Homeland Security

Pathankot Attack: Oil, Globalization & Terror
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Issue Courtesy: www.greatgameindia.com/ | Date : 23 Feb , 2016

Following the revelations by the Washington Post in 2001, Global Witness (an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide) conducted a yearlong investigation into Al Qaeda’s involvement in the diamond trade. In March 2003 Global Witness released an investigative report detailing how Al Qaeda cells had strategically used diamonds for profit and to launder targeted funds. Evidence contained in Global Witness’ report came from the US government and FBI itself.

Almost 6 months before 26/11 2008 Mumbai Attacks the FIU-IND was already tracking the diamond industry for suspicious activities by terrorists.

Role of Diamonds in 26/11 Mumbai Attacks of 2008

Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) is the central, national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs. FIU is a member of Financial Action Task Force – FATF an inter-governmental body which sets standards, and develops and promotes policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

In February of 2014 a report titled Money laundering and Terrorist financing through trade in Diamonds was published by a Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The report revealed that India is one among five countries where the trade accounts of the diamond business are used to launder illegal funds amounting to millions of dollars that are eventually utilized in the financing of terrorists.

The report found that globally, diamond was linked to offences conducted by organized crime, such as drug trafficking, illegal weapons trade and tax offences, and even terrorist financing. And India was on the top of the list.

Almost 6 months before 26/11 2008 Mumbai Attacks the FIU-IND was already tracking the diamond industry for suspicious activities by terrorists. From an article published in DNA Money dated 7th June 2008 titled – Surat diamond business has a terror ring to it:

  • Sources in the Centre’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) told DNA that high returns in the diamond market and the fickleness of the share market had induced terror groups to turn to Surat’s most glittering trade.

The FIU traced all foreign transactions of Surat’s diamond industry, especially those emanating from Belgium. It found that a great deal of money was being invested by terrorist groups.

  • The diamond industry was being scrutinized by the FIU over the past few months and the sleuths were shocked to discover that terrorists were using the industry to launder their blood-soaked money.
  • “Terrorists groups have started withdrawing money from the share market and are investing in the prosperous diamond industry,” a source in the FIU told DNA.
  • The president of the Surat Diamond Association, CT Vanani, said the market had witnessed some suspicious activities a few months back.
  • “A year ago, some people from Mumbai began purchasing diamonds worth crores of rupees. When the industry tried to trace the traders, they turned out to be non-existent,” said Vanani.
  • The FIU traced all foreign transactions of Surat’s diamond industry, especially those emanating from Belgium. It found that a great deal of money was being invested by terrorist groups.

Isn’t it true that some of the top diamond merchants are on the list of people who have kept their ill-gotten money in Germany-based Liechtenstein bank? Many persons on the list are Gujarati diamond merchants with offices all over world having roots in Palanpur. Isn’t it also true that in May 2014 eight of these diamond dealers were given a clean chit by the Income Tax department in the black money case?

Isn’t it also true that during the Nov. 26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai members of the diamond industry were staying at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels for year-end meetings with the Diamond Trading Company, some of whom had a very close shave and managed to escaped including the than DTC managing director Varda Shine, who was in Mumbai to host the DTC conference?

Is it also not true that these members were part the ‘distinguished guests’ hosted at Taj and Oberoi during the last week of November 2008? Most of them were coordinators of intelligence in South Asia. Few names that resided there being, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and elite members of President Elect Barack Obama’s Global Economic Team in India attending the “American Foreign Policy After Elections Conference” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Aspen Institute India in Mumbai.

Why is it that everytime relations between India and Pakistan starts to improve and initiatives are taken to normalize the tensions between the two countries, a terror attack is witnessed by either of the two countries resulting in the deteriorating of the already delicate relationship?

The members of Obama’s elite economic team attending this conference with Kissinger were Indian-Americans, Sonal Shah (Head Global Development Efforts at Google.org), Aneesh Chopra (Virginia State’s Secretary of Technology), Vivek Kundra (Chief Technology Officer for Washington DC) and Kartik Raghavan (Director at Microsoft). Also reports indicate that Obama’s pick for the US Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, was absent from these meetings despite his long standing ties to India where he was raised; he is said to have been represented by as yet ‘unknown’ aides from the US Federal Reserve Bank.

The purpose of this conference in India at Taj was to advocate for the planned Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. Though strongly opposed by the Bush Administration and Pakistan’s ISI Intelligence Service in the past, the Obama administration had planned on making it a ‘centerpiece’ towards his goal of achieving peace in Southeast Asia, and to which Kissinger had stated: “The pipeline will be a natural thing to do and I expect the new administration [to be headed by Obama] to begin discussions with Iran.”

Were these distinguished guests rethinking how to save falling western economies with the aid of India? As often, history makes it a habit to repeat itself; in the last 200 years whenever the West was in trouble, the East India Companies (EIC) or subsequent managing partners of EICs plundered India’s human and natural resources for their survival. In this ‘Great Game’ they kept other geo-political players at bay. Since more than the last decade, under UPA and NDA administrations, Indian foreign policy and domestic economic policy is veering dangerously closer to US-British-Israeli economic interests, viewed by other geo-political players as an encroachment. Did other geo-political players viewed this meeting as a penetration of their turf?

Lastly, is it not true that even the latest Pathankot attack were carried out within less than 20 days after the groundbreaking ceremony of what was being called a pipe dream for decades, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline that took place in the Turkmen town of Mary and was attended by leaders of the TAPI countries? And just a week after the surprising and much talked about meeting now known as the Billion Dollar Tea Party of the Indian Prime Minister with his Pakistani counterpart on the occasion of the latter’s 66th birthday during a two-hour stopover on his way back from his visit to Russia?

Why is it that everytime relations between India and Pakistan starts to improve and initiatives are taken to normalize the tensions between the two countries, a terror attack is witnessed by either of the two countries resulting in the deteriorating of the already delicate relationship?

What forces are working behind this? Who doesn’t want to see relations between India and Pakistan improve? Why have we not able to identify these forces since decades? Doesn’t it indicate that our security and intelligence forces are not equipped to face the challenge of this new kind of terror and needs a new and more adaptive orientation in the globalized world of liberalization and privatization?

Doesn’t it indicate that our security and intelligence forces are not equipped to face the challenge of this new kind of terror and needs a new and more adaptive orientation in the globalized world of liberalization and privatization?

Certainly good strategic partnership between the two neighbours would mean a strong and stable subcontinent. More importantly, who gains from a weaker and always infighting Asian sub-continent?

“The Art of War” written by TsunZu, which is considered to be the bible of strategy by many says “Expect what your enemy wants you to do and do exactly the opposite to win the war”. The quote sounds deceptively simple but has far reaching implications on the survival of empires and governments. As is the case with many of the terrorist groups, they are controlled not only by the states that sponsor terrorism but by the nations that sponsor the states that sponsor such terrorism too. So though all evidence eventually leads to the North Western frontier of India, to learn who instigates these groups, their actions, their modus operandi and their previous track record would guide us in doing what we as a third world neutral sovereign country should do. We hope to make a beginning in this new direction.

Courtesy: www.greatgameindia.com

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Shelley Kasli

is Editor of GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics & International Relations. For comments and feedback you can reach him directly at shelley.kasli@greatgameindia.com

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4 thoughts on “Pathankot Attack: Oil, Globalization & Terror

  1. The article details the involvement of politicians, police and others to establish a nefarious and successful drug smuggling cartel which has taken a heavy toll on Punjab. The article is very well researched. Perhaps it is not the roll of the writer to delve into possible resolution of this monstrous development and the havoc it has wreaked on the youngsters and many families whose lives have been irreparably destroyed. The politics in Punjab are not conducive to resolute and meaningful action to rid the state of this scourge. It will require concerted action on the part of the Center to come down hard on the miscreants to restore order and normalcy in the lives of the people affected. This is not going to be easy.

  2. Pathankot was the result of an Indian Police Service Officer conducting himself in the highest traditions of the Indian Politician-Bueaucrat-Judge-Police-Journalist-Crony – Kleptocracy. Very much in line with the Anti National PANGOLIN Constitution that they are sworn to uphold. This comes as no surprise at all to me. (PANGOLIN is an acronym for the Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Imported Religions-Communist Consensus that usurped the British Mantle and has worn it with elan to loot, plunder, and rape India since 1921). I have heard tell that the present President used to demand payment in diamonds for appointments of Bank Chairmen and so on

  3. Terrorism has become a transnational social movement. The financial resources from some of the oil producing countries and ideologies of Wahabism from some of the middle east countries are used for terrorist activities for intended political purposes across the globe where ever conducive political opportunity exists . Globalization equipped with information and communication technology has made it very easy for effective transfer of resources from one country to another across globe. Diamond is another potent means to transfer and transact resources across globe easily when transactions in banks are scrutinized.

    • You are correct Mr. Dinesh. With intelligence agencies clandestine operatives acting hand in glove with government sponsored drug production, drug dealers, peddlers, and handlers acquired sophisticated arms that posed a challenge for many governments. With the zero investment and huge profits criminal syndicates with connections with politicians moved into business. As the addicts were ready to do anything to satisfy their addiction an associated prostitution profession and human trafficking were developed out of proportion in all those countries where the addiction starts spreading.

      Modern democracies like India are now ready to fall victims into a complete surrender to western powers because of lax laws or following oppressive British police laws. With more and more deadly addictives like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy entering Indian markets the number of addicts and the lure of profits is shooting through the roof. With no central drug policy to prosecute, with no stringent punishments to prevent, with no leader bothering about the future of Indian youth, different state police forces are grappling with this new menace of Narcotic Terrorism with their over stretched duties and understaffed personnel. With no co-ordination from central intelligence forces in understanding this narcotic menace and with suppliers embedding their interests to mainstream political parties the state police forces are clueless and directionless, though if understood they can tackle the issue effectively.

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