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Updated: May 27, 2011 13:00 IST

26/11: ‘ISI, Lashkar collaborated closely'

Praveen Swami
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In this November 27, 2008 file photo, National Security Guards take position opposite Nariman House at Colaba, Mumbai. Photo: Vivek Bendre
The Hindu
In this November 27, 2008 file photo, National Security Guards take position opposite Nariman House at Colaba, Mumbai. Photo: Vivek Bendre

The assault team members were told they were expected to die in the attack on Mumbai — rather than escape as earlier planned. The LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed told the 10-member assault team: your "bloodstains would be rose petals"

Lashkar-e-Taiba supreme commander Hafiz Muhammad Saeed told the 10-member assault team, which attacked Mumbai in November 2008, that “being shot would feel like a pinprick, bloodstains would be like rose petals, and that angels would come down to take their souls.”

Saeed's exhortation, revealed in documents filed by prosecutors in the ongoing trial of Chicago-based terror suspect Tahawwur Rana, was made after the assault team members were told they were expected to die in the attack on Mumbai — rather than escape as earlier planned.

Details contained in the prosecution's proffer of evidence — a legal document that contains a summary of the arguments it intends to present — offer substantial new information on the 26/11 Mumbai plot.

Sajid Mir, the Lashkar's commander of transnational operations, had overall control of the tactical planning of the operation, and issued directions to the attackers using Internet and satellite phone links.

Mir, the proffer records, was instrumental in the decision that the assault team would fight until its members were killed, and personally ordered the execution of two hostages held at Mumbai's Chabad House.

Muzammil Bhat, a long-standing veteran of the Lashkar's operations in Jammu and Kashmir, was responsible for training the assault teams to the high standards needed to execute Mir's plans.

Rana, the proffer states, told co-accused Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, in a September 2009 conversation, that the nine Lashkar operatives, who died in the attack, deserved the Nishan-e-Haider — Pakistan's highest military honour. Headley and Rana also discussed plans for future operations during the conversation, which was being secretly recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Even though the trial in Chicago centres around Rana, the proffer makes clear that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence Directorate played a key role in the attack and monitored each stage of the operation. It provided professional intelligence-tradecraft training and funds, and appears to have played a key role in target selection.

Plan to attack BARC

In April 2008, for example, Headley was ordered to conduct reconnaissance around the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) by his ISI handler, who he knew as Major Iqbal. Major Iqbal asked him to explore the viability of an assault on staff housing around the complex.

But later that month, Headley told the NIA in a separate interview, Rana informed him of a bilateral agreement binding both India and Pakistan not to use force against each other's nuclear installations — a discussion that suggests the ISI may have decided an attack on the BARC would invite retaliation.

India absolutely need not to worry from Taliban / Pakistan as they have lost all the wars to mighty India including the great economic and financial game, I wonder how long a country would survive on aid and borrowed money. India staying on course I see no more that 5 years Taliban and pakis starving for grains.

from:  Ramlal Gupta
Posted on: May 28, 2011 at 21:33 IST

Terror and killing of any human being cannot be justified nor approved by any religion. Islam clearly states, killing one human is like killing humanity. Whereas these so called Islamic cleric does unislamic things and bring disrepute to name of Islam.
Such individuals hijacked Islam, abusing it to meet their selfish objectives and trying to justify them. Every true muslim condemns their acts and tells the world, these are just criminals and criminals do not belong to any religion.

from:  Khader Mohiuddin
Posted on: May 28, 2011 at 09:50 IST

No wonder why FBI continues to be one of the top investigating agencies in the world. This is also a great embarrassment to our agencies (RAW, CBI, NIA, IB, etc) who are more at boot-licking than professionalism. Will these agencies shed their sycophancy for professionalism and strive to achieve high standards continue to remain a dream for many Indians.

from:  Sivasathivel KANDASAMY
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 13:50 IST

An intriguing issue is, why has India steadfastly refused to implement measures from the counter-terrorism doctrine for over 24 years - ever since Zia ul Huq launched his eminently successful war of attrition on us - and has meekly accepted to be walloped by Pakistan, a country that is one fifth India's size? The reason is the vote bank factor. To our netas, the votes of a particular community whose epicentre is Pakistan and extending into its affiliates like POK and the Kashmir valley is of far greater concern than the security of our own motherland. Even a basic item like modernising our police has been shoved under the carpet How does one explain defective flak jackets worn by our policemen during 26/11? Why are we protecting convicted terrorists like Mohd Afzal and Ajmal Kasab from being hanged?

from:  JK Dutt
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 13:47 IST

Thia may be eye opener to Congress leaders who are defending 26/11 Mumbai attack pakistani terrorists and telling Lashkar-e-Toiba is less dager. These leaders are shameless anti indians. but people like these people working for anti indian, pro-pakistani acts. International reports gave clear evidence of LeT hand in samjhauta blast, Indian government indicting falsely others for their evil political plans. This is sure a good weapon for pakistan to attack india. Pakistan leaders can't be believed at any stage. Now China is palying pakistan as pawn for ots anti india acts and making army indtallations in POK.Still indian government like to protect pakistan by indicting indians for all pakistani terror activities.

from:  BVS Manyam
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 11:39 IST

Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism.One who lives with the sword dies with the sword.Pakistan has to reap what it has sowed.The recent explosions are the rewards they are getting for what the4y have given to the world.What is the guaranty that ISI was not involved in the Word Trade Cenre attack.So Reap What you Sow.there is no escape.

from:  subhash
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 11:26 IST

It is a one sided war. India is to be blamed for sacrificing the territory of pakisthan to fanatics. The Indians living there would have been so much better off if partition never happened.

from:  Vinod
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 11:07 IST

The playback running commentary on past heinous crimes might serve in helping prevention of the recurrence of the same. A more effective signal would perhaps rest in executing the criminals who have already been tried and sentenced.

from:  M.V.Muthu
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 07:20 IST

The revelations made by Headley should dispel any doubts that might exist about Pakistan's involvement in terrorist attacks against India in general or atleast in the Mumbai attacks that killed about 170 persons. In Pakistan, the Army controls virtually everything and it has rightly come to the conclusion that India lacks the political will to retaliate against that country for any terroist attacks that it carries out in India. What is described by the political leadership within India as restraint is interpreted as cowardice by pakistan. One option that India has is covert operations within Pakistan. However, one problem beyond lack of political will to retaliate is the fact that India does not have any covert operations capability. The covert operations division of RAW was closed when Gujral was PM and has reportedly not been resumed as yet.

Unless the Pak Army is convinced that there will be a heavy price to pay for any future attacks it will continue to launch repeated attacks against India in an effort to "bleed the country by a thousand cuts" as stated by the LeT. Many well meaning people (including your editorial staff) advocate talks with Pakistan. India has been having talks with that country for decades but they will go nowhere so long the Pak Army is in control in Pakistan. Under the circumstances, India can only sit and bear such attacks.

from:  krishna
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 02:00 IST

Why does India want to talk to this rogue state? It will take this serpent 1,000 years to change its skin. The best and only action India can do is to take strong defensive posture, and retaliate boldly. Pakistan should be taught any attack against India will result in retaliation with massive force. It is the only answer to survive as a nation.

from:  Ram
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 01:30 IST
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