Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Peshawar

 

Before the Beheadings mania: Time for recalling 

In the spring of 2000, I lived for a month in a Taliban madrasa, a religious seminary, located on the Grand Trunk Road outside of Peshawar, in Pakistan.

The chancellor of the madrasa, a wrinkled, bearded, and often barefoot man named Samiul Haq, was said to be a confidante of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. I did not believe, when we first met, that he would agree to my presence in his school.

I was open about my intentions: my goal was to write about the religious education of Pashtun boys who would soon be fighting on behalf of the Taliban, and by extension al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan.

Before the Beheadings

Remembering a time when Islamist extremists wanted to persuade reporters, not kill them

The author observes a class at the Haqqania madrassa, outside of Peshawar Pakistan, in 2000. (Laurent Van Der Stockt/Gamma-Rapho/Getty)

It turned out that Haq was keen to have me understand the work of his madrasa. In our first meeting, he even made an attempt at bonding. “The problem is not between us Muslims and Christians,” he said. “The only enemy Islam and Christianity have is the Jews. It was the Jews who crucified Christ.”

In my travels, Palestinian terrorists generally understood the implication of my last name, as did many members of Hezbollah, the Shia extremist group. But Islamists in Pakistan and Afghanistan seemed less Semitically attuned.

“I’m Jewish,” I said.

He paused. “Well,” he said, “you are most welcome here.”

Not long after my stay at the madrasa, I visited a mosque outside Muzaffarabad, in Kashmir. The mosque was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that would go on to commit the famous massacre in Mumbai in 2008.

The subject of my religion came up in conversation. The imam was fascinated. He was anti-Semitic, but impersonally so. His abstract detestation of Jews was trumped by a practical curiosity. He phoned a friend who, like him, had never met someone from my tribe.

That friend brought another friend. Soon, we were having a colloquy on several subjects—the putative righteousness of Osama bin Laden’s cause, the alleged treachery of Bill Clinton—but our focus narrowed to matters of faith.

I raised the subject of Muhammad’s often complicated, sometimes violent relationship with the Jews of Arabia. These men, like many Muslims, believed that the Jews had behaved perfidiously toward their Prophet, and they endorsed Muhammad’s decision to behead some 600 of his Jewish enemies, the males of the vanquished Banu Qurayza tribe.

The extremists don’t need a middleman anymore. Journalists have been replaced by YouTube.

Back then, it did not seem foolhardy to engage Muslim terrorists on the subject of beheading.

It was not as though they didn’t already hate Jews, and Americans. Even in the 1990s, the hatred, particularly in Pakistan, was sometimes palpable. I once went, at night, to a sketchy section of Rawalpindi, to interview a man named Fazlur Rehman Khalil, the leader of a terrorist group then called Harkat ul-Mujahideen.

Khalil had co-signed bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa calling for the killing of Americans and Jews. He gave me tea, and told me that he would happily use nuclear weapons to eradicate the enemies of Islam. “If we had them, we would use them as necessary. But they’re very expensive,” he said. The conversation turned to the fatwa.

Why Jews?, I asked. “Because you are from Satan,” he said. When we were done with the interview, our transaction complete, I left for my hotel.

I had glimpsed a treacherous and secret subculture, and I was happy, because a reporter’s deepest need is to see what is on the other side of a closed door. In exchange, I would tell people in the West about Khalil and his beliefs.

I was appalled by his message, and I wanted readers to understand the horror of it. But Khalil believe 5 d he 6a1 was doing good works, and he wanted the world to celebrate his philosophy. Back then, the transaction worked for both parties. Today, when I think about the meeting, I shudder.

I spoke recently with a friend, Dexter Filkins, of The New Yorker, about the assumptions we used to make. I first met Dexter in the spring of 1998, on the runway of the airport in Kabul, a couple of months after bin Laden issued his fatwa. The order seemed like the grandiose outburst of an impotent fantasist, and Western reporters who traveled in Afghanistan did not take it seriously, at least not as concerned their own safety.

“I used to tell people that as a reporter for an American news organization, it was like we were wearing armor,” Dexter recalled. “People just didn’t go after American reporters.”

The attacks of 9/11 weren’t the decisive break in the relationship between jihadists and journalists. It was the decision made by a set of extremists in Pakistan to kidnap the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in January 2002 that represented a shift in jihadist thought. To his kidnappers, Pearl was not a messenger to the outside world, but a scapegoat to be sacrificed for the sins of his fellow infidels. Murder was becoming their message.

Danny Pearl was the reporter who first gave me telephone numbers for important figures in Pakistani extremist circles. Danny was generous, Danny was careful, but Danny was unlucky. Even after his murder, I convinced myself that this horrible moment was the exception that proved the rule.

Non-Jewish reporters, meanwhile, could tell themselves that Danny’s death had more to do with his religion than his profession.

“It just seemed to me like a freakish anomaly,” Dexter said. “I went to the tribal areas in Pakistan, to Wana, by taxi, after he was killed. It used to be pretty easy. You could go into situations that were very dangerous, and the chances of being hurt were very small.”

Today, Western journalists who seek out jihadists are courting death. The beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS, the Islamic State terror group, are persuasive arguments for prudence.

Why have some groups rejected the notion of journalistic neutrality?

For one thing, the extremists have become more extreme. Look at the fractious relationship between al-Qaeda and ISIS, which is an offshoot of al-Qaeda but which has rejected criticism from Qaeda leaders about its particularly baroque application of violence.

Another, more important, reason relates to the mechanisms of publicity itself. The extremists don’t need us anymore. Fourteen years ago, while I was staying at the Taliban madrasa, its administrators were launching a Web site. I remember being amused by this. I shouldn’t have been.

There is no need for a middleman now. Journalists have been replaced by YouTube and Twitter. And when there is no need for us, we become targets.

Three years ago, Dexter and I both found ourselves in Pakistan again, staying in the same anonymous guesthouse in Islamabad, which seemed safer than any alternative. Especially after the killing of Osama bin Laden, when so many people in Pakistan were contemplating revenge, the large hotels had become irresistible targets for terrorists. They were also infested with agents of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, the handmaiden of many of the terrorist groups.

I was reporting on the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons; Dexter was investigating the murder of a Pakistani journalist who was killed, apparently, by agents of the ISI.

Both topics were dangerous territory, and we came under harassment. I was followed; Dexter’s phone was tapped. Each time I returned to the guesthouse, I could tell that strangers had been in my room. One day, I got a call from someone who identified himself as a reporter for a major Urdu daily newspaper. “We understand that you’re a prominent Zionist, and we want to write about you on the front page,” he said.

Such an article would have gotten me killed. The reporter’s call represented an invitation from the ISI to leave Pakistan right away. I knocked on Dexter’s door. He had been in the country for a month, and he seemed haunted. His room reminded me of Martin Sheen’s in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now.

Time to go, I said. In the taxi to the airport, we discovered that Dexter’s visa had expired. We edited his passport with a Sharpie, while standing behind a tree outside the terminal. The ISI did not impede our departure.

Each unhappy place has its own rules.

In Iran, Western reporters are often welcome, and sometimes arrested while performing their duties.

In Gaza over the summer, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, was both eager to help reporters inspect the damage done by Israeli air strikes, and rigorous about denying reporters access to the rocket crews launching attacks on Israeli civilians.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah maintains a sophisticated media-relations operation designed in part to thwart independent reporting.

I no longer spend much time with Islamist groups.

Today, even places that shouldn’t be dangerous for journalists are dangerous. Whole stretches of Muslim countries are becoming off-limits. This is a minor facet of a much larger calamity, but it has consequences: the problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan and Syria and Iraq are not going away.

Our ability to see these problems, however, is becoming progressively more circumscribed.

Once, in Upper Egypt, in Minya, a Salafist cleric was lecturing me on the characteristics of unbelievers. It was a typical rant, and it ended with a justification for sacred violence, to be directed by followers of the one true faith against those who defy God.

I must have been tired, or frustrated, because I impulsively asked: “Why haven’t you personally killed any unbelievers? What are you waiting for?” Left unspoken was: Here’s my throat.

He answered simply, “Everything happens according to a plan.” In other words: All in good time.

Young reporters sometimes come to me for advice about working in the Middle East.

In years past, I would tell them that this was an excellent idea: save some money, go learn Arabic, be a newspaper stringer, grab for the big stories, and you’ll have an interesting life.

Steven Sotloff was one of those who sought my advice.

His Middle East career was already under way (he was living in Israel at the time), and I prefer to think that he could not have been dissuaded.

But I’m capable of learning, and my advice now is to go somewhere else.

Who are the planners of 9/11/2001 attack? (May 13, 2010)

Yes, Ussama Ben Laden claimed that he executed the attack on the Twin Tower.  It is known that the spokesman of al Qaeda Azzam was in fact the Zionist American Jew from California named Adam Pierman.  The close relative of Al Jarrah was a Mossad agent for 25 years: the Lebanese counter-intelligence services arrested Ali Al Jarrah last year. Italian President Francisco Cossiga declared to the Italian daily Courriere de la Sierra that all intelligence services around the world know that Israel is behind the planning of the terrorist attack on the towers.

Who planned and facilitated this complex terrorist activity? I don’t know; I am just reporting another perspective, strong with facts, to a tragic event.  I am not an investigative reporter and never worked in any branch of intelligence services.  Since I assume that most of my readers did not work in intelligence services or had any access to top classified files then, it is best for us all not to take commonly disseminated news for granted as truth, even if transcribed in dailies or books.

In December 2009, Press Pakalert (Pak Alert) published a paper that offered many facts pointing to Israel involvement in planning and facilitating  the Twin Tower terrorist attack. This paper mentioned that former Mossad chief from 1952 to 1963, Esser Harrel, told Michael Evans as early as 1979 detailed plans to how the Twin Towers will be destroyed. Esser said that Twin Towers represented the phallic symbols of the USA and thus will be targeted to humiliate the male ruthless image of the USA. Evan was having dinner with Harrel and Roven Hecht, first secretary to Israel’s Menahim Began PM.

Investigations pointed to four Zionist terrorist organizations involved in the planning and the facilitation of the attack.  The first group was headed by Larry Silverstein, an American businessman Jew from New York. Silverstein secured a rent contract to the World Trade Center for 99 years in July 2001, aided by the staunch Zionist Jew Ronald Lauder who was chief secretary to New York governor George Pataki.

The Towers were infested with asbestos and cleaning up would have cost more than the rent.  Larry and his two sons failed to show up to work at the Northern Tower on 9/11.  Silverstein cashed $4.5 billion from the insurance company.  Larry is a close friend to Ariel Sharon; and Benjamin Netanyahu PM used to call Silverstein every morning.

The second terrorist Zionist group is headed by Frank Loy Loy, owner of Westfield American.  Frank was an officer in the Israeli Golani Brigade and spends three months a year in his Israeli residence.  He rented the Mall in the Northern Tower.  Frank didn’t show up to work on 9/11.  Frank was lately indicted of embezzlement with former Israel’s Olmert PM.

The third group is headed by Louis Eisenbeg; he is a jewish gangster who directed the port authority of New York and let in the explosives and necessary materials; he funded the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.

The fourth group is headed by Ronald Lauder, owner of Este Lauder. He played an important role in the privatization of the Twin Towers during governor George Pataki.  Lauder established in Israel’s town of Hertzilia a Mossad school named Lauder school for diplomatic and strategic governance.

Who was in charge of security in the trade center? Kroll Company was. This company is owned by the two Zionists Jule and Jeremy Kroll.  The executive manager is the Zionist Gerome Hower, a specialist in biological terrorism.  Guess who was in charge of airport security? Now, It was ACTS World company that was in charge of security in the 3 airports from which the airplanes took off.

ACTS is owned by the two Zionists Ezra Harrel and Menahim Atzmon.  Atzmon was the treasurer of the Likoud party and lately was put on trial in Israel for political blackmail and embezzlement.

The Israeli Odego company was handling fast communication messages that received the warnings to targeted persons to vacate the building.  Thus, two hours prior to the first airplane crashing in the first tower, 400 Israelis working there were warned to vacate.  For example, the merchant marine Israeli company Zim was warned a week ahead of the attack to vacate its offices in the Northern Tower.

Could the former and current Israel Benjamin Netanyahu PM be the mastermind of this terrorist attack?

Before 9/11, over 140 Israelis were under investigations for spying in the USA.  A week before the attack, the leader of the attack, Mohammad al Atta and his companions, paid a visit to the Zionist Jake Abramovitch to his yacht in Florida.  Jake is a former administrator under Bush Sr.

What happened after the attack? The CIA knew that Israel was behind this attack, but the US Administration preferred to focus on a precise target, since Ben Laden claimed the attack.

All appointed judges and investigators were zionists in order to camouflage the investigation and keep it under tight control; for example, Alvin Hillerstein, Michael Mokassy, Michael Chirtoff, Kenneth Fineburg, Sheila Birnbaum, Stephen Kauffman.

During President Clinton, the US planned a war on Iraq six month before GW.Bush was elected.  Israel was pressuring Bush Junior to invade Iraq at no avail.  After the attack, the zionists Mark Grossman, Ary Flisher, Paul Wolfowitz, Doulas Feith, Richard Perl, and Eliot Abrahms were asked to wrap up the planned invasion.

Families of over one million dead and handicapped Iraqis are demanding to know “Why my family was wasted”?

Note 1: Richard Clark, chief of counter-terrorism, during Clinton and Bush Jr., declared this evening (2012) on an anniversary documentary of Sept.11 on channel ARTE:

“More than 50 people in the CIA were accumulating pieces of intelligence on Al Qaeda since Ussama Bin Laden declared war on the USA in 1997 from Peshawar. The CIA was receiving intelligence from the European States and following closely the activities of Al Qaeda in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998) and the attack on the warship Cole in Aden and the attacks in the Philippines with sophisticated non-detectable liquid bombs…

The CIA claimed that it was working for the long-term and refused to share its information with the FBI on Al Qaeda elements who entered the USA “legally”, 13 months before Sept.11. The CIA didn’t want that the FBI to crack down on the Al Qaeda elements on the US soil, in order not to disturb its “intelligent work” and procedures…

The US army had its special intelligence center and managed to connect all the links among the Qaeda members and leaders and tried to warn the CIA of the urgency to share these information with the FBI, but the CIA made all kinds of excuses and went on tangent problems that were of no consequence in the short-term. Like the ballistic missile reduction…

The CIA had all the pieces of intelligence it  needed, and most agencies knew that something big is being planned and prepared on the US soil…”

The CIA was simply waiting for the disaster to happen…Why?

Richard Clark said that he readied drones with missile launching capability in order to annihilate the Al Qaeda main training camps and headquarters in Peshawar. The government refused any further bombing on account that the US was already involved in the bombing of Yugoslavia and keeping the “no-fly zone” over Iraq and didn’t want to project the image that the US is on the “go-ho” of destroying everything and everywhere around the world…”

Why the CIA refrained from sharing information with the FBI and other intelligence gathering agencies? Most probably to execute a ready-planned preemptive war (on Iraq) betting on the “Cow Boy” reaction of the US government to go immediately into action, in retaliation for the suffered indignity…

The CIA was in tandem with Israeli strategic ready-made plan, and Israel agents were the ones behind the facilitation and acquisition of the means for the Qaeda to put into execution the project of annihilating the Twin Towers…

Note 2:  Israel is warning the USA of coming terrorist activities because it realized that Iran is off the hook.  Israel is warning the Near East States of another pre-emptive war on account of Scud missiles that Hezbollah has supposedly received.  Most probably, Israel is sending the message that the scenario for its next war will start by smuggling Scud missiles to its agents in Lebanon to fire on selected targets in Israel with a few casualties to enhance credibility.

Note 3: You may read the follow-up post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/dick-cheney-and-sharon-of-israel-masterminded-the-twin-towers-horror/


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