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Times Square bombing in retaliation for U.S. drone attacks, No connection to Islam

The U.S.'s drones attack Pakistan; The Taliban sent their own drone to Times Square

The U.S.'s drones attack Pakistan; The Taliban sent their own drone to Times Square

The evidence that the Times Square bombing was in retaliation for illegal U.S. predator drone attacks–and not because “they hate our freedoms” or because of some silly South Park affair–is very strong.

Hakimullah Mahsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban (the same group that claimed responsibility for the failed Times Square bombing), had long ago promised to retaliate against the United States for the drone attacks; The Daily Mail reads:

Meanwhile the Pakistan Taliban’s new leader [Hakimullah Mahsud] has met with reporters for the first time since winning control of the militants and has vowed to retaliate against the U.S. and Pakistan for drone attacks along the Afghan border…

Mehsud said his group would avenge the killing of Baitullah Mehsud and strike back at Pakistan and the U.S. for the increasing number of drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

Unmanned drones have carried out more than 70 missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan over the last year in a covert program, killing several top militant commanders along with sympathisers and civilians.

I discussed the drone attacks in a previous article, but I’ll reproduce the most salient part below:

U.S. drone attacks on Pakistani soil have killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians.  According to Pakistani sources, upwards of 687 Pakistani civilians have died at the hands of U.S. drone attacks.  CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen placed the number a bit lower:

Since 2006, our analysis indicates, 83 U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan have killed between 760 and 1,050 people. Among them were about 20 leaders of al Qaeda, the Taliban and allied groups, all of whom have been killed since January 2008…The real total of civilian deaths since 2006 appears to be in the range of 260 to 320, or one-third of those killed.

Regardless of whether the number is closer to 260 or 687, the point is: the U.S. is killing Pakistani civilians–men, women, and children.  At least one-third of those killed are civilians.

UN human rights investigator Philip Alston has said that the drone attacks may “violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law”, and demanded the United States to prove otherwise.  The ACLU declared that this drone policy “violates international law” and is “unconstitutional”, and has converted “the entire world” into a “war zone.”  In a strongly worded letter to the President of the United States, the ACLU wrote:

The program you have reportedly endorsed is not simply illegal but also unwise, because how our country responds to the threat of terrorism will in large measure determine the rules that govern every nation’s conduct in similar contexts. If the United States claims the authority to use lethal force against suspected enemies of the U.S. anywhere in the world – using unmanned drones or other means – then other countries will regard that conduct as justified. The prospect of foreign governments hunting and killing their enemies within our borders or those of our allies is abhorrent.

Only 9% of Pakistanis support the U.S. led drone attacks–and only 6% amongst the Pashto speaking people who live in the NWFP (the area being bombed).  Pakistani officials have declared the drone attacks on Pakistani soil to constitute an “act of war,” a feeling shared by the vast majority of the country’s citizenry.

In January of this year, it was thought that Hakimullah Mahsud was taken out in one such drone attack.  However, Mahsud appeared in a TTP (Pakistani Taliban) propaganda video (allegedly taped on April 4th), declaring that he was in fact still alive.  As you can well imagine, Mr. Mahsud was not too happy with us after that, so naturally he promised revenge on America in the typical over-the-top “Jihadist” rhetoric.  He declared that his fighters had already infiltrated the United States, and would strike within one month.  That month elapsed yesterday (May 4th), meaning the attack on Saturday (May 1st) conformed to his promised deadline.  Furthermore, the video allegedly made on April 4th was released after the car bombing, indicating that it was the fulfillment of the threat.  The Telegraph reports:

Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud threatens US months after ‘death’

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has vowed to attack major US cities in two new videos released months after his reported killing in a US missile strike.

The videos emerged after an attempted car bombing in New York City, for which his faction claimed responsibility in a third video, and provided the most substantial evidence so far that he survived a barrage of US missiles.

Mehsud threatened to retaliate against the United States within a month for the killing of Islamist militant leaders, appearing in a nine-minute video allegedly made on April 4, after his supposed death in January.

“The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack the American states in the major cities,” said Mehsud…

The video is the first showing Mehsud since January and was issued on the heels of a claim by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that it was behind the attempted bombing in New York’s Time Square on Saturday…

“Inshallah (God willing) very soon in some days or a month’s time, the Muslim ummah (world) will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fedayeen in USA,” Mehsud said.

He made similar remarks in an audio message in another TTP video Monday that was apparently recorded on April 19 and features Mehsud’s face next to a map of the United States showing multiple explosions across the country.

IntelCenter, a US-based group that monitors Islamist websites, said it believed all the TTP videos issued since the New York car bomb scare were credible.

“It is our assessment that this threat is credible and that there is a high threat of further attacks like the NYC attack during the coming days and weeks ahead,” it said.

The authorities have not confirmed that it was the Pakistani Taliban who did it, and we cannot ignore the possibility that the TTP is wrongfully seeking “credit” for this dastardly deed.  However, at this time, it seems that it is indeed the Pakistani Taliban who masterminded the failed Times Square bombing.  If they are in fact responsible, then the connection between the illegal U.S. drone attacks and the Times Square bombing is a very strong one, especially since:

Mehsud said his group would avenge the killing of Baitullah Mehsud and strike back at Pakistan and the U.S. for the increasing number of drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

So these Islamic extremists did not try to bomb Times Square because “they hate our freedoms” or because of an Islamic prohibition on depicting the Prophet Muhammad, or because the religion of Islam is diabolically evil and commands them to do so.  The motivations are largely political, not religious, in nature. Our country has attacked theirs and killed their countrymen.

The bewilderment of some Americans–“why are there so many Muslim terrorists!?”–is mostly a reflection of a deep ignorance of what our government does abroad.  It’s not really that hard to understand the simple fact that if we kill hundreds of civilians in another country, some people from that country are going to try to retaliate and kill some of us.  As Representative Ron Paul put it: “They don’t come here to attack us because we are rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there [attacking them].”

I could care less about Hakimullah Mahsud and his Taliban cronies.  But I certainly don’t want my taxes to fund the drones that kill hundreds of civilians…something that is not only morally atrocious but which also helps the Pakistani Taliban recruit avengers.  But if you’re OK with that, at least stop acting so bewildered when they keep attacking us.  If we attack them, they will attack us.  If we kill them, they will try to kill us.  It’s not rocket science.

Related Posts: Attempted Times Square Car Bombing; Is it Forbidden to Ask “Why”? and South Park angle unlikely; Marriott Hotel, not Viacom, probable target

UPDATE:

The Telegraph reports:

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, said yesterday that the failed attack could be retaliation for US drone attacks on the Taliban.

“This is retaliation. And you could expect that… let’s not be naive,” he told CBS. “They’re not going to sort of sit and welcome you to sort of eliminate them. They’re going to fight back.”

According to the New York Post, Mr Shahzad witnessed the drone attacks during eight months he recently spent in Pakistan and has told prosecutors that his bomb attempt was supposed to be revenge for the drones’ killing of Taliban leaders.

Of course, there will be a concerted effort to downplay the fact that hundreds of Pakistani civilians have been killed in these drone attacks, or that the drone attacks are illegal under international law.  Notice how the Telegraph says “drones’ killing of Taliban leaders,” even though far more civilians have been killed than Taliban leaders (a ratio of 50:1 according to Pakistani sources, and 16:1 according to CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen).

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  • Imad

    http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/01/21/send-a-drone-to-aclu-headquarters/

    prepare for the stupidest take on the drones in Pakistan. Ever.

  • Abdulmajid

    Ali Azizi, you got it right; probably those guys who planned and carried out Sept. 11th or other such attempts were depressed and desperate people, who had no success in their lives despite having very good grades. They felt rejected and despised by society and the world. That’s pesky bad luck, but it is no justification fro going out and tarnishing the name of Islam and Muslims. It only gives the anti-Muslims propaganda munition. I know, I understand their feelings because despite having done quite well at the University and at work I definitely believe that I deserve better than what I’ve got. And I can’t get anything better not in our wonderful times of rampant free-for-all capitalism and jobless recovery. I must perform menial, drudgery work that is poorly remunerated and to top that off I am given hardly any recognition for it. I can hardly make ends meet for me and my family. Yet, things could be worse. And who knows, something better may yet come along.
    The point is that while sometimes I wake up in the morning and Feel like going out and shooting somebody who is better off than me, I would never actually do that. Why should I do any harm to somebody who does not know me and hasn’t done anything to me? What right do I have to take, or to shatter anybody’s life? I see the other in myself, I can visualize the suffering of the other. I say, what if somebody did that to me? Besides that, it is unislamic. I have come to Islam late in life. My wife, who is from North Africa, and many of her relatives, who are much more knowledgeable than I aboout Islam, have always told me “You should thank Allah for all good things you have, and not complain about what you can’t have. You should be thankful that you are healthy, can walk, can see, have a roof over your head, are not cold, wet and hungry. That you have a good wife and a lovely little daughter. You should say Elhamdulillah!” To hate out of envy is a sin, why else would it say so in “Al Falaq”: ..from the evil of the envier when he envies” So, I believe that all those notorious criminals acted out of very base motives and inspired by the Devil, not by Islam. I have known people from Bosnia who had lost all they cherished and loved. Yet they did not hate nor were embittered. They showed great forbearance. They are true Muslims. They had a reason to hate and yet they didn’t.

  • twix

    thanks so much. I was just watching Jon Stewart online and the clips on this story from various news sources. I don’t watch tv, so I didn’t see them before. I only got my news on this particular story from LW. You guys are so straight to the point.

  • http://blog.yellow-stars.com eslaporte

    “Never, ever, link from FrontPageMag. It’s the mental asylum of neoconservative trash, built by a white supremist.”

    Great comment – Eyes of Palestine, and Wilders is supported by Stormfront, another racist, Nazi, white supremacist website.

    Now we can understand why the English Defense League turned up to defend Wilders in London in March. People in Europe and the Netherlands really need to learn who Wilders and like -minded travelers really are…

  • Zeeshan

    Every good picture. Great work is done by this site. Thanks you.

  • Talal

    ” God is always on the side of people with bigger guns.”

    really lawrence?

    would you like a list of how many empires and dictators/rulers have fallen to a smaller and more mobile group?

    how many armies have been defeated?

    god i love this website.

    BTW Danios

    <<<Australian reader. keep up the good work.

  • http://eyesofpalestine.wordpress.com Eyes of Palestine

    Never, ever, link from FrontPageMag. It’s the mental asylum of neoconservative trash, built by a white supremist.

  • Unimpressed

    Lawrence, what is the source of your disinformation? 9/11 was an inside job perpetuated by your own western intelligence agencies to launch your “war on terrorism” to expand pax americana and steal more resources from the rest of the world.
    Sounds far fetched? They were planning a similar scenario of slamming planes into buildings back in the 1960s and blaming it on Castro-run Cuba. JFK vetoed it. It was called “Operation Northwoods.” Does the Gulf of Tonkin incdent ring a bell? Iraq’s WMDs?
    False flag attacks by westerners are nothing new. You are not the victims, but the victimizers.

  • Zakster

    That’s rubbish. They hate us for our freedoms. And Big Macs, Chryslers, Sarah Palin, global warming, Snuggies and bunny slippers.

  • roby

    “The war by the Muslims against Non-Believers started 1400 years ago under the slogan of Jihad which is nothing but a form of terrorism”

    this is like saying that jesus’s hooligan style terrorist activity in the temple is being carried out on the streets of greece by greek christians.
    and don’t forget jesus verbal jihad against the jews.

  • iSherif

    Lawrence, please go back to your coloring book…

  • Abdulmajid

    lawrence, give it a rest, will you?

  • http://googlemail lawrence

    The war by the Muslims against Non-Believers started 1400 years ago under the slogan of Jihad which is nothing but a form of terrorism.It will continue till the Muslims are defeated and subdued.The West is indirectly responsible for that.It was the Muslim terrorist,mostly Saudi-Arabian citizens who attacked the twin towers in New York.If the Muslims have the divine right to retaliate then America had every right to take action.Those people killed in New york were as Innocent as Muslims being killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan and then God is always on the side of people with bigger guns.Time has cone to stand united against the Islamic terrorism called holy Jihad and destroy it once for all.Shahzad should face the American justice.He should be taught a lesson to deter others from getting involved in act of terrorism in the West.The Muslims should not be granted American citizenship.It is like casting pearls to the SWINES.

  • http://www.loonwatch.com Emperor

    I like the new pic.

  • Mike

    The civilian death toll in Pakistan due to American drone attacks is much higher than reported. Visit this site: http://pakistanbodycount.org/

  • Danios

    Make sure to refresh your pages and read the UPDATE I posted above.

  • Ali Azizi

    I love this site, but you guys are giving Hakimullah too much credit. I doubt they had a hand in this. The message put out by him was vague and seemed prepped for an opportune moment like this. Baitullah Mehsud, his successor, regularly issued such vagued threats and took credit for things that he had no hand in, Hakimullah is doing the same.

    I suspect that Mr. Shahzad was a depressed and desperate man who tried to kill himself, but got cold feet, and thought that he could salvage his crappy life through his twisted interpretation of our religion by becoming a martyr.

    And God is the most just and all knowing.

  • Jack
  • http://blog.yellow-stars.com eslaporte

    Yes – as I wrote last night – the majority of the world’s Muslims actually admire the West and its freedom, they are not “jealous” and they simply don’t “hate out freedoms.” This has been the findings of real survey and interview research – and not hate mongering that comes with enemy psychology!

    See Gallup’s “Islam and Democracy” – http://www.muslimwestfacts.com/mwf/File/109489/Islam_and_Democracy.pdf

    Nope – all 1.57 billion Muslims don’t “hate our freedoms” and all 1.57 billion Muslims are not personally responsible for the September 11 attacks, or the London and Madrid bombings either.

    A good portion of those 1,57 billion Muslims in 10 countries hate both extremism and inadequate adherence to Islamic teachings – as well as admire our freedoms.

  • Robaby

    Unfortunately, nobody in the news media is mentioning this not even MSNBC, they are blaming foreclosure,etc. but not that. Funny how Islamophobes say Obama is a muslim, yet he has allowed more drone attacks in his first year and a half than Bush did in his 8 years in office.

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