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!”
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 Sister Toldjah)