Terrorist Talk

dknob

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I kinda want to set up a thread where we can talk about the leaders of our enemies.

It's funny.. most people don't know who is leading the bad guys these days... its kinda like not knowing who was in charge of Nazi Germany as our guys were battling it out in Europe.

Ill start it off - Last month I was reading that the US and Karzai are talking peace with the Taliban and that Mullah Omar (don't worry, I forgot about this guy as well) would be needed to secure any types of deals.

I mean, where has this guy been since October 2001?! Has there ever been any communique? I completely forgot about our one eyed friend. I honestly thought he probably died and his body disintegrated in some bombing somewhere in the moutains.

Is he even an active player? Are we actively searching for him or is it more of a , "well IF he pops up, we gonna bust that melon, but until then we have other guys to worry about." ???
 

fox1371

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They say that we're searching for him, and that he's still a major player. However I know a few months ago he was staying at woman's home in Kabul I believe. She made it known that he was there as a guest and he was to be protected as such. He left freely IIRC.
 

alibi

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One question that I have had about the ISI recently has been whether they are actually a competent terrorist intelligence service, or the fact that Pakistan provides political cover to them, makes them dangerous. I guess it can be a combination of both, but, as juvenile as this question sounds, are the ISI....good at what they do?
 

Manolito

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The ISI has a strong religious past so I have to believe they are very slanted towards our enemies.
It is hard to find the truth about this group when Russia invaded AStan we funded and trained this outfit the ISI, then as best I can find out the trained killers became Talliban.
If anybody has a recommendation on what to read about the ISI I would appreciate it.
Bill
 

SpitfireV

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The ISI has a strong religious past so I have to believe they are very slanted towards our enemies.
It is hard to find the truth about this group when Russia invaded AStan we funded and trained this outfit the ISI, then as best I can find out the trained killers became Talliban.
If anybody has a recommendation on what to read about the ISI I would appreciate it.
Bill

Have a read of Ghost Wars.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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ISI could exist w/o HQN, the opposite isn't true.

Would you mind expanding on this a bit, Sir?

I really should be more informed on HQN with how much of an impact they are having in the region (any good book titles would be appreciated, until then, I shall start to hit up Google). You are way more of a SME on the HQN than I.

I am probably way off base, but I consider HQN to be similar to AQ and aligned with the Taliban, and thus could survive without the help of the ISI, mainly because of religious principles. I understand the that HQN and ISI have been tied together for a long time, and at times feel as though the HQN is the marionette in the relationship, but do you really feel as though the HQN couldn't survive without the ISI?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.
 

AWP

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Omar's spent most of his time in Quetta. You have him more or less in charge of the Taliban, then the Haqqanis notionally headed by Jaluluddin and actually run by his son Sirajuddin (or Sirajewdin as I like to call him as a further dig on the guy, not Jewish people). Then you have the ISI run by "I'm too lazy to look up their Wikipedia page" who is funded by American taxpayers and the Saudis. Outside of those guys you have several larger factions in Afghanistan alone (Yunis Khalis' and Dostum's old crews come to mind), the Nuristanis hate EVERYONE and I don't think they have a leader except "hate" which many of us on the board can relate to. Lastly, you have all of the other players around here like the TTP in Pakistan, the IMU in Uzbekistan, Al Q all around, and the Iranians.

Off the top of my head those are the players in the greater Afghan sphere of operations. I'm sure I missed a few. Time for bed.
 

Marauder06

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Would you mind expanding on this a bit, Sir?

I really should be more informed on HQN with how much of an impact they are having in the region (any good book titles would be appreciated, until then, I shall start to hit up Google). You are way more of a SME on the HQN than I.

I am probably way off base, but I consider HQN to be similar to AQ and aligned with the Taliban, and thus could survive without the help of the ISI, mainly because of religious principles. I understand the that HQN and ISI have been tied together for a long time, and at times feel as though the HQN is the marionette in the relationship, but do you really feel as though the HQN couldn't survive without the ISI?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

I'm by no means an expert on the HQN, I'm just a grad student with Internet access. ;)

HQN is a tool of ISI. It exists (in its current form, in its current sanctuary inside Pakistan) because ISI wants it to exist. Pakistan could crush the HQN- or at least make life very difficult for them- if they wanted to. They don't; they don't see it in their national interests.

Pakistan still sees India as an existential threat. That's why Pakistan developed nukes, that's why Pakistan is cozying up to China, and that's why (in part, I'm oversimplifying now) Pakistan maintains various Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations inside its borders. Pakistan uses terrorists as proxies to attack its nemesis, India, and to put pressure on the U.S. to get us to pull out of Afghanistan. Pakistan needs a weak but semi-stable border with Afghanistan in order to have strategic depth against India. It does not want a stable Afghanistan with a strong central pro-Western government. And it definitely doesn't want a large body of U.S. forces inside Afghanistan, within striking distance of all of those nuke sites... Giving those pesky tribal fighters someone to fight also keeps them from acting out against the government of Pakistan. That's win-win as far as they can see, especially if the U.S. is still going to give billions in aid.

HQN is very different from AQ. HQN are indigenous, AQ is mostly foreign. The purported goals of the two groups are also different. AQ has a worldwide plan; a lot of people think the HQN would be happy with "Pashtunistan." AQ is largely dependent upon HQN, for reasons I don't feel like going into right now. HQN voluntarily subordinated themselves to the Taliban, but they still operate mostly autonomously. I'm struggling to find a good comparison to this relationship... maybe if the U.S. national SOF task force commander went to a U.S. conventional ground commander and said, "OK, I work for you now, I'm going to support your overall game plan, but we're still doing our own planning, receive our own funding line and operational direction, and pick our own targets. We'll let you know if we need anything." I'm still not sure that's a good example, maybe someone like Freefalling with more time on the ground there than me can come up with something better. At any rate, almost all of the "spectacular" attacks that take place in Afghanistan are executed by the HQN, operating under the overall Taliban banner. The most recent example of this was the embassy attack in Kabul. Classic HQN operation.

With regard to good reading on the HQN, I'd just Google "Haqqani Network" and start from there. I remember a good piece in the Small Wars Journal, and I'm told that the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point just produced a very good HQN article. I wrote a couple of pages on the HQN last year, if it was unclassified I still have it at the house and can post it up here in a couple of days when I find it.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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Thanks much, Sir. That all makes a lot of sense, and while I seemed to be on the right track with some of it, I was way off on most of it. Although, as uneducated as I am at this point, I still think the HQN could survive without the ISI (though they would most likely be completely absorbed into either AQ (as a local asset) or the Taliban).

I recently started reading the Long War Journal and the Small Wars Journal, but I haven't checked them in a week or so. Great articles being posted in both IMO.
 

Marauder06

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Actually, you're right, HQN could survive without the ISI as long as the ISI didn't actively go after the HQN. However, I doubt that the HQN would be operationally effective without ISI providing funding and a security umbrella. Without ISI, the leaders of HQN would probably be like AQ, a lot more concerned about individual survival than getting it on in AFG.
 

AWP

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Something to consider about the HQN, to put things into perspective, is that they were a huge part of the Peshawar 7 during the Soviet era which meant their funding and support came from? US and Saudi arms distributed and controlled by the ISI. The ISI determined which group received which weapons and their quantity. Massoud's group for example received very little support from the ISI because of this since they weren't extreme enough (or Xtreme for you who remember the X Games from the 90's) by the ISI's standards. Like Mara the Intel Chick :D posted, PK sees India as THE threat....not a threat but the "Allahdamned Sky is Falling" threat. To that end the ISI and PK gov't court Xtremists as proxies to fight an unconventional war with India over Kashmir. They see the madrassas as a necessary evil and fantastic supply of manpower to combat India. They won't be too serious about cracking down on groups like the HQN because it furthers PK's interests. The day the HQN tries to break away from ISI/ PK control is the day the free meals and handouts dry up.

The HQN and TB are just positioning themselevs for Afghan Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo once we pull out...see also 1992-1996 in Afghan history. They'll band together to punt the existing gov't out of power and then turn on each other to be king of the mountain and just like the first iteration, that war will be bloody. To oversimplify, this whole region operates under "The enemy of my enemy is my friend....or at least someone I'll sleep with because it is 0130 and who else is left?"
 

Brill

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Actually, you're right, HQN could survive without the ISI as long as the ISI didn't actively go after the HQN. However, I doubt that the HQN would be operationally effective without ISI providing funding and a security umbrella. Without ISI, the leaders of HQN would probably be like AQ, a lot more concerned about individual survival than getting it on in AFG.

Without ISI, HQN would be broke and left to picking up cans and bottles on the side of the road. If this admin was strong enough, they should convey to Pakistan, knock the shit off or we'll back the Indians in Kashmir and then you'll feel the pain. Pakistani food gives me the shits anyway...and it burns the o-ring.

IRGC: they are the real threat and have been since Iraq.

I strongly believe we should go BACK to Somalia, facilitate the end to the famine, and kill every jihadist that wants to go to paradise: just like we did in Iraq. "If you build it, they will come." Yes, alot of our brothers were killed in Iraq however IF the goal was to kick Saddam's butt off the throne and redirect attention from hitting the Homeland, then it was a success. There are still alot of underwear bombers out there. So let's get down to their level and kill them violently in the streets where they're buddies have second thoughts. This TTP was extremely effective.

Wait...did FF just type "Electric Boogaloo"?
 
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