Tag: Terrorism

India has ‘proof of ISI involvement’

India has proof of the involvement of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency in last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai but will not level a public accusation because the ensuing tension in bilateral relations would play into the hands of those responsible for the incidents, authoritative sources claimed here on Thursday.

The Hindu : Front Page : India has ‘proof of ISI involvement’

I call BS. If you have “proof”, loudly announcing to the world that you have proof while saying that sharing this proof will “increase tension” is like your boss telling you “I know you are stealing on the job, but I won’t tell you what I know or how I know it because it will increase the tension”. Right…

Why not just work with the known facts? They are damning enough.

Congress-BJP slanging match over terror begins

Even before the gunbattle with terrorists in Mumbai could end, a slanging match on Friday began between ruling Congress and opposition BJP on the issue of handling of internal security and dealing with terrorists.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani accused the intelligence agencies of failing to get a whiff of Mumbai terror attacks, alleging their preoccupation with "Hindu terror"– an apparent reference to Malegaon blast probe –helped the terrorist plot go undetected.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, BJP's anti-terror mascot, sought to upstage Congress by visiting the three Mumbai spots where the operations against terror were on and was promptly branded as a "publicity monger" by the ruling party.

Congress also raked up the Kandahar hijack episode during the BJP rule and alleged release of terrorists in return for safe release of passengers onboard had brought India to its knees

It also sought to puncture Narendra Modi's anti-terror plank alleging he had failed to provide manpower for a centrally-funded coastal policing

AICC spokesman Manish Tewari accused Advani, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, of failing to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mumbai, which would have sent a strong signal of a united India against terrorism.

Advani preferred to go to Mumbai along with Jaswant Singh whose conduct at Kandahar is possibly responsible for what we are facing today", said Tewari at the party briefing.

In a statement, Advani accused the UPA of not being serious about tackling terror. "The government's non-serious approach is reinforced by reports that the Mumbai attackers arrived in the city by the sea route.

via NDTV.com: Congress-BJP slanging match over terror begins

Note to BJP, your associates are responsible for thousands of deaths in state abetted riots and pogroms against Muslims and Christians. Also, your associates are suspected in fomenting acts of terror, shut the fuck up. You are equally complicit in increasing tensions in the country.

Note to Congress, You are also responsible for thousands of preventable violent deaths. You are inept and unable to setup a basic centralized counter terrorism program, you have, on your watch, let India suffer many brazen terrorist attacks without doing anything to improve intelligence gathering or have any kind of rational response. You have been using the Muslim community to gather votes for years without actually doing anything to make things better. You have not been able to bring the organizers of riots and mayhem to justice, hell, you haven’t even tried. You have no right to talk.

If there is one thing that can be done right away, list all the violence that has occurred in the last few years and actually bring the people responsible for this violence to trial, get some convictions, do some good police and prosecution work. Maybe then we can build some confidence in the system. We can’t have Hindus going free for hate crimes/terrorism, we can’t have Muslims going free for hate crimes/terrorism.

Rule of law, quaint, old fashioned, boring, but in the long term, combining a robust counter terrorism program with a low tolerance approach to violence is our only cure.

Terrorists boated in from Pakistan

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Police investigators say they have evidence that operatives of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the fidayeen-squad attacks in Mumbai — a charge which, if proven, could have far-reaching consequences for India-Pakistan relations.

Police sources said an injured terrorist captured during the fighting at the Taj Mahal hotel was tentatively identified as Ajmal Amir Kamal, a resident of Faridkot, near Multan, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Highly-placed police sources said two other Pakistani nationals had also been held in the course of intense fighting on Thursday.

All three, the sources said, identified themselves as members of a Lashkar fidayeen squad.Based on the interrogation of the suspects, the investigators believe that one or more groups of Lashkar operatives left Karachi in a merchant ship early on Wednesday. Late that night, an estimated 12 fidayeen left the ship in a small boat and rowed some 10 nautical miles to Mumbai’s Gateway of India area.

The investigators say the fidayeen unit of which Mr. Kamal was a part then split up into at least six groups, each focussing on a separate target: Mumbai’s Nariman House, which is home to a large number of Israeli families and a Jewish prayer house; the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus rail station; the Cama hospital; the Girgaum seafront; and the Taj and Trident Oberoi hotels.

via The Hindu : Front Page : Three Lashkar fidayeen captured

Well, so it goes, this gives the government and all politicians free license to start bashing Pakistan all over again, while failing to take care of all the changes that need to happen in order to avoid an attack of such brazenness and sophistication. There is no intelligence gathering, no infrastructure to coordinate intelligence, no disaster preparedness, insufficient patrolling of the coasts, gang influences that run deep in the police and the politicians, an inability to run effective investigations, the list is endless.

All that being said, how does one deal with the lawlessness in Pakistan? If we assume that the Pakistani establishment did not have anything to do with this, we are still left with the conclusion that terror groups can function with impunity and in broad daylight in Pakistan’s major cities and just sneak across the border to attack, either in Afghanistan or in India.

The US is bombing the crap out of the Pak-Afghan border, but the terrorists are in the cities and towns, can’t really bomb away. India needs to seriously tighten its borders, and cannot rely on Pakistan’s situation improving any time soon.

Terrorist attacks in Mumbai

Terror struck the country's financial capital late on Wednesday night as coordinated serial explosions and indiscriminate firing were reported from at least eight locations across Mumbai.

At least 18 people are reported killed and 24 are seriously injured.

The coordinated terror strike which reportedly began at 2233 PM at Chhatrapathi Shivaji TerminusCST, formerly known as the Victoria TerminusVT, killed 10 people in the premises of the station, police say.

A petrol pump has been blown up in Colaba by armed men and at least 10 people are reported to have been killed in that strike.

Three persons are killed in a bomb explosion in a taxi on Mazegaon dockyard road and an equal number have been gunned down at the five-star Taj Hotel.

The victims in the hotel were its employees.

via MUMBAI TERROR: Hotels, hospital, bus stands, cinema halls attacked

All the attacks are in relatively affluent neighbourhoods and posh hotels in South Mumbai, clearly designed to terrorize people who would not normally be exposed to terrorist activity, and to further ratchet up tensions in India. Of course, scaring foreigners and tourists is a big deal as well. CST (or Victoria terminus as it is still referred to) is like Grand Central Station in NY city, an iconic Mumbai landmark and the starting point for many many trains. Security in this city of millions is non existent, so I guess such attacks are easy to carry out.

Hindu Terrorism Update

As they uncover a wide network of those involved in the Malegaon blast with linkages to an earlier explosion at Nanded too, investigators were on Sunday looking for 54 people suspected to have been given arms training at a military school in Nagpur.

Highly-placed sources involved in the investigation into the blast at Malegaon on September 29 that killed six persons, said that interrogation of suspects indicated that 54 people had been given training in handling of arms and explosives at Bhonsala Military School in 2001.

Some of them are believed to be involved in the blasts at Malegaon in 2006 and 2008 as well as the Nanded blast in 2006.

Mysteriously a laptop said to belong to Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit, an army officer arrested recently after investigations, has disappeared. The laptop is said to contain all the 54 names.

via The Hindu : Front Page : Police looking for 54 people “who got arms training”

Involving a military school and a Lt. Colonel, scary. Earlier post here.

Hindu Terrorists – No Oxymorons

The revelation that a militant section of the Hindutva network was behind the September 29 bomb blasts in Muslim-dominated Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat has shattered the myth propagated by the Hindutva campaign that only Islamist fundamentalism breeds terrorism. Indeed the Sangh Parivar’s loaded argument has been that while all Muslims are not terrorists, all terrorists are Muslim. Saffron rabble-rousers have had no compunction in lobbing this charge at the Muslim community as a whole. While it has become almost an article of faith with the parivar to link Islamist fundamentalists with terrorism, today, with the arrests of radical Hindu activist Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and four others, among them a retired Major, the Sangh and its affiliates find themselves warding off the same accusations. Prima facie, the case against the Sadhvi and her accomplices is serious. The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra, which has been on the trail of Hindutva terror since 2006, has charged them under the Indian Penal Code for murder as well as under sections of the Indian Explosives Act, 1884, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.

via The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Hindutva’s terror link

Note: Sadhvi means saint! Terrorist accused saint, now that is an oxymoron we can believe in.

Seriously, what has this so called Hindutva movement come to? Ban them all!

20 killed as 5 bomb explosions rock Delhi

Twenty people were killed and about 100 injured in a series of five bomb explosions that rocked busy marketplaces in the Capital on Saturday.The first explosion took place at Karol Bagh at 6.10 p.m.; two bombs were triggered at Connaught Place; and two more in the bustling M-Block market of Greater Kailash.

The Hindu : Front Page : 20 killed as 5 bomb explosions rock Delhi

What is India going to do about this problem? The terrorists know exactly what they are doing. They want to polarize the Indian population and start a scorched earth Hindu-Muslim conflict. I don’t see that happening as of yet, but a country can only take so much. The current government does not have enough intelligence to stop the attacks. They react by arresting a person or two, but I think there are many more cells in the country. The inability of the central govrernment to make any major breakthroughs is only going to lead to more deaths.

The BJP is saying that it warned the Central government recently that SIMI was planning attacks in Delhi. I guess I could have warned the Central government that terrorists are going to strike every major city in the country on an ongoing basis. The BJP of course claims that the congress is “soft on terror” (sounds familiar). They have not said what they would do differently, except have more draconian preventive arrests, which given the lack of intelligence would be mostly pointless.

Pakistan helped Kabul terrorist act on Indian Embassy

American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials.The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region.

Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say – NYTimes.com

Not terribly surprising, but it’s the first time they’ve actually been caught on tape helping terrorists. Countries have been invaded on far flimsier pretexts. Luckily, no Americans were harmed in the filming of this movie. So the ISI will just get a slap on the wrist. Of course, as you read the rest of the article, you find out that the mastermind of these attacks, just like most of the other senior militants, was funded and trained by the CIA in the 1980s. So, what good will come out of further American meddling is at this point in time, uncertain.

More on Terrorism in India

The trend towards the radicalisation of the Indian Muslim youth started in the late 1980s.Groups of Muslim youth from Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) started going across the Line of Control (LOC) to Pakistan and were trained and armed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). After the training, some of them were taken to Afghanistan to get an exposure to jihad as practised by the Afghan Mujahideen.In December 1993, coinciding with the first anniversary of the demolition of the Babri masjid at Ayodhya, there was a number of explosions in different railway trains in North India. The interrogation of one of the suspects arrested during the investigation revealed that the SIMI had organised them.

Al Qaeda And India : outlookindia.com

Long article by B. Raman on the recent history of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in India. It is an interesting read and makes the point that recruits are increasingly local and the organization is local as well. While the ISI (Pakistan’s most diabolical intelligence agency) set up, trained and funded these groups, they’ve not become independent. What does that mean? I don’t know. But the targeting of BJP governments is deliberate and aims to increase tensions…

Terrorism in Bangalore and Ahmedabad

For the second time in two days, small explosions rocked an Indian city, this time in Ahmedabad on Saturday evening, killing at least 29 people. The Indian government said cities across the country had been put on alert for similar attacks.

At Least 29 People Killed in Explosions in Indian City – NYTimes.com

It’s sad, and clearly a deliberate attempt to frighten people and politicians into extremism. After all, nothing like escalating the tension and provoking the BJP government into an over-reaction. It did work before in Gujarat. And on the 25th anniversary of the Anti Tamil Pogroms in Sri Lanka, a frightening reminder that in general, state sponsored retribution acts as a force multiplier of huge proportions. Terrorist groups know this, and as anyone American or otherwise knows, 9/11 worked as the perfect force multiplier to get the Americans to widen the conflict and add more fuel to the fire.

It’s burning well now. The last few terrorists attacks in India have not resulted in escalation of violence. But how much longer can this situation last? Things are crazy and lawless on the Durand Line and though not as well known, Bangladesh is another safe haven for “insurgents”.

India is surrounded by turmoil and it is a testament to the resilience of the population that life goes on without much fear.