International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

March 11, 2003

March 11, 2003




** Most editorialists treated the arrest of al-Qaida operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as a "major victory" in the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.

** Critics of the Bush administration claimed that attacking Iraq would stifle the kind of international cooperation that led to KSM's arrest.

** Indian observers, linking al-Qaida with groups conducting "cross-border terrorism," depicted Musharraf as manipulating the U.S. by selective cooperation in the anti-terror fight.

** Pakistani dailies warned against equating al-Qaida with Pakistan's pro-Jihadi Islamists.      



'A Great Catch'--  Dailies around the world termed the capture of senior al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "a grand success" for the war against terrorism.  Some saw the arrest as proof that "the American superpower is capable of fighting several battles at the same time."  Left-of-center Berliner Zeitung observed:  "Since its expulsion from Afghanistan, al-Qaida had not been hit as hard as with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest."  A minority of writers, less impressed, considered the operation "only a minor success for the U.S. considering the fact that it has been achieved after a grueling search for terrorists of about 18 months."


Iraq And The War On Terror--  Leftist and centrist papers called the arrest "a sharp reminder of the war the U.S. should be fighting" and proof that Iraq is "the wrong battlefield."  Others, like Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, asserted that the U.S.' focus on Iraq may weaken the fight against the "far more clear and present threat" of al-Qaida.  Oslo's newspaper-of-record Aftenposten, obliquely criticizing U.S. plans for regime change in Iraq, depicted the operation as "a reminder of what the war against terrorism...should be about: intense international cooperation among intelligence [organizations], politicians and diplomacy.”  German outlets likewise highlighted the importance of international cooperation, emphasizing that "the lack of agreement in the Iraq crisis should by no means result in the U.S. and Germany pursuing different policies in the fight against terrorism."


Terrorist 'Hideout' Pakistan, Stands To Benefit From Operation--  Papers in India and Germany held that Pakistan remained a "center" of international terrorism.  Calcutta's pro-BJP Bartaman charged that Pakistani security forces won't "hunt down al-Qaida terrorists unless and until the FBI and CIA goad them into action."  Other dailies called the arrest "a big victory" for President Musharraf.  Some speculated it would strengthen his hand against U.S. pressure to "green light" a war against Iraq in the UNSC, perhaps giving him "enough courage to abstain" on a new resolution or increase the price for his cooperation.  Pakistani writers adamantly rejected lumping Pakistan's pro-Jihadi Islamist groups into the same category with the perpetrators of 9/11.  Many also criticized the readiness with which Islamabad extrajudicially hands over terror suspects to U.S. authorities.

EDITORS:  Stephen Thibeault, Steven Wangsness


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This survey is based on 38 reports from 16 countries, March 3-11.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Arrest Shows How War On Terror Could Be Fought"


The center-left Independent commented (3/3):  "With the reported arrest over the weekend of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged organizer of the 11 September attacks on America, we return once again to the central question the impending war on Iraq:  will it make attacks like those of 11 September more or less likely?  From the start, the Independent has argued that war will only increase the probability of more suicide attacks on Western civilians....  We have argued all along that the way to conduct the campaign agianst terrorism--apart from avoiding the rhetoric of war--ought to be through better security, cleverer intelligence, and patient diplomacy.  Since the Prime Minister's persuasive skills have been deployed in the miserable cause of thinking up reasons for why President Bush's war on Iraq is compatible with the campaign against terrorism.  The U.S. campaign to rally support for this war has been disastrous.  Even the Turkish parliament, with a direct interest in securing its south-east border, voted against.  Meanwhile, the arrest of Mohammed is a sharp reminder of the war the U.S. should be fighting.  If the CIA has got its man, we should be encouraged.  But a war in Iraq is not only a diversion of resources and political energy, it also risks the local goodwill in places such as Pakistan on which intelligence operations like this depend." 

FRANCE:  "A Great Catch"


Pascal Riche observed in left-of-center Liberation (3/3):  “The successful arrest of Khalid Mohammed could change Pakistan’s position at the Security Council....  A war against Iraq is very unpopular in Pakistan.  Until now President Musharraf was reluctant to oppose Washington, for fear of poisoning relations.  But now, after the ‘sumptuous gift’ of Mohammed’s arrest, Islamabad may find enough courage to abstain in the vote for a new resolution.”


GERMANY:  “Information And Disinformation”


Andreas Foerster pointed out in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (3/4):  “There are a number of contradictions in the official statements about the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.  One possible explanation is that the United States made the arrest much earlier but kept it secret for strategic reasons....  If Shaikh Mohammed indeed turns out to be a top al-Qaida player, investigators in Germany will be eager to hear what he has to say.  It remains doubtful, however, whether his statements will reach the public.  The Americans have already indicated they are less interested in putting Shaikh Mohammed on trial than in gathering the information he has to offer.  The recent terrorist trial in Hamburg illustrated what can happen to the statements of top terrorists....  The Americans are not willing to surrender their power over information and disinformation.”


"Chief Strategist Of Terror"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich judged (3/3):  “Since its expulsion from Afghanistan, al-Qaida had not been hit as hard as with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest....  For the U.S. president, this success could not have come at a better time.  Criticism of his Iraq policy is also based on the insight that Bush is getting involved in an adventure in Iraq, even though he has by no means won the anti-terror fight against al-Qaida....  Pakistan’s police and U.S. intelligence services now deserve credit for this success....  But this arrest is also evidence of another fact:  Pakistan continues to be the hideout of Islamists.  Even the godfather of terrorism, Osama bin Laden, is suspected of being in the region.  According to the old pattern, he is spreading tirades of hatred against the West.  In this surrounding, new leaders are trained who will continue terrorism.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now no longer able to do this, but he will continue to be an ideal.”


"The Sheikh As A Present"


Rolf Paasch took this view in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (3/3):  “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest makes more clear than anything else that the wrong battlefield has been selected in the so-called anti-terror war.  It is certain that the FBI and the U.S. intelligence services played a role in the arrest, but for Pakistan, the arrest comes at a suspiciously favorable time.  Shortly before the co-decisive vote in the UNSC, President Musharraf can use any form of support, be it to increase the price for an abstention or for a ‘yes’ in favor of the planned war resolution.  Instead of being mentioned as the next ‘rogue’ state on Washington‘s hit list, President Musharraf hopes to end the embarrassing criticism of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal if he behaves correctly in the UNSC....  If the Bush administration accepted this wish, it would tolerate the nuclear proliferation in Pakistan which it wants to prevent in Iraq and for which it is willing to go to war.”


"As If Iraq Did Not Exist"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin concluded (3/3):  “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s arrest is a success.  The entire anti-terror coalition, ranging from Australia to Germany, has contributed to restricting al-Qaida’s freedom of movement.  It has scored points in the fight against militant Islamism.  But this arrest is possibly even more important for the cohesion of the anti-terror alliance.  The lack of agreement in the Iraq crisis should by no means result in the United States and Germany pursuing different policies in the fight against terrorism.  This should not even be the case if the U.S. partner fears that the danger of terrorist attacks increased in case of a war against Iraq.  Germany can also not rule out that a quick efficient U.S. attack against the regime in Iraq would dampen the terror ambitions of Islamic groups.”


"The Hydra Has Many Heads"


Britta Petersen editorialized in Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg (3/3):  "Finally a success in the fight against terrorism…but at closer inspection, the euphoria about this arrest is out of place....  The arrest in Pakistan casts a light on the lack of success in the previous anti-terror fight....  A war against Iraq may serve all kinds of purposes…but international terrorism has its center in Pakistan...and in the United States, nobody has a concept of how to deal with the fact that one of the closest allies in the fight against terrorism has now become a safe haven for al-Qaida....  A fraction of the means that will soon disappear in the Iraqi sand would be enough to stabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan politically.  But this would require creativity and new ideas....  For every arrested al-Qaida leader, new heads will grow in the Islamic hydra....  With a war against Iraq, the danger of terrorist attacks against innocent people will not decline, but increase.  Only a dialogue with the Islamic world and political assistance for moderate and progressive forces could contain Islamic terrorism in the long run.  But the West can wage this fight only together with, not against, the Islamic countries.  And it needs stamina.”


RUSSIA:  "Captive's Value Questioned"


Yuri Nekrasov commented in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant (3/5): "The value of the arrested man for U.S. special services seems overstated.   At least it must be less than declared by Washington.   At the most, the Americans can learn about al-Qaida's past.   Khalid Sheik Mohammed won't be able to tell the latest about the group's structure and plans, even if he wants to."


"Fantastic Gift"


Aleksandr Samokhotkin remarked on page one of reformist Vremya Novostey (3/3): "Opponents charge that Bush, tied up with matters concerning Iraq, is oblivious of those whose infinite cruelty killed nearly 3,000 Americans.  The capture of the hardcore bandit is a big victory not only for the United States, but for Pakistani President Musharraf too.   Now Washington will have to bear with his ambivalence regarding armed action against Iraq.  Mohammed is the U.S. special services' greatest 'trophy' since 9/11."


BELGIUM:  "Frustration Of War Cabinet"


Deputy chief editor Bart Sturtewagen held in independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard (3/3):  “The frustration of the American war cabinet must be tangible, despite the arrest of an al-Qaeda leader--a genuine success for the efficiency of the war on terror.  The attempt to convince the world of the need to start a war against Iraq has failed.  In the beginning that was not inevitable, but the operation contained too much Rumsfeld and too little Powell." 


"A Welcome Operation For George Bush" 


Foreign affairs writer Gerald Papy commented in conservative Catholic La Libre Belgique (3/3):  “This capture shows--especially to the Americans--that the war against terrorism is not finished.  On the contrary, it is more intense than ever and it yields results....  The operation in Rawalpindi may indicate that the American superpower is capable of fighting several battles at the same time--even if some will remark that the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan shows that it is certainly not Saddam Hussein who gives shelter to the inspirer of the 9/11 attacks.  The other side of the medal is: the deep involvement of the Pakistani intelligence services in this capture gives Islamabad arguments against the allegations of powerlessness--or even guilty complicity--in the war against Islamic terrorism in a country that is still seen, more than ever before, as a home of activists.   Consequently, Washington may lose a means of pressure on President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan--an non-permanent member of the UNSC--to make him act more positively with regard to a resolution that gives the green light for a war in Iraq.”


NORWAY:  "Back To September 11”


Cultural editor Per Anders Madsen commented in newspaper of record Aftenposten (3/10):  “The war against terrorism, which the U.S. now brings to Iraq’s border, divides more than it unites.  The contended necessity to change the regime in Baghdad has driven deeper wedges between countries that have been friends and allies for 50 years, a division of which nobody can fully estimate the consequences....  The recent arrest of Khalid Shaik Mohammed...became an almost painful reminder of what the war against terrorism is also about--perhaps actually what it should be about: An intense international cooperation among intelligence [organizations], politicians and diplomacy.”


PORTUGAL:   "Definitive Response"


Deputy editor-in-chief António Ribeiro Ferreira Respected opined in center-left Diário de Notícias (3/4):        "The arrest of the number three in al-Qaida and the revelation of terrorist plans for suicide attacks against American bases at Pearl Harbor should be more than enough to get the international community to face head on and fearlessly the fundamentalist Islamic barbarians and the regimes that support and encourage them--as is the case with Iraq."


SPAIN:  "Al Qaida, A Timely Arrest"


Independent daily El Mundo held (3/3):  "It was a master stroke.  The arrest of Khalid Shaikh a coup, one that the United States is trying to use to show it is still maintaining its war against Islamic terrorism....  From a pragmatic point of view, Mohammed's arrest could be important.  He is an intelligent and well-prepared fanatic....  After the interrogation of Mohammed, we will have a more accurate view of al-Qaida's dimensions and we will be able to judge if it is the octopus of thousand tentacles which we are made to believe."


SWEDEN:  "Cooperation Against Terrorism"


Stockholm's independent, liberal Dagens Nyheter editorialized (3/4):  "It is not easy to fight terrorism. The adversaries always have the advantage; they can hit anywhere at any time.  To a democratic and open society it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk of a terrorist attack.  But much can be done internationally to reduce the threat of terrorism....  When Khalid Sheik Muhammad was captured in Pakistan, it was a severe blow to al-Qaida....  The central role Pakistan played illustrates the need to work together in the fight against terrorism....  Not even the world's only superpower can handle this by its own.  This is a lesson learned that to the highest degree also can be applied to Iraq."




ISRAEL:  "Shock And Awe"


The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (3/4):  "The capture of al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad was a major blow to that organization, and to the idea that the U.S. cannot walk and chew gum at the same time....  Muhammad's capture, at the height of pre-Iraq preparations, puts the lie to the idea that the U.S. is...easily distracted.  The more fundamental point, however, is that the distinction between the two fights is a false one....  The forceful deposition of Saddam will, more than anything done to date, tell the world that each linchpin in the terror network has a choice get out of the terror business or lose power....  Saddam's fall is the litmus test for whether the West will effectively defend itself, and almost everyone in this region knows it."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Effective Intelligence"


The internet version of English-language Riyadh stated (3/3):  "The arrest of the September 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh a major victory for the global war on terrorism.  Yet, the arrest does not in any way mean that the al-Qaida has been fully wiped out.  The organization has been crippled ever since the Afghan war, but several terror attacks worldwide have shown that it is still very much a formidable threat.  The latest arrest does indeed deal a blow to whatever is left of the al-Qaida leadership, but the terror threat still remains real.  After the overwhelming military force used to weed out the al-Qaida from Afghanistan, it is now left to policing and intelligence authorities to flush out the group's members.  In this regard, much credit for the Friday arrest goes to the Pakistani intelligence community.  About a year ago, it had struck with similar success when a top bin Laden associate, Abu Zubaydah, was nabbed in the central Pakistani city of Faisalabad.  This constant vigil is paying dividends and it may only be a question of time when the entire spectrum of the al-Qaida leadership is behind bars.  But the emerging problem is more of the new al-Qa'ida conscripts than the fugitives themselves....  With a new war looming in the Middle East, one can only expect hectic activity in the terror camps, scheming and plotting fresh attacks. Khalid Mohammed's arrest may or may not have any implication on terror plans being chalked out by lesser groups, but it surely is a glowing example of effective intelligence."


"Explosive Saturday"


The internet version of Jedda's English language Saudi Gazette declared (3/4):  "March 1 was not an ordinary day....  The biggest news came from Pakistan which announced capturing an alleged al-Qaida kingpin, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  What was highly intriguing was that Khalid was arrested hours before the Arab leaders began their meeting and this surprise was sprung, as the Arabs feel, to sabotage the Arab summit.  Another suspicion in Arab circles is that the suspect is going to be used to convince the world of the need and justification for a U.S. invasion of Iraq.  People believe that during the ongoing interrogations, the Americans will extract a statement from Khalid confirming al-Qaida's links with the Baghdad regime and then present that evidence before the UN Security Council so that it may authorize invasion of Iraq.  Nobody will re-check the veracity of the evidence.


"These doubts cannot be brushed aside, although people agree that when the U.S. can ignore the Arab summit resolution and, more than that, the anti-war opinion of millions of protesters all around the world, it is not going to be deterred by the doubts about its plans for benefiting from the capture of Khalid.  These people in no way support a terrorist or terrorism.  If Khalid is as big a terrorist as the U.S. officials and the Western media have asserted he is, then let the law take its natural course.  But his capture must not provide ground to prove al-Qaida's links with Iraq simply to rationalize U.S. war plans.  Even in the past, captured terrorists have been used as proof of one or another country's involvement in terrorism.  This is illogical.  Terrorism is an international scourge and even the U.S. has its own quota of terrorists.  That does not make it a condemned country. Al-Qaida has operatives all over the world but it does not represent any government, society or Islam.  Therefore, its operatives when captured must not be used to implicate nations which may be the victims rather than sponsors of terrorism.


"America's television news channels reported Sunday that soon after his arrest Khalid was moved by the U.S. interrogators to an unknown place where U.S. law would not hinder the use of torture for extracting a desired statement from him.  Let history be the judge if the U.S. administration is meeting the primary requirements of civilization.  The Arabs, however, expect that Washington would not use Khalid or any other terrorists as evidence of links between al-Qaida and any country, including the so-called axis of evil countries, to justify preemptive strikes."




AUSTRALIA:  "An Important Win In The War On Terror"


The conservative Australian editorialized (3/3):  “The weekend arrest of senior al-Qaida leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Pakistan is an important victory in the war on terror....  His arrest demonstrates that the U.S. grows stronger....  Khalid's arrest is very good news but his evil organization is designed to survive the loss of key personnel and it will doubtless continue with its mad plans of vengeance against the world.  This is a major victory but it is not the beginning of the end in the war against terror.  We can only hope it is the end of the beginning.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "An Arrest, But The Menace Remains"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post stated in an editorial (3/3):  "In the current climate--possibly as little as two weeks from a U.S.-led war over Iraq--it takes a lot to drive Saddam Hussein off America's front pages.  It happened yesterday following the arrest in Pakistan of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key al-Qaida suspect....  Yet, amid the fanfare surrounding the arrest and the considerable sighs of relief, one jarring fact is brought into ever sharper relief.  For many people, al-Qaida poses a far more clear and present threat than does the rogue regime of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.  It is a reminder, too, that the connection between the two has not been fully made, nor has the case for immediate war as opposed to a more extensive weapons inspections program under the guidance of the United Nations....  Mohammed's arrest is a reminder, too, of how the Iraq issue has dominated debate in global forums.  To what extent is war on Iraq making the fight against terrorism more difficult?  Has the rancor between the U.S. and some European states been allowed to weaken previously solid intelligence ties and co-operation? Will an Iraqi conflict provide a recruiting boom for al-Qaida?  These are questions that need asking.  An unspoken assumption through all the Pentagon's war preparations is that it can fight a conventional war over Iraq and a most unconventional war--on terrorism--on two fronts at once.  History would suggest that would be a stretch, to say the least."




INDIA:  "Where Is Osama Hiding?"


Calcutta's pro-BJP Bengali-language Bartaman declared (3/9):  "Musharraf has taken a somersault after the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed.  It was he, who had candidly said in the U.S. during his trip that Laden was no longer alive.  And now, he admits in an interview to CNN that Laden is still alive.  However, Musharraf perhaps tries to create some haze, when he predicts that Osama is hiding at a remote place, bordering Afghanistan.  Recent happenings show that all the notorious al-Qaida terrorists were apprehended from crowded, big Pakistani cities.  It is virtually impossible for Laden to remain in hiding at any tiny village....  If at all Laden can be caught he would be nabbed from Pakistan itself.  Sensing this inevitability Musharraf now preemptively confesses about Laden."


"A Spook's War"


Aditya Sinha and Mubashir Zaidi wrote from Islamabad for the nationalist Hindustan Times (3/9):  "Last weeks' capture of al-Qaida's military chairman Khalid Shaikh Mohammed brings into focus how the battlefield of the war against terror shifted from the stark mountains of eastern Afghanistan to the shadowy alleys of urban Pakistan....  Diplomats say it was an FBI operation that led to their prized catch; they downplay an ISI role.  And in India officials go even further: they say the ISI plays a double game, to use espionage parlance.  It facilitates the FBI's operations in Pakistan, but at the same time, as it has been doing for years, it also keeps in close touch, and perhaps extends occasional cooperation, to the sinister al-Qaida....  Though the ISI attempts to flaunt its cooperation with the Americans, the fact is that the FBI is running its own show....  A diplomat posted in Islamabad claimed that the FBI has its own men--not Pakistanis--sitting in the main telephone exchanges of every Pakistani city.  When it obtains specific information it organizes a raiding party, but informs its Pakistani counterparts only hours before the operations....  They tell the Pakistanis that they need so many men and so many vehicles,'  says the diplomat.  'They tell them nothing of where the action is going to be until the raid begins....  Sources in the Interior Ministry add the FBI has a large communications center set up in the U.S. Embassy and in the major cities....  The pattern is clear--al-Qaida is being harbored in Pakistani cities by the jihadi groups....  The Americans are well aware of how dependent on the jihadi groups goodwill the Pakistan government is....  And if the Americans momentarily forget, President Musharraf continually reminds them of the 'tightrope' he must walk between supporting the West's war on terrorism and domestic public opinion sympathetic to the Islamists....  And the ISI believes that it has rekindled with the Americans the kind of relationship the CIA and ISIS had in the 1980s, during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan."


"Don't Blame America"


The centrist Times Of India editorialized (3/5):  "The U.S. will not act against Islamabad as long as the latter cooperates with Washington's own continuing war against al-Qaida and the remnants of the Taliban....  America's concerns on terrorism are manifestly not the same as ours.  And secondly, placing all one's eggs in one geo-political basket--in this case, America's ostensible war against terrorism--makes for poor strategy. While India must continue to seek U.S. help in containing Islamabad, it must do so in the knowledge that this help is not a substitute for an independent and credible strategy of its own....  Don't blame America; come to terms with it."


"Act Of Balancing"


The pro-BJP, right-of-center Pioneer declared (3/5):  "The arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Rawalpindi last Saturday constitutes yet another step in Pakistan's implementation of its intricate strategy of balancing its dual role as an ally of the United States in the latter's war against terrorism and as a promoter of terrorism against India....  Apart from keeping the U.S. happy, Islamabad's strategy involves fostering in it a feeling of dependence on President Musharraf and of his indispensability.  Central to this is engineering, albeit indirectly, a carefully controlled increase in the strength of fundamentalist Islamist forces gathered under the umbrella organization, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal....  The idea is to create the impression that, but for President Musharraf, a deluge of militant fundamentalist Islam would Talibanize Pakistan and put its nuclear arsenal in the hands of fundamentalist Islamist terrorists.  This in turn is critical to keeping alive organizations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which Pakistan has set up to perpetrate cross-border terrorism against India.  Its going through the motions of banning them is clearly an eye-wash....  Clearly, the U.S. has been afraid to press Pakistan beyond a point to honor its promise to end cross-border terrorism.  It is not surprising then that Vajpayee told the Lok Sabha on Monday that Washington's failure in this regard only exposed its weakness ... Washington should ponder whether it is a mere coincidence that almost all important al-Qaida leaders arrested so far were hiding in Pakistan."


"The Making Of A Dummy State"


Senior editor Wilson John declared (3/5) in the pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer:  "al-Qaida military commander Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's recent arrest from Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistani Army, left no one in doubt bin Laden's terrorist brigade was intact in Pakistan....  I won't be surprised if the General, in the days to come, were to gift wrap bin Laden, dead or alive, for his friends in Washington.  This would be the ultimate bargaining chip.  Perhaps this could be part of the strategy evolved by Washington itself to keep Islamabad as a willing ally in its future plans for West and South Asia."


"Concrete Proof Of The Terrorism-Pakistan Connection"


Mumbai's right-of-center Gujarati language Mumbai Samachar observed (3/4):  "The arrest of an important al-Quaida operative from Ravalpindi suggests only a minor success for the U.S. considering the fact that it has been achieved after a grueling search for terrorists of about 18 months.  Also, the fact that this operative was nabbed from the residence of a woman leader of one of the ruling parties in Pakistan, Jammat-e-Islami, amply shows how General Musharraf is taking Americans for a long ride.  Moreover, an army officer of the order of a Major has also been arrested from Karachi for having links with the al-Quaida.  These developments should give some idea to the U.S. about the extent to which the Pakistani army is involved in terrorist activities.  That most of the important Taliban and al-Quaida radicals have taken shelter in Pakistan after fleeing Afghanistan is an open secret but the Pakistani army and the ISI are misleading America about their whereabouts.  The arrests made in Ravalpindi and Karachi are mere accidents, there is nothing particularly special or spectacular about them.  The Pakistani army has been deceiving the American security agencies right from the beginning and that is precisely the reason that most of the major conspirators of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are still at large....  This is because the U.S., instead of being guided by truth and facts on the ground, has chosen to be a puppet (sic) of the hypocritical Pakistani rulers.  It needs to focus more on Afghanistan and Pakistan than on Iraq because the roots of terrorism lie in the former.  However, the twin recent arrests prove, one again, the Indian charge that Pakistan has not really taken any concrete steps to reign in the terrorists on its soil.  An accidental arrest here and there cannot be realistically described as Pakistan's commitment to end terrorist activity."


"Success Of U.S. Intelligence"


The pro-BJP Calcutta-based Bengali-language Bartaman editorialized (3/3):  "The U.S. has achieved a grand success with the capture of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed by the joint operation conducted by FBI and Pakistan....  However, the arrest of another extremist Kadus [Ahmed Abdul Qadoos, arrested in same raid] makes it palpable that Islamic fundamentalist parties in Pakistan are regularly providing covert support to al-Qaida....  No matter what Musharraf professes there is no perceptible activity within the security forces in Pakistan to hunt down al-Qaida terrorists unless and until FBI and CIA goad them into action.  Rather, Pakistan has been trying to export those terrorists to Kashmir.  America too has of late realized the truth.  The comforting part of the recent happening is that now the fear psychosis among the people in America would hopefully be reduced since Khalid had been the mastermind of all the satanic acts on the U.S. soil....  However, now another question crops up relating to the trial of terrorists.  In all its propriety these trial processes should be conducted in the International Criminal Court of Justice, which would make the whole thing transparent as well as make the extradition of terrorists simpler.  But America does not want to concede that.  It will complicate the situation and may defeat the very aim of stamping out terrorism."       


PAKISTAN:  "American Savagery And Barbarism"


The second largest Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported (3/11):  "According to AFP U.S. intelligence agency has taken to America two minor sons of al-Qaida leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, presently kept at Bagram....  Khalid Shaikh has been told about the arrest of the kids.  After 9/11 America has shown its frightening face to the world; it is stained with all kinds of injustice, discrimination and barbarism.  However, no one imagined that America, a claimant of human rights flag, would take a savage step like arresting innocent seven and nine years old kids. "


"Even Children, Invalid Not Spared from American Atrocities"


Karachi's pro-Taliban Islam declared (3/11):  "The anti-human atrocities of the United States in the name of al-Qaida, which defy all standards of humanity and justice, are setting up new precedents.  U.S. and its allies are totally oblivious of the feeling of human dignity. A latest example is the recent handing over of two minor children of Khalid Shaikh to the American CIA so that they could be used to pressure Khalid Shaikh."


"Rising Stakes"


The centrist, national News stated (3/8):  "For Pakistan, the services rendered on the wanted-list of al-Qaida have brought no visible relief, much less any reward.  So intense is the pressure to support the untenable U.S. position on Iraq that President Musharraf is reported to have regretted Pakistan's election to the Security Council."


"Blurred Lines"


The center-right, national Nation editorialized (3/6):  "Characteristic of the unfortunate way our government agencies operate, there exists a lot of confusion in the public mind about virtually every aspect of the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, believed to be the CEO of al-Qaida, even four days after the event.  The circumstances of his arrest, the nationality of another suspect, Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hawsawi, regarded as the outfit's main financier and also taken into custody with him, the involvement of foreign investigative agencies in the process, and for a while their whereabouts after detention--all have been differently given out....  It is deplorable that the authorities have fallen into the habit of repeatedly violating the standard procedure of extradition, as both Khalid Sheikh and Al-Hawsawi, like other cases in the past, have been given over to U.S. custody without establishing a prima facie case against them in a court of law.  The extraordinary circumstances notwithstanding, a formal extradition request from the country against whom they are supposed to have committed a crime should have been followed by an extradition hearing.  If the government chooses to bypass the law, it is no wonder then that the people at large treat it with scant respect and wonder about its bona fides."


"Al-Qaida And Jamat-e-Islami"


Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic Jasarat noted (3/6):  "Jamat-e-Islami has never remained an underground political party.  It has never kept its association with any person, organization or cause hidden.  It takes a stand and defends it strongly.  It does not behave like the Pakistani rulers who first created the Taliban and then ditched them.  The Pakistani leadership has surrendered before the United States, and all out efforts are being made to push those to the wall who sacrificed for the cause of Islam and Pakistan."


"Jamaat-e-Islami -- Al-Qaida Linked?"


Center-right Pakistan stated (3/6):  "Principally, it was the government's responsibility to inform the public what to do in the changing scenario.  The overnight change in our Afghan policy has created a gulf between the government and a major section of the population, whereas previously they shared the same view.  In this scenario, if some persons give refuge to the Afghan mujahideen or their families, it is solely an individual's decision on humanitarian grounds--a party or group should not be held accountable for it.  As far as the question of housing illegal foreigners goes, it was again the duty of the government to create awareness in the public through media campaigns.  While the arrest of the Khalid Muhammad Sheikh is a sensitive matter, accusing Jamaat-e-Islami (for hosting him) is premature....  The actions of an individual do not prove that Jamaat-e-Islami is working on a policy of cooperating with al-Qaida.  Here, we would also like to draw the government's attention to the fact that America's interference in our domestic affairs, especially domestic politics, in the name of fighting terrorism cannot be considered appropriate."


"Recipe for Destroying The First Line Of Defense"


Khalil Malik wrote in center-right Pakistan (3/5):  "After arresting Khalid Sheikh, attempts are being made to link the Jamaat-e-Islami with al-Qaida.  The U.S cannot browbeat people who can go out on the battlefield themselves or sacrifice their sons.  However, by tarnishing  the image of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's  first line of intellectual defense is being destroyed."


"Why The Need To Hide Facts?"


Popular Din held (3/5):  "Although Mr. Khalid Sheikh's arrest is being termed a major victory, it has re-ignited the debate (in Pakistan) as to which agency--foreign or local--conducted the raid,  and whether this operation was conducted solely by the FBI, or jointly by the FBI and Pakistani intelligence, or solely by the Pakistani intelligence agencies etc, etc.  More such questions have received mixed responses from different Pakistani officials.  One minister says one thing, the other minister says another....  Why are such misleading statements made by our government functionaries?  Is it a secret that the UN resolution following 9/11 requires all member states to cooperate in fighting terrorism?...  Why then do our officials adopt an apologetic stance whenever such an arrest is made and disclosed?...  Similarly, what's the harm in admitting that Mr. Khalid Sheikh has been handed over to the U.S., where he has been wanted since 1995....  There is no doubting the fact that Pakistan itself has been a victim of terrorism, and in that perspective it is our highest priority to eliminate it.  Therefore, there is no need to be embarrassed if we play an effective international role in combating it.  The nation must be told facts as they are.  The tradition of hiding facts, or misrepresenting them, must now come to an end."     


"Arrest Of The Big Fish"


An op-ed by Mohsin Zaheer in populist Khabrain stated (3/5):  "America has celebrated the arrest of Khalid Shiekh Muhammad. The U.S. Administration and intelligence have congratulated each other. The U.S. media has termed this the biggest catch after 9/11, and everyone, including President Bush, has lauded Pakistan's role in this victory. We feel that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad should be tried as soon as possible and all the facts brought before the world."  


"Pakistan Has Been Mortgaged"


Sensationalist Karachi-based Ummat editorialized (3/3):  "In the middle of night Friday and Saturday, the FBI raided the house of a doctor in Rawalpindi in the presence of other Pakistani agencies.  This joint exercise resulted in the arrest of Khalid Sheikh, the man on America's Most Wanted list.  Besides Dr. Abdul Qadoos and Sheikh Khalid, the doctor's son was also arrested, who is said to have helped the inquiry team regarding al-Qaida's information network.  Before this news hit the newspapers, a private news channel released the news of the arrest of al-Qaida members, along with the news that the IMF has approved a fresh loan for Pakistan.  All these events seem to be taking place on the same night.  It becomes all the more conspicuous that the million March was due the next day, and to make a case for security in the city, the firing incident at the American Consulate took place."


KHYRGYZSTAN:  "World On The Eve Of 'X' Hour"


The biggest Kyrgyz daily Vecherny Bishkek commented (3/5):  "The most sensational news from last Saturday was probably the arrest of the suspected initiator and main organizer of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.  Kuwaiti by origin, he was detained in Pakistan and handed over to American special services.  The Pentagon asserts that he was one of the leaders of al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden's right-hand-man.  Undoubtedly, this important news has motivated many Americans who didn't support President George Bush's efforts to unleash war in Iraq to change their pacifist mood in favor of the fight against Islamic radicals."



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