terror in delhi 10/29
Monday, December 05, 2005
  Following terror money in Pakistan
Beyond the tragedy of more than 70,000 lives being lost in the October 8 earthquake that devastated large sections of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the disaster alerted US intelligence to the fact that the financial conduits that feed militancy and terror remain very much intact. At very short notice, millions of dollars poured into the coffers of the jihadi group Jamaatut Dawa (formerly Lashkar-i-Taiba), allowing it to immediately take over relief operations in Kashmir while the Pakistan government dallied.
writes Syed Saleem Shahzad in the Asia Times Online. It is very important to understand the flow of money which funds terror groups. Post 9.11. international governments and counter terror agencies are working hard to put an end to money laundering and drug trafficking funding terrorist groups. However, a highly Islamisized society such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has enough religious groups which collect money from the faithful spinning it as part of Islam.
A high-level Washington-based source told Asia Times Online: "Like prayers, zakat [compulsory charity - 2.5% of an individuals's annual reserves/savings in Sunni Islam and 5% among Shi'ites] and pilgrimage, jihad is also an integral part of the Muslim faith, that is why there is a trend that those Muslim philanthropists who build mosques, seminaries and donate money to Islamic relief operators also send money to those they view as mujahideen. That is the reason decision-makers in Washington are convinced that those who contribute money to Islamic groups in Kashmir are also involved in supporting the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Our earlier post on Jamaat ul Daawa and its chief Hafeez Mohammed Saeed here. Now, a case study of former medical doctor turned terrorist Dawood Qasmi:
Dawood is a former commander of the banned Laskhar-i-Taiba in Sindh province. His role was to recruit civilians to join the Kashmiri movement. He was closely associated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Kashmir cell. The ISI provided him with ample funds to recruit youths, beside giving him expensive vehicles and armed guards. Laskhar-i-Taiba was one of the most active militant groups in Kashmir. "Dr Dawood Qasmi fully realized it [operations in Kashmir] was not a jihad but a Pakistan Army operation for which it was only using civilians as gun fodder. So he set himself aside. Initially he was working with an online medicine research firm and later on he joined the National Institute of Child Health," said his daughter, Dr Hania Dawood Qasmi of the Baqai Medical University in Karachi. "Three months ago a colonel approached Dawood and tried to prepare him to work again for Laskhar, but Dawood refused. He said to me that he knew that as he had already been tracked by the FBI, an association with Laskhar was essential as it was the only way to get government protection. But he said that his conscience was not ready for him to become a Laskhar member again, as it would mean being an ISI proxy," Hania Dawood maintained. Dawood was then left alone. But once the relief operation started in Kashmir, he was contacted by the Jamaatut Dawa to help as a doctor. He agreed, and was quickly provided with huge sums of money to purchase medicine and surgical equipment to be taken to Kashmir to establish mobile hospitals, and even an operating theater.
Many interesting points arises from this case study: 1) Poverty is not the root cause of Dr. Dawood turning to terrorism. 2) State support (from the ISI in this case) is crucial for maintaining the terror infrastructure. 3) Religous charity groups need to be watched with attention to prevent the money collected from funding terrorists.
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