BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR - Volume 5(2) September-October 2002

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Pakistani Role in Terrorism Against the U.S.A

Narayanan Komerath

Abstract: Reports from diverse sources describe a Pakistani role in most foreign terrorist attacks directed against the United States in the past decade. Through the template of logic set out by British Prime Minister Anthony Blair, these reports show that the responsibility for the terrorist atrocities of Sep. 11, 2001 rests upon the Pakistani junta.


Three thousand one hundred and fifteen people and nineteen terrorists are presumed dead in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. [ABC010927] indicates substantial uncertainty about the true identities of several of the terrorists – including the alleged leader. Moroccan-born French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui, who has claimed that he knows all about the “9/11” plot, is on trial accused of being trained as a 20th hijacker and co-conspirator. French authorities [ABC020905] indicate that Moussaoui was to be in a second wave of attacks on embassies in early 2002, after an aborted 1994 plot to fly an airliner into the Eiffel Tower. The Moussaoui indictment [Chertoff020716] traces his alleged movements and contacts. The word “Pakistan” occurs with remarkable frequency.

The other person who is widely perceived to be knowledgeable about the conspiracy is Pakistan dictator Pervez Musharraf. He has recently commented [Hilton020808] that the sophistication of the 9/11 plot was far beyond the capabilities of Osama bin Laden as he knew him. Freudian slip or not, this agrees with several media reports regarding the involvement of Pakistani entities in most plots, attempts and actual terrorist attacks upon the United States in the last decade. This paper suggests that despite its impact, the 9/11 plot should be viewed as one of many contemporary plots. The number and diversity of the plots and the ties between the various entities involved, draw a picture quite different from that of a lone mad preacher inciting followers to suicide. The picture is rather one of a criminal enterprise which functions to enrich its principals through a well-diversified portfolio of sub-enterprises, powerful marketing, terror-for-hire contracts and a protection / cooperation racket.

There is no novelty in linking the 9/11 atrocities with other terrorist attacks around the world. British Prime Minister Anthony Blair’s presentation to Parliament [Blair011007] of Her Majesty’s evidence against Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, was acclaimed for its articulation of the Western Allies’ case for military action against Afghanistan. This document serves as a template for the logic used in pinning responsibility for terrorist atrocities. In this paper, this evidence is followed one level beyond where Mr. Blair stopped. The paper then discusses reports which fill some of the gaps in the puzzle regarding the motives, planning, logistics, funding, execution, cover-up and follow-up of the 9/11 atrocities – and the implications thereof.

The following generalities appear essential to the 9/11 crimes:

1.      The attacks required funding beyond what the hijackers may have earned themselves. 

2.      The hijackers had trained to maneuver large, fast aircraft precisely at low altitudes. 

3.      Diverse in age, nationality and background, the perpetrators had trained as teams, with commonality in indoctrination and motives – but a large diversity in specialist training.

4.      Extreme violence was part of their modus operandi to subdue and dominate planeloads of crew and passengers – some of whom must have realized the nature of the hijackers’ intents. This indicates substantial training in tactics, weapons and procedures.

5.      The symmetric, concentric collapse of the twin towers, though burned into our memories, was not imagined a priori, and is being investigated as a surprise to designers. Airliner impact might have been expected to topple the upper stories. In that event, the death toll would not have approached the threshold for weapons of mass destruction. Thus the conspirators may not have anticipated the global consensus for a military cleanup of Afghanistan. In other words, one should not assume that the 9/11 plot was intended as the grand finale of Al Qaeda. It may merely have been a plot chosen for media and fundraising effectiveness.

These observations are consistent with the model of a global terrorist enterprise carrying out attacks on a continuing basis, with a clientele of supporters, a portfolio of plots and a system of financial incentives maintaining a quasi-professional force. A part of this model fits “Al Qaeda”, but only as an arm of the larger enterprise.

The Evidence Presented by British Prime Minister Blair

Let us follow Mr. Blair’s line of reasoning, and apply his logic to other facts. We will use direct quotes where necessary, condensed without distorting their original meanings. Variations in spellings of names and organizations between authors, are left in tact. Quoting [Blair011007]: “The clear conclusions reached by the (UK) government are: Usama Bin Laden and Al Qaida .. planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001; (they) were able to commit these atrocities because of their close alliance with the Taleban régime, which allowed them to operate with impunity in pursuing their terrorist activity.” Unlike this paper, Mr. Blair stopped short of asking: “Who made, trained and continues to support the Taliban?” Below, we examine the events and evidence cited by Mr. Blair.

Genesis of Al Qaeda

[Blair011007] pointed out that Al Qaeda and its global terror network had existed for over 10 years, founded and led by bin Laden. The network included “training camps, warehouses, communication facilities and commercial operations” and a trade in illegal drugs, raising significant sums of money. Blair also pointed to Laden’s periods of stay in Afghanistan, as well as his “fatwas” against Americans.  

On Al Qaeda’s origin, the New York Times reports [NYT020609] that “the organization that eventually evolved into Al Qaeda ...began as the Makhtab al Khadimat, the Office of Services, in Peshawar, Pakistan,.." Osama Bin Laden has been sponsored and protected by Pakistan since the 1980s. According to [Raman990701], Laden led a savage tribal rampage in Gilgit/Baltistan areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, under the command of Pervez Musharraf, the protege of Islamist Pakistan dictator Zia ul Haq, crushing a popular agitation for rights. Later he accompanied Pakistan-equipped Islamist forces fighting the Soviets, and then against the more secular of the Afghan Mujaheddin Alliance forces who drove out the Soviet-backed regime. As the Soviet occupation ended, he turned his attention on the US. Between 1992 and ’96, Taliban (meaning “student”) forces led and equipped by the Pakistan Army routed the ragtag, exhausted, ill-equipped Afghan Alliance survivors of the war against the Soviets, and conquered 95% of Afghanistan, bringing it under mediaeval Islamic Law. Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was the “Strategic Depth” of Pakistan, a private backyard to conduct activities which would be hard to hide or protect in Pakistan. On the run from US-pressured Sudan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden was brought in 1996 to Jalalabad, reportedly in a Pakistan Air Force C-130, with some of his wives and offspring. The Governor of Jalalabad province was a Pakistani-backed drug lord [Rashid2001], [Quadir2002]. (Note: this person was later appointed to the cabinet of Mr. Hamid Karzai, and assassinated in July 2002).  Bin Laden issued his 1996 “fatwa” against the US from Jalalabad. The 1998 fatwa was issued from Peshawar, Pakistan. In censored, military-run Pakistan, where political activity requires military permission, bin Laden was able to preach, recruit and incite for the jehad – showing the complete acquiescence if not participation of Pakistani governments for over 10 years. The Afghan drug trade operates through Pakistan. From [DAWN991008]: “Afghanistan smuggling drugs via Pakistan..70 per cent of the world opium was being produced in Afghanistan, a major portion of which was supplied to the international market through Balochistan. “ Presumably, the Pakistan Army got its cut.  

The links between Al Qaeda and the Taliban

[Blair011007] cited Laden’s ties to the Taliban, including a “close and mutually dependent” military alliance, and that the Taliban’s  “strength would be seriously weakened without .. Laden’s military and financial support” including presence in the command structure.

The Taliban had a much closer and dependent, subordinate relationship with Pakistan’s military leaders, having come to power on the strength of Pakistani firepower, air power and officer corps. In November 2001, it became obvious that up to 90 percent of the “foreigners” of the Taliban were experienced Pakistani military personnel. From [NYT011208]: “Pakistani military advisers were withdrawn from Afghanistan over the following weeks, a ..crucial factor in the surprisingly swift collapse of Taliban forces when confronted by the Northern Alliance… “We did not fully understand the significance of Pakistan's role in propping up the Taliban until their guys withdrew and things went to hell fast for the Talibs."  From [Etel010930]: “Twice he attended Taliban training camps .. run by Arabs as well as Pakistanis. The first one ..lasted 10 days in the Yellow Desert in Helmand province, a place where Saudi princes used to hunt, so it has its own airport. It was incredibly well guarded and there were many Pakistanis there, both students from religious schools and military instructors. The Taliban is full of Pakistanis."

The mechanisms for arming the Taliban are glimpsed in [VanNiekerk020130] for conventional weapons, and [Mintz020802] for advanced/ nuclear weapons. In both cases, the negotiators and technical people are identified as Pakistanis with official titles.

Attacks in Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen

[Blair011007] accused Laden of claiming credit for the deaths of 18 US soldiers in Somalia in October ’93, the 224 deaths and over 5000 wounded in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August ’98, and the 17 dead and 40 wounded in the attack on USS Cole in October 2000. He accused Laden’s lieutenant Atef of training the Somalis for the ’93 attack.

It was to Pakistan that the principal suspects, including Ramzi Youssef, flew “home” after each of these attacks, regardless of their nominal nationalities. Some have been arrested under American pressure. As recently as July 2002, Sheikh Ahmed Salim, a 33-year-old Kenyan, who had a $25 million price tag on his head, was arrested in Karachi [Kenya020905]. Pakistani Mullah Masood Azhar, leader of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammed [WN020225], is named as an organizer of the 1993 Somalia attacks on US peacekeepers [Mherald020226].

Acquisition of Weapons of Mass Destruction

[Blair011007]: “ From the early 1990s Usama Bin Laden has sought to obtain nuclear and chemical materials for use as weapons of terror. “

Mr. Blair might have added: “With the active help of the Pakistani nuclear establishment.” US investigators confirmed that six top-level officials of the Pakistani nuclear establishment were members of “Ummah Tameer Nau” (U.T.N.), a group affiliated with Al Qaeda, and were participating in planning nuclear terror attacks [NYT011209]. The Taliban’s minister(s) were given tours of the Pakistani nuclear establishment, and the workings and requirements of nuclear weapons programs explained to them. From [NYT011209]: “According to the (CIA), (Dr. Bashiruddin) Mahmood (Former Chief of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission) and another nuclear scientist, Chaudry Abdul Majid, met with bin Laden in Kabul a few weeks before 9/11... U.S. pressure got the scientists detained in late October, and they admitted having provided bin Laden with detailed information about weapons of mass destruction…. General Hamid Gul — a former ISI director with pronounced anti-American, radically Islamist views — identified himself as U.T.N.'s "honorary patron" and said that he had seen Mahmood during his trip to brief bin Laden.”

In 1998, the FBI foiled an arms purchase attempt in Florida [Wpost020801], [NBC0207], [Dherald020803], involving Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) personnel, diplomats and a consulting Pakistani nuclear scientist. The items sought included Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, and heavy water for use in nuclear reactors. A Canadian expert on radical Islam has claimed that Pakistanis smuggled “dirty nuclear bombs” into Canada [WN020320] and 3 of them across the border in the US, and are waiting for orders to set them off. 

International Network

[Blair011007] cited Al Qaeda’s network of terrorist organizations including “Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other north African Islamic extremist terrorist groups, and a number of other jihadi groups in other countries including the Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and India”, as well as cells in other countries.  However, most activities are eventually traced to orders and training emanating and coordinated from Pakistan [See Table 1].  The UK hosted a large concentration of Al Qaeda forces and fund-raising and publicity resources [AK47UK]; [TOI011014]; invariably traced to Pakistani motivators. The international scope of the terror enterprise developed by Pakistan is described in [Weaver 9805]: "Even today you can sit at the Khyber Pass and see every color, every creed, every nationality, pass.. To make contacts with Islamists from North Africa!..” 

[Blair011007] then listed Al Qaeda’s business and financial transactions and camps in “Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, Somalia and Kenya for the use of… terrorist groups”, with at least 4 of 12 camps in Afghanistan used for training terrorists. While bin Laden may have made deals, it is clear that there are large and powerful streams of personnel, technical expertise, security and funding behind Al Qaeda. [IndUK020721], [Yomari990107]  and [CNN980822] are examples of numerous reports of many more such camps located in Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, all run by the Pakistan Army and the ISI under Pak Lts. Gen. Aziz Khan, Javed Nasir, Mohammed Ziauddin and Mehmood Ahmed. Former US Ambassador Dennis Kux states [Kux2002] that “Instead of closing down the cross-border terrorist apparatus, Pakistan merely moved many of the Kashmir-bound terrorists to Afghanistan, changed the ISI chief and "privatised" the cross-border terrorism with continued ISI help”. From [IA2002] “All recruits from Pakistan, Kashmir, POK and Afghanistan were sent to the battle front in Afghanistan for battle inoculation and also for advanced training in the camps run jointly by Pakistan's ISI and Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda, in Khost, Jalalabad and Kandahar”

Run-up to 9/11

[Blair011007]: “The modus operandi of 11 September was entirely consistent with previous attacks. Al Qaida’s record of atrocities is characterised by meticulous long term planning, a desire to inflict mass casualties, suicide bombers, and multiple simultaneous attacks… Laden insisted that the need to attack the United States excused the killing of other innocent civilians, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.”  This paper now examines events of which Her Majesty’s investigators may have chosen to be ignorant.

PanAm73 Hijacking, Karachi 1986.

PanAm Flt.73 was hijacked at Karachi by a swarm of terrorists carrying AK47s, pistols, grenades and plastic explosives [PanAm9101]. The flight crew exited through the cockpit hatch, abandoning the flight attendants and passengers. The terrorists murdered two Indian-American passengers. Pakistani authorities, like the Taliban 14 years later, provided less than minimal support for hostage negotiation or help to the passengers but ensured that there would be no Indian or American hostage rescue mission. Eventually, a Pakistani “commando” team “stormed” the aircraft. Passengers cited them tossing grenades into a crowded cabin rather than shooting at the hijackers. An Indian flight attendant, cited for her heroism, was also killed, among several other casualties. The hijackers served various prison terms, but some obviously were allowed to escape. In August 2002, with their increased presence in Pakistan, the US reopened the case and got a Jordanian national extradited to stand trial for murder [WPost020727].

Mumbai coordinated bombings, 1993

The concept of simultaneous bombing attacks on several downtown buildings in a major city was tried out in the central business district of Mumbai, India [Sree001231], killing over 300 people and wounding thousands. Following Interpol “Red Corner” notices, the notorious smuggler/ gangsters Dawood Ibrahim and “Chota Shakeel” disappeared into Pakistan. In December 2001, Pakistan again refused Indian demands to extradite them, claiming ignorance of their whereabouts. A TIME correspondent reported that these fellows were living comfortably in the same exclusive neighborhood as General Musharraf. From [Anson0208]: “Ghulam Hasnain, the Karachi TIME stringer, had gone missing the day before… the ISI had picked him up because of an expose he had written on Dawood Ibrahim for a Pakistani monthly. “ From [SAT020803]:His informative pieces on the ISI involvement in the Jihad mess got him in trouble. Husnain went in and out of several detention and interrogation sessions before he..” (escaped to the US).

World Trade Center 1993, US airliners 1995, Tunisian Synagogue 2002

A truck bomb exploded in the parking garage under the WTC, killing several people. Ramzi Youssef flew back to Pakistan the day of the bombing, but was arrested and brought to the US for trial. An Egyptian cleric is also in jail for the same plot. Youssef, and co-WTC bombing convicts Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan were also implicated in a plot to bomb a dozen American airliners over the Pacific in 1995. This plot unraveled when a suspicious fire in an apartment exposed the bomb-making operation. [Laude010913] describes the intent of this plot, Project Bojinka, as being to hijack US-bound airliners over the Pacific and crash them into buildings. Ramzi Youssef’s nationality is undetermined. However, in August 2002, citing the interrogation of Abu Zubeidah, an Al Qaeda coordinator arrested from Faisalabad, Pakistan, the FBI issued an “alert” for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Pakistani “relative” of Ramzi Youssef, as organizer of the April 2002 suicide attack on a Tunisian synagogue. The suicide bomber, Nawar, was traced to training camps in Pakistan. Khalid Mohammed is said to be a link between the 1993 WTC bombings, the 9/11 WTC attack, and the Tunisian synagogue bombing.

The LAX Millennium Bombing Plot, 1999

This case came in for special mention by [Blair011007]. The case files [White010702]; [LAX010705]; [LAX010703] reveal the workings of the lowest levels of the terror establishment. Ahmed Ressam, a petty thief of Algerian origin, was recruited in Montreal and sent to Pakistan and then Afghanistan for training. Returning, he was arrested on arrival from Canada by ferry at Port Angeles near Seattle with a rental car containing a large bomb (over 100lb of explosives), intended for Los Angeles international airport on New Year’s Day 2000. He was convicted in April 2001 – news reports cited a Pakistan International Airlines ticket stub as nailing the proof for the jury. In exchange for consideration of a sentence reduction from 130 to 27 years, he testified against co-conspirators including Abu Zubeidah, the coordinator in Pakistan whom he had met on arrival at Karachi from Montreal.  From [LAX010703]: “Can you explain to the jury what Abu Zubeida really was in connection with the camps? A. He is the person in charge of the camps. He receives young men from all countries. He accepts you or rejects you. And he takes care of the expenses of the camps. He makes arrangements for you when you travel coming in or leaving.” From Ressam’s cross-examination [LAX010705]: Q. The reason you were going to call Jaffar in Pakistan was so that you could take credit for blowing up the airport, correct? A. Yes, to claim the responsibility for the job.” (Note: “Abu Jaffar” was the leader of the Algerian Cell in Pakistan). From the chilling testimony, it is clear that Ressam learned explosive chemistry, practised using guns, RPGs, making bombs, blowing up airports, killing dogs with poison gas (to simulate “Americans” and “Israel-supporters”) and putting cyanide on doorknobs to kill “agents” and VIPs.

Portfolio of Terror

The LAX plot was by no means isolated. [Anson0208] describes Pakistani Sheikh Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, as a leader of Jamaat ul-Fuqra ("The Impoverished") described by the State Department's 1995 report on terrorism as dedicated "to purifying Islam through violence". “Ul-Fuqra is said to have recruited devotees from as far away as the Netherlands and had sent jihadis into battle in Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Israel. Since the early 1980s, ul-Fuqra had also operated in the U.S. as.. Muslims of America, in 19 states .. linked to.. money-laundering, arson, murder, and the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Gilani ..was, for a time, based himself in the States, but now .. is found in a walled compound in Lahore, Pakistan, where.. one of his visitors was (accused Shoe Bomber) Richard C. Reid.From [WStand9906]: “FUQRA terrorism in North America appears to have peaked in the early 1990s. In 1991, ..five men were arrested at the Niagara Falls border crossing after U.S. Customs agents.. found photographs, floor plans, and videotapes of the interiors of the targets, details of "recon team," "guard team," and "hit team" roles, and a description of how "time delay" bombs could be placed below the cinema floor.  A Canadian jury convicted three American Fuqra members of ‘conspiracy to commit mischief endangering life.’ A fourth suspect, Max Lon Fongenie, who had arrived. .from Pakistan shortly before the plot was set in motion, fled back to Pakistan… Gilani's close ties to Kashmir and the ISI.. in July 1983, Stephen Paul Paster, ..blew off most of one hand while planting a pipe bomb at a Portland hotel..  escaped from a hospital.. served 4 years of a 20-year prison sentence... suspected but not charged in.. bombings in Seattle in 1984.. Now lives in Lahore, where U.S. intelligence sources say he provides explosives training to visiting Fuqra members.”  

In presenting the following, it is noted that accusations are not proof of guilt – several post-911 horror stories have turned out to be the result of misunderstandings, xenophobia and outright perjury. A Pakistani-American businessman [Dawn020711] had his stores raided by law officers looking for evidence of money transfers involving the Al Qaeda. An employee in one of his stores pleaded guilty to having a false passport after a photo developing service told police that he had been extremely anxious and in a hurry to get 25 photos developed of the World Trade Center towers, 2 weeks before 9/11. A group of Pakistanis, under arrest on immigration / fraud charges  [Newsday020715] were reportedly refusing to discuss why they purchased an industrial-size mixer and set up a production facility under a false corporate name in summer 2001, or how they disposed of the items. Another Pakistani immigrant is on trial. According to [CNN020808], “Imran has confessed in court that he plotted to blow up a bridge in Florida and Jewish synagogue”. From [LVS020808]: “Pakistani immigrant pleaded guilty ..conspiring to bomb power stations, a National Guard armory and Jewish-owned businesses... Mandhai and Jokhan hoped the bombings would create chaos and they could make various demands..”   [Wpost020801]  discusses a Kuwaiti-born Canadian citizen in a plot to bomb the US embassy in Singapore: “Sometime in 2000, Mansour Jabarah (the father of the suspect) said, Mohammed left Kuwait for Pakistan ‘without my permission.. He was looking for Islamic studies in English… Police are looking for my other son, Abdulhassan and I don’t know where he is..’ 

As seen above, accused “Shoe Bomber” Richard C. Reid was traced to the “Fuqra” in Pakistan; associates arrested in France have been Pakistanis. On the alleged “Dirty Bomb Plot”, [CNN020828] reports: “Jose Padilla,, researched how to build a "dirty bomb" at an al Qaeda facility in Pakistan and planned to use radioactive material stolen in the United States to construct the "uranium-enhanced" device”. [CNN020616] reports the arrest of a Pakistani national in the US, associated with the same plot.

Rehearsal: Hijack-Murder on IC814

The terror schools obviously learned from the PanAm73 experience – the new genre of hijackers included trained pilots. At the end of December 1999, an Indian Airlines Airbus 300 en route from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi was hijacked by a team of terrorists who were sitting in first class. They entered the cockpit by rushing a flight attendant as the door opened for her to serve beverages. They segregated the passengers and took several hostages to the forward cabin. They subdued the crew and forced them to take off from Amritsar where the crew had landed instead of Lahore, by slitting the throat of young Rupin Katyal – and threatening more murders. The aircraft was flown to Dubai and then to Kandahar, where the Taliban mounted anti-aircraft batteries and aimed tank guns at the aircraft to deter hostage-rescue attempts by India. After a week-long nightmare, India agreed to free 4 terrorists including Omar Shaikh Saeed, jailed for kidnap and murder after killing a police officer who was rescuing western hostages, Zagar, who murdered kidnap victims by tying hand grenades to them, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, jailed for illegal entry and terrorist conspiracy. At the end of the standoff, the crew feigned equipment failure to prevent the terrorists from retrieving their checked baggage – and were surprised by the hijackers’ familiarity with the cockpit controls and procedures. The Taliban allowed the hijackers and their freed associates to escape to Pakistan, which denied knowledge of their entry. In 2002, Saeed and one of the hijackers, Mansur Hasnain, were implicated in the kidnap-murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Mr. Saeed had been living at his family home in Lahore with the full knowledge of the Pakistan government, and apparently “surrendered” to the ISI a week before they revealed his presence to police. [Ireact011108]: “Intelligence agencies are in possession of tape transcripts of the conversations between (Pakistan Army Lt. Gen) Aziz and the hijackers… it was on Aziz’s instructions that the hijackers demanded a ransom in addition to the release of jailed terrorists for freeing the 155 hijacked passengers.” Proof of the planning of the hijacking was found in a Kabul house in November 2001 [Rohde011206].


[Blair011007]: “The operatives involved in the 11 September atrocities attended flight schools, used flight simulators to study the controls of larger aircraft and placed potential airports and routes under surveillance.” IC814 was obviously a dress rehearsal for 9/11, also achieving the release of Omar Shaikh Sayeed and Mullah Masood who would have further roles to play.  Blair’s grand declaration, “The modus operandi of 11 September was entirely consistent with previous attacks” looks ironic – the Western Allies were certainly given every opportunity to recognize that the Indian plane was hijacked by Pakistan-backed terrorists. The IC814 attack demonstrated how to get lethal weapons aboard an airliner in a nation where security searches including X-raying of all baggage have been routine for a long time – weapons were transferred in a diplomatic bag from a PIA flight on the tarmac – a clear indication of official complicity at the PIA flight’s origin. The technique for rushing the cockpit was demonstrated, as was the subduing of passengers and crew by murdering an innocent in a most horrible manner – later replicated on 9/11 [WN020130].

Commercial Flight Simulators need expert instructors, with airline or Air Force experience. The 9/11 gang included one Saudi-licensed commercial pilot. The high-speed, high-precision maneuvers executed by the terrorists are far beyond the capabilities of armchair pilots. Amateur pilots with a few hours of flying Cessnas or PC-based flight simulators do not get such results on the first attempt – these were clearly people who had been trained for these precise maneuvers by experts who knew combat flying and airliner flying – Air Force veterans.  It is known that PAF officers have been on deputation to Saudi and UAE Air Forces as pilots and instructors, and presumably had access to training on large aircraft.  [NYT020824] quotes German investigators who place Atta and two accomplices at Afghan-based Al Qaeda training camps from late 2000 to early 2001. [Etel010930] confirms that the Afghan terror training camps had Pakistani military instructors and jet-handling airfields.

[Rediff020717] and [Mir020711] reported FBI requests to question PAF Squadron Leader Atif Ahmed bin Mansoor, and PAF refusal on the grounds that he is a “responsible officer”. From [Mir020711] : (Between 1997 and ‘99) “Atif and Atta lived and studied together at ..Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH), … after Atif left for Pakistan, Mohamed Atta was frequently seen in the company of his first cousin, Marwan Al-Shehhi, who had arrived 'almost as a replacement'.” Al-Shehhi, Atta and another Hamburg graduate were among the gang presumed dead on 9/11. In this connection, it is worthwhile to note that many of the 9/11 hijackers are reported to have attended or signed up for flight schools in the US and elsewhere – but none are reported to have actually demonstrated proficiency as pilots of large aircraft. In fact, most are pooh-poohed for incompetence. One hijacker is indeed reported to have had a Saudi commercial pilot license – but had gone around failing basic flying courses in the US!

It is useful to ask whether an organization known for “meticulous planning” would depend on such hit-or-miss training of their spearheads. Atta and his PAF classmate are reported to have won top honors at the technical school in Hamburg. During the 9/11 hijackings, the terrorist pilots showed high levels of proficiency in avoiding Air Traffic Control, finding targets accurately, and zeroing in on the WTC Tower using a high-G turn. In the Pentagon attack, the plane came in at 400 knots near-ground level. These skills went far beyond those implied by their scattered piloting lessons, and they worked in four teams with all the ruthless assurance of military squads. The flight school stories appear to be ways of establishing false identities and hiding the true piloting credentials of the terrorists and their military backgrounds.

[WSJ020701] reports on a Spanish investigation: “Mohammed Atta met with five other suspected Islamist terrorists in eastern Spain two months before Sept. 11….Atta.. met with Ramzi Binalshibh .. in Tarragona on July 10, Spanish investigators said. .. Mr. Binalshibh, who is now believed to be in Pakistan, had been denied a visa to the U.S., where he had hoped to obtain a pilot's license. .. Said Bahaji, one of Mr. Atta's roommates in Hamburg, Germany, may have attended the meeting as well. Mr. Bahaji also is believed to be in Pakistan.” The Mideast news channel Al Jazeera [AlJr020908] claims to corroborate this story and points out that “Binalshibh” is actually Ramzi bin Al-Shaibah, associated with Kuwaiti-born Pakistani passport-holder Khaled al-Sheikh Mohammad, whom they describe as the chief of Al Qaeda's military operations. Note conflict with earlier reports about Mohammed Atef holding that position. [Wp020911] follows up on these stories and indicates that the 9/11 plot was proposed by Atta and his classmates, and presented to the terror enterprise when Atta came to Pakistan in late 1999. However, the first funding, indicating selection of the plot from the portfolio, came in mid-2000, and this is where the first “smoking gun” piece of evidence appears to fit in.

Smoking Gun #1: The Money Trail and Kidnap-Terror Links

[Blair011007]: “Since 1989, Usama Bin Laden has established a series of businesses to provide income for Al Qaida, and to provide cover for the procurement of explosives, weapons and chemicals, and for the travel of Al Qaida operatives. The businesses have included a holding company known as ‘Wadi Al Aqiq’, a construction business known as ‘Al Hijra’, an agricultural business known as ‘Al Themar Al Mubaraka’, and investment companies known as ‘Ladin International’ and ‘Taba Investments’.”

 [Wpost020216] and  [TOI0208] report on Pakistani conduits for Al Qaeda funding.  The “smoking-gun” accusation in the 9/11 investigation, however, is a cell-phone call allegedly from Pakistan ISI Chief, Lt. Gen. Mehmood Ahmed to terrorist Omar Shaikh Saeed, who then transferred $100,000 from a UAE bank to Mohammed Atta in Germany before the 9/11 attacks. The call was caught by Indian RAW (Research & Analysis Wing) agents monitoring Ahmed’s (or Saeed’s) cell phone, and shadowing Saeed in a bookstore in Karachi.  [Mir020711] gives the transfer date in summer 2000, which fits later American / German reports [CNN020710] of the terrorists’ banking records, citing a $110K deposit as the earliest transaction – in 2000. On 9/10/2001, Atta and one of the other hijackers are reported to have wired the remainder of the money to the UAE (Atta reported to have wired $15,600), where Omar Shaikh is said to have collected it and returned to Pakistan immediately. From the American side of the transactions [LaTimes0110]: “The money trail to the Emirates just before the Sept. 11 attacks consisted of wire transfers to a man identified as Mustafa Ahmad, thought to be a financial officer in Al Qaeda.  Al-Shehhi wired $5,400 to Ahmad, (Shaykh Saiid) shortly before noon on Sept. 10 from a Western Union office at the Greyhound bus terminal in Boston,...Separately, suspected hijacker Waleed M. Alshehri sent $5,215 to Ahmad from a currency booth at Boston's Logan Airport on the evening of Sept. 9. .. Atta wired money to Ahmad on Sept. 8 and 9. The document is unclear on the amounts, but Al Suweidi said it was like the others, about $5,000. Ahmad picked up the transfers on Sept. 11 from the Al Ansari exchange in Sharjah... The same day, Ahmad used a Saudi Arabian passport to fly from Dubai to Pakistan, Emirates officials have said.” “Ahmad” was apparently identified with photos of Omar Shaikh Saeed by staff at the Ansari exchange. The source of these funds poses further interesting questions discussed below, but the accusation against Mehmood resulted in swift action to remove and protect him. Immediately following the publication of these reports, Mehmood Ahmed was moved out of the ISI chief post, but only to another post in the inner Corps Commanders’ Council which helps Musharraf rule Pakistan. [TOI011009] reported that the US sought his removal after confirming the wiring of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by “Ahmed Umar Sheikh” at his instance. 

One might well ask why the original $100K payment would be made through traceable channels. The answer may be that (a) the source had to be authenticated for Atta to proceed and (a) the traceable party was Omar Shaikh Saeed, already a known terrorist with Al Qaeda links, and thus expendable (he is supposedly on Death Row now). Note that Saeed’s pseudonym for the transactions was “M. Ahmad”. The cell-phone intercept of Pakistan ISI Chief General Mehmood Ahmed was presumably secret until revealed to the FBI in late 2001 when its significance became clear.

A further link in the funding scheme came from arrests following the motorcycle drive-by murder of policemen guarding the American Center in Kolkata, India in January 2002. Even as India pointed to Pakistani links, Aftab Ansari, a kidnap-gang leader, was reported to have claimed credit for this from safety in Dubai, as “revenge”.  Indian police had shot his associate Asif Reza Khan, “trying to escape” after being arrested for holding jeweler Bhaskar Parekh to ransom in November 2000. This prompted US FBI Chief Robert Mueller, visiting India at the time, to declare that the shooting appeared to be gang-related, not a terrorist attack on the US. The fun ended when two of the motorcyclists were tracked down and surrounded. One died in a shootout, the other was captured alive and interrogated. Using evidence from Asif Reza Khan’s interrogation, Interpol issued a “Red Corner Notice” against Ansari. Dubai acted quickly on this notice, arresting Aftab Ansari as he tried to catch a PIA flight to Karachi with his Pakistani passport. Dubai extradited him to India, where he confessed. From [TOI020123]: “CBI Director P C Sharma told visiting FBI Chief Robert S Mueller that Ansari, who claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack, had taken a ransom of Rs 37.5 million to free (kidnap victim) shoe baron Parthapratim Roy Burman through hawala channels to Dubai.. . Out of this amount, Omar Sheikh ..had sent $100,000 to Atta through telegraphic transfer..”. 

There appears to be confusion in the media reports on the timing of the $100K wire transfer (if there was only one). We presume that “Al Ansari exchange” mentioned above in Sharjah, a half-hour’s drive from Dubai, is owned by Mr. Ansari.  The link between Aftab Ansari, Omar Shaikh and the Pakistan ISI is discussed in [Twk020322], and attributed to Ansari’s gang-member Asif in [TRIN020126], and Ansari’s confession in [Trib020513] and [IPCS2002]. [Rediff020123] describes how Ansari, Omar Shaikh Saeed and Masood Azhar met in prison. Mr. Burman was kidnapped in July 2001 and released on Aug. 2, 2001 [Blonnet010803]. However, Ansari’s specialties were kidnapping and arms deals, and he had no shortage of wealth. [CNN020710] reports that “one of the first transfers was $110,000 in 2000 to an account held by Atta and Waleed Alshedri” – clearly this could not be from the ransom money obtained in November 2000 or July 2001. [Mir020711] also states that the Mehmood-Saeed wire of $100,000 to Atta occurred in “summer 2000”, matching the above. Ansari’s confession stated that Omar Shaikh Saeed introduced him at General Mehmood’s suggestion in mid-2000 to “Professor” Hafeez Sayeed, leader of the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist organization, and they jointly developed plots where kidnapping would fund  terror activities. Azim Cheema, an L-e-T terrorist, is said to have delivered the Pakistani passport and other documents for Ansari’s use. Ansari confessed to several payments to Omar Shaikh Saeed, and to funding an arms cache including 14kg of RDX, which was seized in Patan, India.

The confusion regarding payments can be cleared by realizing that there were several payments, totaling well over $325,000 and perhaps over $500,000 [CNN020710]. The source may have been Al Ansari accounts, but the disbursements may have been routed through the Middle East, Europe or the Caymans, using banking and untraceable “hawala” channels. [CNN020710] reports how the 9/11 hijackers opened bank accounts, giving false data in cities in the southern US including SunTrust, a major Atlanta-based bank. A report from the Cayman Islands [Cayman010916] speaks of a strange group appearing there, claiming to be Afghans traveling on Pakistani passports – which could not be found. As the authorities tried to find out from Pakistan and Britain about these men (with no response from the Pak embassy), an anonymous writer sent a letter to a Cayman media editor declaring that the men were terrorists bent on launching an attack on the US – just before Sep. 11.

From the above accounts, the Pakistan ISI Chief and terrorists under his control appear to have been much closer to the funding and implementation of the 9/11 plot than Osama bin Laden was. The links between the kidnapping / hijacking ransoms and the 9/11 terrorists’ funding shows a very different tactic from those attributed to bin Laden’s funding mechanisms. Clearly, the spy agency of Pakistan would be in an excellent position to shake down international kidnappers who depended on Pakistani protection and passports – and the ISI Chief would have easy access to their accounts. The intercepted cell-phone call is the only direct published tie to Musharraf’s junta – unless Omar Shaikh Saeed talks to US investigators. Pakistan appears bent on preventing this – supposedly having put Saeed on Death Row for the murder of Daniel Pearl. Hafeez Sayeed, the L-e-T chief, has also disappeared, his wife having filed a “habeas corpus” petition and the Pak authorities denying holding him.

On-site Executive Supervision

One feature of most Al Qaeda attacks is that the “project director”, a senior terrorist officer, visits the target city – and leaves hours before the actual event. After the 9/11 attack, a senior mullah was arrested at Heathrow airport as he left a plane from the US – but nothing has been heard of that since. There was, however, another senior officer present – General Mehmood Ahmed, ISI Chief, was visiting the State Department when the attack on the Pentagon occurred – and he had practically a direct view of the event.  From [Mateen010910]: "ISI Chief Lt-Gen. Mahmoud's week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. .. most  important meeting was with Marc Grossman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. One can safely guess that the discussions must have centred around Afghanistan . . . and Osama bin Laden." 

A final hint of ISI involvement in the 9/11 attack comes in the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood on September 9 using a suicide bomb in a TV camera, and hints on bin Laden’s whereabouts. According to [CBS0203], bin Laden was reported to be in Pakistan for “medical treatment”. On the night of Sep. 9, General Musharraf was at a party at ISI Headquarters, where he met former ISI Chief, General Hamid Gul on his return from his weeks-long stay in Afghanistan [JLA020610]. A clear link between the Algerian suicide bomber, the TV-camera-bomb, and Pakistan has not yet been reported.

Another possible reason for the 9/09 “party” at ISI HQ has not been explored in the media. The first of the payments from the 9/11 hijackers, signaling that they had no further need for money in this world, was wired from Boston on 9/08 – and the recipient in Sharjah would have known immediately. It must have been the afternoon of the 9th in Pakistan. Why else were these payments, relatively negligible sums, wired at such risk of eventual discovery? And why by the same route by which the original $100K came? Which takes us to the most frightening piece of evidence: the timing when the airlift of strategic assets from Afghanistan was planned.

Smoking Gun #2: Transfer of assets from Afghanistan

On Sep. 12 (in Pakistan – late Sep. 11 in the US) all major Pakistani airports were closed for several hours [Rind010915], [Raman010917]. Heavy military traffic was reported.  It was speculated that the senior officers from Afghanistan and critical equipment / weapons were being brought home before American bombing made travel impossible. The timing is extremely interesting when one considers the lead-time needed for a large-scale airlift involving both people and heavy equipment. The aircraft must have gone from Pakistan, and loaded men and equipment gathered from all over Afghanistan with its primitive roads and infrastructure, and returned to Pakistan. According to the Pakistani government [Hilton020808] General Musharraf was at some evening public meeting when he was informed of the attacks, and he dismissed them as something between the MidEast Arabs and the US – leaving less than 12 hours before the airlift arrived in Islamabad. When was this airlift planned? What does this imply about General Musharraf’s foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks? The Sep. 8 and 9 money transfers from Boston [LATimes0110], conveying the “All Systems are Go!” signal, serve to explain much of this miracle – but since Gen. Mehmood was in the US at the time, this also implies a more direct information channel from Omar Shaikh Saeed a.k.a.  “Mustafa Ahmad” to General Pervez Musharraf.

As the Americans made clear their strategy of a close and intrusive embrace of Pakistan as opposed to a standoff attack, there was a major fire at Pakistan Army Headquarters in Islamabad [Sharma011011]. The records of Pakistan Army officers who had or were now serving in Afghanistan were reported to have been conveniently lost.  A similarly unfortunate fire hit ISI HQ after the Mehmood Ahmed links were published.

Post –911 attacks

There have been several attacks on US interests inside Pakistan before and since 9/11, including attacks on a prayer hall inside the diplomatic complex and blasts outside the Consulate in Karachi. We draw attention to attacks made outside Pakistan. On July 27, a US soldier was killed and 4 wounded near Jalalabad by remote-detonated explosives. US teams found “two electronic firing devices that could be set to a digital watch or a radio and activated by remote control. The circuit boards .. were made in Pakistan and similar devices had been used in other bombings and rocket attacks on U.S. personnel.” [Mherald020828]

ISI – the link between the Pakistan Government and Global Terrorism

Reports abound on the primary role of the ISI in the Pakistani / Afghan terrorist enterprise. [TOI011009], [Sharma011011], [Mintz020802], [ADB020725], [NYT011208],[IndUK020721],  [Kux2002], [Rashid010914], [UPI020129], [UPI020606] [ICG020729], all point to the clear links and indeed the identity between the religious fundamentalist groups, the terrorist groups, the Pakistan military and the ISI. What is left unstated is the proof that General Musharraf himself, and his immediate junta, control the ISI and give the orders. Fortunately, one needs to look no further than the statements made by the dictator himself, and his immediate friends and followers, to establish this link unambiguously. In [Lodhi020305] the Pakistani Ambassador to the US declares that the ISI is an arm of the Pakistan government, and does nothing without direct orders from the government.  [Sehgal0112] explains the command structure of the ISI to emphasize the same point – the ISI does nothing except to carry out the orders of the Pakistan government.  General Musharraf himself has vehemently repeated the same. Quoting the General [Hilton020808]: “Its unfortunate that the I.S.I. is targeted around the world. It’s wrong and baseless. It does what the C.I.A. does, what RAW does, Mossad. It does what the government wants it do to. It is not a government within a government. The I.S.I. is manned by uniformed people. Especially when they answer to a commander-in-chief. I am the commander-in-chief.” Thus the question of transferring responsibility for the terrorist attacks from the Al Qaeda to the Taliban and the other terror groups to the ISI to General Musharraf can be declared as “Q.E.D.” 



[Blair011007]: “ No other organisation has both the motivation and the capability to carry out attacks like those of the 11 September – only the Al Qaida network under Usama Bin Laden”.

It is respectfully suggested that the PM should re-examine the logic of this statement, extending it one level higher. To quote General Musharraf [Hilton020808]: “I didn’t think it possible that Osama sitting up there in the mountains could do it. He was perhaps the sponsor, the financier, the motivating force. But those who executed it were much more modern. They knew the US, they knew aviation. I don’t think he has the intelligence or the minute planning. The planner was someone else.” 

Pakistan, on the other hand, is ruled by Musharraf’s military dictatorship which has sent thousands of its people to death. The present junta used to be the junior officers of the Pak Army as it conducted the genocide of over 3 million of their own compatriots in East Pakistan in 1971 [Hrehman1971]. No other country in the world has a military dictatorship controlling a nuclear arsenal, protecting an enterprise of 10,000 “religious schools” which have produced 1.75 million brainwashed youths unemployable for anything other than rabid acts of violence. And Musharraf, most of all, has reason to hate the US. Rising through the ranks as a protégé of Islamist dictator Gen. Zia ul Haq, and as mentor of Osama bin Laden, Musharraf’s bitterness at the military defeat of 1971 was multiplied by his failure in the battles of Siachen, and later in his grand plan to invade Kashmir under nuclear cover in 1999. He blames the US for that last defeat. President Clinton refused to back Pakistan, Musharraf’s entire Northern Light Infantry Regiment got wiped out, and he escaped court martial only by conducting his coup d’etat. Musharraf’s sidekick, Lt. Gen. Aziz, who was caught on tape telling Musharraf in 1999 that he controlled the occupiers of the Kargil heights (“we have the jehadis by the scruff of the neck”), is known as the “COAS” of the “Pakistan Army of Islam”, a pseudonym for the Pakistan Armed forces deputed to run the Islamic jehad in Afghanistan and Kashmir. In 1998, President Clinton’s cruise missiles retaliating for the Embassy attacks, hit the Harkat ul Mujaheddin camps inside Pakistan, as much as those inside Afghanistan [Yomari990107].

Coupled with this bitterness is the prime motivation of the terror enterprise, which must be financial. Pakistan appears to be controlled by two or three huge financial organizations which operate for the benefit of the senior military and their interests. Viewed as such, the various components of the terror enterprise come together. The madarssas and the preachings of religious leaders such as Masood Azhar and bin Laden generate the popular support and grassroots fundraising. Rich businessmen, Mideast potentates and oil tycoons contribute to the Cause, and successful terror attacks on the seemingly impregnable western establishment impress these tycoons as much as they impress the recruit base of Islamic youth from all over the world. Training camps and indoctrination centers are essential to this enterprise, turning impressionable youngsters into suicide terrorists. The “secular” military establishment focuses on organizing, training and equipping these diverse components. An in-depth look at this enterprise, and the identity of cause and command between the Al Qaeda, ISI, the Pakistan Army of Islam and the Pakistan Armed Forces, is beyond the scope of this article.

One might also consider General Musharraf’s notion of honesty. When he declares that “there is no cross-border terrorism” the General’s argument is that the Line of Control is not an International Border – and the Indian State of Jammu-Kashmir belongs to him anyway – and killing Indians is not terrorism to him. Likewise, when he defends the ISI, his argument may be that the power behind Al Qaeda is not the ISI – it is the Pakistan Army of Islam, an umbrella group of senior officers encompassing the Armed Forces, the ISI, the terror groups, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the madarssas.

Claims of Pakistani government enthusiasm in terrorist arrests should be viewed against this snippet from [Dtimes020724]: “The man who turned in Ramzi Ahmed Yousef to the Americans was a Pakistani codenamed ‘Hamid,’ who now lives in the United States with his wife and one child under the Witness Protection Programme, richer by the two million dollars he received as his “finder’s fee.” This perhaps accurately captures the motivation method which the US uses on the top officers of the Pakistan junta – they have so far “found” the Pakistan Northern Light Infantry Regiment which invaded Kargil and never returned, the Taliban, the ten thousand Pakistani youths who went to Afghanistan, and the thousands of Pakistani military men who perished in General Rashid Dostum’s alleged “Container Express”. The madarssas and terror groups are perhaps in line for similar “findings” by the Generals.


Why on 9/11/2001?  Was it just the end of the long preparations? The early report of Atta extending his house lease in Florida by a month at the end of August, suggests an unexpected delay – or an order to not renew for a longer lease (why, given that the lessor could do nothing about an early termination?) Sep. 11 has been associated with the anniversary of the US Congress accepting Jewish settlers’ claims to Palestine in the 1920s – but what if the flying and media weather were not perfect and the WTC / Pentagon were not clearly visible? Another explanation is that the US administration had decided, a week before Sep. 11, to proceed with a comprehensive counter-terrorism plan prepared under the previous (Clinton) administration. This plan would have included tighter coordination between federal agencies in tracing financial links and terrorist movements. Did this imminent threat trigger several plans from the portfolio on a “use it or lose it” basis? See the incompetent Shoe Bomber, Dirty Bomber, Bridge Bombers, Industrial Mixers, etc. discussed above. This of course would imply that Al Qaeda was warned of the impending action by leaks from the US – which brings us to General Mehmood Ahmed’s visit to the US in the week before 9/11.

We cannot know the intent of Gen. Ahmed’s visit – and of USA Lt. Gen. T. Franks’ trip to Pakistan from which he is reported to have turned back on 9/11. In retrospect, it is likely that the discussions included the US plan to implement the new counter-terrorism plan – and demanding Pakistani cooperation. We can only speculate on the transmission of those discussions to the terrorist enterprise. We can however observe General Ahmed’s achievements. On Sep. 11, he managed to deflect the rising American anger off Pakistan and on to Afghanistan. At the same time, he managed to sell the US Administration on Pakistan’s indispensable role as the “Frontline Ally” for the US to have any hope of preventing further attacks with weapons of mass destruction, keeping the ISI very much in the middle [WN020227] – and get paid handsomely for their efforts. The General and his boss Gen. Musharraf must congratulate themselves on the success of this grand extortion scheme.

An alternative explanation of the timing may be glimpsed from a snapshot of the Pakistan junta’s predicament in the summer of 2001. The Taliban were under tight UN sanctions, which were being violated only by Pakistan (Note: arms convoys to the Taliban from Pakistan continued even during the US air strikes!) Pakistan’s economy was in a downward spiral, with its foreign exchange reserves down below $400M or one month’s reserve. Musharraf was scheduled to visit the US in the 3rd week of September. As that date approached, it was clear that the US administration, Congress, the World Bank, the Commonwealth and the G-8 were in no mood to oblige him with debt-rescheduling, F-16s, relaxation of sanctions, or increased economic aid. The lease extension takes on new significance when viewed in the context of Musharraf’s declining prospects for a productive visit to the US – which was critical to his coup-free survival in Islamabad. With Saudi interest in bin Laden waning, and the Chinese becoming wary with Uighur terrorists being trained in Pakistan, the junta had to find a rich payer of protection money for “cooperation in fighting terrorism”. Within 6 months after 9/11, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were reported up over $6 Billion, though their exports had plummeted and imports risen as the economy stayed depressed and businesspeople and tourists were scared away. This windfall was explained in the Pakistani press and by former PM Benazir Bhutto as an operation where Pakistan sent “couriers with suitcases” to the MidEast to buy dollars for 240 billion Pakistani rupees – a patently absurd explanation.

Table 1 summarizes the reports on Pakistani involvement in terror attacks on the USA. The list is obviously long, and the Pakistani role is pervasive.  It is obvious that Pakistan has been deeply and inseparably involved in the Taliban and the Al Qaeda – and as such bears responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Indirect evidence comes from the plethora of reports. Nearly every terror plot directed against the US and its interests has a strong link to Pakistani training, equipment, and personnel. If 9/11 was not Pakistan-organized, it must have been a rare exception.

Table 1: Summary of Pakistan links to terrorist attacks on America

Perpetrators and conspirators:

1.      Jaish-e-Muhammed mullah Masood Azhar linked to attacks on Americans in Somalia.

2.      1993 WTC bomber Ramzi Youssef traced to Pakistan; tied to 1995 plot to bomb 12 US airliners. Pakistani arrested in Phillippines with explosives in apartment, tied to airline bombing plot.

3.      Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Pakistani, on FBI Wanted alert, related to 9/11, Razmi Youssef and Tunisian synagogue bombing.

4.      Tunisian suicide bomber Nawar traced to Pakistan training camp in 2000/2001. Receives $20K from Pakistani sources.

5.      Would-be LAX bomber (Algerian native) reveals Pak coordination and reporting locations.

6.      Abu Zubeidah, Al Qaeda coordinator of LAX bomb plot, lived in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

7.      1993 Bombay commercial district bombings (over 300 dead)  – Dawood Ibrahim sheltered from Interpol in house near Musharraf’s residence. TIME journalist harassed for reporting his location.

8.      East Africa embassy bombing coordinator flew home to Pakistan, 1998; Kenyan suspect Sheikh Ahmed Salim found in Karachi, July 2002.

9.      Terror training camps found related to embassy bombings –Harkat-ul-Ansar camps hit by US cruise missiles in 1998 were inside Pakistan.

10.  Fatal hijacking – PanAm 73, Karachi, 1986. Hijacker(s) allowed to escape; caught in 2002 and put on trial.

11.  Fatal hijacking IC814, Dec.99– hijackers now in Pakistan, sought as part of Daniel Pearl murder gang. Dress rehearsal for 9/11 – modus operandi included slitting throats of passengers, and commercial-pilot-trained hijackers expert in hand-to-hand combat.

12.  Mohammed Atta’s classmate at Hamburg engg. School, 97-2000 was PAF Sqn. Ldr.

13.  PAF Sqn Ldr replaced by Atta’s cousin – 9/11 hijacker when PAF officer’s brother died.

14.  Omar Shaikh traced to ISI / Gen. Mehmood Ahmed links. Wired first $100K to Atta in summer 2000 on Ahmed’s orders: cell phone call intercept.

15.  Atta’s pilot-trainee Pak classmate denied entry to US; meets with Atta and another Pak terrorist in Spain, July 10, 2001.

16.  Zacarias Moussaoui trained in Pakistan.

17.  Moussaoui came from Pakistan to London & US with $35K in 2001; sought B747 training.

18.  Bin Laden’s personal pilot reported to be former PAF officer.

19.  Pak terror cells arrested in France, Miami.

20.  Pakistani in a hurry to get 25 photos of WTC developed, 2 weeks before 9/11.

21.  Pakistanis arrested on fraud; bogus company that bought industrial chemical mixer.

22.  Richard Reid (accused Shoe Bomber) trained and received final instructions from Pakistan; related Pak cell arrested in France.

23.  Jose Padilla (accused Dirty Bomber) trained and came to US from Pakistan; Pak associates arrested in US.

24.  John Walker Lindh (American Taliban) trained in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

25.  Singapore US embassy bomb plot: Kuwaiti-Canadian suspect indoctrinated in Pakistan.

26.  Previous bombing plots had Pak coordinators; Afghan camps had Pak military instructors.

Official Pakistani Government Links to Terrorist Organizations

27.  Dominant Pakistani role in Taliban Afghanistan

28.  Pak sponsorship of Osama bin Laden’s return to Afghanistan, 1996 via drug lord

29.  Pak govt sponsorship of  terror camps on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border.

30.  Pak acquiesence in Osama’s Fatwas against the US – 1996 and ’98; Bin Laden proclamation in  ’98 of “God’s Order to Kill Americans” in Peshawar, Pakistan.

31.  Pak Lt. Gen. Aziz reported head of “Pakistan Army of Islam” running terror camps.

32.  Pak military instructors for terror trainees in A’stan - FlightSim and training manuals found in A’Stan; IC814 hijack plot material found in Kabul house; hijackers and Omar Shaikh found living in Pakistan.

33.  Kolkatta US Consulate attack organizer Aftab Ansari put kidnap ransom money in account which paid $100K to Atta.

34.  ISI Chief Mehmood Ahmed reported to have ordered Omar Shaikh to send money to Atta

35.  Omar Shaikh reportedly receives balance of funds wired by Atta & gang on 9/11 from Ansari Bank; flies back to Pakistan.

36.  Pakistan Lt.Gen. Hamid Gul – fired ISI chief – virulently anti-American terror camp organizer – in Afghanistan for weeks; returns to party at ISI HQ, meeting Musharraf on 9/09 after Northern Alliance leader Masood was assassinated.

37.  9/12 emergency military evacuation from Afghanistan to Pakistan completed within far too little time to have been thought up after 9/11 attacks.

38.  Timing – Atta extends lease for 30 days as Musharraf visit to US looks headed for disaster.

39.  Pak envoy M. Lodhi asserts that the ISI does not act without government authorization.

40.  General Musharraf takes full responsibility for ISI actions – repeatedly and vehemently.

The direct pointers suggest that there was no exception. The timeline of the 9/11 plot as seen from the media reports is laid out in Table 2. This shows some interesting aspects. It appears that the plot began to hatch at the same time as the Musharraf junta took over Pakistan. The link to the funding sources from kidnapping and arms smuggling appear to be strong. The most important pieces of evidence so far, directly related to the 9/11 attacks are:

1.      Pak Army / ISI Taliban nexus, making Pakistan directly responsible for Taliban actions.

2.      Aftab Ansari’s declaration of how kidnap ransom/ arms profits were deposited in the account from where  payments were transferred to Mohammed Atta, along with clear links between Ansari and Omar Saeed Shaikh.

3.      The intercepted cell-phone call from General Mehmood Ahmed, director of the ISI, to Omar Shaikh Saeed to start the money transfers to the hijackers.

4.      The transfers of balances from the hijackers to the Al Ansari exchange in Sharjah on 9/9-9/11.

5.      Omar Shaikh Saeed’s movements traced from Pakistan to the Al Ansari institution in Sharjah, withdrawal of funds received from the hijackers, and return to Pakistan on 9/11.

6.      The “substitution” of Marwan Al Shehhi (Atta’s cousin) for PAF Sqn Ldr. Bin Mansoor when the latter had only gone home to attend his brother’s military funeral. This makes sense for a military organization which replaces a suicide mission trainee when his last sibling dies (as explained in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”), and cannot tell him why technical school is suicidal compared to flying PAF fighters on the Indian border. It also indicates that the Saudi hijackers and the PAF officer received funds and orders from the same source. The reported FBI “interest” in talking to the PAF suggests that the FBI have not dropped that angle – including the real identity of “Atta”.

7.      The curious behavior of the alleged terrorists at various “flight schools” –contrasted with the “professional” skill exhibited on 9/11.

8.      Pakistani start of Zacarias Moussauoi’s journey to the UK and then US – with terrorist training and  $35K in cash – to join the other 9/11 hijackers, after Binalsbih (bin Al-Shaibah) failed to get a visa to America.

9.      ISI complicity in assassinating Ahmed Shah Masood. Party at ISI HQ same night –9/09 with Musharraf and Hamid Gul attending. The coincidence (?) that the first “All Systems Are Go” payment from the hijackers in Boston came in to Shaikh Saeed in Dubai on Sep.9.

10.   The impossibly short lead-time for the airlift of military personnel / equipment from Afghanistan to Pakistan on 9/12. This is a critical piece of evidence. It appears that the orders to conduct the evacuation must have been triggered by the final return of money, by the various hijackers, on Sep. 9 through 11th, Pakistan time.  US retaliation of some sort against Afghanistan was expected, making the airlift essential. The airlift had to be timed well because of the danger in leaving the northern frontlines exposed to the Northern Alliance Forces, despite the murder of their leader Masood on September 9.

11.  The flight of “Binalsbih” (Ramzi bin Al-Shaibah) and Said Bahaji to Pakistan on Sep. 5.

Table 2: Timeline Related to the 9/11 attacks

’97- ‘99

Atta and PAF Sqn Ldr classmates at Hamburg.

Aug. 99

PAF Sqn Ldr. returns to Pak; replaced by Marwan Al Shehhi.

Oct.  99          

Musharraf coup.  Gen. Mehmood Ahmed appointed ISI chief.  


Atta and 2 classmates train in Afghanistan.

IC814 hijacked to Kandahar using 9/11 modus operandi.

Omar Shaikh & Masood Azhar freed.

Terrorist meeting at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Summer 2000

Shaikh Saeed introduces Aftab Ansari to L-e-T chief Hafeez Sayeed - kidnap scheme developed to fund terror. 

Mehmood Ahmed phone call– orders Shaikh to wire $100K to Atta from Ansari account.

$110K appears in accounts of Atta and Marwan Al Shehhi.

Nov. 2000


Ansari gang holds Indian jeweler to $850K ransom.


Moussaoui leaves Pakistan, goes to London and then US w/ $35,000 cash.

July 01

Meeting between Atta, Bin Al Shabai, Said Bahaji and others in Spain. Bin Al Shabai unable to go to USA due to repeated visa refusal.

Hijack gang arrives in US.

Ansari gang holds Indian Shoe merchant to ransom.

Summer 01

$375K passes through hijacker’s bank accounts in US.


Atta extends house lease by 1 month.

Sep. 3

ISI Chief Gen. Mehmood Ahmed arrives in Washington for “discussions”.

Sep. 5

Bin Al Shabai and Said Bahaji flee to Pakistan.  

Sep. 8

(Boston: Sep.9, Pakistan time). Atta wires money to Sharjah.

Sep. 9:              

Masood assassinated in Afghanistan; Musharraf at ISI HQ party; meets Hamid Gul on return from Afghanistan. Waleed AlShehri wires $5215 from Boston to Sharjah (Ansari bank). Atta also sends money.

Musharraf orders airlift from Taliban?

Sep. 10              

Al-Shehhi wires $5400 to “Ahmad” (Omar Shaikh)

Sep. 11

“Ahmad” (Omar Shaikh) picks up transfers at Al Ansari exchange, Sharjah; flies back to Karachi

Sep. 11

(evening, Pak time) 911 attacks occur. Musharraf at party; informed.


Sep. 12

 (Morning, Pak time):Islamabad & other Pak airports closed – heavy military traffic – airlift from Afghanistan arrives.




















The question remains: “If the US knows all this, why are they not attacking Pakistan or arresting the junta leaders?” Theories abound on this. The most sanguine is that the US administration has some people near the top whose deep knowledge of Pakistan and Afghanistan permits them to implement sophisticated policies, where they essentially force or pay the leaders of the terror gang to sell out all their accomplices, and thus systematically dismantle the terror apparatus from the bottom up. It would be remarkable if such a policy survived the emotions and pressures of 9/11/2001. Theories exploring other scenarios may be found in [Choss0111A]. It is noted that General Mehmood Ahmed, far from being a “rogue Islamist General” is a trusted associate of General Musharraf, his loyalty established through his support in the coup of 1999, and given the top spot in the ISI to replace Gen. Ziauddin, whom Musharraf had arrested. As of early September 11, 2002, no top leaders of Al Qaeda are under arrest – Abu Zubeidah the middle manager in terror recruiting, and Muttawakil, the Taliban minister, are the topmost captives to-date. Table 3 lists various names associated with the 9/11 plot as a primer for the reader.

Table3:  Names related to the 9/11 terrorist plot

·         Abadin, Zein al. See “Abu Zubeidah”

·         Ahmed, Mehmood: Lt. General, Pakistan Army. Appointed chief of ISI by General Musharraf after 1999 coup. Transferred in 2001 to the Corps Commanders’ Council.

·         Ahmad, Mustafa Muhammad: Pseudonym of person who wired  $100K to and received balance from Mohammed Atta near 9/11. See “Omar Shaikh Saeed”

·         Ansari, Aftab: Alleged kidnapper/ arms smuggler. Organized terror attack at American Center, Kolkotta, Dec.2001. Pak passport; extradited to India by Dubai. Alleged to have funded account where O. Saeed wired $100K to the 9/11 hijackers. Linked to Al Ansari Exchange, Sharjah, where Atta and Al Shehhi wired money on Sep.9&10, 2001.

·         Atef, Mohammed: Alleged military chief of Al Qaeda. Believed killed in US air raid.

·         Atta, Mohammed: Alleged leader of 9/11 hijackers.

Bahaji, Said: Alleged associate whom Atta met in Tarrogonna, Spain, July 10, 2001. Flew to Pakistan Sep.5, 2001 and believed hiding there. Wanted.

Bin Al-Shaibah, Ramzi. Alleged Yemeni classmate of M. Atta, denied entry into US.

·         Binalshibh, Ramzi. See “bin Al-Shaibah, Ramzi”. Believed to be in Pakistan. Wanted.

·         Bin Laden, Osama: Saudi billionaire turned preacher; organizer of Al Qaeda.

·         Bin Mansoor, Atif Ahmed: Sqn Ldr., Pakistan Air Force. Reportedly classmate of Mohammed Atta at Hamburg Technische Hochschule, 1997-2000 before arrival of Marwan Al Shehhi

·         Gul, Hamid: Former chief of ISI. Fired in 1989 after US concerns about terrorist links.

·         Hasnain, Mansur: An alleged hijacker of IC814. Sought in Pakistan for murder of Daniel Pearl.

·         Husnain, Ghulam: Karachi TIME stringer who reported story on Dawood Ibrahim living in Pakistan near Musharraf’s residence. Harassed by ISI; escaped to the West.

·         Khan,Aziz: Lt. General, Pak. Army; Musharraf’s assistant in Kargil debacle; caught on tape telling Musharraf about control of “ mujaheddin”; Said to be chief of “Pak Army of Islam”.

·         Masood, Ahmed Shah: Leader of Afghan Resistance to Soviet invasion. After Soviets left, led Northern Alliance. Assasinated Sep. 9, 2001 by suicide bomber.

·         Mohammed, Khaled al-Sheikh.Pakistan-born, Kuwaiti resident. Wanted related to 9-11 attacks. Believed to be uncle of Ramzi Youssef.

·         Moussaoui, Zacarias: Tried by US as “20th hijacker” in 9/11 plot. Algerian-French.

·         Omar (Mullah): Taliban leader.  Absconding after October 7, 2001.

·         Saeed, Omar Shaikh: Member, Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin; also associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed and ISI Chief General Mehmood Ahmed. British citizen, arrested for kidnap & murder in India, 1994, freed as ransom for IC814, Jan. 2000, Alleged conveyor for funds to and from 9/11 hijackers. Sentenced to death for murder of Daniel Pearl.

·         Saleem, Sheikh Ahmed: “bin Laden’s financial advisor”. Sudan national; arrested July 12, 2002 in Karachi, suspected in attack on US Consulate.

·         Sayeed, “Professor” Haffez: Pakistani leader of “Lashkar-e-Toiba”, renamed “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi” after US named L-e-T as a foreign terrorist organization. Allegedly conspired with Ansari to use kidnappings to fund terrorism.

·         Siddiqui, Imtiaz: See “Mansur Hasnain”

·         Youssef, Ramzi: In US jail, convicted of roles in 1993 WTC bombing, and planning 1995 plot to blow up US airliners over the Pacific.

·         Zubeidah, Abu, a.k.a. Zein al Abadin: Pakistan based, accused Al Qaeda coordinator of 1999 LAX bomb plot & East African embassy bombings. Arrested by US in Faisalabad.



In this paper, we have used the statement of “evidence” presented by the Western Allies as rationale for their attacks on Afghanistan.   From the logic and evidence presented by Prime Minister Blair, supplemented with other information which became available before and after September 2001, we can see that bin Laden and Al Qaeda are specific players inside a larger organization – and that organization is the same as that which runs the Pakistan government. The accumulated mass of reports from all over the world present a picture of a global menace from Pakistan–trained, equipped and ordered terrorists. This menace is far from being over. Added to the weight of these indirect pointers, specific evidence on money transfers and the timing of the emergency evacuation from Afghanistan, exposes several links of a chain tying the top levels of the Pakistan government to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001.


This paper was developed from a discussion conducted at the Bharat-Rakshak Forum, The attention and comments of numerous participants are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright © Bharat Rakshak 2002