Archive for the ‘Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’ Category

Indian Newspaper: Pakistan’s Zardari Has Legitimacy, But No Authority

December 4, 2008

In the wake of the carnage in Mumbai, India is contemplating another round of coercive diplomacy. But the geopolitical winds are unfavourable. In 2002, India was successful in pushing Washington to arm-twist Pakistan. The then ruler Pervez Musharraf learnt a lesson. Today, India has less left behind its push, Islamabad has a greater hold over the US and, in any case, the lights are going out in the White House.

Most Indians believe the Army mobilisation that followed the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) attack on Parliament in 2002 was much sound and fury signifying nothing. It didn’t bring peace on earth. But Islamabad did learn a lesson and paid a price — which should be the goal of any Indian response to Pakistan-based terrorist outrage.

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times

In this picture released by Pakistan People's Party, then ruling ... 
President Zardari.  No authority?
AP Photo/Pakistan People’s Party

The lesson of 2002: before 9/11, Islamabad could count on the US jumping in during any India-Pakistan terror crisis, point fingers at the two countries’ nuclear weapons and persuade New Delhi not to retaliate. After 9/11, the Bush administration told Pakistan, “If India wants to bloody your nose, they have the right.” US embassy officials rang up Indian journalists to stress that the US was no longer using the word ‘restraint’ when it came to India.

The price of 2002: India, after considering and abandoning the demand for the extradition of 20 terrorists because it feared its own courts would let them go, demanded Pakistan put an end to militant infiltration into Kashmir. New Delhi knew very well this would be a band-aid concession. But it calculated a few months of border quiet would be enough to push through a peaceful and fair Kashmir election. Its success on that front is the main reason the turbulent state has seen relatively low levels of violence since 2002.

Outwardly, it seems like India could play the same game again. Pakistan has denuded its border with India of troops. Most have been transferred to fight recalcitrant militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas. If India waves a big stick, these troops would have to return to the eastern border. Washington is desperate for that not to happen as its Afghan war effort would be crippled. In theory, then, the US would be prepared to press Pakistan to cough up a concession to ensure the troop transfer doesn’t happen. However, the landscape has changed in all three countries. The most telling is that President George W. Bush is down to his last 50 days in office. There is very little desire in the US to cut the ground from under President Asif Ali Zardari’s feet. He is Mr Nice Guy and Mr Best Hope.

Which raises a question: whom exactly is there to arm-twist in Pakistan? As the recent ‘Now he’s coming, now he’s not’ farce over the ISI chief showed, Zardari only thinks he’s President. He has legitimacy, but no authority. Military chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has authority, but no legitimacy.

General Kayani.  Photo Anjum Naveed/Associated Press

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage
/StoryPage.aspx?id=0c36121f-da80-4686-9
2b9-e06c47f55855&ParentID=ecd15cbe-5d
40-4af4-87ec-af32afa330b1&&Headline=A
n+option+for+Pakistan

Advertisements

India Had Intelligence in Mid September of Hotel Attack, Sea Entry of Terrorists

December 2, 2008

As the investigation into the intelligence failures that preceded the Mumbai attacks proceeds, there is evidence that even quite specific information that was gathered was either not properly analysed or not acted on.
 
The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, had provided several intercepts from signals intelligence over the last three months. These suggested that a terror  strike on a Mumbai hotel was imminent. But they were largely ignored.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

On September 18, R&AW computers intercepted a satellite phone conversation between a known Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) asset and an unknown person. The LeT asset said that an operation to target a hotel at the Gateway of India in Mumbai was being planned and that the sea route would be used.

On September 24, R&AW’s computer recorded another satellite phone conversation. This time, the LeT asset identified the hotels that were being considered for the attack by name. They were the Taj, the Marriott, the Land’s End and the Sea Rock. A possible attack on the Juhu airfield (used by a flying club) was also discussed.


All these hotels have one thing in common: they are easily accessible from the sea. The Taj is on the Apollo Bunder waterfront,  the Marriott is on Juhu sea face and the Land’s End and the Sea Rock are both on the sea-facing tip of Bandra. This should have been enough to let police know that: 1) Hotels were the target. 2) The attackers would use the sea route.

On November 19, R&AW listeners picked up another unexplained satellite phone conversation. A voice said, “We will reach Bombay between nine and eleven.” R&AW trackers identified the exact coordinates of the call and discovered that it came from the sea near Mumbai, 40 km west of Jhol.
 
This was clear evidence — at the very least — of an attempt being made to enter Mumbai illegally by people armed with advanced satellite phones.

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx
?id=92057c70-5c4e-4d02-9901-e668997738efMumbaiunderattack_
Special&&Headline=26%2f11+could+have+been+stopped

************

U.S. Warned India Twice About Terror From The Sea

United States intelligence agencies had warned India “twice” about a potential maritime attack on Mumbai at least a month before audacious terror strikes that has left about 200 people dead and scores injured, media reports said.

“The United States warned the Indian government about a potential maritime attack against Mumbai at least a month before last week’s massacre in the country’s financial capital,” the CNN quoted a US counter-terrorism official as saying.

The American network quoted the official as saying that the warning was issued not once but “twice”.

A second government source told ABCnews.Com that specific locations, including the Taj Hotel, were listed in the US warning.

“US intelligence indicated that a group might enter the country by water and launch an attack on Mumbai, said the official, who refused to be identified due to the ongoing investigation into the attacks and the sensitivity of the information,” the CNN added.

“Indian security forces have confirmed to CNN that not only did US officials warn them of a water-borne attack in Mumbai — they were told twice. The area entered a higher state of alert for a week, including tightened security measures at hotels, but those efforts were eventually reduced, Indian officials said,” the network, which repeatedly broadcast the story last evening, maintained.

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageS
toryPage.aspx?id=b25c25e5-ae43-45a1-a388-150596a0f259Mumbaiunderattack_Special&&Head
line=’US+warned+India+’twice’+about+sea+attack+on+Mumbai’