The Politics of CP notes that Jamaat ul-Fuqra (see previous posts on JF here, here, and here) was removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations during the waning days of the Clinton Administration. For some reason the Bush Administration has yet to return the group to the list. Even with the departure of Colin Powell and the accession of Secretary Rice, the situation has not changed. Why?
I have yet to determine what reasonable explanation could be given for their removal. They didn’t just go away. Their members haven’t disbanded. Their “isolated rural compounds” haven’t been sold off and abandoned. Their criminal activities have not ceased. Their ties to other terrorist groups have not been broken. Their leadership has not been captured (and they’re not even on the run!).
The only explanation I can come up with is that it was guided by a view that this group was “small-time” and could best be handled as a “law enforcement issue”. The September 10th mentality was that individual murders, a firebombing here and there, and white-collar crimes were just ordinary criminal occurrences and didn’t fall under the purview of real counterterrorism. The country didn’t yet fully realize what these activities meant in the context of militant Islamic extremism.
But, as I said and as I have documented in my reports, the activities of Jamaat ul-Fuqra did not cease in 1999 or 2000. Law enforcement in New York still considers them a terrorist organization. Officials in California and Colorado still consider them a terrorist organization. The Department of Homeland Security still considers them a terrorist organization and the list goes on.
CP points out that the military is less sanguine about JF. They certainly consider it to be a terrorist organization, and list it in TRADOC DCSINT Handbook No. 1: A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century:
Jamaat ul-Fuqra is listed in the 2003, 2004, and 2005 editions (although the information is unchanged). In Appendix A, entitled “Terrorist Threat to Combatant Commands,” they are listed in the Area of Operations (AOR) of both NORTHCOM and CENTCOM with an asterisk denoting a history of anti-U.S. activity.
So what’s with the State Department? Does the stripey-pants set find itself more in harmony with gun-running terrorists than it does with the U.S. Military?
It’s time we got honest about the kinds of people that are operating among us. Yes, here they pose as a harmless group of rural Muslims. In Pakistan, there is no doubt they are a militant jihadi group. Both are sincerely loyal to the same Sheikh Gilani. They are a threat. Let’s put two and two together here, folks.
Secretary Rice, put them back on the list! And, as Michael Ledeen would say, “Faster, please!”
CP has a lot more material on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. He has done a lot of first-rate investigative reporting on the group; just go on over to his place and keep scrolling.