According to U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources that recently spoke to ABC News, the group, known as Jundullah, “has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005.”1
Both U.S. and British officials have named the reported Amir of the Jundullah, Matiur Rehman, as the mastermind of the alleged liquid explosive plot. 2 Moreover, several of those arrested reportedly received explosive training in Jundullah camps in Pakistan. 3
According to a 2006 report by the South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG), “Four or five of those detained by the British Police [in connection with the alleged liquid explosive plot] had gone to Pakistan after the earthquake of October, 2005…to do humanitarian relief work in camps run by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the parent organisation of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET).”4
After their arrival in Pakistan, according to SAAG, “The Jundullah (Army of Allah), a pro-Al Qaeda organisation, took them to its training camp in the Waziristan area, trained them in the fabrication and use of explosives and dropped them back in the JUD quake relief camps.”5
It is worth noting that both the JUD and its parent organization, the LET, have close ties to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI.
As Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa noted following the summer arrests, "Lashkar e Taiba (LET), which now operates clandestinely, is one of the main Kashmir rebel groups which had been supported and financed by the ISI, yet, at the same time, it is the ISI which has been entrusted in investigating Lashkar's role in the UK terror plot."6
Jundullah’s reported role as a U.S. proxy exemplifies another major potential conflict of interest in the war on terror and also raises new questions regarding the ‘thwarting’ of the alleged liquid explosive plot.
The suspects arrested last summer were under heavy British surveillance.
As CNN initially reported, “An undercover British agent infiltrated the group, giving the authorities intelligence on the alleged plan, several U.S. government officials said. … The suspected terrorists had been under surveillance in Britain since last December, Channel 4 reported.”7
According to The Daily Mail, “MI5 agents secretly infiltrated a bomb factory and found liquid explosives and detonators weeks before they foiled the plot to blow up America-bound passenger jets flying from British airports.”8
As previously noted, four or five of the suspects were reportedly trained in the “fabrication and use of explosives” at camps of the Jundullah, which has reportedly established a backdoor covert relationship with the United States. 9
“The covert raids on homes of key terror suspects were also used [by British authorities] to plant bugs and gather hours of crucial evidence against them,” The Daily Mail reported. 10
Again, this raises several questions.
Were British authorities 'in' on the U.S.-Jundullah covert relationship? If they were, did this provide them an easy way to infiltrate and monitor the group? If they were not, was the U.S. worried about the secret program being compromised by their British counterparts?
As reported just days after the arrests, “NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.”11
While U.S. officials originally suggested that the attacks were imminent, it appears the suspects were not ready, nor were they capable, of carrying out the type of attack described. Furthermore, Jundullah Amir and purportred mastermind of the plot, Matiur Rehman, “was known to be planning a terror spectacular to mark the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” Pakistani officials told ABC News last August. 12
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