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Monday, November 24, 2003

Istanbul bombers mention Kashmir

The Abu Hafz al-Masri Brigade, the offshoot of Al Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the dastardly bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, have referred to Kashmir in their statement that appeared on an Islamist website, Al Mujahidoun.

The text of that statement enumerates four demands that the terrorists have made from the US and its allies. Numbered three on that list of demands is the following...
3 - To purify all Islamic land from the filth of the Jews and Americans, including Jerusalem and Kashmir.
Hamid Mir, the Pakistani journalist who has interviewed Bin Laden, once said in an interview with Rediff that "Even Osama bin Laden told me in an interview that he is careful about India. He is not ready to comment a word on India. He is not ready to speak on the jihad in Kashmir. He says that if he speaks it will affect the Muslims of India. He says India is not his enemy, his fight is against America."

Obviously, now that position no longer holds as far as Al Qaeda is concerned. Kashmir is undoubtedly creeping up the scale of importance within the Al Qaeda. And that does not really come as a surprise. After the purging of Al Qaeda operatives from Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 bombings, these fighters arrived in large numbers into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) where they felt safe with tacit support of Pakistani intelligence agencies. So it was obvious that the Al Qaeda fighters would be drawn into the "holy" fight against the "oppressive Indian occupation" of Kashmir, in exchange for their safe sanctuary in PoK.

But in mentioning Kashmir, I think Al Qaeda has weakened Pakistan's position on Kashmir further in the eyes of the international community.

On the other hand, India had better pull up its socks and be prepared as fast as possible, or else it'll have to bear the impact of "Operation Islamic Iron Hammer".


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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.