A posthumous book from murdered Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad has hit bookstands in Pakistan, less than a month after his body was discovered in a canal outside Islamabad.The book, Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11, contains shocking revelations linking Al Qaeda to other terrorist organisations in Pakistan, including militants known to receive support from Pakistan’s intelligence services like the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamist group widely credited with the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that left 164 people dead, including four Americans.
According to the July 8 edition of Newsweek Pakistan, Shahzad sets out to prove that Al Qaeda is the primary force responsible for terror attacks generally attributed to other Pakistani militants. His book claims that the Mumbai attacks were actually masterminded by Al Qaeda leadership with the help of its Lashkar-e-Taiba allies in order to inflame tensions between India and Pakistan.
“The objective was to precipitate a Pakistan-India war that would force Pakistan to move its troops out of the tribal areas and redeploy them on the eastern border. After Mumbai, Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah declared they would fight India together with the Pakistan Army, an offer that, the book says, was welcomed by ISI chief Gen. Shuja Pasha.”
It’s likely that the book, as well as Shahzad’s other writings, had something to do with his death. A May 27 story detailing how Al Qaeda was responsible for the audacious raid on Pakistan’s naval base in Karachi reportedly raised the ire of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence. The NYT reported yesterday that U.S. officials believe the spy agency ordered the attack that killed Shahzad.
“Every indication is that this was a deliberate, targeted killing that was most likely meant to send shock waves through Pakistan’s journalist community and civil society,” a U.S. official told the NYT.
Pakistan has vehemently denied that the ISI is responsible for Shahzad’s death.
“There is an international conspiracy to malign the law enforcement agencies and security forces. (These allegations) are part of that conspiracy,” information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told the Hindustan Times yesterday.