During the early and mid-1990s, the U.S. supported the al-Qaeda-linked Bosnian militants in their jihad against the Serbs.
In the late 1990s, the U.S. supported the al-Qaeda-linked Kosovo Liberation Army in their jihad in Kosovo.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend…or so the saying goes.
Again and again, the U.S. has used Islamic groups and militants to advance their strategic interests around the globe, and on several occasions these same individuals have attacked and killed innocent civilians in America and across the world.
Nonetheless, covert support for religious extremists continues today, raising numerous questions regarding the methods, motives, and effectiveness of the U.S.-led ‘war on terror’.
According to a recent ABC report
by Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, for instance, the Bush Administration is secretly supporting a Pakistani-based terrorist group, known as the Jundullah (Army of Allah), in their covert campaign to undermine the Iranian regime.
The Jundullah, which has claimed responsibility for several recent guerrilla raids and bombings inside Iran, is led by Abd el Malik Regi, who counterterrorism expert and ABC News consultant Alexis Debat describes as “part drug smuggler, part Taliban, and part Sunni activist."
“Regi is essentially commanding a force of several hundred guerrilla fighters that stage attacks across the border into Iran on Iranian military officers [and] Iranian intelligence officers, kidnapping them, executing them on camera,” Debat said.
The Jundullah claimed responsibly for a bombing this February in Iran’s southeastern city of Zahedan, which killed 11 Revolutionary Guard units and injured 31 others. One of those arrested in connection to the bombing reportedly confessed that the attack was part of a plot by the U.S. to destabilize the country, which, in the wake of recent reports, appears to have been the absolute truth.
The Bush Administration is supporting terrorist attacks inside Iran while accusing the Iranians of doing the very same thing in Iraq, but if you think their hypocrisy can’t get any worse, think again.
The Jundullah, in addition to its role as a proxy force for the United States, has been implicated in what officials described as the deadliest plan since 9/11—the alleged plot to bomb multiple trans-Atlantic flights last summer.
Keep in mind that according to recent reports, the Jundullah has been receiving U.S. support since 2005, meaning the militant group was receiving support as they purportedly planned to blow up multiple commercial airliners bound for the United States.
The reported Amir of the Pakistani-based Jundullah is none other than Matiur Rahman, the alleged mastermind behind the “liquid explosive” plot. Moreover, in late 2005, several of the suspects arrested in connection to the plot traveled to Jundullah camps in Pakistan, where they were reportedly trained in the fabrication and use of explosives before returning to London.
So just to be clear, if these reports are true, the U.S. is secretly supporting the same group that helped facilitate a plan to blow up multiple airliners and murder hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians.
“If these terrorists had succeeded, they could have caused death on a massive scale,” President Bush declared following last summer’s arrests. “This plot is further evidence that the terrorists we face are sophisticated, and constantly changing their tactics,” he said, adding that the “terrorists” are “seeking to take over countries like Afghanistan and Iraq so they can establish safe havens from which to attack free nations.”
Of course, the President failed to mention that a U.S.-sponsored group trained the “terrorists” he was referring to.
Such a revelation, besides exposing the Bush Administration’s lack of credibility, raises several difficult questions. For instance, should the U.S. government be considered complicit in the alleged trans-Atlantic terror plot?
Did the U.S. sanction training the actual alleged plotters?
If members of the Jundullah are considered assets of the U.S., are they provided any type of protection or diplomatic immunity when implicated in major crimes?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, would members of the U.S. government have reason to prevent a full examination of the facts surrounding the alleged terror plot or possibly even protect key suspects?
Exacerbating such concerns, the U.S. took actions last August that directly obstructed Britain’s investigation of the terror suspects. The group arrested had been under heavy British surveillance, but due to U.S. interference, several suspects were allowed to slip away and details of the plot were left clouded in mystery.
The British government may have been getting just a little too close to the U.S.-Jundullah ‘unholy’ alliance.
As The New York Times reported, British authorities were running “an around-the-clock surveillance operation” of the suspects, “bugging their apartments, tapping their phones, monitoring their bank transactions, eavesdropping on their Internet traffic and e-mail messages, even watching where they traveled, shopped and took their laundry, according to senior British officials.”
The extent of this surveillance suggests British authorities had the capability to identify the suspects’ links to the Jundullah, and, in turn, possibly uncover the covert U.S. relationship with the militant group as well. But coincidently, the surveillance operation collapsed when the U.S. intervened, leaving their British counterparts in complete disarray.
Against the wishes of British authorities, the U.S. pressured Pakistan to abruptly arrest one of the group’s alleged leaders, comprising Britain’s long-term surveillance operation.
As a senior British official explained to NBC, the U.S. warned that if Rashid Rauf, a suspect with duel Pakistani and British citizenship, “was not taken into custody immediately, the United States would ‘render’ him or pressure the Pakistani government to arrest him.” Ultimately, Pakistani authorities agreed to arrest Rauf over Britain’s objections.
“Fearful that the arrest might tip off the alleged plotters, Scotland Yard, in consultation with MI5, decided to act and sanctioned a series of raids in the early hours of Thursday,” Britain’s The Independent reported.
“The arrest surprised and frustrated investigators here [in Britain] who had wanted to monitor the suspects longer, primarily to gather more evidence and to determine whether they had identified all the people involved in the suspected plot,” The New York Times added.
Alarmingly, British officials told The Independent that a team of suspected terrorists involved in the alleged plot “escaped capture because of interference by the United States.”
As a “direct result of the surprise detention” of Rashid Rauf, The Independent elaborated, “British police and MI5 were forced to rush forward plans to arrest an alleged UK gang accused of plotting to destroy the airliners. But a second group of suspected terrorists allegedly linked to the first evaded capture and is still at large, according to security sources.”
The mere fact that the U.S. interfered, either directly or indirectly, with a major terrorism investigation, allowing a group of suspected terrorists to escape, is enough to raise eyebrows. But considering the British investigation had the potential to expose embarrassing, if not criminal activities of the U.S. government, an explanation from our nation’s leaders is not only warranted, it should be demanded.
Why did the U.S. hastily pressure Pakistan to arrest Rashid Rauf? Why was the public lied to about an imminent threat from “liquid explosives” when no such threat existed? Why is the U.S. government continuing to support terrorists in the so-called war against terrorism? How can the government possibly justify propagating threats, demonizing suspects, and restricting civil liberties when they themselves are engaged in terrorist activities?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for answers to any of these questions. The nation’s leaders and federal law enforcement agencies are remaining silent, which only fans the flames of suspicion.
Our government is collaborating with the very same terrorists it claims to be fighting, and by doing so, it is placing its own citizens in danger, stripping itself of virtually all credibility, and undermining international efforts to prevent future attacks.
If we are to ever engage in a true war on terror, we must put an end to such corrupt and destructive covert relationships, which violate the law and contradict the principles upon which this country was founded.
Until then, whenever a terrorist plot is foiled or an attack occurs, whether it be here in the United States, in Great Britain, in Iran, or anywhere else, we will sadly and regrettably have to ask ourselves: Is our own government in any way responsible?
Devlin Buckley is a freelance writer and journalist residing in Troy, New York. His website may be viewed at www.TheAmericanMonitor.com. You may contact via e-mail at PDevlinBuckley@TheAmericanMonitor.com.
During the 1980s, the U.S. supported Osama bin Laden and the Afghan rebels in their jihad against the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan.