Over the last two decades, there has been a sharp rise in the instances of terrorist attacks worldwide, including the infamous 9/11 attacks in the United States, bombings in Asia, specifically Bali, the shock attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and coordinated attacks in France, Spain, Belgium and the UK.
The attacks in Europe have intensified since 2015, keeping various national security agencies on heightened alert. Authorities caught many of those guilty of launching these attacks in Europe. They were often solo operators or members of independent terror cells that were either too small or insignificant to raise any major red flags. However, it was soon evident that most of the attacks might have been a tad too organized, too polished, well-coordinated and well planned for a lone wolf or two suspects to carry out alone.
So who or what group is controlling, funding and masterminding these terror attacks? Where do they get their money, resources and intelligence information? A deeper investigation can trace the string of European terrorist attacks back to an organization called Lashkar-e-Taiba, or the Army of the Righteous. This group may not be as well known as ISIS or Al Qaeda but it’s no less lethal and determined to let the world know about their cause.
The Army of the Righteous is one of the largest and most active Pakistani militant groups that wish to see Kashmir entirely under Pakistani control. It was a group started by people within or linked with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) - Pakistani's premiere and official intelligence service agency. Pakistani officials, including ex-president Pervez Musharraf, adamantly deny these allegations and refuse to acknowledge that Lashkar-e-Taiba is a terrorist group.
A somewhat ironic and slightly disturbing twist is that the ISI partners with many European intelligence agencies, including British, French, Spanish, German and US intelligence services. The CIA has worked with the ISI in its efforts to bring down Al Qaeda and other groups. What is becoming more and more evident is that intelligence services in the West - either directly or indirectly - support those behind the attacks. They fund the ISI to monitor these terror groups, sometimes infiltrate them as well. But research and investigations point to the funds being funneled to groups like the Army of the Righteous, enabling them to bring terrorism to Europe.
It is a catch 22 situation. Western nations need to work with intelligence agencies of other countries, including ISI, since they need allies and eyes and ears on the ground, in countries where these terror groups are based. Whenever there is a threat of new attacks more money is given to monitoring these groups. A percentage of these funds then find their way to these terror groups, so more terrorist attacks are carried out.
With many of these militant terror groups operating deep in the shadows, it is difficult for intelligence agencies to find out who is who, what group is what and where loyalties lie. The tendency for westerners to expect fast solutions might not be the best approach. A line must be drawn soon on how far they are willing to work with those who enable terrorists.
Directed by: Daniel Harrich