Mumbai Attacks in Context: A brief history of Western Intelligence Involvement in ‘Islamic’ Terrorism

Sara AM Golling
By Sara AM Golling
December 8th, 2008

When the Americans sought to collapse the Soviet Union and bring a final end to the Cold War, they did not do it head on, but chose to bankrupt that nation by luring it into its own version of the Vietnam War–in Afghanistan. So said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Barack Obama’s national security advisor throughout his presidential campaign. Brzezinski has also admitted that the Americans deliberately fostered Islamic militants as part of that strategy.

This turned out to be the largest CIA operation in US history; Americans funded and supported the effort of Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, then ennobled by Reagan as ‘freedom-fighters’, and of course now maligned as ‘terrorists’.

The group the Americans chose to operate through was the Hizb i Islami, an off-shoot of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, the umbrella organization responsible for all factions of Islamic terrorism, including the likes of Osama bin Laden.

Because of this, the 9/11 attacks have been dismissed as “blowback”, but the truth is that American cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood goes back to WWII. The organization was created prior to that through British assistance. It derives from what is called the Salafi reform movement of Islam, founded by a notorious impostor by the name of Jamal ud Din al Afghani. Afghani agitated against the West on their behalf and assisted in the famous Orabi revolt. The British were then provided with their pretext to invade to ‘stabilize’ the country, and of course, seize the all-important Suez Canal.

The Muslim Brotherhood received training and support from the Nazis prior to WWII, but after the war, control of the organization was passed to the Americans. However, instead of rounding up former Nazis, the American hired them for their indispensable expertise. This was part of an international network known as Odessa, which created “ratlines” to help former Nazis and SS officers escape. Many were brought, under Operation Paperclip, to the US to work for NASA. Others fled to South America, and Italy, where they became part of the notorious Operation Gladio, who were responsible for the violence of the Red Brigades during the 70s, and the death of Aldo Moro. And finally, some left for Egypt, where they continued to train the Muslim Brotherhood.

Documentary: Operation Gladio

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Part 3

However, when the MB failed an assassination attempt against the then-Prime Minister Gamal Adbun Nasser, he had them rounded up. During this persecution, the CIA arranged for many members of the MB to be transmitted to Saudi Arabia, an important ally, where they became “religious instructors”. The Saudis have since tried to blame the rise of militancy in their country on this influx of Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood, but the truth is the Saudis are much more closely implicated in these covert affairs.

After the downfall of the Nixon administration, the CIA’s hands were tied. So, in order to bypass congress, it was agreed that Saudi Arabia would use its cash windfall from the Oil Crisis to fund CIA covert activities by proxy.

One of the first projects was the funding of the Contras of Nicargua, who were agitating against the duly-elected Sandinistas. This became part of a larger international CIA operation called Iran-Contra, where the Americans illegally traded arms with the Iranians, and trafficked in Nicaraguan cocaine, funneled through Mena, Arkansas, under Bill Clinton’s watch, and distributed to American ghettos, setting off the crack epidemic. Proceeds of this illicit traffic were used to finance the “Mujahideen” of Afghanistan, of which bin Laden was eventually a key figure.

Likewise, we have to suspect that something deceptive is going on in Mumbai. Blame is being targeted at the Pakistanis, who have long been accused of fostering terrorism. Of course they have. CIA support for the “terrorists” throughout the Soviet war in Afghanistan was coordinated through the Pakistani secret service, the ISI.

On December 3, Outlookindia.com reported that the CIA’s station chief in Delhi approached one of India’s intelligence agencies, the Research and Analysis Wing, and passed on a fairly specific warning;

“In mid-September this year, the CIA station chief in Delhi sought an urgent meeting with his counterpart in R&AW to pass on some critical inputs. This was part of an understanding that Indian and American intelligence had institutionalized in the aftermath of 9/11. From its assets in Pakistan and Afghanistan, American intelligence had come to learn that the Lashkar-e-Toiba was planning to launch a major terrorist attack in Mumbai, which would be carried out from the sea.”

One police officer who encountered the gunmen as they entered the Jewish centre that was attacked told the Guardian the attackers were “white”, although this could mean they were paler-skinned Indians from the country’s north.

“I went into the building late last night,” he said. “I got a shock because they were white. I was expecting them to look like us. They fired three shots. I fired ten back.”

Mumbai locals say the killing spree began at the Leopold Cafe. According to a BBC report, three men walked into the cafe, drank beer, settled their bills and walked out. Then they fished out guns from their bags and began firing. Alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden in Islam.

Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, says he saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe. He was returning to his hotel from the seaside with a friend when he saw two men carrying bags and brandishing AK-47s walking in front of them, shooting.

“They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed,” says Mr Amir.

We will have to keep an eye on the emerging evidence around who is culpable in the Mumbai attacks. But any such claims have to be measured against the backdrop presented above. If they are not, then we must assume that the distortion is deliberate, and designed to fan certain sentiments. Those sentiments would seem to be pressure against Pakistan, as part of the larger recent push by the American administration to bolster the relationship between themselves, Israel, and that “economic miracle”, India. (link)

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