Afghanistan's Next President: Abdul Sayyaf
For some odd reason, Afghanistan's current president, Harmid Karzai, is promoting his successor with links to al-Qaeda and Islam extremists. Karzai cannot run for the office in April, 2014, and hence is strongly supporting Abdul Sayyaf.
This is yet another troubling development from the West perspective because of his past ties to extremists. Abdul use to be a warlord favoring more extreme Islamic ways. Sayyaf was educated in Egypt. Back in the 1980-90's, he was backed by the Saudis to operate training facilities in Pakistan and Afghanistan to find the Soviets. The camps attracted thousands of fighters and since then have been found in Bosnia and Chechnya. Osama bin Laden enlisted the help of Sayyaf that allowed him to return to Afghanistan in 1996 and was a mentor to Khalid Muhammed, the mastermind of the terrorist attack in NYC on Sept, 11, 2001. The Saudis, through their chief of intelligence, Prince Turki, sent billions to Afghanistan to fight the communists and spread the Wahhabist creed. This money funneled through Sayyaf's hands since he had converted. His group was part of the Northern Alliance and contained many foreigners learning terrorist techniques. Those living in Kabul hated them.
Sayyaf is from the Kabul area and a Pashtun with conservative Islamist views of the world, yet, he did join other warlords in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban once the US troops landed there. Since 2001, he has been working in Afghanistan's government and is respected because of his past links to fighting the Soviets and al-Qaeda ties. The question is, are the ties still there?
He has also been accused of having knowingly assisted the two assassins that killed Northern Alliance leaders. In the Philippines, there is a local terrorist group named after him. The Abu Sayyaf group has engaged in bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion. The Philippine government currently in the middle of a military offensive against Abu Sayyaf rebels in the south in efforts to quell the group's attacks against civilians.
Western experts fear what will happen to the progress created under Karzai should Sayyaf become the next leader of the country. His past certainly does now invoke promise and doom for the new government.