But the U.S. isn't pulling back on covert operations to hunt terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan and will go on taking chances on human tipsters.

The United States struck back at militant targets in Pakistan on Wednesday with explosives apparently launched from an airborne drone — the latest of five such responses since the bombing that killed several top CIA operatives at a secretive eastern Afghan base reportedly used as a key outpost in the effort to identify and target terror leaders.

The past week's drone attacks were a lethal message that the Obama administration views its airstrikes as too effective to abandon, even though they are unpopular with civilians and the U.S.-backed governments in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The apparent strikes killed at least 13 people in an area of Pakistan's volatile northwest teeming with militants, who are suspected of directing the suicide attack last week across the border in Afghanistan.

The bomber, a Jordanian doctor identified as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, apparently was a double agent — perhaps even a triple agent — who had been considered a key asset. Al-Balawi was invited inside the outpost facility bearing a promise of information about al-Qaida's second-in-command, presumed to be hiding in Pakistan.

Charles Faddis, a former agency case officer, said it was a major strike to agency operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"CIA is a small outfit," said Faddis, who recently published "Beyond Repair," a scathing assessment of the agency.
"You don't lose this many people in one strike and not feel it acutely."

A message posted by a top al-Qaida leader Wednesday on jihadist Internet forums praised the bombing and said it was to avenge the deaths of a Pakistani Taliban leader and two al-Qaida figures: Baitullah Mehsud, Abu Saleh al-Somali and Abdullah Saeed al-Liby, respectively. Terrorist watchdog groups disagreed over whether the message, signed by al-Qaida's No. 3, Sheikh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was claiming responsibility for the attack.

Al-Somali was a senior al-Qaida operations planner who was killed in an American missile strike last month in western Pakistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official said. Mehsud was a Pakistani Taliban leader killed Aug. 5 in a CIA missile strike in northwest Pakistan. He was suspected of being involved in plotting attacks against the United States and Europe, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss covert operations.

The role of al-Liby could not be immediately determined.

There are no immediate plans to close the once-secret military base where the bomber killed the CIA post chief and wounded the Kabul deputy station chief, and the CIA is expected to quickly rebuild its operations there. The base chief, a woman, was a member of a small unit known as Alec Station created before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to track down Osama bin Laden, according to several former intelligence officials.

A U.S. intelligence official said the agency has increased the size and scope of its operations in Afghanistan and is continuing its counterterrorism mission as before.

Military officials said there may be additional security precautions for people entering the kind of forward operating base that houses the CIA operation. But the CIA controls many of the decisions about whom to meet and where, and how thoroughly to search a presumed informant.

Informants are sometimes invited to secure bases because of the security risk involved in sending undercover employees or other operatives outside the base, current and former intelligence and military officials said.

A federal law enforcement official said the bomber entered the base by car and detonated a powerful explosive just outside the base's gym, where CIA operatives and others had gathered. It was unclear whether the explosives were hidden in a suicide vest or belt, but they set off a "significant blast," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigation.

A small team of FBI agents, including bomb and evidence technicians, flew to the remote Afghan base soon after the blast, the official said. The team, which is working closely with the CIA, has since returned and is still trying to identify the components of the explosives.

Several current and former intelligence and defense officials said the deaths of the CIA agents and the others were a foreseeable cost of doing business with unsavory people in dangerous places.

"The attacks confirm what has been the CIA's view all along, that undertaking intelligence operations requires taking risks, and while those risks can be diminished by excellent tradecraft, hard work and smart people, they can never be eliminated," former CIA officer Steven Cash

The CIA is taking heat from some of its own former employees, however, for apparently taking unnecessary risks in this case by failing to search the bomber before he entered the base. They also raised questions about why more than a dozen U.S. personnel were close by when al-Balawi detonated explosives.

Two CIA operatives might have been plenty, former CIA officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss agency procedures.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, said the agency now would probably be looking carefully at its other sources in the region to ensure they are legitimate.

"If the other side was running this one person against us, how confident are we of everyone else?" Riedel said. "You have to take a period to assess where you are."


Associated Press writer Adam Goldman in New York contributed to this report.


Bomber's wife says husband did not work for CIA
07 Jan 2010 10:08:15 GMT
Source: Reuters
ANKARA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The wife of a double agent who killed seven CIA officers in a suicide attack in Afghanistan said she thought her husband was in Afghanistan to pursue his medical studies and that she was shocked at news of his death.

Defne Bayrak, the Turkish wife of Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, told Turkish media she learned that her husband had blown himself up at a U.S. base in Afghanistan on Dec. 30 after receiving a phone call from one of his friends in Pakistan.

Bayrak, who lives in Istanbul, said her husband had told her 10 days ago that he planned to return to Turkey. She doubted he was working for the CIA or that he was a member of al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda's Afghan wing has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing -- the second-most deadly attack in CIA history -- saying it was revenge for the deaths of their leaders.

"He's a very strong character. If he did it, he must have done it on his own will. Nobody can make him do things,"
Bayrak, a journalist who has written books including one entitled "Osama bin Laden: Che Guevara of the East", told Sabah daily.

"One of his friends in Pakistan called and informed me about the bombing incident. I don't believe he is linked to CIA and al Qaeda. Why would he attack CIA if he was working for them?"

Former intelligence officials have said Balawi, a doctor, was recruited by Jordanian intelligence to try to infiltrate al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Balawi had associated with Islamists in the past, but U.S. and Jordanian spy agencies thought that Balawi had been successfully "de-radicalised".

Bayrak said she met her husband, a Jordanian, while he was studying medicine at Istanbul University. They lived in Jordan, where they had two daughters, before moving back to Turkey in October 2009.

"We had a happy marriage," she told Aksam daily.

"My husband went to Afghanistan to register for a university in order to receive specialty education in medicine. He would come back when his work there was finished. I saw him in March for the last time, and we spoke on the phone 10 days ago. He told me he had changed his mind and would come back to Turkey for his studies. I am very sorry."
(Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia)


Bomber's wife "proud" husband killed CIA officers
07 Jan 2010 16:52:20 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Says she was shocked at news of husband's death

* Learned of bombing in call from friend in Pakistan

(Recasts with new quotes)

ANKARA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The wife of a double agent who killed seven CIA officers in a suicide attack in Afghanistan said on Thursday her husband regarded the United States as an enemy and she was proud of his mission.

Defne Bayrak, the Turkish wife of Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, said she doubted he was working for the CIA.

"I am proud of my husband. He has carried out a very important mission in such a war," Bayrak, who now lives in Istanbul, told reporters.

"I think it's impossible that he was an American agent. He was too adversary to work for America. He only could have used America and Jordan to reach his goals."

Bayrak, a journalist who has written books including one entitled "Osama bin Laden: Che Guevara of the East", earlier told the newspaper Sabah she believed her husband was in Afghanistan to pursue his medical studies and she was shocked at news of his death.

Wearing a black chador, she said she learned in a phone call from one of her Jordanian husband's friends in Pakistan that he had blown himself up at a U.S. base in Afghanistan on Dec. 30. The friend also told her he would send her her husband's will and last letter, she said.

"Our last phone call took place about four to six weeks ago and we made contact through the Internet 10 days ago. He told me he would come back to Turkey and would even apply for Turkish citizenship. He would continue his medical studies here."

Balawi blew himself up inside Forward Operating Base Chapman, a well-fortified compound in Khost province near the southeastern border with Pakistan.

Al Qaeda's Afghan wing has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, the second-most deadly attack in CIA history, saying it was revenge for the deaths of their leaders.

"He's a very strong character. If he did it, he must have done it on his own will. Nobody can make him do things," Bayrak told Sabah.

Former intelligence officials have said Balawi, a doctor, was recruited by Jordanian intelligence to try to infiltrate al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Balawi had associated with Islamists in the past, but U.S. and Jordanian spy agencies believed he had been successfully "de-radicalised".

Bayrak said she met her husband while he was studying medicine at Istanbul University. They lived in Jordan, where they had two daughters, before moving back to Turkey in October 2009.

"I am not the one to decide whether he is a martyr or not. I pray to Allah to accept his martyrdom." (Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia; editing by Andrew Dobbie)



TV shows CIA bomber with Pakistani Taliban leader
09 Jan 2010 07:52:23 GMT
Source: Reuters
ISLAMABAD, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A Pakistani television station showed on Saturday what it says was the double agent who killed CIA agents in Afghanistan with Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

Private television station AAJ showed a video of the bomber speaking in English with Mehsud sitting beside him.

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/afghanistanpakistan)


Cairo - The death of a Pakistani Taliban chief would be avenged both "inside and outside the United States," according to the al-Qaeda bomber who killed seven officers of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a December 30 attack in Afghanistan. In an alleged video message aired Saturday on the Doha-based al- Jazeera news channel, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi said:
"We will never forget the blood of our Emir Baitullah Mehsud."

"To retaliate for his death in and outside the United States will remain an obligation on all exiles who were harboured by Baitullah Mehsud,"
he added.

Baitullah Mehsud, the highest ranking leader of al-Qaeda ally the Taliban in Pakistan, was killed in August in a US missile attack in South Waziristan, a Pakistani area bordering Afghanistan.

The attack against a US intelligence base in Afghanistan left seven US CIA officers and a Jordanian intelligence officer dead. Al-Balawi was a "double agent" recruited by Jordanian intelligence services to act as an informant on the activities of the international terrorist network al-Qaeda.

"This is a message to the enemies of the Umma (Islamic nation), to the Jordanian intelligence and the CIA," al-Balawi said in the video.

The attacker's father, Khalil al-Balawi, confirmed on a report by the British broadcaster BBC in Jordan that the person speaking in the video was definitely his son.

The US IntelCenter, which specializes in analyzing Islamist websites, reported that the new Taliban chief in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, can be seen next to al-Balawi in the video.

Khalil al-Balawi held the "American oppression of Muslims in the world" responsible for the radicalization of his son. The attacker's wife speaking to US broadcaster CNN stated that she was proud of her husband deed.

The attacker, a 36-year-old Jordanian doctor, arrested more than a year ago by Jordanian intelligence, was believed to have been reformed, and sent off to Afghanistan and Pakistan to infiltrate al- Qaeda.

Western officials said he contacted his Jordanian handler and said he needed to meet urgently with the CIA team at the base in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan, where he detonated an explosive- laden vest.


FACTBOX-Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah in CIA bomber video
09 Jan 2010 11:54:33 GMT
Source: Reuters
Jan 9 (Reuters) - A Pakistan television station showed on Saturday what it said was the suicide bomber who killed CIA agents in Afghanistan sitting with Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, and reported he shared U.S. and Jordanian state secrets with militants.

Here are some facts about Hakimullah Mehsud:

- Hakimullah became overall head of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, (Taliban Movement of Pakistan) in August 2009 after the death of his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in a missile strike by a CIA-operated drone.

- Before his elevation as Taliban head, Hakimullah was commander of about 8,000 militants in the Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber ethnic Pashtun tribal regions.

- Believed to be in his 30s, he is considered more violent than his predecessor, but also quite media savvy. He has vowed to take revenge for Mehsud's killing.

- Hakimullah claimed responsibility for a daring suicide attack on Peshawar's Pearl Continental hotel last year that killed seven people, including two U.N. workers. His fighters regularly ambush trucks taking supplies through the Khyber Pass to Afghan government and Western forces across the border.

- He works closely with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group linked to al Qaeda that has its roots in central Punjab province.

- Hakimullah lost all his main bases in his South Waziristan bastion in a Pakistani offensive in mid-October. His whereabouts are not known but he is believed to have fled South Waziristan to seek shelter with allies, possibly in North Waziristan.

(For main story please click on [ID:SGE60802E])

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/afghanistanpakistan)


The economics of suicide attacks

This is not to discuss the social, educational or economic background of those carrying out daring and suicidal attacks on enemy positions, since Dr Nidal and Dr Homam attacks have answered many relevant questions. It is about the most efficient way of inflicting heavy losses when outnumbered by a highly-trained and heavily-armed barbaric enemy.

In 2004 91 US marines were killed in the battle of Fallujah in Iraq to the cost of 2400 dead to Iraqi resistance fighters, for a ratio of approximately 26 fighters were needed to kill one US marine. What an inefficient way of utilising human resources in comparison with Hezbullah record of one suicidal fighter to kill 241 US marines in Beirut in 1983, during the US-supported Israeli occupation of Lebanon.

The second best record is 158 killed to one suicidal person recorded on 911, 2001 when 19 Al-Qaeda followers killed close to 3016 people at the NY WTC and at the pentagon.

In another suicidal attack, in April 18 1983, Hezbullah destroyed a section of the US embassy in Beirut killing 60 people including the entire Middle East CIA experts (N0.17) which included top M.E. expert Robert C. Ames and CIA Station Chief Kenneth Haas. The attack was to avenge the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla by Israeli trained and armed, a 150-man unit of Christian Falange that killed between 800-3000 innocent Palestinian refugees.

Following Fallujah, the Iraqi resistance fighters changed tactics avoiding frontal attacks and intensifying the use of suicidal attacks that started to kill hundreds in one day. The same is being adopted by the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban with devastating results in Peshawar, Lahore, Islamabad, Kabul, Kandahar and Khost. The attack in Khost on December 30, 2009, by Dr Humam Al-Balawi was highly significant since it has directly eliminated CIA agents responsible for killing hundreds of civilians using unmanned drones. Some may criticise my article since it deals with the most efficient way of killing people. But the on-going USraeli anti-Islamic crusade is barbaric. From above presentation, the resistance to USraeli atrocities doesn’t need a greedy Jewish broker to calculate the dividends gained when investing in one single suicidal attack.

Recently, Jewish experts in charge of right-wing Zionist institutes in the US have indicated that most suicide attackers are being seduced by money, hence improving the economic well being of people will prevent Al-Qaeda and Taliban from recruiting young people. That is why I wrote that Dr Nidal and Dr Al-Balwi attacks haved answered such speculations. I have always preached that the USraeli atrocities are the cause of all the violence today. If the US continues its support for Israeli Nazi style crimes there is no hope and the current tit for tat will continue. Obama is depending on Jewish advisors in going to no-where.

People started to realise that wrapping up a dynamite belt or driving a car bomb will do the most damage to the enemy and to his agents. Why be so naive and die carrying a small arm fightinhg the heavily-armed US marines? It is a a matter of simple common sense. By the way, Mr Faroug Abdul Mutalab, Dr Nidal and Dr Humam were not poor or un-educated. Each in his own way found out about the most effective method of hurting the USareli enemies. Thousands are on the way.

One can't help but expect that Jewish businesses around the world to be attacked soon in retaliation for Israeli Nazi-style crimes. It is rather unfortunate as there are so many good and educated Jews who are opposed to Israeli atrocities.

There is no power on earth to put USraeli crinials on trial. That is why effective suicidal attacks are highly justified. One must take the law in his own hands when there is no law.

George W. Bush ordered his CIA to carry out dirty works in Iraq to blame the resistance for the violence. In Vietnam, the Americans carried out Phoenix operation which was killing over 1500 Vietnamese a week. Naturally they blamed the Vietcong for bombarding restaurants, cafes and hotels. The operator in Charge of Phoenix operation, John McCone, went to become CIA director. In Tehran, US ambassador to the Shah was nother than James Helms, a former CIA director, who personally supervised the tortutre and killing of anti-Shah elements. In Both Vietnam and Iran the Americans have lost. Iraq will follow soon.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times


FACTBOX-Double agents: The peril and the promise
10 Jan 2010 13:24:15 GMT
Source: Reuters
LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - A Jordanian double agent's killing of CIA employees in Afghanistan shows the complex espionage challenge posed by Islamist militants for the West.

Following are some of the risks and rewards double agents and defectors pose for spy services, an aspect of espionage that former CIA counter-intelligence chief James Jesus Angleton once called a "wilderness of mirrors".



An intelligence officer recruiting a double agent is starting a relationship with someone risking at least a long prison term and probably execution for betraying their own organisation.

The first questions the officer must answer include, "Is this betrayal real?" and "If so, how do I protect this person from being discovered?"

The first question is especially problematic as the officer will have no standard means of verification -- a check can hardly be run with the agent's parent organisation, be that a conventional intelligence service or a militant group.

Psychology will play a role in assessing the double agent and their motivations, which may include money, ideology, coercion or personality quirks such as ego or self-importance.

If the officer is blackmailing the agent, it may not be clear if the target is succumbing genuinely to the pressure.


When an officer is cultivating a double agent the supreme challenge is to win their trust: The agent is putting his or her life in the officer's hands.

But communicating a convivial message of welcome may be difficult if personal contact is intermittent, indirect or impossible due to the absolute need for discretion and secrecy.

Even if personal contact is possible, trust can be destroyed if the potential double agent, often suffering high stress, are given even a faint impression that they are under suspicion.

The value of double agents

Double agents are valuable because they can shed light on the opposition's strengths, weaknesses and intentions. He or she may be in a position to neutralise these ambitions.

The double agent can be used to confuse the enemy or manipulate it.

Career motivations

The intelligence officer's success is advanced by the success of his or her agent. This reality entails a danger. Seeking yet further success, the officer may overlook suspect behaviour by the agent for fear of driving the agent away or ending the run of achievement.

"Recruiting an agent from another service, whether a rival service or a so-called friendly one is the acme(The highest point, as of achievement or development:) of every intelligence officer's career. He or she will do anything to achieve that," wrote espionage expert Phillip Knightley.


Value of defectors

Defectors have been described as the lifeblood of Western intelligence services.

The defector brings up to date knowledge of the opposition. If the defector is well placed, he or she may bring clues to the identity of opposition agents or "moles" in the organisation to which he is defecting. The defector can bring an assessment of what the opposition knows about the intelligence service.

In the Cold War, Western intelligence spent time money and energy trying to identity possible defectors and then trying to persuade or blackmail agents into coming over.

Dangers of defectors

Defectors are dangerous because of the need to decide whether they are genuine or acting under orders as part of a plan to plant a mole or propagate disinformation.

A lesson from the Cold War?

A defector who arrives unexpectedly, who "walks in", is often regarded with suspicion.

In the Cold War Western spies preferred a defector they had "targeted themselves, worked on for a long time and who comes reluctantly, preferably kicking and screaming," wrote Knightley.

"The rationale is simple and cynical: If he can be "turned" once, he can be "turned" again."

(Sources: Former U.S. intelligence officer Robert Ayers, Phillip Knightley's The Second Oldest Pofession, Chris Early interview with former KGB spy Boris Solomatin at www.trutv.com/library/crime/)

For main analysis click on [nLDE60802U]

For analysts' view click on [nLDE6061Q5]

For quotes on the bomber click on [nLDE609099]

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/afghanistanpakistan) (Reporting by William Maclean, editing by Dominic Evans)


The following are excerpts from a video message by triple agent suicide bomber Hamam Al-Bluwi (a.k.a. Abu Dijana), which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 9, 2010.

Reporter: Al-Balawi said that he would carry out his operation in defiance of Jordanian intelligence and the CIA. In the film, Al-Balawi is shown firing a gun several days before his attack. Al-Balawi said, in his [recorded] will, which was obtained by Al-Jazeera, that he refused to bargain, and that he was carrying out the operation to avenge the killing of Baitullah Mahsoud, former leader of the Taliban Pakistan movement.

Hamam Al-Balawi: This is a message to the enemies of the nation, from among the Jordanian intelligence and the CIA: someone who emigrates for the sake of Allah does not offer up his religion for bargaining in the market. Someone who wages Jihad for the sake of Allah will never sell out his religion, even if he is offered the sun and the moon.

We will never forget the blood of our Emir, Baitullah Mahsoud. We will continue to avenge his blood in America and elsewhere. This is a pledge taken by all the muhajireen, who were hosted by Baitullah Mahsoud. By Allah, we shall never forget our Emir, Baitullah Mahsoud, who used to kiss the hands of the muhajireen, out of the love he had for them in his heart. We shall never forget our Emir, Baitullah Mahsoud.

We shall never forget that he said that Sheik Osama Bin Laden was not on [Pakistani] soil, but if he were to come, we would protect him. He was true to his word, and he paid the price for these words in his blood. Allah willing, his successor, the Emir of Taliban Pakistan, Hakimullah, will follow the same path, until we are victorious or taste [martyrdom], like Hamza ibn Abd Al-Mutallib.

Afghan suicide blast kills eight U.S. civilians

30 Dec 2009 19:52:25 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Adds that dead were civilians)

KABUL, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Eight American civilians were killed in a suicide attack on a military base in Afghanistan's southeastern Khost province on Wednesday, U.S. officials said.

"We can confirm that there was an explosion in Khost province and eight Americans have been killed," a U.S. official in Kabul said on condition of anonymity.

No U.S. or NATO troops were injured in the blast at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province, said a U.S. defense official who declined to be named.

Attacks in Afghanistan this year have spiralled to their highest levels since the Taliban were overthrown by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

Washington is sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem the mounting violence, with NATO allies also contributing thousands more.

Civilian and military casualty tolls have reached record levels this year, with suicide attackers even targeting United Nations employees at a guesthouse in the heart of Kabul.

Khost, on the Pakistani border, is one of the areas of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, and most foreigners there are troops or working under military protection.

In late September a suicide bomber rammed a car into a military convoy of foreign forces there, killing one American. (Reporting by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Charles Dick)


Updated at: 0630 PST, Thursday, December 31, 2009
MONTREAL: Five Canadians -- four soldiers and a journalist -- were killed Tuesday in Afghanistan by a bomb that exploded as their armored vehicle passed by, a Canadian general announced Wednesday.

General Daniel Menard, the head of Canadian forces in Afghanistan, announced the deaths on Canadian television without naming the victims.

Public television station identified the journalist killed as Michelle Lang, a reporter with the Calgary Herald.

"Yesterday Canada lost five citizens," Menard said. "Four soldiers and one journalist were killed as a result of an improvised explosive device attack on their armored vehicle during a community patrol in Kandahar City."

Menard said a Canadian civilian official was also injured in attack.


CIA probes Afghan base security after bomber kills 7
31 Dec 2009 21:43:34 GMT
Source: Reuters
(For more on the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, click on [ID:nNAFPAK)

* CIA vows more aggressive operations against militants

* Seven CIA officers killed, six wounded - CIA

* Obama mourns loss, deadliest for CIA since 1983 (Adds State Department comment)

By Adam Entous and Jonathon Burch

WASHINGTON/KABUL, Dec 31 (Reuters) - The CIA vowed on Thursday to avenge the deaths of seven officers in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan and to investigate security breaches that allowed the second deadliest attack in agency history.

The Taliban claimed the attacker was a sympathizer from the Afghan army who detonated a vest of explosives at a meeting with CIA workers on Wednesday. An Afghan was also killed and six CIA employees were wounded, U.S. officials said.

"This deadly attack was carried out by a valorous(Marked by or possessing great personal bravery; valiant ) Afghan army member," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.

In a letter to CIA employees, U.S. President Barack Obama mourned the deaths of those he said "served in the shadows." The death toll was the intelligence agency's highest since eight employees were killed in a bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983.

The chief of the CIA base was among the dead, according to a former intelligence official. "We fully expected to lose agents, but to lose so many all at once is a huge shock to the system and is very troubling,"
he said.

The attack took place inside Forward Operating Base Chapman, a well fortified base in Khost province near the southeastern border with Pakistan, where the CIA has been stepping up operations to battle a resurgent Taliban.

The bombing highlighted the insurgency's reach and coordination at a time when violence has reached its highest levels since the overthrow of the Taliban regime by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001.

CIA Director Leon Panetta said the deaths would not deter the agency.
"This attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counterterrorism operations,"
a U.S. intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. [ID:nN32902832]

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Julie Reside said plans to increase the U.S. civilian presence in Afghanistan remained on track and that security would continue to be a primary concern.

Also on Wednesday, five Canadians -- four soldiers and a journalist -- were killed when their armored vehicle was hit by a bomb in southern Kandahar province, the Canadian Defence Ministry said. [ID:nN30233626]


The Afghan Defense Ministry rejected the Taliban's claim that an Afghan soldier was involved in the attack and said none were stationed at the base. But a spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan acknowledged Afghan security forces were working there. [ID:nSGE5BU05A]

If the bomber does prove to be from the army, it would mark the second deadly attack in three days on foreign troops and officials by Afghan soldiers being groomed to eventually take over the nation's security. [ID:nLDE5BU0C0]

Obama has started deploying 30,000 extra troops to tackle the violence and NATO allies are contributing thousands more.

The surge is scheduled to be scaled back starting in 2011 as the United States gradually hands security province by province over to the Afghans.

Security lapses at U.S. bases have been in the spotlight since a U.S. army psychiatrist allegedly killed 13 people in a Nov. 5 shooting spree at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition he not be named, pointed to the Fort Hood incident as evidence
that problems spotting potentially dangerous personnel were not limited to Afghanistan.

"Any time you have an incident like this, it gives you an opportunity to evaluate a whole range of things, whether it's vetting procedures, whether it's security procedures, whether it's intel, whether it's physical security,"
he said.

The CIA did not say how long its investigation would take.

"There's still a lot to be learned about what happened. The key lesson is that counterterrorism work is dangerous,"
a CIA spokesman said.

The blast that killed the five Canadians struck the patrol as it was visiting reconstruction projects near Kandahar.

The journalist killed, Michelle Lang, 34, was on her first assignment in Afghanistan. She is the third journalist to die in Afghanistan this year. (Additional reporting by Ismail Sameem in Kandahar, Sayed Saluhuddin in Kabul, Phil Stewart and Andrew Quinn in Washington; writing by Phil Stewart, Emma Graham-Harrison; editing by Todd Eastham and Paul Simao)

Bombs kill more than 30 in Iraq

30 Dec 2009 16:09:25 GMT
Source: Reuters
* U.S. forces fly Anbar governor to Baghdad for treatment

* Al Qaeda accused of trying to destabilise Sunni province

* Separate roadside bomb targets Shi'ite pilgrims

(Updates death toll, details from scene)

By Fadhel al-Badrani

RAMADI, Iraq, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Twin suicide bombs killed at least 26 and wounded more than 100 in Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland on Wednesday and a roadside bomb killed seven pilgrims returning from a major Shi'ite Muslim religious festival.

The attacks underscored the tenaciousness of Iraq's ongoing insurgency despite a steep drop in overall violence and reflected Iraq's vulnerability as it prepares for national polls in March and local troops take over from U.S. forces.

U.S. forces flew Qassim Mohammed, governor of Anbar province west of the Iraqi capital, to Baghdad for treatment after he was wounded in the attacks outside the provincial government headquarters in Ramadi, Anbar's provincial capital.

Hospital and police sources said Sadoon Khraibit, a member of Anbar's governing council, and its deputy police chief were wounded in the attacks, which left charred cars, their chassis buckled from the explosion, and bloody wreckage on the street.

A separate, roadside bomb killed seven Iraqi pilgrims who were returning from a major Shi'ite Muslim religious festival, police said. At least 25 other pilgrims were wounded in the attack in Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

The first attack in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, appeared to target the governor's convoy as he made his way to work.

Police Colonel Jabbar Ajaj said a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a vehicle in the initial blast, followed shortly by a second suicide attack by a bomber on foot.

Mohammed was at the site of the blast inspecting the damage, a source at the Ramadi hospital reported, when the second attacker struck. State television Iraqiya said one of the bombers was a man working as a bodyguard for the governor.

"I was walking towards some shops right next to the provincial government compound when a huge explosion happened. I flew through the air, and I woke up in the hospital," said Ahmed Mahmoud, a 30-year-old Ramadi resident.

Many of the 105 people wounded were police.


At the Ramadi hospital, doctors crowded around injured policemen lying on stretchers. One of the wounded was a tiny baby, its diaper and white sweater dotted with blood.

Anbar, the heart of Iraq's Sunni Islamist insurgency following the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein, became a relatively secure place after local tribal leaders threw their support behind grassroots guard units battling al Qaeda in 2006.

But a spate of recent attacks has raised fears violence will increase there ahead of the March elections. Many from Iraq's Sunni minority, dominant under Saddam Hussein, fear the Shi'ite majority could edge them out of power for good.

Sunnis have not formed a united electoral bloc as they have in past elections, and have instead reached out across sectarian lines to form alliances with Shi'ites and others.

The move may reflect a strategic calculation about voters' dissatisfaction with ruling religious parties, which many Iraqis blame for failing to rebuild Iraq properly, and a degree of disarray among the Sunni leadership.

Mohammed, a former government official who returned from abroad following provincial polls earlier this year, is an ally of influential Anbar tribal leader Ahmed Abu Risha.

The Anbar attacks follow a series of large-scale bombings in Baghdad, which Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has blamed on al Qaeda and Saddam's Baath party.

"Al Qaeda and other groups are trying to destabilise security in the province ahead of the elections. Unless the police does its job well, these kind of challenges are going to become even bigger," said Anbar council head Jassim Mohammed.

The attacks highlight the security challenges Iraq faces as it takes on more responsibility for keeping its own people safe. U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to halt combat operations in Iraq by the end of August 2010, and all U.S. troops are required to withdraw by the end of 2011. (Reporting by Fadhel al-Badrani; additional reporting in Baghdad by Khalid al-Ansary; writing by Missy Ryan; editing by Philippa Fletcher)