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Vol. 14, No. 21
October 12, 1998
Table of Contents

More on Terrorism

Islamic Extremists: U.S.-Financed,
Enflamed, Seeking Revenge

by William F. Jasper

On August 27th, Reuters published excerpts of an interview Osama bin Laden had given to the French daily newspaper France Soir in 1995. In it he explained how U.S. and Pakistani officers had trained the volunteers he had recruited at his base in Pakistan to fight the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. "I created my first [military] camps, where these volunteers underwent training led by Pakistani and American officers," the Saudi exile said. "The arms were supplied by the Americans and the money by the Saudis.... Our objective was the Islamic Revolution, no matter who our allies were.... American objectives were not to play a major role."

Bin Laden, a complete unknown to most Americans a few months ago, is now recognized by most as one of our country’s deadliest adversaries. He has issued a fatwa calling on other Muslims to kill Americans as their religious duty. Circumstantial evidence links him to a number of major terrorist acts and plots in the past few years.

Building the Monster

It is common for liberal-left commentators to cite bin Laden’s virulently anti-American terrorist network, and the equally radical Taliban regime in Kabul which supports him, as examples of "blowback" — unintended negative fallout from U.S. covert operations. According to this analysis, it was our irrational, anti-communist impulse — as implemented by the "Cold War-mentality" in the CIA — which is responsible for our present terrorism predicament. Because of our hysterical aversion to communism, goes the line, we are now faced with "Islamic fundamentalism," the new global threat we must prepare to battle.

Leading this chorus are the same Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) operatives in government and the media who have done the most to make the "Islamic threat" a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some of the loudest voices declaiming against the scourge of "militant" and "fundamentalist" Islam belong to the very strategists who are most responsible for the policies and actions (both past and present) that have built the most fanatical, anti-American "Islamic fundamentalist" regimes and organizations in the world today. These regimes and organizations are serving a hidden — though increasingly visible — purpose. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, and a host of others in the extremist camp have been built into menacing perils to, among other things, justify the transformation of the UN’s blue helmets into global gendarmes capable of enforcing UN dictates on all peoples and nations.

Iran was the first major victim in this scheme. Iran under Shah Reza Pahlavi was the West’s strongest ally in the region and a force for moderation, modernization, and advancement of human rights. But to President Jimmy Carter and the CFR cabal who ran his Administration, Iran was to be the starting domino in a chain reaction designed to usher in the new world order. Khomeini’s "fundamentalists" didn’t overthrow the Shah, as the media mythmakers would have you believe; Carter and company did that. While the Establishment media cartel smeared the Shah as a latter-day Hitler, the Carter Administration pulled every deception and dirty trick imaginable to undermine the Pahlavi rule. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young (CFR) added to the media image of Ayatollah Khomeini (then in exile) as a great holy man, declaring that "he will be hailed as a saint" when he returns to Teheran. In the final act, General Alexander Haig (CFR) sent his deputy commander, General Robert Huyser, to warn the Iranian military against supporting their emperor.

Saddam the "Savior"

No sooner was the U.S.-led Iranian coup completed than the CFR brain trust in our foreign policy establishment cited "balance-of-power" imperatives to justify pouring hundreds of millions (and then billions) of dollars of aid, technology, and military assistance into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The CFR double-domes in the Reagan and Bush Administrations assured us that Saddam would be our protection against the Khomeini strain of virulent Islam. During the eight-year Iran-Iraq War, Washington sold weapons to both sides, but clearly "tilted" toward Iraq. When the shooting started in Operation Desert Storm, President Bush’s CFR coterie had us bedding down with Assad of Syria, Saddam’s rival for the title of "Maximum Terrorist Leader."

The bombing of New York City’s World Trade Center signaled the rise of a new terrorist center — Kabul, Afghanistan. The Arab bombers in the case, who were tied to Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, received their training during the Afghan War from mujahedeen groups trained and supplied by the CIA. The Sheik has been closely allied with Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, leader of one of the most radical anti-American elements of the Afghan mujahedeen, and the one most favored by U.S. intelligence.

President Carter’s ousting of the Shah and the installation of Khomeini in February 1979 was the signal that set in motion the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan later that year. Of the seven mujahedeen parties that made up the Afghan allied resistance, U.S. aid flowed overwhelmingly to the three most virulently anti-Western, anti-American parties: Hez-i-Islami (Party of Islam), led by Gulbaddin Hekmatyar; Jamiat-i-Islami (Islamic Society), led by Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani and his military commander Ahmed Shah Masood; and Ittehad Islami (Islamic Unity), led by Professor Abdul Rasul Sayyaf. All of the above had become involved in the radical "Pan-Islam" movement of the Ikhwan ("Muslim Brotherhood") during the 1960s and ’70s at Kabul University.

The forces of Hekmatyar and Masood not only received the lion’s share of Western aid (as well as assistance from Khadafi and Saddam Hussein), but were the undisputed favorites of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and the CFR-controlled media. Sibgratullah Mojadidi, a respected Islamic theologian and religious leader who was elected president of the Afghan government-in-exile by the mujahedeen during the Soviet occupation, tried repeatedly without success to warn U.S. leaders of this "folly." Mojadidi complained bitterly that the lopsided support for Hekmatyar was immoral and counterproductive since Hekmatyar was murdering his mujahedeen "allies," collaborating with the communists, and undermining the authority of the mujahedeen government.

Independent observers and journalists like Kurt Lohbeck, author of the important 1993 book Holy War, Unholy Victory: Eyewitness to the CIA’s Secret War in Afghanistan, also warned repeatedly against the U.S. favoritism toward Hekmatyar. He was repeatedly told that the favoritism would end. It didn’t. Lohbeck records in his book a meeting he had with then-U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Robert Oakley (CFR) in 1988 at which Oakley assured him that aid to Hekmatyar would cease. One year later at a press briefing Oakley stated categorically that Hekmatyar’s aid had been stopped completely. About one week later, Lohbeck followed a 50-truck convoy of U.S. weapons and supplies from the Peshawar airport — to Hekmatyar’s camp.

After the Red Army pulled out in 1989, the Soviets continued massive support for their surrogate regime under Najibullah and his "militia" of brigands commanded by General Abdul Rashid Dostam. The U.S. cut off aid to the mujahedeen — with the exception of Hekmatyar’s group, even though by this time Hekmatyar’s double-dealing and assassination of fellow mujahedeen leaders had thoroughly discredited him even among many of his erstwhile admirers in the Western media.

In 1992, following the fall of the hated Najibullah regime, Masood joined forces with General Dostam’s KGB-backed militia to drive his long-time rival, Hekmatyar, from Kabul. Masood installed his mentor, Burhanuddin Rabbani, as president, and himself as Minister of Defense. At the same time, Pakistan was providing support (from the U.S., Russia, and China) to the rising Taliban, which now effectively controls most of Afghanistan. Mullah Mohammad Omar, Taliban’s equivalent of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, has been closely associated with Osama bin Laden and is reportedly married to bin Laden’s 18-year-old daughter.

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