Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lawfare, Pakistani Style

Warfare and criminal law do not mix. We know that from trying for years to deal with al Qaeda through the Court system. It did nothing to stem the attacks against us, culminating in 9-11. Yet since then, when we put away the law books and took up the spear, there has not been another al Qaeda attack against U.S. interests outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Someone needs to inform Pakistan of this bit of reality.

One would think that, with the Taliban occupying terrain but 100 miles from the capital and imposing a brutal Sharia regime everywhere they hold sway, the Pakistani's might realize that they are, in fact, in an existential war. But apparently not. A Pakistani Court just ordered the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed. He has extensive links to al Qaeda and was behind the Mumbai terror attack. Pakistan's problems are severe indeed, and attempting lawfare only compounds the troubles exponentially.

This from the Long War Journal:

A three-judge panel of the Lahore High Court has ordered the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba / Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was placed under a loose house arrest in mid-December 2008 after the United Nations Security Council declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist entity and front group for the Lashkar-e-Taiba just weeks after the deadly terror assault on Mumbai in late November that killed more than 170 people and locked down the city for more than 60 hours. Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Mohammad Ashraf, and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed were identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders.

Today Saeed was ordered released by the Lahore court, despite the government’s presentation of evidence that linked him to al Qaeda. The evidence was presented in a closed session, as the information was deemed a national security secret.

The court did not give a reason for Saeed's release. His lawyer claimed, however, that the detention had been unconstitutional and that the release was a victory for Pakistan's legal system.

"The arrest violated the constitution, therefore Hafiz Saeed and his colleagues are being released," A.K. Dogar, Saeed's lawyer said, according to Dawn. "Today's verdict shows that sovereignty lies in Almighty Allah," Dogar proclaimed as a crowd of supporters chanted "Allahu akbar," or "God is greater," outside the courthouse.

Yahya Mujahid, a spokesman for the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, celebrated Saeed's release. "The order shows that courts in the country are free now and people are getting justice despite pressure," Mujahid told AFP. "We hope the authorities will now withdraw police guards deputed outside his residence which had been declared a sub-jail."

US intelligence officials are dismayed at Saeed's release and say the move shows that Pakistan has a long way to go to defeat terror groups operating on its soil.

"Forget what you are seeing in Swat," an intelligence official closely watching Pakistan told The Long War Journal. "More than six months after Mumbai, there has yet to be a single conviction or even a trial of anyone involved in the attack. Pakistan does not have the capacity to try and convict known terrorists."

"Saeed is untouchable, and don't think the courts and the police don't know this," another official said, warning that the continuous policy of releasing of leaders like Saeed, Red Mosque leader Maulana Abdullah Aziz, and others is sending a terrible message to those on the front lines against the terror groups.

"As long as he and others like him are free, Pakistan will remain a terror state," the official said. "Until Pakistan shows it is serious about taking down the leadership of the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, these groups will regenerate and prosper. And law enforcement in Pakistan will shy away from taking them on."

Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba have extensive links with al Qaeda and Pakistan's military intelligence service

Hafiz Saeed is the founder and leader of the al Qaeda-linked Laskhar-e-Taiba, or Army of the Righteous. India has implicated Lashkar-e-Taiba and Saeed as being behind the Mumbai terror attack. Saeed and the Laskhar-e-Taiba have strong links with elements within Pakistan's military and the Inter-Service Intelligence agency, or ISI.

Osama bin Laden and his mentor Abdullah Azzam encouraged Saeed to form Lashkar-e-Taiba in the late 1980s, and helped fund the establishment of the terror outfit. Lashkar-e-Taiba, like al Qaeda, practices the Wahabi strain of Islam, and receives funding from Saudis and other wealthy individuals throughout the Middle East. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an ally of al Qaeda; the two groups provide support for each other, and their operatives train in each other's camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba has established training camps in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal areas.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has an extensive network in Southern and Southeast Asia, where it seeks to establish a Muslim caliphate. The group essentially runs a state within a state in Pakistan; the group has established an organization that is as effective as Lebanese Hezbollah. Its sprawling Murdike complex, just northwest of Lahore in Punjab province, is a town of its own. Lashkar-e-Taiba runs numerous hospitals, clinics, schools, mosques, and other services throughout Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. . . .

Read the entire article.


Ex-Dissident said...

GW, although this probably had no ties to Al-Queda, there has been another Muslim inspired terrorist attack in the US. The guy who shot 2 millitary recruiters had an assault weapon, 200 rounds, and recently travelled to a likely terrorist camp. Someone assisted him with a fake Somali passport. The way MSM quickly declared that there was no one else involved was an obvious falsehood. He was being watched by FBI? Where the hell did he get these weapons? I thought ammo was impossible to find these days.

suek said...

Maybe it was purchased earlier...which indicates long range planning - by someone.

The problem is when those who want to take your government down are internal as opposed to external. Citizens of the country are insurgents or rebels. Their treatment isn't as clear cut as would be the treatment of those who are not citizens who attack a country. In all honesty, I think the only cure is to kill the insurgent. Putting them in jail supports further rebellion and allows them the opportunity for more converts to their cause. Laws are intended for criminals, not insurgency - and they're different, even though many of their actions are the same.
Loners can be treated as criminals - as soon as you have more than one person involved, you have an insurgency or a criminal conspiracy.

How to distinguish between those two? In some ways, it can be obvious, but sometimes, not so much.