Why Mumbai was attacked by LET&ISI: Lashkar-e-Taiba cadres sucked into al Qaeda orbit

Discussion in 'China' started by maomao, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Lashkar-e-Taiba cadres sucked into al Qaeda orbit


    LONDON: David Headley joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group hoping to fight in Kashmir; the Pakistani-American ended up scouting out targets for the Mumbai attacks and helping al Qaeda plan a strike on Denmark.

    Headley’s story, contained in confidential Indian government documents, casts fresh light on the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, where US President Barack Obama paid tribute to the victims during a visit to the city this weekend.

    It suggests that LeT cadres are increasingly being drawn into the orbit of al Qaeda and its affiliates and slipping out of the control of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, as the once cohesive group becomes more fractured and more receptive to al Qaeda’s global Islamist agenda.

    The LeT has in the past been seen as one of Pakistan’s most reliable proxies, security analysts say, eschewing attacks on Pakistan itself and focusing on India and Kashmir.

    “Tensions have existed within Lashkar for some time between those with a narrower focus on India and those with an international bent,” said Stephen Tankel, a US-based analyst who is writing a book on the group.

    “As the Kashmir jihad waned and al Qaeda’s global jihad accelerated, managing these tensions became more difficult. The decision to launch a terrorist spectacular in Mumbai was driven by these internal dynamics,” he added.

    Headley, arrested in Chicago last year, provided his account to Indian investigators in 34 hours of interviews in June.

    According to documents obtained by Reuters, he said plans for Mumbai began as a limited operation to attack an annual conference of software engineers in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

    Within a matter of months it ballooned into a sea-borne assault by 10 gunman on many targets – the kind that security officials have said could also be planned for European cities – and ended up killing 166 people in a three-day siege.

    The LeT had been straining at the seams for years, under pressure from the ISI to limit its activities in Kashmir which has been disputed by Pakistan and India since they won independence in 1947.

    The group has been and losing members who went off to fight with, and become influenced by, other groups waging the more active jihad in Afghanistan.

    “I understand this compelled the LeT to consider a spectacular terrorist strike in India,” the documents quote Headley, who has turned witness for the prosecution, as saying.
    COMMITTED TO KASHMIR

    Headley, who scouted out targets in Mumbai on a number of trips, began working increasingly with Ilyas Kashmiri, the commander of a militant group based in Pakistan’s tribal areas who is closely linked to al Qaeda.

    He visited Kashmiri twice in 2009, and discussed plans for an attack on Denmark, where the newspaper Jyllands-Posten had published cartoons deemed offensive to Islam. The men present “even discussed a general attack on Copenhagen”, Headley said.

    Headley found himself scouting targets in Copenhagen for al Qaeda, and travelling to Sweden and the British town of Derby to seek help for the attack. It was thwarted when he was arrested in Chicago last year, according to some reports on a tip-off from British intelligence.

    Much of Headley’s story has been leaking out steadily since his arrest. But what comes across in the testimony given to Indian prosecutors is a much more detailed picture of how the LeT has been transformed over the last decade.

    While security officials worry that LeT’s supporters in the Pakistani diaspora could be used in an attack in the West, the group’s leaders still view Kashmir as the most important front.

    In many discussions cited by Headley, they asserted its primacy with a zeal which frequently appears to go further than the ISI would like.

    But it has been heavily influenced by the Afghan war, as LeT cadres have worked with groups fighting the Pakistan army on the border and returned committed to global jihad and less willing to toe the line of the group’s one-time ISI masters.

    Pakistan has officially banned the group and curtailed its activities after it began a peace process with India in 2004.

    Headley said that with Pakistan facing an identity crisis over the war in Afghanistan and in the tribal areas, “a debate had begun among the terrorist outfits as to whether to fight in Kashmir or in Afghanistan. The clash of ideology led to splits in many of our outfits”.

    While LeT leaders approved the Mumbai plans, according to Headley, they were influenced by more radical members as targets grew to include places frequented by foreigners and Jews.

    The targets chosen led even many Indian security analysts to rule out the involvement of the ISI leadership, which they said would never have taken the risk of triggering a US backlash by allowing the LeT to attack Americans and Jews.

    The plot then acquired an almost random momentum.
    With the assault planned for September in Ramadan, a hope was expressed that too many Muslims would not be killed since they would be at home breaking their fast. That was forgotten when this attempt failed after the gunmen’s boat capsized.

    Plans to use the main railway station as an escape route were ditched when commanders decided the gunmen must fight to the death – turning the assault into a three-day siege, and the terminus into a target where a third of the victims died.

    According to Headley, official ISI handlers were aware of the Mumbai plans. But in an organization which runs into the thousands, and where agents were given a great deal of autonomy, it is unclear how far this information was passed up the line.

    The Indian documents quote Headley as saying that ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha visited an LeT commander in jail after the assault “to understand the Mumbai attack conspiracy.”

    Asked about the report, a Pakistani official said no ISI officers were involved in the Mumbai attacks, and noted that Pakistan had long been asking India to share evidence it had gathered.

    India has long argued that Pakistan must not only curb the activities of the LeT but also dismantle “the infrastructure of terrorism” in order to prevent further attacks like Mumbai. — Reuters

    http://public.dawn.com/2010/11/07/lashkar-e-taiba-cadres-sucked-into-al-qaeda-orbit.html
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    What is probably is more accurate description would be that LeT is trying to pull Al Qaeda into its orbit to launch anti-India attacks.

    Its significant to note that 90+% of foreign terrorists that enter India are from Pakistan. And other Afghan or even smaller number of Arab fighters that came into Kashmir in the 90s was under Pakistani supervision. Other than that even OBL and Zawahiri hardly make statements on India in their speeches.

    The main aim, and ISI establishment is trying its best in this, is to divert the attention from anti Pakistani army sentiment of these groups towards anti-India sentiment. But they have been less than successful at least till now.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dont believe any intelligence coming from west untill usa comes clean on david headly and pakistan army.India has to fight its own WOT without any help.
     
  5. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Are we really waging this war on terror,frankly speaking no.America's approach in this war against Islamic terrorist might be self centered and hypocritical,nevertheless they haven't just sat around pondering over the definition of this war, arguing its religious dimension and how to confine it within the limits of International law,they gave vent to their basic instincts.What was our response to the biggest terrorist strike to date against the Indian state,oh I'm sorry we didn't respond,at least not in the manner any self respecting state would have under the circumstance.

    We are still debating if the Mumbai attack was a result of some schism within LET or because there was dichotomy between LET and ISI,from our point of view are these things relevant.Does any one here on this portal think that the Pakistani ruling establishment,including its military,intelligence or political executive,and the assortment Islamic jihadi groups have any serious difference of opinion regarding their fundamental dispute with India,does anyone even conceive such attacks,previous attacks and the attacks that will happen in the future,take place without broad based understanding and coordination within the ruling circles of Pakistan.

    Islamic Jihad against India represents the Pakistan national consensus against India,unless we stop adopting this ostrich like approach to Islamic jihad being waged by the state and people of Pakistan,we simply forsake any right to claim that we are waging war against terror.Let us stop making distinction between Islamic Jihad,Jihadi terror groups and the state of Pakistan,because there aren't any.

    The anguished outrage of the people of India in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks called upon the indian state to use the opportunity to blow the war knell against this Jihad,are we going to wait for another outrage to ponder over its necessity.
     
  6. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    If reports are true then sure its really a pathetic and pity that let has to incident like mumbai to wean away its member away form other terrorist organisation .let is finding difficult to maintain its member .

    What remain true is pakistan is using this and other organisation to achieve its cause that is kashmir. Pakistan establishment(consisting of elites, army isi) has nothing to do with islamic ideology or with any of its cause and to fight for that cause

    i wonder what would to various such organisation when kasmir is settled . Would its base soldiers would be rehabilitated .
     
  7. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Islamic ideology and Pakistan's entrenched hostility towards India cannot divorced from each other and any attempt to do so on our part will lead to India drawing wrong inference in our understanding of the threat that we face in our neighborhood.Why are we trying to draw a distinction between the ideology and ideologue when our enemies do not assume the existence of any such distinction.You can perhaps argue whether they have interpreted the 'ideology' correctly,but that will just an academic pursuit.
     
  8. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^^ i do not think so if that was the case then major ISLAMIC nation would support pakistan on kashmir issue i do not think so is the case though there may be greater number of islamic nations supporting pakistan plus our enemy would like to have no distinction between islamic ideology and ideologue because it suits there supports their idea

    And if u suppose so then tell me one think why don`t any pakistan army general supports mustaches like any mulla or why drinking alcohol is allowed pubs in islamic based nation like saudia arbia
     
  9. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its a figment of imagination that Islamic countries do not support Pakistan with regards to its claim over Kashmir,you just have to look at various resolution passed by principal members of the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference)regarding Kashmir,besides whether Islamic countries support Pakistan on Kashmir or not is a moot point.What difference does it make to how we distinguish the ideologue from his ideology,what is important is we realize that they dont.I dont think any one here on this forum needs to be coached on Pakistan's Raison d'être,so why do we insist on pursuing this self deluding distinction between Islamic ideology, Pakistan and its war of attrition against India.
     
  10. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    they did there job but the fact is our cops were failed our system was failed

    they did every time and we are soft as nothing

    no human life respect in our country when we understand we have to react usa or an other country will not fight in place of us

    we have to deal our problem
     

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