Libmonster ID: UK-1203
Author(s) of the publication: D. NECHITAILO

D. NECHITAILO, Candidate of Political Sciences

WHY DOES AL-QAEDA FOCUS ON AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN?

Being a transnational movement, the notorious Al-Qaeda includes Islamist organizations, terrorist networks, functionaries and ordinary fighters from different countries. At the same time, it uses its own infrastructure, various sources of funding, and well-developed illegal channels for transporting weapons and people.

Al-Qaeda groups operate in various regions of the world. Some states are more preferable for regrouping forces, others-for accumulating financial resources, in third countries radical Islamists can be relatively safe, hiding from the persecution of special services. These areas are referred to in Western literature and in radical Islamist publications as "white (sometimes - "black") spots". They can be called zones of special strategic interests of international Islamism. As a rule, there are" white spots " where the state itself supports Islamists, or where the centralized power is too weak. They are one of the most important objects of Islamist infrastructure.

Another object of increased interest of Islamists is regional hotbeds of instability. They are trying to use them to acquire and test weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Al-Qaeda worked to develop such weapons during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.1 After the entry of US troops into Afghanistan, according to some reports, the relevant specialists and technologies were moved to other areas, and experiments in the field of creating WMD continue in safer places.2

Thus, in May 2002, Al-Qaeda operative J. Padilla came to the United States specifically to plan a terrorist attack using the so-called dirty bomb3. Another militant, D. Barot, was arrested in the UK in 2004. A detailed plan for carrying out a terrorist attack by spraying radioactive substances was found on him, but he could not find the missing components.4 According to Western analysts, since Al-Qaeda has fewer and fewer places where its members can feel completely safe, it is not worth waiting for large-scale terrorist attacks with the use of WMD, as this may provoke an invasion of certain areas, for example, by NATO forces.5

Modern terrorists can organize illegal operations in many countries, including Russia. It is known, for example, that in December 1996, during the period between the two Chechen wars, Ayman al - Zawahiri, then the head of the Egyptian radical Islamist organization Al - Jihad, was far from the last person in the international structure of Al-Qaeda, accompanied by two of his supporters - Ahmad Mabrouk and Mahmoud Hinnavi - I came to the North Caucasus to create new bases for training militants. However, this attempt ended in failure: al-Zawahiri, along with his companions, was arrested, spent six months in a Dagestan prison, and then left for Afghanistan. 6

After the defeat of the Taliban regime in Kabul, a computer was found in which al-Zawahiri made such a record of his stay in Russia: "The Almighty blinded them (law enforcement agencies. - D. N.), and they could not determine who we really are"7. During interrogations, al-Zawahiri claimed that he was a businessman and had come to Dagestan to study the market and establish contacts with local business circles.8

It is interesting that well-known radical Islamists in the past, representatives of Al-Qaeda in the North Caucasus, Abu Zeid (Abu Umar al-Quaiti) and Abu Umar al-Seif, with the outbreak of the war in Iraq, proposed to consider the territory of the North Caucasus not as a zone for conducting combat operations against federal troops, but as a place where you can The minimum risk of being exposed is to plan military actions in Iraq. Abu Zeid offered to do everything possible to legalize the presence of Arab Mujahideen on the territory of Chechnya, up to the conclusion of a corresponding agreement with the Chechen government.9

THE TALIBAN'S AFGHAN "RENAISSANCE"

In the four years that have passed since the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Islamist activity in this country has increased, and their methods have become increasingly brutal.

After the formation of the Karzai government, many Afghans positively perceived the emerging stabilization process in the country. However, as the years passed, confidence in State institutions began to wane. For example, former Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, in an interview with the BBC, said that the Taliban's success is due to the fact that most of their leaders come from the people, and they are well aware of the problems they face in everyday life. And despite the fact that the majority of Afghans do not share the views of the Taliban and even oppose them, nevertheless, the movement has a strong social base among ethnic Pashtuns.10 The majority of Afghans supported the government of X. Karzai in the hope of improving the economic situation. However, the current Government has somewhat distanced itself from many ordinary Afghans and is losing popular support, especially in the southern regions of the country.

For this reason, Afghans are reluctant to join the Government's law enforcement agencies. In 2006, at a meeting with CE leaders-

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President of Afghanistan H. Karzai said that to restore order, it is necessary to attract more people. He noted that in Kabul, there is one police officer for every 500 people, which is clearly not enough.11 But in other parts of the country, the situation is even worse. In Uruzgan, one police officer per 1,200 people, in Herat - 900, in Kandahar - 700 people. According to authoritative estimates, about 200 thousand people are needed to maintain order in the country. police officers, while today their number does not exceed 60 thousand 12

The traditional system of social structure also does not contribute to maintaining positive political processes in the country. Approximately 60% of Afghans are illiterate and perceive negatively everything that the government is trying to bring: democratization, civil society, women's rights 13. The Afghan press has reported that many rural residents do not want their sons to receive an education, because they believe that schools, like fire, will bring irreversible changes to existing traditions and values, change the established way of life.

...Qazi Muhammad Amin Waqad was in the past one of the three key figures who led the Mujahideen's struggle against the Soviets. Currently, he is one of the leading figures of the National Front of Afghanistan, which opposes the government of H. Karzai. Recently, he said that the trappings of modern life in Afghanistan-computers, household appliances, wedding parties-are common mainly in Kabul. On the periphery, life is completely different. "If the Taliban have a chance, it will only be because their ideas appeal to ordinary Afghans and appeal to the broad masses of ordinary people in the country. For example, in the southern regions, people will trust mainly those government officials who have a serious religious background. If an official is unable to perform the functions of an imam, he should join the rest of the congregation and pray with them." Wakad claims that the governors appointed by the new government are not familiar with the traditions and culture of their people. According to him, H. Karzai nominates people for high posts not on the basis of their professional qualities, but on the basis of personal loyalty to the country's leader.14

PAKISTAN IS A" PARADISE " FOR TERRORISTS

...The Chitral district of Pakistan, located in the North-West Frontier Province (NWPG), has been identified as a suspected hideout for top Al-Qaeda officials since bin Laden's video message was shown in February 2003, where vegetation typical of this particular area of Pakistan can be seen in the background.15 In September of the same year, a military search operation was launched in Chitral by the Pakistani and American military against the leaders of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. 16 The area also saw the appearance of Abu Habayb, a prominent explosives expert, who assisted Al-Qaeda activist Sheikh Ahmed Salim, with whose financial support the radical Islamist organization Lashkar Jhangvi recruited young people to join Al-Qaeda in Pakistan17.

Geographically, the area borders Afghanistan to the north, south and west, allowing Islamists to move from one country to another. The area is mostly mountainous, with many hard-to-reach areas. In winter, Chitral is cut off from the rest of Pakistan. 65% of the population is Sunni, 35% Ismaili Shiites 18. Local residents are ethnically from a different group than the Pashtuns-they call themselves "ho". There are about ten languages in use here.

The media has repeatedly reported that bin Laden or people from his inner circle are hiding in the Pakistani areas of the NWPG, in the so-called Federal Government Tribal Area (FATA). According to Western press reports, residents of the border provinces of Afghanistan have repeatedly stated that they saw bin Laden's confidants in Paktika, Paktia, Zabul, Kandahar.19 According to intelligence agencies, these Afghan provinces form a" corridor " between Pakistan and Afghanistan, used by radical Islamists.

North Waziristan, located in FATA, is one of the provinces considered a bastion of radical Islamists from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It is difficult for the American and Pakistani special services to work here - local residents unanimously deny their contacts with terrorists. At the same time, it is difficult to imagine that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri (according to some sources, together with their wives, children and grandchildren) could have lived here for a long period of time without the support of the local population.20

When Pakistani government forces launched operations against radical Islamists in Van and South Waziristan in the spring of 2004, the generals were confronted with an entirely new phenomenon: mass defections. During the ten-day operation in Van, 500 officers and soldiers refused to fight and laid down their weapons. Many were arrested, sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, and there were also death sentences.21 The operation against the Taliban was not successful. Members of the official administration were forced to flee from the "tribal territory". Tribal leaders who supported the Government were persecuted, more than 250 people were killed, and thousands fled.22 The Taliban even announced the creation of an"Islamic Emirate of Waziristan."

A. Farhad, a Taliban representative in Waziristan, told the Daily Times that the Shura Council had issued harsh sentences to two tribal leaders, Mir Sharof Ederkhel and Nawab Khan Borahel, who met with Pakistani President P. Musharraf on 23. In the fall of 2006, authorities imposed curfews in some areas of Waziristan. However, clashes with Islamists continued. Moroccans, Algerians, Chechens and Uzbeks took an active part in the fighting.24

In March 2007, there were clashes between Tonka police (a district town in the NWPG) and Taliban supporters who were recruiting young people at a local school. As a result, one policeman and one Islamist were killed. Two days later, a group of Islamists numbering up to 200 people carried out a retaliatory action in the city, engaging in a shootout with

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by the police. 25 troops had to be brought in to restore order.

SPECIAL LAWS OF "TRIBAL TERRITORIES"

FATA consists of seven geographical areas: Bajaur, Mommand, Orakzai, Khyber, Kuram, North and South Waziristan and is part of the Hindu Kush mountain system. The population is predominantly Pashtun, with the exception of a few nomadic tribes. Most of the tribes belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, with the exception of the Shiite Bangash tribe in Kuram.

Some tribal leaders in FATA support the government, but the Taliban and al-Qaeda identify them. Leaders are not appointed by the government - their personal leadership qualities, strong financial positions, and ties to local political circles determine the choice of a particular person as a leader. The chief usually represents the interests of the tribe in negotiations with the political administration of the area. The government, as a rule, makes concessions to the leaders in return for the fact that they maintain order in the areas under their control, on the roads, etc. Prominent pro-government leaders are often targeted by Islamists, and so in North and South Waziristan they try not to support the government, at least not openly. It is known that in 2005, Islamists conducted a series of successful operations against the Pakistani military in the "tribal territory"and staged demonstrative shootings of residents loyal to the government. 26

One of the leaders of radical Islamists in Pakistan, Mawlana Faqir Muhammad, who is associated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, comes from the "tribal territory", the Bajaur district, on the border with the Afghan province of Kunar. He belongs to the influential Pashtun tribe of Mommand. His close relatives - two sons and two cousins-were active members of the radical Islamist organization Tehreek Nafaz Shariat Mohammadi, and took part in the fighting in Afghanistan. His command of Arabic and religious knowledge earned him the respect of a number of key Al-Qaeda figures. After the defeat of the Taliban, he returned to his homeland, and together with the guards, he managed to move freely around Bajaur for quite a long time. 27

Balochistan is one of the largest and one of the poorest provinces in Pakistan. After armed clashes with government forces in North and South Waziristan, Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters retreated to Balochistan, where desert terrain, mountains and sparsely populated plains are relatively easy to hide.

Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are taking advantage of the high crime rate in Balochistan with some success. According to Dr. Mubashar Hassan, former Finance Minister of Pakistan, tens of thousands of criminals are hiding from justice in this province, forming so-called "fugitive camps". Many join radical Islamist groups, such as Jamiat-i-Ulamae Islam.28

Iranian Baloch nationalist organizations advocate the creation of a" Greater Balochistan", which would include separate territories of several states. Some Baloch websites aimed at Western audiences compare the "Baloch problem"to the" Kurdish question " .29 Unlike the vast majority of Iranians who are Shia, the Baloch belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. Baloch nationalists in Iran use religious Sunni rhetoric to emphasize their identity and accuse the Iranian authorities of religious persecution. The ongoing negotiations on the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, most of which will pass through the territory of Iranian and Pakistani Balochistan, are seriously complicated by the position of radical Islamist groups that threaten the very existence of the pipeline. Responding to these threats, in April 2006, Pakistan banned the Balochistan Liberation Army as a terrorist organization.30

Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda is not without success playing on the contradictions of the Baloch people with the authorities of Pakistan and Iran. Radical Islamists enjoy the support of the Baloch people living in the Afghan provinces of Helmand, Farah, Nimruz, and Herat. It is known that the Jundallah group, also known as Fedayeen-e-Islam, is active in the Baloch regions of Pakistan and Iran. One of the goals of its creation, as stated, is to protect the Sunni Baloch brothers of the faith in Iran.31 According to the newspaper "Jomhurie Islami", in December 2005, the motorcade of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was shot at on the border with southwestern Balochistan, and one of his bodyguards was killed. 32

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Jundallah is active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This group was created in 2003 and is headed by Abdulmalik Rigi. She became famous for her attacks against high-ranking Iranian officials and security forces.

In June 2005, Jundallah claimed responsibility for the abduction of a group of Iranian officers near the border with Pakistan. The video of the abduction was published through the Al-Arabiya TV channel. The group said the action was revenge on the Iranian authorities for their actions in Iran's Balochistan region. Jundallah members demanded the release of a number of their activists and representatives of Baloch organizations from Iranian prisons in exchange for hostages. Three weeks later, a video recording of the execution of one of the hostages was planted, who, according to Jundallah activists, was allegedly an officer of the Iranian special services.33

In mid-2006, the head of the group stated in an interview with an online publication that he justified the use of armed methods of struggle in order to protect Baloch interests and, in general, the interests of Sunnis in Iran.34

Both Tehran and Islamabad accuse Baloch nationalists on both sides of the border of collaborating in arms and drug smuggling. Both countries view Baloch nationalist movements as a threat to regional stability.35

DRUGS ARE A BREEDING GROUND FOR TERRORISM

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, opium poppy production in Afghanistan reached 6.1 million tons in 2006, which is almost one and a half times more than in 2005. Drug producers received income of $ 755 million. In 2006, Helmand Province produced 46% of the total opium poppy, 8% in Kandahar, and 25% in northern Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. 36 According to a UN report, opium poppy production increased in the areas of ongoing fighting in Kandahar and Helmand, where coalition forces suffered heavy losses. 2/3 of the total number of losses, and these losses increase during the poppy harvest. It is also known that at least 139 suicide bombings in Afghanistan were financed from the proceeds of drug production.37

According to the United Nations, 21% of drug traffic passes through Central Asian states, and more than half of the volume of drug products passes through the 2,430-kilometer border with Pakistan. In early 2007, the UN Special Commission in Afghanistan conducted research that revealed that there is a direct relationship between the activities of Islamists and drug trafficking. Taking advantage of the high level of unemployment, the Taliban offer young people between $ 200 and $ 600 a month to pay for their work. once a month, so that they fight on their side. The UN report on drug trafficking says that the Taliban for only $ 20 can get a job in Afghanistan. young people are recruited every day, forcing them to set up ambushes and place improvised explosive devices 38. Taliban warlords also use them to harvest crops and protect opium poppy plantations.

According to a report prepared by the UN commission in April 2007, the Taliban are completely dependent on the "drug economy" and are financed from it. In southern and eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban impose a 10% tax on poppy growers and a 40% tax on drug traffickers. Farmers often pay the Taliban to protect drug plantations.39

Some Afghan " drug lords "are strongly linked to al-Qaeda. So, one of them, Badrudoza Chouduri Momen, said that it is " ... a noble cause to spoil Western society with drugs." And one of the drug traffickers and Mujahideen leaders, Nasim Akhunzada, wrote in his fatwa back in 1981 that " ... poppies should be grown to finance the holy war against the Soviet troops and their henchmen in Kabul." A senior Taliban figure, M. Hanif, said in 2006 that although he opposed drug production, he was happy to fight the West by any means necessary.40

The Afghan province of Helmand also belongs to the centers of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The frequent clashes with government forces here are a consequence of the tightening of anti-drug measures. Many of the Taliban's key figures come from this province. The most combat-ready units of the Taliban also consist of people from Helmand province. But how can it be otherwise, if, according to the Afghan political analyst Mukhtar Pidram, the government has not created a single company, even a small one, to engage young people in the last four years? Unemployment is one of the main reasons for the unpopularity of the Karzai government and the desire of young people to "embrace the mafia" in Afghanistan. How can we disagree with the statement of one of the founders of the Taliban movement, Maulan Sami ul-Haq, who stated in May 2007 that he did not see any tangible positive changes in the country in recent years?41

Recently, NATO units launched a major operation against drug producers-4,500 members of the alliance's forces and about a thousand Afghan soldiers participated in it. They intended to take control of areas where the local population supports radical Islamists from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and provides safe havens for drug traffickers. This was hoped to undermine the financial foundation of the Taliban 42. Earlier, in mid-2006, 11,000 members of the coalition forces had already taken part in a similar operation in Helmand.

The British contingent stationed here from NATO is subjected to daily shelling by militants. According to the CIA, it is this province that has recently served as the main refuge for radical Islamists. Unfortunately, no reports were published about the results of these two operations.

"BLACKSMITHS OF PERSONNEL" OF TERRORISTS

It is known that Islamists from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban often use madrasas located in cities and towns as shelters.-

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selkah near the Afghan-Pakistani border. In March 2007, Pakistani troops closed the Dar ul-ulum Faridiyya Gilshan-i-ilum Madrasah in Miran Shah, which was used by radical Islamists as a meeting place and planning of terrorist operations, during raids against al-Qaeda supporters hiding in cities in northern Pakistan. The Binori Madrasa in Karachi was also accused of harboring terrorists there, as well as training people from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 43 The training program includes military disciplines, and as a kind of practice, students fight in Afghanistan. Bin Laden and the notorious Mullah Omar met in the Binori Madrasah building during the war in Afghanistan.

Students of various madrasas create a lot of problems for the Pakistani authorities. In 2007, students of the Jamia Hafsa Madrasah in Islamabad captured two policemen and demanded the release of two of their teachers.45 It is significant that the country's special services, while recognizing the illegality of extremist student demonstrations, nevertheless oppose harsh measures against the rioters. Javed Iqbal Cheema, Director General of the National Crisis Management Authority, says the use of force against Islamists is too explosive.

The state has already faced difficulties in restoring order in Waziristan and Balochistan, where madrasah students were the "detonators" of social explosions. What explains the increased influence of madrasas on public life in Pakistan? The fact is that education is not mandatory in this country, and in many areas there are not enough general education schools. At the same time, religious schools - madrassas - are located everywhere, and students are offered not only free education, but also free meals and accommodation in dormitories. In poor areas of southern Punjab, Islamic religious institutions are funded by the Islamist organization Sipahe Sahaba Pakistan. Moreover, this organization even pays parents money to send their children to study in the educational institutions under its control.46

Students of radical Islamist madrassas not only study the Koran, but also listen to sermons about jihad, which in militant sermons is reduced only to armed struggle. Often, graduates of such madrasas receive absolutely insufficient religious knowledge. However, they know that they have the opportunity to realize themselves and fulfill their "public duty" by participating in jihad in Kashmir or speaking out against "apostates" in Pakistan. According to official estimates of the Pakistani authorities, radical Islam is practiced in 10-15% of the country's madrasas (only 4,350 out of 40 - 50 thousand madrasas in Pakistan have been officially registered with government agencies).47. Some madrasas send students to military training camps, despite their parents ' objections.

Pakistani madrassas actively export radical Islamism to other countries. For example, students from Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Mongolia are trained at the Khudamudin Islamist madrasah. Of the 700 students, 127 are citizens of other countries. Half of the students at the Dar ul-ulum Haqqaniya madrasah, which was opened by the Taliban, are Afghans. People from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Russia also study here.48

It should be noted that the Central Asian region is in the field of special strategic interests of international Islamism. For example, one of the ideologues of world Islamism, Abu Musab al-Suri, in his book "Muslims in Central Asia and the future wars of Islam" argues that for the subsequent expansion of the world Islamic movement, safe territories are needed. He believes that they should be created precisely in Central Asia, from where jihad will begin its movement in the " heart of the Muslim world." Central Asia is seen as a major battleground. It is planned to conduct operations to overthrow the" minor "regimes of the" infidels "in order to create a strong rear base for future battles against the main states of the" infidels " - the United States and Israel. Al-Suri believes that the global "jihad movement" needs trained propagandists to expand into the Middle East. It is necessary to create an "Islamic belt" around the "infidel" states, and start forming it with Bangladesh, Northern India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, including Turkmenistan. After that, we will focus on the Caucasus and the Urals, where the Muslim population is relatively large.49

TARGET-INDIA

Pakistan's Islamist organizations, which work closely with al-Qaeda and the Islamic World Front, have long-term goals against India. Al-Qaeda sees Jammu and Kashmir as the "gateway" to India, and the" liberation " of Kashmir is the first stage of jihad against India. The second stage will be the liberation of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The final stage of the struggle is the complete "liberation" of India and the establishment of a "just" Islamic state there. In turn, this is only a prelude to establishing an emirate in all of South Asia.50

All Islamist organizations call not only for jihad against India - they oppose all borrowing from Hinduism, which is especially common in Balochistan and on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Pakistani Islamist organizations carry out terrorist attacks in places of worship of Hindu followers (for example, in Jammu in November 2002 and in Hyderabad in September 2002). One of the most dangerous anti - Hindu Islamist organizations is Lashkare Toiba; most of the terrorist attacks in India were organized by its suicide bombers. After the terrorist attacks against the Indian Parliament in December 2001, the United States pressured the Pakistani Government to take measures to curb the activities of radical Islamist organizations. In response, General Pervez Musharraf banned Lashkar in January 2002. Arrests were made

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leaders of this organization. However, the ban did not apply to organizations such as Harakat ul-Mujahedin and Harakat ul-Jihad al-Islami. Their fighters are active not only in Kashmir, but also in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Central Asian countries.51

By the way, many leaders of Pakistani Islamist organizations were subsequently released, and the most radical of them changed their names. For example, "Markaz ad-Daawa wa'l-irshad "became" Markaz ad-Daawa", "Lashkare Toiba" - "Jaishe Muhammad", etc. They have moved their military training bases to Kashmir and "tribal territory". According to the well-known Pakistani journalist Khaled Ahmed, there are many Al-Qaeda instructors operating in Pakistan. Radical Islamist groups are working closely with Pakistani madrassas, calling for the" transfer " of Islam to India, as well as to the West. And Lashkare Toiba has gone even further-it calls for "planting the banner of Islam in Washington." 52

Engaging as many people as possible in radical Islamist infrastructure is one of Al-Qaeda's goals. Al-Muqrin, a former leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and one of its most prominent ideologues, who was recently assassinated by Saudi intelligence services, argued that drawing more and more Muslims into the conflict with the United States is serious political work. Active support of the widest possible segments of the population, he believed, is necessary to make it easier to hide ammunition, create small bases and caches with weapons throughout the country, especially in the mountains, and conduct relatively small but panic-spreading actions. Then it is necessary to intensify the fighting, turning it later into a large-scale conflict involving the broad masses of the population.53

NEW METHODS, NEW TACTICS

Radical Islamists are constantly improving their structures, selecting more experienced and qualified personnel. So, in May 2007, a new "head of jihad groups" in Afghanistan, Mustafa Ahmed Muhammad Usman Abd al-Yazid, was appointed. He was born in Egypt in 1955 in the province of Al-Sharqiya, and actively participated in the activities of various Islamist groups. He was involved in the assassination of Egyptian President A. Sadat in 1981. Then he became an activist of the radical group "Islamic Jihad", which was led by al-Zawahiri54. Later in Egypt, he was sentenced in absentia to life in prison. According to Interpol, he used several aliases: Sheikh Saeed al-Misri, Mustafa Abu Yazid, Saad Abu Shayama, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad, Said Usman. In al-Qaeda circles, he is better known as "Sheikh Said."

In 1988, al-Yazid left for Afghanistan and is considered one of the founders of Al-Qaeda. In 1991, he accompanied bin Laden on his trip from Afghanistan to Sudan. According to some sources, a member of the Al-Qaeda Shura Council was involved in financing the preparation of an assassination attempt on President Hosni Mubarak by the radical Islamist group Jama'a Islamiyya in Addis Ababa in 1995 and in the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. According to Pakistani media reports, al-Yazid is primarily a talented businessman. He arrived in Afghanistan after a "two-year jihadist mission" in Iraq, where his duties included strengthening al-Qaeda's financial, administrative and media positions.

In the summer of 2007, radical Islamists showed a curious film about the "new release of suicide bombers" who are ready to go to commit terrorist attacks in the United States and Western Europe. The film is aimed primarily at Western audiences: the graduation ceremony itself resembles that which takes place in American or European countries after the completion of college or university studies.55

The Taliban are changing their tactics in Afghanistan. Kidnapping is increasingly being used as a kind of "weapon". In March 2007 they kidnapped an Italian journalist and demanded the release of several Afghan prisoners in exchange for the lives of the journalist, his interpreter and driver. The abduction provoked a sharp protest in Italian society. A month later, the Taliban abducted two French citizens along with their Afghan assistants. Islamists demanded that France withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, as well as pressure on Karzai to release a number of Afghan prisoners in exchange for the lives of hostages.

The new tactics of the Islamists are increasingly similar to those used in Iraq, seeking to split the coalition forces. It is known that France and Italy negotiated with the Taliban for the release of their citizens, and Italy was even ready to pay a ransom to the kidnappers. The US State Department has condemned such intentions, saying it opposes any negotiations with terrorists. In the case of France, the Taliban released the abducted woman without any conditions - this was a kind of indicative "gesture of nobility" on their part. Another hostage was released after French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy announced that if he was chosen to lead the country, he would correct its position on Afghanistan. 56

In May 2007, the Taliban killed three German soldiers and wounded twelve civilians in Kunduz. The death of German soldiers caused a wide public outcry in Germany. The Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Greens have called for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

A similar tactic, but applied to Iraq, is described in the book "Jihad in Iraq: Hopes and Threats"by Yusuf al-Airi, a well-known ideologist of modern radical Islamism. In it, the author analyzes the political situation in some countries-

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and the probability of its change in connection with the events in Iraq. He writes that "...the alliance of countries such as Great Britain, Spain, and Italy with the United States is, first of all, the personal positions of their leaders. Based on this, the strategic line of the modern jihad movement should be built." Al-Airi introduces various variables into the formula of the global struggle against the West. The main focus at present, in his opinion, should be on public opinion in European countries and in the United States. It is necessary to support the protest mood in society in connection with the increase in military spending (and, accordingly, the reduction in social spending) in the countries participating in the occupation of Muslim states, and to focus more attention on the growth of world oil prices and, accordingly, on gasoline. 57

Al-Airi paid special attention to Spain in his work, stating that "...The most effective way to force the authorities to withdraw their troops from Iraq is to launch strikes that will shock Spanish public opinion with their destructive power. At the same time, it is necessary to provide these actions with information support that will give a clear picture of the current events in Iraq. All this had to be done before the Spanish general election." This is what actually happened. The author notes that since "...Spain has the lowest level of interest in the war, it means that the withdrawal of troops should begin with it. Then, looking at it, other European countries will follow suit. " 58

Thus, as we can see, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups are not unsuccessfully preparing "asymmetric" responses to all or at least most of the actions that the Western community intends to carry out against the forces of international terrorism.

We are facing a fierce, strong and intelligent opponent who is able to use the latest achievements of social psychology and information policy in his work. It should never be underestimated. The fight against it is likely to be a long one, and the victory in this fight, right, does not seem so unambiguous and indisputable. Well, I don't even want to think about what awaits the world civilization if the black forces of world terrorism succeed...


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Franchetti Mark, Lamb Christina and Aris Ben. 8 Kremlin Probes al-Qaeda Links. Ottawa Citizen. October 27, 2002, p. 1.

9 Minbar at-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad - www.almaqdese.net/r?i-3273&PHPSESSID...

Scheuer M. 10 Afghanistan: Forgetting the Lessons of History. Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 11. March 6, 2007, p. 3.

Rahmani W. 11 Domestic Factors Driving the Taliban Insurgency // Terrorism Monitor. Volt. 4. Issue 13. June 29, 2006, p. 4.

12 Ibidem.

13 Ibid.

Rahmani W. 14 Afghanistan's Veteran Jihadi Leader: An Interview with Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. May 3, 2007 p. 3.

Engel R. 15 Inside al-Qaeda: A Window into the World of Militant Islam and the Afghan - http://www.janes.com/security/international...

16 Daily Times. October 2, 2006.

Abbas H. 17 Pakistan's Chitral District: A Refuge for al-Qaeda's Top Leadership? // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 3. Issue 46. November 28, 2006, p. 2.

18 Ibidem.

Niazi T. 19 Troop Defections Threaten Pakistan's Operations in Tribal Regions // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 4. March 6, 2007, p. 3.

Engel R. 20 Inside al-Qaeda...

21 Asia Times Online. July 22, 2004.

Niazi T. 22 Troop Defections...

Abdul Nasir S. 23 The Talibanization of the North-West Frontier // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 12. June 15, 2006, p. 3.

24 Tribal Offensive Could Curb Rebel Attacks: Officials // Gulf Times. Qatar. April 1, 2007 - http://www.gulftimes.com/site/to-pics/article....

Raman B. Looming. 25 Jihadi Anarchy in Pakistan // South Asia Analysis Group. 2007, N 202, p. 2.

Marzban 26 O. Taliban Shift Tactics in Afghanistan // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 3. Issue 15. April 18, 2006, p. 4.

Abdul Nasir S. 27 Al-Zawahiri's Pakistani Ally: Profile of Maulana Faqir Mohammed // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 3. February 9,2006.

Abbas Z. 28 Pakistan's Battle over Balochistan. BBC News On-Line. August 26, 2006 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5289910.stm

Niazi T. 29 The Geostrategic Implications of the Baloch Insurgency // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 22. November 16, 2006, p. 8 - 11.

30 Asia Times, June 8, 2006.

31 www.roozonline.com

Abbas Z. 32 Pakistan's Battle over Balochistan...

33 Iran Daily. January 21, 2006.

Niazi T. 34 Baluchistan in the Shadow of al-Qaeda // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 4. February 23, 2006, p. 3.

35 Ibidem.

36 UNODC. Afghanistan Opium Winter Rapid Assessment Survey. Kabul. February 2007, p. 48.

37 Taliban Commander Vows New Wave of Suicide Attacks // British Channel Four News Release 2, March 2007.

Senlis K. 38 Countering the Insurgency in Afghanistan: Losing Friends and Making Enemies. London: MF Publishing, February 2007.

Rahmani W. 39 Helmand Province and the Afghan Insurgency // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 6. March 23, 2006, p. 1.

Imtiaz Ali. 40 The Father of the Taliban: An Interview with Maulana Sami ul-Haq // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 4. Issue 2. May 23, 2007, p. 2.

41 Ibidem.

Abrashi F. 42 NATO Launches Offensive against Taliban // Associated Press. July 18, 2007.

Raman B. 43 Nuclearisation of Terrorism // South Asia Analysis Group. 2002, N 147, p. 1.

Raman B. 44 Al-Qaeda. Empire in Pakistan and Spurt in Terrorism - Kashmir. South Asia Analysis Group. N 167, 26.11.2002, p. 2.

45 Madrassa Pupils Abduct 'Brothel Owner' // Gulf Times. Qatar. March 29, 2007 - http://www.gulftimes.com/site/topics/article...

46 Intelligence Agencies Oppose Lai Masjid Crackdown // Daily Times. Pakistan. April 11, 2007 - http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...

47 Ibidem.

48 The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan // International Crisis Group. Asia Report. N 95, 18.04.2005, p. 3 - 4.

Abu Musab al-Suri. 49 Al-muslimun fi wasat asiah wa ma'arakat al-islam al-muqbilah. 2004 - http://www.al-ansar.biz/vb

Grare F. 50 Political Islam in the Indian Subcontinent: The Jamaat-e-Islami. New Delhi. Manohar Publishers. 2001, p. 21.

Haqqani H. 51 The Ideologies of South Asian Jihadi Groups. Washington. Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World. 2005, p. 12 - 14.

52 The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan...

Al-Muqrin. 53 Dawrah al-tanfiz wa harb al-isabat. Sada al-Jihad. July 2005, p. 39-42.

Muntasir al-Zayat. 54 Ayman al-Zawahiri, p. 54.

Raman B. 55 From Pakistan to Sharm el-Sheikh // South Asia Analysis Group. N 147, 25.07.2005, p. 4.

Tarzan O. 56 Taliban Shift Tactics in Afghanistan // Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 3. Issue 15. April 18, 2006, p. 3.

Yusuf al-Airi. 57 Iraq al-jihad: Aamal wa akhtar. Al-Battar. June 2003, p. 48.


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