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Afghanistan, "Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by
Janette Rainwater, Ph.D.

                                p6

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More weapons and better weapons were procured. Under a super-secret SOVMAT program (probably unknown to Pakistan's Zia) phony corporations bought huge quantities of weapons from Eastern European governments, including latest-model Soviet tanks and radar systems for fighter planes. The New York Times has estimated that the US and Saudi Arabia supplied nearly $6 billion worth of weapons to the Afghani "freedom fighters." (Other countries supplying funds or arms were Egypt, France, Israel, Great Britain, Iran, China and Japan.) Large sums went to the recruitment, training and maintenance of Muslim zealots from many countries including Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Great Britain, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United States. An early and enthusiastic recruit was the wealthy Saudi national, Usama bin Laden. His organization, al-Qaida, set up recruitment centers in the major Arab countries. He then paid for their transportation to training centers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His construction and engineering skills were utilized to build roads, tunnels, hospitals, storage depots and secure bases hollowed into the mountains. Most of the training was done by Pakistan's ISI in camps built by the CIA in Pakistan and border areas of Afghanistan. The trainers were trained at the CIA "farm" in Virginia where they learned the latest techniques of arson, demolition, and assassination.] Cooley, pp. 60, 106-119; New York Times, 24 August 1998.

June 30, 1981    General Maxwell Taylor, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refutes the notion that the Soviet Union is planning to go to war against the United States: "They have conventional forces in close proximity to virtually all their national interests that may require defense. From their World War II experience, their leaders know how devastating conventional war can be. They also know that nuclear war would be many more times destructive, that they would lose in a few hours more than they lost in four years fighting the Germans. They could not afford to fight or even win a strategic war with the United States. In so doing they would so paralyze the nation as to make it easy prey to nearby neighbors-- wolves ready to take advantage of a stricken bear. Such enemies would include Chinese, Afghans, Turks, Germans and Poles beyond Soviet borders and non-Russians within."

September 23, 1981    The Afghani covert operation is blown to the American public when Egyptian president Anwar Sadat brags on the Today show about Egypt's contribution. When asked why he was doing this, he replied "because they are our Muslim brothers and are in trouble." Cooley, p. 38.

October 6, 1981    Blowback in Egypt: Despite the presence of his CIA-trained bodyguards President Sadat is assassinated while watching the annual military parade in Cairo. [An ambiguous fatwa had been issued against the Egyptian president earlier in the year by blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Islamists were angry with Sadat for signing a peace treaty with "the Zionist project" and for the lavish life style of the administration. Tensions had been heightened when, on September 2, Sadat arrested 1536 individuals, the key leaders in all the opposition groupsC al-Gihad, Islamic Group, Coptic priests, communists and Nasserites. A plot was formed by army members of al-Gihad and the execution was carried out by young Lieutenant Khaled al-Islambuli who shouted, "I killed the Pharaoh!" The group's 54-page document, "The Neglected Duty," contained an extensive theological justification for their actions. It is, they said, a holy duty to rebel against one's rulers if the rulers are not following the true Islam. Beattie, Egypt during the Sadat Years (2000), pp. 272-277; Cooley, pp. 38-41; New York Times, October 13, 2001.]

February 11, 1982    In a secret memorandum Attorney General William French Smith exempts the CIA from its legal requirement to report on drug smuggling by any of its assets or clients. [Canny CIA Director William Casey had fought a secret battle to secure this exemption, remembering the lucrative heroin tie-in with the Vietnam War. Almost from the beginning of the covert op in

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