Trump's New Top Aide Lobbied For Terrorist Group

Between 1990 and 1995, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s new top campaign aide, lobbied for the Kashmiri American Council, which the Department of Justice has charged is a front for Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. And the ISI, as The Guardian reports, has been described by US authorities as a terrorist organization, ranked with al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah. A 2007 document called the Joint Task Force Guantánamo Matrix of Threat Indicators for Enemy Combatants stated, "Through associations with these … organizations, a detainee may have provided support to al-Qaida or the Taliban, or engaged in hostilities against US or coalition forces [in Afghanistan.”

Manafort’s resume is replete with jobs working for brutal regimes, including Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and Jonas Savimbi, the Angolan leader accused of torturing dissenters in his ranks, and working with Ukraine’s once-prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, a pal of Russian President Vladimir Putin. John McCain even nixed Manafort as the manager of the 2008 GOP Republican National Convention because of his unsavory ties.

Manafort’s Kashmiri lobbying contract was found by the FBI when they conducted a counterterrorism investigation that nailed the Kashmiri council’s director, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, in 2011, The FBI accused Fai of supervising the group for Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, in order to mount a clandestine effort to affect U.S. policy toward Kashmir, which has been claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Gordon D. Kromberg, who prosecuted the case for the FBI, told the court that the Kashmiri American Council was a “scam” and amounted to a “false flag operation that Mr. Fai was operating on behalf of the ISI” to deflect “from the involvement of Pakistan in sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere,”

Between 1990 and 1995, Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, was paid $700,000 by the Kashmiri American Council. If ISI was funding the Kashmiri American Council, Manafort would have been required to register with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent of Pakistan, which he did not.

An anonymous senior Pakistani official informed Yahoo News that the Pakistani government was aware that Manafort knew of the Pakistani government’s support of the Kashmiri council. The official said in 1994 in Islamabad in 1994 he met with Manafort and Fai in Manafort’s office “to review strategy and plans” for the council; Manafort showed the officials plans to urge members of Congress to back Pakistan’s case for a plebiscite for Kashmir. The official concluded, “There is no way Manafort didn’t know that Pakistan was involved with” the council. He added, “Some things are not explicitly stated.”

 
 
 

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