Friends and allies: most major terror plots originate in Pakistan — Updated

Posted by: Phineas on July 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Don’t forget, we given Pakistan more than $18 billion in aid since September 11th, 2001. Gee, thanks for having our backs, guys:

Most of the major terrorist plots against the West since 2004 had links to Pakistan, including two that targeted Canada, says a study to be released today by a U.S. think tank.

In just over half of the 32 “serious” plots identified in the New America Foundation study, the participants had received either training or direction from jihadists in Pakistan.

The findings underscore Pakistan’s role as al-Qaeda’s primary safe haven, despite recent concerns about countries like Yemen, writes investigative journalist Paul Cruickshank, the study’s author.

“This paper has shown that by some measures al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Pakistan has actually become more dangerous in recent years. More serious plots emerged in the West in 2010 linked to established jihadist groups in Pakistan than in any year since al-Qaeda built up its operations in FATA in the early 2000s.”

FATA is the acronym for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the rugged frontier region of Pakistan, where al-Qaeda and its affiliates have set up since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In 53% of terror plots, members of the groups involved had trained in Pakistan, compared with 6% in Yemen, 3% in Iraq and 38% where no overseas training occurred, the study says.

Forty-four percent of the plots were directed by jihadist groups in Pakistan, while 6% were directed from Yemen, 3% from Iraq and 47% had no clear overseas direction.

Most of the Western recruits who went to Pakistan had initially wanted to fight NATO forces in Afghanistan but were instead persuaded to return to their home countries to conduct terrorist attacks, it says.

This isn’t to say the Pak government directed these attacks (though in some cases they have), but the central government is chronically weak, and large factions are very sympathetic to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the jihadist cause overall. They’ve been at best a part-time ally, sometimes giving us important cooperation, sometimes working against us — often at the same time. We’ve tolerated it because we not only need the cooperation we do get (Several al Qaeda bigwigs were nabbed with Pakistani help.), but because our position in Afghanistan has required putting up with a lot to keep supply routes open through the Khyber pass.

But that situation is changing with Obama’s decision to run away withdraw from Afghanistan; we just won’t need that supply route nearly as much.

And if that’s the case, and if so much terrorism originates in Pakistan and the government is unable or unwilling to stop it, why should we keep giving them so much money? Or do we keep paying tribute for fear Pakistani nukes would otherwise wind up in the wrong hands?

My own feelings mirror those of Victor Davis Hanson: time to say “Adios, Pakistan!”

via Undhimmi

UPDATE: And just to add a bit of fuel to the fire, our “allies” were selling nuke secrets to the North Koreans:

The founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to sensitive nuclear technology in the late 1990s.

Abdul Qadeer Khan has made available documents that he says support his claim that he personally transferred more than $3 million in payments by North Korea to senior officers in the Pakistani military, which he says subsequently approved his sharing of technical know-how and equipment with North Korean scientists.

Admittedly, this was in the 1990s, but still, not something you want to see in a responsible friend and partner.

To say the least. (via The Jawas)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Friends and allies: most major terror plots originate in Pakistan — Updated”

Comments

  1. Carlos says:

    Gosh, I can hardly wait until the left starts using this as a “talking point,” that our government has to become more centralized in D.C. because, my goodness, look what happens when a central government is weak!

    And trust me, now that this has been brought up, they will.

  2. Tex says:

    In my opinion, Pakistan is a terror sponsoring state and should be treated as such, not as an ally. By treating them as an ally, they extract important information from us that they use to help them hide and protect the various terrorists factions they give logistical support to who target the West.

    The best antidote for the poison of Pakistan is a very strong India with very close ties, diplomatically and militarily, to the U.S. The Indians want to have more of a presence in Afghanistan and we should pull out all the stops to see to it.

    Having Pakistan surrounded on two sides by India would go a long way to constrain Pakistan’s terrorist sponsoring aspirations since they obviously fear nuclear reprisal from India far more than from the U.S.

  3. Carlos says:

    Well, what you say makes sense, Tex.

    Therefore, the chances of it ever happening in D.C. are close to zero, and the chances of this administration doing anything like that is far beyond zilch.

  4. Aarradin says:

    So long as we have troops in Afghanistan, or wish to have any influence there whatsoever, we must maintain a working relationship with Pakistan.

    Yes, publicize all of this stuff, and pressure the Pakistani government as much as possible, but the fact is they’ve got us over a barrel and they know it.

    Also, don’t forget that their government does not have full control over either their territory or their own institutions – including their army and intelligence services (both of which have factions that would prefer to be working with the taliban rather than us, or even their own government). Its also a very weak government that recently saw the assassination of a presidential candidate.

    Be sure to think a few steps ahead too. What is likely to happen if we cut off aid and break diplomatic ties (aside from screwing ourselves in Afghanistan)? Does the Pakistani government fall? There is a strong and growing Islamist movement in the country. Would you prefer we work to strengthen the current government, or let it fall and see an Islamic Republic replace it?

    These are not simple issues (certainly not in comparison to, say, cutting funding to the Palestinians, or pressuring England over the fact that a great many terrorists are radicalized in their universities). A clear sign of the comprehensive ignorance people have on Pakistan is readily apparent when discussions of its issues completely fail to consider our dependency on Pakistan due to our mission in Afghanistan.

  5. NC COp says:

    “So long as we have troops in Afghanistan, or wish to have any influence there whatsoever, we must maintain a working relationship with Pakistan.”

    Why is that? Why do you feel that Pakistan is that vital? I’m not attacking your stance, I’m truly curious as to why you think that is the case.

    “There is a strong and growing Islamist movement in the country. Would you prefer we work to strengthen the current government, or let it fall and see an Islamic Republic replace it?”

    Which would change Pakistan into what? A country that supports, finances and harbors terrorism? We’ve alredy got that. It seems like you are giving us a choice between six of one, half dozen of the other, except we could save a few hundred million taxpayer dollars with one scenario.

  6. Phineas says:

    A clear sign of the comprehensive ignorance people have on Pakistan is readily apparent when discussions of its issues completely fail to consider our dependency on Pakistan due to our mission in Afghanistan.

    I believe I mentioned that in the post and also that the strategic situation is changing do to withdrawal over the next year or so.

  7. captaingrumpy says:

    Drop Muslim Pakistan and take up India ,which has far closer religious links to the west than Pakistan. India will turn to China if America does not see what they are doing.They are keeping Pakistan as an ally because they need a crisis always on hand.Dems do more shonky work in a crisis than they would normally.THAT’S why they keep Pakistan.