Archive for the ‘Muslim’ Category

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)

Mumbai: Jews Tortured Before Execution

December 2, 2008

Israeli hostages killed by Islamic terrorists during the attacks on Mumbai (formerly Bombay) were tortured by their captors before they were bound together and killed, according to officials in both countries.

By Damien McElroy in Bombay
The Telegraph (UK)
Jewish victims made up a disproportionate number of the foreigners killed after 10 Muslim fanatics stormed a series of sites in the Indian financial capital.

Members of the beleaguered Jewish community in Mumbai gathered at a crumbling synagogue for a memorial for Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who ran the cultural centre targeted by the Deccan Mujahideen.

The couple’s son, Moshe survived after his nanny, Sandra Samuel escaped with him in her arms 10 hours after the hostage incident started. The child cried “Ima” and “Dada,” or mummy and daddy, as the service began.

Moshe’s grandparents have arrived from Israel to take the orphaned boy home and there is intense pressure to grant Miss Samuel a visa by declaring her righteous among the gentiles.

Two countries have posted officials at the JJ Hospital morgue but there are at least twice as many Israeli disaster specialists as British consuls representing the former colonial power.

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Pakistan: Near Economic Collapse and Besieged By Terrorists Now Must Deal With U.S., India

December 1, 2008

Indian accusations of a Pakistani hand in last week’s Mumbai massacre couldn’t have come at a worse time for the government in Islamabad: As a Taliban insurgency continues to simmer in the tribal areas along the Afghan border, clashes on Sunday between rival political groups in the southern metropolis of Karachi killed 13 people and wounded 70.

The country is on the verge of economic collapse, its desperate pleas for financial assistance from China and Saudi Arabia last month having been rebuffed, forcing Pakistan to accept loans from the International Monetary Fund – but those loans come with stern conditions limiting government spending, the implementation of which will risk inflaming further unrest. A suspected U.S. predator drone attack in the tribal areas on Saturday – one of dozens in recent months – has further alienated a population already suspicious of U.S. interference. Hardly surprising, then, that Pakistani leaders have reacted with alarm to politicians and the media in India pointing a finger at Pakistan-based terror groups over the Mumbai attack. Some foreign investigators have made similar claims, although not in any official capacity.

Most Pakistanis reacted with horror to news of the Mumbai killing spree starting Wednesday, having lived through equally devastating attacks on their own soil. But that initial sympathy quickly gave way to hostility as the focus of blame landed on Pakistan – a knee-jerk first reaction, rather than one based on any solid evidence. “It is a tragic incident, and we also felt bad about it as Pakistan is going through the same problem,” says Abdur Rashid, a 67-year-old retired government servant in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. “But it was really unfortunate to see that even before the operation [to clear out the attackers] was finished, the Indian government stated that Pakistan is involved. It sounds that the entire incident was concocted to punish Pakistan.” See images of Mumbai after the siege….

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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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The Investigation: India’s nightmare: were the killers home-grown?

November 28, 2008

Two questions hang over the massacres, for which Indian security forces appear to have been completely unprepared: who did it, and why?


Security analysts said yesterday that, while the involvement of al-Qa’ida could not be ruled out after foreigners were targeted for the first time in a major Indian attack, initial suspicions focus on home-grown Islamic militant groups which have become a major concern for authorities.

By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor
The Independent (UK)

Although the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, blamed “external linkages” and appeared to point the finger of blame at Pakistan, it was not clear last night whether he was repeating India’s familiar accusations against its neighbour in the wake of every major terror attack or if he had firm evidence following the arrest of nine suspects involved in the shootings.

The festering sore of Kashmir, over which Pakistan and India have fought two wars, is ever present. One of the militants holed up in the Jewish centre in Mumbai contacted Indian television to ask: “Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir? Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims? Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?” He was said to be speaking Urdu with a Kashmiri accent.

Proof of a Kashmiri connection is likely to lead to rising tension in the subcontinent as these groups not only have ties with groups such as al-Qa’ida but also the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI. “There are serious concerns in India about the support of the ISI for militant Islamic groups,” said a security analyst, Garry Hindle.

The Mumbai attacks were claimed by a previously unknown group, the Deccan Mujahedin, which is calling for the release of jailed Islamic militants. “At first glance, it looks like an offshoot of the Indian Mujahedin which itself arose out of the student Islamic movement,” said Nigel Inkster, a senior analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies who is a former assistant director of MI6.

“We’ve been worried about the indigenisation of Islamist extremism in India,” Mr Inkster added, referring to the new splinter groups springing up inside the country which are distinct from militant organisations imported from outside and accused of being sponsored by Pakistan.

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Bombay attacks: India points the finger at Pakistan

November 28, 2008

India pointed an accusing finger at Pakistan yesterday as commandos fought suspected Islamist terrorists through the corridors of two of Bombay’s top hotels. Dozens of foreigners were still being held hostage or trapped in the buildings.

At least 125 people were killed and 327 wounded in Wednesday’s attacks on some of the city’s most high-profile buildings. Local hospitals and police said that the toll would rise further.

Nine foreigners were among the dead, including one Briton, a Japanese businessman, an Australian, a German and an Italian. Andreas Liveras, a 73-year-old British shipping tycoon, was shot dead moments after telling reporters that he was hiding in the basement of the Taj Mahal Palace.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office would not say how many British citizens were injured, trapped or being held hostage at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels. Between 15 and 20 French nationals were inside.

Seven people were rescued from a residential complex that houses a Jewish centre. The Israeli Embassy said that ten of its citizens were being held hostage. A militant inside called a television channel to offer talks with the Government. He complained about rights abuses in Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since 1947.

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Mumbai: Death Toll Expected to Rise as End of Siege Appears Near

November 27, 2008

The crisis in Mumbai appeared to ease early Friday as Indian commandos scoured through two charred luxury hotels, searching for survivors of the bands of gunmen who unleashed two days of chaos here. A third group of gunmen, the remnants of well-organized squads of attackers, apparently remained holed up in a Jewish community center.
Amid early indications that the sieges were ending, fears were growing that the toll would rise past the 119 known dead. Late Thursday, smoke was still rising from one of the hotels and people who escaped reported stepping around bodies. Dozens of people, perhaps many more, remained trapped in the hotels, though it was uncertain if any were being held hostage by the heavily armed assailants. The wounded numbered some 300.

There remained much mystery around the group behind the attack, unusual in its scale, its almost theatrical boldness and its targeting of locales frequented by wealthy Indians and foreigners.

The New York Times

Two men who claimed to be among the gunmen called local television stations, demanding to speak with the government. They complained about the treatment of Muslims in India and about Kashmir, the disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars.

“Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir?” a caller who identified himself as Imran asked. “Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims?”

The men said they were Indian, but the attacks appeared to ratchet up tensions in an already volatile region: In a televised speech, India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, blamed forces “based outside this country” for the attacks in a thinly veiled accusation that Pakistan was involved.

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Mumbai attacks blamed on outsiders

November 27, 2008

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested the group behind the terrorist attacks, which killed 125 people, was based outside the country.

CNN reporters said regular gun fire and blasts could be heard at the Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels and a Jewish center in the city.

Police had some success with 10 hostages reportedly freed from the Oberoi despite a major fire.


Shortly after authorities said the siege had ended at the Taj Mahal hotel, two explosions were heard, similar to the six blasts heard earlier.

It was not immediately clear what caused any of the explosions. Witnesses said continuous gunfire could be heard at the hotel.

A fire from earlier billowed smoke through one of the hotel’s windows, as firefighters poured water over the plumes.

A few blocks away, at the Hotel Oberoi, a major fire raged Thursday night through one floor there, CNN’s sister network in India, CNN-IBN said.

The network reported 30 people were trapped, and said gunshots could be heard. Later, an explosion was heard from the hotel’s rear side.

At least three or four terrorists are still holding hostages in both the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, British officials told CNN on Thursday.

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It’s here: The age of suicide fighters, global jihad

November 27, 2008

The clean-shaven, lithe young men ravaging Mumbai are suicide fighters — planned, armed and committed for long, hard-fought battles — not the shadowy hit-and-run suicide bombers with which India is so familiar.

The detonation of two taxis on Thursday night seemed only a diversion: The real teeth of the attack lay in small teams of highly trained commando-like fighters capturing large buildings, taking hostages and preparing for a long siege.

By Amit Baruah and Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times

The Mumbai terror strikes fit neatly into the paradigm of jihad international. For the first time, the targets are no longer just random markets or innocent Indians, but Westerners: Americans, Britons, Israelis and Australians.

Mumbai 26/11, said a senior Indian intelligence official, was executed by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiyyabba, a part of the larger global jihadi machine. Luxury hotels where westerners stay have become a popular target – assuring deeper fear and global publicity.

Hotels are now a choice jihadi target, said terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna. That’s how terrorists struck at the Marriot in Islamabad in September, the heavily guarded Serena Hotel in Kabul in January.

Islamic Jihad militants carry a Qassam rocket in Khan Yunis. ...
Islamic Jihad militants carry a Qassam rocket in Khan Yunis. Israel has reacted to militant rocket fire by again sealing off the Gaza Strip, where officials said the territory’s sole power plant was forced to shut down because of the crippling blockade.(AFP/Said Khatib)

The switch from anonymous bombing or suicide bombing may be a product of three separate developments within the Islamicist terrorist system:

· Polls have shown a growing discontent about suicide bombings among mainstream Muslims, with Islamic clerics pointing to strong Quranic injunctions.

· Two, roadblocks, regular inspections and the difficulties in getting a car have made suicide bombs difficult. A direct frontal attack on a hotel entrace is much easier.

· “Bomb fatigue” undermines the publicity need that terrorist organizations live off. Long, bloody sieges, however, are perfect for sustained public attention and headline-grabbing.

A number of terrorist groups already have this ingrained in their modus operandi. The Abu Sayyaf group of the Philippines, for example, eschews suicide bombing but has a long record of assaulting tourist resorts, cruise ships and shopping malls.

The expertise that puts suicide fighters into action is not available to India’s home-grown terrorists. All indications point to a foray from Pakistan, a vital cruicible for the global jihadimachine. We are just their latest target.

Tourists watch as smoke billows out of the historic Taj Mahal ... 
Tourists watch as smoke billows out of the historic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. World leaders have expressed anger and horror after Islamist militant attacks in Mumbai left more than 100 people dead, as fears grew over foreign hostages.(AFP/Indranil Mukherjee)

China calls Tibet youth group `worse than bin Laden’

November 26, 2008

A rundown two-story building in this Himalayan hill station might hardly seem to be the command center of a subversive group jangling the nerves of neighboring China. Monkeys clamber over the rooftop, and any stranger may walk through its front door.

Yet China calls the Tibetan Youth Congress “a terror group worse than (Osama) bin Laden’s” and accuses it of stockpiling guns, bombs and grenades in Tibet for use by separatist fighters.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

China alleges that the 30,000-member group has allied itself with al Qaida and with a homegrown Muslim separatist organization in China, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The president of the congress, Tsewang Rigzin, a former banker who lived in Minneapolis, scoffs at China’s charges, saying his group seeks independence for Tibet but adheres to non-violent principles put forth by the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader whose headquarters are here.

“These are all baseless and fallacious allegations that the Chinese are making,” Rigzin said over a meal of curry at a local restaurant, suggesting that the charges were scare tactics aimed at the Chinese citizenry.

If nothing else, the wildly different views of the Tibetan Youth Congress underscore the chasm between Beijing and Dharamsala over Tibet.

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