Benazir Bhutto said she was picking up disturbing intelligence of the existence of religious madrassas and other institutions, including youth training camps which could be spawning terrorism.

833 7/14/1996 12:48:00 PM 96ISLAMABAD5972 Embassy Islamabad SECRET P 141248Z JUL 96FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABADTO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0793INFO AMEMBASSY RIYADH AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 005972 FROM THOMAS W. SIMONS, JR.

E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/14/06 TAGS: PGOV, PTER, PINR, PK, IZ, LY, SA, IR

SUBJECT: PAKISTAN, ISLAMIC TERROR AND HUA

1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY THOMAS W. SIMONS, JR., AMBASSADOR. REASON: 1.5 (B), (C) AND (D).

2. (S) DURING THE COURSE OF FRANK WISNER'S AND MY LUNCHEON WITH THE PRIME MINISTER ON JULY 12, SHE NOTED THAT SHE WAS PICKING UP DISTURBING INTELLIGENCE OF THE EXISTENCE OF RELIGIOUS MADRASSAS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING YOUTH TRAINING CAMPS WHICH COULD BE SPAWNING TERRORISM. THE MOST RECENT INDICATIONS ARE THAT INSTITUTIONS OF THIS NATURE ARE FUNDED FROM SAUDI ARABIA. SHE ASSUMES THAT THERE IS PRIVATE SAUDI FINANCE INVOLVED, BUT SHE HAS DIRECTED THAT THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT BE APPROACHED.

3. (S) IN THIS CONTEXT SHE EXPRESSED ONCE AGAIN HER SYMPATHY FOR THE KILLING OF THE 19 AMERICANS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND ASKED THAT WE WORK CLOSELY WITH HER IN IDENTIFYING ANY LINES WHICH CONNECT WHAT IS GOING ON IN PAKISTAN TO OTHER TERRORIST OPERATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I UNDERTOOK TO DO SO AND ASKED THAT THE FOREIGN SECRETARY SHARE WITH US WHATEVER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO PAKISTAN.

4. (S) THE PRIME MINISTER CONTINUED, NOTING THAT THE PROBLEM WAS NOT A NEW ONE. THE IRANIANS, LIBYANS AND IRAQIS HAD IN THE PAST FUNDED SIMILAR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS. THE GENERAL PROBLEM AS WELL AS INTERNAL SECURITY PROBLEMS HAD BEEN DISCUSSED AT A RECENT CABINET MEETING ON LAW AND ORDER WHICH SHE HAD CHAIRED. THE POLITICAL CONTEXT WAS WHAT SHE SAW AS A FAIRLY ELABORATE AND WELL ARTICULATED PLOT TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT. THIS PLOT INVOLVES QASI HUSSEIN AHMED, AMIR OF THE JAMIAT-I-ISLAMI, BUT ONE OF THE GUIDING FORCES WAS FORMER ISI DIRECTOR HAMID GUL. THE MECHANISM ENVISAGED WAS TO BEGIN WITH OPPOSITION TO THE BUDGET AND CONSTRUCT AN EVER-BROADENING POLITICAL MOVEMENT WITH DEMANDS FOR A CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK. ELEMENTS WOULD BE THE DEMAND FOR A NEW CENSUS, DEMAND FOR A NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD, AND INVOCATION OF ARTICLE 62 OF THE CONSTITUTION WHICH LIMITS CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE TO THOSE DEFINED AS GOOD MUSLIMS. THE INTENTION WOULD BE TO LIMIT THE DEFINITION OF A GOOD MUSLIM ONLY TO GRADUATES OF MADRASSAS OR ISLAMIC UNIVERSITIES. THE PRIME MINISTER DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE CAMPAIGN WAS CATCHING ON. AS SHE HAD EXPLAINED TO THE CABINET MEETING ON LAW AND ORDER, HOWEVER, THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT BE SIMPLY THE PASSIVE OBJECT OF SUCH A CAMPAIGN BUT WAS OBLIGED TO REACT AND BE ACTIVE IN ITS OWN DEFENSE AND IN DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY.

5. (S) THE PRIME MINISTER'S STATEMENT GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO TURN TO THE VEXING ISSUE OF THE HUA. I BEGAN BY THANKING HER FOR HER VERY FIRM COMMENTS IN HER MEETING WITH THE SPOUSES OF THE KASHMIR HOSTAGES. I RECALLED IN PARTICULAR HER REQUEST THAT WE BRING TO HER ATTENTION ANY SOLID INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE SO THAT SHE CAN HAVE THE SUSPECTS BROUGHT IN AND STRONGLY INTERROGATED. IN FACT, SHE INTERJECTED, SHE HAD ASKED MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR NASEERULLAH KHAN BABAR TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE FBI ON THE EVIDENCE CONCERNING THE KASHMIR HOSTAGES. PAKISTAN ITSELF, AFTER THE MOST THOROUGH REVIEW BY ALL AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT -- INTELLIGENCE, ARMY AND CIVILIAN AGENCIES -- HAD BEEN UNABLE TO DISCOVER CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE HARAKAT UL ANSAR PEOPLE THAT THEY KNEW AND THE HOSTAGE TAKERS. AT THE SAME TIME SHE RECOGNIZED THAT ALL OUTSIDE INTERLOCUTORS WERE CONVINCED THAT THERE IS SUCH A CONNECTION. THE BRITISH HAD MADE THIS CLEAR TO THEM AND SHE ASSUMED THAT THE AMERICANS HAD THE SAME VIEW.

6. (S) FRANK WISNER ASSURED HER THAT THAT IS THE CASE, OUTLINING BRIEFLY THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE IN HAND ABOUT HUA COMPLICITY IN SEVERAL KIDNAPPING EVENTS IN INDIA, INCLUDING THE KASHMIR HOSTAGE INCIDENT. THE PRIME MINISTER SAID SHE COULD NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT A BREAKAWAY ELEMENT OF HUA MIGHT BE INVOLVED, RECALLING THAT A BREAKAWAY ELEMENT HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN THE ARMY PLOT OF SEPTEMBER 1995. SHE ASKED THE FOREIGN SECRETARY TO CONTACT THE MILITARY AND ASK IF ANY OF THE HUA PLOTTERS IN THE ARMY COUP WERE AWARE OF PLANS TO TAKE HOSTAGES IN KASHMIR.

7. (S) WISNER AND I AGREED THAT THIS WOULD BE HELPFUL. I ASKED THE PRIME MINISTER TO DELAY TAKING ACTION WITH BABAR ABOUT THE FBI UNTIL JOHN HOLZMAN OR I HAD A CHANCE TO BRING TO HER ATTENTION INFORMATION WHICH IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED ON THE HOSTAGE CRISIS.

HOLZMAN

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833: Pakistan, Islamic terror and HUA May 22, 2011