Islamic Terrorism in India

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US had one Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, India has half-a-dozen: Think tank

Posted by jagoindia on June 8, 2011

US had one bin Laden in Pak, India has half-a-dozen: Think tank

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Several terrorists charged by India with mass killings on its soil have been living in Pakistan, an eminent American think tank has said, noting that the US has not yet made it a priority to hold Islamabad to account for the infiltration of militants across the border.

Indians have been watching the Pakistani army send “armed young men with groups like Lashkar(-e-Toeba) across that border with impunity for years, and the United States has not made it a priority of holding
Pakistan to account for the rates of infiltration,” Steve Coll,
President and CEO of New America Foundation, a Washington-based think
tank, said at a Congressional hearing.

“It would be unreasonable to say you should have zero infiltrations into complex territory, big mountains, but the rates of infiltration that Pakistan has allowed suggest state policy,” he told lawmakers.

It is important for Americans to understand that the ambiguity in the
nature of the haven that Osama bin Laden found in Pakistan is not, by
itself, unusual in the country, Coll said.

“From India’s perspective, there are five or six listed terrorists
living around the country (Pakistan) in similar circumstances. Sometimes they’re judged to be under house arrest. Sometimes they’re notional fugitives. Sometimes they really are difficult to find,” he said yesterday.

Many of these people have either admitted to or been credibly charged
with mass killings on Indian soil, Coll said, responding to questions of US lawmakers.

“So these patterns look outrageous to the United States when the
personality is someone like Osama bin Laden. But in the context of the
way Pakistan has evolved in the last 10 years, his (bin Laden)
circumstances were not, by themselves, unusual,” he said.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, India, Islamofascism, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Terrorism | Comments Off on US had one Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, India has half-a-dozen: Think tank

Slain Islamic Terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri Planned to Launch Ghazb-e-Hind’, a Massive Terror Operation Against India, Bigger than the 26/11 Attack in Mumbai

Posted by jagoindia on June 4, 2011

Al-Qaeda loses its India link with Ilyas Kashmiri’s death

Jun 4, 2011, 13:28 IST
By Vineeta Pandey | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Ilyas Kashmiri’s death removes a key al Qaeda man who would also keep India in sight while planning terrorist attacks around the world. In a recent interview to slain Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, Kashmiri said United States, Europe, Israel and India remain al-Qaeda’s prime targets. According to Shahzad’s book, Kashmiri believed that India would intervene in Afghanistan and if that happened he planned to launch ‘Ghazb-e-Hind’ — a massive terror operation against India. According to intelligence agencies, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had already begun a large recruitment drive in India to create a force for Kashmiri to train.

Set to take over as the next al Qaeda chief after Osama bin Laden’s death, Kashmiri was recently hobbled by the successive blows to al Qaeda and its marginalisation. The al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan seems to have shrunk to sympathisers in the South Waziristan Tribal Agency. As a result, Kashmiri’s threat to India had also been reduced. Kashmiri could have, however, acted as a motivator and dispatcher of jehadis to Kashmir and elsewhere had he been able to get out of the tight corner which Pakistani Army operations in FATA and US drone attack had put him in.

With the death of Kashmiri, the threat to India of terrorist strikes by a potent organisation such as al Qaeda has considerably gone down. He was giving operational assistance to the LeT for carrying out attacks in India — the most dreaded one being 26/11 attack in Mumbai. Kashmiri was on India’s Most Wanted list that was handed over to Pakistan by the Home Secretary G K Pillai at the Secretray level talks in March. Arrested by the Indian forces in 2005, Kashmiri had escaped prison and was since been on the run.

In an interview to Shahzad, Kashmiri had said that he was planning bigger terror attacks and that the 26/11 attack in Mumbai was “nothing compared to what has already been planned for the future.” He said so with confidence after having personally approved and supervised the Mumbai attacks along with LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Former Intelligence Bureau chief Ajit Doval, sees Kashmiri’s death as a “very positive development” and believes that his death may weaken the LeT operations in India. “Kashmiri was closely associated with al Qaeda and LeT, whom he assisted in training and carrying out terror attacks. His death is certainly a severe blow to LeT as he supported LeT in its operations in India,” Doval said.
Doval describes him as a good executer of orders and plans.

“Kashmiri was very good in converting ideas and executed them to near perfection on ground. Though he was with al Qaeda, Kashmiri could provide expertise to any group working against India and Pakistan. He was not like Hafeez Sayeed who would go by Islam but an important operational man who would not hesitate in using RDX, detonators, AK47 and modern warfare equipments.

He filled the operational gap in al Qaeda with 313 Brigade, which he headed since he was effective in a combat role,” Doval added.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, India, Islamofascism, LeT, Pakistan, Terrorism | Comments Off on Slain Islamic Terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri Planned to Launch Ghazb-e-Hind’, a Massive Terror Operation Against India, Bigger than the 26/11 Attack in Mumbai

Tamil Muslim Arrested in France for Islamic Terror Connection

Posted by jagoindia on May 28, 2011

Indian Mohammed Niaz Arrested in France SIMI Acitivist – Chidu

New Delhi, May 23: Home minister P Chidambaram said that, Indian national arrested in France on May 10, 2011 is identified as banned SIMI acitivist.

Earlier : India was in touch with French authorities over the arrest of an Indian national, Mohammed Niaz, for suspected al-Qaida links but has so far not sought any consular access. Niaz was among the seven held by French authorities earlier this month for terror links even though the French government refrained from linking them with any specific plant to carry out attacks.

As widely reported earlier, Niaz, an engineer, was arrested from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on May 10 on arrival from Algeria, a day after the other six were held from different areas in Paris. “We made enquiries and French authorities told us that they have an Indian national in their custody. We are in touch with them over the issue,” said Namrata Kumar, counselor with the Indian embassy in France.

After his arrest, French interior minister Claude Gueant had described Niaz as a man with high level of technical training. He was working as a software professional in France and was the main target of the raids which resulted in the arrest of the seven men. Niaz belongs to Madurai. While his mother is said to live in south India, his father shifted to West Asia many years ago.

French authorities are tight-lipped about the charges being pressed against Niaz but it is learnt that his extensive network among the highly radicalized local Muslim community and his frequent trips to Pakistan from Algeria made France’s domestic intelligence agency, DCRI, sit up and take notice. Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, one of the top al-Qaida franchises, is a very potent force in Algeria and has time and again vowed to carry out attacks against France and other western nations. Since the enhanced threat perception in France, the DCRI has been tracking jihadist networks looking to recruit potential bombers in France and send them to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Niaz is also accused of sending two Frenchmen to Pakistan who were arrested in Lahore in January this year.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, Indian Muslims, SIMI, Tamil Nadu, Terrorism | Comments Off on Tamil Muslim Arrested in France for Islamic Terror Connection

Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden saw India As Enemy, Wanted To Join Jihad In Kashmir

Posted by jagoindia on May 14, 2011

Osama saw India as enemy, wanted to join jihad in Kashmir

May 3, 2011,

NEW DELHI: While India was spared of any attack directly masterminded, or even aided by Osama himself, it did find mention in his messages suggesting that the terror ideologue looked upon India as an enemy and a potential target. The alliance between al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba, India’s main terror threat, suggests that Osama had evolved into more than being just an inspirational figure for several terror groups targeting India.

The links between anti-India terror groups and Osama’s jihadis have been known at least since 1998 when members of Harkat-ul-Ansar, a terrorist group focused on Kashmir, training alongside al-Qaida members in Afghanistan were killed in a US missile attack. In fact, the very first reference to India by Osama came in May 1998 when he said in a press conference at Khost in Afghanistan that he would love to join the jihad in Kashmir if the Pakistani authorities allowed him. Osama’s answer came in response to a question from a Pakistani journalist. In the same conference, he announced the formation of International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the US and Israel.

This was followed by a long pause on India, even though his No.2 Ayman Al Zawahiri regularly spewed venom not just against India but also Hindus. In an April 2006 audio message, the emir of al-Qaida broke his silence to speak of a “Crusader-Zionist-Hindu conspiracy” against Muslims and also referred to Kashmir.

“Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders’ campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahideen camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims,” he said in the message which sought to highlight conspiracies against Muslims all over the world. According to security expert B Raman, the message lacked focus.

It was never established why he made the remark in the context of East Timor’s independence from Indonesia.

Much before 9/11, in November 1998, the Army claimed to have seized from militants, after an encounter in the Pir Panjal ranges, some cards with messages from Osama describing India as enemy No.1.

It is a safe surmise that Osama’s dependence on Pakistan for his survival may have forced him to buy more heavily into Islamabad’s designs against India.

A Wikileaks cable in December last year revealed that Osama was willing to divert $20 million to support groups active in Kashmir and also that he asserted that the jihad would not suffer from lack of funds. In a meeting with US officials, joint secretary (cabinet secretariat) Sharad Kumar stated that Indian intelligence had transcripts of pre-9/11 meetings between Osama and Taliban chief Mullah Omar during which terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed.

That India was an al-Qaida target became obvious in 2007 after 9/11 accused Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealed in his testimony at Guantanamo Bay that he was involved in a conspiracy to bomb the Israeli embassy in Delhi before 2003. In a tape released in 2003, Ayman Al Zawahiri warned Pakistan army officers that President Musharraf would ”hand you over to the Hindus and flee to enjoy his secret bank accounts” if India attacked their country. He urged them to overthrow Musharraf and also condemned then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s visit to India.

In 2009, there were two warnings to India from al-Qaida. The first was a telephonic threat in February 2009, the authenticity of which could not be established, warning India not to attack Pakistan and another one seven months later in which it warned Germany of attacks like those in Madrid and Mumbai.

From time to time, there have been reports about the presence of al-Qaida from J&K to Bihar but this has never been established. Security experts like Raman have warned though that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and HuJI could “turn out to be the Trojan horse of al-Qaida”. India’s former NSA M K Narayanan even said that LeT was the “most visible manifestation” of al-Qaida in India.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, India, Islamofascism, Jihad, Kashmir, Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Al Qaeda vows more Islamic attacks across India

Posted by jagoindia on February 16, 2010

Al Qaeda vows more attacks across India

February 16, 2010

Lahore: Just days after the deadly Pune terror attack, top al Qaeda terrorist commander Ilyas Kashmiri has vowed to continue attacks across India. 

In a message sent to a media group, Kashmiri, whose 313 Brigade is an operational arm of the al Qaeda, said that his group will attack India until the Army leaves Kashmir. 

He also issued a threat against the major sporting events like the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Delhi later this year. 

“We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, the Indian Premier League and Commonwealth Games – to be held in New Delhi later this year. Nor should their people visit India – if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences,” Kashmiri warned. 

The al Qaeda threat comes at a time when India and Pakistan are scheduled to hold bilateral talks on February 25 – first time since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. 

Pakistan has all along been demanding that the Kashmir issue should be discussed during the talks, while India wants the counter-terror cooperation to be at the centre of all talks. 

With regard to the Pune blast, India has been pointing to the involvement of Pak-based groups like Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Lashkar-e-Toiba in the entire conspiracy. The actual attack may have been carried out by Indian Mujahideen but they could have been instigated by the LeT or JuD in Karachi as some arrested operatives had said they were shown videos made by David C Headley, wanted by India in 26/11 terror attacks and under American custody, including clips of the Osho Ashram in Pune. 

Home Secretary GK Pillai has also asserted that the Pune attack – which has so far claimed nine lives, including two foreigners – was part of the notorious Karachi Project which was aimed at attacking India. 

What has raised doubts about the involvement of the Qaida-LeT-JuD nexus is the mention of Pune attack during the so called Kashmir Solidarity Day conference held by terror groups in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on February 4. 

Hafiz Abdur Rahman Makki, leader of terror outfit amalgam Jamaat-ud-Dawah, in his hate India speech during the conference mentioned about attacks on Indian cities, including Pune. 

Makki, brother-in-law of LeT founder and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, in his speech said three Indian cities, including Pune, would be targeted by the “Jihadis to teach India a lesson”. 

Saeed, one of the mastermind of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks that were carried out by LeT, too vowed to renew terror attacks in India. JuD is the frontal outfit of Lashkar-e-Toiba. 

The Muzaffarabad conference was also addressed by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Al-Badr leader Bakht Zamin, United Jehad Council general secretary Sheikh Jamilur Rehman, senior JuD leaders Abdul Aziz Alvi and Abdur Rehman Makki, and former Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Hamid Gul. 

Posted in Al-Qaeda, Hindus, India, Islamofascism, Pakistan, Terrorism | 7 Comments »

Al-Qaeda backed LeT to carry out 11/7 bombings

Posted by jagoindia on July 5, 2009

‘Al-Qaeda backed LeT to carry out 11/7 bombings’

Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 03, 2009

The United States and the United Nations Security Council have said that Al-Qaeda provided support to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) to carry out the July 2006 training bombings in Mumbai and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express blasts in Panipat.

If correct, this would be the first-ever confirmation that an international jihadi outfit like the Al-Qaeda was directly involved in aiding and abetting major terrorist attacks in India. If correct, this would be the first-ever confirmation that an international jihadi outfit like the Al-Qaeda was directly involved in aiding and abetting major terrorist attacks in India.

The revelation was made when the US and the UNSC proscribed four men, all residents of Pakistan and belonging to the LeT: Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari, Arif Qasmani, Mohammed Yahya Mujahid and Nasir Javaid.

Qasmani, the US and the UN have said, is the chief coordinator for LeT dealings with outside organisations and has provided significant support for LeT terrorist operations.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, India, Islamofascism, Jihad, LeT, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pakistan, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Al Qaeda clearly headquartered in Pakistan

Posted by jagoindia on May 24, 2009

‘Al Qaeda clearly headquartered in Pakistan’
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
May 22, 2009 

The Al Qaeda [Images] network is not located in Afghanistan, but clearly headquartered in Pakistan, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen [Images] told Congress Thursday, and warned that if the Taliban[Images] takes over Afghanistan again, it would mean the return of al Qaeda to Afghanistan to plan and plot attacks against the US reminiscent of 9/11.
Appearing before the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mullen stated categorically, “Al Qaeda is not located in Afghanistan–they are headquartered clearly in Pakistan,” and explained, “What I have watched over the last couple of years is this growing integration between Al Qaeda and the Taliban and the various networks of the Taliban–whether it’s Haqqani, or Masood or Hetmakyar and that has alarmed me in its growth and its integration.”
“And, it’s that quite frankly, is also extent in Pakistan, which is moving toward Islamabad [Images],” he said. “So, clearly, with the Al Qaeda resident in Pakistan, we can’t send troops in there to do anything about that–I understand that.”
Mullen said that “the Taliban may not be some monolithic or homogenous body in make-up or ideology. But they do have governing ambitions. It’s not just about instilling fears or spreading violence. They want Afghanistan back.”
“We can’t let them or their Al Qaeda cohorts have it,” he asserted. “We can’t permit the return of the very same safe havens from which the attacks on 9/11 were planned and resourced. And, yet, we can’t deny that our success in that regard may push them deeper into Pakistan.”
Mullen said that this is why it is imperative “why the investment in, support of, a relationship with the people of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan is so important, because in the long-run, the only way we are going to get at that is with them and through them, and that’s going to take some time.”
He said that “there is no corner of the world–none–that concerns me more than this region Afghanistan and Pakistan are two very different countries, but very much linked not only to each other, but inextricably to the national security of the United States. Indeed, our national interests are tied to this region, perhaps more than to any other right now.”
Mullen said ever since he took over as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, his time had been consumed “intently focused on the challenges in this region and on developing personal and professional relationships with leaders there whose decisions will remain indispensable to our common desire for security and stability.”
Taking a hefty swipe at the armchair pundits and analysts at think tanks here, not to mention members of Congress, Mullen said. “Through the years, if I learned nothing else, it is that nothing that we do here in Washington will matter much in the end if it doesn’t reflect our earnest desire to reestablish lost trust, and regain lost opportunities to prevent either nation from being crushed in the grip of extremism.”
“You don’t need to look very hard at the headlines to see that we are not making enough headway in that regard,” he added.
During the interaction that followed with lawmakers, Mullen acknowledged that he couldn’t say for sure if the infusion of US troops into Afghanistan wouldn’t destabilize Pakistan by pushing the insurgents into Balochistan.
He said he has discussed this at length with the Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani “and we all share the concerns for that.”
But, he argued that “where I am comfortable is that is that at least we are planning for it and having some expectation will allow us to address that and that’s going on.”
However, Mullen reiterated, “Can I 100 percent be certain that won’t destabilize Pakistan? I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t think it will, because we are aware of it and Pakistan is further away from being totally destabilized than a lot of people realize.”
“The military and civilian leadership recognizes this potential and so we are addressing it ahead of time,” he added.

Posted in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, United States of America | Leave a Comment »

Loose nukes in Pakistan: how real is the risk?

Posted by jagoindia on May 14, 2009

Loose nukes in Pakistan: how real is the risk?
Thu May 14, 2009

By Andrew Marshall, Asia Political Risk Correspondent

SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) – The doomsday scenario of militants allied to al Qaeda gaining control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has only a vanishingly small possibility of ever happening. But the more realistic risks are scary enough.

Analysts say that while the Taliban has almost no chance of ever being in a position to launch a nuclear warhead, there is a real danger militants could exploit chaos in Pakistan to hijack or steal enough radioactive material to build the kind of device long feared by counterterrorist officials — a dirty bomb. U.S. and allied officials have expressed mounting concern over what would happen to Pakistan’s warheads if the country lurched further into chaos and the Taliban came closer to seizing power.

“The collapse of Pakistan, al Qaeda acquiring nuclear weapons, an extremist takeover — that would dwarf everything we’ve seen in the war on terror,” David Kilcullen, an Australian anti-insurgency expert and adviser to U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus, warned earlier this year.

But most analysts say the Taliban is nowhere near able to mount a serious power grab across Pakistan. And even if they seized an area where warheads were stored, the nuclear command system would make it almost impossible to launch one.

“I don’t think there is any risk whatsoever of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of dangerous radical Islamic elements for the foreseeable future,” said Alastair Newton, senior political analyst at Nomura in London.


Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said the military was “the one institution that actually works well in Pakistan” and would step in if necessary to prevent the country sliding into chaos.

Maria Kuusisto, analyst at Eurasia Group in London, said nuclear security had improved significantly since 2001.

“To hijack a nuclear weapon in a conventional way, either stealing it or getting access to the nuclear command, is going to be very difficult,” Kuusisto said. “There are concerns, but the concerns are more nuanced than the headlines would suggest.”

Two scenarios are particularly worrying, analysts say.

If the Taliban encroached close to an area where warheads are stored, the military may feel it needs to try to move them — and the convoy could be vulnerable to capture.

“The Pakistani military say their procedures for moving nuclear weapons are very well thought out, but that is always a weak point, moving your nuclear assets,” Kuusisto said.

The second, and likelier, scenario would be that despite the vetting procedures in place, Taliban or al Qaeda sympathisers managed to get employed in a nuclear facility and were able to steal enriched uranium or other radioactive material.

Vetting of personnel can never be foolproof.

“What chills me is that the military says personnel assigned to sensitive nuclear facilities are all vetted by the Pakistan intelligence service,” said Steve Vickers, president and chief executive of FTI-International Risk and a former head of criminal intelligence for the Hong Kong police.

“I don’t think anyone would say Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are 100 percent secure,” Vickers said. The ISI intelligence service was instrumental in creating the Taliban and is widely thought to contain factions sympathetic to militants.

Fitzpatrick of the IISS non-proliferation programme said the risk of theft of fissile material was the biggest worry in Pakistan. “It is certainly conceivable,” he said.

Analysts noted that Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan had played a key role in the transfer of nuclear technology to rogue states. Khan was freed from house arrest in February by the current government and is widely viewed as a national hero.


Al Qaeda is known to be actively seeking nuclear material. Pakistan could be the place they finally manage to acquire some.

“It’s not going to be a risk where rogue elements take over Pakistan’s nuclear assets and then launch them at India or launch them at the U.S.,” Kuusisto said. “It will be a radiological bomb exploding somewhere that is traced back to Pakistan.”

The United States has given Pakistan assistance in checking containers leaving from key ports for radioactive material. But Vickers said smuggling radioactive material out of the country would not present a major problem for militants.

“It is very difficult to secure the borders,” he said.

Kuusisto noted Pakistan is a key transit point in the international drugs trade. “If heroin can flow out I am not too convinced that nuclear material cannot flow out,” she said. “There are plenty of land routes, there are plenty of options.”

A dirty bomb does not require major technical know-how — essentially it is a conventional bomb with radioactive material added so that besides the damage from the blast, a large area is also contaminated by potentially deadly radiation.

Several analyses suggest it would be difficult to build a dirty bomb radioactive enough to cause a large number of deaths.

But it is a weapon that could cause huge disruption due to the potential of long-term contamination — particularly if it was used to target a key node in the highly interconnected modern global economy, such as a key port or major financial district.

And even the announcement a militant group had acquired fissile material could cause widespread panic and disruption.

“The major threat from terrorism stems from the risk of one or more major attacks on fragile nodes in the international system with large conflation effects,” the World Economic Forum said in an analysis of the top global risks.

“Over the longer term, there is a moderate risk of such an event, with very high human, political and economic consequences.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, Islamofascism, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

NSG warns of Muslim women suicide bombers

Posted by jagoindia on March 26, 2009

NSG women terror alert

Manesar (Haryana), Feb. 11: National Security Guard chief J.K. Dutt today warned that al Qaida could use women suicide bombers and biological weapons against India.

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an al Qaida leader believed to be dead, threatened in a video made public yesterday that India could expect more Mumbai-style strikes if it attacked Pakistan.

India sees the Mumbai attacks as a convergence of al Qaida, Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Dutt told a seminar today that al Qaida’s reported training of 80 women suicide bombers should raise the question if any of them could be sent to India. Later, the director-general linked this to the need for a bigger role for women in security agencies.

Recent videos publicised by the Iraqi media showed a woman confessing she knew of al Qaida having used 28 of the 80 human bombs.

Officials discussed their experiences in Jammu and Kashmir with burqa-clad terrorists shooting at security forces. “We did not know if they were men or women,” said an NSG commando who was posted earlier in Kupwara.

Sources said the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing had been alerted on these potential threats alongside warnings about possible use of biological weapons.

“The Mumbai attack was an audacious attempt by the Taliban-al Qaida-LeT combine to shape policies of three sovereign nation states that include the oldest democracy and the largest democracy,” Dutt said.

The NSG chief said it was evident after the 9/11 attacks in the US that at least one group would stop at nothing. “This thought process has been reinforced with the terror attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008,” he said.

Dutt also expressed concern about the threat from biological weapons, last known to be used in 1995 in Japan when over 10 people were killed in a Sarin gas attack in a subway by a domestic terrorist group.

Posted in Al-Qaeda, Islamofascism, Terrorism, Women | Leave a Comment »

Al Qaeda strikes in Lahore

Posted by jagoindia on March 6, 2009

EDITORIAL: Al Qaeda strikes in Lahore…

The Sri Lankan cricket team playing in Lahore was attacked Tuesday morning by terrorists, injuring three team members and killing seven police personnel guarding the team. Twelve terrorists arrived in rickshaws, took positions, surrounded the van bringing the Sri Lankans to Gaddafi Stadium, fired on it for 25 minutes and then made good their escape. They were armed with rockets, hand grenades and kalashnikovs. The attack was caught on camera and shown by the TV channels in the morning. The cricket series has been called off and the Sri Lankans have gone home, shaken by what they have gone through.

Governor Salmaan Taseer, who arrived on the scene, stated that the attack was carried out by the same people who had executed the Mumbai attacks last year. That attack was traced to members of Lashkar-e Tayba or Jama’at-ud Dawa, some of whose planners are being investigated. On the day the attack on the cricket team in Lahore occurred, the newspapers carried news that Al Qaeda had owned up the Marriott Hotel blast of September 2008 in a message sent to the Saudi embassy in Islamabad. On December 22, 2008, the adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior, Mr Rehman Malik, had told the National Assembly that the Marriott blast was carried out by Lashkar-e Jhangvi.

In her interviews before she was assassinated, Ms Benazir Bhutto had revealed that the attack on her procession in Karachi in October 2007 was carried out by the gang of “Abdul Rehman Sindhi, an Al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) militant from the Dadu district of Sindh”. After her assassination in December 2008, an Al Qaeda spokesman claimed having killed “an American asset”. The LeJ is a sectarian outfit, created in 1996, and trained by Al Qaeda in its camps in Afghanistan. In the late 1990s, whenever the government of Pakistan demanded the handover of LeJ killers, the Taliban government, backed by Al Qaeda, steadily refused the demand.

There are other signs that the LeJ is an ally of Al Qaeda. The record of Lashkar-e Jhangvi as the policy instrument of Al Qaeda is quite impressive. Today it is one of a number of erstwhile jihadi militias aligned with Al Qaeda in their war against Pakistan. In May 2002, a New Zealand cricket team abandoned its tour of Pakistan after an LeJ suicide bomber attacked them in front of their hotel in Karachi.

LeJ was closely aligned with Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the master-planner of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. When the British national Omar Sheikh, sprung from an Indian jail by Jaish-e Muhammad after the hijack of an Indian airliner in 1999, led the American journalist Daniel Pearl into a trap in Karachi in January 2002, the trap was actually a group of terrorists of LeJ who finally facilitated Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in personally slaughtering Pearl in a safe house belonging to a charity trust linked to a madrassa in Karachi and active in Afghanistan, and banned as a terrorist organisation.

The latest Lahore attack was not a suicide-bombing which usually indicates circumstances of reduced possibilities for the terrorists; it was an operation where the terrorists saw an open-space opportunity where a drilled squad of terrorists could accomplish the mission. The Sri Lankan team’s logistics was studied and a place was chosen where their van could be intercepted. The police preparation for the team’s security obviously did not include a set-piece battle where a travelling row of vehicles could actually be stopped with rocket-launchers and grenades, allowing the killers to fire directly into the van. What they had in mind was probably the kind of unsuccessful attack suffered by President Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi in 2003.

Despite many occasions when Al Qaeda has owned up its attacks in Pakistan — one was when an Al Qaeda spokesman declared that the Danish embassy in Islamabad was attacked by an Al Qaeda suicide-bomber — few Pakistanis believe that Al Qaeda is dangerous for Pakistan. In a number of TV discussions, educated audiences have expressed the verdict that either Al Qaeda does not exist or it does not represent any danger to Pakistan. This trend is strengthened by so-called “careful” reporting from places where journalists like Musa Khankhel of Swat are exposed to the danger of being killed. It is also strengthened by the regular acquittal of LeJ terrorists from courts where judges are not protected by the state. *

SECOND EDITORIAL: …and effect on national politics

An even more dangerous trend is of recent birth. On February 23, 2009, “under instructions” from Mullah Umar and “sheikh” Osama bin Laden, the three feuding warlords of Waziristan — Baitullah Mehsud, Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur — announced reconciliation and merger under the rubric of Shura Ittehad Mujahideen (SIM). They also issued a pamphlet that vowed the targeting of Al Qaeda’s three enemies: “Obama, Zardari and Karzai”. Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) subsequently announced that it would no longer fight the Pakistan army. But the announcement of “Zardari” as a target while letting the Pakistan army off the hook is a menacing signal for Pakistani politics.

International cricket is no longer possible in Pakistan; therefore we should stop accusing foreign teams of discriminating against Pakistan vis-à-vis India. The question here is of the survival of Pakistan, not of cricket. The country is split down the middle, its two mainstream parties getting ready to face each other in the streets amid rising violence. The politicians and other civil society organisations protesting against the government have so far enjoyed the “exemption” from terrorism allowed by Al Qaeda. Unfortunately, it seems they are not going to give up confrontation to unite against Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda is hardly interested in the restoration of the deposed judges or the correct observance of democratic rules in Pakistan. It wants Pakistan as its own state, armed with nuclear weapons and an economy that can sustain global terrorism. It would be a pity if Pakistan responds, like an ex-ISI boss who has already done so, by accusing India’s RAW or Israel’s Mossad for this attack, as some commentators did in reference to the Marriott blast when an Indo-Pak media war was sparked by the Mumbai attacks.

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