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1983: Pakistani Government Allows Drug Traffickers to Deposit Profits in BCCI Bank Edit
According to Alfred W. McCoy, author of The Politics of Heroin, in 1983 Pakistani President Muhammad Zia ul-Haq allows Pakistani drug traffickers to deposit their drug profits in the BCCI bank without getting punished. The criminal BCCI bank has close ties to the Pakistani government and the US funding of the Afghan war. It will be shut down in 1991. BCCI also plays a critical role in facilitating the movement of Pakistan’s heroin money. By 1989, Pakistan’s heroin trade will be valued at $4 billion a year, more than all of Pakistan’s legal exports. [MCCOY, 2003, PP. 480]
1983: Rep. Charlie Wilson Brokers Weapons Sale Between Pakistan and Israel for Use in Afghan War Edit
Representative Charlie Wilson (D-TX) travels to Israel where he meets with Zvi Rafiah and other Israeli officials. From Israel he travels to Egypt and then Pakistan, where he secretly negotiates a major weapons deal with Pakistan (see November-December 1982) on behalf of the Israelis in support of the mujaheddin fighting Soviets in Afghanistan. Among other things, the deal includes the delivery of T-55 tanks. Author George Crile will later comment, “The Israelis were hoping this deal would serve as the beginning of a range of under-the-table understandings with Pakistan that the congressman would continue to quietly negotiate for them.” [CRILE, 2003, PP. 141]
1983: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Emerges as Most Powerful ISI Client Edit
A young Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. [Source: Public domain] Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar emerges as the most powerful of ISI’s mujaheddin clients, just as Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-TX) and CIA Director William Casey, along with Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, are pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new and more lethal supplies into ISI warehouses” (see 1983). Hekmatyar is among the most ruthless and extreme of the Afghan Islamic warlords. [COLL, 2004, PP. 119] Casey is said to particularly like Hekmatyar because they share a goal of extending the fighting beyond Afghanistan into the Soviet Union itself. [DREYFUSS, 2005, PP. 268] Hekmatyar receives about half of all the CIA’s covert weapons directed at Afghanistan despite being a known major drug trafficker (see 1982-1991). He develops close ties with bin Laden by 1984 while continuing to receive large amounts of assistance from the CIA and ISI (see 1984). Entity Tags: Charlie Wilson, William Casey, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Turki al-Faisal Timeline Tags: War in Afghanistan Category Tags: Soviet-Afghan War
April 18-October 23, 1983: Beirut Bombings Begin Era of Suicide Attacks Edit
The October 1983 bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. [Source: US Marine Corps.] In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon, and US Marines were sent to Lebanon as a peacekeeping force in September 1982. On April 18, 1983, the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is bombed by a suicide truck attack, killing 63 people. On October 23, 1983, a Marine barracks in Beirut is bombed by another suicide truck attack, killing 241 Marines. In February 1984, the US military will depart Lebanon. The radical militant group Islamic Jihad will take credit for both attacks (note that this not the group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri). The group is believed to be linked to Hezbollah. Prior to this year, attacks of this type were rare. But the perceived success of these attacks in getting the US to leave Lebanon will usher in a new era of suicide attacks around the world. The next two years in particular will see a wave of such attacks in the Middle East, many of them committed by the radical militant group Hezbollah. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] The Beirut bombings will also inspire bin Laden to believe that the US can be defeated by suicide attacks. For instance, he will say in a 1998 interview, “We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions.” [ABC NEWS, 5/28/1998] In 1994, bin Laden will hold a meeting with a top Hezbollah leader (see Shortly After February 1994), and arrange for some of his operatives to be trained in the truck bombing techniques that had been used in Beirut. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 48] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Islamic Jihad Organization, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hezbollah Category Tags: Warning Signs, Ayman Al-Zawahiri
July 29, 1983: SAAR Network Is Founded Edit
555 Grove Street, Herndon, Virginia. This is the location of the SAAR Foundation/Safa Group and many related businesses. [Source: Paul Sperry] The SAAR Foundation is incorporated in Herndon, Virginia, just outside Washington. It will become an umbrella organization for a cluster of over 100 charities, think tanks, and businesses known as the SAAR network. In 2002, the US government will raid the SAAR network looking for ties to the Al Taqwa Bank and the Muslim Brotherhood (see March 20, 2002). [FARAH, 2004, PP. 153]
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