Archive for the ‘Lashkar-e Taiba’ Category

Mumbai: Captive Terrorist Talking, Names Pak Kingpins, Says Indian Sites Evaluated in 2007

December 4, 2008

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.

By SAM DOLNICK, Associated Press Writer

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.”

Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard during heightened security ... 
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard during heightened security checks at Chennai International airport in Chennai, India, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. Indian airports were put on high alert after the government received warnings of possible airborne attacks.(AP Photo)

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.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081204/ap_on_re_as/as_india_shooting

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U.S. Message to Pakistan: Battle Terror, Not India

December 4, 2008

U.S. officials said Wednesday that they are pressing Pakistan to change the primary mission of its intelligence services from preparing for war with India to actively helping the fight against Islamic extremists, some of whom have been linked to last week’s attacks in Mumbai.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (L) shakes hands with ... 
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (L) shakes hands with India’s Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee before their meeting in New Delhi December 3, 2008.(B Mathur/Reuters)

That is the message Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael G. Mullen are delivering to President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad this week, the officials said. Adm. Mullen was in Pakistan on Wednesday and Miss Rice was expected there Thursday.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and parts of its military have been accused of being too close to militant groups that have staged numerous attacks in both Pakistan and neighboring India.

By Nicholas Kralev
The Washington Times

The chief of the United States military, admiral Mike Mullen, ... 
Chairman of the United States Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen Wednesday asked Pakistan to “investigate aggressively” any possible links that groups based in Pakistan have to the Mumbai attacks.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jason Kempin)

“The ISI has been geared up for years to fight its neighbor next door,” a senior U.S. official said in reference to India. “It’s supportive of the Taliban in Afghanistan; it’s skeptical of the war on terror and thinks it’s a war against Islam. That has to change.”

In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, which killed at least 170 and wounded hundreds, “the situation has changed dramatically, and Pakistan has to follow every lead” to get to the bottom of the plot, he said.

“Otherwise, the Indians might decide that Pakistan cannot be counted on to be a partner in the war on terror,” said the official, who asked not to be named because he was discussing sensitive private exchanges with the nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian security forces are holding the only Mumbai attacker to be captured alive, and officials there say he has admitted to being a Pakistani and a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist group thought by some to have ties to current and former ISI members.

The U.S. official said the real war is with militants along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Some Pakistani officials have suggested that they may need to move troops from that border to the Indian border if tensions rise further. But the U.S. official said there are “no signs that India will move additional forces” to the border.

To make sure the Indians give Pakistan no excuse to transfer troops, Miss Rice visited New Delhi on Wednesday. She said that any response by India “needs to be judged by its effectiveness in prevention and also by not creating other unintended consequences or difficulties.”

Related:

Mumbai Terrorists: The Facts We Know

 Banned Pakistani Militant Leaders Believed Orchestrated Mumbai

Mumbai Terrorists: The Facts We Know

December 3, 2008

In Mumbai, it is now apparent that the terrorists that struck the hotels and other sites, killed nearly 200, tortured Jewish prisoners before putting them to death, and threw around hand grenades indiscriminately, were not your grandparents terrorists.

Because the Indian police captured one terrorist alive and a wealth of material and forensic evidence, we know several facts about the Mumbai terrorists:

–The surviving terrorist has told authorities he and the others were trained in Pakistan by the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–The terrorists were well armed with modern, first-rate automatic weapons and hand grenades.

–They used every conceivable modern technology to assist them in their deadly task: cell phones, GPS, Blackberries, text messaging and other tools were found.

–They had prepared physically and mentally for a long siege.  The dead terrorists are “beefy” well muscled men who seem to have worked out physically for months recently. There is some evidence that the terrorists used steroids.

–The susviving terrorist has spoken about mental and Islamic readiness and the fact that none of the terrorists had any fear of death.

–The terrorist, though Islamic fanatics, used cocaine, LSD and other drugs to assist them to stay awake and “one the edge.” Syringes, paraphernalia, and steroids were found on some of the terrorists.

–At least one terrorist wore a shirt bearing the Versace logo; a kind of Muslim taboo.  The use of the logo indicates that these men are unafraid to embrace what some Muslims consider “decadent.” 

The wearing of the “decadent” logo might seem a small, seemingly unimportant fact. But it could be evidence, combined with the drug use and other evidence, that these terrorist are unencumbered by any religious, cultural,  moral or other restrictions.

A criminal psychologist schooled in terrorism told Peace and Freedom, “these are mad dogs off the leash.”

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)

Top U.S. Spy: Mumbai Terror Came From Radical Pakistani Islamic Militant Group

December 3, 2008

Yesterday what India has been saying was verified by the top U.S. spy: the bloodshed and terror in Mumbai was caused by Lashkar-e-Taiba.  A spokesman for the Pakistan-based group denied any involvement in the Mumbai atrocities.  Lashkar-e-Taiba or     is one of the    shadowy Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda that the U.S. and the rest of Western intelligence has been watching and fighting since September 11, 2001….

The radical Islamic group, whose name means “Army of the Pious,” has past links to both Pakistani intelligence and Al-Qaeda.

*****

US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell late Tuesday blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for the deadly attacks in Mumbai, the first time a US official publicly fingered the group.

“The same group that we believe is responsible for Mumbai had a similar attack in 2006 attack on a train and killed a similar number of people,” said McConnell, speaking at Harvard University. “Go back to 2001 and it was an attack on the parliament.”

McConnell did not mention Lashkar-e-Taiba by name, but the group, which fought Indian rule in divided Kashmir, is notorious for a deadly assault on the Indian parliament in 2001. That attack pushed New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war.

By Carlos Hamann, AFP

US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, pictured ...
US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, pictured in February, 2008, on Tuesday blamed the group Lashkar-e-Taiba for last week’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.(AFP/File/Saul Loeb)

The radical Islamic group, whose name means “Army of the Pious,” has past links to both Pakistani intelligence and Al-Qaeda.

McConnell, the top US intelligence official, said he did not see the Mumbai attack as a new form of terrorism.

“If you examine the groups we think are responsible, the philosophical underpinnings are very similar to what Al-Qaeda puts out as their view of how the world should be. It is a continuation,” he said.

About 10 gunmen landed in rubber dinghies in Mumbai and wreaked havoc with automatic weapons and hand grenades, in an assault that killed at least 188 people and injured more than 300. The dead included 22 foreign nationals.

In his speech, McConnell emphasized the difficulty in fighting shadowy Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“Democratic systems that promote free speech and free movement and open discussion are incredibly vulnerable to someone who is willing to die in the context of a suicide bomber or a suicide attack,” McConnell said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081203/pl_af
p/indiaattacksusmcconnell_081203025117

Mumbai: Attack Mastermind Identified; On The Run

December 2, 2008

Mumbai police believe a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba planner in Pakistan masterminded the Mumbai terrorist attacks last week and was among several leaders of the militant group who were in touch by satellite links with the 10 terrorists in the two days before they landed in India.

By Geeta Anand in Mumbai and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad
The Wall Street Journal
.
A senior police official said that, in all, the names and numbers of five members of the Pakistani group’s leadership were contained in a satellite phone left behind by the terrorists on a fishing vessel they hijacked then abandoned before reaching Mumbai. Records from the phone show calls had been made from it to these five men.

Among them: Yusuf Muzammil, head of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s terrorism operations against India. The senior Indian police official said he was identified as the mastermind of the attacks by the only terrorist captured alive, Ajmal Kasab, or Qasab. The police official said two of Mr. Muzammil’s deputies orchestrated the strikes, according to Mr. Kasab’s testimony.

A senior Pakistani official confirmed that India has told Pakistan that the attack was planned by Mr. Muzammil. Mr. Muzammil’s name appears on a list of 20 people given by India to Pakistan. India is demanding the names on the list be handed over.

Related:
What We Know About Mumbai Terrorists: Mad Dogs Off The Leash

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122823715860872789.html

India demands Pakistan act decisively on Mumbai attack

December 1, 2008

India demanded Pakistan take decisive action over deadly attacks in Mumbai it said were carried out by militants from its nuclear-armed rival, while the West urged cooperation to ease tension.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa both were due in New Delhi, with the militant attacks that killed 183 people in India’s financial capital threatening to reverse improving ties with Pakistan.

India’s foreign ministry said on Monday it called in Pakistan’s envoy to New Delhi and told him attackers, who investigators said had months of commando training in Pakistan, had come from there.

“It was conveyed to the Pakistan high commissioner that Pakistan’s actions needed to match the sentiments expressed by its leadership that it wishes to have a qualitatively new relationship with India,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Pakistan, in a report by its official Associated Press of Pakistan, said its high commissioner had gone to the Indian foreign ministry “as per routine” and had not been summoned for a meeting or been issued with any official demarche.

Read the rest from Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081201/ts_nm/us_india_mumbai_15

Indian Investigators Say They Are “Certain” Mumbai Terrorists Trained in Pakistan

December 1, 2008

Two senior Indian investigators told reporters on condition of anonymity that evidence from the interrogation of Azam Amir Kasav, the only gunmen of the 10 not killed by commandos, clearly showed that Pakistani militants had a hand in the [Mumbai] attack.

An Indian army soldier holds position outside The Taj Mahal ... 
An Indian army soldier holds position outside The Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on November 29. There was mounting evidence that a Kashmiri-based Pakistani militant group, most likely Lashkar-e-Taiba, was responsible for the deadly attacks in Mumbai, The New York Times reported on its website late Friday.(AFP/Sajjad Hussain)

The clean-shaven, 21-year-old with fluent English was photographed during the attack wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the Versace logo. He has said his team took orders from “their command in Pakistan,” police officials said.

The training was organized by the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, and conducted by a former member of the Pakistani army, a police officer close to the interrogation told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak.

From Reuters

This image taken from NDTV shows an man carrying an automatic ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows an man carrying an automatic rifle as he enters a train station in Mumbai late November 26. He has the logo of “Versace” on his shirt.  Indian police investigating who was behind the massive militant assault on Mumbai interrogated Sunday and Monday the only gunman who survived, saying he was trained in Pakistan.  Pakistan insisted it was not involved.(AFP/NDTV/Ho)

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081201/ts_nm/us_india_mumbai_9

India’s Police: Mumbai Terror Created By Pakistani Militant Group

November 30, 2008

The only gunman captured by police after a string of attacks on Mumbai told authorities he belonged to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, a senior police officer said Sunday.

By RAMOLA TALWAR BADAM, Associated Press

Indian special police officers exit the landmark Taj Hotel in ... 
Indian special police officers exit the landmark Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at the luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that rocked the nation.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Police have said 10 gunmen terrorized Mumbai during a 60-hour siege, and all but one were shot dead.

Joint Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said the assailant now in custody told police the group had intended to hit more targets during their attacks on India’s financial capital that left at least 174 dead.

“Lashkar-e-Taiba is behind the terrorist acts in the city,” Maria told reporters. “The terrorists were from a hardcore group in the L-e-T.”

India’s Home Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

The group has long been seen as a creation of the Pakistani intelligence service to help wage its clandestine war against India in disputed Kashmir.

Police arrested the lone surviving militant, Ajmal Qasab, and Maria said he confessed his links to Lashkar during interrogation.

“Ajmal Qasab has received training in a L-e-T training camp in Pakistan,” he said. “Our interrogation indicates that the terrorists had other places that they also intended to target.”

Related:
Mumbai: Condoleezza Rice Tells Pakistan To Fully Cooperate, Investigate
and
Pakistan’s Government Surrounded by Terrorists, U.S., Indian and internal Pressure

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081130/ap_on_re_as/as_india_
shooting;_ylt=AqderorqM7ym404YvJ5iV2G9IxIF

Attacks push India and Pakistan into deep water: analysts

November 30, 2008

Outrage in India over the Mumbai attacks risks sparking a dangerous escalation in tensions with Pakistan, analysts say, even as Islamabad cautions against any knee-jerk reaction.

Having accused “elements in Pakistan” of involvement in the ruthless attacks that left 195 dead in India’s financial capital, the government here is now under extreme public pressure to exact some form of visible retribution.

The two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals are past masters of the art of military and diplomatic brinkmanship, but the stakes are heightened by looming general elections in India in which national security will be a key issue.

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed that the perpetrators and organisers of the Mumbai assault would be made to pay “a heavy price.”

By Elizabeth Roche, AFP

Smoke billows from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on November ... 
Smoke billows from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on November 29, 2008. Outrage in India over the Mumbai attacks risks sparking a dangerous escalation in tensions with Pakistan, analysts say, even as Islamabad cautions against any knee-jerk reaction.(AFP/Pedro Ugarte)

On Saturday, Singh called a meeting of India’s army, navy and air force chiefs.

But while India would like to lean heavily on Islamabad to ensure it delivers on repeated promises to prevent Pakistani territory being used for anti-India activities, analysts say the government’s options are limited.

Former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra said New Delhi would be constrained by a lack of proof that Islamabad had any direct role in the attacks.

“There is little to suggest that the gunmen were sponsored by the Pakistani government,” Mishra said.

The scale and style of the assaults — involving multiple targets and hostage-taking — bore “the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda attacks in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mishra said.

“These are new elements that differentiate the Mumbai attacks from the parliament attack.”

In 2001, gunmen from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group attacked the Indian parliament, resulting in the complete rupture of diplomatic ties and pushing the rivals to the brink of war.

Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal all but ruled out the possibility of India resorting to any cross-border military response.

“The Indian leadership would have to weigh very carefully the consequences of using the military option in the wider context of peace and stability in the region,” Sibal said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appealed for calm on Saturday and argued that any increase in Indo-Pakistan tensions would be a victory for the extremists.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081
130/wl_sthasia_afp/india
attackspakistandiplomacy_081130060432

US Fears Pakistani Role in India Attacks; FBI To Assist

November 29, 2008

U.S. officials are worried about a possible surge in violence between India and Pakistan after the attacks in Mumbai. To ease tensions, intelligence officials are searching for clues that might identify the attackers even as Indian officials claim “elements in Pakistan” were involved.

FBI agents were preparing to fly to India. The State Department warned U.S. citizens still in the city that their lives remain at risk.

A U.S. counterterrorism official said some “signatures of the attack” were consistent with the work of Pakistani militant groups known as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed that have fought Indian troops in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and also are reported to be linked to al-Qaida.

Indian firefighters attempt to put out a fire at the historic ...
Indian firefighters attempt to put out a fire at the historic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. Special forces have stormed a Mumbai Jewish centre and battled to free guests at two hotels, as India blamed Pakistan for an audacious Islamist militant attack that left at least 130 people dead.(AFP/Indranil Mukherjee)

By MATTHEW LEE and PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

But the official emphasized it was premature to pinpoint who was responsible for the attacks. A second official, specializing in counterintelligence, also cautioned against rushing to judgment on the origins of the gunmen.

The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on Saturday raised the death toll among Americans from five to six. Five have been identified; embassy officials gave no details on the identity of the sixth.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir. U.S. officials are concerned about a flare-up in animosity similar to one that occurred after Pakistani militants attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001, the officials said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice twice has called India’s foreign minister, along with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, since the crisis began.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081129/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_india_shooting;_
ylt=AuqkEsV_Y_BSJktIdU_XViys0NUE