Terrorism Attack On US Likely
There are reports, which could not be varified from the independent sources, about a plan by terrorists hiding in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border to attack the United States. One thing is sure that the US has been planning the attack on tribal areas, therefore, they have been preparing the mind of people. There will be no denying the fact that terrorists have been hiding in the tribal areas, but this question must be probed that who has brought these terrorists to the tribal areas. It seems that world rulers have been playing into the hands of terrorists. According to some of the tribal elders, rulers are themselves terrorists. We have witnessed with our own eyes that the rulers first created the terrorists and then an operation was started against them. More than 3000 people have been killed in the fighting only in Bajaur Agency. Most of the victims are innocent women and children. Some half a million people have migrated to safer places. There will be no denying the fact that rulers have been doing dirty politics on war. They have forgotten that women, children and innocent people have been killed in the fighting.
WASHINGTON: The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have dramatically damaged Pakistan’s image in the United States where a consensus seems to be emerging that the terrorists may be planning a Mumbai like attack on this country as well and that if such an attack happens, it will originate in Pakistan.
During the last two days, more than a dozen senior US officials, lawmakers and terrorism experts discussed various scenarios for a possible terrorist attack on the United States. All pointed their fingers at Pakistan.
And these were not unnamed intelligence officials who in the past discussed such scenarios with the US media on the condition that they remained anonymous.
These were all senior officials and lawmakers – such as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new head of the US Central Command, Ken Wainstein, the White House national security adviser and Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs committee. And they were all speaking on the record.
There were differences among them on the nature of the next terrorist attack on the United States but not on its source. All agreed that the terrorists hiding in Pakistan’s tribal areas are already planning such an attack.
Before the Mumbai attacks, US officials and terrorism experts focused on terrorists acquiring a so-called ‘dirty bomb’; a small nuclear, chemical or biological device big enough to cause serious damage to a major US city.
But the Mumbai attack seems to have changed their views. ‘US cities are vulnerable to an attack like the gun-and-grenade assault that terrorised Mumbai for three days and killed 179 people, warned the White House homeland security adviser,’ warned Mr Wainstein.
The US Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs committee, which held a special hearing on the Mumbai attacks on Thursday evening, agreed.
The lawmakers, who participated in the hearing, admitted that they fear a Mumbai like attack could happen in the United States.
And Gen. David H. Petraeus, the man responsible for winning the war against terror, warned that the United States will need to make a ‘sustained, substantial’ commitment if it wants to stop the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants hiding in Fata from resurging in Afghanistan.
Gen. Petraeus linked Afghanistan's fortunes directly to Pakistan's, where, he observed, a US-backed civilian government was struggling and the country's ability to control militants along its border with Afghanistan was in doubt.
‘Afghanistan and Pakistan have, in many ways, merged into a single problem set, and the way forward in Afghanistan is incomplete without a strategy that includes and assists Pakistan,’ and also takes into account Pakistan's troubled relationship with rival India, Gen. Petraeus said.
The need to fight al-Qaeda and Taliban militants hiding in Pakistan’s tribal region was even included in a national agenda that Democrats issued a day after the new Congress was sworn in.
The Democrats, who are now a majority in the US legislature, want a deeper US involvement in fighting the terrorists hiding in Fata.
Mr Wainstein told a Washington think tank the Mumbai attacks in November showed the effectiveness of a low-technology coordinated assault on an open city.
He did not rule out the possibility of terrorists in Fata acquiring a ‘dirty bomb’ and recalled that in December of 2001, ‘we and the United Nations designated as a supporter of terrorism a group of Pakistani scientists and former government officials —known as the UTN —who had worked with the Taliban and had previously discussed nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons with Osama bin Laden.’
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the number two Democrat in the Senate, stressed that by refocusing our resources on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, and Pakistan … we will protect our nation from other deadly weapons and will share more effectively in the fight against terrorism.’
Senator Lieberman insisted that ‘they (Pakistanis) and we know’ that there’re terrorist camps inside Pakistan. ‘They need to finish them,’ he added.
The Pakistanis, he said, also need to ensure that ‘there are no links between terrorists and their intelligence agencies.’
Mr Lieberman said he knew that President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani were trying to uproot terrorism from their country ‘but unfortunately the contacts between the terrorists and Pakistani intelligence agencies remain.’
The United States, he said, did not want the alleged terrorist camps in Pakistan to close just because of what happened in Mumbai. ‘We want this because the camps also provide refuge to radical elements from the US and they are risk for our security as well.’
Donald Van Duyn, Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the attacks in Mumbai show how ordinary weapons can cause mass casualties. ‘It comes as no surprise that a small, disciplined team of highly trained individuals can wreak the level of havoc that we saw in Mumbai. Other terrorist groups will no doubt take note of and seek to emulate the Mumbai attacks,’ he said.
Those involved in the Mumbai attacks, about 10 in all, were armed with automatic rifles and grenades, and carried global positioning devices when they came ashore on speedboats and descended on hotels and restaurants and other sites, taking and killing hostages.
Charles Allen, the chief intelligence officer at the Homeland Security Department, said his agency is working with intelligence and law enforcement officials in India to identify and monitor would-be terrorists who may be scoping out potential targets here in the United States.