Rashid OBL 2000-1 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)...

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) September 23, 2001 Sunday TWO STAR EDITION HOW A HOLY WAR AGAINST THE SOVIETS TURNED ON U.S. BYLINE: AHMED RASHID SECTION: WORLD, Pg.A-12 LENGTH: 3198 words In 1986, Director of Central Intelligence William Casey stepped up the war against the Soviet Union by taking three significant, but at that time highly secret, measures. He persuaded the U.S. Congress to provide the Afghan fighters known as Mujaheddin, "holy warriors" in Arabic, with American-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down Soviet planes and to send U.S. advisers to train the guerrillas. Until then, no U.S.- made weapons or personnel had been used directly in the war effort. U.S.-financed weapons provided to the Afghans until then had been generally of Warsaw Pact manufacture, to provide deniability of U.S. support for the Mujaheddin. The CIA, Britain's MI6 intelligence service and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) also agreed on a provocative plan to launch guerrilla attacks into the then Soviet Republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the soft Muslim underbelly of the Soviet state from where Soviet troops in Afghanistan received their supplies. The task was given to the ISI's favorite Mujaheddin leader, Gulbuddin Hikmetyar. In March 1987, small units crossed the Amu Darya river from bases in northern Afghanistan and launched their first rocket attacks against villages in Tajikistan. Casey was delighted with the news, and on his next secret trip to Pakistan crossed the border into Afghanistan with the late Pakistani President Zia al-Haq to meet the Mujaheddin groups. Third, Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight alongside the Afghan Mujaheddin. The ISI had promoted this idea since 1982, and by now all the other players had their reasons for supporting it. President Zia aimed to cement Islamic unity, turn Pakistan into the leader of the Muslim world and foster an Islamic opposition to Soviet rule in Central Asia. Washington wanted to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world was fighting against the Soviet Union beside the Afghans and their American benefactors. Saudi Arabia saw an opportunity both to
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promote Wahabbism (the strict, austere form of Islam practiced in the kingdom) and to occupy some of its disgruntled radicals outside the country. None of the players -- U.S., Britain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia -- reckoned on the non- Afghan volunteers having their own agendas, which would eventually turn their hatred of the Soviets against the regimes of their own countries and the Americans. Radicals come to study Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 generally radical Muslims from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would enjoy their baptism under fire with the Afghan Mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslims came to study in the hundreds of new religious schools ("madrassas" in
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course ENG Irish Lit taught by Professor Dr.stuart during the Spring '08 term at University College Dublin.

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Rashid OBL 2000-1 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)...

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