Pakistan: A Pakistani military court convicted five military officers, including Brigadier Ali Khan, for maintaining links to a banned organization. The Brigadier is the most senior of the five and received a sentence of five years in prison. The others received sentences of 18 months to three years.
The army did not name the banned organization, but officials have in the past identified it as Hizb ut-Tahrir – a British-based Islamist group that is banned in Pakistan.
Brigadier Khan was arrested following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May last year. He initially was charged with conspiring to overthrow the civilian government of Pakistan.
Khan has been highly critical of the Pakistan Army command over its relationship with the US, according to press analysts. In his statement to the court, he said he was being victimized for speaking out against officers whom he said had let bin Laden live in Pakistan for five years – and then allowed US forces to kill him.
During the court-martial proceedings witnesses – mostly army officers – told the court Brigadier Khan wanted to bring about an “Islamic revolution”. They said he was working with Hizb ut-Tahrir to establish a caliphate in Pakistan.
The group does not advocate violence but has been accused of links to militants.
Comment: Khan’s major mistake was in being too open in his advocacy of a caliphate in Pakistan and in being too critical of the chain of command.
The significance of this item is the rank of Khan and the obvious breakdown in the Army’s notoriously rigid chain of command, especially for flag rank officers. Pakistani Brigadiers never criticize their seniors because it jeopardizes their post-Army job prospects.
It is well established by Pakistani media outlets that enlisted and field grade officer ranks of the Pakistan Army are staunchly pro-Islamist, anti-American, and anti-the civilian government.
The conviction of a flag-rank officer for the same tendencies is extraordinary and certainly intended as an object lesson. It confirms that Islamist field grade officers from the last decade, during the Musharraf era, are now reaching flag ranks and they are not like the foreign trained officers of earlier eras. That suggests that in one or two promotion cycles, the flag ranks in Pakistan will contain an expanding cohort of Islamist flag officers.
Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added above. This is the kind of insight that young analysts at CIA and old analysts at DIA just do not get. Religion is becoming a major force as nation-statess fragment in the face of globalization and ease of one to one and one to many communications. The US Government intelligence community lacks any understanding of religion, lacks a counterintelligence capability period (hence has nothing at all in the way of religious counterintelligence), at the same time that the US Government is itself penetrated by a cross-section of senior individuals with Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearances and access to the highest levels of either policy or weapons control, each group having a “higher” loyalty than its oath to the Constitution. In the domestic order, Muslims are not the threat–the threat, in this order, is Zionists and Pentecostals (actively subversive) followed by Opus Dei and Mormons (passive aggressives). Then there are the white collar gangs and the transnational organized gangs whose own intelligence and counterintelligence, including deep sustained penetrations of every part of the US Government that matters to them, is vastly less expensive and more effective than t he $80 billion a year pork line that we call secret intelligence. Put with clarity, the US secret intelligence world is imploding at precisely the time when the USA and the USA Government desperately need a Smart Nation and M4IS2 on the outside and a ruthless effective secret domestic counterintelligence service at home. It must be said that the loss of legitimacy of the US Government in the eyes of many (including especially the zealots for a religious cause that feel they are “saving” the USA from itself) is a foundation for both the growth of subversive influences, and the incapacity of the government to address subversive influences.