Among the classified U.S. documents released on Monday by WikiLeaks is one which details an imminent threat to the Indian embassy in Kabul.
The threat report, dated July 1, 2008, cites information obtained on June 30. “Taliban are planning to carry out an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. TB designated an engineer […] to take this action. He intends to use stolen ANA/ANP [Afghan national army or police] car, and wears stolen uniform. He speaks Dari with distinct Iranian accent. Allegedly, he is the owner of a […] company.”
Some of the words in the document as posted on the New York Times website have been redacted.
Describing the specific modus operandi for the attack, the report says: “INS [insurgents] are planning to divide into two groups: first will attack Indian embassy building, whilst the second group will engage security posts in front of MOI [Ministry of Interior], IOT [in order to] give possibility to escape attackers from the first group.” It added: “Budget for this action is about 120,000 USD. The main goal of this operation is to show TB’s [Taliban’s] abilities to carry out attack on every object in Kabul.”
On July 7, 2008, terrorists attacked the Indian embassy by detonating explosives outside the compound. Fifty-eight people died in the attack including India’s defence attaché, Brigadier R.D. Mehta, and Counsellor Venkateswara Rao, both of whom were just outside the compound when a terrorist rammed a barrier with a car laden with explosives.
Asked whether the U.S. side had shared this intelligence with India, senior Indian officials answered in the affirmative. “Yes [they] did and the mission was alerted”, one official told The Hindu on condition of anonymity. Another senior official said the government had received warnings of an imminent attack “from our own agencies first and then from others”. He added: “That was why we had taken precautions like installing HESCO barriers, which saved the lives of all those in the [embassy] compound.”
Though the intelligence document did not link Pakistan with the embassy attack, the New York Times on August 1, 2008, had reported how “American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service” had helped plan the bombing. “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.”