Catastrophic floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1,500 people, displaced at least 12 million, and left 20% of the country under water. Though the World Bank and the United Nations have pledged more than $1.4 billion in combined relief funds, the international community has generally been reluctant to get involved with the troubled Pakistani government. All too eager to aid flood victims, however, are Pakistani terrorist groups that use social services to expand their influence.
As the floods worsened this month, Islamabad’s recently formed National Disaster Management Agency proved weak and inexperienced, and President Asif Ali Zardari remained abroad and seemingly out of touch. Meanwhile, hard-line Islamic charities tied to terrorist groups sent thousands of volunteers to undertake relief efforts in the most affected, hard-to-reach areas.