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04 December 2008

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Clifford Kiracofe

Does Silverman know something that has escaped the DNI's notice?

All the OS reporting I have gone through so far points to Pakistan and the possibility of LeT. The terrorist captured alive is reportedly Punjabi-speaking with some Urdu and from Pakistan. One terrorist at the Jewish center was reported as speaking Urdu with a Kashmiri accent.

The Indian authorities claim they have satellite phone (1 Thuraya), cell phones (5 Blackberry), and GPS (1 Garmin) device recovered from terrorists. Cyber forensic work on these should be a rather routine matter.

"WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell late Tuesday implicated Lashkar-e-Taiba in the deadly attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 188 people.

Speaking at Harvard University, the top US intelligence official left little doubt that he believed the group was responsible for the bloody attacks.

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

The July 2006 bombings of Mumbai commuter trains killed at least 186 people and injured some 700 others. Indian police at the time blamed Pakistan's intelligence service and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which fought Indian rule in divided Kashmir, for the attacks.

Indian officials also blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for the deadly assault on the Indian parliament in 2001. That attack killed 12 people and pushed New Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of war.

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

McConnell, who did not mention Lashkar-e-Taiba by name, 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."

William R. Cumming

What do we know now about the 1993 attacks in MUMBAI?

The WMD report fails in detail although some contribution. Does not document specific actions taken since Senator Sam Numm led the charge before Atlanta Olympics to find out what Executive Branch was up to and the report should have detailed the progress or lack thereof in implemting the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 (Title XIV of 1996 DOD authorization act). Also the Deutch Commission report did a better job on proliferation issues in 1999. But hey Commissions provided chances for old friends to meet and greet. They should document past efforts which the report does not and should make clear administrative solutions and legislative solutions. We have just learned that 12 years later the DOD Civil Response Teams focused on WMD are not trained, equipped or supported based on known requirements. Less than 15% of first responders at STATE and LOCAL level have SCBA gear (Self-contained breathing apparatus) of even limited utility in WMD events. But hope progress is made before the Commissions five year out prediction of incident or event comes true if in US.

Will

@ Clifford

Apparently Silverman has read the readily available newspapers and absorbed the anomalies. Do a control click on his footnotes to read his sources (after converting the Cambria font to times new roman so you can read it!)

................
By the way, it is very easy to convert these word docs to html, in fact word itself has a utility for doing it.)

Something doesn't add up. India is the world's third largest Muslim country. It is ranked after Indonesia & Pakistan, or so I have heard.

When India plays the Israel card, it thumbs its nose at some 120 million of its own citizens. When it gives up on the Iran to India gas pipeline to pander to the neocons it spites itself. When it pursues the Israeli Arrow ABM defense system it screws around w/ MAD which has prevented war and lets loose the dogs of nuclear first strike.

b

The first paper makes the right observation - I read the report when it came out and there was nothing, nil, in it that supported the "5 year" threat made in the first line of the executive summary. The report, and the reporting about it in the media, is crap.

On Mumbai: It is convenient to blame Pakistan, but other than unnamed "officials'" statements there is no proof pointing to it.

As Silverman remarks, it is interesting that the first people killed were the top counter-terrorism folks of Mumbai's police, including Hemant Karkare.

These had just uncovered, to the embarrassment of the BJP, that a recent terror event in Malegaon that was alleged to have been by Muslims, was indeed done by right-wing Hindutva followers. (links here)

Now that track is unlikely to be followed further.

Cui bono?

S.D.

Regarding WMD:
==============

The Aum
Shinrikyo

attack has always been the most fearful use, (to my mind) on a 'soft' target, o f the so=called W.M.D. 10 two-man teams. Calculated, indiscriminate and brutal.

Clearly Saddam's usage of the poison gas, "annihilation insecticide" on the battlefields against the Basiji was most fearsome as well.

"Nerve gas killed about 20,000 Iranian soldiers immediately, according to official reports. Of the 90,000
survivors, some 5,000 seek medical treatment regularly and about 1,000 are still hospitalized with severe, chronic
conditions." ^ Fassihi, Farnaz (27 October 2002), "In Iran, grim reminders of Saddam's arsenal", New Jersey Star-Ledger

The chemicals are scary, the nukes, well, as an army brat in the cold war and a stint in the armored cav, I always half expected to get nuked by the U.S.S.R. anyway. As a matter of course.

So yes, this (w.m.d. attack) will unfortunately happen again. Don't need a commission to determine that.


Regarding Mumbai:
=================

To me this (Mumbai) recalled the Luxor Massacre

...as well as the failed (thank goodness) Nitzanim Beach attack Netzanim


and the Rome Vienna Airport massacre of 1985 Rome Vienna

That was Abu Nidal's gang. Although, Patrick Seale would have one believe otherwise. Abu Nidal was the bin Laden of the '80's.

Mass casualties, and a viciousness that goes way beyond the 'propaganda of the deed'.

Mumbai to me was a larger scale Columbine massacre. I don't know how a security apparatus or a society can defend against this madness, this type of attack. It is a raid, razzia, and a suicide attack, Virginia Tech crazed gunman. Certainly the depredations of out of control military units against civilians certainly fall into this category, a war crime.
----
To get my fix of Southwest Asian intrigue, I find I gravitate to Asia Times Online Particularly anything by Syed Saleem Shahzad.

I know all the newspapers and goverment spokespersons are lying, and their sources are lying, so a few more lies do not muddy the swamp anymore than it already is.

peg

is this article believable?

"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. ..."

LINK

Michael Singer

Dear Pat, Today the NYT reported that phone intercepts between the shooters and their controllers in Pakistan are known and they were named in the paper. First off, I don't understand why that info leaks if these men are targets. Secondly, why is everyone still so confused after today's story. Why don't we force Pakistan to arrest these terrs or let the US handle them?
Michael Singer

Cold War Zoomie

Family legend is that at least one of my relatives sailed with this fellow.

Possible, but highly improbable.

Sure didn't stop a young boy from daydreaming while watching the Neuse flow by.

These fellows in the news today just aren't as romantic.

FB Ali

Dr Silverman is right to caution against a rush to judgement on who was behind the Mumbai attack. There are several troubling aspects to the accounts coming through; for example :
• How could just 10 terrorists attack 9 different sites and hold off the security forces for so many days?
• The killing of the head of the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad, Karkare, along with two other police officers, right at the beginning of the operation raises many questions. Could it be just a lucky hit? Karkare was investigating the Malegaon terrorist incident (blamed initially on Muslim terrorists) and had linked it to Hindu extremists, resulting in the arrest of several suspects including serving and retired military officers. An Indian newspaper (Maharashtra Times) quotes witnesses that the Karkare killers spoke Marathi (reported in http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/nov/28-some-questions-about-the-terror-attacks.htm).
• The doctors who saw the dead terrorists say their faces were destroyed beyond recognition (one was shot through each eye!). Reported at : http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/nov/30mumterror-doctors-shocked-at-hostagess-torture.htm

Cold War Zoomie

Oops...my comment here about Blackbeard was meant for the pirates post.

Arun

Very nice speculation, but all the indications are that it is the LeT.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Terror_protests_gather_steam/articleshow/3799916.cms
is important - India's Muslim notables want a black-ribbon protest against terrorism on December 9, on Bakr-Eid. This time they are not remaining silent. They realize that this time they came for the Hindus, the Jews, the Americans, next time it will be them.

Mazdak, the columnist in The Dawn, Karachi, also gets the point.

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/mazdak/20080612.htm

"Ever since Gen Zia encouraged the establishment of sectarian and ethnic terror groups, we have witnessed a mushroom growth of terrorism over the last two decades. And since many of these groups have supported military governments from time to time, they have acquired important links in officialdom, as well as with some politicians.

But above all, these groups have been important pawns in the army’s proxy wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Now, having gained prominence as well as financial support, they are not going to disarm and go home just because their existence has become an embarrassment to the Pakistani establishment. It is important to remember that there is now a lot of money flowing into the coffers of these groups. Leaders drive around openly in expensive SUVs, while the rank and file are fairly well paid. These are all people who are not qualified to get the meanest of jobs under normal circumstances.

The existence of these dangerous groups, and the impunity with which they have been operating for two decades, all serve to underline the steady meltdown of the Pakistani state. Instead of treating the cancer of terrorism as a law and order issue, the army has viewed it as a political and military opportunity. Lacking legitimacy and a constituency, both Zia and Musharraf depended on religious groups for support. These parties, in turn, gave militants cover. Thus, the Islamic coalition of the MMA allowed the Taliban to flourish when they governed the Frontier province between 2002 and 2007. We are now struggling with the fallout of their policies."

Arun

The Guardian, UK has this:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/07/mumbai-terrorism-india-pakistan

"
Revealed: home of Mumbai's gunman in Pakistan village
Since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai 10 days ago, speculation has been rife about the birthplace of the lone surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab. India and Pakistan have clashed over reports that he came from the Punjab. Saeed Shah, after spending days travelling throughout the region, tracked down the killer's home - and his grandfather - and found conclusive proof of his identity."

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