MAGISTRATE RELEASES AUSTRALIAN JIHADI’S TERRORISM MANUAL
A federal judge in the South Australian city of Adelaide has ordered the public release of a handwritten manual of terrorist and guerrilla techniques compiled by convicted terrorist David Hicks. The former Guantanamo Bay inmate served five years without trial in U.S. custody before being transferred to Australia, where he was tried and given a controversial nine-month prison sentence. Following the completion of his sentence last December, Hicks was released under strict conditions, including a nighttime curfew and thrice-weekly reports to police (Courier-Mail [Brisbane], February 19).
The 30-page notebook was compiled between 2000-2002, during Hicks’ training in northern Pakistan with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (Army of the Pure), a major Islamist militant organization focused on ending Indian rule over parts of Kashmir Province (Radio Australia, February 20). Hicks later trained with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan before he was captured.
Sometimes referred to as Hick’s “jihad diary,” the notebook contains instructions for the use of rocket-propelled grenades, simple tips for cleaning wounds or treating dysentery in the field, map reading and notes on the theory and practice of guerrilla warfare. There are also sketches of the circuitry of warheads and the mechanism of a sniper rifle’s telescopic sight. Elsewhere, Hicks describes methods for penetrating the security details of “VIPs” during assassination attempts and records the details of weapons like the Heckler & Koch submachine gun and the M-16 assault rifle (The Australian, February 20).
Parts of the notebook are devoted to anti-Jewish invective and a paraphrased hadith (sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad) concerning the destruction of the Jews prior to the Day of Judgment. The book was sent home from Afghanistan to his parents in Adelaide, where it was seized by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO). According to his lawyer, Hicks stopped being a practicing Muslim in 2002. A gag order imposed by U.S. authorities as a condition of his transfer to Australia will expire in March.
TALIBAN TAKES CREDIT FOR MUSHARRAF’S DEFEAT, OFFERS PEACE TALKS
Last Sunday, Maulvi Umar, spokesman of the Tehrek-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), provided a statement in which the Taliban claimed credit for the defeat of President Pervez Musharraf’s Pakistan Muslim League-Q party in the February 18 parliamentary elections. “The victory of the political parties was due to the Taliban who gained sympathies of the people by giving their blood and as a result of which people rejected U.S. and Musharraf policies and gave victory to their opposing political forces” (Geo TV [Dubai], February 24).
In a telephone interview with journalists in Peshawar, Maulvi Umar also warned the successful political parties that they could face a similar demise if they did not honor Islam and avoid support of U.S. policies in the region (AVT Khyber TV, February 24). The Taliban spokesman suggested the Pakistan Taliban was ready to enter peace talks with a new parliamentary coalition to bring peace to Pakistan’s tribal regions: “The Taliban are ready for negotiations with the political parties as long as they do not re-impose war on them. If they do so, then the Taliban will continue their activities against them” (Geo TV, February 24).
Radical Islamist parties failed to elect a single deputy to Pakistan’s parliament, while the secular Awami National Party (ANP) did especially well in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), a supposed Taliban stronghold (Associated Press of Pakistan, February 22). The Pashtun ANP will rule the NWFP in a coalition with the late Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples’ Party (Daily Times [Lahore], February 26).