Sunday, May 8, 2011
Bin Laden bites dust
After the end of the Afghan-Soviet war, most of the Afghan-Arabs, as the mostly non-Afghan volunteers who fought the Soviets came to be known have joined conflicts in Somalia, the Balkans and Chechnya. This benefited Al Qaeda’s global reach and later helped cultivate generations of Al Qaeda terrorists. After the first Gulf war of the early '90s, Al Qaeda vociferously opposed the stationing of U.S. troops on the holiest of Islamic lands, Saudi Arabia, and waged an extended terror campaign against the Saudi rulers, whom Osama believed to be false Muslims.
Between 1991 and 1996, Al Qaeda took part in several major terror attacks.
The Saudi regime deported bin Laden in 1992 and revoked his citizenship in 1994. Bin Laden operated out of Sudan till 1996 and then moved to Afghanistan, as the US pressure on Sudanese Government was unbearable for the establishment. Al Qaeda, with the help of new connections and resources, was involved in several terror attacks and covert actions carried out by other organizations.
In 1998 Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and several other leading Muslim militants formed a coalition called International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders to fight the U.S. Al Qaeda attacked US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in1998, then it attacked the USS Cole, an American guided-missile destroyer at Aden, Yemen. Bill Clinton, then President of the US, had, it is trusted, ordered the CIA to capture or kill Bin Laden.
After that the most heinous act of 9/11 happened. The US then, under the leadership of Bush Jr., carried out a frenzied attack on suspected terror targets, yet unsuccessful in getting OBL, but got itself satisfied by toppling and hanging Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda is believed to have carried out the 7/7 attack in the UK. The attempt to assassinate Clinton in Philippines, and so on. The barbarous attacks in Bali islands attempting to crush it's tourism industry was Al Qaeda's master piece in Indonesian suburbs. Yet, bin Laden's dream of wiping out Israel didn't come true.
When the Taliban lost Afghanistan, bin Laden was said to have fled to neighboring Pakistan, but ISI vehemently denied this, as usual, and vowed to wipe out terror. Since 2005, bin Laden was living in Pakistan and top intelligence agencies around the world were reporting this. Even news papers have covered this and reported about bin Laden's Pakistan stay. Yet, CIA didn't act because of political meanderings. MI5 too didn't act as it was operating as a branch of CIA in UK. Al Qaeda's visible sojourn with Pakistan dates back to 2002.
In 2002, Bin Laden's close confidant Abu Zubaydah was arrested in Faisalabad, one of Pakistan’s most moderate cities, a place known more for its textile industry than its association with global terrorism.
Alleged 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al-Shaiba was arrested in Karachi, also in 2002, and in 2003 the self-confessed mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was held in Rawalpindi, the city headquarters of Pakistan’s military.
In 2005, Al-Qaeda number three Abu Faraj al-Libbi was tracked down to the shrine town of Mardan and Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, wanted for the Madrid and London bombings, in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
Well, Abbottabad, Bin Laden's abode for quite a while, is the fort of a brigade of the second division of Pakistan’s Northern Army Corps and several other sensitive army establishments, including a key military training academy. It is boasted that not even a fly could escape the eyes of the ATC of the security agencies' installations, leave alone US Navy Seals choppers. Osama's Abbottabad house compound was next door to a senior serving Pakistan Army major of medical corps.
The finding of bin Laden in Abbottabad, a city crawling with officers and home to the country’s top military academy, raises serious questions about the Pakistani intelligence agency's help to protect Bin Laden. It is not an argument worth even to hear that the Pakistani security establishment was caught unawares while the US found Bin Laden in Abbotabad and killed him single handedly. Without local ground support any military operation would not be possible. Possibilities are the west leaning faction in the ISI would have covertly helped US while keeping the operation Geronimo without a hush.
Well, what does this kill have for India and the world? Let me discuss that in a while.
Posted by Arun Ambie at 11:58 AM