Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

al Jazeera‘s Riz Khan’s interview with Pak PM Yousuf Raza Gilani on Indo-Pak relations post-26/11, US relations with Obama, Afghanistan and the troubles with re-building Pak’s economy along with fighting terrorism while the US is not recognizing Pak’s borders. (more…)

With continued terror in place for Iraq and Afghanistan, promised terror for Pakistan, Obama’s place to change American foreign policy lies US relations with the UN and Israel. (more…)

“Special edition program of BrassTacks, Zaid Hamid once again strongly and conclusively challenges and dispels the Indian lies and propaganda surrounding the Mumbai blasts” (more…)

It is just going to be too easy to “Deep Fry the Barackcuda” during his presidency… it’s almost as if this guy is George Bush! (more…)

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The New York Times:

Calling the Mumbai terrorist attacks a “conspiracy” hatched on Pakistani soil, India on Monday handed Pakistan what it said was the first comprehensive evidence linking them to Pakistan and demanded that those responsible be tried in Indian courts, a demand likely to be rebuffed.

Speaking Monday evening to reporters here, the Indian foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, refused to say whether the suspected conspirators were connected to current or retired government officials, but said that it was unlikely that a sophisticated, commando-style assault, like the one in Mumbai in late November, “could occur without anybody anywhere in the establishment knowing it was happening.”

While Mr. Menon refused to specify whether India had evidence of complicity of Pakistan’s military or spy agency officials, he did not rule it out. “We are not going to say this is where the line ends,” he said.

In a presentation to a number of foreign diplomats earlier in the day, Indian officials detailed the involvement of retired Pakistani military officials in training the gunmen who carried out the Mumbai attacks, according to two diplomats present.

The envoys, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with typical diplomatic protocol, said the 100-page dossier included transcripts of telephone conversations between the gunmen and their superiors in Pakistan during the course of the attacks; transcripts of interrogations of the sole surviving gunman, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab; phone numbers in Pakistan that the attackers called as they sailed across the Arabian Sea from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai, India; and details of their movements, recovered from a GPS unit they had used.

The Indian authorities say the gunmen were citizens of Pakistan and belonged to a banned terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The police have said that during interrogation, Mr. Kasab said he had been trained by retired Pakistani military men.

Immediately after the attacks, India assigned blame to “elements” in Pakistan, taking pains not to accuse members of the government, which pledged to cooperate and announced the closing of camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

During a stop in Islamabad on Monday, the United States assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Richard A. Boucher, said that it was “clear” the attackers had “links that lead to Pakistani soil.”

But he also said that in the aftermath of the attacks, the authorities in Pakistan had “done quite a bit,” and that a “significant” number of members of Lashkar-e-Taiba had been arrested. “Pakistan has a number of people in custody” suspected in the planning and execution of the attacks, he said.

Mr. Boucher declined, however, to answer a question about whether evidence suggested any involvement or support for the Mumbai plot, directly or indirectly, by the Pakistani government.

According to a Pakistani official, Pakistani authorities have obtained confessions from members of Lashkar-e-Taiba who said they had been involved in the attacks. One of them, according to the official, is Zarrar Shah, the militant group’s communications chief. American intelligence officials say they believe he has served as a conduit between Lashkar and the premier Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

The Pakistani government confirmed that India had handed over materials about the Mumbai attacks and said the evidence was being examined by “concerned authorities,” according to the country’s state news agency.

Paki Pres. Asif Ali Zardari and PM Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated Pak’s devotion to fighting terror and the importance of healthy relations with the US and India, as the FBI and China will be involved in Pak’s investigation. Foreign Secy. Salman Bashir has expressed that Pak “will evaluate the information provided by India so far”

PM Gilani: “Pakistan’s persistent efforts to defuse the current tensions with India, and his government’s commitment to take action against any Pakistani national in case credible evidence is provided,”

India’s home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram hinted at Pak’s rogue Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) involvement over the weekend — as we have.

Indian Foreign Secy. Shivshankar Menon: “The relationship between Lashkar-e-Toiba and the ISI has been historical. It is a very fine line to draw between state actors and non-state actors. Whoever is responsible has to pay… We will follow evidence wherever it leads. It is hard to believe something of this scale, which amounts to commando operation, would occur without anyone in the establishment knowing. We are not going to say this is where the line ends. We have to continue with the investigations.”

India’s primary minority Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) still thinks 26/11 is a game of political football:

By warning Pakistan that it would have to pay “enormously” if another 26/11 takes place, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was actually “condoning the present act”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said here Monday.

The BJP said that Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that the “price they (Pakistan) will pay if this is repeated, I think, will be enormous” was a testimony to the bailout plan.

“Right from 26/11, the union government has launched an offensive in coercive diplomacy. The BJP supported the move in the national interest. But Pakistan is in continuous denial mode till today. It seems that the government of India is now warning Pakistan for the future, in a way condoning the present act,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference here.

The government must come clean on the actions it has envisaged in the face of Pakistan’s denial, he said.



Daily Kos

After exaggerated sabre-rattling from India’s responses to the Mumbai Attacks (26/11), Pak began massive troop mobilization from the Afghan-Pak to the Indo-Pak border and concerns itself with Indian response:

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi reported today that neighboring India “has activated their forward air bases,” and urged dialogue between the two nations to solve their long-standing disputes over Kashmir. Minister Qureshi suggested that if India returned its military to “peacetime positions” it would send a positive signal. The address echoed calls from Pakistani General Parvez Kayani to avoid a military confrontation with India.

Yet Qureshi’s Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, denied that India had made any moves to mobilize its forces along the Pakistani border. “We have not created any tension,” Mukherjee insisted, adding that “there is no question of mobilization or escalation of tension” between the two sides.

Yet Senator John McCain was also quoted yesterday as saying “the Indians are on the verge of some kind of attack on Pakistan,” and warning that “we’re going to be in for a very difficult time there.” The Indian government has repeatedly insisted that any concerns about war are being deliberately fomented by the Pakistani government for its own gain, but as troops remain on alert on both sides of the border it seems a situation worth continuing to watch.

Sen. McCain (R-AZ) and Pak’s concerns are not invalid. Early last week, Pak went on ‘red alert’ after India mobilized troops and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘rushed’ to Pak.

Neither country can afford a war and Pak’s military head, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said “there is a ‘need to de-escalate and avoid conflict'” and the “focus should be on ‘peace and security in the region.'” This week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) is in New Delhi and Islamabad to aid in the mediation of the two nuclear rivals, along with the Chinese and the Saudis:

Iran is turning out to be the first country of the region that has decided to play a mediatory role at the head of the state level between Pakistan and India.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is dashing to New Delhi early this week for talks with the Indian leaders with regard to the alarming situation prevailing in the neighbourhood. He may visit Islamabad immediately after concluding his discussions in the Indian capital. The Iranian president, who is deeply concerned about the rising tension between the two neighbouring nuclear states on its southeast, has been maintaining interaction with both the countries termed friends by Tehran.

The Iranian president will convert his endeavour into shuttle diplomacy if he gets encouraging signals from both the capitals. Pakistan will welcome such an effort. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehar Mottaki has already spoken to his Pakistani and Indian counterparts about the situation separately.

The US reaction would be watched with fair amount of interest in the world capitals since it might not come out in public to offer its reaction on the move, they remarked. It is pertinent to mention that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi has already said that Iran is ready to defuse tension between Pakistan and India over the recent Mumbai attacks. “The ongoing tension between the two neighbouring countries would only benefit terrorists,” said Qureshi adding that he had talked to his Iranian counterpart who has expressed his deep concern over the Indo-Pak tension.

“Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told me in a telephone conversation that he had spoken to Indian Foreign Minister Paranab Mukherjee and asked India to show restraint,” Qureshi said. He added that Iran believes that any instability in South Asia affects the whole region and even beyond.

Manouchehr Mottaki, in his conversation with Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed that Tehran will remain engaged with both Pakistan and India to defuse tensions between the two neighbour countries. Mottaki noted that he has also discussed the issue with his Indian counterpart Paranab Mukherjee and urged India to show restraint. Iran’s foreign minister warned that the tensions in south Asia would affect the region and even beyond. During the telephone conversation, Qureshi said that Pakistan had also been a victim of terrorism and was engaged in the fight against this menace.

Mr. Qureshi (right) adds:

“Dialogue is in the interest of both the countries – we should sit across the table and also use diplomatic channels.”

He said Pakistan was making “two specific proposals” – that India de-activate its forward air bases and relocate its ground forces to “peacetime positions”….

“This will send a positive signal and reduce tensions in the region.”

He said that Pakistan was ready to co-operate with India in tracking down the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks….

“Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement that evidence will be shared with us once they have concluded their own investigation vindicates our earlier stand that we haven’t yet been provided with any evidence,”

He described Mr Mukherjee’s statement as a “positive development” and said recent telephone contacts between the two countries would “help defuse the situation”….

“If India de-activates its forward airbases which it recently activated, we will consider this a positive signal,” he said.

“Second, Indian ground forces that moved forward (following the Mumbai attacks) should be relocated to peace positions.

“Pressure and coercion between neighbours tend to complicate matters – rather than resolve them – and should be avoided.

“Mr Mukherjee said India had done nothing to escalate tension.

“[This] is not an India-Pakistan issue. This is an attack perpetrated by elements emanating from the land of Pakistan and the Pakistan government should take action against it.”

Lashkar-e-Ta’iba (LeT)/Ja’amat-ud-Dawa(JuD) chiefs have been in Pak’s custody and are alleged to have masterminded 26/11, but has held off on extradition. Top LeT commander, Zahar Shah, captured in a Kashmir raid earlier this month has confessed to the Mumbai attacks:

Pakistani security officials said Shah made the confession while under interrogation.

Shah told interrogators that he was one of the main planners of the assault and that he had spoken to the attackers during the rampage to give them advice and keep them focused.

The admission, the officials said, was backed up by intercepts of a phone call between Shah and one of the attackers at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, the site of a 60-hour confrontation with Indian security forces.

The report came as the US was mounting pressure on Islamabad to extradite the alleged mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks, Zaki Al Rahman Lakhvi, to India.

“The Americans are believed to have given Pakistan a taped conversation Lakhvi allegedly had with the gunmen involved in the attacks,” the Dawn newspaper said, quoting diplomatic sources.

Lakhvi and Shah were picked up during a crackdown, which followed a UN ban on the Jamat-ud Daawa – a front group for the LeT – in the aftermath of attacks on Indian financial hub.

The confession adds further pressure for Pak to extradite and not feed India more ammunition for its Newspeak — most notably the BJP’s allegations of Pak being a TerrorState.

Urdu Daily has made the, thusfar, unsubstantiated claim that Mossad, CIA, and the BJP were behind 26/11. The AP has reported of rogue police agents within India. Pak Alert Press has followed the conspiracy claim, as has PrisonPlanet.com. Sayyid and I don’t subscribe to these claims, but will follow them as they make their claims, as India’s central intel agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is fixated against ISI.

We are firm in the involvement of Pak’s rogue Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 26/11, but emphasize that ISI is a rogue agency, acting without the authorization of Pak’s civlian PPP government. I’ve reported my research of ISI here and will continue to battle Newspeak in differentiating ISI from Pak’s civilian government.

We stand firm in our condemnation of ISI as the only government organization that should be held accountable for their role in 26/11via their support of Paki terror groups. We’ll continue our support for dismantling the agency and I’ve made a loose, informal suggestion on how to do so:

And you really can’t ask for too much help from outside of your own house to clean it of it of an intelligence agency because you’re vulnerable to your helpers installing an intelligence agency more loyal to the helpers than the State they’re supposed to serve. This wouldn’t be direct, but say China helped the Pak rid itself of ISI. You can be for damned sure that China would only do so with the agreement of heavily increased intelligence sharing and a silent veto power over the agency’s hierarchy. It’s just the cynical nature of the game.

If the Paki people want to take ISI’s threat to them seriously, as they’ve overwhelmingly shown in their elections of two dovish, populist, socialists as president and PM, they’ll continue to do so in Parliament and lobby strong for social liberties in terms of self-defense, domestic surveillance, and decentralized power under those basic rights. The people aren’t bad, but they’ve become accustomed to a certain way of life under a dictator and it’s difficult to overcome the cultural influences of political organizations in Iran, the Taleban, and the Palestinian factions that veer toward Sharia Law.

That said, Pakistan is a relatively liberal people, who favor socialist economic policies, but at something closer to a consensus than the relatively laissez-faire West. If they can exploit the geopolitics to progress economically, their faith in those desires will strengthen, but the civilians will have to be committed to putting restrictions on their intelligence agencies — not succumbing to fear when ISI allows a domestic attack for the sole reason of strengthening itself as an authoritative institution. It’s the only way I can see dismantling it.



BBC News

Saeed has been put under house arrest for three months: BBC News

BBC News:

Cleric Hafiz Mohammad Saeed set up the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India says planned and carried out the attacks.

Pakistan is also closing offices of Mr Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, after it was put on a UN blacklist.

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry told the BBC that Jamaat-ud-Dawa buildings would be shut across the country immediately.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani promised Pakistan would comply with a UN Security Council demand to list Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist group.

Once a group has been placed on the list, action can be taken against it under the country’s anti-terrorism law.

Under that law, all assets of the organisation can be seized and its offices and other places of business shut down, our correspondent says.

Mr Saeed officially quit the leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2001 to become head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Also on Thursday, an Indian magistrate extended policy custody of the lone surviving suspected gunman from the Mumbai attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab, until 24 December.

Pak’s actions follow Indian Interior Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that “the finger of suspicion unmistakeably points to the territory of our neighbour Pakistan” after India’s Parliament joined to begin discussing revisions to their anti-terror laws and the UNSC listed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JD) as a terrorist group:

The investigation conducted by India, Pakistan and other cooperating countries has produced new evidence that Lashkar e Tayyiba operatives were directly engaged in planning and providing material support and assistance for the series of Mumbai urban attacks that shook the international community as well as India. Based upon this investigation, and the formal request of the Government of India, the United Nations Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions committee agreed December 10th to expanded its designation of Lashkar e Tayyiba to specifically include 4 of its leaders, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Mohmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. The United States had been pushing for this action since last May. The UN Committee has now also agreed to clarify that the Lashkar e Tayyiba designation also applies to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), which has long operated as an LET front organization (see below).

I expressed my concerns here two years ago with the UN Committee’s failure to designate Jammat-ud-Dawa along with Laskkar e Tayyiba, or to designate Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who was the founder and leader of both organization. Leaving Jammat and Muhammad Saeed undesignated left them free to recruit , arm and solicit funds for Lashkar’s terrorist activities. I wrote:

“Jamaat was established by the same group that led Lashkar-e-Taiba in order to circumvent the sanctions measures that flowed from this designation. Yet, it took the Administration another six months to get around to confirming this linkage and to designating Jamaat as a successor/partner organization to Lashkar-e-taiba. … But what is still surprising is that no action has yet been taken to designate Lashkar’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who is also the head of Jamaat ud-Dawa….(H)olding the leaders responsible, and penalizing them, is even more important and would be a much more effective step then seeking only to close down the charities they run. Experience has shown that you can’t truly shut down these operations unless you also put their leaders and organizers out of business.’’

Lashkar-e-Taiba was founded in 1989 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan as the military wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an Islamic fundamentalist organisation of the Ahle-Hadith sect in Pakistan. The MDI was based in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan and was headed by Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who also became the Amir of the LeT. Its first presence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was recorded in 1993 when 12 Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) in tandem with the Islami Inquilabi Mahaz, a terrorist outfit then active in the Poonch district of J&K. Lashkar has established cooperative ties with religious militant groups throughout the middle east, southeast asia and in areas of the former soviet union. It is believed to have also been active in supporting the insurgency in Chechnya. The organization was designated as a terrorist group by the US Treasury Department in December 2001.. However, Pakistan, then a member of the UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee was able to forestall a UN decision to also designate the group. Lashkar was finally added to the UN’s consolidated al Qaeda designation list on May 2, 2005, after Pakistan’s tenure on the Al Qaeda Committee had ended.

Pak PM Gilani reiterated that “Pakistan is a responsbile and peace-loving nation and would not be provoked by India’s jingoistic attitude.”

Indo-Pak’s air forces and navies remain on high alert while working to avoid war as India calls on Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects and the BJP continues its nationalistic sabre-rattling as the political football game continues:

India has called for Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects after the terror attacks that left 171 dead, a move that has raised tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. However, India’s foreign minister said Thursday that war is “not the solution.”

The list of fugitives includes militants suspected in last month’s Mumbai attacks, as well as those who have committed “other crimes” against India in the past, Foreign Minister tion> said in his first speech to parliament since the Mumbai siege last month.

Fugitives who have committed crimes in India are sheltering in Pakistan, he said. He added that he had told Pakistani leaders, “You arrest them, and hand them over to us.”

Islamabad said it will arrest anyone proved linked to terror crimes and try them in Pakistani courts. Authorities there have insisted that the government was not tied to the attacks, which they say were carried out by “non-state actors.”

Mukherjee dismissed that argument Thursday.

“Are the non-state actors coming from heaven? Or are they coming from a different planet?” he said.

Pakistani authorities have arrested two senior leaders from Lashkar-e-Taiba, the banned Pakistani-based militant group suspected in the Mumbai attacks. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are in Pakistani custody and are under investigation.

Officials have said Lakhvi was arrested Sunday in a raid on a militant camp close to the Indian border.

Lal Krishna Advani, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which is looking to unseat the Congress party in the coming elections, said the raids on Lashkar were not enough.

“We should not be fooled by this kind of actions,” Advani said before parliament. “We consider it a war.”

On Wednesday, police identified two more people involved in the training of the 10 attackers.

One of the trainers, identified only as Khafa and described as a senior operative in the banned Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was their main handler after the men were selected for the attack, Rakesh Maria, Mumbai’s chief police investigator.

The other man, another senior Lashkar militant identified as Abu Hamza, was responsible for much of the training they received while sequestered in a house in Azizabad, Pakistan, for three months to prepare for the attack, Maria said.

Abu Hamza was believed to be one of two gunmen responsible for the 2005 attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, that killed one scientist, Maria said. After that attack, Abu Hamza escaped back to Pakistan, he said.


Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari made an honest plea to the world today in words you don’t see communicated often by a world leader.

Pres. Zardari’s Op-Ed in The New York Times titled, “The Terrorists Want to Destroy Pakistan, Too” affirms his commitment to expel terror from his country and create a viable democratic economy. From anyone familiar with the Former Pak PM Benazir Bhutto, assassinated almost a year ago, Pres. Zardari affirms his commitment to not allow his wife to have died in vain:

THE recent death and destruction in Mumbai, India, brought to my mind the death and destruction in Karachi on Oct. 18, 2007, when terrorists attacked a festive homecoming rally for my wife, Benazir Bhutto. Nearly 150 Pakistanis were killed and more than 450 were injured. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai may be a news story for most of the world. For me it is a painful reality of shared experience. Having seen my wife escape death by a hairbreadth on that day in Karachi, I lost her in a second, unfortunately successful, attempt two months later.

The Mumbai attacks were directed not only at India but also at Pakistan’s new democratic government and the peace process with India that we have initiated. Supporters of authoritarianism in Pakistan and non-state actors with a vested interest in perpetuating conflict do not want change in Pakistan to take root.

To foil the designs of the terrorists, the two great nations of Pakistan and India, born together from the same revolution and mandate in 1947, must continue to move forward with the peace process. Pakistan is shocked at the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We can identify with India’s pain. I am especially empathetic. I feel this pain every time I look into the eyes of my children.

Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks. But we caution against hasty judgments and inflammatory statements. As was demonstrated in Sunday’s raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers. Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims.

India is a mature nation and a stable democracy. Pakistanis appreciate India’s democratic contributions. But as rage fueled by the Mumbai attacks catches on, Indians must pause and take a breath. India and Pakistan — and the rest of the world — must work together to track down the terrorists who caused mayhem in Mumbai, attacked New York, London and Madrid in the past, and destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September. The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization.

These militants did not arise from whole cloth. Pakistan was an ally of the West throughout the cold war. The world worked to exploit religion against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by empowering the most fanatic extremists as an instrument of destruction of a superpower. The strategy worked, but its legacy was the creation of an extremist militia with its own dynamic.

Pakistan continues to pay the price: the legacy of dictatorship, the fatigue of fanaticism, the dismemberment of civil society and the destruction of our democratic infrastructure. The resulting poverty continues to fuel the extremists and has created a culture of grievance and victimhood.

The challenge of confronting terrorists who have a vast support network is huge; Pakistan’s fledgling democracy needs help from the rest of the world. We are on the frontlines of the war on terrorism. We have 150,000 soldiers fighting Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their extremist allies along the border with Afghanistan — far more troops than NATO has in Afghanistan.

Nearly 2,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives to terrorism in this year alone, including 1,400 civilians and 600 security personnel ranging in rank from ordinary soldier to three-star general. There have been more than 600 terrorism-related incidents in Pakistan this year. The terrorists have been set back by our aggressive war against them in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Pashtun-majority areas bordering Afghanistan. Six hundred militants have been killed in recent attacks, hundreds by Pakistani F-16 jet strikes in the last two months.

Terrorism is a regional as well as a global threat, and it needs to be battled collectively. We understand the domestic political considerations in India in the aftermath of Mumbai. Nevertheless, accusations of complicity on Pakistan’s part only complicate the already complex situation.

For India, Pakistan and the United States, the best response to the Mumbai carnage is to coordinate in counteracting the scourge of terrorism. The world must act to strengthen Pakistan’s economy and democracy, help us build civil society and provide us with the law enforcement and counterterrorism capacities that will enable us to fight the terrorists effectively.

Benazir Bhutto once said that democracy is the best revenge against the abuses of dictatorship. In the current environment, reconciliation and rapprochement is the best revenge against the dark forces that are trying to provoke a confrontation between Pakistan and India, and ultimately a clash of civilizations.

This proactive approach by Pres. Zardari follows the grotesque game of political football being played by Indian PM Manmohan Singh and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The displaced anger within India should be expected amongst its people and for politicians to play with that fear is an insult to the hundreds who lost their lives in Mumbai and the heroes who lived for their fellow man regardless of their nationality in those days of horror.

Pres. Zardari echoes the philosophy of his late wife stressing that free, transparent, democratic societies of integrity are the great weapon against terrorism because the demonization of those promoting such societies is a victory for terrorism.

Joint Indo-Pak efforts are crucial to fight terrorism where it’s strongest: unified political morale. And Pak cannot be expected to get out of the dark regarding ISI without the sharing of intelligence and the best way to do so is to participate in the interrogations of those apprehended in Pak andPaki Kashmir

The Times of India reports that Pak will not allow the pursuit of justice for the Mumbai attacks to be a unilateral effort in the region as they are insisting to be involved with the interrogations of those they apprehend in Pak and Paki Kashmir because, as the president says, ‘the terrorists want to destroy Pakistan, too.’ Unfortunately, India is still tossing around the football — taking the cynical approach in the public eye, calling the Paki raids and arrests since the Mumbai attacks, “tokenism,” as Pak won’t release those arrested to India in the effort to not be shut out:

Pakistan has arrested two key terror suspects India wants and could permit New Delhi to interrogate them if this is done jointly, a senior Pakistan minister said on Tuesday.

Confirming the arrests of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi, a top suspect in the Mumbai terror strikes, and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, wanted for his alleged role in the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar Tuesday said India may be allowed to interrogate them.

“If need be, we can have a joint interrogation,” Mukhtar said in a telephonic interview.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was silent on the interrogation aspect but asserted that the suspects would not be handed over to India, as New Delhi has demanded.

“The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India,” Qureshi said in Multan, adding: “We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws.”

Ruling out any movement of Pakistani troops towards the Indian borders, Mukhtar asserted that Pakistan will “help India in every possible way” and made a renewed pitch for joint investigations into the Mumbai attack – a suggestion that India has spurned.

Claiming that Islamabad was cracking down on terror groups, Mukhtar said: “No one can doubt our credibility. We have discussed how we can help our neighbours in fighting terrorism.”

“We are ready to help India in every possible way. Joint investigations will help in probing the Mumbai attack,” Mukhtar asserted.

“We will help India in joint investigations… India may be allowed to interrogate these people also,” he added.

Following the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistani security forces also sealed a camp of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JD), as the LeT is widely believed to have been renamed after it was proscribed, in the Shawai Nullah neighbourhood of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir.

In a statement issued late Monday, a military spokesperson in Islamabad said in a statement that an operation to target militant organisations had started in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

“The military confirms an operation of law enforcement is underway,” it said, adding that there had been arrests and investigations were underway.

Pakistani authorities on Monday placed restrictions on the movement of JeM chief Masood Azhar by confining him to his multi-storeyed concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur.

“It’s nothing more then tokenism. They want to take minimum possible action to appease the Americans,” Satish Chandra, a former deputy national security adviser and a former Indian envoy to Pakistan, told IANS.

The TOI reported yesterday of confirmation that LeT is backed by Pak spy agency, ISI, without any mention of it being a rouge agency as I’ve compiled many reports that confirm just that while reporting Pak’s strong efforts in the raid of a LeT/JuD camp in Paki Kashmir, referring to the raid as “intelligence-driven,” sends a complex message to the Indians. Again, it is crucial for PM Singh and the Indian media to make it very clear that ISI is apart from the civilian government of Pakistan.

As for Indian law enforcement, the identities and images of the nine dead suspected Pakistani attackers were released.


News:

Al Jazeera English:

AntiWar.com:

BBC News:

WireDispatch.com:

Commentary:

AntiWar.com: “Obama Doesn’t Plan to End the Iraq Occupation” by Jeremy Scahill:

The New York Times is reporting about an apparent evolution” in president-elect Barack Obama’s thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a “residual force” in the country and his pledge to “listen to the recommendations of my commanders” as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. “At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps’ letting out its collective breath,” the Times reported. “[T]the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels.”

The reality is there is no “evolution.”

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric of “change” and bringing an “end” to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation. While he emphasized his pledge to withdraw US “combat forces” from Iraq in 16 months (which may or may not happen), he has always said that he intends to keep “residual forces” in place for the foreseeable future. [read the full article]

counterpunch.org: “Shambles in Afghanistan: Why Are They Dying?” by Brian Cloughley:

There can be few things more shameful or degrading for a head of state to have to admit than “I wish I could intercept the [US] planes that are going to bomb Afghan villages, but that’s not in my hands.” But Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai was forced to say this last week. In 2008, so far, at least 190 Afghan civilians have been killed by air strikes; about the same number as died in the atrocious slaughter in Mumbai. But there haven’t been any protests about the killing of civilians in Afghanistan, except by Afghans, of course. But who listens to Afghans?

No, it’s not in Karzai’s hands to rule his country, as he was elected to do. It is in the hands — or fists — of the occupying powers, who, through a pathetic combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence, are, in Karzai’s words, “still…not able to defeat the Taliban”. … [read the full article]

counterpunch.org: “Muslim Revolution: How Washington Arrogance Helped Drive the Mumbai Attacks” by Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Pakistan responsible for the Mumbai attack in India? No.

Is India’s repression of its Muslim minority responsible? No.

Is the United States government responsible? Yes.

The attack on Mumbai required radicalized Muslims. Radicalized Muslims resulted from the US overthrowing the elected government in Iran and imposed the Shah; from the US stationing troops in Saudi Arabia; from the US invading and attempting to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games; from the US violating international and US law by torturing its Muslim victims; from the US enlisting Pakistan in its war against the Taliban; from the US violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by conducting military operations on Pakistani territory, killing Pakistani civilians; from the US government supporting a half century of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands, towns and villages; from the assault of American culture on Muslim values; from the US purchasing the government of Egypt to act as its puppet; from US arrogance that America is the supreme arbiter of morality. … [read the full article]

guardian (UK): “The Answer is Easy” by Tim Otty:

The answer to the question “What to do with those still held at Guantánamo?” is at one level extraordinarily easy, and it remains the same as it has been since the detentions first began almost seven years ago. The detainees should be given a fair trial consistent with internationally recognised standards, or they should be released. Merely moving the detainees to a different prison on the US mainland to face preventative detention or trial, before a national security court hearing secret evidence, would do little to vindicate the fundamental rights of which they have been deprived to date or to restore the reputation of the US. If those to be tried are able to have the evidence against them ruled out, on the grounds that it has been obtained by torture, then those individuals too must be released. That is the price of a democratic system governed by the rule of law and, as Lord Brown put it in a recent appeal in the House of Lords concerned with our own counter-terrorism measures, the right to a fair hearing is “not merely an absolute right but one of altogether too great importance to be sacrificed on the altar of terrorism control”.

As to where those to be released should be sent, that too should not be complicated. If they can be returned safely to their countries of nationality then that is where they should go. If there is a risk that they would suffer further ill-treatment if so returned then the US or its allies should offer them asylum.

There is, however, a third and equally important question arising out of the detentions at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. What is to happen to those responsible for devising and approving the interrogation systems deployed at these detention centres and which many respected commentators consider involved the direct sanctioning of torture? … [read the full article]

LewRockwell.com: “The Great Society: A Libertarian Critique” by Murray N. Rothbard:

The Great Society is the lineal descendant and the intensification of those other pretentiously named policies of 20th-century America: the Square Deal, the New Freedom, the New Era, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the New Frontier. All of these assorted Deals constituted a basic and fundamental shift in American life – a shift from a relatively laissez-faire economy and minimal state to a society in which the state is unquestionably king.[1]

In the previous century, the government could safely have been ignored by almost everyone; now we have become a country in which the government is the great and unending source of power and privilege. Once a country in which each man could by and large make the decisions for his own life, we have become a land where the state holds and exercises life-and-death power over every person, group, and institution. The great Moloch government, once confined and cabined, has burst its feeble bonds to dominate us all. …[read the full article]

Lew Rockwell.com: “Making Sense of the Taliban” by Tom Engelhardt and Anand Gopal:

Just when the Obama presidency-to-be was revving up to introduce its new national security “team” and reformulate U.S. policy in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border regions, the Afghan War ratcheted up a notch – and not because there was another missile strike from an American drone aircraft in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, or because yet more civilians died in U.S. military operations, or even because attacks by “the Taliban” rose yet again to new heights.

No, that ratcheting up occurred in Mumbai, India, where the planners of the murderous rampage by a crew of Kashmiri militants decided that stirring up a good old face-off between the two edgy nuclear powers of the subcontinent would be advantageous. A precision operation that managed to slaughter just about anyone in sight (including Indian Muslims) now threatens to change the nature of the Afghan War, heat up the conflict in Kashmir, and embroil the region in an even wider catastrophe, ending a period of easing tensions between India and Pakistan. Already Pakistan is threatening to transfer up to 100,000 troops from the borderlands with Afghanistan to the Indian border. …[read the full article]


A Pakistani student shouted anti-US and anti-Indian slogans at a protest in Islamabad Wednesday. ANJUM NAVEED/ap

Distrust: A Pakistani student shouted anti-US and anti-Indian slogans at a protest in Islamabad Wednesday. ANJUM NAVEED/AP

It has to be colder than a witch’s tit in hell when I tip my cap to Keith Olbermann and Thomas Friedman in the same week.

All I can say is that I hope the Devil’s rubbing a lot of sticks together today.

Mr. Friedman of The New York Times proposed a rallying cry for the Pakistani people — the civilians who voted to oust a military dictatorship twice this year. In his Op-Ed yesterday, “Calling All Pakistanis,” Mr. Friedman hits the nail on the head:

On Feb. 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?

After all, if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets….

First of all, it seems to me that the Pakistani government, which is extremely weak to begin with, has been taking this mass murder very seriously, and, for now, no official connection between the terrorists and elements of the Pakistani security services has been uncovered.

At the same time, any reading of the Pakistani English-language press reveals Pakistani voices expressing real anguish and horror over this incident. Take for instance the Inter Press Service news agency article of Nov. 29 from Karachi: “ ‘I feel a great fear that [the Mumbai violence] will adversely affect Pakistan and India relations,’ the prominent Karachi-based feminist poet and writer Attiya Dawood told I.P.S. ‘I can’t say whether Pakistan is involved or not, but whoever is involved, it is not the ordinary people of Pakistan, like myself, or my daughters. We are with our Indian brothers and sisters in their pain and sorrow.’ ”

But while the Pakistani government’s sober response is important, and the sincere expressions of outrage by individual Pakistanis are critical, I am still hoping for more. I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of “ordinary people” against the Mumbai bombers, not for my sake, not for India’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake.

Why? Because it takes a village. The best defense against this kind of murderous violence is to limit the pool of recruits, and the only way to do that is for the home society to isolate, condemn and denounce publicly and repeatedly the murderers — and not amplify, ignore, glorify, justify or “explain” their activities.

Sure, better intelligence is important. And, yes, better SWAT teams are critical to defeating the perpetrators quickly before they can do much damage. But at the end of the day, terrorists often are just acting on what they sense the majority really wants but doesn’t dare do or say. That is why the most powerful deterrent to their behavior is when the community as a whole says: “No more. What you have done in murdering defenseless men, women and children has brought shame on us and on you.”

Why should Pakistanis do that? Because you can’t have a healthy society that tolerates in any way its own sons going into a modern city, anywhere, and just murdering everyone in sight — including some 40 other Muslims — in a suicide-murder operation, without even bothering to leave a note. Because the act was their note, and destroying just to destroy was their goal. If you do that with enemies abroad, you will do that with enemies at home and destroy your own society in the process.

“I often make the comparison to Catholics during the pedophile priest scandal,” a Muslim woman friend wrote me. “Those Catholics that left the church or spoke out against the church were not trying to prove to anyone that they are anti-pedophile. Nor were they apologizing for Catholics, or trying to make the point that this is not Catholicism to the non-Catholic world. They spoke out because they wanted to influence the church. They wanted to fix a terrible problem” in their own religious community.

We know from the Danish cartoons affair that Pakistanis and other Muslims know how to mobilize quickly to express their heartfelt feelings, not just as individuals, but as a powerful collective. That is what is needed here.

Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village — all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country — declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.

This was a timely article that serves its purpose — to point out the absurdity of the Pakistani people’s lack of relative disdain for the Mumbai attacks.

A similar article can be written for India, though. FOX News Middle East correspondent, Reena Ninan, has been in India reporting and blogging for days, observing complete unrest and hatred in Mumbai during a rally on 3 Dec:

1:15pm: As we made our way to The Taj Hotel LIVE shot position, just before sunset, we knew we had problems.  Thousands of Mumbai residents were marching to the hotel.  It was supposed to be a peaceful solidarity march but there was lots of negative energy.

3:13pm: The crowds are getting out of control.  We can’t find our driver to head to The Oberoi Hotel for lives. No one has a cell phone signal.  Crowds keep streaming in from all directions.

We decide to take a cab.  All the taxi drivers refuse to take anyone.  After the fifth cab refused us. I just opened the door to the sixth cab and got in.  Cameraman Pierre, Producer Mark and Varuna, and I pile in.

4:42pm: [Cameraman] Pierre was attacked by an angry mob last night while we where in between LIVE shots.  One man started shouting and threatened to beat him.  They were looking to pick a fight.  Varuna stepped in and spoke to them in Hindi.  That managed to calm them down.   People are so emotionally charged here.  Tonight feels like the climax.  We took no chances.  We headed to the area of The Oberoi Hotel to do our LIVE shots, instead.

Some signs read:

“Die Pakistan Die”

“Make Pakistan history”

“8% GDP growth, 100% terrorism growth”

The Christian Science Monitor digs deeper:

Akash Maheshwari has no doubts about what will happen in the standoff between India and Pakistan. The Indian businessman says his country will present its evidence that Pakistani-trained militants carried out last week’s attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) – and Pakistan will do nothing.

Years of diplomacy have not stopped the violence, he says, adding: “If we don’t take military action, then the government is a fool.”…

“India blamed Pakistan too quickly,” says Yahya Khan, a truck driver in Karachi. If India wants to go to war, he says, “we are ready.”

In Pakistan and India, old suspicions have reemerged after the Mumbai attacks, and there are signs that public anger on each side of the border is shaping diplomacy. The political posturing threatens to polarize the situation further, imperiling four years of steady progress between the two nations.

“It seemed as though the stage was being set for substantive advances,” says Najmuddin Shaikh, a former foreign secretary of Pakistan. “Nothing could have been less welcome at this time.”

“After 9/11, America acted quickly to finish Afghanistan,” says Mohammed Ismail, a tout for a nearby crafts store, noting the initial success of the US operation in Afghanistan.

Mumbai was India’s 9/11, he says, but “in India, we do not do such action.”

“If I were the prime minister, I would finish it, fully and finally,” he adds.

BLOOMBERG

Manmohan Singh won India's first confidence vote in a decade this year. Photo: BLOOMBERG

The Indian gov’t absolutely needs to better communicate to the Indian people that the “‘elements’ within Pakistan” that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed last Thursday for the Mumbai attacks are ISI, that ISI is a rogue agency within the Pakistani power structure, and that the goals are not to attack Pakistan and its people, but to aid the Paki gov’t of ridding Pakistan of this this cancerous cell — in part — by helping them shape public opinion in the way that Mr. Friedman is suggesting. This will weaken the safe harboring of terror cells within Pakistan and lessen the muscle of ISI.

(I’m approaching ISI as I do with the domestic Federal Reserve monetary system of fractional-reserve banking in the US.)

When an institution is inherently corrupt, its authority is absolutely illegitimate; therefore, you change the methods and people of the institution GET RID OF IT!

ISI cannot simply be reformed. It must be dismantled to the point of non-existence like a tumor. The tumor of terror is precisely the reason why the “War on Terror” cannot be fought territorially via the demolition of flesh, bone, and blood.

It cannot be fought substituting men at the top of a State’s power structure alone i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, and now, Pakistan.

It cannot be fought by simply freezing assets, economic sanctions on States, long distance arial strikes, and lofty, demonizing rhetoric as that 60 year old trick has seen the result of more devastating terror, worldwide.

Ridding Pakistan of ISI cannot be done with the stroke of a pen. Every effort to dismantle the agency, solely from within the Paki gov’t, will face the risk of catastrophic blowback — terror attacks from those financed by ISI — as every troop who enters the Afghan-Paki border, every bomb dropped there, and every terrorist killed there does.

Terrorism doesn’t come from hate alone. That hate comes from clever propaganda which exploits the poor and down-trodden — revising history to the extent of scapegoating in order to create a demon, not human enough to be protected by the grace of God against being slaughtered — and that hate is organized and financed into terrorism.

The best weapon against this propaganda is a good example of what it means to be free, cooperate, understand, love, and protect these virtues.

I’ve read a lot of mumbo-jumbo about what Gandhi would think of the Mumbai attacks over the last week. Yes, Bapu would be sad right now to see this violence. But, as an anarchist, Bapu would also be disgusted at the inhumane pandering Mr. Singh is doing to be in favor with the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) months before an election.

This sabre-rattling, in the effort to further legitimize the unjustified authority of the State, is exactly what Bapu demonstrated against — resisting illegitmate authority, performing hunger strikes, and voicing appeals (based, not on ideology, but on reason) that drew a nation toward a cvilian — which resulted in our Father’s assassination.



from Yahoo! via AP: “India Names Pakistani Masterminds, Date Plot to ’07”:

NEW DELHI – A Pakistani militant group apparently used an Indian operative as far back as 2007 to scout targets for the elaborate plot against India’s financial capital, authorities said Thursday, a blow to Indian officials who have blamed the deadly attacks entirely on Pakistani extremists.

As investigators sought to unravel the attack on Mumbai, stepping up questioning of the lone captured gunman, airports across India were put on high alert amid fresh warnings that terrorists planned to hijack an aircraft.

Also Thursday, police said there were signs that some of the six victims of the attack on a Jewish center may have been tortured. “The victims were strangled,” said Rakesh Maria, a senior Mumbai police official. “There were injuries noticed on the bodies that were not from firing.”

Members of an Israeli rescue group which had a team in Mumbai said it was impossible to tell if the bodies had been abused, however, because no autopsies were conducted in accordance with Jewish tradition.

The surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab, 21, told interrogators he had been sent by the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and identified two of the plot’s masterminds, according to two Indian government officials familiar with the inquiry.

Kasab told police that one of them, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Lashkar’s operations chief, recruited him for the attack, and the assailants called another senior leader, Yusuf Muzammil, on a satellite phone after hijacking an Indian vessel en route to Mumbai.

The information sent investigators back to another reputed Lashkar operative, Faheem Ansari, who they hope could be key in pulling together different strands of the investigation.

Ansari, an Indian national, was arrested in February in north India carrying hand-drawn sketches of hotels, the train terminal and other sites that were later attacked in Mumbai, said Amitabh Yash, director of the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police.

During his interrogation, Ansari also named Muzammil as his handler in Pakistan, adding that he trained in a Lashkar camp in Muzaffarabad — the same area where Kasab said he was trained, a senior police officer involved in the investigation said.

In Pakistan, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters he had no information on Lakhvi or Muzammil but that authorities would check.

Ansari “told us about a planned Lashkar attack on Bombay, on southern Bombay,” said Yash, referring to Mumbai by its previous name. “He gave us eight or nine specific locations where the attack would be carried out,” he said, adding that Ansari had detailed sketches of the places and escape routes from the sites.

Ansari said he carried out the reconnaissance in the fall of 2007, which also included the U.S. consulate, the Bombay stock exchange and other Mumbai sites that were not attacked.

Ansari is now in Indian custody, according to Yash. It was unclear if he was being questioned again, but Maria said they were working to determine if Ansari played a role in how the attackers “got such intricate knowledge of the sites.”

Indian authorities have faced a torrent of criticism about missed warnings and botched intelligence, and revelations that Ansari disclosed details of the Mumbai plot 10 months ago will be added to the list. Linking an Indian national to the plot also undermines India’s assertion that Pakistan is solely responsible.

Yash said during extensive interrogations Ansari confessed to scouting Mumbai, arranging a safe-house there for Lashkar militants and provided details on his involvement in the group. “We got everything out of him, whatever he knew,” he said….

He was arrested Feb. 10 in the northern city of Rampur after suspected Muslim militants attacked a police camp, killing eight constables. He said he was there to collect weapons to bring to Mumbai for a future attack….

Indian police are known to use interrogation methods that would be regarded as torture in the West, including questioning suspects drugged with “truth serum.”

Bharti provided no details on interrogation techniques, but said “truth serum” would probably be used next week. He did not specify what drug would be used….

On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department designated as terrorists four individuals who hold leadership positions in Lashkar, including Lakhvi, and ordered any of their U.S. assets to be frozen. Also named were Muhammad Saeed, the group’s leader; Haji Muhammad Ashraf, its chief of finance; and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, a financier with the group.

We should have profiles of Lakhvi and Muzzamil from the counter terrorist analysts, think-tanks, and media outlets in the next 24 hours, I presume.

I still have issues with no mention of what happened with the Raheel Sheikh “rumor” and this constant repetition of only ten terrorists carrying out these attacks — shooting up an extremely busy CST railway station where ten bombs were set (including Kasab’s which didn’t go off).

It’s still disturbing that so many Mumbai citzens can be attacked and slaughtered in a railway station and the media only wants to discuss the Westerners in the luxury hotels (who endured a terror most of us couldn’t imagine, but still.).

It’s especially sad to hear of Muslim terrorists torturing people in the Chabad House — a place of love, community, and prayer.

I’m not sure how I feel about the use of “truth serum.” The usage of drugs to weaken one’s resolve can be interpreted as torture — and is by international law. Like any legally defined torture method, the person interrogated is an unreliable source. When psychological terror or physiological pain is used to torture a suspect, the common argument against the torture method (besides the human rights and international law violations) is that the motive behind the information induced is the suspect wants the torture to stop.

My low-credibility subjective judgment: with psychotic drugs, fact and delusion become one.

I don’t understand why an Indian national being involved is a eureka! moment. OK, it’s a discovery, but it would’ve been a surprise if no Indians were involved in the Mumbai attacks.

On a note focusing on the redeeming qualities of humankind, Sandra Samuel, Indian nanny of Moshe Holtzberg, the two-year-old son of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, will be headed with the little boy to Israel:

Sandra Samuel, who was photographed as she ran out of the building with the small boy in her arms, has been lauded as a hero by Chabad and the child’s surviving family. She expressed a desire to accompany Moshe back to Israel on a special flight sent by the Israel Air Force. The toddler was reunited with his Israeli grandparents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, on Friday.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said on Sunday that her office was working to arrange for Samuel’s arrival in Israel, while the Interior Ministry was considering bestowing upon her the status of “Righteous Gentile,” which would allow her to remain in the country for an extended period of time.

Menachem Brod, a spokesman for Chabad in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Samuel was “extremely connected to the child. She wants very badly to come to Israel and to be with Moshe.”

According to Chabad, Samuel worked at the center for about five years, starting as a cook. After Moshe was born, she also helped care for him. His second birthday was on Saturday.

As the terrorists stormed into the Chabad House on Wednesday evening, Samuel locked herself into a downstairs room with another staff member. On Thursday morning, she heard Moshe calling her name and braved the volatile situation, later telling reporters that she had been “scared, but even more scared for the baby.”

Slowly opening the door, Samuel saw a deserted staircase and ran up one flight. She found Moshe, his pants covered in blood, crying beside his parents and two Israeli guests who lay motionless on the floor. Samuel then grabbed the child and ran outside.

This story touches my heart every time I hear about it.

Ms. Samuel is a true hero who, after such a tragedy, can make one proud to be a human being. In a event defined by hate and indifference to life, Ms. Samuel was, consumed by love, conquered her fear and preserved the life of a child.



While live blogging the Mumbai attacks on Campaign for Liberty, I cited Animesh Roul of Counterterrorism Blog (a global multi-expert blog dedicated to terrorism issues) as pointing the finger toward Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT):

The needle of the suspicion is on the Lashkar- e- Toiba and Student Islamic Movement of India combine (Now they credibly calling and proving them as Indian Mujahedeen terror group).

The incidents took place one day after the reported arrest of Lashkar -e-Toiba linked Raheel Sheikh by the Interpol in London. Raheel is one of the alleged masterminds of the conspiracy and was involved in the funding of the July 11, 2006, Mumbai serial train blasts that killed nearly 200 commuters and wounded over 500 people on that fateful day.

and, at 7:41 PM CST on Wednesday evening, followed with:

Still no mention of Sheikh’s arrest in London yesterday for his role in the Mumbai 7/11 bombing anywhere in the MSM. This further explains the singling out of people with US and UK passports. Islamic terrorists have a long history of hostage situations involving tourists and travelers offering their freedom for the release of imprisoned comrades i.e. Munich.

  • “Deccan Mujahideen”

While the MSM was vaugely brushing the discussion of LeT in favor of saying “Deccan Mujahideen” ad nauseam, there was this mysterious tone surrounding the “Deccan Mujahideen” — most notably, who are they and where did they come from.

There is no evidence to support that the “Deccan Mujahideen” is nothing more than a “false flag.” The name comes from an unverified email sent on the day of the attacks claiming responsibility. All the email suggests is that the attacks from from a group related to the Deccan Plateau, a region of India covering most of the South and hundreds of millions of people. The state of Karnataka, within this plateau, has been the site of tens of bombings just this year in which the Indian Mujahideen (IM) has claimed responsibility. Whether of not this attack is an act of the IM is still unknown as connections have not been made by any intelligence agencies.

  • Dawood Ibrahim
    Dawood Ibrahim, head of the organized crime syndicate, D-Company in Mumbai, is currently on the wanted list of Interpol for organised crime, counterfeiting, and financing terrorism.

    Dawood Ibrahim, head of the organized crime syndicate, D-Company in Mumbai, is currently on the wanted list of Interpol for organised crime, counterfeiting, and financing terrorism.

The attacks on Mumbai were well-coordinated and well-equipped. The terrorists were fully armed with backpacks full of magazines and grenades, among other weaponry. They traveled to Mumbai by boat and were well-prepared with a wealth of knowledge concerning the highly complex layouts of the hotels. The attacks were well-coordinated in an estimate of ten locations throughout Mumbai. They were very well-trained to carry out such coordinated terror that shut down a city of over 19 million people for days and monopolize every news cycle.

They were well-funded in their organization, preparation, and execution.

Dawood Ibrahim, lord within India’s underworld, was briefly chronicled the day following Mumbai’s 7/11 bombing by the IM by Douglas Farah, expert with Counterterrorism Blog:

The chief suspect in the Mumbai train attacks is one of the most fascinating characters in the nexus of terrorism and organized crime. This is true even if he was not involved it what appears to be a well-coordinated, sophisticated attack of the type he has been involved in before. Indian authorities are naming his as the primary suspect in the bloody attacks of yesterday.

A criminal kingpin, ally of al Qaeda, large-scale drug runner and financer of some of Bollywood’s biggest movies, Ibrahim loves to hang out with movie stars and live the good life. Not exactly a natural ally of radical Islamist groups, but he appears to provide the muscle and know-how to attacks, rather than being the intellectual author of the violence he has pariticpated in. His ideology seems more firmly wedded to his financial well-being than to his religious beliefs.

Ibrahim has a enormous mansion in Karachi, Pakistan, but spends a great deal of time in Dubai, UAE. He has a long history of violence. His flamboyant life style made it difficult to believe that he was not protected by the Pakistani intelligence services for whom he worked, or officials in the UAE. My friend David Kaplan did one of the best looks at him in U.S. News.

More by Vic Camras on 29 Nov 2008:

It’s much too early to identify the group or groups involved in the Mumbai terrorist attack or to place blame for what has occurred. Identification will come with the expert police investigation and intelligence gathering now underway. But, at this stage we are all just involved in a process of speculation – drawing on past experience with terrorist modis operandi to explain what occurred and exploring the various various possibilities and theories. Among the possible culprits being considered are several Pakistan based Islamic extremist organizations such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba; Al Qaeda-linked or wannabe groups, and India home grown terrorist groups. One thing appears clear – the attack was well planned and organized, and that requires reliance on a sophisticated network for recruitment, logistics, training and financing. Some Indian terrorist experts suggest that Dawood Ibrahim may well be linked to organizing and financing this attack just as he did for the 1993 Mumbai stock exchange terrorist bombings.

Dawood Ibrahim (birthname Sheikh Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar), for years headed the D-Company which ran a substantial hawala operation out of Mumbai, Karachi and Dubai. He reportedly moved easily between various Islamic extremist groups and Indian crime syndicates, and is believed to have acted as an Al Qaeda surrogate for several financial transactions and arms and drug smuggling deals. He was designated by the US Treasury Department as a global terrorist in October 2003, and listed as an Al Qaeda associate by the UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee on November 3, 2003. According to the Treasury Department “Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime lord, has found common cause with Al Qaida, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists aimed at destabilizing the Indian government. He is wanted in India for the 1993 Bombay Exchange bombings and is known to have financed the activities of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of the Righteous), a group designated by the United States in October 2001 and banned by the Pakistani Government…” See also Treasury Fact Sheet on Dawood Ibrahim here

Douglas Farah wrote a follow up to Vic Camras’s entry — stressing the importance of the Ibrahim connection:

Ibrahim reportedly provided the initial boat for the attackers, and has strong ties to al Qaeda.

What is interesting about Ibrahim, who has been designated a terrorist by OFAC and many other governments, is that he is a pioneer in the criminal-terrorist nexus. For many years he has provided the criminal links al Qaeda, the Taliban and Pakistani terrorist groups have needed to move money, personnel and equipment. Despite how well known his activities are, he has never been apprehended…

Anyone investigating a crime must follow the money. Global terrorism experts are pointing the green finger in Ibrahim’s direction for financing the recent Mumbai attacks as they did for the 7/11 bombings over two years ago.

  • Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan (ISI)

28 Nov 2008: India forced Pakistan to send their ISI chief to India.

According to the South Asian Terrorism Portal, the LA Times, The Weekly Standard, and many other publications and experts directly link ISI to LeT.

30 Nov 2008: Pakistan’s PM Yousef Raza Gilani has reported to Western allies that approximately 100,000 troops will be mobilized from the Afghan border to the Indian border.

  • Azam Amir Kasab aka Ajmal Amir Kalab aka Ajmal Amir Qasab
    Azam Amir Kasab on the night of the attacks.

    Azam Amir Kasab on the night of the attacks.

One the three Pakistani militants arrested on Nov. 28 was Azam Amir Kasab, the only known terrorist aggressor of the attacks. Kasab, with the two others arrested, confessed to being members of LeT.

  • Demands

Contrary to the mysterious tone of the MSM, these attacks were not random acts of coordinated terror. When terrorists of any sort take hostages, they make demands revealing the reason for their terror. These demands and communication between the terrorists and the Indian government have still not yet been revealed to the public.

All we have is a terrorist holed up with hostages in the Oberoi on the night of the attacks screaming out a window, “We want all Mujahideens held in India released and only after that we will release the people.

  • Raheel Sheikh
    Rahil Sheikh, an accused of the 2006 serial blasts in the western metropolis (File photo)

    Rahil Sheikh, an accused of the 2006 serial blasts in the western metropolis (File photo)

India’s Deputy Home Minister has said that all Mumbai attackers were from Pakistan. LeT has been accused by Indian police and US Intelligence.

Indian Express reported on 25 Nov 2008 that India’s Central Bureau of Intellignce (CBI) was preparing to begin the extradition process of Raheel Sheikh, an alleged LeT operative who masterminded the 7/11 Mumbai bombing of 2006, reportedly, arrested by Interpol in London that day. Within hours of the Mumbai attacks late on 26 Nov, CBI denied Sheikh’s arrest anywhere in the UK.

Reports say on 25 Nov that the mastermind of a high-profile bombing in Mumbai that killed 209 people and injured over 700 was detained by Interpol and the CBI was looking to extradite the mastermind.

It takes over 24 hours for the CBI to deny these reports hours after hundreds are taken hostage by terrorists demanding the release of all Mujahideens held by the Indian government.

Where is the MSM on this?

The Indian government does not negotiate with terrorists and we know the terrorists’ demands while holding hostages in Mumbai. While live blogging, I made the comparison with the Munich Massacre, but the Mumbai attacks and hostage crises were so brutal that an atrocity such as Munich pales in comparison. The Late Former PM of Israel Golda Meir was harshly criticized for not negotiating with terrorists who demanded the release of many fedayeen in exhange for the Israeli athletes that dark night in Germany. Former Pres. Bill Clinton has been harshly criticized for not arresting Usama bin-Laden in 1996 when the Sudanese were able to detain him. My low-credibility subjective judgment believes that Raheel Sheikh is a valid topic of discussion surrounding the Mumbai attacks.