Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Al Qaeda's Pakistani Connection

B Raman writes:

If one had been doing this systematically, one would have noticed that Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) has been co-ordinating the activities of the IIF since 2003 due to the disruption in the command and control of the Al Qaeda.

Three persons arrested by the Pakistani authorities in March,2003, in connection with the attack on USS Cole in October,2000, had told them during the interrogation that since the Western intelligence agencies were keeping a close watch on the suspected Arab members of the Al Qaeda, bin Laden had asked the LET to recruit Pakistani volunteers for suicide missions to be undertaken by the Al Qaeda and that the LET had already placed 12 Pakistani volunteers for suicide missions at the disposal of the Al Qaeda.

Barcelona in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal and Luton and Leeds in the UK have become important centres for the recruitment of volunteers for jihadi terrorism and for the collection of funds.

Apart from the LET and the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) of Pakistan has also set up a presence in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities of West Europe.

After the Madrid blasts of March,2004, the largest number of terrorist suspects detained for questioning by the Western intelligence agencies were of Moroccan and Pakistani origin. The security experts of the European Union (EU) had drawn attention to this disturbing development in a report submitted to the EU Paliament in October,2004.

Pakistani volunteers from the UK have been going to Iraq to join the Al Qaeda there headed by Abu Musab-al-Zarqawi.

In terrorism analysis, you don't get a continuous, unbroken chain of evidence. You get just bits and pieces. You painstakingly collect them, put them together and see what they imply. Many in the UK knew that it was likely to be the next target of jihadi terrorism.

They have no reasons to be surprised that the attack, when it materialised, came from people of Pakistani origin and not from Arabs. They are now puzzled as to how the terrorists managed to procure the reportedly high-grade explosives, which they had used on July 7.

They must have either procured them locally or got them from outside. If they got them from outside, how did they smuggle them in? Did they use a diplomatic bag?

If so, of which country?