Question: What do the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, the NATO military dismemberment of the Gadaffi-led government and nation of Libya and the on-going French invasion and occupation of Mali have in common?
Answer: At the centre of all three crimes are groups of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that were virtually created by the government of the United States!
You see, there is a common thread running through such seemingly unconnected events as the 9/11 tragedy in the US and other violent assaults that have been inflicted on such nations as Algeria, Somalia, Indonesia, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Saudia Arabia, Yemen and Libya over the past three decades.
And so, if we are to make sense of this period of contemporary history, we have to go back to the night of December 27, 1979, when some 100,000 Soviet Union soldiers marched into the Muslim country of Afghanistan.
This event led the then US National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, to conceive of a plan to bring together militants from all over the Islamic world; to further radicalise them with an extreme ideology of Islamic nationalism; to train them in the techniques of terrorism; to arm them; and to direct them against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
(Brzezinski also calculated that once these so-called Islamic Mujahedeen fighters had completed their “jihad” or “holy war” in Afghanistan, that they would turn their violent attention to the Muslim-majority states under Soviet Union control in central Asia.)
The US government put this evil plan into operation with the assistance of the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Under the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency, training camps were set up along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, and with the help of US and Saudi money, well in excess of 30,000 recruits were trained in these camps during the decade of the 1980s.
Approximately one half of these recruits were from Saudi Arabia, including Osama bin-Laden, but there were also significant numbers from virtually every single Islamic country, inclusive of Libya and Algeria!
The United States printed thousands of textbooks and training manuals which instructed these Muslim militants that it was their Islamic duty to destroy the infidel Russian invaders, and donations of weapons and some $40 billion in cash – chiefly from the US and Saudi Arabia – were handled by the CIA.
And so, the extreme Islamic fundamentalist terrorist was manufactured, and was inculcated with the idea that he had the God-given right to determine when an offence had been committed against the “true” Muslim religion, and to destroy and remove any perceived enemy of Islam!
By 1989, the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan, and the tens of thousands of battle hardened US trained Mujahedeen fighters were free to leave Afghanistan and to make their way back to their various home countries. Osama bin-laden, for example, went back to Saudi Arabia, where he promptly accused the Saudi authorities of being traitors to Islam; established his Al Qaeda organisation; and ultimately declared war on the Saudi government and their US allies.
This pattern was repeated all across the Middle East and North Africa where these returnees found governments that they disapproved of because they were not Islamic enough!
For example, Algerian Mujahedeen fighters returned to Algeria, denounced the secular government and embarked on a terroristic crusade for the establishment of an Islamic state in Algeria. Other examples abound – in Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, Egypt and the list goes on.
By the late 1990s Libya’s moderate Islamic regime also fell victim to the insane extremist violence of their repatriated “Afghans”. In 1999, the Washington Post newspaper reported Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, as explaining that his government had been forced to repel a violent military assault by Libyan “Afghans”. According to Gaddafi: “They returned desperate and destructive, and adopted killing and explosives as their profession, according to the training they received from the American intelligence.”
It is a core of these same “desperate and destructive” men – based in the city of Benghazi – that the US, France and Britain opportunistically used against Gaddafi and the Libyan state!
Indeed, the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – the core “rebel” group that was used against Gaddafi – was actually formed by a jhadist named Abdelhakim Belhaj who was trained by the CIA as part of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
Furthermore, Belhaj’s men were also at the forefront of the militia of Berbers from the mountains south-west of Tripoli, the so-called “Tripoli Brigade” – a military group that was trained in secret for two months by US Special Forces.
So, we have the peculiar situation in which the United States actually organises and trains allegedly anti-US Islamic terrorists and then proceeds to use them against regimes and countries that the US wishes to destroy or control!
This evil cynicism was clearly on display in the case of Libya, but is perhaps even more glaring in the case of Mali!
The traditionally peaceful West African nation of Mali was set up by the United States, when on March 22, 2012 the US sponsored a military coup against the legitimate President of Mali, Amadou Toumanl Toure. The coup leader was Captain Amadou Sanogo, a military officer who had been trained at Fort Benning in Georgia, US, and at the Marine Corps base in Virginia.
Sanogo claimed that the military coup was necessary because Toure’s government was not doing enough to quell unrest in northern Mali-stemming from Islamic Tuareg fighters.
However, having put the coup in motion, the US Government then used the coup as a justification for suspending military and other aid to Mali, thereby effectively crippling the capacity of the Malian authorities to resist any further incursions from the north.
And of course, with immediacy, a small Islamic terrorist outfit comprising Asnar Dine (a tiny group of Islamic jihadists of the Tuareg people) and the Al Qaeda offshoot, “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb” (augmented and integrated with our old friends from Libya, the US organised and trained Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) surged into southern Mali, thereby giving the US and France their pretext for an invasion of Mali to supposedly save Mali from evil Islamic terrorists!
Clearly, the French invasion of Mali (with US backing and logistical support) is part of a wider campaign to destabilise, militarise and re-colonise Africa. The French want control of Mali because of its gold, uranium, copper, oil and bauxite resources, just as they want to reassert control over all of their former French colonial empire in Africa and their valuable resources.
But the French, the Americans and the British wish to reassert control over the supposedly independent nations of Africa not only as a means of appropriating valuable mineral resources, but also as a means of keeping their arch-rival, China, at bay and denying the Chinese access to the mineral resources of Africa.
So a new Cold War has started, with Africa as its battleground, and a new 21st Century campaign has been launched to re-colonise the African continent. And the key strategy that will be used in this evil campaign is the old tried and tested stratagem of divide, de-stabilise and rule, with the US created Frankenstein monster of Islamic terrorism as a key element in that strategy.
Those of us in the Diaspora or on the continent who possess the consciousness and insight to recognise this evil campaign for what it is need to make every effort to sound the alarm bells and to urge our Pan-African leadership to close ranks and to spurn the West and their agents of evil.
* David Comissiong is president of the Peoples Empowerment Party.