HOME March-April 2011 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web



by R. K. Ohri



"Strength is life. Weakness is death"
- Swami Vivekananda

The war against terror continues both in Afghanistan and Iraq and several other countries. In spite of the widely acclaimed success achieved by the U.S. troops in capturing Saddam Hussein alive in operation 'Red Dawn', the turmoil in Iraq is not likely to die down soon. His arrest might hopefully silence for a while the critics of American campaign in Iraq. In any case, the engagement in Iraq is likely to continue as a long drawn out guerrilla warfare which could last several years. To their dismay the coalition troops have discovered that fighting the fundamentalist terror of Islam is a tough call. Afghanistan too has been witnessing a grand revival of the Taliban ideology and resistance to the Karzai regime is growing, largely due to the support of Pakistani army and the ISI to pro-Taliban outfits. In Iraq the contours of a well planned guerrilla warfare against American occupation are clearly visible. Reports from Baghdad indicate that responding to the call given in the name of ummah by extremist groups, lately many young Muslim militants from a number of adjoining countries, especially Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and other West Asian countries, including some from Europe, have been flocking to Iraq to join the jihad.

The intelligence officials claim that since late summer a growing stream of Muslim militants, comprising hundreds of youth from a number of countries have arrived in Iraq by crossing the Syrian or Iranian borders.(1) A senior British official, who was in Iraq in September, said most of the foreign men captured there were from West Asia - Syria, Lebanon and Yemen - or from North Africa. He described them as "young, angry men" motivated by the "anti British, anti-American rhetoric that fills their ears every day". (2) Signs of a movement to Iraq have also been detected in Europe. Jean-Louis Bruguiere, France's top investigative judge on terror, said dozens of poor and middle-class Muslim men had left France for Iraq since the summer. He said some of them appeared to have been inspired by exhortations of Al Qaeda leaders, even if they were not trained by Al Qaeda.(3) The rising anger against America among the Muslims across the world was visible even in Berlin at a Friday prayer in Al Nur Mosque in October 2003, although political discussions were banned there.

The attacks on the U.S. forces and allies is increasing. In the last week of October the average number of attacks on allied troops and international relief agencies exceeded two dozens a day, rising from twelve attacks per day in July 2003. According to a senior American intelligence official, Iraq is now a magnet for jihadists just as Afghanistan was. In an audio tape broadcast by Al Jazeera satellite network in October 2003, bin Laden had cited Iraq as the newest front in international jihad and called on the Muslim youth to go to Iraq to wage jihad. Presently Iraq is mired in a war of attrition which could drag on for quite sometime.

There has been strong of criticism of the U.S. action against Iraq and for very valid reasons, too. It subsided temporarily for a while after the arrest of Saddam Hussein. While a great deal of the criticism appeared logical, a small part of it was rather uninformed. There are sufficient reasons to believe that Saddam's regime had links with Al Qaeda. Moreover, the geopolitical strategy of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' has to be viewed and analysed in the context of the pressure on the U.S.A. to move out their troops and air bases from Saudi Arabia, both because of the increased threats from terror groups and the growing disenchantment of U.S. policy makers with the role of Saudis in fanning the fire of fundamentalism globally, especially their suspect role in the events leading to Black Tuesday. Among the nineteen terrorists involved in 9/11, as many as fourteen were Saudis. One has to be an American to coolly analyse and assess the U.S. reaction to the Islamist threat. Despite being a super power, now rechristened hyper power, the Americans were targeted and bullied for as many as eight years, from 1993 to 2001, by the militant Islamist outfits. Ordinarily what should be the time frame of patience for a hyper power to swallow the shame and ignominy of being attacked and bullied by the sworn enemies of the civil society? Surely it can't be countless years and decades.

September 11 shocked the Americans like nothing ever did, not even the Pearl Harbour debacle. It was a day of great pain and shame for every U.S. citizen. No one could comprehend the how and why of the crazy attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon office by jihadis. The U.S. citizens were livid. As soon as the U.S. strategists realized that the Islamists led by Osama bin Laden were behind it, they went after him. As early as February 26, 1993, a bomb planted in an underground car park at the World Trade Center, New York, by Islamic fundamentalists had led to the killing of six persons and injuring of another one thousand. Investigations led to arrests of four Islamists, including a blind Egyptian cleric, on charges of conspiracy of bombing and killing of innocent citizens. They were convicted. The crime was believed to have been ordered by the Saudi-born terror Czar, bin Laden. Later on the mastermind of the February 1993 bombing, Ramzi Ahmed Youssef, arrested in Pakistan, was got extradited. He faced trial in the U.S.A. and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus another 240 years in jail.

The Islamist groups, operating under the banner of Al Qaeda, have been on America's trail for quite sometime, especially after the ignominous humiliation suffered by the U.S. in Somalia in 1993. In 1995 an attempt was made in Sudan to assassinate the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was regarded by the Islamists as a stooge of America. The same year saw the bombing of an American training facility in Riyadh in which five U S soldiers were killed. After taking refuge in Afghanistan, as a result of the Sudanese government yielding to American pressure, in 1996 bin Laden backed another bombing of an apartment complex in Saudi Arabia where a number of U.S. servicemen were killed. After two years, in 1998 the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed which resulted in the death of 224 persons, including 12 Americans. The FBI believed that bin Laden's terror outfit, Al Qaeda, was also responsible for the attack on USS Cole in Yemen in which 17 U.S. soldiers and marines were killed. All that was tolerated by the American nation very patiently.

The arm-chair intellectuals and critics of the U.S. action against Islamists conveniently forget that a "Letter to America", purported to have been written by Osama bin Laden, was published and circulated in November 2002. It mentioned a number of crimes committed by the U.S. government and the American people. The letter had set forth the diktats of terrorists under seven headings, "what we are calling you to do, and what we want from you". Enumerated by Bernard Lewis, these were as follows:

The first important step for the U.S. is to embrace Islam; the second, to stop all acts of oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery ; the third, to admit that America is a nation without principles and manners ; fourth, to stop supporting Israel in Palestine, the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens and the Philippines government against the Muslims of southern islands; the fifth, the Americans should pack their bags and get out of all Muslim lands. This advice was supposedly offered for "America's own good," so that they do not have to be sent back as "cargo in coffins." The sixth, to end all support to the corrupt leaders of Muslim countries. The U.S.A. must not interfere in the political affairs of Islamic countries and their methods of education. A threat was held out that if the U.S. did not stop interfering in the affairs of Muslim countries, the terrorists would be compelled to register their presence again in New York and Washington. The seventh advice was to deal and interact with the Muslims worldwide on the basis of mutual interest and benefits rather than follow the policies of subjugation, theft and occupation.(4) The document concluded by warning the Americans that if they rejected this advice, they will be defeated like all previous crusaders and their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan militarily defeated, politically broken-up, idealogically destroyed and economically bankrupt. The full text of the threatening letter in both Arabic and English was widely distributed through the Internet in November 2002. Because of certain differences in the style and outlook, bin Laden's personal authorship of the letter was in doubt.(5) In addition, several threatening video tapes have been aired at frequent intervals by the Al Jazeera television network to intimidate the U.S.A.

Which self-respecting nation can succumb to such vile threats and intimidatory tactics? Clearly the Islamists want to have a free run all over the world to do whatever they like. Who will allow them to go on a killing spree worldwide through the motions of jihad in the name of Islam? Certainly not a hyper power like the U.S.A. For us, the Indians, the most relevant part of November 2002 letter was the reference to Kashmir which Islamists have been keen to overrun and seize. That is what Pakistan, too, has been trying to do for the last five decades. For Israelis the message was to submit to the threats of the Palestinian terrorists. Both India and Israel have been on the 'hit list' of jihadi terror groups now for several decades.

When the shock of September 11, 2001, came the Americans knew that it was the handiwork of the Islamists led by Osama bin Laden. They also knew that the real culprit was Pakistan. But due to strategic reasons, instead they chose to attack the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan from where bin Laden had been operating - albeit only after securing full support of the Pakistani establishment, especially the I.S.I. In the process the Americans made Pakistan a frontline ally in the war against terror by promising monetary offerings to revive the sagging financial fortunes of Pakistan. It was a deal, a clear buy out by America and a sell out by Musharraf. The Americans wanted to secure several high perching positions in Pakistan for maintaining a hawk-like vigil all around. Now their troops and intelligence agencies are firmly entrenched all over Pakistan, courtesy Musharraf. After attacking Afghanistan in October 2001, the U. S. strategists have not looked back. The successful attack on Iraq and the recent capture of one of the two most wanted fugitives, Saddam Hussein, has sent a strong message to the hordes of Islamists worldwide that the battle against terrorism will be followed to its logical conclusion, come what may. Osama bin Laden, however, is yet to be captured.

In this battle against terror, unwittingly the destinies of India and Israel have become intertwined with the fate of America.The radical Islam has been giving repetitive calls of jihad against both India and Israel, the two so-called ' heathen nations', which have been on the hit list of jihadis now for several decades - long before they hit America. There is no other option available to India and Israel, except coming together for defending their people. During the recent visit of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, to India in September 2003, certain partisan political groups kicked up an unseemly controversy by questioning the bonafides of the invitation extended to him. The whole thing smacked of rank prejudice and showed utter lack of elementary geo-political vision. Unfortunately there is a powerful pro-Arab lobby in India which has been hostile to Israel for no justifiable reason. They have been quite active and vocal - almost to the point of being illogical and irrational, even forgetting the timely help which Israel gave to India during the Kargil war and Israel's unstinted support to us on all major issues.

We have seen that the bond of ummah has forged a unique permanent unity among Muslims across the globe, spread in more than eighty countries, some Islamic, others non-Islamic. The Islamic ummah is almost like a corporation - the biggest and the most formidable transnational corporation across the globe. They always act together, and Muslims from four corners of the world rush to the succour of their co-religionists whenever they hear about any real or imaginary grievance of their Muslim brethern. The ummah has access to astronomical funds. Apart from the massive flow of petro dollars, some of the Islamic societies also rake in huge moolah from drug trade, poppy cultivation and trading in illicit arms. No single country, not even a hyper-power like America, can fight this faith-bonded global corporation, and their terror spewing ideology single-handedly. Certainly a soft state like India, cannot fight the menacing Islamists all by itself. Sheer survival instinct and the operation of the 'Tina' factor have made America, India and Israel close allies in this war against Islamist international terror. No country by itself, not even America, can fight the Islamists because ummah is a multinational corporation of more than one billion shareholders.

What should be the roadmap for future to avoid more bloody conflicts? The best alternative could be for the Islamists to listen to the voice of reason and opt for a round table conversation on civilizational issues with the leaders of non-Muslim countries, including those against whom they have any real or imaginary grievances. They must, however, be also prepared to listen to and understand the grievances of the non-Muslim societies about the injustices done to them and the atrocities committed on innocent non-Muslims during the last one hundred years or more. It has to be a multi-way dialogue, not a one-way traffic, because grievances - some genuine, some imaginary - most nations have in this wide world. Ordinarily it should be possible to resolve the conflict through the time-tested and time-honoured method of discussion and deliberations - Indians call it Samvad or Shastra Artha. It might still be possible to arrive at some civil and peaceful solution on the pattern of what the Moghal King Akbar had tried to achieve through "Sulah-Kul" (i.e., all round reconciliation). For instance, will Islamists consider the following minimal societal agenda for discussion across the table:

a) accept that Muslims should live peacefully in various countries along with other religious groups like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others on equal terms;

b) renounce their dogmatic opposition to the concept of a secular, multi-cultural, multi- religious and pluralistic social order worldwide and grant equality before law and freedom of speech and worship to non-Muslims living in Islamic countries ;

c) grant equal rights to women and abolish gender discrimination in Muslim societies ;

d) give up their secessionist trait and penchant for breaking away from the parent country on grounds of religion and culture as soon as their numbers grow ; and

e) banish from Islamic regimes certain manifestly cruel practices like chopping of limbs, beheading, slitting of throats and awarding death penalty to women by stoning, etc.

More civilizational issues can be added to this tentative agenda when the process for reconciliation begins. Frankly, there is little hope that Islamists will ever agree to any sensible compromise on these important issues. Evidently the jihadis are a class apart. They have a highly bloated ego and a vain belief in the invincibility of radical Islam. If their past and present actions could be taken as guide to their complex behavioural pattern, these warriors in the cause of Allah are virtually possessed by pronounced homicidal and suicidal tendencies. How else could anyone explain their macabre propensity for killing innocent and unarmed civillians, including women and children - and that too through suicide bombings? Unfortunately the so-called Muslim scholars and intellectuals have no say in their community's religious affairs, nor in evolving any ethical norms to guide the wayward torch-bearers of radical Islam.

And now look at the predicament of the civil society, the universal civilization, already pushed to the wall. They cannot succumb to the wild diktats of terrorists nor can they abdicate their responsibility to protect the innocent and unarmed civilians, the peaceful gentle citizens of their countries. What should they do? Do they have really any alternative but to stand up and fight the purveyors of terror and death? Obviously none. The civil society has to meet the jihadist menace head on, fight terror in every court and alley and ultimately win the battle. Never mind the price. The battle against terror must be won. So that is what the Americans are doing ; that is what the Israelis are doing. And that is what the Indians will have to do in order to survive. Hopefully when the backbone of terrorist groups is broken, they will opt for a round table discussion and come round to the philosophy of conflict resolution through 'samvad' or call it, 'Sulah Kul'. But that day might be quite far away - so it seems. The civilizational war has just begun. Many battles will have to be fought before victory is sighted.

The problem of Islamist terror has another dimension - a foreboding one. Islamists have been desperately trying to gain access to nuclear weapons and devise a crude delivery system. As early as November 2001 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had alerted the world to the potential threat of nuclear terrorism.(6) The IAEA felt that it was "far more likely that terrorists would target nuclear facilities, nuclear material and radioactive sources".(7) The United States immediately stepped up security at its nuclear installations. Many other countries followed suit. Some leading Pakistani nuclear scientists were arrested and interrogated on suspicion of passing on nuclear material or technology to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. But nothing came out of that. Fears were also expressed about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal if General Musharraf was toppled. But at that time the Pakistani government had clarified that its nuclear installations were very secure. With the backdrop of two recent attempts on the life of Musharraf in December 2003 there is, however, a possibility of his being assassinated for seizing control of Pakistan's nuclear stockpile and accessing the technological know how. It could be done by a jihadists group entrenched in the Pakistani army which is heavily Islamicised. It had been earlier pointed out by Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director General, in November 2001 that "the willingness of terrorists to sacrifice their lives to achieve their evil aims" of obtaining nuclear weapons could add a new dimension in the fight against terrorism.(8) Some terror groups, particularly Al Qaeda, have been desperately trying to acquire nuclear material and weapons by targeting nuclear facilities or accessing the sources of radioactive materials to make dirty bombs for causing death and destruction of civilian population and spread panic. Since 1993 there have been nearly 175 cases of trafficking in nuclear material and 201 cases of trafficking in other radioactive sources, including the medical and industrial ones. Only 18 of these cases actually concerned thefts of small amounts of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, the material needed to produce a nuclear bomb.(9)

But the fear of a nuclear strike by the terrorists will not die down easily. A Pakistani scientist was said to have approached the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for providing nuclear weapon designs and help in procuring some components of the bomb soon after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, according to a document found by United Nations weapons Inspectors. That raised new concerns about Pakistan's role in the proliferation of nuclear technology. It followed the allegation that Islamabad had helped North Korea in developing nuclear bomb and that Pakistani nuclear scientists had met Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar in Afghanistan. The offer by the Pakistani scientist, found in Iraqi archives, was made in October 1990 as a U.S. led coalition prepared to repel the August invasion of Kuwait. Iraq had already embarked on a crash programme to develop a nuclear bomb but told the U.N. it had not pursued the scientist's offer - a claim U.N. investigators are inclined to believe. The evidence of the contact showed that Pakistan was willing to share its technology with so-called "rogue nations".(10) Another nuclear scare statement came from Pakistan in June 2002 when Lashkar-e-Tayyeba chief, Hafiz Muhammed Saeed posted a statement on the website of his organisation, claiming that people loyal to his organisation "control two nuclear missiles". Apparently Saeed had made this statement while in the custody of Islamabad police. He had reportedly claimed that the Laskhkar will use the two missiles with warheads against the "enemies of Islam."(11) Earlier Saeed was the head of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, now he has changed its name to Jama'at-al Dawa which aims at spreading radical Islam.

In fact, Saeed's organisations, whatever be their names, have India as their principal target. Many analysts believe that he has been functioning under the direct control of the ISI. Apparently just now Saeed's groups, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jama'at-al Dawa do not possess any nuclear weapons or missiles. If they had any, by now they would have surely used those deadly devices first and foremost against India. In any case, one thing is certain. Whenever jihadis manage to get any nuclear weapon or dirty bomb they will not hesitate to use it because of their pronounced homicidal and suicidal proclivity. Also they will be the first to use it because they have scant regard for human life.

The possibility of jihadi elements gaining control of nuclear weapons has been a major nightmare for the world community. Though Pakistani authorities claim to have tight control over access to their arsenal and installations, the world leaders do not feel assured on that count. In September 2003, Russia's first Deputy Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, stated that Russia and the U.S. viewed with concern the threat of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists "due to presence of large number of extremist groups in Pakistan".(12) Therefore a lurking fear of the likely threat of the terrorist groups seizing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and installations will continue to persist.

A new twist was given to the controversy with the recent revelation of the role of Pakistan in passing on the nuclear-weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, too. Under pressure from America, in the second week of December 2003 Pakistan was forced to investigate the credentials of the father of the Pakistan nuclear bomb, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and his three proteges, Farooq Mohammed, Yasin Chouhan and Saeed Ahmed. They were intensively questioned, or debriefed, as a spokesperson of Pakistan government tried to put it, for unravelling the mystery surrounding the total similarity between the uranium enrichment centrifuges of Iran with those of Pakistan, as discovered by the international regulators of the I.A.E.A. (International Atomic Energy Agency) during inspections.Some more experts scrutinising Libya's progress in the field of nuclear weapons, after Gaddafi's recent voluntary declaration to give up nuclear ambitions, had also found similarities between Libya's programme with those of Pakistan and Iran. Though Pakistan has quickly distanced itself from the charge of nuclear proliferation by suggesting that the leaks were the handiwork of some greedy nuclear scientists, the Pentagon is unlikely to accept that excuse. It may be recalled that in the year 2002, a U.S. satellite had detected a Pakistani plane picking up some North Korean missile components which were believed to be part of a swap for transfer of Pakistani nuclear technology to North Korea.

Thus the desperate search of Islamist terror groups and countries sympathetic to them for access to nuclear weapons and the relevant technology continues unabated. The question is how long can this access be denied to terrorist outfits and their mentors. They are operating in a number of groups across dozens of countries. Most of their idealogues are well educated and many of their group leaders are tech-savvy. Sooner or later they are bound to succeed - whether they beg, borrow or steal these weapons or technology from Pakistani establishment or from Iran which has remained engaged in furious efforts to develop nuclear weapons and is believed to have moved fairly close to nuclear capability. Making 'dirty bombs' in dozens, however, remains the easiest option.

Even the Saudi regime is reported to be looking for access to nuclear weapons. There are reasons to believe that in October 2003 Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had concluded a secret agreement on nuclear cooperation under which Pakistan will give the nuclear weapons technology to Saudis in exchange for oil. The intention was to counter what the Pakistani and Saudi leaders unofficially described as multiple regional threats - a vague expression which could include Israel and India. Pakistan has been particularly concerned about the recent arms agreement between India and Israel - the latter being seen as a long time heavy weight nuclear power having an estimated inventory of 200 to 400 nuclear weapons. The information about the Saudi-Pakistan deal was disclosed in confidence by a ranking Pakistani officer.(13) The disclosure came at the end of a 26-hour state visit to Islamabad by Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, who came with an entourage of 200 officials. The news was denied by Mohammed Sadiq, Deputy Chief of Pakistan's Embassy in Washington. The informed Pakistani source, however, maintained that both countries will vehemently deny that there was any such deal but future events will confirm the fact.(14) The terrorists, however, could access the nuclear weapons or technology even from Iran, North Korea or any other source.

The inspection of Iran's nuclear facility by the United Nations nuclear proliferation watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in the last quarter of 2003, revealed Pakistan's murky role in the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology. After being cornered by the IAEA Inspectors for their inability to explain the traces of highly enriched uranium (ordinarily used for manufacturing atomic weapons), found on their secretly procured centrifuge machines, the Iranians blurted out the names of many Pakistani scientists who had supplied the nuclear technology, including the design of centrifuges. Most important among the names given by the Iranians was that of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of Pakistani bomb and a national icon, along with names of some other scientists. Under mounting pressure from the IAEA and the United States, General Musharraf was forced to order an inquiry which led to interrogation of Dr. Khan and more than twenty scientists and officials, including two retired Brigadiers said to be deputed to Dr. Khan's Laboratory at Kahuta for administrative duties. Meanwhile, some elements of nuclear technology, including centrifuge equipment and warhead designs, originating from Dr. Khan's Laboratory in Pakistan, were seized in Libya, after that country's dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, agreed to roll back and dismantle his nuclear weapons plans while agreeing to inspection of his secret laboratories by the IAEA regulators and the United States experts. In the last week of January 2004, a box containing the design of a nuclear warhead along with loads of sensitive documents was brought from Libya to Washington by a chartered 747 aircraft which conclusively established the role of Dr. Khan and his network in peddling illicit equipment to enrich uranium for producing weapons grade nuclear fuel. Apparently the design provided to the Islamic Republic of Libya by Dr. Khan was of a Chinese nuclear warhead. Consequently on January 31, 2004, Dr. Khan was removed from the coveted office of the Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan - ostensibly under directions of Pentagon. For quite sometime Pakistani government had to impose restrictions on movements of Dr. Khan and his close associates. Despite best efforts of the Pakistani establishment, the inquiry could not cover up the activities of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and his proteges, which included nuclear scientists Mohammed Farooq, Nazir Ahmed, Yaseen Chouhan and some others. They were interrogated, or debriefed, as a spokesperson of Pakistan government tried to put it across.

Earlier on January 23, 2004, while attending a meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, General Musharraf admitted that some greedy Pakistani nuclear scientists had sold nuclear secrets abroad for personal gains. But he categorically reiterated that there had been no involvement of Pakistan government or its army in any such transaction. It may be recalled that in the year 2002, a U.S. satellite had detected a Pakistani aircraft picking up some North Korean missiles, or missile components, which were believed to be part of a swap for transfer of Pakistani nuclear technology to North Korea. On February 4, 2004, Dr. Khan admitted in a 12 page written statement that he was responsible for nuclear proliferation. The same day he filed a mercy petition seeking Presidential pardon for his dirty role in peddling nuclear technology which was referred to the National Command Authority (N.C.A.) which is responsible for overseeing Pakistan's nuclear command and control. Dr. Khan had a personal audience with President Musharraf and thereafter on February 4, 2004, made a "mea culpa" confession in a televised address to the people of Pakistan, saying that "I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon. I give an assurance, my dear brothers and sisters, that such activities will never take place in future". He was granted pardon the same day by General Musharraf, after the Cabinet made a recommendation to that effect.

On February 5, 2004, Pakistan formally arrested five scientists and senior officials of its top nuclear facility at Kahuta on the alleged charge of transfer and sale of nuclear technology to other countries. They included two nuclear scientists Mohammed Farooq and Nazir Ahmed, Dr. Khan's Principal Staff Officer, Major Islam-ul Haq, and two administrators, retired Brigadiers Tajawar Khan and Malik Sajawal - all of whom had been interrogated earlier along with Dr. Khan. Because of the growing groundswell of anger among the people, the pardon to Dr. Khan was announced by General Musharraf on February 4, 2004, itself at a news conference saying that there "is a written sppeal from his side and there is a pardon written from my side." Musharraf justified the pardon on the ground that Dr. A.Q. Khan had served the country very well by developing capability for the defence of Pakistan and eulogised his services by proclaiming that Dr. Khan was his hero, too.

It may be recalled that there were some protest demonstrations against the so-called public humiliation of Dr. Khan by making the former tender a public apology in a televised address, under directions of the U.S.A. These demonstrations had been organized by the Majlis-e Muttahida Amal and some women activists, including relations and friends of the scientists under investigation. A strong current of resentment and anger against General Musharraf and America is gaining momentum among the people of Pakistan as well in the middle ranks of army. This could pose a serious threat to the life of General Musharraf and some other senior army officers considered close to Pentagon.

On February 5, 2004, the former C.I.A. Chief, George Tenet, revealed in a speech at the Georgetown University that the activities of Dr. Khan and his associates had been uncovered largely by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies. He claimed that as a result of their tireless efforts the backbone of nuclear black marketeers had been broken, after the arrest of several functionaries of Dr. Khan's network.

Soon afterwards in the second week of February 2004, an alarmed American President lambasted the top Pakistani scientist, A.Q. Khan, for his clandestine sale of nuclear technology to "rogue states". Elaborating on the proliferation activities of Dr. Kahn and his associates, whose network, George Bush claimed, was successfully penetrated by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies at great risk, he called for tightening of the international rules governing the spread of weapons grade nuclear technology to prevent it from falling into the hands of terrorists and outlawed regimes. He warned that with deadly technology and expertise available in the market, "there is the terrible possibility that terrorist groups could obtain the ultimate weapons they desire most," and forcefully argued that such a situation must be avoided. The American President proposed strengthening of the international treaties for regulating the enrichment and processing of uranium and other usable materials for developing nuclear power in order to prevent manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Simultaneously there have been unverified reports that as a result of a secret deal struck between the United States and the government of Pakistan, the former has acquired some kind of supervisory control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons to ensure that Al Qaeda associated terror groups, or other non-state actors, are not able to gain access to that country's nuclear arsenal and know how. According to a report broadcast by the NBC Television Network on February 6, 2004, a group of nuclear experts known as the U.S. Liaison Committee were now spending millions of dollars "to safeguard Pakistan's more than 40 nuclear weapons" in order to help Pakistan develop the state-of-the-art security mechanism, including the authorization codes, for their nuclear stockpile. In effect such an exercise would be tantamount to the United States taking virtual charge, albeit indirectly, of Pakistan's nukes. Such a deal could have been cut with General Musharraf only by allowing the latter to grant pardon to Dr. A.Q. Khan after a public apology and thereby draw a curtain over the murky episodes of sale and transfer of nuclear technology. That could be the only reason for the Bush administration's apparently relaxed attitude towards this major nuclear scandal. Incidentally, the studied silence of the Indian government and their "could-not-care-less" approach to this very serious matter is also being interpreted to lend credence to the rumours about some kind of a clandestine "Bush-Mush" deal over Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

At the same time, it is anybody's guess whether or not Dr. Khan and his accomplices have passed on nuclear secrets and related technology to the Islamist terrorists, especially Al Qaeda leadership, just now believed to be sitting pretty and safely sheltered either in the wilderness of the Federally Administered Territorial Area (FATA) of Pakistan, or in the Gilgit and Pamir region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is widely believed in the well informed political circles that Islamist terror groups are already in possession of nuclear technology, perhaps far beyond the technical capability of manufacturing a mere dirty bomb. It is suspected that their immediate requirements are two. First, to select a safe haven where they could set up their nuclear facility, effectively sheltered, preferably far beyond the reach of America; and second to improvise or gain access to a reliable captive medium for delivery of nuclear weapons, including multiple dirty bomb attacks. It is suspected that they have been busy building a steady stockpile of dirty bombs for use against the U.S., Israel and India. If that be so, the civil society should await more action in the times ahead.

In today's science-soaked world there is nothing break-safe or fail-safe. Sometime ago there was a string of incidents stretching from Caucasus to Eastern Europe to West Africa in which gangs of criminals and smugglers were able to successfully steal radiological devices and abandoned radio-active materials. For instance, in Tiblisi (Georgia), and some other nearby areas contraband radiological material has frequently surfaced in the black market as well. Such material can be used by terrorists to make a dirty bomb which is nothing more than a "radiology dispersion device". It is not a nuclear weapon proper, but is rather a crude easy-to-make device which uses the conventional explosives or other means to spread radiation over a wide area. According to nuclear experts, such radiology-dispersion contraptions are technologically simple and surely well within the grasp of tech-savvy international Islamist groups. It may be recalled that some documents seized two or three years ago from some training camps of Jihadis in Afghanistan showed that they had been trying to manufacture a dirty bomb. If they are able to access sufficient radiological material or radio-active waste, they might still try to use it against the civil society. Logically it should be only a matter of time before the Islamists succeed in their search for nuclear secrets and shout 'Eureka'. On top of it, nuclear scientists have already made rapid strides in the field of miniaturization of nuclear weapon systems. That will make delivery of mini-nukes much easier and impart greater precision to nuclear strikes. And they have a steady stream of jihadi suicide bombers to act as delivery boys.

And come to think what would happen as and when the jihadist forces acquire the nuclear muscle? Their likely targets are three, the U.S.A., India and Israel - the three countries against which jihad has been in progress. America is quite far away and much too powerful. Jihadis know very well that any attack on America will invite prompt ruthless retribution. So for them the second best option could be to target India and Israel - the two so-called 'heathen' civilizations on their hit list. While discussing the subject of use of nuclear weapons by Islamist terror groups let us not forget that terse boast by Ali Mazrui who wrote: "The crescent is over the mushroom cloud," and can threaten others in addition to the West. Islam could end up "playing nuclear Russian roulette with two other civilizations - with Hindusim in South Asia and with Zionism and politicalized Judaism in the Middle East."(15) That statement of Ali Mazrui should set at rest all doubts about the likely first targets of jihadi terrorists armed with nuclear capability, or when equipped with a substantial stockpile of dirty bombs. This, however, does not mean that the Islamists will not target the U.S.A. They would love to nuke America, but perhaps only after playing one round of nuclear roulette with India and Israel. One must remember that all terror attacks are designed to cause maximum damage coupled with maximum panic for achieving maximum publicity. The overall aim is to generate maximum fear in the populace and debilitate the institutions of governance. One such example was the Madrid train bombings in March 2004 on the eve of elections which brought about a change in that country's political regime and led to withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq in quick time If one goes solely by tactical analysis, India could easily be the first target of a surprise nuclear attack by virtue of being a very densely populated country and universally perceived as a soft state run by namby-pamby self-seeking politicians.

Thus the road ahead for the Indian civilization is not only bumpy but full of booby traps. It will require enormous strategic planning from now onwards, in addition to unwavering national resolve and steely grit to face the crescent-created nuclear threat looming large on the Asian horizon. One hopes and prays that such an eventuality does not hit India. But we must keep our plans ready and powder dry. Indians must know that there will be no runners up in the war unleashed by nuclear-armed terrorists.  


1. Don Van Natta Jr. and Desmond Butler, Jihadi hunters flock to Iraq, The Sunday Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 2, 2003, p.11.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Bernard Lewis, Holy War and Unholy Terror, p. 122.

5. Ibid.

6. A news item ' Fusion Terrorism A Reality, Warns IAEA', The Economic Times, New Delhi, November 2, 2001.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. A news item, Pak scientist offered Saddam nuclear designs, The Indian Express, New Delhi, source:

11. Manoj Joshi, Lashkar chief claims to have Nuclear weapons, Times of India, New Delhi, June 7, 2003.

12. News item by PTI, U.S., Russia fear Pak nukes may fall into terrorists hands, The Asian Age, New Delhi, September 18, 2003.

13. Arnaud de Borchgrave, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia in secret nuke pact, The Washington Times, October 22, 2003.

14. Ibid.

15. Ali Al-Amin Mazrui, Cultural Forces in World Politics (London: J. Currey, 1990), pp.220, 224.



(Note: Terrorist organizations banned by the Government of India have (*) asterisk placed before their names, while those banned by the U.S. Government have (#) hash placed before their names)


  1. # Al-Qaeda (Osama bin Laden's global terrorist organisation)

  2. Hizb-e-Islami (Gulbudin Hekmatyar's terrorist outfit - terrorist outfit)

  3. Taliban (Splinter groups and remnants of Taliban left in Afghanistan)



  4. #Armed Islamic Group (GIA): The Algerian Armed Islamic Group is known by its French initials GIA. This outfit has a French nomenclature. It is a well known transnational Algerian terrorist group - had robbed some banks in Belgium, set up their branches/cells in the U.K., tried to bomb the Los Angeles airport and their volunteers fought in Bosnia and Afghanistan

  5. Islamic Salvation Front (FIS)

  6. National Liberation Army (FLN)


  7. Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (HUJI, an ISI sponsored militant outfit)

  8. Hizb-ut Tawhid (a radical group which aims at establishing a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Bangladesh through terrorism and insurgency)

  9. Islami Chhatra Shibir (a militant anti-Hindu outfit of Muslim student)

  10. Islamic Shasantantra Andolan (a radical outfit affiliated to the Bangladesh's four party ruling alliance government under Khalida Zia)

  11. Shahadat-e-al-Hikima (of Syed Kawsar Hussain who on 06.02.2003 laid claim to W. Bengal saying the it should be part of the Islamic state of Bangladesh)

    Note: According to an intelligence report by now Bangladesh has about 50 small, but active militant groups boasting a membership of one lakh. {Source: a news item 'Bangla cracks down on terror groups, The Asian Age, New Delhi, October 6, 2003, p.5}


  12. # Gama' al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group, IG)

  13. Al-Takfir wa'l Hijra (Withdrawal and Flight - after attacking)

  14. # All Jihad Group.

  15. Muslim Brotherhood (presently less active)

  16. The Jihadi Movement Bureau set up by Al Zawahiri in 1980 to upgrade foreign liaison, supply of weapons and financial assistance to various ongoing jihads in various countries)


  17. * Al-Umar Mujahideen

  18. Adam Sena (an ISI sponsored North-East based militant Islamist group)

  19. Ahle-e-Hadees

  20. Al Badr (A Pakistan-based outfit which operates in Jammu &Kashmir also )

  21. Al Jihad Force (Pakistan based group which combines Muslim Janbaz Force and Kashmir Jihad Force both of which operate in J&K)

  22. Al Mansurian - A terrorist outfit active in Kashmir, responsible for trying to attack Mufti Mohd. Sayeed's residence - an offshoot of Lashkar-e Tayyeba. One Abu Shakir, a spokesman of the group claimed that their target on October 17,2003 was the Chief Minister's residence, but the two gunmen stormed the wrong building.

  23. Al Nasirin - A terrorist group operating in J&K - associated with LeT of Pakistan.

  24. Al Ummah - A Tamil Nadu-based outfit responsible for 1997 Coimbatore blasts (formed in 1993 by S.A. Basha)

  25. All Parties Hurriyat Conference (It appears to have intimate contacts with Pakistan and perhaps with the ISI)

  26. Allah Tigers (A Tamil Nadu-based outfit)

  27. * Deendar Anjuman (a South-India based radical Islamist group)

  28. Dukhtran-e-Millat (a radical Islamist outfit of Muslim women functioning in accordance with the diktats of Pak-sponsored terrorists groups operating in J&K)

  29. Farzandan-e-Millat - A radical group of Islamists, active in J&K, closely associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.

  30. Gujarat Revenge Force (Supposed to be set up by one Nissar in Mumbai in Sept. 2002 - responsible for many Mumbai bomb blasts - Nisar shuttles between Dubai & India)

  31. Harkat-ul-Jihad (another ISI sponsored radical Islamist outfit functioning in north-east and operating in tandem with radical Islamist Bangladeshi groups)

  32. Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (A Pakistan based outfit operating in J&K)

  33. Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huj - a North-East based ISI sponsored outfit functioning in tandem with radical Islamist groups of Bangladesh)

  34. * Harkat-ul-Mujahideen / Harkat-ul-Ansar / Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami

  35. * Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (A Kashmir based terrorist outfit supported by Pakistan)

  36. Islamic Liberation Army of Assam (An Assam-based pro-Bangladeshi outfit)

  37. * Jaish-e-Mohammed/Tehrik-e-Furqan (now Markaz-ul-Dawa Irshad, a Pakistan based outfit of Maulana Masood Azhar which operates in Jammu & Kashmir as well as in India)

  38. * Jammu & Kashmir Islamic Front

  39. Lashkar-e-Jabbar (A Pakistan-based outfit which operates in J&K)

  40. Lashkar-e-Omar (A Kashmir-based terror group supported by the ISI)

  41. * Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (A dangerous Pakistan-based outfit operating in India & Jammu & Kashmir which is also known as Pasban-e-Ahle Hadis)

  42. Mahaz-e-Azadi (Pakistan-based group operating in J&K)

  43. Muslim Defence Force (A radical Islamist outfit)

  44. Muslim Security Force (An Assam-based radical outfit)

  45. Muslim Tiger Force (A North-East-based pro-Bangladeshi outfit)

  46. Muslim United Liberation Front (A North-East-based militant Islamist group)

  47. * Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). (It aims at establishing an Islamic socio-political order in India. It has been named in many cases of terrorism).

  48. Tablighi Jamaat (A radical proselytizing Islamic group having international contacts with terrorist outfits).

  49. Tamil Islamic Pervai (A Tamil Nadu based radical group)

  50. Tehrik-e-Qisas (A newly formed terrorist group operating in Maharashtra and Gujarat)

  51. United Muslim Liberation Front of Assam (UMLFA, a radical Islamist group of Assam)


  52. Jemmah Islamiyah - An associate outfit of Al Qaeda.

  53. Laskar Jihad - Was responsible for killing thousands of Christians of Sulawesi Island.


  54. # Asbat al-Ansar (a hardliner Sunni extremist group)

  55. Fatah Revolutionary Council (Abu Nidal's Organisation)

  56. # Hizbollah (The Party of God )


  57. Ahl-e-Hadith

  58. Al Badr

  59. Al Baraq

  60. Al Jihad

  61. Al Jihad Force (Combines Muslim Janbaz Force & Kashmir Jihad Force)

  62. Al Mujahid Force

  63. Al Mustafa Liberation Fighters

  64. Al Qaeda (originally set up in Peshawar - now it has branches wordwide)

  65. Al Umar Mujahideen

  66. Al-Rashid Trust (A notorious financial group supporting Islamist terrorist groups in many countries)

  67. Bragade 313 - A new radical group suspected of complicity in the recent attacks on Mussharraf.

  68. Harkat-ul-Ansar (presently known as Harkat-ul Mujahideen)

  69. Harkat-ul-Jihad-I-Islami

  70. # Harkat-ul-Mujahideen or HUM (previously known as Harkat-ul-Ansar)

  71. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen / Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Pir Panjal Regiment

  72. Ikhwan-ul-Mujahideen

  73. Islami Inquilabi Mahaz

  74. Islamic Jihad of Pakistan (of Qazi Hussain Ahmed )

  75. Islamic Students League

  76. Islami-Jamaat-e-Tulba

  77. # Jaish-e-Mohammed Mujahideen-e-Tanzeem/Tehrik-e Furqan (Maulana Masood Azhar's dangerous outfit)

  78. Jamait-ul-Majahideen

  79. Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (a radical outfit led by Maulana Fazlur-Rahman)

  80. Jammu & Kashmir National Liberation Army

  81. Jammu & Kashmir Student Liberation Front

  82. Kashmir Jihad Force

  83. Khuddam-ul-Islam (It is probably a new name for the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad)

  84. Lashkar-e-Jabbar

  85. # Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (a radical sunni outfit trageting Shias)

  86. Lashkar-e-Omar

  87. # Lashkar-e-Tayyeba / Pasban-e-Alhe Hadeer (now renamed Markaz-ul Dawa Irshad)

  88. Mahaz-e-Azadi

  89. Millat-e-Islamia

  90. Muslim Janbaz Force

  91. Muslim Mujahideen

  92. Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC)

  93. Rabita Trust (a pan-Islamic financial support group based in Saudi Arabia )

  94. Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP)

  95. Sipah-e-Sahiba Pakistan (a radical Sunni outfit operating against Shias)

  96. Tehirk-e-Jafria Pakistan (a radical Shia group earlier known as Fiqah-e-Jafria)

  97. Tehrik-e-Hurriyat-e-Kashmir

  98. Tehrik-e-Islami Pakistan

  99. Tehrik-e-Jihad-e-Islami

  100. Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed

  101. Tehrik-e-Nifaz-Fiqar Jafaria

  102. Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen

  103. Ummah Tamir-e-Nau

    Also there are two mutually warring groups of Mohajirs, both Karachi-based, namely MQM (Altaf Hussain) and MQM Haqiqi. The latter is a pro-government splinter group.


  104. # Abu Nidal Organization (A.N.O.)

  105. # Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

  106. Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine

  107. Fatah Tanzeem

  108. Force 17

  109. # Hamas (An ultra radical outfit - also known as Islamic Resistance Movement)

  110. # Hizbullah (An associate group of the Lebanon-based radical group Hizbollah)

  111. Palestine Liberation Organisation (P.L.O. of Yasser Arafat)

  112. # Palestinian Islamic Jihad (P.I.J. of Fathi Shkaki)

  113. # Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

  114. # PFLP - General Command (PFLP - GC)


  115. # Abu Sayyaf Group (An outfit led by Abu Sayyaf of Peshawar in Pakistan which had fought against Russians in Afghanistan, now fighting in the Philippines)

  116. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) - trying to secede from the Philippines.

    United Kingdom

  117. Al Muhajiroun - A London-based radical outfit of migrant Muslims formed by Omar Bakri - has been trying to glorify the attackers of 9/11.

  118. Hizb-ut-Tihrir - A London-based radical Islamist group - in touch with many radical groups operating from other countries.


  119. Hizb-ut-Tahrir (An Islamist group trying to promote radicalism in Uzbekistan).

  120. # Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

    Other Countries

  121. Al Waqf-al-Islami Foundation. It is a radical group based in Netherlands which has been very active in training and indoctrinating Islamic militants in the Al-Furqan mosque in Eindhovan (Netherlands). Some of the attackers of September 11, 2001, had attended the lectures in Al-Furqan mosque.

  122. Armed Islamic Movement (of Afghan Arabs)

  123. Asbat al-Ansar

  124. Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights (based in Switzerland)

  125. Eritertean Islamic Jihad (Eriterea)

  126. Geneva-based Al Jihad

  127. International Legion (Brigade of Islam)

  128. International Muslim Brotherhood of Adrian Sadedine

  129. IRGS (Pasdran of Iran)

  130. Islamic Liberation Party of Somalia

  131. Malay Kumpulan Mujahideen of Malayasia

  132. Al Nahadha of Tunisia

  133. Popular International Organisation of Sudan (Turabi led PIO)

  134. The Islamic Change Movement (Jihadi Wing of Arabian Peninsula)

  135. Gerakan Mjuahideen Islam Pattani (G.M.I.P.) of Thailand - A dangerous radical group, which attacked a Battalion Headquarter of Thai army on Jauary 4, 2004, and killed four soldiers. Is active in Narathiwat province of southern Thailand and has close ties with groups of Malaysian Mujahideen.


Jihads being waged by Islamic Terrorist/Outfits Across the Globe

  1. Algeria & Armenia The radical groups like GIA (the Armed Islamic Movement), the Islamic Front led by Ali Belhaj and Al Takfir-Wal-Hijrah have been mounting sporadic attacks on governmental institutions and military posts and government officers. For sometime the GIA was able to push the country into a virtual civil war in which approximately 60,000 or more lives were lost. Even now the terrorists hold sway in several rural pockets. The terror groups have been pushing for establishing a fundamentalist Islamic government in Algeria.


  2. Azerbaijan There have been faultline conflicts between the Muslim dominated state of Azerbaijan and the neighbouring Christian Armenia - the tension between the 2 neighbours continues and there are frequent conflicts.

  3. The Balkans Religion based faultline conflicts between Serbs and Bosnian and Albanian Muslims have been going on. Secession of Bosnia and Kosovo from Serbia led to a civil war. Macedonia which has seen a quantum jump in Muslim population, now at 30% with Christians down from 90% to 67%, is likely to face major conflicts.

  4. Chechenya (Russia) On Sept. 6, 1991, Chechen militants declared the establishment of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, independent of Russia. Since then, the Chechen Muslims have been involved in guerrilla warfare and terror attacks on the Russian troops and civilians even in Moscow, now for almost 15 years. Some Chechens call this jihad as 'ghazwah' (a jihad led by the Prophet).

  5. Dagastan (former USSR) Attempts are being made by militant Islamist outfits to turn Dagestan into a fundamentalist Sharia-based Islamic country.

  6. East Timor & Indonesia The conflict between the Christian state of East Timor and the Muslim dominated Indonesia continues to erupt, every now and then.

  7. Egypt Egypt has been the breeding ground of militant Islamists for the last 30 year. Several radical outfits like Al-Gama'ah al-Islamiyyah, Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Muslim Jihad and 'Tala'i al-Fateh (Vanguard of the Conquest) have been working for the establishment of a fundamentalist regime in Egypt. The Egyptian jihadis were responsible for setting up many training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani establishment, especially the ISI. They have been in the forefront of planning and execution of terrorist attacks, including the bombing of World Trade Center in New York in the year 1993. One of the top associates of Bin Laden is Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, an Egyptian Islamist. A prominent terror attack carried out by 'Al-Gama' Ah al-Islamiyyah was the attempt made in 1995 to assassinate Hosni Mubarak during his visit to Ethiopia. Al Qaida has a fairly large number of Egyptian militants.

  8. Ethiopia & Eritrea Clashes between the Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Eritrea have been breaking out often. The hostilities between the two neighbouring countries, one Christian and the other a Muslim, have been going on for some time now.

  9. India Pakistan-sponsored Islamic militancy for the annexation of Kashmir has been there for a long time now. A jihad has been going on since October 1947. India is now being regularly targeted by terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Students Islamic Movement of India. There have been a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai, New Delhi, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and many other cities. There were many terrorist attacks, including the one on the Indian Parliament on Dec. 13, 2001; prior to that on Oct. 1, 2001, there was an attack on the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly. There were attacks on Raghunathji and Akshardham temples and Hindu pilgrims going to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi have been regularly targeted and many killed. Also there have been a number of bombings in Mumbai, Delhi and Jammu.

  10. Indonesia A number of Islamist terrorists, especially Jemmah-e Islamiya and Laskar Jihad have been taking recourse to suicide bombings and multiple attacks on western tourists. In October 2002 an attack was made on Kuta Beach, and on August 2003 an attack was made at Hotel J.W. Marriot in Jakarta. The radical Islamic movement is on upswing now. Hostility towards the Chinese and other minorities often leads to violence.

  11. Iraq (West Asia) Jihad was declared against the U.S.- led coalition forces by Islamic militants groups. Since then, suicide bombings and guerrilla warfare is going on.

  12. Nigeria Sokoto Jihad Vs Christians The religion-based faultline conflicts between the Muslim-dominated northern states and the Christian-dominated South Nigeria are rapidly increasing. There have been many clashes between the two communities. Sometime ago there were riots over organising the Miss World contest sponsored by a privately-run commercial organisation. Now with Muslim numbers touching fifty per cent of Nigeria's total population the faultline conflicts between the two hostile religious groups seem to be escalating.

  13. Palestine (West Asia) It is a 55-year old religion-based conflict between Israel and terror groups like HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Martyrs of Al Aqsa, etc. (a jihad against Jews has been going on).

  14. The Philippines The Jihad against the Christian regime by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyaf led extremist outfit for secession from the Philippines and for establishing an independent Islamic Moro country.

  15. Sudan & Ethiopia There are growing conflicts between the Islamic Sudan and Christian dominated Ethiopia. It is an old faultline conflict which refuses to die down.

  16. Tajikstan Growing Sunni radical groups will continue to disturb peace in this area. There are likely to be many faultline conflicts between the moderates and the extremists in Tajikstan.

  17. Tunisia A number of Tunisian fundamentalists trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan for waging a jihad against Russians in Afghanistan returned to Tunisia after victory in Afghan jihad. They formed a terrorist outfit called 'Al Nahdha' and tried to overthrow the liberal Tunisian regime to set up an Islamic government - based on Sharia. In May 1992 an attempt was made to shoot down the aeroplane carrying the Tunisian President, Ben Ali. Many Terrorist groups have been banned and their leaders arrested. The head of Al-Nahdha, Rashid Ghannushi and many prominent terrorist leaders have fled abroad.

  18. Turkey The hostility between Turkey and Greece, especially in relation to the Cyprus continues. Even otherwise the Islamist influence is growing very fast and Turkey could face faultline conflicts. Recent examples of a double bomb hit at 2 synagogues on November 15, 2003, and bombing of British consulate and Hongkong & Shanghai Bank on November 20, 2003, show growth of terrorism in Turkey.

  19. Uzbekistan Radical Islam has been gaining ground in Uzbekistan also. A militant organization by the name Hizb-ut Tehrir has been trying to overthrow the present pro-Russia liberal dictatorial regime.

  20. Xinjiang (China) The faultline conflicts between the Uighur Muslim militants of region of Xingiang and region of the Chinese government continue to surface now and then. This ethnic and religion based militancy still continues in Western China.

Note: Apart from the jihads at present being waged in the above mentioned 20 countries the Islamists are also waging jihad against the present regimes in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco and Turkmenistan. Attempts to speed up the process of Islamization in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia by stepping up terror activities are also afoot. With an attack on a Brigade headquarters of Thai army on January 4, 2004, a new wave of Islamist terror in Southern Thailand is feared.

Ram K. Ohri is a retired senior police officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) and author of "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect" and "The Bell Tolls: Tomorrow's Truncated India."

This is Chapter 10. the final chapter of Mr. Ohri's book, "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect". The two appendices are included. Chapter 1 was published in the September-October 2009 issue of Think-Israel. It is available here. Subsequent chapters were posted, one per issue. The book was published by Manas Publications in New Delhi in 2004. Its ISBN # is 817049186X. It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Mr. Ohri writes that the book is "Dedicated to my sweet grand daughters, Saloni and Jaisal and my soulmate, Pushpa."


Return_________________________End of Story___________________________Return

HOME March-April 2011 Featured Stories Background Information News On The Web