U.S. Government Funding an al-Qaeda-Related Terrorist Group

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

This seems like a bad idea:

In the years since 9/11, al-Qaeda as a centrally controlled organization has been largely crushed. Its core leadership has been reduced from several thousand to several hundred, its ability to mount large-scale attacks has been seriously degraded, and it has evolved into something closer to a franchise operation than a single coherent group.

According to a number of reports, one of its franchises is a group called Jundullah, an affiliate that emerged around 2004 in the Baluchistan region that straddles the border between Pakistan and Iran. Jundullah carries out terrorist attacks on the leadership of both countries, and ABC News reports today that for the past couple of years the United States has been advising and funding its Iranian branch:

U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or "finding" as well as congressional oversight.

Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.

….Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

One gets the impression that the Administration saw 9/11 as an excuse to go after Iraq and Iran solely, with almost no concern (other than for rhetoric purposes) of actually combatting terrorist extremism.