Monday, July 28, 2008

Embarrassing revelations of conditions in Afghanistan

Some bad news on Afghanistan is coming out, to the shame of Afghan leadership and also, in some cases, to the Americans.

1. Tom Schweich's description of the failure of many to deal adequately with the expansion of the drug industry in Afghanistan should embarrass not only the Afghan leadership -- Hamed Karzai in particular -- but also the Americans, especially the Pentagon, who can't seem to agree on what they are actually there for. See New York Times Magazine, 7/27/08 "Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?"

2. Farooq, whoever he is, has passed on to us the website announcing the existence of a woman prisoner at Baghram, Afghanistan, whose screams have been heard by other prisoners. We hope the truth about the existence and condition of this woman will soon be made known: See the following site: 5542&Itemid=28

3. RAWA has reported the gang rape of a 12 year old girl in Sar-e Pul, Afghanistan, by individuals connected to "warlords" -- at least persons with lots of leverage. Another outrage that ought to be exposed and dealt with by the Afghanistan government. The judicial system is desperately in need of revision. See warlords-gang-rape-12-year-old-girl-her-family-threatens-to-commit-mass-suicide- if-justice-is-not-done.html

Friday, July 25, 2008

Greatest Threat? The Republical Party?

For some time I have felt like Jeremiah.

I have been fearing our country, and our world led by our country, are creating a wreck of inesimable proportions. As no one else seems to think so I have tended to wonder if I was just being over-dramatic. Am I merely depressed? Given that most of my friends seem unable to internalize the scale of the problem our country and our world faces, or even some of them seem completely unaware, I have tried to scale back my expressions of alarm.

So the new post on Information Clearing House has gotten my attention. A Republican, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review, is saying that “The Greatest Threat America Has Ever Faced” is the neoconservative controlled Republican Party. That's scarry.

He doesn't even list all the issues that seem to me salient for our time. The one thing he makes clear is that the neoconservative Republicans have created a huge mess, and emphasizes their disinterest in the Constitution. On that he would know better than I. But he seems to assume his readers know that there are broader issues of concern: that the situation in the Middle East -South Asia -Central Asia is profoundly dangerous, that global warming is real and almost beyond recovery, etc.

He makes me feel I might be sane after all. Is there anyone out there listening?

[click on the title for a link to the article.]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With friends like Pakistan and other governments such as our own …

We continue to get news about the double dealing of the Pakistanis, but it seems to be matched, on the other hand, by the double dealing of western powers with Pakistan.

Take Pakistan’s double dealing, for instance. Musharraf has claimed for years to be on the front line of the “war against terror” but his government has allowed many ant-American, anti-Western Islamist groups to be comfortably ensconced in its borders. Today’s New York Times (Elaine Sciolino, “In ’06 Bomb Plot Trial, a Question of Imminence”) describes how the eight defendants in Britain accused of plotting to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners had gained the information for their project through contacts with extreme elements in Pakistan. “British investigators are convinced that the size, scope, cost, secrecy and ingenuity of the plot bear the Qaeda signature; they say they believe that the cell learned to make the liquid explosive device from Qaeda operatives in Pakistan. … Mr. Sarwar admitted that during a trip to Pakistan between mid-June and early July 2006, a friend told him how to make the explosive HMTD.” This is but one more of many signs that Pakistan is the vortex of radical Islamist activities.

What that means to American troops is described in another article in today’s NYTimes: “Taliban Breached NATO Base in Deadly Clash.” In it Carlotta Gall and Eric Schmitt point out that the insurgents who attacked a remote outpost in north-eastern Afghanistan two days ago, killing nine Americans, “had benefited from new bases in neighboring Pakistan.” And indeed Pakistani militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, “have been present in the area for months.” Moreover, “insurgents had freedom of movement from the border with Pakistan through 60 miles of Nuristan to the base at Wanat. ‘They can bring men, weapons and cars’” said one source.

Pakistan is our friend while it is at the same time a caldron of radical Islamism feeding troops into Afghanistan to kill American and NATO soldiers.

But then there is the way our own country double-deals in their relations with Pakistan. We have already heard about the convenient way the Americans have worked with Pakistan’s intelligence agency to allow abuse of prisoners. Now it turns out that the British have made similar use of Pakistan. Today’s [July 15] Guardian says that they have been handing over their own citizens to be tortured by Pakistani agencies. A medical student, for instance, "said he was abducted at gunpoint in August 2005 and held for two months at the offices of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau opposite the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi. [He] ... described how he was whipped, beaten, deprived of sleep, threatened with execution and witnessed other inmates being tortured." Nice way to treat your own people. [Thanks to my friend S. for bringing this to me.]

So we see again how governments carry on their business: While they parade their moral agendas they conceal what they do on “the dark side”. The ancient wisdom is still salient: “Men loved darkness because their deeds were evil; they would not come into the light lest their deeds be exposed.” The problem we have – Americans, British, Pakistanis – is that these are our governments acting in our name.

Addendum, thanks to my friend S:
*In the dark hole of a Pakistani prison by Tim Johnson,
McClatchy Newspapers, Feb 5, 2008

*'Briton' being held in Pakistan, by Syed Shoaib Hasan,
BBC News, 27 June 2007.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ahmed Rashid on Descent into Chaos

Rashid, Ahmed. 2008. Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. New York: Viking.

I have now read every word in this book [but not all the notes, yet]. It is many things: a documented indictment of leaders in many places: they are shown to be incompetent, obdurate, arrogant, often totally unable to face the urgent necessities before them, incapable of addressing the rising needs and frustrations of peoples in the Middle East/Central Asia/South Asia.

This book is also a cry of the heart. Rashid quotes Benazir Bhutto’s last speech in terms that are, I believe, his own: “Wake up, my brothers! This country [Pakistan] faces great dangers. This is your country! My country! We have to save it.” I suppose that the plight of Pakistan weighs deeply on him, not only because it is his home, his country, but because it seems to be the vortex of an ever more acute regional crisis. I join him in concern for what is happening to the peoples of Central and South Asia; and of course the implications reach to my own country. Indeed, the scale of duplicity, dishonesty, perfidy, and ineptness among those leading our country and many other countries in recent decades has been so great as to induce one to wonder what can be done now. We have seen a collapse of responsible leadership in many contexts at a time when the mutual connections among the peoples of the world are gaining in intensity ever more rapidly.

Rashid’s book is an indictment of the high crimes and misdemeanors by many of the leaders of the modern world – notably, of course, the Bush administration but also, especially, the Musharraf government. In fact, it is not only the urgency and intensity of Rashid’s detailed and extensively documented critique that strikes the reader, but -- for those of us familiar with what happens to those who expose the truth about powerful figures in Pakistan -- it is the danger to himself (and to his family?) that Rashid has risked by this book. He has risked his life by telling so much, revealing so much, with such zeal, such particularity. Such a detailed description of the perfidy and outright dishonesty of the leaders of Pakistan has to make him the most despised citizen of the country -- despised, that is by Pervez Musharaf (the man who made himself President), despised by the generals of the army (who stand behind Musharraf), despised by the intelligence officers of the ISI (who have effectively constituted themselves as an independent government) --leaving aside the Taliban and Al Qaeda, who have their own reasons for wanting him dead.

If anything can save Rashid it is that he has been equally unsparing of the leaders of virtually all other government officials mentioned in his tale: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Richard Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Tony Blair, and many other leaders of the great powers in Europe. All get their due. This work specifies how these leaders have been guilty of stupidity, incompetence, ignorance, arrogance, and deliberate and repeated lies. Even Hamed Karzai, a personal friend of Rashid who comes off slightly better, is described as indecisive and tolerant of corrupt friends and relatives.

Here are some samples of his critique:

On the Musharraf government:

  • p. 379: “In 2007 there had been 56 suicide bombings in Pakistan, which killed 419 security officials and 217 civilians … [And yet] the regime had failed to track down a single culprit. Now the public was expected to believe that the military had resolved the Bhutto murder in a couple of days … [Moreover, there was] Musharraf’s failure to show any remorse over Bhutto’s death. Instead he blamed her for sticking her head out of the sunroof and said the army had never liked her anyway.”

On George W. Bush:

  • 293: [T[he decision by President Bush on February 7, 2002, to deny captured al Qaeda, Taliban, and other terrorist suspects prisoner-of-war status or any access to justice was a step backward for the United States and for mankind – one that has haunted the United States, its allies, and the international legal system ever since. Whereas in the West it created a furious debate about civil liberties, in the Muslim world it further entrenched dictatorship and abuse of civilizations.”

On US Secretary of Defense Richard Rumsfeld:

  • 342: “…Uzbekistan promised again to pursue democratic reforms. Yet its crackdown on political dissent had already reached new heights. … [E]leven prisoners had died as a result of torture in Uzbek jails that year, even as the State Department claimed that the country was making progress in human rights. No longer were just the accused tortured, but also their families if they dared ask where relatives were imprisoned. … Rumsfeld continued to heap praise on [President] Karimov. … [A]s major US NGOs were being thrown out of the country, he spoke of “the wonderful cooperation we’ve received from the government of Uzbekistan and promised $57 million in aid for 2004.”

On Tony Blair:

  • 356: [Blair] followed the Americans so unquestioningly and blindly into Iraq that he lost his influence in the White House. The neocons saw Blair as their poodle … Attempts by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to prop up Colin Powell to take on the neocons were constantly undermined by Blair ….”

There is so much here that I can only urge everyone possible to take the time to read this book. I repeatedly had to put the book down because of my own anger and exasperation. You will too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to talk gently about lies

I have been ruminating about Alex’s comment that the report of disputations among the Taliban is a fake, possibly a CIA plant [see July 2, 2008]. He claims to be able to discern it; apparently, I am not.

The world of “news” is so filled with lies that we all have a hard time sorting them out. The truth seems ever more elusive, the more we understand that so many of those who hawk information have reasons for presenting it in a certain way. We are becoming inured to lies. We are even inventing courteous ways of saying that we are being lied to, perhaps to avoid being so blunt. The newest way, at least that I have noticed, appears in today’s New York Times. Here is Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, talking about Maj. Gen. Jerome Johnson, former commander of the Army Sustainment Command: “I believe General Johnson presented evidence that deceived Congress,” Mr. Dorgan said in an interview. But the neatest way he put it is further down in the article: Dorgan says of Johnson’s report, that it was “a display of negligent disregard for facts that were known to the Pentagon.” “Negligent disregard for facts that were known”: a pretty good definition of “lying”.

But there are other ways to misrepresent the truth. The way that Fox News represents Michelle Obama is to run several minutes of talk about her in which she says scarcely anything except the few words that they find offensive. Given this kind of treatment, how would anyone get across anything they want to say? That kind of treatment indicates again that the “news” is crafted for an audience by social elements that have reasons, interests, in persuading others to see things they way they see it. It becomes all the most critical, then, for us to know what the interests are of those who describe situations. Politics is the contest over how to define the public situation. That makes news agencies political vehicles. Again, we need to know who owns the news companies and what their interests are. We know quite a bit about Fox: it would be nice if they would seek a better reputation; but then Bill O’Reilly is just too valuable.

Somewhere I saw that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth announced that they would be taking on Obama. This is a group whose credentials were dubious when they claimed to represent the real combat experience of John Kerry, and they have even worse credentials for saying anything in particular about Barak Obama. That they announced their plans to go after him reveals in fact what they are: professional character assassinators whose connection with “truth” is and has always been a charade. They have been pretty quiet, though, since both Obama and McCain have appeared to quash the “527 organizations” this time around. In fact, their website now says that as of May 31, 2008, they have “formally disbanded and ceased all operations”. Is it possible their claim to be working on an attack against Obama was an offer to serve the high-rolling elite who funded their activities the last time? These days the super-rich are not dumping so much money into the Republican cause this time around; could it be that the Swift Boaters didn’t get any offers worth their trouble this time? What with the cost of gas these days and the vanished funding from the super-rich, it hardly pays anymore to be in the business of character assassination.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dire situation in Pakistan: a TFT view

The editorial by Najam Sethi in this week’s Friday Times [July 4-10, 2008] indicates how dire the situation is in Pakistan. I quote here extensively [TFT can be read for only a minor fee, which I would encourage anyone interested in Pakistan to pay.]

“Drift in Islamabad: Najam Sethi's E d i t o r i a l

Many Pakistanis are worried about a perceptible sense of drift in Islamabad. The judges’ issue is hanging fire. Acute power shortages of up to 12 hours a day persist. Inflation is up to 30 per cent. And the war on terror is going nowhere, …

More alarmingly, the Pakistani economy which grew by 6.8 per cent a year from 2003-07, is sputtering in the face of post-election economic uncertainty and political instability. … Without continued high growth and poverty alleviation, significant sections of the politically volatile urban middle classes will slip through the net, creating a vast pool of angry unemployed or under-employed. With the government becoming increasingly immobilized in the face of rising Islamic and anti-American nationalism (the irony is that America remains Pakistan’s largest military and economic donor) and economic discontent, the country could slip into political anarchy and state-failure.

The budget deficit for 2007-08 was targeted at 4% of GDP but has actually turned out to be about 8%. The balance of payments deficit is also about 8% of GDP, the highest ever in our history. Forex reserves have fallen from a high of US$16.5 billion in October 2007 to about US$11 billion today, despite being recently bolstered by a combination of US support ($500 m), ADB ($200 m), and sale of private sector company shares to foreigners ($850 m). Inflation is soaring at 30%, … International credit rating agencies have downgraded Pakistan (it now ranks 87th in the list of countries with business prospects), citing both microeconomic imbalances and political instability. … The World Bank has canceled project aid of US$500 million and postponed disbursal of a similar amount. About US$1.25 billion in privatization deals is also on hold. …. Experts say that if targeted foreign resources fall by about US$4-5 billion this year as a result of all this, the rupee would have to be significantly devalued (it has already devalued by about 10 % in the last one month) and interest rates would have to rise further, a painful and politically explosive development.

In the face of these gradual slippages, the Karachi stock exchange has not been able to retain its resilience. The KSE index …. by June 20, it had fallen by nearly 4600 points or about 30%, implying a decline of Rs 1.3 trillion or US$20 billion in market capitalization, equivalent to 13% of GDP, …

First, we need a full fledged working government in Islamabad led by a permanent prime minister and finance minister. ….

Second, the government should stop dragging its feet on all the unpopular economic decisions that need to be taken to straighten out the fundamentals of the economy. This means abolishing general subsidies on fuel and food while creating specific ones for the poorest sections of society. It also means re-creating an economic environment that is friendly towards both domestic and international investors.

Third, the government must tackle the war on terror seriously without worrying about any popular backlash. The fact is that this war is now Pakistan’s war as much as it is America’s war and Pakistan cannot afford to post failure. ….

Mr Asif Zardari’s laid-back approach is creating public disquiet. Problems have mounted because difficult decisions were postponed and controversial solutions swept under the carpet. ….

July 4-10, 2008 - Vol. XX, No. 20

A Pakinstani's note on the bombing in Kabul

A Pakistani friend of mine, call him "Sami", has written me a note about the issued entailed in the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. I thought it was worth posting here. RLC

For most Indian and Western observers yesterday's suicidal terror attack on the Indian embassy in Afghanistan didn't require any evidence to convince them that an anxious, India-obsessed "strategic elite" based in Islamabad was to blame for the carnage. Unlike other random terrorist attacks that occur on a daily basis in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, indiscriminately claiming civilian and military lives (as well as the recent attack on the Danish embassy in the supposedly secure environs of Islamabad's diplomatic quarter), there is no reluctance in this case to directly accuse the Pakistani security establishment.

Pakistan's international reputation as a country that at one time allied itself with the Taliban and supported the infiltration of irregular fighters into Indian Kashmir is such that it's government bears a permanent stigma and is sure to be suspected of being involved in any terrorist incident that occurs beyond its borders in Afghanistan or India. This happens despite the fact when the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or some other domestic Pakistani militant outfit usually claims credit for an attack. Diplomatic murmurs and media undertones hint at some level of official Pakistani involvement - rogue or otherwise - can still be heard. But since yesterday's particular target happened to be Pakistan's regional arch-rival, India, many commentators were (perhaps too) quick to assume Islamabad was sending a not so subtle message of displeasure to New Delhi regarding the latter's extremely cozy relationship with the (anti-Pakistan) Karzai regime in Afghanistan. Of course there would certainly seem to be obvious motivations for Pakistani military hardliners to be hostile toward the growing Indian interest and involvement in Afghanistan.

For one thing, New Delhi's own covert financial and materiel support to the Balochi separatist insurgency via its consulates in southern Afghanistan has been a major destabilizing factor that the Pakistani military has had to contend with over the past four years. Islamabad's official complaints against New Delhi have thus far gone unheeded and only convinced Pakistanis of the dangers that lie ahead if India maintains its current alliance with a hostile client regime in Kabul. Already, in the absence of direct conflict along Line of Control (LOC) in disputed Kashmir, Afghanistan is being seen as the primary battleground for an ensuing Indo-Pakistani proxy war, in which the Indians seem to be backing Baloch guerrilla groups against Islamabad, while the Pakistanis appear to tolerate, even encourage Taliban fighters to undermine the Karzai government - by attacking NATO troops who happen to be caught in the middle of an Indo-Pakistani Cold War.

While there is an undeniable appeal to this sort of logic for many, from the official Pakistani point of view, it would have been extremely counter-productive to indirectly antagonize India in this way and further undermine what little confidence exists between Pakistan and its deeply distrustful Western allies, particularly the United States. The consequences of yesterday's terrorist attack are already evident with the sympathy New Delhi has been able to garner, perceivably at Pakistan's expense. If this was in fact yet another reckless act of Pakistani state-sponsored terror, as the country's detractors claim, it has backfired most disastrously for Islamabad.

On the other hand, we could choose to make an exception in this case, by looking beyond the usual Pakistani scapegoat for culpability, and examine the past behavior of the Pakistan-based militant groups such as Laskhar -e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad who have in recent years attempted to provoke direct India-Pakistan conflict to further their own narrow agendas. The most notable instance in which this terrorist strategy nearly succeeded was in the aftermath of the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that led to military mobilization by both sides along the border and came very close to resulting in the world's first nuclear exchange.

The Pakistani military - whatever disagreeable factions it may consist of - does not, as a unified institution in anyway prefer to push itself further away from the West and thereby reward Indian interests. It can be counted on to make the pragmatic choices that need to be made in the interests of defending the Pakistani homeland as well its own self-preservation. However, the destructive logic of Pakistan's many jihadi terror groups is not known to take the long-term geopolitical considerations of state-actors into account. The winding down of jihadi terrorism in Kashmir means the withdrawal of earlier state support obviously means their terrorist infrastructure will be put out of business.

Accordingly, these pro-Kashmir jihadi groups reject as "selling out" any concessions Pakistan might make to India on the Kashmir issue, in the interest of defusing nuclear tensions in the subcontinent. For those who haven't been following the diplomatic zombie-dance known as the "India-Pakistan peace process" there have recently been some relatively optimistic developments and declarations regarding the future of Kashmir and India-Pakistan relations. As little as two weeks ago, Asif Zardari, currently the key power-broker in the Pakistani political scene stated his party's policy on Kashmir would be to work with Manmohan Singh, the current Indian PM, to achieve some sort of condominium arrangement between India and Pakistan while at the same time proceeding to dismantle the jihadi terror networks that continue to jeopardize the peace process.

The difficulties of negotiating Pakistan's schizophrenic relationship as both past sponsor and current target of terrorist entities of its own making was evident yesterday, not just in the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, but also in Islamabad and Karachi as the anniversary of the Pakistani military's Lal Masjid raid was commemorated with revenge suicide bombings.

Still, yesterday's denunciations against Pakistan for what happened in Kabul hardly mentioned these other murderous terrorist acts. Perhaps this is so because demonizing a country seems much easier that actually trying to understand a country confronting the demons destroying it from within.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Pakistan again? More denial, to be sure; but the truth?

The blast that took place today in front of the Indian Embassy in Kabul reveals, again, how callous and dedicated some people are in the Pakistan government. They are carrying on their war in the name of Islam. I regret to say that the connection between Pakistan's interests and the Taliban, manifest in this cruel and inhuman suicide blast, seems too evident. Pakistan seems to be infested with so many competing Islamist groups, so many elements working at cross-purposes, that no denial by the Pakistan government can suffice. That it is contrary to the official position of the Pakistan government is evident enough, but this regime is so out of control that many of the top leaders are in fact unlikely to know about the involvement of other Pakistani elements in this attack.

The intelligence elements of Pakistan have over and over again demonstrated their close engagement with the Islamist elements within Pakistan as well as those whose ambitions reach outside -- the Taliban, who are trying to re-take Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda whose agendas are more focused on states elsewhere, the Arab world, and (for some of them) the Central Asian states (mainly Uzbekistan, it is said, and Xingjiang, China) -- so that those of us who have lost all respect for the regime are immediately inclined to blame rogue elements in Pakistan.

The Pakistani people deserve better than the self-serving figures who claim to be representing the people while they bilk the system in their own interest. Among those figures, notably, are the top generals of the army who still are fighting a war with India, and embarrassing themselves.

And what can we make of the immediate denial of involvement by the Taliban? That group is also not a single organized body but a congeries of groups whose concerns presumably vary. That they deny involvement might in fact represent, again, how much the Pakistani elements operate outside of the Taliban network.

[click here for the New York Times article on the event]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A fissure in the structure of the Taliban, and it reveals

The report that Jalaluddin Haqqani has challenged Mullah Muhammad Omar’s leadership of the Taliban (published by the Kabul Press and Payman Daily, discussed by Waliullah Rahmani in Terroism Focus, Volume 5, Issue 25 (July 1, 2008)) suggests that the Taliban are not as united as they have been, or at least have seemed to be. At an earlier time, when the authority of Mullah Muhammad Omar was being threatened, he had the temerity to grasp the sacred cloak of Muhammad and put it on, an act that risked the wrath of God if he was not worthy. This was the time when loyalists declared him Emir of the Umma. He appears not to have been seriously challenged since.

So Jalaluddin Haqqani’s demand for a change in leadership of the Taliban is significant. I was struck by Rahmani’s note that Haqqani was “little influenced by the religious and political thought of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s and early 1990s.” Indeed, the Taliban are themselves not really an “Afghan” movement, infused as they have been by so many non-traditional influences: the ideas of the Wahhabi-biased madrassas of Pakistan, the Pakistan military (whose interest in Islamism is entirely opportunistic), Osama Bin Laden’s “Arab Afghans” whose concerns are animated by quarrels with the leadership of some of the Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, mainly), and others (such as, it is said, Uzbeks and Uighurs, who can have little interest in Middle Eastern affairs). Haqqani is still essentially a Pushtun – an authentic Pushtun nationalist. He claims to have consulted many other Taliban commanders, presumably other Pushtun nationalists like himself. So the Taliban are animated by various concerns, not all of them of equal importance to everyone -- and this seems to be a factor in Haqqani's challenge.

Also interesting is – again – evidence that the Pakistani intelligence service is involved in the Taliban movement. According to his letter Haqqani believes that the “Taliban’s shura (consultative council) in Quetta has made a deal with intelligence agencies to kill those insurgent commanders who are opposed to working with Mullah Omar’s representatives.” It is not merely that Pakistan’s intelligence service is sympathetic; they are in fact prepared to exterminate Pushtun leaders who have doubts about Mullah Muhammad Omar. And, according to the letter the intelligence service seems to be in league with the “foreign forces allied with the Taliban leadership.” This would mean, essentially, the Arab Islamists connected with Osama Bin Laden.

In a sense, none of this is a huge surprise: it was only a few days ago that a former Taliban figure revealed that he was being pressed by Pakistanis in military dress to participate in the insurgency. But it is important for revealing – again – that the Taliban are not as spontaneous a movement as they appear to be. They are in part animated by various non-Pushtun interests: notably, Islamists from the Arab world, and (again it is evident!) intelligence agents of the Pakistan government.

Click on the title to see the original article.