Tag Archives: counter-terrorism

Xinjiang Communist Party chief has called for an “iron fist” to deal with “separatists, extremists and terrorists.”

Party chief calls for ‘iron fist’ against terrorism

By: Xuyang Jingjing

In the wake of a recent plane hijacking attempt, the Party chief of the Xinjiang Ugyhur Autonomous Region urged soldiers to keep vigilant against hostile forces while overseeing a counter-terrorism drill ahead of the third anniversary of the July 5 riot.

Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Xinjiang regional committee of the Communist Party of China, asked the soldiers Wednesday to strike the separatists, extremists, and terrorists with “iron fists.”

“We should leave the terrorists no place to hide,” said Zhang.

During the drill, soldiers demonstrated special skills such as climbing walls with their bare hands and shooting cardboard “terrorists” with a single shot without harming hostages, according to the regional government’s website.

Within seconds, soldiers in dark uniforms and heavily armed broke into rooms on the fifth floor of a building to dispose of explosives and rescue hostages.

They also showcased weapons, communications equipment, devices for security inspection and explosive disposal, as well as safety and transportation equipment.

While commending the police forces for contributing to stability and public security in Xinjiang, Zhang said although the region’s overall situation remains stable and controllable, it still faces severe challenges and the basis of its stability is fragile.

In recent years, terrorist attacks and violence in Xinjiang have been on the rise and most prominently connected with overseas forces, experts said.

“From the timing of these terrorist activities, it seems that overseas separatist groups such as the World Uyghur Congress are closely related to the domestic attacks,” explained Li Wei, director of the Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

The authorities have put great emphasis on building counter-terrorism forces in Xinjiang and they have played an important role, said Li.

The Urumqi-based counter-terrorism forces were formed in the 1990s when separatists and religious extremists engaged in various terrorist activities such as explosions, assassinations and arson in the region.

Li said that compared with the 1990s, there are more suicide terrorist attacks now.

“Unlike remotely detonated bombs or poisoning, terrorists now attack in broad daylight and throw their own lives on the line,” said Li. “Therefore, the situation is more dangerous and more difficult, which requires the special forces to enhance their skills and capabilities, such as rapid response and intelligence collecting.”

On July 5, 2009, Xinjiang saw the worst outbreak of violence in decades when riots incited by overseas groups broke out in Urumqi. Nearly 200 people were killed and about 1,700 injured.

In the southern area of Hotan, 18 people attacked a local police station in July last year, killing three people and injuring two. Earlier last month, local police also cracked down on an illegal Koran teaching site that was holding 59 children.

In the most recent case, six alleged terrorists carrying explosives attempted to hijack a plane from Hotan to Urumqi on June 29. The attempt was foiled by the passengers, several of whom were police officers.

Continue reading Xinjiang Communist Party chief has called for an “iron fist” to deal with “separatists, extremists and terrorists.”

Pakistani Jihadi group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) that atacked Mumbai, is more dangerous than Al Qaeda says Bruce Riedel

. Mumbai Terror Attack Group Lashkar e Tayyiba Now More Dangerous Than Al Qaeda

With the 9/11 terrorist group on the ropes, the organization that masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attacks has become the world’s most dangerous, says Bruce Riedel.

By Bruce Riedel

The arrest of Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jindal, at New Delhi airport late last month is a major breakthrough in the investigation of the deadliest terror attack in the world since 9/11. Abu Jindal was one of the masterminds of the November 2008 attack on the city of Mumbai in which 166 people were killed, including six Americans. He is already confessing to his role and implicating Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate directly in controlling the attack as it went down.

The November 2008 attack by ten Lashkar e Tayyiba (LeT) terrorists on multiple targets in Mumbai, India was the most significant and innovative terrorist attack since 9/11. It marked the maturation of LeT from a Punjabi-based Pakistani terror group targeting India exclusively to a member of the global Islamic jihad targeting the enemies of al Qaeda: the Crusader West, Zionist Israel, and Hindu India. LeT used cell phones and GPS technology to terrorize an entire city and grab global attention for three days. LeT’s masterminds ran the operation in real time from a headquarters in Pakistan, even issuing death sentences to innocents.

Abu Jindal, an Indian citizen traveling with a Pakistani passport, was in the control room in Karachi in 2008 talking on the phone to the ten terrorists. He gave them advice on where to look for more victims in the Taj Hotel, for example, and instructed them when to murder their hostages. His voice was recorded by the Indian authorities listening in on the phone calls and has since been replayed in chilling detail by the Indian police for all to hear.

According to press reports from India, Jindal was arrested on June 21 after being deported from Saudi Arabia to India. The arrest operation was a joint counter-terrorism effort by India, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Abu Jindal was in the Kingdom recruiting and training new LeT volunteers from the enormous Pakistani diaspora in the Gulf countries. He was allegedly in the final stages of a “massive” new terror plot. Abu Jindal has also been linked to other attacks in India including the bombing of the Mumbai metro and train system in 2006 that killed over 180.

Abu Jindal has told the Indians that two members of the ISI were also in the control room, both allegedly majors in the Pakistani army. This confirms the longstanding accusation that the 2008 plot was orchestrated and conducted with the assistance of the ISI. An American, David Headley, who worked for LeT and did the reconnaissance for the attack has said the same thing. So has the only survivor of the attack force, Amir Kasab, who has been convicted of mass murder in India.

But because Abu Jindal was actually in the control room in Karachi his accusation is even more powerful. If the press reports about Abu Jindal’s accusations are confirmed then the ISI was involved directly in the decision to murder Americans. So far the Indian government has publicly confirmed only that his testimony points to state sponsorship of the attack without providing details of his confessions.

Continue reading Pakistani Jihadi group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) that atacked Mumbai, is more dangerous than Al Qaeda says Bruce Riedel

US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy

The United States is contemplating a total reversal of its highly ineffective Pakistan policy. This was stated by Prof Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service while delivering a talk on “The situation in the Af-Pak region” at Observer Research Foundation on June 4, 2012.

Frankly expressing her views from both Pakistani as well as American perspectives, Prof. Fair said that the US does not have a long-term policy for Pakistan, and the present practice of granting aid with the aim of fighting the roots of terrorism has not yielded any results. Consequently, despite fighting the Taliban, the US has inadvertently supported them while alienating the civilian population.

Prof. Fair said that the Pakistan’s decision to close ground supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan backfired as the NATO forces soon developed alternative air routes. This, in turn, led many Western leaders to recognise the futility of engaging Pakistan in the war on terror. She also pointed out that the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan further convinced policy makers in Washington of its duplicity.

Asked about the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s perceived lack of understanding about the situation in the West Asia and the Af-Pak region, Prof Fair said that presidential candidates learn very quickly once they take office. As an example, she pointed out Barack Obama’s similar naïveté four years ago and how he learnt and adapted his foreign policy within months into his presidency.

Prof. Fair said that President Obama is disappointed with Pakistan’s counter-terrorism performance, and that the US administration is contemplating containment to force it to abide to its obligations.

According to Prof. Fair, the futility of attempts to alter the pro-jihadist worldview of Pakistan’s foreign policy elite make a serious case of containment, which would hold Pakistan responsible for any terrorist attack with its ’signature’ on it.

Prof. Fair challenged the conventional wisdom that civilian governments in Islamabad are more responsible. She argued that past history suggests a linearity of foreign policy making between military and democratic regimes. This is compounded by a drastic transformation of the popular mindset towards fundamentalism and hatred against India.

Continue reading US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy