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Anoop C
26 Sep 06,, 02:00
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25689-2373840,00.html



Times Online September 25, 2006

'America paid us to hand over al-Qaeda suspects'
By Daniel McGrory
General Musharraf's memoir serialised in The Times will further embarrass the White House

PRESIDENT Musharraf of Pakistan says that the CIA has secretly paid his government millions of dollars for handing over hundreds of al-Qaeda suspects to America.

The US government has strict rules banning such reward payments to foreign powers involved in the war on terror. General Musharraf does not say how much the CIA gave in return for the 369 al-Qaeda figures that he ordered should be passed to the US.

The US Department of Justice said: “We didn’t know about this. It should not happen. These bounty payments are for private individuals who help to trace terrorists on the FBI’s most wanted list, not foreign governments.”

The revelation comes from General Musharraf’s memoir, In the Line of Fire, which begins serialisation in The Times today and will further embarrass the White House at a time when relations between the US and Pakistan are already strained.

General Musharraf claimed last week that the Bush Administration threatened to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if did not co-operate with the US after the 9/11 attacks.

The latest revelation will embarrass the White House days before General Musharraf is due to meet President Bush and President Karzai of Afghanistan to discuss how to combat a resurgent Taleban.

The disclosures are also causing consternation in Pakistan. Members of General Musharraf’s Cabinet and senior diplomats apparently did not know he was writing a book and are worried that relations with its allies and Western intelligence agencies will be damaged by the revelations.

The CIA refused to divulge the size of its bounty payments, saying: “Our relationships with international leaders is not something we are prepared to talk about.” One senior CIA figure added: “Nor do we expect these leaders to do so.”

Among the suspects surrendered to the US was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the 9/11 operation and many other terror plots in the UK, including a planned attack on Heathrow airport, the plot never came to fruition.

General Musharraf does not explain why his intelligence chiefs only questioned al-Qaeda’s alleged operational mastermind for three days before handing him over to the CIA when he was allegedly responsible for so many attacks inside Pakistan and he alone knew the identities of the key figures in Osama bin Laden’s network.

General Musharraf says that in the Heathrow plot in 2002 Mohammed planned to use flights leaving European airports belonging to the national airlines of the Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Malta because of their lax security.

The signal for the hijackers to seize the plane was when the “fasten seat belt” sign was turned on as the aircraft

was coming into land at Heathrow. Al-Qaeda had picked European Muslims, including a number of white converts, to fly the aircraft into terminal buildings and fuel dumps at London’s main airport.

Pakistani intelligence chiefs are concerned that General Musharraf may jeopardise their relationship with British intelligence agencies after claiming that a convicted terrorist was once an MI6 informer.

The President outlines the role played by a former London public schoolboy, Omar Sheikh, in the kidnap and murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, in February 2002.

General Musharraf says that Sheikh, who orchestrated the abduction, was recruited by MI6 while he was studying at the London School of Economics and sent to the Balkans to take part in jihad operations there. He alleges that Sheikh later double-crossed British intelligence. “At some point he probably became a rogue or double agent,” General Musharraf says.

Sheikh has been held since February 2002 and was sentenced to death. He is being held in a Karachi jail but British detectives have been denied access to him.

General Musharraf says that he decided to disclose details of covert operations and his country’s capture of 689 suspects since 9/11 to counter claims that Pakistan has not done enough to combat al-Qaeda.

A number of the men he handed to the Americans have been held in CIA-run secret detention centres. While Mr Bush has tried to play down reports of rising tensions between Islamabad and Washington, relations will not be helped by General Musharraf’s disclosures.

In the book he says that he was so angered at US attempts to bully Pakistan into supporting the White House that he had his military commanders study “war games” to see if they could take on the American forces should they try to operate inside his borders without permission. He insists that it wasn’t intimidation that led him to back the US, but because it was in Pakistan’s interest.

General Musharraf scorns what he calls “the ludicrous demands” from Washington after 9/11, including one insisting that he should suppress protests inside Pakistan against the US.

His revelations are also likely to cause upset in India after he insults the military prowess of his nuclear neighbour.

At home his political opponents say that the book is General Musharraf’s blatant attempt to bolster his own reputation before elections in October 2007 as he has signalled his determination to have another five years in power. They are also questioning what he intends to do with the reported six-figure sum he was paid by the publishers for his book.

lemontree
26 Sep 06,, 05:13
Musharraf's Revelations.
Anoop,
Its more like Musharraf's howlers:-
India filched Pak N-design, claims Musharraf in his book..I mean...:biggrin: ROTFLOL.

Is anyone going to take that man seriously after this book.:rolleyes: What a clown!

astralis
26 Sep 06,, 07:22
i'm surprised he "war-gamed" the US after 9-11. does one even have to consider what the US would have done if it met with state military opposition after that particular event???

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15003128/

Musharraf's controversial memoir released
Pakistan leader spells out allegations of U.S. intimidation after 9/11

Updated: 6:41 p.m. ET Sept 25, 2006

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan’s president says in his memoir released Monday that he had no choice after the Sept. 11 attacks but to switch from supporting the Taliban to backing the U.S.-led war on terror groups or face an American “onslaught.”

Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in his book “In The Line of Fire,” also criticizes the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, saying it has made the world “more dangerous.”

Musharraf, who is on a tour of the U.S., is scheduled to meet Wednesday with President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to seek ways to bridge their disagreements on the fight against Islamic militants, particularly along the Afghan-Pakistani frontier.

Unusual in publishing a memoir while still in power, Musharraf says Pakistan, the United States and Saudi Arabia created an extremist “monster” by supporting Islamic groups fighting the Soviet Union’s 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan.

“We had assisted in the rise of the Taliban after the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, which was then callously abandoned by the United States,” Musharraf says.

It was within this vacuum that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terror network strengthened, thanks to the support of the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Omar, he adds.

Pakistan saw the Taliban as a means to end years of chaos in Afghanistan, which peaked during the 1992-96 civil war, says Musharraf, who came to power in a 1999 coup. He says Islamabad also saw the Taliban as a counter to Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, which favored Pakistan’s rival, India.

U.S. like 'wounded bear'
But after the Sept. 11 attacks, Musharraf says, he realized continuing to support the Taliban and have ties with militant groups would set Pakistan on a collision course with Washington.

“America was sure to react violently, like a wounded bear,” Musharraf writes. “If the perpetrator turned out to be al-Qaida, then that wounded bear would come charging straight toward us.”

The day after the suicide plane attacks, Musharraf says, Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned with an ultimatum: “You are either with us or against us.”

The next day, he says, Powell’s then deputy, Richard Armitage, telephoned the chief of Pakistan’s top spy agency, the Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence, with an even sterner warning.

“In what has to be the most undiplomatic statement ever made, Armitage ... told the director general not only that we had to decide whether we were with America or with the terrorists, but that if we chose the terrorists, then we should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age,” Musharraf writes.

Armitage last week denied threatening to bomb Pakistan, but acknowledged delivering a stern warning.

Musharraf says he weighed Pakistan’s options, including the possibility of militarily countering any U.S. actions.

“I war-gamed the United States as an adversary,” he writes, but concluded Pakistan’s military, economic and social weaknesses made it impossible to confront America.

Eyeing India
He also worried about nuclear-armed India, with which Pakistan has fought three wars since their 1947 independence from Britain, including two over the disputed Himalayan region of now divided Kashmir.

“The Indians might have been tempted to undertake a limited offensive there (Kashmir); or more likely they would work with the United States and the United Nations to turn the present situation into a permanent status quo,” Musharraf writes. “The United States would certainly have obliged.”

He adds: “It is no secret that the United States has never been comfortable with a Muslim country acquiring nuclear weapons and the Americans undoubtedly would have taken the opportunity of an invasion to destroy such weapons.”

Musharraf says he thus cut Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, despite a possible backlash from radical Islamic groups in his country.

“Why should we put our national interest on the line for a primitive regime that would be defeated?” he asks. “Self-interest and self-preservation were the basis of this decision.”

But Musharraf disputes Bush’s argument that the world is safer following the invasion of Iraq, saying he opposed the war because he “feared it would exacerbate extremism, as it has most certainly done. ... The world has become far more dangerous.”

Musharraf details some of the 670 arrests of al-Qaida suspects in Pakistan, including the killers of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

But he also concedes al-Qaida and Taliban militants still operate in his country, while repeating his insistence that he has no knowledge of the whereabouts of top fugitives, including bin Laden and Omar.

“If I had to guess, I would assume that he (bin Laden) is moving back and forth across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border somewhere,” Musharraf writes.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.