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Headley focus of CIA study on US terrorists

America has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released on Wednesday by WikiLeaks. And if that phenomenon were to become a widely held perception, the analysis said, it could damage relations with foreign allies and dampen their willingness to cooperate in “extrajudicial” activities, such as the rendition and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

world Updated: Aug 27, 2010 00:15 IST

America has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released on Wednesday by WikiLeaks. And if that phenomenon were to become a widely held perception, the analysis said, it could damage relations with foreign allies and dampen their willingness to cooperate in “extrajudicial” activities, such as the rendition and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

That is the conclusion of the three-page classified paper produced in February by the CIA's Red Cell, a think tank set up after the September 11, 2001.”

Titled “What If Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism'?,” the paper cites Pakistani American David Headley, among others, to make its case that America is a terrorism exporter. This year Headley pleaded guilty to conducting surveillance in support of the 2008 Lashkar-i-Taiba attacks in Mumbai, which killed more than 160 people. The militant group facilitated his movement between the US, Pakistan and India, the agency paper said.

Such exports are not new, the paper said. In 1994, an American Jewish doctor, Baruch Goldstein, emigrated from New York to Israel, joined the extremist group Kach and killed 29 Palestinians praying at a mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, it said. That helped trigger a wave of bus bombings by the extremist Palestinian group Hamas in 1995, the paper noted.

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf played down the significance of the paper: “These sorts of analytic products are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view.”

While counterterrorism experts focus on threats to the homeland, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups “may be increasingly looking for Americans to operate overseas,” the paper said.

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