There’s no dearth of outspoken Muslims and non-Muslims like Michael Moore and Jean-Marie Le Pen sceptical of the origin and objectivity of international terrorism who become even more vocal when they hear reports are opinions such as that the Paris gunmen involved in Charlie Hebdo attack not only brought their ID cards along but also left one in their abandoned Citroen car for the convenience of the French police, and that the passport of a 9/11 hijacker was found on a nearby sidewalk having survived the planes hitting the World Trade Centres, which eventually annihilated the giant concrete and steel structures.
Unfortunately from time to time pieces of information emerge that add suspicion and doubt on the various aspects of international terrorism. Sceptics feel that governments also play a role in facilitating incidents of terrorism for ulterior motives. They have examples like the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane by pro-Palestinian hijackers. Some 98 people, mostly Israelis or Jews, were held by hijackers at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda during an eight-day crisis that ended when Israeli troops stormed the building where captives were detained. Two hostages, an Israeli commanding officer, 20 Ugandans and seven hijackers were killed during the operation.
The hijackers from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and German Baader-Meinhof gang demanded the release of imprisoned Palestinian militants. But according to declassified British government documents released on June 01, 2007 Israel’s secret service Shin Bet and the PFLP joined forces to impair the PLO’s (Palestine Liberation Organization) position in France and to prevent a possible rapprochement between PLO and the Americans. The revelation was made in a document written by official DH Colvin at the British embassy in Paris.
Some people suspect that governments secretly harbour terrorists. They have examples such as of the once internationally infamous terrorist Khalil al-Banna known as Abu Nidal involved in terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or wounded more than 900 civilians over more than a quarter of a century. The US government, especially during the 1980s, vehemently denounced him as a notorious terrorist. Abu Nidal organised an attack on Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador to London in 1982. The attempted assassination prompted Israel to accuse Yasser Arafat of responsibility and to begin its bloody invasion of Lebanon.
But according to Iraqi secret documents recovered after the 2003 American invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam regime, and later acquired by the British newspaper The Independent, revealed that Abu Nidal was working for the Americans as well as for Egypt and Kuwait. The Iraqi secret police that arrested and investigated the terrorist in Iraq concluded that he was trying to establish evidence that Iraq was harbouring terrorist organisations, a pretext then US President George Bush was to use alongside allegations of presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as reasons to invade Iraq in 2003. His biographer Patrick Seale even suggested that for some time Abu Nidal worked for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.
Even Osama bin Laden during the 1980s Afghan war was hailed by the CIA for his role as a fighter, financier and recruiter of the ‘mujahideen’ who fought Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan. On the other hand, Nelson Mandela was branded for decades as a ‘terrorist’ by the US and it was even reported that the CIA had helped engineer Mandela’s 1962 arrest when a CIA agent inside the ANC (African National Congress) provided the apartheid regime with a tip-off to track Mandela down. Nelson Mandela’s name was cleared off the ‘terror watch-list’ in 2008 by the US just before his 90th birthday.
Some people question governments’ role in prevention of terrorist attacks with examples like that of the famous July 10, 2001 meeting between Condoleezza Rice and then CIA director George Tenet accompanied by his counterterrorism chief J Cofer Black during which they warned Rice in the starkest terms that an Al-Qaeda attack was imminent and that immediate action was needed. Rice then National Security Advisor (later secretary of state) listened to them but ‘failed’ to grasp their message. The two men left frustrated.
The meeting was first reported in a book ‘The State of Denial’ by veteran journalist Bob Woodward of the Watergate Scandal fame. Initially Rice said that she did not recall attending that meeting but White House records showed that she actually did. White House documents showed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America could have been prevented had the Bush administration not ignored the CIA’s warning.
Governments and intelligence agencies will continue to manipulate terrorism, terrorists etc for the interests of their ruling classes; it’s for Muslims everywhere to ensure their children are not attracted to the lethal lure of extremism and terrorism.