Asia Times, How the Taliban keep their coffers full
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - Just as the Taliban move across the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan with impunity, so does the money needed to sustain the Taliban-led insurgency flow unrestricted between the countries.
In the wake of September 11, 2001, the financial squeeze instigated by the United States and its allies in the "war on terror" severely disrupted the flow of funds for al-Qaeda and the Taliban, mainly through closer international scrutiny of bank accounts.
However, as the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq testify, the money has certainly not been stopped. The major reason for this is that Washington and its allies made the mistake of looking for and applying high-tech solutions.
Had the focus been more on the "unschooled wisdom" prevalent in the mountains of Afghanistan and in the deserts of Iraq, the US might not be in such a poor position as it is now.
The Taliban's moneymen
I met Habibullah and Abdul Jalil in a small room in Banaras Colony in Karachi, the largest Pashtun community (1.5 million people) in any city in the world. From here, the Pashtuns control all of the transport business in Karachi and beyond. We were later joined by several dozen more Taliban, all of them from southwestern Afghanistan.
Also joining us were several noble and rich Pashtun elders. Most of the Pashtun people in Karachi are unskilled laborers, while those higher up the social ladder have a firm grip on the transport business.
Once everyone in the room was settled, Jalil began to speak. "The jihad has been raging in Afghanistan [for five years] and it will be highly intensified this spring. We are confronting the enemy, which is a world superpower, and we have just the power of our faith. I invite you to visit Afghanistan and see how the mujahideen [holy warriors] are steadfast at the front. They have scarce food and few warm clothes to cover them in the cold winter nights.
"At the same time, we are confronting a superpower which is like an uncontrolled elephant aiming to crush us all under its feet. It has the world's most powerful technology, air supremacy and bombs. But we are the vanguard of Islam, and our only weapons are our flesh and blood to be sacrificed for our nation and for the religion.
"We need equipment and supplies to dismiss the foreign invaders once and for all from our soil. I beg you all to contribute to the liberation movement of Afghanistan and beg you to hand over your hard cash for the resistance and the mujahideen."
Within an hour, Jalil had collected 700,000 Pakistani rupees (more than US $11,600), with each person in the room handing over various sums of cash.
The Guardian link in the previous thread revealed the information about the Iraqi Sunnis confiscating Shia automobiles and selling them to buy the $470 boxes of AK ammo. (Did anyone else find those numbers hard to believe?) . Of course, the Sunni Arabs, especially the Saudis and the Oil Sheiks have been financing worldwide Wahhabist expansion for years. And its also well documented that American muslims have been generously donating to their "favorite charities" too.