Monday, July 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad Used For Waziristan Operation?

Faisal Shahzad has confessed that his failed Times Square bombing was a part of a war being waged by Muslims against America. However, the writer believes that Shahzad may be an American agent used to justify the shift of battle ground from Afghanistan to Waziristan (Pakistan) where Shahzad allegedly got terror training.

The attempt by Pakistani origin Faisal Shahzad to explode a car in Times Square, New York is a testimony about how sophisticated the terrorists have become. That in spite of the high security of U.S.A. they almost attacked one of the busiest places in America. He has been indicted, among all other charges, for conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Briefing the media after Shahzad’s arrest, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder had said that the bomb was ‘fashioned’ from ‘rudimentary ingredients’.

According to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Walter Kelly after 9/11 terrorist attack, 11 attempts to target the city were made but they all were foiled.

While due to the vigilance of the intelligence untoward incidents are averted, there is every possibility of them taking place at any time. In the eyes of Afghans who consider the efforts of America to establish democracy in Afghanistan as an attempt to end their Islamic rule, America is but an enemy. They do not miss any chance to harm its interests. The bordering areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, it is said, are rife with such elements. While Pakistani army held control over South Waziristan through an operation last year, North Waziristan still remains to be a stronghold of Islamists.

Among those using bases in North Waziristan are the Haqqani network, created by Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani and run by his son Sirajuddin, Afghan Taliban, Pakistani warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur and his ally Maulvi Sadiq Noor. They are blamed by the United States for fuelling the nearly nine-year insurgency in Afghanistan, for attacking the 1,42,000 US-led Nato troops there and for working to destabilise the Western-backed government in Kabul.

But these men according to the Pakistani security establishment pose no direct risk to the homeland because their activities are targeted across the border, while home-grown Taliban pose a more immediate threat.

It was just some days back that the Taliban attacked a security check post in Mohmand Agency district of Pakistani tribal region. It is feared that they kidnapped at least 35 Pakistani soldiers. Islamists trained in Afghan bordering areas of Pakistan pose a threat to both: U.S. supported Pakistani government and the United States itself.

Before Shahzad, another legal permanent resident of United States who originally belonged to a small village in Paktia region of eastern Afghanistan was held in September 2009 on the accusation of planning suicide bombings on the New York City subway system. It is said that Zazi underwent weapons and explosives training at an Al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in 2008. He was also charged for using weapons of mass destruction.

Despite all efforts and co-operation, the intelligence communities of both U.S. and Pakistan have not been able to trace the network of extremists, their training centres and the recruitment system. There was Zazi, then Shahzad and who next trained in any of the Al-Qaeda camps?

Faisal Shahzad hails from a well to do Pakistani family from Mohib Bada (a village near Pabbi town in Nowshera district). The family has no connection with any religious or political organization. A former nazim of the area, Faiz Mohammad, said he knew the family since long and had met Faisal around one and a half years back. “He belongs to a noble family that has never been involved in any wrongdoing.”

Shahzad left Pakistan for US in 1999, first for higher education and later to settle there. Now he is a naturalized U.S. citizen. In 2006, he married a U.S. citizen and has two children from her. Shahzad was adept to western way of life and would visit clubs. Last year, the bank seized his house and he had been upset economically for some days.

Some analysts question how a person like Shahzad without any objectionable background became an extremist. To resort to extremism is not common among those having families.

In a video statement to FBI, Shahzad has confessed that he alone, with no terror outfit in background, had attempted to carry out the explosion. Though Al-Qaeda was believed to be behind the plot, it was rejected later. Same was not the case with Zazi. In the beginning he said that he was alone on the mission without any help from any organization. However, later he pleaded that he was recruited by Al-Qaeda for in Pakistan for a suicide "martyrdom" attack against the U.S., and that his bombing target was the New York City subway system.

Shahzad has also been accused of receiving funds and explosives training from Tehreek-e-Taliban. Since Shahzad left for America at the age of 18, he paid 10 visits to Pakistan with the last being five-month long-from October to February. It is said that he got training in one of the terror camps in Waziristan; as he confessed before FBI and Manhattan Federal Court.

Nevertheless, the relatives of Faisal Shahzad said that he never ever visited Waziristan. According to one Jabir Khan, a close relative of Shahzad, he never saw weapons in Faisal’s hands.

The incident of Faisal Shahzad has taken place at a time when America is pressurizing Pakistan to conduct a big operation in Waziristan which is considered the hub of terror groups including Al-Qaida. America, reportedly has assured Pakistan that it will ask Indian army not to do any ‘mischief’ at eastern Pakistani borders of Pakistan if Pakistan agrees to carry a big operation in Waziristan.

Opinions are expressed that Shahzad has been used by American intelligence for a greater cause. The propagation of his link with Waziristan terror camps only strengthens the point of the province being terror hub. There will be pressure on Pakistan, an important ally of U.S. in eliminating terrorism, to carry a massive operation at earliest.

Former ISI chief general (retired) Hamid Gul in an interview expressed doubt that Shahzad is an “American agent”.

Gul referring to one statement by Eric Holder-- that they (America) obtain service of Pakistanis for such works and send them to Waziristan--said that the statement creates doubt about Shahzad being an American agent. He further remarks that Faisal was a fit case for them; he got affected by downturn, bank seized his house, his homeless family returned to Pakistan and he himself said that he wanted to go to Pakistan because he is in trouble. “A boy who takes American citizenship after struggle. Then the circumstances compel him to leave it. What condition will he undergo may be guessed.”

The reason why America is giving so much attention on Waziristan is ‘simple’, says Gul. “America is going to withdraw from Afghanistan. Israel does not want that American withdraws its forces while Pakistan’s atomic weapons are safe and the army stable. Therefore, it wants to take action against the atomic weapons and on the other hand to push the army in Waziristan and create constant enmity between mujahideen and the army.”

By: Staff Writer

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