US moves to declare former Pakistani officers international terrorists


Former ISI chief Hamid Gul.

The US government is seeking to add several former Pakistani intelligence officers to the United Nations' list of international terrorists, The News reported. A senior US intelligence official familiar with the effort to rein in Pakistan's intelligence service confirmed to The Long War Journal the US wants the United Nations Security Council to designate several senior former officers of Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency as international terrorists.

Included on the list of former Pakistani intelligence officers being submitted to the UNSC are Hamid Gul, Javid Nasir, and Zahirul Islam Abbasi, as well as Aslam Beg, a senior Army officer, the intelligence official said.

The placement of the former Pakistani officers on the United Nations list would open their international accounts up to scrutiny and eventual seizure, the US official said. "We could do some major damage" to the officers' "slush funds" in international bank accounts. The US will also seek to place the officers on INTERPOL's wanted list.

News of the US move broke after Gul spoke to the Pakistani press about being added to the list. Gul "was informed of this by a highly responsible person, who had personally seen the written US request," The News reported.

The US intelligence official expressed concern that Gul still has access to such sensitive information. Gul's knowledge of the effort "is indicative that he still has friends in very high places."

According to The News, Gul said "the government should immediately move to protect the ISI from this indirect attack from Washington. He said the United States and some other Western nations were against him for the simple reason that he did not support their war on terror which, he said, was based on Washington's greed for energy."

Gul's message is calculated to rally support within Pakistan's intelligence community, the US official said. "He is playing to a very particular crowd there, to convince people in the ISI that those against him are also against them."

Both the United States and India have accused the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based terror group backed by the ISI, of conducting last week's 62-hour assault on Mumbai that resulted in more than 180 Indians and foreigners killed and more than 300 wounded. Indian police captured a terrorist who admitted to training inside camps Pakistan and to being a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

While there have been no direct links between the Mumbai attackers and the Pakistani government, India has accused the Pakistani government of allowing numerous groups to operate on its soil. India has demanded the Pakistani government hand over about 20 wanted terror leaders and operatives, including Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Elements of the Pakistani state may have aided in the training of the Mumbai terrorists and the execution of the operation. The captured terrorist claimed members of the Pakistani Navy aided in his training, while Dawood Ibrahim, the ISI-backed mafia don, provided logistical support. Indian intelligence sources told PTI that the country has "proof that the Inter Services Intelligence was involved in planning the Mumbai terror attacks and training the terrorists." The unconfirmed report stated "the names of trainers and the places where meticulous training took place are also known to the government." US intelligence has additional information, according to the report.

Just this year, the ISI was directly implicated in the suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Fifty-four people, including an Indian defense attaché, were killed in the July 7 bombing. The Indian embassy bombing was carried out by the Haqqani Network, with the direct backing of the ISI, The US confronted the Pakistani government with evidence of the ISI's involvement in August. Within two months after the US confrontation with Pakistan, Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj, the Director of the ISI, was relieved of his command.

Background on Gul, Nasir, Abbasi, and Beg

The four senior retired Pakistani officers put forth to be sanctioned by the United Nations have a long history of dealing with extremist groups, and particularly al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Kashmiri terror groups.

Lieutenant General (Retired) Hamid Gul served as the chief of the ISI from 1987 to 1989. Gul is known as the Godfather of the Taliban for his efforts to organize the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, and the helping to facilitate the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s. Gul supports the terrorist insurgency in India-occupied Kashmir and opposes the US-led effort to defeat Islamic extremism.

"God will destroy the US in Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever it will try to go from there," Gul said in August 2003. "The Muslim world must stand united to confront the U.S. in its so-called War on Terrorism, which is in reality a war against Muslims. Let's destroy America wherever its troops are trapped." Gul openly admits he maintains contacts with the Taliban and other extremist groups.

Lieutenant General (Retired) Javid Nasir commanded the ISI from 1992 to May 1993. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Nasir helped unite the warring mujahideen factions and establish a government. Nasir, and avowed Islamist, provided support to terrorist movements throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Nasir, along with Gul, kept in close contact with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

Major General (Retired) Zahirul Islam Abbasi was a senior officer in the ISI during the Afghan war and served as a senior military commander. In 1995, he led a failed coup against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He planned to kill the entire senior leadership of the Army command. Abbasi was implicated in the plot along with Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the radical Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, an al Qaeda and Taliban-linked group. Akhtar later testified against Abbasi, who was then sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released by Pervez Musharraf after serving just four.

General (Retired) Mirza Aslam Beg served as Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army after the mysterious death of General Muhammad Zia ul Haq in 1998. Beg is known to profess sympathy for the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Kashmir terror groups. He has openly bragged that foreigners train in Afghanistan and fight in Kashmir. Beg, along with Gul, purportedly met with Osama bin Laden and more than 300 jihadi leaders at Darul Uloom Haqqania Islamic conference held in Peshawar in January 2001.


READER COMMENTS: "US moves to declare former Pakistani officers international terrorists"

Posted by C. Jordan at December 4, 2008 5:06 PM ET:

About time...

Hope it has an affect...

Posted by ST333 at December 4, 2008 5:24 PM ET:

Ticking time bomb ......I think India has had about enough and our announcing these 4 as terrorist is an escalation in our obvious and ever growing dissatisfaction with the Pakistani's. They need to do some serious house cleaning in Pakistan.

Posted by AAndrew at December 4, 2008 6:51 PM ET:

One word: Rendition.

Imagine the value of the info we could get from these characters. It wouldn't be easy to get them - but in the words of JFK "we do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard"

If we can send a bunch of men to the moon, we can send certainly send a bunch of guys to a country whose definition of harsh interrogation is flexible.


Posted by Thanos at December 4, 2008 8:07 PM ET:

Glad to hear that Gul wasn't just being paranoid when I mentioned this yesterday:

Posted by Mwaqar at December 4, 2008 9:02 PM ET:

Time to arrest General (R) Hamid Gul, Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah and other rogue elements in Pakistan's intelligence agencies'Who killed Benazir Bhutto? Foot-soldiers of Al-Qaeda/Taliban/Sipah-e-Sahaba. Who were the masterminds? General Hamid Gul, Brigadier Ijaz Shah, other rogue elements in Pakistan's ISI and other intelligence agencies.Who are their mouth-pieces in the Pakistani media? Irfan Siddiqi, Ansar Abbasi, Kashif Abbasi, Mushtaq Minhas, Hamid Mir, Roedad Khan, Orya Maqbool Jan
Who are their political supporters?Ijazul-Huq, Pervez Elahi, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Hafiz Saeed, and other pro-jihadi, pro-Taliban and sectarian elements.
Hamid Gul and other ISI former officers are on pay roll of ALQUIDA.

Posted by KnightHawk at December 4, 2008 9:44 PM ET:

Quite the resume this little rat pack has.

Posted by anand at December 5, 2008 3:00 AM ET:

I cannot overstate the seriousness of this. This will cause shock waves in Pakistan like we have never seen before. It would be like the UN declaring America's last 4 Joint Chiefs of Staff to be international terrorists on par with Osama Bin Laden.

I still can't believe this. Without a doubt, many moderate pro Western Pakistanis will see this as a declaration of War by Washington, India, and the international community against the ISI and Pakistani Army. But, I think this might be needed none the less.

Posted by Solo at December 5, 2008 7:45 AM ET:

I agree with ST333. It's past time for a serious housecleaning in Pakistan and quit trying to sweep the problem under the rug. It's time for the international community to both increase the pressure on the Pak government, and offer solutions that contain restrictions, penalties, and oversight. Too much of the money that has been thrown at the problem, has helped finance the radicals. Pakistan is not the enemy. They are under the same threat, yet the government thinks negotiation with the extremists is the answer. How many more attacks will it take before they quit trying to fool themselves. I've said before, they act now, and they act hard, or the nasty stuff's going to hit the fan.

Posted by David M at December 5, 2008 3:39 PM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/05/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Posted by bard207 at December 5, 2008 5:52 PM ET:

I am not expecting Pakistan to turn over any of the people named and wanted by India or the new short list from the US.

The PPP isn't in a strong enough position politically to do it and the Military -- ISI would rather stare across the border at India than roll up their sleeves and fight the militants in their midst.

Not sure if there would be another military coup if the Pakistani government ordered the Army to breakup the Jamaat-ud-Dawah complex at Muridke.
President Zardari probably has similar concerns and likely won't take that risk.

So, expect more of the same from Pakistan because they don't seem openminded enough to have a revelation and realize the very serious situation that they are already in.

A nice read from Thomas Friedman.......

Calling All Pakistanis

Posted by GME at December 5, 2008 6:23 PM ET:

Housecleaning sounds so sanitary. Where does the housekeeper start if the whole palace is rotting?

We keep watching these crooks in Pakistan--almost in slow motion--as they defraud allies and neighbors. When will this game end? The U.S. should immediately prohibit arms sales sales and arms maintenance contracts. Indeed, all trade with U.S. companies should be banned. Aid should be cut as well, with verifiable conditions for restoration.

Yes, Pakistan is nearly bankrupt and its ordinary citizens are suffering. But it is the official corruption and cancer of Islamic fanaticism that is killing it, not western affrontery. Gul's statements that the U.S. is waging its War on Terror--especially with respect to Pakistan--because of "greed for energy," is rubbish. Pakistan is a net importer of energy.

As far as the sanctity of its "terriorial integrity" is concerned, here too the logic is absent. The FATA and northwest territories have been radioactive with fanaticism and the teaching of hate. I keep hoping for something good to come from Pakistan, but the blatant murder of its only promising leader, Mrs Bhutto, is a bloodstain that cannot be washed out.

Posted by newc at December 5, 2008 8:55 PM ET:

It is imperitive that this route is persued.

Posted by Neo at December 6, 2008 12:53 AM ET:

I doubt the US can create much internal pressure within Pakistan against these against Hamid Gul and Co. This isn't a house cleaning as such. Short of that, it can serve a number of other purposes. It puts Pakistan on official notice that further ISI participation in any terror attacks will have repercussions. . It signals open cooperation between the US and India on pressuring Pakistan after the Mumbai attack. It forces the International community to take an active stake in efforts against terrorism. Britain and France will probably side with us on this. India has some leverage on Russia. China might be a problem. As a rule they don't tend to support any action that can be construed as interfering with the internal affairs of anyone.

I highly doubt, if the US or India gets anyone on any one of these lists handed over. The best that can be hoped for is to break down open support of terrorism within the ISI. It's time to make those relationships increasingly uncomfortable.

Posted by rob at December 8, 2008 3:56 AM ET:

Should have been a long time ago based on their resumes but the more interesting question is, why the move now?

Posted by Rhyno327/lrs at December 9, 2008 10:16 AM ET:

Is that "our friend" Hamid Gul? I saw a video of him 2 YEARS ago at a T-ban meeting. He IS the enemy of the West. This man has blood on his hands, and I hope to the Almighty he is snatched or at the very least, arrested and brought to the Hague. My hatred for this man knows no bounds. This is a valuable tool for decimating the T-bans infrastructure. I hope....

Posted by Syed Khurram Mohiuddin at May 21, 2009 7:00 AM ET:

"...and there will come a time when the world will gather around you like the gluttons gather around a plate"

The world will understood the whole truth someday but not today or tommorow. Blindness has engulfed this world.
Someday this world will be rid of all lies because
"for falsehood by nature is bound to perish"

I need not even try to make deaf ,dumb and blind see and hear.