July 1, 2011 2 Comments
The vitriolic Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), an underground banned anti-Shiite militant organization, was the first to join the ranks of Al Qaeda’s affiliated structures. LJ is a breakaway faction of the later banned political party Sepah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP. LJ adherents had killed dozens of Shiite clerics and Shiite professionals, and the state had put all its members on the wanted list. After the fall of Taliban they did not have any place to go, and most of them had been hiding in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. To take advantage of the situation Al Qaeda provided these LJ members with a precise role in the global Jihad. On Al Qaeda’s regrouping in Pakistan’s tribal areas, LJ members were welcomed in South Waziristan and encouraged to support Al Qaeda’s multi-faceted operations in Pakistan. LJ was permitted to continue with its targeted anti-Shiite killings, but some members like Qari Zafar (who was killed in 2010 in North Waziristan), were also used in Al Qaeda operations such as the attack on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) offices in Lahore. At the same time, other leaders like Qari Hussain were tellingly deputed to raise suicide brigades for Al Qaeda’s anti-US operations. Slowly and gradually this strategy began to work, and brought thousands of new recruits into the Al Qaeda fld. Among them were two well-known brothers, Dr. Akmal Waheed and Dr. Arshad Waheed, who had earlier been affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islam. The two top physicians from the southern port city of Karachi were now linked to Al Qaeda through Jundullah. Dr. Arshad Waheed was later killed in Wana in South Waziristan in a CIA drone strike, and soon afterwards Al Qaeda’s media wing Al Sahab released a documentary on his life and exploits to inspire the younger generation. Subsequently several army officers joined the Al Qaeda cadre (see later in the book).
In July 2010 a spokesperson of Punjabi Taliban (the non-Pashtu speaking section of the Taliban) confirmed that the influence of Dr Arshad and Akmal Waheed had split Pakistan’s largest student organization, Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT), and other organizations, especially those whose members who came from Karachi. Many joined forces with Al Qaeda in North Waziristan. (From Syed Saleem Shahzad’s book Inside Al Qaeda and Taliban)