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India; India-afpakia and India-China?
Topic: India; India-afpakia and India-China? (Read 16272 times)
India; India-afpakia and India-China?
July 28, 2008, 07:33:39 PM »
About time India gets its own thread!
We kick it off with a piece from today's WSJ:
India's Counterterrorism Failings
By SADANAND DHUME
FROM TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL ASIA
July 29, 2008
In recent years few countries have changed their public image as dramatically as India. But though pictures of starving peasants and rutted roads have given way to those of svelte supermodels and bustling call centers, in at least one respect India remains more a basketcase than a potential great power. As Friday's bomb blasts in India's software capital, Bangalore, and Saturday's in the industrial city of Ahmedabad show, India is singularly ill-equipped to deal with the scourge of terrorism.
Too little, too late: Forensic personnel inspect the site of a bomb blast in Ahmedabad on Sunday, July 27, 2008.
The Bangalore and Ahmedabad bombings, which killed one and 49 people respectively and cumulatively wounded more than 200, are only the most recent in a spate of attacks. In the past two years terrorists have targeted the northern city of Jaipur, the high-tech hub Hyderabad, the temple town of Varanasi and India's financial capital, Mumbai.
Officials have pinned the most recent attacks on Indian Mujahedeen, a homegrown group linked to the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh -- carved out of British India to create a homeland for the subcontinent's Muslims -- give shelter and succor to terrorists. But the fact that the most recent attacks were carried out by a made-in-India group shows it's about time that India comes to terms with its own counterterrorism failings.
Among India's worst mistakes is that instead of uniting behind the minimal goal of providing security for all citizens, India's constantly bickering politicians have played football with counterterrorism policy. In 2004, one of the first acts in office of the ruling Congress-led coalition government -- at the time supported by Communist allies -- was to scrap a national terrorism law that allowed for enhanced witness protection and extended detention of suspects in terrorism cases. This had the twin effects of demoralizing law enforcement agencies and signaling to terrorists that the Indian state lacked fight. The paucity of arrests and convictions in the string of bombings that have followed have only strengthened this perception. For its part, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has stalled the creation of a much-needed federal antiterrorism force.
The problem is that India's counterterrorism effort falls between two stools. As a democracy, it cannot adopt the heavy-handed but effective measures favored by, say, Russia or China. At the same time, India lacks the sophisticated intelligence and law enforcement capacities that allow European countries such as France, Spain and, of late, even Britain to safeguard individual rights and yet uncover terrorist plots before they are executed.
Yet although this may be an explanation, it's hardly an excuse given that other countries have surmounted their own counterterrorism hurdles. Even Indonesia, a Muslim-majority nation where public sympathy for terrorism in the name of Islam runs deeper than it does in India, has done an infinitely better job of protecting its citizens. Thanks largely to Detachment 88, a special police unit equipped and trained by Australia and the U.S., it has been nearly three years since the last major terrorist strike on Indonesian soil.
Ultimately, though, terrorism is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The larger question is whether India's Muslims will embrace modernity like so many of their Turkish, Tunisian and Indonesian co-religionists, or reject it like increasing numbers of their militant cousins in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On this front too India's leaders have failed to get to the heart of the matter. The country tends to exercise a hands-off approach to its 140-million-strong Muslim community. Unlike in Europe or America, Muslims in India are governed by Shariah law in matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. This parallel legal system slows integration into the national mainstream and perpetuates backward practices such as polygamy and the neglect of education for girls. The result has been a disaffected minority, largely lacking the skills to compete in a modern economy and susceptible to calls for violence in the name of faith.
If India is to live up to its potential -- and indeed to its hype -- it must embrace both the short-term goal of upgrading its counterterrorism capability and the long-term goal of modernizing and mainstreaming its Muslims.
India's Muslims have enriched national life in countless ways. The vast majority, like people of any faith, are nonviolent. But contrary to popular belief, Indian Muslims have not been immune to the rising global tide of orthodox practice and militant politics. Indian doctors played a role in last year's failed attacks in London and Glasgow. At home, Muslim groups have assaulted critics such as the exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. A survey by the distinguished Pakistani scholar Akbar Ahmed revealed that most educated Indian Muslims view as role models the late Islamist ideologue Abul Ala Maududi, the 19th century Muslim supremacist Sayyed Ahmad Khan, and an influential Bombay-based cleric named Zakir Naik, who eulogizes Osama bin Laden and calls for Shariah for all Indians.
India's Muslims hardly have a monopoly on either violence or obscurantism. Nonetheless the challenges they face are particularly acute. Will the community be forward-looking, eager to seize new economic opportunities, and at peace with a rapidly changing world? Or will it forsake the future for an idealized past, foster a culture of grievance that condones violence, and view globalization as a mortal threat? Depending on the answer, the Bangalore and Ahmedabad bombings are either a passing event or a dark harbinger of things to come.
Mr. Dhume is a fellow at the Asia Society in Washington D.C., and the author of "My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with an Indonesian Islamist" (Text Publishing, 2008).
Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 12:45:47 AM by Crafty_Dog
Reply #1 on:
July 28, 2008, 07:45:38 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on July 28, 2008, 07:33:39 PM
Both Pakistan and Bangladesh -- carved out of British India to create a homeland for the subcontinent's M
uslims -- give shelter and succor to terrorists. But the fact that the most recent attacks were carried out by a made-in-India group shows it's about time that India comes to terms with its own counterterrorism failings.
Do you see the trend here, the Bosnia, Philippines - new muslim home land in outer islands, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Chechnya............ the list goes on. Anyone catch the trend yet?
The trend is countries that never existed until muslims blew up enough innocent people that they were given a "home land", they have continued to blow stuff up be enough is never enough.
Reply #2 on:
July 28, 2008, 08:47:20 PM »
Fear grows over India car terror
Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | July 29, 2008
TWO cars packed with explosives and bomb-making equipment were found yesterday in the Indian city of Surat, where 92 per cent of the world's diamonds are cut and polished, as fears mounted that jihadis have begun a campaign attacking targets of international significance.
Bomb disposal experts dismantled both bombs in cars that had been abandoned in the city, but officials said there was intelligence showing extremists were "trying to cause as much chaos and bloodshed as possible to further the cause ofjihad".
Anti-terror squads swooped on an apartment in an upmarket part of Mumbai, pinpointed as the origin of a 14-page manifesto issued by an organisation known as Indian Mujaheddin following the bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat.
Police said the apartment was rented to two Americans who had denied any involvement in the email, which, "in the name of Allah", proclaimed "the terror of death" and was sent to several Indian news channels.
Investigators are looking at the possibility that the Americans' personal computers were hacked to send the incendiary document, which analysts say gives the clearest indication yet of the thinking behind the wave of bomb attacks.
The document, written in English, insists Indian Mujaheddin is a home-grown organisation, and asks the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba organisation, which is close to Pakistan's ISI spy agency and linked to al-Qa'ida, not to claim responsibility for bomb attacks carried out in its name.
Indian intelligence experts believe Indian Mujaheddin is the al-Qa'ida-linked Students Islamic Movement of India in a new guise, rebadging itself as Indian rather than a puppet of the ISI.
Reply #3 on:
July 31, 2008, 03:01:43 PM »
Al-Qaida tech used in Bangalore, Surat bombs
31 Jul 2008, 0021 hrs IST, Vishwa Mohan ,TNN
NEW DELHI: Al-Qaida may not have a presence in India but its footprint was visible in the bombs used in Bangalore and Surat, according to intelligence officials. ( Watch )
For the first time in India, Integrated Circuit (IC) chips were used to assemble bombs in Bangalore and Surat — a technique perfected by the Qaida-linked Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Besides using the technique to bomb different places in Indonesia, JI — which aims to establish Islamic state in southeast Asia — has also exported it to Philippines where terrorists have used it effectively in a number of incidents. ( See Ninan’s cartoon )
Referring to the technique being put to use in India, intelligence officials said some local terrorists could have visited Indonesia for training via Bangladesh — a fact which the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police had first got wind of during interrogation of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives last year.
"Links of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) with Al Qaida is not a secret, and this leads to strong possibility of linkages of their Indian modules with JI in southeast Asia," said an official, adding that the IC explosive device — similar to the ones used by JI — found in Bangalore and Surat had only confirmed the suspicion.
While the jehadis were successful in their first attempt to use IC explosive devices in Bangalore on July 25, they could not make a similar impact three days later in Surat, where the chips used in the bombs had some fault.
None of the bombs in Surat exploded, averting another disaster. "It indicates origin of consignments from two different places for Bangalore and Surat — even though it could be the handiwork of a single group using different terror modules," said a senior official of the National Security Guard (NSG) which has sent its forensic experts to Gujarat.
The bombs in Ahmedabad were, however, of a different make. Timer devices were used there and the design was strikingly similar to those used to bomb courts in three UP cities — Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow — in November last year and in Jaipur on May 13 this year. Incidentally, a group calling itself Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for all three attacks by sending emails to media organisations prior to the blasts.
"Different modus operandi followed in these three cities and in Bangalore and Surat should not be misconstrued as it being the handiwork of different groups," a senior intelligence officer said.
He added that the timing of operations in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat was an indication of meticulous planning and conspiracy by a single command structure from across the border which used different modules in different Indian cities comprising local contacts.
Reply #4 on:
August 01, 2008, 09:29:40 AM »
August 1, 2008
Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say
By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT
WASHINGTON — 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.
The American officials also said there was new information showing that members of the Pakistani intelligence service were increasingly providing militants with details about the American campaign against them, in some cases allowing militants to avoid American missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Concerns about the role played by Pakistani intelligence not only has strained relations between the United States and Pakistan, a longtime ally, but also has fanned tensions between Pakistan and its archrival, India. Within days of the bombings, Indian officials accused the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, of helping to orchestrate the attack in Kabul, which killed 54, including an Indian defense attaché.
This week, Pakistani troops clashed with Indian forces in the contested region of Kashmir, threatening to fray an uneasy cease-fire that has held since November 2003.
The New York Times reported this week that a top Central Intelligence Agency official traveled to Pakistan this month to confront senior Pakistani officials with information about support provided by members of the ISI to militant groups. It had not been known that American intelligence agencies concluded that elements of Pakistani intelligence provided direct support for the attack in Kabul.
American officials said that the communications were intercepted before the July 7 bombing, and that the C.I.A. emissary, Stephen R. Kappes, the agency’s deputy director, had been ordered to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, even before the attack. The intercepts were not detailed enough to warn of any specific attack.
The government officials were guarded in describing the new evidence and would not say specifically what kind of assistance the ISI officers provided to the militants. They said that the ISI officers had not been renegades, indicating that their actions might have been authorized by superiors.
“It confirmed some suspicions that I think were widely held,” one State Department official with knowledge of Afghanistan issues said of the intercepted communications. “It was sort of this ‘aha’ moment. There was a sense that there was finally direct proof.”
The information linking the ISI to the bombing of the Indian Embassy was described in interviews by several American officials with knowledge of the intelligence. Some of the officials expressed anger that elements of Pakistan’s government seemed to be directly aiding violence in Afghanistan that had included attacks on American troops.
Some American officials have begun to suggest that Pakistan is no longer a fully reliable American partner and to advocate some unilateral American action against militants based in the tribal areas.
The ISI has long maintained ties to militant groups in the tribal areas, in part to court allies it can use to contain Afghanistan’s power. In recent years, Pakistan’s government has also been concerned about India’s growing influence inside Afghanistan, including New Delhi’s close ties to the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president.
American officials say they believe that the embassy attack was probably carried out by members of a network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose alliance with Al Qaeda and its affiliates has allowed the terrorist network to rebuild in the tribal areas.
American and Pakistani officials have now acknowledged that President Bush on Monday confronted Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, about the divided loyalties of the ISI.
Pakistan’s defense minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, told a Pakistani television network on Wednesday that Mr. Bush asked senior Pakistani officials this week, “ ‘Who is in control of ISI?’ ” and asked about leaked information that tipped militants to surveillance efforts by Western intelligence services.
Pakistan’s new civilian government is wrestling with these very issues, and there is concern in Washington that the civilian leaders will be unable to end a longstanding relationship between members of the ISI and militants associated with Al Qaeda.
Spokesmen for the White House and the C.I.A. declined to comment for this article. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, did not return a call seeking comment.
Further underscoring the tension between Pakistan and its Western allies, Britain’s senior military officer said in Washington on Thursday that an American and British program to help train Pakistan’s Frontier Corps in the tribal areas had been delayed while Pakistan’s military and civilian officials sorted out details about the program’s goals.
Britain and the United States had each offered to send about two dozen military trainers to Pakistan later this summer to train Pakistani Army officers who in turn would instruct the Frontier Corps paramilitary forces.
But the British officer, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said the program had been temporarily delayed. “We don’t yet have a firm start date,” he told a small group of reporters. “We’re ready to go.”
The bombing of the Indian Embassy helped to set off a new deterioration in relations between India and Pakistan.
This week, Indian and Pakistani soldiers fired at each other across the Kashmir frontier for more than 12 hours overnight Monday, in what the Indian Army called the most serious violation of a five-year-old cease-fire agreement. The nightlong battle came after one Indian soldier and four Pakistanis were killed along the border between sections of Kashmir that are controlled by India and by Pakistan.
Indian officials say they are equally worried about what is happening on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border because they say the insurgents who are facing off with India in Kashmir and those who target Afghanistan are related and can keep both borders burning at the same time.
India and Afghanistan share close political, cultural and economic ties, and India maintains an active intelligence network in Afghanistan, all of which has drawn suspicion from Pakistani officials.
When asked Thursday about whether the ISI and Pakistani military remained loyal to the country’s civilian government, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sidestepped the question. “That’s probably something the government of Pakistan ought to speak to,” Admiral Mullen told reporters at the Pentagon.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, the militia commander, battled Soviet troops during the 1980s and has had a long and complicated relationship with the C.I.A. He was among a group of fighters who received arms and millions of dollars from the C.I.A. during that period, but his allegiance with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda during the following decade led the United States to sever the relationship.
Mr. Haqqani and his sons now run a network that Western intelligence services say they believe is responsible for a campaign of violence throughout Afghanistan, including the Indian Embassy bombing and an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul earlier this year.
David Rohde contributed reporting from New York, and Somini Sengupta from New Delhi.
Reply #5 on:
August 02, 2008, 10:36:15 AM »
"Pak does this everytime... the US raises heat on them!..like clockwork!. This is a subtle reminder to the rest of the world that they better coddle Pak...or they may initiate a nuclear confrontation with India. Unfortunately, their story line is wearing thin...and with Mush gone, Pak will come under increasing pressure to control the ISI....X."
Pak does it again, fires at Indian troops from across LoC
Posted online: Saturday, August 02, 2008 at 1523 hrs Print Email
Jammu, August 2:: An Indian military post was targeted from across the Line of Control yet again despite New Delhi asking Islamabad not to vitiate the atmosphere between the two countries by repeatedly violating the ceasefire.
"There was firing on an Indian post along LoC in 12 Brigade area of Uri sector in Baramulla district of Kashmir Valley yesterday," defence sources said.
At least 15 to 16 small arms firing targeted the ward post, but the Indian troops did not retaliate and no casualties were reported, they said.
"We are investigating if it was ceasefire violation. Militants may have targeted troops on this side to push in armed ultras," they said.
In a major violation of the five-year-old ceasefire along the LoC, 15 Pakistani soldiers crossed into the Indian territory on July 28 and opened fire in the Kupwara sector killing an Indian jawan.
The two sides held a flag meeting in a bid to ease tension the next day after the two sides exchanged fire for 16 hours.
A spurt in such incidents in recent days prompted External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to raise the issue with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Colombo but Islamabad played them down as 'minor incidents' which can be dealt with at military level.
Pakistan troops have violated the 2003 Indo-Pak border truce 20 times in 2008 in Samba, Krishnagati, Mendhar, Rajouri, Poonch, Sabzian, Tangdhar, Uri, Teetwal, Kupwara and Baramulla areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reply #6 on:
August 02, 2008, 02:43:37 PM »
I'm not sure a ground offensive from India might not be a good thing. It might force a reality check in Pak.
Reply #7 on:
November 26, 2008, 09:28:46 PM »
Now waiting for JDN to insist this attack in Mumbai has nothing to do with islam, and is all Bush's fault anyway.
Reply #8 on:
November 26, 2008, 10:14:34 PM »
Quote from: G M on November 26, 2008, 09:28:46 PM
Now waiting for JDN to insist this attack in Mumbai has nothing to do with islam, and is all Bush's fault anyway.
Don't know, don't care but isn't it always Bush's fault?
104 killed in Mumbai terror rampage
Reply #9 on:
November 27, 2008, 07:57:38 AM »
JDN-- Did you miss this
Prayers for the region
104 killed in Mumbai terror rampage
Nov. 26, 2008
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST
A trickle of bodies and hostages emerged from a luxury hotel Thursday as Indian commandos tried to free people trapped by suspected Muslim militants who attacked at least 10 targets in India's financial capital of Mumbai, killing 104 people.
More than 300 were also wounded in the highly coordinated attacks Wednesday night by bands of gunmen who invaded two five star hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station, the Chabad House and at least five other sites, armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and explosives.
A previously unknown Islamic terrorist group claimed responsibility for the carnage, the latest in a series of nationwide terror attacks over the past three years that have dented India's image as an industrious nation galloping toward prosperity.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed "external forces."
"The well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners," he said in address to the nation.
Among the dead were at least one Australian, a Japanese and a British national, said Pradeep Indulkar, a senior government official of Maharashtra state, whose capital is Mumbai. An Italian and a German were also killed, according to their foreign ministries.
Police said 104 people were killed and 314 injured. Officials said eight militants were also killed.
The most high-profile target was the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, a landmark of Mumbai luxury since 1903, and a favorite watering hole of the city's elite.
Police loudspeakers declared a curfew around the Taj Mahal hotel Thursday afternoon, and black-clad commandos ran into the building as fresh gunshots rang out from the area.
Soldiers outside the hotel said the operation would take a long time as forces were moving slowly, from room to room, looking for gunmen and traps.
In the afternoon, bodies and hostages slowly emerged from the building. At least three bodies, covered in white cloth, were wheeled out.
Throughout the day, explosions and gunfire were heard and toward dusk flames again blossomed from a window of the Taj.
About a dozen people, including foreigners, were also evacuated from the hotel and whisked into a waiting ambulance. Several of them carried small pieces of luggage. One older man was carried into the ambulance by police.
The attackers, dressed in black shirts and jeans, had stormed into the hotel at about 9:45 p.m. and opened fire indiscriminately.
"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said Sajjad Karim, part of a delegation of European lawmakers visiting Mumbai before a European Union-India summit.
Suddenly "another gunmen appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction," he told The Associated Press over his mobile phone.
The shooting was followed by a series of explosions that set fire to parts of the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront.
Screams were heard and black smoke and flames billowed, continuing to burn until dawn.
Dalbir Bains, who runs a lingerie shop in Mumbai, was about to eat her steak by the pool at the hotel when she heard the sound of gunfire. She said she ran upstairs, taking refuge in the Sea Lounge restaurant, with about 50 other people.
They huddled beneath tables in the dark, trying to remain as quiet as possible while explosions were going off.
"We were trying not to draw attention to ourselves," she said. The group managed to escape before dawn.
The gunmen also seized the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch and attacked the Oberoi Hotel, another five-star landmark.
The gunmen appeared to be holed up inside all three buildings on Thursday, nearly 18 hours later, holding foreign and local hostages, as Indian commandos surrounded the buildings.
Among those foreigners held captive were Israelis, Americans, British, Italians, Swedes, Canadians, Yemenis, New Zealanders, Spaniards, Turks and a Singaporean.
"We're going to catch them dead or alive," Maharashtra Home Minister R. R. Patil told reporters. "An attack on Mumbai is an attack on the rest of the country."
Gunfire and explosions were heard from the Taj Mahal, the Oberoi and the Chabad facility.
At the nearby Oberoi hotel, soldiers could be seen on the roof of neighboring buildings. A banner hung out of one window read "save us." From the road, no one could be seen inside the room.
At least three top Indian police officers - including the chief of the anti-terror squad - were among those killed, said and A.N. Roy, a top police official.
The attackers appeared to have been targeting Britons and Americans.
Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman ushered 30 to 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered everyone to put up their hands.
"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything - and thank God they didn't," he said.
Chamberlain said he managed to sli
p away as the patrons were forced to walk up stairs, but he thought much of the group was being held hostage.
The United States and Pakistan were among the countries that condemned the attacks.
In Washington, White House press secretary Dana Perino said the U.S. "condemns this terrorist attack and we will continue to stand with the people of India in this time of tragedy."
The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.
Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism specialist with the Swedish National Defense College, said there are "very strong suspicions" that the coordinated Mumbai attacks have a link to al-Qaida.
He said the fact that Britons and Americans were singled out is one indicator, along with the coordinated style of the attacks.
"There have been a lot of warnings about India lately and there are very strong suspicions of a link to al-Qaida."
Later Thursday, the Indian navy said its forces were boarding a cargo vessel suspected of ties to the attacks.
Navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said Thursday that the ship, the MV Alpha, had recently come to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan.
The navy has "located the ship and now we are in the process of boarding it and searching it," he said. Earlier, Indian media showed pictures of black and yellow rubber dinghies found by the shore, apparently used by the gunmen to reach the area.
Mumbai, on the western coast of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, is home to splendid Victorian architecture built during the British Raj and is one of the most populated cities in the world with some 18 million crammed into shantytowns, high rises and crumbling mansions.
An Indian media report said a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets. There was no way to verify that claim.
Among the other places attacked was the 19th century Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station - a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic architecture - where gunmen sprayed bullets into the crowded terminal, leaving the floor splattered with blood.
"They just fired randomly at people and then ran away. In seconds, people fell to the ground," said Nasim Inam, a witness.
Other gunmen attacked Leopold's restaurant, a landmark popular with foreigners, and the police headquarters in southern Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks took place. Gunmen also attacked Cama and Albless Hospital and G.T. Hospital, though it was not immediately clear if anyone was killed.
India has been wracked by bomb attacks the past three years, which police blame on Muslim terrorists intent on destabilizing this largely Hindu country. Nearly 700 people have died.
Since May, a terrorist group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.
Relations between Hindus, who make up more than 80 percent of India's 1 billion population, and Muslims, who make up about 14 percent, have sporadically erupted into bouts of sectarian violence since British-ruled India was split into independent India and Pakistan in 1947.
Reply #10 on:
November 27, 2008, 08:29:31 AM »
The M.O. is classic al qaeda.
Reply #11 on:
November 27, 2008, 09:26:04 AM »
Quote from: JDN on November 26, 2008, 10:14:34 PM
Quote from: G M on November 26, 2008, 09:28:46 PM
Now waiting for JDN to insist this attack in Mumbai has nothing to do with islam, and is all Bush's fault anyway.
Don't know, don't care but isn't it always Bush's fault?
Quote from: rachelg on November 27, 2008, 07:57:38 AM
JDN-- Did you miss this
No Rachel, I am aware; the attack is truly tragic and no question, the attack does seem to have been instigated by Muslim extremists. Thankfully,
the Indian Rescue Team as GM pointed out seems to be doing a very capable job in such a difficult and terrible situation.
My inappropriate flippant comment was only a quick response to GM's goading comment. I was tired, I had no interest in debating,
but that is no excuse for me to make light of such a tragedy.
Geo consequences of Mumbai attacks
Reply #12 on:
November 27, 2008, 08:16:47 PM »
Timely and gracious. Forward.
Red Alert: Possible Geopolitical Consequences of the Mumbai Attacks (Open Access)
Stratfor Today » November 27, 2008 | 0434 GMT
PAL PILLAI/AFP/Getty Images
A fire in the dome of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Nov. 26Summary
If the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai were carried out by Islamist militants as it appears, the Indian government will have little choice, politically speaking, but to blame them on Pakistan. That will in turn spark a crisis between the two nuclear rivals that will draw the United States into the fray.
Related Special Topic Page
Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences
At this point the situation on the ground in Mumbai remains unclear following the militant attacks of Nov. 26. But in order to understand the geopolitical significance of what is going on, it is necessary to begin looking beyond this event at what will follow. Though the situation is still in motion, the likely consequences of the attack are less murky.
We will begin by assuming that the attackers are Islamist militant groups operating in India, possibly with some level of outside support from Pakistan. We can also see quite clearly that this was a carefully planned, well-executed attack.
Given this, the Indian government has two choices. First, it can simply say that the perpetrators are a domestic group. In that case, it will be held accountable for a failure of enormous proportions in security and law enforcement. It will be charged with being unable to protect the public. On the other hand, it can link the attack to an outside power: Pakistan. In that case it can hold a nation-state responsible for the attack, and can use the crisis atmosphere to strengthen the government’s internal position by invoking nationalism. Politically this is a much preferable outcome for the Indian government, and so it is the most likely course of action. This is not to say that there are no outside powers involved — simply that, regardless of the ground truth, the Indian government will claim there were.
That, in turn, will plunge India and Pakistan into the worst crisis they have had since 2002. If the Pakistanis are understood to be responsible for the attack, then the Indians must hold them responsible, and that means they will have to take action in retaliation — otherwise, the Indian government’s domestic credibility will plunge. The shape of the crisis, then, will consist of demands that the Pakistanis take immediate steps to suppress Islamist radicals across the board, but particularly in Kashmir. New Delhi will demand that this action be immediate and public. This demand will come parallel to U.S. demands for the same actions, and threats by incoming U.S. President Barack Obama to force greater cooperation from Pakistan.
If that happens, Pakistan will find itself in a nutcracker. On the one side, the Indians will be threatening action — deliberately vague but menacing — along with the Americans. This will be even more intense if it turns out, as currently seems likely, that Americans and Europeans were being held hostage (or worse) in the two hotels that were attacked. If the attacks are traced to Pakistan, American demands will escalate well in advance of inauguration day.
There is a precedent for this. In 2002 there was an attack on the Indian parliament in Mumbai by Islamist militants linked to Pakistan. A near-nuclear confrontation took place between India and Pakistan, in which the United States brokered a stand-down in return for intensified Pakistani pressure on the Islamists. The crisis helped redefine the Pakistani position on Islamist radicals in Pakistan.
In the current iteration, the demands will be even more intense. The Indians and Americans will have a joint interest in forcing the Pakistani government to act decisively and immediately. The Pakistani government has warned that such pressure could destabilize Pakistan. The Indians will not be in a position to moderate their position, and the Americans will see the situation as an opportunity to extract major concessions. Thus the crisis will directly intersect U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan.
It is not clear the degree to which the Pakistani government can control the situation. But the Indians will have no choice but to be assertive, and the United States will move along the same line. Whether it is the current government in India that reacts, or one that succeeds doesn’t matter. Either way, India is under enormous pressure to respond. Therefore the events point to a serious crisis not simply between Pakistan and India, but within Pakistan as well, with the government caught between foreign powers and domestic realities. Given the circumstances, massive destabilization is possible — never a good thing with a nuclear power.
This is thinking far ahead of the curve, and is based on an assumption of the truth of something we don’t know for certain yet, which is that the attackers were Muslims and that the Pakistanis will not be able to demonstrate categorically that they weren’t involved. Since we suspect they were Muslims, and since we doubt the Pakistanis can be categorical and convincing enough to thwart Indian demands, we suspect that we will be deep into a crisis within the next few days, very shortly after the situation on the ground clarifies itself.
Reply #13 on:
November 28, 2008, 08:46:08 AM »
Massacre in Mumbai: BRITISH gunmen seized in commando raid as death toll hits more than 140
By Justin Davenport , Rashid Razaq and Nicola Boden
Last updated at 2:08 PM on 28th November 2008
British-born Pakistanis among arrested militants
Commandos storm strongholds to rescue hostages
Death toll hits 143 as another 24 bodies found in hotel
At least five dead hostages found in Jewish Centre
Bystanders wounded in crossfire at Taj hotel siege
British-born Pakistanis were among the Mumbai terrorists, Indian government sources claimed today, as the death toll rose to more than 140.
Two Britons were among eight gunmen captured by commandos after they stormed two hotels and a Jewish centre to free hostages, the city's chief minister said.
Vilasrao Deshmukh also revealed that up to 25 terrorists were responsible for the series of bomb blasts and shootings that targeted tourists and foreign interests.
Sieges in the Indian city were still ongoing today in dramatic stand-offs at the three buildings. Some hostages emerged unharmed but inside were scenes of carnage.
Calm: One of the young gunmen with his weapon, looking for more victims. Indian authorities say two of the arrested militants were British-born Pakistanis
At the luxury Oberoi Hotel, brought back under control this morning when commandos shot dead two militants, another 24 bodies were found.
Their discovery takes the total death toll to 143. Only one is confirmed as British so far but there are fears this may rise. At least another 300 people were wounded.
Hundreds of other traumatised guests were rescued from their rooms there and at the five-star Taj Mahal hotel but still the fighting did not cease.
At the Taj, commandos were still engaged in a prolonged shootout with militants. Four bystanders were reported wounded in the crossfire.
Indian forces launched grenades at the walls. Inside, at least one terrorist was believed to be holed up in a ballroom.
Commandos also stormed the Nariman House Jewish centre where some of the militants were believed to be hiding to find the dead bodies of at least five hostages.
Around 20 masked officers had dropped onto the building from helicopters on to the roof this morning covered by heavy fire in what was dubbed Operation Black Tornado.
After hours of heavy fighting, a massive explosion ripped through the building, blowing out windows in the surrounding houses. Gunfire and smaller explosions followed before Indian authorities appeared to have control.
Blast: Police throw a grenade into the Taj Mahal hotel as they desperately try to control a militant. Below, officers on guard outside
Across at the Oberoi, traumatised guests were struggling to absorb their ordeal. Many had been locked in their rooms terrified for 41 hours while the gunmen rampaged.
Today, around 100 were rescued after two militants were shot dead. One man was clutching a tiny baby in his arms.
British lawyer Mark Abell emerged with a beaming smile, saying: 'I'm going home, I'm going to see my wife. '
The 51-year-old told how he had spent the night listening to gunshots and explosions and described the scene of 'carnage' when he was eventually led to safety by troops saying 'there was blood and guts everywhere'.
'I was supposed to be working in Delhi but I think I have had more than my fair share of my business trip so I am looking forward to going home to see my family,' he said.
Rescued: A British man is led to safety from the Oberoi Trident Hotel today and below, another guest emerges clutching a tiny baby
A number of the hostages were airline staff still wearing their Lufthansa and Air France uniforms when they emerged from the building.
As they came out some carried luggage with Canadian flags, and two women were dressed in black abayas, traditional Muslim women's garments.ever, at the Taj Mahal hotel today.
Indian police thought they had secured the huge Taj hotel last night after intense fighting but it restarted hours later and was ongoing this afternoon.
Earlier, one commando revealed he had seen around 50 bodies littering the Taj hotel floor after special officers stormed the building and rescued hundreds of guests.
Clad in black, with a mask covering his face, the unit chief said: 'There was blood all over the bodies. The bodies were strewn here and there and we had to be careful as we entered the building to avoid further bloodshed of innocent civilians.'
The terrorists had seemed like young, ordinary men but had clearly been very well trained, he said.
'They were wearing T-shirts, just ordinary looking, but they have definitely been trained to use weapons. There is no way they could handle such weapons without being taught how to.'
Air rescue: A commando drops to the roof of Mumbai's Jewish centre and below, officers span out ready to storm the building
Nine terrorists are thought to have been shot dead in gun battles across Mumbai as police and special forces tried to regain control of the city.
Between six and eight were still holed-up in the two luxury hotels and the Jewish centre this morning but two were then shot dead at the Oberoi.
Three arrested at the Taj Mahal have been officially identified as a Pakistani national and two Indians. Another is reported to be a Mauritian national.
They arrived in the city by sea before fanning out to at least 10 locations. Dinghies were found moored at a jetty by the famous Gateway to India monument.
Today, coast guard officials said they could have hijacked an Indian trawler to drop them off after finding an abandoned boat drifting near the shore.
The captain's dead body was found inside the vessel, along with communications equipment.
Dressed in jeans and T-shirts and heavily armed, they then headed for the city - India's financial centre - and started firing indiscriminately.
It is thought they gained entrance to the hotels by pretending to be staff and hotel guests, according to reports.
Indian authorities have not released any details about the two Britons and the Foreign Office has refused to confirm Indian television reports.
Security services in Britain are now examining images of the gunmen in an effort to identify them.
Gordon Brown said he would be speaking to the Indian Prime Minister again today but warned that it was 'too early' to reach any conclusions about British involvement.
India's High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee also said today: 'I have seen nothing more than what is in the media and that is based on speculation. i will wait for the investigation to produce some hard facts.'
A team of Scotland Yard anti-terrorist detectives and negotiators are now on their way to Mumbai to assist in the investigation.
Indian commandos have recovered credit cards and the militants' ID cards as well as seizing a vast arsenal of grenades, AK-47 magazines, shells and knives.
Desperate: A hostage at the Oberoi peeks out of his window during the siege
A previously unknown Islamic group, Deccan Mujahideen, has claimed responsibility for the attacks but terror experts believe is is linked to Al Qaeda.
It is known that dozens of British-born Pakistanis have travelled to Pakistan to train in its camps in recent years.
One security source said recently: 'The camps are full and many of the people inside are Brits.'
Last night, there was speculation that a British Al Qaeda suspect reportedly killed by a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan last weekend may have helped plot the attacks.
Rashid Rauf was among five killed in a missile attack in a tribal area in North Waziristan on Saturday.
Security sources believe that at the time of his death Rauf had been planning a major attack on Western targets.
Met officers were also interviewing passengers returning from Mumbai as they stepped off planes at Heathrow.
There was speculation last night that England cricketers could have been an intended target of the terrorists.
It emerged that some of the team had been due to stay in Mumbai, most likely the Taj Mahal, on Wednesday evening before a late decision was made to switch training to Bangalore.
Shocked player Michael Vaughan said: 'I don't know why it was switched but we could have been there in one of those hotels when they were attacked.
'All our white Test kit is in one of the rooms at the Taj Mahal hotel: All our pads and clothes for the Test series and our blazers and caps and ties. That's how close the danger is.'
The England team will fly back to Britain today.
On the hunt: Two baby-faced gunman brandishing automatic weapons
The bloody drama had begun on Wednesday night when young men carrying guns on their shoulders and hatred in their hearts slipped ashore in Mumbai from a 'mother ship' and fanned out into the city.
Their targets were:
The Oberoi Hotel, in the commercial district. Its restaurant was bustling with diners, many of them tourists;
Also attacked was the Leopold restaurant, a haunt of the city's art crowd. As the fanatics sprayed the packed cafe, diners fled in terror;
Some of the worst scenes were at the major railway station. As they entered the Gothic Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, once named after Queen Victoria, the gunmen were smiling. With an astonishing air of casualness, the terrorists started to shoot. Within seconds the concourse was a bloodbath. People lay screaming on the floor;
A further prestigious target was the 105-year-old Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel;
More hostages were taken at the nearby Chabad House, headquarters for an ultra-orthodox Jewish group. A rabbi was among those held.
About 15 police officers were killed, including the head of Mumbai's anti-terrorism unit.
India's prime minister Manmohan-Singh has blamed militant groups based outside the country - usually meaning Pakistan - raising fears of renewed tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Pakistan condemned the attacks.
Massacre: Blood splatters the floor at the train station where travellers were slaughtered. Below, two of the baby-faced gunmen
The attack on the train station had echoes of previous terror outrages.
In July 2006 more than 180 people were killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that were blamed on Islamist militants.
On Wednesday night, in a city that works late, droves of homebound commuters stood waiting for trains when the terrorists started to shoot.
Briefcases, shopping bags and suitcases were simply dropped and abandoned in the rush for shelter. Pools of blood trickled over the polished stone floor.
The Jewish centre was attacked at about 10pm. A gunman inside the building phoned an Indian television channel to offer talks with the government for the release of hostages.
He complained about abuses in Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars.
From 10.30pm into the early hours, the terrorists continued their co- ordinated rampage through the city.
At the Mazagoan Dockyard, three people died in a large explosion in a taxi driving along the approach road.
The Mumbai police HQ, in the southern part of the city, came under fire, as did two hospitals, the CAMA and GT.
Hostages: Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were believed to be inside the Jewish centre. Reports say no hostages inside survived
Also attacked was the Metro Adlabs cinema, a 70-year-old art deco landmark that has become a red carpet theatre for the Bollywood industry. It shows many English language films and is a popular spot for Western tourists.
Mr Brown said the attacks had been met by 'shock and outrage' around the world and pledged all possible UK support for the Indian authorities.
He said: 'This is the loss of innocent lives, people just going about their daily business. We've got to do everything we can now to help.'
But firebrand British-based Muslim preacher Anjem Choudhary backed the terrorists and said any Britons killed or held hostage were legitimate targets because they should not have gone to India.
Choudhary, right-hand man to preacher of hate Omar Bakri, said Britain and America is at war with the Muslim world and their citizens must keep off the battlefield.
'Muslims are being killed in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan every day through acts of atrocity against them. But the media only report events like Mumbai.'
Worried friends or relatives should call the Foreign Office's emergency line on 0207 008 0000.
A map shows the locations of the bombings across Mumbai
Find this story at
Reply #14 on:
November 29, 2008, 09:01:37 AM »
The Long War Journal: Analysis: Mumbai attack differs from past terror strikes
Written by Bill Roggio on November 28, 2008 12:31 AM to The Long War Journal
Available online at:
Click image to view an interactive graphic showing the attacks in Mumbai. Created by The New York Times.
Almost two days after terrorists attacked the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the Indian military is still working to root out the remnants of the assault teams at two hotels and a Jewish center. More than 125 people, including six foreigners, have been killed and 327 more have been wounded. The number is expected to go up, as Indian commandos have recovered an additional 30 dead at the Taj Mahal hotel as fighting has resumed.
The Mumbai attack is uniquely different from past terror strikes carried out by Islamic terrorists. Instead of one or more bombings at distinct sites, the Mumbai attackers struck throughout the city using military tactics. Instead of one or more bombings carried out over a short period of time, Mumbai is entering its third day of crisis.
An attack of this nature cannot be thrown together overnight. It requires planned, scouting, financing, training, and a support network to aid the fighters. Initial reports indicate the attacks originated from Pakistan, the hub of jihadi activity in South Asia. Few local terror groups have the capacity to pull of an attack such as this.
While it is early to know exactly what happened in Mumbai as the fog of war still blankets the city, multiple press reports from India allow for a general picture to be painted. An estimated 12 to 25 terrorists are believed to have entered Mumbai by sea. After landing, he attack teams initiated a battle at a police station, then fanned across the city to attack the soft underbelly of hotels, cafes, cinemas, and hospitals. Civilians were gunned down and taken hostage, while terrorists looked for people carrying foreign passports.
While the exact size of the assault force and the support cells is still not known, police estimate about 25 gunmen were involved in the attack. The number of members of the supporting cells that provide financing, training, transportation, and other services could be two to four times this number. Operational security for such a large unit, or grouping of cells, is difficult to maintain and requires organization and discipline.
To pull off an attack of this magnitude, it requires months of training, planning, and on-site reconnaissance. Indian officials have stated that the terrorists set up "advance control rooms" at the Taj Mahal and Trident (Oberoi) hotels, and conducted a significant amount of reconnaissance prior to executing the attack. If the news about the "control rooms" is accurate, these rooms may also have served as weapons and ammunition caches for the assault teams to replenish after conducting the first half of the operation.
A terrorist outside the train station in Mumbai.
The planners of the Mumbai attack appear to have chosen able military-aged males. Witnesses have described the men as young and fit. Some of the gunmen appear to have been well trained; some have been credited with having good marksmanship and other military skills.
A witness who saw one of the teams land by sea described the gunmen as "in their 20s, fair-skinned and tall, clad in jeans and jackets." He saw "eight young men stepping out of the raft, two at a time. They jumped into the waters, and picked up a haversack. They bent down again, and came up carrying two more haversacks, one in each hand."
An Indian official claimed the attackers used "sophisticated weapons," however this may be an overstatement. Reports indicate the gunmen used automatic rifles, hand grenades, and some machineguns, as well as several car bombs. The terrorists did not have sophisticated weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles to attack helicopters supporting Indian counterterrorism forces.
Getting to Mumbai
One of the more intriguing aspects of the attack is how the teams entered Mumbai. Reports indicate at least two of the assault teams arrived from outside the city by sea around 9 p.m. local time. Indian officials believe most if not all of the attackers entered Mumbai via sea.
Indian Coast Guard, Navy, Mumbai maritime police, and customs units have scoured the waters off Mumbai in search of a "mother ship" that transported one or more smaller Gemini inflatable boats used by the attackers. A witness saw one of the craft land in Colaba in southern Mumbai and disgorge eight to 10 fighters.
Two ships that have been boarded are strongly suspected of being involved in the attacks: the Kuber, an Indian fishing boat, and the MV Alpha, a Vietnamese cargo ship. Both ships appear to have been directly involved. The Kuber was hijacked on Nov. 13, and its captain was found murdered. Four crewmen are reported to be still missing.
Indian security officials found what they believe is evidence linking the boat to the attack, as well as linking the attackers to Pakistan. "A GPS map of south Mumbai was found along with a satellite phone on the ship, Coast Guard officials confirmed," The Times of India reported. "There were reports that this phone was used to make calls to Karachi immediately before the shootings began in Mumbai."
Indian police also detained three terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terror group closely allied with al Qaeda. The three men are said to be Pakistani nationals, and claimed to have been part of a 12-man team that launched from the MV Alpha. They said the MV Alpha departed from Karachi.
Another Indian official said that it is "suspected that the Pakistan Marine Agency helped the terrorists hijack the trawler (the Kuber)," although this has not been confirmed. Another unconfirmed report indicated the Kuber originated from Karachi, Pakistan.
After landing in Colaba, the terrorists moved north and attacked the Colaba police station, possibly as a single unit. The attack on the police command and control node disrupted the police response and pinned down police units.
The Mumbai police paid a heavy price. Early in the fight, the attackers killed the chief of Mumbai's Anti-terrorism Squad and two other senior officials. At least 14 police were reported to have been killed during fighting throughout the city.
From the Colaba police station, the assault force broke up into smaller teams and fanned out to hit secondary targets throughout Mumbai. At least one police van was hijacked and the terrorists drove around the city, firing automatic weapons from the truck at random targets.
In all, 10 locations, including the police station, were attacked. The assault teams struck at vital centers where foreigners were likely to congregate: the five-star Taj Mahal and Trident hotels, the Nariman House (an orthodox Jewish center), the Cama hospital, the CSP train station, a cinema, and a cafe were all struck almost simultaneously. Two Taxis were also blown up near the airport in the north and the docks in the southern part of the city.
At the Taj, Trident, and Nariman House, several bombs or hand grenades were tossed into the lobbies and in other areas. The Taj Mahal Hotel was set on fire due to the blasts.
Gunmen opened fire indiscriminately in the hotel lobbies and at the cafe, cinema, train station, and the Jewish center. At the hotels, gunmen then sought out foreigners holding American, British, and Israeli passports.
More than 200 hostages were reported to have been held at the Taj and scores more at the Trident and the Jewish center. Mumbai was under siege as police and counterterrorism officials struggled to regain control of the city.
Police appear to have regained control of the situation at the CSP train station, cafe, and cinema relatively quickly, however they were unable to handle the hostage situation at the hotels, the hospital, and the Jewish center. Police officials admitted they were “overwhelmed” by the attacks and unable to contain the fighting.
After a delay, more than 200 National Security Guards commandos and a number of elite Naval commandos, as well as an unknown number of Army forces were deployed to Mumbai. The hotels, the hospital, and the Jewish center were surrounded as the special operations forces prepared to assault the buildings.
Commandos are in the process of clearing the Taj and the Trident in room-by-room searches. Some of the rooms are reported to have been rigged with explosives. Several National Security Guards commandos have been reported to have been killed or wounded in the fighting. Indian forces are also storming the Jewish Center after air assaulting soldiers into the complex. Curiously, it does not appear the terrorists have executed hostages once they were taken.
At this time, police said seven terrorist have been killed and nine have been detained. Several more are still thought to be hiding in the Taj and Trident hotels, and the Jewish center.
Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility
In an e-mail to local news stations, a group called the Deccan Mujahideen, or Indian Mujahideen, has claimed responsibility for the Mumbai strike. While the Indian Mujahideen’s role in the attack has yet to be confirmed, at least two of the terrorists fighting in Mumbai indicated they were linked to Islamic terrorists.
One of the terrorists phoned a news station demanding jihadis be released from jail in exchange for prisoners. "We want all Mujahideens held in India released and only after that we will release the people," a man named Sahadullah told a media outlet. "Release all the Mujahideens, and Muslims living in India should not be troubled."
Another terrorist named Imran phoned a TV station and spoke in Urdu in what is believed to be a Kashmiri accent. "Ask the government to talk to us and we will release the hostages," he said. "Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir? Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims? Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?"
The Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for several recent mass-casualty attacks in India. The group claimed credit for the July 25 and 26 bombings in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. At least 36 Indians were killed and more than 120 were wounded in the attacks. The Indian Mujahideen took credit for the Sept. 13 attacks in New Delhi that resulted in 18 killed and more than 90 wounded. The group also claimed credit for the bombings in Jaipur last May (60 killed, more than 200 wounded), and bombings in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007 (14 killed, 50 wounded).
In several of those attacks, an Indian Mujahideen operative who calls himself Arbi Hindi e-mailed the media to claim responsibility. Arbi Hindi's real name is Abdul Subhan Qureshi, an Indian national who is believed to be behind many of the recent terror attacks inside India. Qureshi, a computer expert, is believed to have trained hundreds of recruits to conduct terror attacks in India. He is often called India’s Osama bin Laden.
Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami. The Indian Mujahideen was created to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students' Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement, according to Indian intelligence.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami receive support from Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence to destabilize India and wage war in Kashmir. Both of these terror groups are local al Qaeda affiliates in Pakistan and conduct attacks in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Indian “occupation” of Kashmir helped spawn these groups.
Reports indicate signals intelligence has linked the attackers back to Pakistan. Intelligence services are said to have intercepted the terrorists' conversations via satellite phone. The men spoke in Punjabi and used Pakistani phrases.
Indian politicians have been quick to point the finger at Pakistan. Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi accused Pakistan of allowing terrorists to use its soil as a terror launchpad. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed terror groups backed by India's "neighbors," a reference to Pakistan. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said "elements in Pakistan" were behind the Mumbai attacks.
A unique attack
The Mumbai attack differs from previous terror attacks launched by Islamic terror groups. Al Qaeda and other terror groups have not used multiple assault teams to attack multiple targets simultaneously in a major city outside of a war zone.
Al Qaeda and allied groups have conducted complex military assaults on military and non-military targets in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Algeria, and Pakistan. But these are countries that are actively in a state of war or emerging from a recent war, where resources and established fighting units already exist.
Al Qaeda has also used the combination of a suicide attack to breach an outer wall followed by one or more assault teams on military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as at the US embassy in Yemen. But again, these attacks are focused on a single target, and again occur where the resources and manpower is available.
Previous terror attacks in non-war zone countries such as India, London, Spain, the United States, Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt have consisted of suicide or conventional bombings on one or more critical soft targets such as hotels, resorts, cafes, rail stations, trains, and in the case of the Sept. 11 attack, planes used as suicide bombs.
The only attack similar to the Mumbai strike is the assault on the Indian Parliament by the Jaish-e-Mohammed, aided by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, in December 2001. A team of Jaish-e-Mohammed fighters attempted to storm the parliament building while in a session was held. A combination of mishaps by the terrorists and the quick reaction of security guards blunted the attack.
The Mumbai attack is something different. Foreign assault teams that likely trained and originated from outside the country infiltrated a major city to conduct multiple attacks on carefully chosen targets. The primary weapon was the gunman, not the suicide bomber. The attack itself has paralyzed a city of 18 million. And two days after the attack began, Indian forces are still working to root out the terror teams.
Reply #15 on:
November 30, 2008, 08:58:08 AM »
India: Al-Qaeda websites rejoice over Mumbai attacks
Mumbai, 27 Nov. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda websites on Thursday were swamped with messages from people who were celebrating the devastating Mumbai attacks which have left over 100 people dead and 281 injured. "Oh Allah, destroy the Hindus and do it in the worst of ways," was one of the comments that appeared on Islamist forums on the Internet immediately after the attacks.
"The battle that is underway in Mumbai is a battle for Allah between its servants and the infidels," said another message published on the al-Falluja forum.
Several Al-Qaeda sites also posted several pictures of the victims in Mumbai and provocative statements.
Some media reports are saying that a group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #16 on:
November 30, 2008, 09:37:10 AM »
November 29, 2008 | 0627 GMT
Pakistan will not send the director-general to India, as had been announced earlier by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,
but will send a representative in his place instead, Pakistani media
reported Nov. 28, citing sources within the prime minister's office. Gilani
had announced plans to send the ISI chief, Lt.-Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, to
assist with the Mumbai attacks investigation, following a conversation with
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
However, Gilani apparently irked the establishment in Islamabad by
consulting neither the army nor the Foreign Ministry before making that
decision. Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani subsequently notified Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zardari that Pasha would not be dispatched to India. Many
within Pakistan's military feel it would be humiliating to allow an official
of this stature to be summoned by the Indian government -- especially when
Singh's administration appears to be using some Indian media to generate
perceptions that it is taking a tough line with Pakistan. The Congress-led
coalition government in New Delhi is under political pressure from the
opposition, hard-line Bharatiya Janata Party and needs to show a firm
response to the attacks.
For New Delhi, creating perceptions that it had ordered Islamabad to send
the ISI chief to assist investigators was one way of achieving this goal,
but the visit also was intended as a way of gleaning intelligence on
Islamist militant groups. The Pakistanis would prefer not to rush into such
an undertaking. Sending an ISI representative instead of the
director-general himself is Islamabad's way of limiting pressure it faces
from New Delhi.
While a potentially serious international crisis is brewing with India, the
Mumbai attacks seem to have exacerbated civil-military tensions within
Pakistan also. It is no secret that the military establishment has been
uneasy since Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari became
president in early September. And the reversal of Gilani's announcement on
Nov. 28 marked the third time in only four months that military intervention
has forced the government to backtrack on issues involving the ISI.
In July, the government announced that the ISI directorate had been
placed under the control of the Interior Ministry. Within 24 hours, the PPP
reversed course, following an angry response from the military.
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the ISI's
political wing had been dismantled. Again, within 24 hours, reports emerged
contradicting the statement - saying that the section was very much in
existence and had merely been made inactive.
These incidents notwithstanding, the civilian government remains persistent
- and at this juncture, it may have raised the stakes. While the world was
focused on the Mumbai attacks and their aftermath, Gilani announced Nov. 28
that his government would disband the National Security Council (NSC) -
created by former President Pervez Musharraf as a way of formalizing the
military's oversight of Pakistan's parliament and government. The 13-member
body comprises the president, prime minister, Senate chairman, National
Assembly speaker, the opposition leader in the National Assembly, the chief
ministers of Pakistan's four provinces, the chairman of the joint chiefs of
staff committee, and the chiefs of staff of the army, air force and navy.
By dissolving the NSC, the government likely is trying to eliminate the
military's ability to interfere in decision-making processes. The logic runs
that Pakistan's political, economic and security turmoil already has
undermined the military's position, and getting rid of the NSC would make it
more difficult for the military to control the government. The civilian
government's efforts to alter the civil-military balance, however, easily
could backfire: If the army -- the true power holding Pakistan together -
finds itself pressed on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts, it
could opt to send the PPP government packing.
An India-Pakistan crisis stemming from the Mumbai attacks is expected to
lead to instability in Pakistan. But it seems as though the crisis on the
domestic front may be developing parallel to that on the eastern border.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #17 on:
November 30, 2008, 09:49:59 AM »
WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #18 on:
November 30, 2008, 02:36:40 PM »
**I expect the jewish females hostages suffered very deliberately sadistic sexual assaults, including the use of foreign objects, as is standard jihadi procedure for the treatment of hostages.**
Doctors shocked at hostages's torture
Krishnakumar P and Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai | November 30, 2008 | 19:53 IST
They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.
Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.
"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.
Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.
Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.
The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.
Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an IB source said.
It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. "They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House," he reasoned.
On the other hand, there is enough to suggest that the terrorists also did not meet a clean, death.
The doctors who conducted the post mortem said the bodies of the terrorists were beyond recognition. "Their faces were beyond recognition."
There was no way of identifying them," he said. Asked how, if this is the case, they knew the bodies were indeed those of the terrorists, he said: "The security forces that brought the bodies told us that those were the bodies of the terrorists," he said, adding there was no other way they could have identified the bodies.
An intelligence agency source added: "One of the terrorists was shot through either eye."
A senior National Security Guard officer, who had earlier explained the operation in detail to rediff.com, said the commandos went all out after they ascertained that there were no more hostages left. When asked if the commandos attempted to capture them alive at that stage, he replied: "Unko bachana kaun chahega (Who will want to save them)?"
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Reply #19 on:
December 01, 2008, 04:31:51 PM »
Strategic Motivations for the Mumbai Attack
December 1, 2008
By George Friedman
Related Special Topic Page
Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences
Last Wednesday evening, a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phases of the operation, when the last remaining attackers held out in the Taj Mahal hotel for several days. The operational goal of the attack clearly was to cause as many casualties as possible, particularly among Jews and well-to-do guests of five-star hotels. But attacks on various other targets, from railroad stations to hospitals, indicate that the more general purpose was to spread terror in a major Indian city.
While it is not clear precisely who carried out the Mumbai attack, two separate units apparently were involved. One group, possibly consisting of Indian Muslims, was established in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. The second group appears to have just arrived. It traveled via ship from Karachi, Pakistan, later hijacked a small Indian vessel to get past Indian coastal patrols, and ultimately landed near Mumbai.
Extensive preparations apparently had been made, including surveillance of the targets. So while the precise number of attackers remains unclear, the attack clearly was well-planned and well-executed.
Evidence and logic suggest that radical Pakistani Islamists carried out the attack. These groups have a highly complex and deliberately amorphous structure. Rather than being centrally controlled, ad hoc teams are created with links to one or more groups. Conceivably, they might have lacked links to any group, but this is hard to believe. Too much planning and training were involved in this attack for it to have been conceived by a bunch of guys in a garage. While precisely which radical Pakistani Islamist group or groups were involved is unknown, the Mumbai attack appears to have originated in Pakistan. It could have been linked to al Qaeda prime or its various franchises and/or to Kashmiri insurgents.
More important than the question of the exact group that carried out the attack, however, is the attackers’ strategic end. There is a tendency to regard terror attacks as ends in themselves, carried out simply for the sake of spreading terror. In the highly politicized atmosphere of Pakistan’s radical Islamist factions, however, terror frequently has a more sophisticated and strategic purpose. Whoever invested the time and took the risk in organizing this attack had a reason to do so. Let’s work backward to that reason by examining the logical outcomes following this attack.
An End to New Delhi’s Restraint
The most striking aspect of the Mumbai attack is the challenge it presents to the Indian government — a challenge almost impossible for New Delhi to ignore. A December 2001 Islamist attack on the Indian parliament triggered an intense confrontation between India and Pakistan. Since then, New Delhi has not responded in a dramatic fashion to numerous Islamist attacks against India that were traceable to Pakistan. The Mumbai attack, by contrast, aimed to force a response from New Delhi by being so grievous that any Indian government showing only a muted reaction to it would fall.
India’s restrained response to Islamist attacks (even those originating in Pakistan) in recent years has come about because New Delhi has understood that, for a host of reasons, Islamabad has been unable to control radical Pakistani Islamist groups. India did not want war with Pakistan; it felt it had more important issues to deal with. New Delhi therefore accepted Islamabad’s assurances that Pakistan would do its best to curb terror attacks, and after suitable posturing, allowed tensions originating from Islamist attacks to pass.
This time, however, the attackers struck in such a way that New Delhi couldn’t allow the incident to pass. As one might expect, public opinion in India is shifting from stunned to furious. India’s Congress party-led government is politically weak and nearing the end of its life span. It lacks the political power to ignore the attack, even if it were inclined to do so. If it ignored the attack, it would fall, and a more intensely nationalist government would take its place. It is therefore very difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Indians could respond to this attack in the same manner they have to recent Islamist attacks.
What the Indians actually will do is not clear. In 2001-2002, New Delhi responded to the attack on the Indian parliament by moving forces close to the Pakistani border and the Line of Control that separates Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, engaging in artillery duels along the front, and bringing its nuclear forces to a high level of alert. The Pakistanis made a similar response. Whether India ever actually intended to attack Pakistan remains unclear, but either way, New Delhi created an intense crisis in Pakistan.
The U.S. and the Indo-Pakistani Crisis
The United States used this crisis for its own ends. Having just completed the first phase of its campaign in Afghanistan, Washington was intensely pressuring Pakistan’s then-Musharraf government to expand cooperation with the United States; purge its intelligence organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of radical Islamists; and crack down on al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had been reluctant to cooperate with Washington, as doing so inevitably would spark a massive domestic backlash against his government.
The crisis with India produced an opening for the United States. Eager to get India to stand down from the crisis, the Pakistanis looked to the Americans to mediate. And the price for U.S. mediation was increased cooperation from Pakistan with the United States. The Indians, not eager for war, backed down from the crisis after guarantees that Islamabad would impose stronger controls on Islamist groups in Kashmir.
In 2001-2002, the Indo-Pakistani crisis played into American hands. In 2008, the new Indo-Pakistani crisis might play differently. The United States recently has demanded increased Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border. Meanwhile, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his intention to focus on Afghanistan and pressure the Pakistanis.
Therefore, one of Islamabad’s first responses to the new Indo-Pakistani crisis was to announce that if the Indians increased their forces along Pakistan’s eastern border, Pakistan would be forced to withdraw 100,000 troops from its western border with Afghanistan. In other words, threats from India would cause Pakistan to dramatically reduce its cooperation with the United States in the Afghan war. The Indian foreign minister is flying to the United States to meet with Obama; obviously, this matter will be discussed among others.
We expect the United States to pressure India not to create a crisis, in order to avoid this outcome. As we have said, the problem is that it is unclear whether politically the Indians can afford restraint. At the very least, New Delhi must demand that the Pakistani government take steps to make the ISI and Pakistan’s other internal security apparatus more effective. Even if the Indians concede that there was no ISI involvement in the attack, they will argue that the ISI is incapable of stopping such attacks. They will demand a purge and reform of the ISI as a sign of Pakistani commitment. Barring that, New Delhi will move troops to the Indo-Pakistani frontier to intimidate Pakistan and placate Indian public opinion.
Dilemmas for Islamabad, New Delhi and Washington
At that point, Islamabad will have a serious problem. The Pakistani government is even weaker than the Indian government. Pakistan’s civilian regime does not control the Pakistani military, and therefore does not control the ISI. The civilians can’t decide to transform Pakistani security, and the military is not inclined to make this transformation. (Pakistan’s military has had ample opportunity to do so if it wished.)
Pakistan faces the challenge, just one among many, that its civilian and even military leadership lack the ability to reach deep into the ISI and security services to transform them. In some ways, these agencies operate under their own rules. Add to this the reality that the ISI and security forces — even if they are acting more assertively, as Islamabad claims — are demonstrably incapable of controlling radical Islamists in Pakistan. If they were capable, the attack on Mumbai would have been thwarted in Pakistan. The simple reality is that in Pakistan’s case, the will to make this transformation does not seem to be present, and even if it were, the ability to suppress terror attacks isn’t there.
The United States might well want to limit New Delhi’s response. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to India to discuss just this. But the politics of India’s situation make it unlikely that the Indians can do anything more than listen. It is more than simply a political issue for New Delhi; the Indians have no reason to believe that the Mumbai operation was one of a kind. Further operations like the Mumbai attack might well be planned. Unless the Pakistanis shift their posture inside Pakistan, India has no way of knowing whether other such attacks can be stymied. The Indians will be sympathetic to Washington’s plight in Afghanistan and the need to keep Pakistani troops at the Afghan border. But New Delhi will need something that the Americans — and in fact the Pakistanis — can’t deliver: a guarantee that there will be no more attacks like this one.
The Indian government cannot chance inaction. It probably would fall if it did. Moreover, in the event of inactivity and another attack, Indian public opinion probably will swing to an uncontrollable extreme. If an attack takes place but India has moved toward crisis posture with Pakistan, at least no one can argue that the Indian government remained passive in the face of threats to national security. Therefore, India is likely to refuse American requests for restraint.
It is possible that New Delhi will make a radical proposal to Rice, however. Given that the Pakistani government is incapable of exercising control in its own country, and given that Pakistan now represents a threat to both U.S. and Indian national security, the Indians might suggest a joint operation with the Americans against Pakistan.
What that joint operation might entail is uncertain, but regardless, this is something that Rice would reject out of hand and that Obama would reject in January 2009. Pakistan has a huge population and nuclear weapons, and the last thing Bush or Obama wants is to practice nation-building in Pakistan. The Indians, of course, will anticipate this response. The truth is that New Delhi itself does not want to engage deep in Pakistan to strike at militant training camps and other Islamist sites. That would be a nightmare. But if Rice shows up with a request for Indian restraint and no concrete proposal — or willingness to entertain a proposal — for solving the Pakistani problem, India will be able to refuse on the grounds that the Americans are asking India to absorb a risk (more Mumbai-style attacks) without the United States’ willingness to share in the risk.
Setting the Stage for a New Indo-Pakistani Confrontation
That will set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation. India will push forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps — given the seriousness of the situation — attack short distances into Pakistan and even carry out airstrikes deep in Pakistan. India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistan; they will want to occupy Pakistan’s security apparatus.
Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations. But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.
In the meantime, the Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will mean that one leg of the Petraeus and Obama plans would collapse. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it. The Taliban’s ability to fight would increase, while the motivation for any of the Taliban to enter talks — as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested — would decline. U.S. forces, already stretched to the limit, would face an increasingly difficult situation, while pressure on al Qaeda in the tribal areas would decrease.
Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.
By staging an attack the Indian government can’t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.
Rice’s trip to India now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration — and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.
Reply #20 on:
December 02, 2008, 11:56:39 AM »
Despite demands from India in the wake of the Nov. 26 militant attacks on Mumbai, Pakistan is unlikely to be able to shift troops around to please New Delhi (or Washington, for that matter). Islamabad’s military capacity was already extremely constrained before the attacks and has only become more limited.
Pakistani daily The News reported Dec. 1 that Pakistan’s military is monitoring the border with India closely and has not detected any mobilization of Indian troops in the wake of the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Press Trust of India quoted an Indian army official saying no orders for mobilization have been given, and the Indian External Affairs Ministry rebutted television reports that said the Indian-Pakistani cease-fire was being suspended.
As tensions mount between India and Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks — in which at least some of the attackers apparently arrived by boat from Karachi — the possibility has loomed of increased troop deployments along the border shared by the two South Asian rivals. Meanwhile, an assertive New Delhi, with little choice but to react strongly to the attacks, appears likely to demand increased Pakistani operations in Kashmir to control militancy there, while the incoming U.S. administration will be placing even more demands on Islamabad in the war against jihadists along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
Pakistan, however, is in a military bind. It is already stretched thin and does not have the resources to fulfill its core mission while also taking on other operations to placate India and the United States — meaning New Delhi and Washington are likely to be disappointed.
Before the attacks in Mumbai, the Pakistani military was already overwhelmed with four major operational demands, none of which has gone away:
Defend the border with India, being prepared for possible conventional Indian military aggression.
Combat the home-grown Taliban insurgency raging across the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Pashtun districts of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Combat a much lower-intensity — but nonetheless very real — mounting insurgency in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
Provide heightened military security in Islamabad and other major urban centers in order to defend against an uptick in radical Islamist suicide bombings domestically.
(Further compounding things, ethnic clashes and rioting broke out in Karachi on Nov. 28, with scores of people being killed on a daily basis. Though the army itself has not yet been called in — paramilitary units are currently attempting to rein in the situation — Karachi-based V Corps is closely monitoring the potential need for military force.)
Strategically, defending the border with India is the military’s paramount objective because it represents the most direct existential threat. Pakistan’s 550,000-strong force is only half the size of the active Indian army, and New Delhi also fields technologically superior hardware, from the latest Russian T-90 main battle tanks to the modern Su-30MKI “Flanker” fighter. As such, Pakistan is very hesitant to pull away military units from this mission. (Islamabad has committed resources to the jihadist fight along the western border only under immense U.S. pressure. Currently centered around Swat in the NWFP, this mission has been complicated as U.S. airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles have inched ever deeper into Pakistani territory.)
(Click to enlarge map)
Looking at the Indian border, Pakistan is most vulnerable in the open lowlands of Punjab. Not only does this region offer little in the way of terrain features that would impede the movement of large mechanized formations, there is little distance at this point between the Indian border and the Pakistani heartland — where most of the population resides along with Pakistan’s core industrial and agricultural sectors. The more barren terrain of the southern border along Sindh province is also vulnerable, but it is also more distant from the core population areas that Pakistan needs to defend. The mountainous Kashmir region, while it is the most disputed area of the border, is also extremely difficult terrain that favors the defense.
With almost no strategic depth to insulate its core from any potential Indian attack, Pakistan maintains six of its nine Corps formations in Punjab. This includes offensive “Strike” Corps (I and II) designed to make pre-emptive thrusts into Indian territory in the event of war in an attempt to acquire breathing room and leverage for subsequent negotiations. At times of increasing tension with India, the overarching military imperative for Islamabad becomes the conventional reinforcement of these six corps. This would have to come at the expense of other missions such as those that Washington and New Delhi would like to see. Indeed, Pakistan already suggested as much when it told commanders in Afghanistan that it would have to withdraw forces from the western theater in the event of a crisis with India.
But Pakistan’s problems run deeper than its military’s myriad and conflicting responsibilities. The civilian government is weak at an extremely challenging point in the country’s history — when an undercurrent of radical Islamist leanings is on the rise and the country’s intelligence service, the ISI, is infiltrated by both jihadist and Taliban elements. Even if it had more freedom of action, the military could hope to do little more than keep a lid on these deepening crises. If the Pakistani army was unable to muster the resources for the demands being placed on it before the Mumbai attacks, it is unlikely to be able to meet the demands of a hostile India and a new U.S. administration.
WSJ: India names mastermind
Reply #21 on:
December 03, 2008, 05:39:04 AM »
y GEETA ANAND, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, YAROSLAV TROFIMOV and ZAHID HUSSAIN
MUMBAI -- India has accused a senior leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of orchestrating last week's terror attacks that killed at least 172 people here, and demanded the Pakistani government turn him over and take action against the group.
Just two days before hitting the city, the group of 10 terrorists who ravaged India's financial capital communicated with Yusuf Muzammil and four other Lashkar leaders via a satellite phone that they left behind on a fishing trawler they hijacked to get to Mumbai, a senior Mumbai police official told The Wall Street Journal. The entire group also underwent rigorous training in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the official said.
More on the Attacks
Complete Coverage: Terror in MumbaiEyewitness: 'Five Weapons Pointed at My Chest'Video: Indian Stars Hold Mumbai VigilVideo: Gunfight FootageMr. Muzammil had earlier been in touch with an Indian Muslim extremist who scoped out Mumbai locations for possible attack before he was arrested early this year, said another senior Indian police official. The Indian man, Faheem Ahmed Ansari, had in his possession layouts drawn up for the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel and Mumbai's main railway station, both prime targets of last week's attack, the police official said.
Mr. Ansari, who also made sketches and maps of locations in southern Mumbai that weren't attacked, had met Mr. Muzammil and trained at the same Lashkar camp as the terrorists in last week's attack, an official said.
U.S. officials agreed that Mr. Muzammil was a focus of their attention in the attacks, though they stopped short of calling him the mastermind. "That is a name that is definitely on the radar screen," a U.S. counterterrorism official said.
Information gathered in the probe also continues to point to a connection to Lashkar-e-Taiba, that official said. Along with a confession from the one gunman captured in the attacks, officials cited phone calls intercepted by satellite during the attacks that connected the assailants to members of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, and the recovered satellite phone from the boat.
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STANDING WATCH: Police on Tuesday guard Mumbai's main rail station, a target of last week's terror attack -- plotted, India says, by a Pakistani militant.
It also emerged Tuesday that U.S. authorities had warned Indian officials of a pending attack by sea. Hasan Gafoor, Mumbai police commissioner, told reporters there was a general warning issued in September that hotels could be targeted as well, after the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad.
Two militants arrested in early 2007 also told police officials then that they were part of a band of eight Lashkar members who slipped into India by boat from Karachi, Pakistan, and made their way to Mumbai, an Indian police official in Kashmir said in an interview Tuesday. The group broke into pairs -- just as last week's attackers did -- and made their way north using safehouses provided by local sympathizers, the police official said.
The evidence cited by investigators is giving fresh ammunition to the Indian government, which has long tried to pressure Pakistan into cracking down on Lashkar-e-Taiba. India claims the group enjoys support from elements of the Pakistani intelligence agency. Pakistan denies that and outlawed the organization in 2002, but has done little to curtail its operations.
Mr. Muzammil's name is on a list of people -- numbering about 20 in all -- that India gave Pakistan earlier this week, demanding their immediate extradition, a senior Pakistani official told the Journal. The official said Pakistan was examining India's list of suspects and has assured New Delhi that action would be taken against them if there is evidence of involvement in the attacks.
Any move by the shaky civilian government of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari against Lashkar-e-Taiba could create a huge backlash, however, particularly from Islamic groups, said a senior official in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani convened a meeting of all of the country's political parties in the capital to develop a joint response to Indian demands for extradition.
"The government of Pakistan has offered a joint investigation mechanism and we are ready to compose such a team which will help the investigation," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a televised statement. Mr. Qureshi, however, declined to say whether Pakistan would hand over any of those sought by India.
The Mumbai attacks have ratcheted up tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, who have been exchanging verbal fire for the past several days and sparking fears of a conflict. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to arrive in India Wednesday, as is Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Indian authorities say evidence highlights how Lashkar has broadened its operations to include recruitment of both Indian and Pakistani Muslim extremists.
Lashkar-e-Taiba -- literally Army of the Good -- has been implicated by Indian officials in several recent terrorist attacks on Indian soil. The group initially focused on fighting the Indian army in the disputed state of Kashmir. Over the years, it has expanded its cause into the rest of India and aims to establish Islamic rule.
India has told Pakistan that the latest attacks in Mumbai were masterminded by Mr. Muzammil, aided by others in Lashkar's senior ranks including an operative named Asrar Shah, according to a senior Pakistani official. Mr. Muzammil, a Pakistani in his mid-30s, became head of Lashkar-e-Taiba's anti-Indian planning cell some three months ago, according to Dipankar Banerjee, director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, an independent think tank in New Delhi. Indian authorities believe he is in Pakistan but officials there haven't acknowledged that.
India also claims the attacks were approved by Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, the Pakistani official said. Mr. Saeed is the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent organization of the Lashkar group. Mr. Saeed, who is free in Pakistan, denied the accusations. "India has always accused me without any evidence," he told Pakistan's GEO News television channel.
Indian investigators -- helped in part by the testimony of the one terrorist they captured alive, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab -- say they now possess solid proof. "We have made substantial progress in the investigation," said A.N. Roy, director general of the State Police of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located.
According to Mumbai police chief Hasan Gafoor, Mr. Kasab told interrogators that he and fellow gunmen spent between a year and 18 months in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp.
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An armed policeman guards the Victoria Terminus station on Tuesday in Mumbai.
The 10 militants left Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Nov. 23 aboard a ship called the Al Husseini, which also carried a crew of seven, another senior police official said. Investigators believe that all the 10 gunmen were Pakistani because they spoke Punjabi or Punjabi-accented Urdu.
When they entered Indian waters, the terrorists hijacked a fishing trawler called the Kuber and took its five crew members prisoner. The terrorists transferred four of them to the Al Husseini and they were subsequently killed, police believe. The terrorists kept the Kuber's lead crewman alive and sailed close to Mumbai.
The terrorists abandoned the Kuber in haste, fearing detection by an approaching vessel, the senior police official said. In the process, they forgot their satellite phone on the Kuber. Investigators found in the call log the numbers of five people, including Mr. Muzammil, two of his deputies and his personal aide, the senior police official said. Indian officials had already intercepted phone conversations made while the terrorists were traveling to Mumbai.
Indian Muslim leaders are skeptical of Lashkar's reach into India. But police say Lashkar has increasingly sought contacts and recruits among Indian extremists. In October, for instance, five Muslims from the southern state of Kerala were recruited into Lashkar-e-Taiba and traveled to the Indian part of Kashmir, according to T.K. Vinod Kumar, Kerala's deputy inspector-general of police. They tried to cross the line of control that runs between India and Pakistan and reach training camps on the Pakistani side.
Four among the group were killed in a firefight with the Indian military during that attempt. The fifth, construction worker Abdul Jabbar, was arrested two weeks ago, Mr. Kumar says.
Unlike other Pakistani-based jihadist organizations, Lashkar draws its recruits across a broad social spectrum, from universities as well as among unemployed youths. The majority come from Punjab; Mr. Kasab used to live in the Punjabi village of Faridkot, according to Indian investigators.
In March 2007 when two militants were arrested in the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir, the pair told police that Lashkar was looking to start slipping people into India from the sea to avoid heavily guarded land borders. The sea also provided a winter route to Kashmir for Lashkar members, when high mountain passes crossing to India's part of the state are often blanketed by deep snow.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #22 on:
December 03, 2008, 08:45:56 AM »
New template for terror?
Mumbai attacks' sophistication shows need for new approach to defenses, experts say.
By Mark Sappenfield | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the December 3, 2008 edition
New Delhi - Sixty hours in Mumbai have begun to change the calculus of global terrorism.
New reports suggest that both Indian and American intelligence agencies had foreseen the threat to Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Yet the manner of the attack – with 10 heavily armed, highly trained fighters clinically fanning out across the city – meant that no "police force anywhere would have been prepared to counter this type of operation," says Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism analyst at Georgetown University in Washington.
Armed sieges are not a new terrorist tactic, but never before has one been used to such effect. Some experts suggest this could be the most sophisticated terrorist attack since 9/11. Now, other militants might consider copycat operations – and the world's cities will have to be ready for them.
"It was not so much of a success in terms of people killed – it was more the publicity they got for three days, and their ability to project the Indian state ... as helpless," says B. Raman, former head of counterterrorism for Indian top intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). "Others will want to repeat it," he predicts.
Indians' anger toward their government continued to mount Tuesday as several reports indicated that there was specific intelligence pointing to an attack on Mumbai from the sea – the way the terrorists entered the city.
On Sept. 18 and 24, RAW intercepted two satellite phone calls in which a member of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba discussed an operation that would attack Mumbai by boat, according to the Hindustan Times, an Indian newspaper. One call mentioned the Taj Mahal Hotel, where the last fighter was killed Saturday.
Moreover, a US counterterrorism official told CNN Tuesday that "the United States warned the Indian government about a potential maritime attack against Mumbai at least a month before last week's massacre in Mumbai."
President Bush is diverting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels this week to visit India. She is expected to arrive in New Delhi Wednesday.
India now feels confident it has established a link between the attackers and elements in Pakistan, perhaps Lashkar-e-Taiba. India is now demanding that Pakistan extradite 20 people – including the head of Lashkar-e-Taiba – which India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, called a "fugitive from Indian law." Pakistan is considering the request.
Significantly, Mr. Mukherjee says India is not currently considering the use of force against Pakistan. US officials were concerned that India might deploy more troops to its northern border, as it did after an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. Pakistan would have countered by pulling troops away from the fight against militants on the Afghan border.
That India felt the need to dismiss such an option is a measure of how deeply the country has been shaken by last week's attacks. Purely by the numbers, the attacks were barely more lethal than a series of bombings that hit Mumbai on July 11, 2006, killing 186. The current death toll from the latest attacks is 188. But newspapers and commentators here have repeatedly called this India's worst terrorist attack primarily because of the way it unfolded.
The paroxysm of the bombings was replaced by 60 hours of uncertainty. The militants moved through the city with military precision, killing as they headed toward three rendezvous points – the Taj and Oberoi hotels and Nariman House, a Jewish community center.
In fact, during the fight for the Taj, Indian commandos expressed grudging admiration for the terrorists. They admitted that the terrorists knew the hotel better than the commandos did themselves, and they fought more like soldiers than terrorists.
Employing only guns and grenades, "the individual tactics they used were not that sophisticated," says John Harrison, a terrorism analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "But how they put them all together showed a tremendous amount of strategic thinking."
The simpler parts of the operation are easily copied. Terrorists in Kashmir, for instance, have long used similar sieges, albeit on a much smaller scale. "I believe this will become the new popular terrorist tactic since no police force in the world is prepared for ... such an attack," says Georgetown Professor Hoffman by e-mail.
He says that even an attack as complicated as the one in Mumbai could be reproduced. It is "very replicable – provided you have the training facilities, skilled trainers, time, and the ability to engage in pre-op [operation] planning and preparation," Hoffman says.
Others disagree, saying the Mumbai attack, with its multiple targets and coordinated movements, was more akin to 9/11, requiring such exhaustive preparation that it cannot be repeated easily.
"The complexity and scale might not be replicable elsewhere," says Professor Harrison, of Singapore.
The proficiency of the Mumbai terrorists has led to questions about Indian authorities' insistence that there were only 10 people involved. But Harrison says the figure "is very plausible," citing how a few terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics held off security forces for hours.
In a hotel like the Taj, "it is incredibly difficult for urban commandos to get control of a situation," he says.
Police have since revealed that the militants booby-trapped dead bodies with hand grenades to slow the commandos' progress. They set fires to add to the confusion. They even took cocaine, police reported, so that they could stay awake for 60 hours straight.
It seems likely, however, that the fighters had help in some form from local contacts – perhaps scouting sites or gathering information, experts say. The Indian police say they have not dismissed that possibility.
Their difficulties in coming to grips with the attacks as they happened will now become a global lesson, says Hoffman. Police worldwide will have to match terrorists' rising sophistication – from rescuing hostages quickly to knowing the layout of all potential targets.
"Police forces will have to prepare for more than one major operation," he says.
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Reply #23 on:
December 03, 2008, 12:04:56 PM »
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was set to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday, and then reportedly will make her way to Islamabad, in an attempt to calm tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors following the attacks in Mumbai. It appears that Rice will be carrying a message of restraint for the Indians. Ahead of her trip, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino made a point of saying that “the United States doesn’t believe Pakistan’s government was involved in the attacks, and the Bush administration trusts Pakistan to investigate the issue … We have no reason not to [trust Pakistan] right now.” In other words: Hold your horses, India — Washington is in no mood for a crisis to break out on the Indo-Pakistani border right now.
Washington’s desire for restraint is understandable. The United States is shifting its military focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. For counterterrorism efforts to succeed in that theater, the United States needs to ensure, at the very least, that the Pakistani state is intact. But with a weak and fractured government, a military and intelligence establishment that has lost control, a spreading jihadist insurgency and an economy on the brink of bankruptcy, Pakistan is not in good shape. A military confrontation on its eastern border easily could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in Islamabad, thereby frustrating U.S. military operations in the region and creating an even more fertile environment for jihadist activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and the wider world.
While the Indians will hear out the Americans and discuss various avenues of cooperation, including U.S. assistance in training and equipping Indian security forces, New Delhi is highly unlikely to accede to Washington’s request for calm and restraint. India just experienced its own 9/11. After an attack of such magnitude, the government has no choice but to respond, and that response inevitably will be felt in Pakistan. This is not only politically driven: Though the Indian government needs to demonstrate that it is taking action against this threat, it also has a core national security interest in ensuring that an attack like that in Mumbai cannot be repeated.
The Indians are not about to subordinate their freedom to maneuver to the Americans. Doing so would violate a long-standing policy of non-alignment practiced in New Delhi. Given its geography — buffered by the Indian Ocean to the south, jungles to the east, the Himalayas to the north and desert to the west — India is both insulated and strategically placed between the oil-rich Islamic world and the Far East. This has enabled New Delhi to pursue a largely independent foreign policy and play a balancing role between great powers, such as Russia and the United States. New Delhi will resist getting locked into any strategic alignment. (This is precisely why getting the civilian nuclear deal with the United States passed in New Delhi was such a laborious and noisy affair, as politicians feared the deal would compromise India’s independence in foreign relations.)
The U.S. need for restraint and the Indian need for action, therefore, inevitably will clash. But that will not necessarily stop the Indians from taking steps against Pakistan.
There have been several public indications already that New Delhi is making a concerted effort to build a case against the Pakistanis without appearing hasty or rash.
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told NDTV on Tuesday that while he would not comment on military action, “every sovereign country has its right to protect its territorial integrity and take appropriate action as and when it feels necessary.” Later in the day, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor gave a press conference in which he said that a group of 10 militants involved in the Mumbai attacks came from Karachi, and that the one suspect captured alive admitted to being a Pakistani from Punjab. Stratfor also is getting indications that the Indian Intelligence Bureau is disseminating more detailed information to Washington — making a special point of reaching out to President-elect Barack Obama’s advisers — to emphasize the Pakistan link in these attacks. So far, Obama has remained relatively ambiguous on the matter. However, on Monday, when asked whether India has the right to “take out” high-value targets inside Pakistan with or without Islamabad’s permission — similar to the precedent the United States has set by launching its own operations along the Pakistani-Afghan border — Obama said that as a sovereign state, India has the right to protect itself.
In all likelihood, a contingency plan has already been decided and set into motion by the upper echelons of the Indian government. Such a plan would take several days at least to implement, giving the Indians some time to try and exhaust their diplomatic options. This might explain why the Indians are being careful with their statements — reiterating the Pakistan link but leaving open a window for diplomatic reconciliation if (and only if) Pakistan cracks down on those elements of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency that purportedly were involved in the attacks. The Pakistanis are likely sensing Indian military preparations and are putting out feelers to exculpate the Pakistani state. One such feeler made its way to the Asia Times Online: A writer believed to have close links to the ISI described how a rogue node of the ISI in Karachi approved the Mumbai operation, after the initial ISI plot was “hijacked” by Kashmiri Islamist militants who had linked up with al Qaeda. The Pakistanis know that India is prepared to raise these claims and are attempting to put distance between the state and the ISI rogues. The best that Islamabad can hope for is that the United States — acting on its own interests in the region — will be able to restrain India from taking military action against Pakistan.
This sets up an interesting dynamic in which the intent of each player will not necessarily match up with the results of its actions. Washington’s intent right now is to restrain India, but India will not allow itself to be held back by the United States. The Pakistanis’ intent may be to crack down on rogue ISI elements and stave off a military confrontation with the Indians, but it is doubtful that Islamabad even has the capability to do so — and it cannot depend fully on the United States to constrain New Delhi. The Indians’ intent is to coerce the Pakistanis into suppressing militants and regaining control over ISI rogues, but political and social pressures are building within India to respond aggressively. The diplomatic maneuvers will continue in coming days, but objective forces are slowly pushing New Delhi, Islamabad and Washington toward a crisis.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #24 on:
December 03, 2008, 07:40:48 PM »
Mumbai: Where are the 14 Other Pakistani-Trained Terrorists?
Captured Gunman Says Only 10 of 24 Were Sent to Mumbai; Concern for New Delhi
By LEN TEPPER, RICHARD ESPOSITO, and BRIAN ROSS
December 3, 2008—
The lone gunman captured alive in Mumbai has told interrogators only 10 of the 24 young men in his year-long terrorist training course were sent to Mumbai last week, leaving 14 still in Pakistan, ready to strike again, law enforcement and security sources tell ABCNews.com.
Security officials say they have been warned by Indian and U.S. officials that a second attack on the Indian capital city New Delhi is possible.
U.S. officials say the captured gunman's account corroborates other intelligence that points to the role of the Pakistani-based Lashkar e Taiba, a group affiliated with al Qaeda that opposes Indian rule over the disputed state of Kashmir.
U.S. counter-terrorism officials say Lashkar e Taiba's ability to operate with impunity inside Pakistan is one reason U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned Pakistan "this is a time for complete, absolute, total transparency and cooperation."
A warning issued by U.S. intelligence agencies to Indian officials in mid-October suggests the U.S. may know the precise location of the training camps or headquarters in Pakistan, according to sources in the intelligence community.
"There's going to have be retaliation, but it could be a while," said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.
"The location of those bases is the worst kept secret in South Asia, but by now they probably have been abandoned," he said.
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, 21, captured by police at Mumbai's main train station, reportedly told interrogators he began training for last week's deadly attack in late 2007 along with 23 other recruits to Lashkar e Taiba, a terror group affiliated with al Qaeda.
He reportedly described four, three-month training segments at locations in Pakistan: physical fitness, running, weapons and explosives and sea maneuvers.
Gunmen Were Trained Terrorists
The captured terrorist described his trainers as former Pakistani military officers, including one who was known as Cha-Cha, or Uncle.
Indian officials say his account is corroborated by evidence recovered from the group's boats and from intercepted satellite phone conversations that have been recovered from data files.
The officials say they have now heard one conversation in which a gunman is heard telling Lashkar e Taiba headquarters, "We finished off the four goats," a reference to the murder of four crewmen on the boat hijacked by the attackers in Indian waters.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #25 on:
December 04, 2008, 09:24:50 AM »
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008
Mumbai terrorist attacks are a wakeup call
By HARSH V. PANT
LONDON — India was a victim of terrorism long before the twin towers in New York collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. But as the global "war on terror" continues, India has experienced increasingly lethal terrorism. The sheer scale, scope and audacity of the latest attacks in Mumbai put them in a different category from earlier terrorist incidents, but it would be a mistake to suggest that they were India's 9/11. To do so would miss the underlying issues that have allowed such horrific attacks to take place.
India, in many ways, faces a unique set of challenges in dealing with terrorism. First, it has a structural problem as it is located in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods — South Asia — which is now the epicenter of Islamist radicalism. The vast tribal areas in Pakistan, which have never been under the effective control of any Pakistani government since independence, have become a breeding ground for Islamist radicals.
Driven out of Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion and the overthrow of Taliban, the Islamist extremists have found a new haven in the Pakistani tribal belt. From there they are wreaking havoc in Afghanistan and beyond, and their radical Islamist ideology is penetrating far and wide.
India cannot expect to remain immune from such influences. Though the Indian government likes to showcase the fact that very few Indian Muslims have become radicalized, most of the terror attacks in India in the last few years have involved homegrown radicals.
Second, and most significantly, India has a political problem. There is no political consensus across the political spectrum on how best to fight terrorism and extremism. The Bharatiya Janata Party is interested in making terrorism a primarily Muslim issue so as to generate votes from the Hindus. The Congress Party, on the other hand, has not allowed an open discourse on Islamist extremism to take place for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities.
Such vote-bank politics have created an environment in which political and religious polarization has been so complete that an effective action against terrorism becomes impossible to accomplish. India is stuck between the grave incompetence of the present government and the cynical political opportunism of the opposition parties.
The Indian government's "antiterror" stance has repeatedly been shown ineffective. Not only have the terrorists continued to attack India at regular intervals with impunity — not a single major terrorist case has been solved in the past four years. At a time when India needs effective institutional capacity to fight ever-more sophisticated terror networks, Indian police and intelligence services are demoralized to an unprecedented degree.
The blatant communalizing of the process under which the security forces were forced to call off searches and interrogations for fear of offending this or that community has led them to become risk-averse.
Still, India's security forces are making an effort, as shown by the large number of security personnel who die year after year fighting extremists. But the Indian government's inability and/or unwillingness to face up to the security threat and firmly counter it might end up making such sacrifices meaningless.
Today the legitimacy of the Indian state is being questioned not only by groups on the margins of Indian society and polity but also by mainstream political parties. As long as India's response to terrorism is characterized by a shameless appeal along religious lines with political parties trying to consolidate their vote banks instead of coming together to fight the menace, India will continue to be viewed as a soft target by its adversaries and Indians will continue to fight terrorists in their streets.
Evidence suggests that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai received training in Pakistan and were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant Islamist organization that operates from the tribal areas of Pakistan and has perpetrated a series of attacks on India. The Pakistani government denies this, but the disarray in Pakistan poses challenges for India.
If the Pakistani security establishment was involved in these attacks, then they underline Pakistan's unwillingness to desist from using terror as an instrument of state policy. If however, these attacks happened without the knowledge of Pakistani establishment, then they underline an inability of the Pakistani government to control the groups that it created in the first place.
India can talk tough but what military options it has vis-a-vis Pakistan are unclear. What it can do is strengthen its defenses and strengthen its antiterror laws. But this would require a political leap of faith.
The attacks on Mumbai will be India's 9/11 only if they wake the Indian political establishment from its slumber and help develop a national consensus on how to effectively tackle the menace of terrorism that threatens India.
Harsh V. Pant teaches at King's College London.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #26 on:
December 04, 2008, 11:15:36 AM »
Does this mean you've woken up to the threat of the global jihad?
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #27 on:
December 05, 2008, 08:56:56 AM »
December 4, 2008
After Mumbai: Deciphering the Horizons
By Walid Phares
As the crisis between India and Pakistan is drawing the attention of the international community and the diplomatic efforts of the United States, public opinion has shown an increased interest in the Jihadi agenda in India. In this regard the Counter Terrorism community is focusing on analyzing the long term strategic agenda of the Terror forces involved in the attack. Today's panel discussion in Congress at the invitation of the Counter Terrorism Foundation opened several perspectives in projecting the next stage of the conflict. The minutes of this briefing will be useful to the growing debate about Post Mumbai. Following is a short piece published initially by Fox News.com today, raising some of the issues I discussed at the panel in Congress this morning.
Mumbai’s “bloody week” has ended with shock and awe in India and around the world. Since 9/11, and even before, the jihadists have been leaping from one massacre to another, scarring democracies and civil societies with their violent imprints.
From New York and Washington to Madrid and London; from Beslan and Baghdad to Islamabad and Bali, the seekers of a Taliban-like “Caliphate” continue to adapt their tactics and while staying the course. No civilization or continent has escaped their designs.
But after Mumbai, one has to expect more and worse. Let’s look at what’s on the the horizon:
1) Urban Jihad is Open for Business
My initial assessment of the Mumbai terror attacks leads me to predict that the Mumbai model is now a frame of reference for copycats. These attack can unfortunately happen again, in India, in the region and around the globe. “Urban jihad,” the termed I’ve used in my last three books and in recent op-ed pieces, is a combination of terror activities by Salafists or other adherents of Jihadism aimed at shocking, paralyzing, and seizing part of a city or neighborhood.
The goal of “urban jihad” is to take the battle inside the cities of the enemy, in this case India. But the Beslan school massacre in Russia in September 2004, the terror attacks in Saudi Arabia in November, 2003 the multiple killings in Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria, as well as the similar scenarios in Israel over several decades, tell us that this form of urban terrorism is now open for business. In the near future I will make more predictions jihadi copycats worldwide.
2) Real Jihadi Claims Beyond Kashmir
Interestingly, the jihadi propaganda machine reacted instantly to the attacks by invoking the issue of Kashmir. So did many in the international media. But the reality is -- using the words of the jihadists -- the goals have mutated and now extend beyond the classical ethnic conflict in Kashmir. The aim is now to establish a Taliban state covering half of India, all of Pakistan and also Afghanistan. It is more the Caliphate then self-determination that the terrorists seek.
3) Trans-Regional Forces Trump Local Forces
As I write, many experts and authorities on terror have been trying to determine if the Mumbai “perpetrators” are the Pakistan-based Laskar e Taiba, the Indian Mujahideen, Taliban inspired factions or simply Al Qaeda. Strategically, we don’t need to wonder too much: all four of these groups are all part of the same web. It’s a web that stretches from Kabul to Mumbai: these are the subcontinent’s jihadists. Decisions are made at a high level with coordination between the big bosses and terrorist actions are carried out by the designated organizations, teams, and cells. The rest is left for our media and commentators to guess and juggle. While it is very useful from an intelligence perspective to determine the chain of command and the entity directly involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, from a global perspective it is important for the public and decision makers from around the world to realize that the three south Asian democracies are all threatened by the same enemy, appearing in different shapes and showing multiple faces.
4) Preempting the Forthcoming Offensive in Afghanistan
Beyond the investigation regarding the Mumbai attackers and their networks, it is equally important for strategic planners inside NATO to read the attacks as a preemptive strike against the forthcoming reinforcement of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan. It seems to me that the Mumbai attack, and possibly the other attacks that may follow, are actions designed to break down precarious relationships between the three democratic governments in that region and to weaken the efforts promised by President-elect Obama against Al Qaeda and its regional allies in 2009.
Dr Walid Phares is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad
Stratfor: Too little too late for Pakistan?
Reply #28 on:
December 09, 2008, 12:12:47 AM »
Geopolitical Diary: Too Little, Too Late for Pakistan?
December 8, 2008
Amid growing pressure from both India and the United States, Pakistani security forces began raiding camps and offices belonging to Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in and around Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, on Sunday. The Pakistanis allegedly detained members of LeT and its front organization, Jamaat-ud-Dawah. Islamabad desperately needs a break from the pressure that has been building since the United States — the only potential restraint on Indian retaliation over the Mumbai attacks — issued sharp warnings about the need for the government to clamp down on Islamist radicals operating within its borders.
Pakistan is trying to demonstrate its commitment to cooperation with India. Yet its attempts to control what happens on Pakistani soil appear increasingly feeble.
India, for one, is unlikely to be satisfied by Sunday’s arrests. There is no reason at the moment to believe that the targeted sites hosted a significant number of militants, or that any of those who were apprehended are of any value in ensuring India’s security. It is even possible that the militants who once operated in these locations got out before the raids, rendering the strikes a purely symbolic action.
India anticipated, and to an extent designed, this outcome. New Delhi’s demands following the Mumbai attacks were that Pakistan hand over some 20 individuals whom Indian intelligence agencies had pinpointed as threats to national security. The Indians knew that the Pakistanis — unwilling to suffer the embarrassment and political cost of handing over such high-value targets under pressure — were unlikely to comply. Pakistan’s refusal to turn over the people on India’s most-wanted list gives India better justification in taking matters into its own hands.
In India, the pressure is building — within the government, the opposition and the public — to take decisive military action, commensurate with the threat non-state actors pose to national security. Potential military strategies available to New Delhi range from air strikes to a naval blockade of Pakistan’s most significant port, Karachi. Notably, Indian military officials have canceled events on their calendars — including a high-profile annual military parade to be held on Republic Day in late January, fueling speculation that the armed forces expect to be preoccupied somehow during that time.
Meanwhile, New Delhi is preparing to embark on a campaign of diplomacy that will last through the coming week, hoping to convince the world that the Mumbai attacks can be traced back to Pakistani nationals who received support from rogue elements within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. The Indians will attempt to establish a firm legal basis for retaliatory strikes against Pakistan, while presenting evidence to the U.N. Security Council and the broader international community.
Nevertheless, India would find it extremely difficult to eradicate the Islamists through military action. The more important question is whether New Delhi can force Pakistan to take care of its own militant problem. If Islamabad can be pushed into mowing down militant groups that thrive on Pakistan’s soil and rooting out the rogue elements of the ISI, then India will be safer and total war will have been averted. But this strategy hinges on whether Pakistan has sufficient control of its interior to stop the militant groups.
The United States depends on the stability of the Pakistani state for similar reasons. Pakistan’s chief playing card is its ability to rein in militants on its side of the border and, crucially, to act as a transport route for equipment and materials needed by U.S. and NATO troops for the campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. If these lines are cut off or disrupted, counterinsurgency operations are affected.
This brings to mind another news item from South Asia. A Taliban force numbering in the hundreds attacked a NATO facility near Peshawar, Pakistan, on Sunday and destroyed nearly 100 trucks, including Humvees, used to transport equipment for the war effort in Afghanistan. This kind of attack has happened before, and security precautions were said to have been taken, but this particular attack was conducted on a larger scale, and more brazenly, than anything seen so far. It was another telling example of how the situation in Pakistan’s northwest regions has spiraled out of Islamabad’s control, jeopardizing its commitments to Washington.
The security strategies of both India and the United States hinge on Islamabad’s ability to snuff out militant groups. The assumption behind recent U.S. and Indian moves is that, if they apply enough pressure, they can coerce Islamabad into braving the domestic political consequences it will face in cracking down on these groups. But this assumption breaks down if the Pakistani government is not capable of controlling its interior. In that case, New Delhi and Washington each have an entirely new set of complications to deal with.
Stratfor: Next Steps
Reply #29 on:
December 09, 2008, 04:52:13 AM »
Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis
December 8, 2008
By George Friedman
Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences
In an interview published this Sunday in The New York Times, we laid out a potential scenario for the current Indo-Pakistani crisis. We began with an Indian strike on Pakistan, precipitating a withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the Afghan border, resulting in intensified Taliban activity along the border and a deterioration in the U.S. position in Afghanistan, all culminating in an emboldened Iran. The scenario is not unlikely, assuming India chooses to strike.
Our argument that India is likely to strike focused, among other points, on the weakness of the current Indian government and how it is likely to fall under pressure from the opposition and the public if it does not act decisively. An unnamed Turkish diplomat involved in trying to mediate the dispute has argued that saving a government is not a good reason to go to war. That is a good argument, except that in this case, not saving the government is unlikely to prevent a war, either.
If India’s Congress party government were to fall, its replacement would be even more likely to strike at Pakistan. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress’ Hindu nationalist rival, has long charged that Congress is insufficiently aggressive in combating terrorism. The BJP will argue that the Mumbai attack in part resulted from this failing. Therefore, if the Congress government does not strike, and is subsequently forced out or loses India’s upcoming elections, the new government is even more likely to strike.
It is therefore difficult to see a path that avoids Indian retaliation, and thus the emergence of at least a variation on the scenario we laid out. But the problem is not simply political: India must also do something to prevent more Mumbais. This is an issue of Indian national security, and the pressure on India’s government to do something comes from several directions.
Three Indian Views of Pakistan
The question is what an Indian strike against Pakistan, beyond placating domestic public opinion, would achieve. There are three views on this in India.
The first view holds that Pakistani officials aid and abet terrorism — in particular the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which serves as Pakistan’s main intelligence service. In this view, the terrorist attacks are the work of Pakistani government officials — perhaps not all of the government, but enough officials of sufficient power that the rest of the government cannot block them, and therefore the entire Pakistani government can be held accountable.
The second view holds that terrorist attacks are being carried out by Kashmiri groups that have long been fostered by the ISI but have grown increasingly autonomous since 2002 — and that the Pakistani government has deliberately failed to suppress anti-Indian operations by these groups. In this view, the ISI and related groups are either aware of these activities or willfully ignorant of them, even if ISI is not in direct control. Under this thinking, the ISI and the Pakistanis are responsible by omission, if not by commission.
The third view holds that the Pakistani government is so fragmented and weak that it has essentially lost control of Pakistan to the extent that it cannot suppress these anti-Indian groups. This view says that the army has lost control of the situation to the point where many from within the military-intelligence establishment are running rogue operations, and groups in various parts of the country simply do what they want. If this argument is pushed to its logical conclusion, Pakistan should be regarded as a state on the verge of failure, and an attack by India might precipitate further weakening, freeing radical Islamist groups from what little control there is.
The first two analyses are essentially the same. They posit that Pakistan could stop attacks on India, but chooses not to. The third is the tricky one. It rests on the premise that the Pakistani government (and in this we include the Pakistani army) is placing some restraint on the attackers. Thus, the government’s collapse would make enough difference that India should restrain itself, especially as any Indian attack would so destabilize Pakistan that it would unleash our scenario and worse. In this view, Pakistan’s civilian government has only as much power in these matters as the army is willing to allow.
The argument against attacking Pakistan therefore rests on a very thin layer of analysis. It requires the belief that Pakistan is not responsible for the attacks, that it is nonetheless restraining radical Islamists to some degree, and that an Indian attack would cause even these modest restraints to disappear. Further, it assumes that these restraints, while modest, are substantial enough to make a difference.
There is a debate in India, and in Washington, as to whether this is the case. This is why New Delhi has demanded that Pakistan turn over 20 individuals wanted by India in connection with attacks. The list doesn’t merely include Islamists, but also Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, the former head of the ISI who has long been suspected of close ties with Islamists. (The United States apparently added Gul to the list.) Turning those individuals over would be enormously difficult politically for Pakistan. It would create a direct confrontation between Pakistan’s government and the Pakistani Islamist movement, likely sparking violence in Pakistan. Indeed, turning any Pakistani over to India, regardless of ideology, would create a massive crisis in Pakistan.
The Indian government chose to make this demand precisely because complying with it is enormously difficult for Pakistan. New Delhi is not so much demanding the 20 individuals, but rather that Pakistan take steps that will create conflict in Pakistan. If the Pakistani government is in control of the country, it should be able to weather the storm. If it can’t weather the storm, then the government is not in control of Pakistan. And if it could weather the storm but chooses not to incur the costs, then India can reasonably claim that Pakistan is prepared to export terrorism rather than endure it at home. In either event, the demand reveals things about the Pakistani reality.
The View from Islamabad
Pakistan’s evaluation, of course, is different. Islamabad does not regard itself as failed because it cannot control all radical Islamists or the Taliban. The official explanation is that the Pakistanis are doing the best they can. From the Pakistani point of view, while the Islamists ultimately might represent a threat, the threat to Pakistan and its government that would arise from a direct assault on the Islamists is a great danger not only to Pakistan, but also to the region. It is thus better for all to let the matter rest. The Islamist issue aside, Pakistan sees itself as continuing to govern the country effectively, albeit with substantial social and economic problems (as one might expect). The costs of confronting the Islamists, relative to the benefits, are therefore high.
The Pakistanis see themselves as having several effective counters against an Indian attack. The most important of these is the United States. The very first thing Islamabad said after the Mumbai attack was that a buildup of Indian forces along the Pakistani border would force Pakistan to withdraw 100,000 troops from its Afghan border. Events over the weekend, such as the attack on a NATO convoy, showed the vulnerability of NATO’s supply line across Pakistan to Afghanistan.
The Americans are fighting a difficult holding action against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The United States needs the militant base camps in Pakistan and the militants’ lines of supply cut off, but the Americans lack the force to do this themselves. A withdrawal of Pakistani forces from the Afghan border would pose a direct threat to American forces. Therefore, the Pakistanis expect Washington to intervene on their behalf to prevent an Indian attack. They do not believe a major Indian troop buildup will take place, and if it does, the Pakistanis do not think it will lead to substantial conflict.
There has been some talk of an Indian naval blockade against Pakistan, blocking the approaches to Pakistan’s main port of Karachi. This is an attractive strategy for India, as it plays to New Delhi’s relative naval strength. Again, the Pakistanis do not believe the Indians will do this, given that it would cut off the flow of supplies to American troops in Afghanistan. (Karachi is the main port serving U.S. forces in Afghanistan.) The line of supply in Afghanistan runs through Pakistan, and the Americans, the Pakistanis calculate, do not want anything to threaten that.
From the Pakistani point of view, the only potential military action India could take that would not meet U.S. opposition would be airstrikes. There has been talk that the Indians might launch airstrikes against Islamist training camps and bases in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. In Pakistan’s view, this is not a serious problem. Mounting airstrikes against training camps is harder than it might seem. The only way to achieve anything in such a facility is with area destruction weapons — for instance, using B-52s to drop ordnance over very large areas. The targets are not amenable to strike aircraft, because the payload of such aircraft is too small. It would be tough for the Indians, who don’t have strategic bombers, to hit very much. Numerous camps exist, and the Islamists can afford to lose some. As an attack, it would be more symbolic than effective.
Moreover, if the Indians did kill large numbers of radical Islamists, this would hardly pose a problem to the Pakistani government. It might even solve some of Islamabad’s problems, depending on which analysis you accept. Airstrikes would generate massive support among Pakistanis for their government so long as Islamabad remained defiant of India. Pakistan thus might even welcome Indian airstrikes against Islamist training camps.
Islamabad also views the crisis with India with an eye to the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Any attack by India that might destabilize the Pakistani government opens at least the possibility of a Pakistani nuclear strike or, in the event of state disintegration, of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of factional elements. If India presses too hard, New Delhi faces the unknown of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal — unless, of course, the Indians are preparing a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Pakistan, something the Pakistanis find unlikely.
All of this, of course, depends upon two unknowns. First, what is the current status of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal? Is it sufficiently reliable for Pakistan to count on? Second, to what extent do the Americans monitor Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities? Ever since the crisis of 2002, when American fears that Pakistani nuclear weapons could fall into al Qaeda’s hands were high, we have assumed that American calm about Pakistan’s nuclear facilities was based on Washington’s having achieved a level of transparency on their status. This might limit Pakistan’s freedom of action with regard to — and hence ability to rely on — its nuclear arsenal.
Notably, much of Pakistan’s analysis of the situation rests on a core assumption — namely, that the United States will choose to limit Indian options, and just as important, that the Indians would listen to Washington. India does not have the same relationship or dependence on the United States as, for example, Israel does. India historically was allied with the Soviet Union; New Delhi moved into a strategic relationship with the United States only in recent years. There is a commonality of interest between India and the United States, but not a dependency. India would not necessarily be blocked from action simply because the Americans didn’t want it to act.
As for the Americans, Pakistan’s assumption that the United States would want to limit India is unclear. Islamabad’s threat to shift 100,000 troops from the Afghan border will not easily be carried out. Pakistan’s logistical capabilities are limited. Moreover, the American objection to Pakistan’s position is that the vast majority of these troops are not engaged in controlling the border anyway, but are actually carefully staying out of the battle. Given that the Americans feel that the Pakistanis are ineffective in controlling the Afghan-Pakistani border, the shift from virtually to utterly ineffective might not constitute a serious deterioration from the United States’ point of view. Indeed, it might open the door for more aggressive operations on — and over — the Afghan-Pakistani border by American forces, perhaps by troops rapidly transferred from Iraq.
The situation of the port of Karachi is more serious, both in the ground and naval scenarios. The United States needs Karachi; it is not in a position to seize the port and the road system out of Karachi. That is a new war the United States can’t fight. At the same time, the United States has been shifting some of its logistical dependency from Pakistan to Central Asia. But this requires a degree of Russian support, which would cost Washington dearly and take time to activate. In short, India’s closing the port of Karachi by blockade, or Pakistan’s doing so as retaliation for Indian action, would hurt the United States badly.
Supply lines aside, Islamabad should not assume that the United States is eager to ensure that the Pakistani state survives. Pakistan also should not assume that the United States is impressed by the absence or presence of Pakistani troops on the Afghan border. Washington has developed severe doubts about Pakistan’s commitment and effectiveness in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, and therefore about Pakistan’s value as an ally.
Pakistan’s strongest card with the United States is the threat to block the port of Karachi. But here, too, there is a counter to Pakistan: If Pakistan closes Karachi to American shipping, either the Indian or American navy also could close it to Pakistani shipping. Karachi is Pakistan’s main export facility, and Pakistan is heavily dependent on it. If Karachi were blocked, particularly while Pakistan is undergoing a massive financial crisis, Pakistan would face disaster. Karachi is thus a double-edged sword. As long as Pakistan keeps it open to the Americans, India probably won’t block it. But should Pakistan ever close the port in response to U.S. action in the Afghan-Pakistani borderland, then Pakistan should not assume that the port will be available for its own use.
India’s Military Challenge
India faces difficulties in all of its military options. Attacks on training camps sound more effective than they are. Concentrating troops on the border is impressive only if India is prepared for a massive land war, and a naval blockade has multiple complications.
India needs a military option that demonstrates will and capability and decisively hurts the Pakistani government, all without drawing India into a nuclear exchange or costly ground war. And its response must rise above the symbolic.
We have no idea what India is thinking, but one obvious option is airstrikes directed not against training camps, but against key government installations in Islamabad. The Indian air force increasingly has been regarded as professional and capable by American pilots at Red Flag exercises in Nevada. India has modern Russian fighter jets and probably has the capability, with some losses, to penetrate deep into Pakistani territory.
India also has acquired radar and electronic warfare equipment from Israel and might have obtained some early precision-guided munitions from Russia and/or Israel. While this capability is nascent, untested and very limited, it is nonetheless likely to exist in some form.
The Indians might opt for a drawn-out diplomatic process under the theory that all military action is either ineffective or excessively risky. If it chooses the military route, New Delhi could opt for a buildup of ground troops and some limited artillery exchanges and tactical ground attacks. It also could choose airstrikes against training facilities. Each of these military options would achieve the goal of some substantial action, but none would threaten fundamental Pakistani interests. The naval blockade has complexities that could not be managed. That leaves, as a possible scenario, a significant escalation by India against targets in Pakistan’s capital.
The Indians have made it clear that the ISI is their enemy. The ISI has a building, and buildings can be destroyed, along with files and personnel. Such an aerial attack also would serve to shock the Pakistanis by representing a serious escalation. And Pakistan might find retaliation difficult, given the relative strength of its air force. India has few good choices for retaliation, and while this option is not a likely one, it is undoubtedly one that has to be considered.
It seems to us that India can avoid attacks on Pakistan only if Islamabad makes political concessions that it would find difficult to make. The cost to Pakistan of these concessions might well be greater than the benefit of avoiding conflict with India. All of India’s options are either ineffective or dangerous, but inactivity is politically and strategically the least satisfactory route for New Delhi. This circumstance is the most dangerous aspect of the current situation. In our opinion, the relative quiet at present should not be confused with the final outcome, unless Pakistan makes surprising concessions
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #30 on:
December 09, 2008, 05:37:46 PM »
What a chess match in the middle east.
Do not fear however, all we need are a couple of genius arguments. Bo will fix it.
Sorry SB, I couldn't resist.
Muslims, though small in number begin to protest terrorism
Reply #31 on:
December 14, 2008, 08:21:07 AM »
Muslims, though small in number begin to protest terrorism
Indian Muslims, including seminary students, above, marched Sunday through the heart of Mumbai to condemn a terrorist siege on the city that ended on Nov. 29.
By ROBERT F. WORTH, NYT
MUMBAI, India — Throngs of Indian Muslims, ranging from Bollywood actors to skullcap-wearing seminary students, marched through the heart of Mumbai and several other cities on Sunday, holding up banners proclaiming their condemnation of terrorism and loyalty to the Indian state.
Muslims took part in a candlelight march last week toward the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai.
The protests, though relatively small, were the latest in a series of striking public gestures by Muslims — who have often come under suspicion after past attacks — to defensively dissociate their own grievances as a minority here from any sort of sympathy for terrorism or radical politics in the wake of the deadly assault here that ended Nov. 29.
Muslim leaders have refused to allow the bodies of the nine militants killed in the attacks to be buried in Islamic cemeteries, saying the men were not true Muslims. They also suspended the annual Dec. 6 commemoration of a 1992 riot in which Hindus destroyed a mosque, in an effort to avert communal tension. Muslim religious scholars and public figures have issued strongly worded condemnations of the attacks.
So far, their approach appears to have worked: the response has been remarkably unified, with little of the suspicion and fear that followed some previous attacks.
Hindu right-wing groups have been noticeably absent from the streets.
Although leaders of the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have criticized the government’s handling of the crisis, they have not stirred anti-Muslim sentiment. The fact that some 40 Muslims were among the victims of the attackers may well have helped dispel any strife.
Still, many Muslims seem anxious, fearing that some of the anger unleashed by the attacks may be directed into the Hindu-Muslim violence that has often marred India’s modern history.
“It’s a pity we have to prove ourselves as Indians,” said Mohammed Siddique, a young accountant who was marching in the protest here on Sunday afternoon with his wife and mother. “But the fact is, we need to speak louder than others, to make clear that those people do not speak for our religion — and that we are not Pakistanis.”
The cluster of banners all around him, held aloft by marchers, seemed to bear out his point. Some read “Our Country’s Enemies are Our Enemies,” others, “Killers of Innocents are Enemies of Islam.” A few declared, in uncertain grammar, “Pakistan Be Declared Terrorist State.”
There were also slogans defending against the charge often made by right-wing Hindus that Muslims constitute a fifth column, easily exploited by terrorists. “Communalist and Terrorist are Cousins,” one sign read. Some of the marchers held up a sign with lines drawn through the names of various terrorist or extremist groups, including, notably, the acronym S.I.M.I.
That stands for the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, a radical group, now banned, that has come under suspicion after recent attacks. One of the men arrested earlier this year in what appears to have been a similar plot against Mumbai landmarks used to belong to the group. Unlike the most recent attackers, who are all believed to be Pakistani, four of six members of the earlier plot were Indian.
There is little doubt that jihadists — including Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani militant group believed to be responsible for the Nov. 26-29 attacks — are seeking Indian recruits. Although such groups are rooted in the ideology of global jihad, many people fear that the Indians who join them may be motivated in part by essentially Indian grievances, like the 2002 mass killings of Muslims in the state of Gujarat that left 1,100 dead.
One of the gunmen in last month’s attacks referred to the Gujarat riots before he shot and killed a hostage at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel, apparently in an effort to identify his own cause with that of Indian Muslims.
He seems to have failed. The brutality of the attacks and the fact that many Muslims died have strengthened a sense of outrage among ordinary Muslims here, and even some sense of communal harmony, however precarious.
“After this attack, everything has changed; people now see the realities,” said Saeed Ahmed, 45, as he stood outside his stationery shop on Muhammad Ali Road, a working-class Muslim area. “This is something different from what we had before, it’s like your American 9/11. It is not about Hindus and Muslims; it is about the nation being attacked.”
Certainly, the violence has prompted many Muslims, including religious scholars, Bollywood figures and politicians, to speak out more urgently than they had in the past.
“Indian Muslims have often suffered twice: first from the terror, and then from the accusations afterward,” said Javed Akhtar, a Muslim poet and lyricist. “Perhaps because of that, they have been much more articulate and more unconditionally clear about condemning this attack.”
But many remain anxious that foreign jihadists could take advantage of the divisions in Indian society to wreak more havoc here. India’s 140 million Muslims are generally much poorer and less educated than Hindus. Although some of the very rich and many Bollywood stars are Muslim, the faith is far less well represented in the professions and the middle class. Many have bitter memories of communal riots and violence, from the 2002 killings in Gujarat all the way back to the bloodletting that accompanied the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
“There is a very deep divide,” said Mahesh Bhatt, a well-known film producer and director who is half Muslim, half Hindu, as he sat on a plastic chair on the set of his latest film on Sunday morning, with actors strolling nearby.
“And if the foreign element is using the indigenous clay, how can justice be done?”
Mr. Bhatt, who has the baroque manner of an old-fashioned Hollywood eminence, added that he saw in the crisis a chance for India to heal the religious and social fractures that make it vulnerable.
“In every danger there is an opportunity, a chance to look at the evil within,” he said. “If you’re going to do this fight against terror, you’d better start by fortifying your own house.”
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #32 on:
December 14, 2008, 10:11:33 AM »
When the majority of the Muslim world decides that the struggle is between civilization and barbarism instead of between the West and Islam, then the war can be won.
Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 10:23:08 AM by Crafty_Dog
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #33 on:
December 28, 2008, 09:41:01 AM »
Quote from: G M on November 30, 2008, 02:36:40 PM
**I expect the jewish females hostages suffered very deliberately sadistic sexual assaults, including the use of foreign objects, as is standard jihadi procedure for the treatment of hostages.**
Once again, proven correct.
Is this true?
Reply #34 on:
December 30, 2008, 12:10:00 PM »
This from orbat.com....is setting the indian defense forums in a
frenzy...dont know if it is fact or fantasy...but the writer is a
"respected" forum moderator...Yash
*India offers US 120,000 troops for Afghanistan*
We asked Mandeep "are we being used by the Indians in a psyops game to put
pressure on Pakistan?" Not that the Government of India knows we exist, but
in all the movies about the media the Editor always asks if the paper is
Mandeep's answer, paraphrased, was this: "I don't know at what level the
offer has been made, but the Indian Army and Air Force are down to
identifying specific units, formations, and squadrons..." - details, as we
said, at Long War Journal - "...as well as discussing a specific name for
force commander, plus working on the details of pre-deployment training, so
this is a lot more elaborate than needed for a psyops game.'
We'd prefer to discuss this after we learn more, rather than waste your
time with elaborate theories spun out of nothing ("Orbat.com's military
sources say..."). But the following points are immediately apparent.
For the new US administration, this offer would be heaven-sent and just
making it would put the US Government in debt to the Indians - "your other
friends/allies talked, we walked." The administration could turn around to
to its own people, and say: "Americans, you complain we are carrying the
Afghan burden by ourselves, now we have a partner."
At Orbat.com we've been constantly talking about the need for more
manpower; well, here you have a whacking big increment of manpower. With
US/Allied troops it takes one to 75% of what Orbat.com considers a minimum
force if Afghanistan is to be won.
In one deft swoop, India forces the Americans to chose Delhi over
Islamabad. To the Indians the constant US attempt to "balance" the two
countries has been a source of serious blood pressure since the 1940s;
obviously if the Americans accept it has to be India First from now on and
Pakistan gets marginalized. Moreover, the Indians put America up the creek
without the paddle regarding Pakistan: "what is it your so-called ally is
doing, compared to what we are willing to do."
The devious cunning of the Indian move becomes more apparent when you
consider if the US government refuses, the American people are going to get
on the Government's case: "The Indians are offering and you're still
sticking with those slimey two-timers the Pakistanis?"
For India, offering a huge contingent takes the pressure off the Indian
government to act aggressively against Pakistan. India does not have a
launch a single sortie against Pakistan to punish it for acting against
India. Indian government can tell its own people: "What good will a pinprick
do? The Israelis have been bashing up the Palestinians for two decades, and
where are the results? What we are doing is to strike a hard blow at
Pakistan without crossing the Pakistan border and getting beat up by
everyone for provoking war."
Plus India neatly destroys Pakistan's strategic depth objective. The
Indians have been wanting to get into the act in Afghanistan for several
years, because they know a Taliban government means more fundamentalist
pressure on Pakistan and thereby on India. But the Americans have been
refusing India help for fear of offending the Pakistanis. For India to get
into Afghanistan in force is to again change the paradigm of
Indian-Pakistani relations as happened in 1971 when India split East Bengal
from Pakistan. For the last almost 40 years India's efforts to marginalize
Pakistan have been stymied. If the US accepts the Indian offer, India gains
But right now a lot of American decision-makers do not care if Pakistan
is offended because they see the latter has no interest in fighting the
insurgents or helping the US against the Taliban. Once alternate supply
routes are available, US can write off Pakistan and as a consequence,
paradoxically, vastly increase its leverage in that country.
As for Pakistani/jihadi retaliation against India or the Indian
contingent in Afghanistan, we've said before the Indians don't care. Their
point is India is squarely in the sights of the jihadis: India is already
under severe, sustained attack and unable to retaliate. As for the security
of the Indian troops, that really is the last thing the Indians are
concerned about. They want to go to Afghanistan to fight, not to protect
their troops against suicide bombers.
Two other minor points in passing. By making this offer, India takes the
wind out of Pakistan's sails because the latter has very successful turned
the world's attention from the Bombay atrocity to getting the world to stop
escalation between India and Pakistan. Every day that goes by, India has
less diplomatic/geopolitical freedom to hit Pakistan. But if India has
offered several divisions for Afghanistan, obviously the last thing the
Indians are thinking of is attacking Pakistan - 3/4th of the Army troops (as
opposed to the CI troops) India is earmarking for Afghanistan are from the
three strike corps. So India undercuts Pakistani claims that Delhi is
preparing to attack.
The second point we find interesting. PRC knows if Pakistan falls to the
jihadis, Sinkiang is the next target. By offering to go to Afghanistan,
India is directly helping Beijing. Which puts Beijing in a very awkward spot
as India is a big rival for influence in Asia. Not only will Indians be
helping PRC, if China does send troops to Afghanistan, Delhi will canoodle
with Washington without competition from China. The Chinese will have no
choice but to join the Afghan venture or lose influence in South and Central
Asia, and with Washington.
To sum up: Orbat.com has been second to none in bashing the Government of
India as incompetent and impotent. But with this offer, India has overnight
changed the rules of game in South/Central Asia and struck a potentially
fatal blow at Pakistan. In the end, this could become much, much bigger by
an order of magnitude than breaking off East Pakistan in 1971.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #35 on:
December 30, 2008, 12:31:34 PM »
The preceding makes sense in the context of the following:
Geopolitical Diary: Pakistan's Nuclear Option
December 30, 2008 | 0255 GMT
It has now been more than a month since the Mumbai attacks unfolded, and India has not responded militarily in Pakistan. Some war preparations have been made and New Delhi has by no means taken the military operation off the table, but the crisis, for now, is at a lull. In an unscheduled conversation recently with his Indian counterpart, Director-General of Military Operations Lt. Gen. A. S. Sekhon, over the crisis hotline between their capitals, Pakistan’s Maj. Gen. Javed Iqbal very well might have given an overt reminder of Islamabad’s longstanding nuclear first-use policy. It is possible that India took a step back to re-evaluate its options and the consequences of direct military intervention in Pakistan.
Two nuclear-armed foes adhering to a no-first-use policy are unlikely to have a nuclear exchange. In first-use, one or both adversaries deliberately hold their nuclear weapons out as a deterrent to various forms of aggression, or as leverage when the conventional dynamics are unfavorable to them. Like NATO in Europe during the Cold War, Pakistan is simply incapable of quantitatively matching Indian demographics and conventional military forces (challenges only compounded by Islamabad’s qualitative and technological disadvantages in relation to India). Nuclear weapons are Pakistan’s ace in the hole. Consequently, Islamabad maintains an overt first-use policy, just as the United States and NATO never ruled out first-use.
Despite this, there are some very real differences between the Cold War dynamic and the current situation between India and Pakistan that are useful to highlight in assessing the likelihood of escalation:
Distance: The Americans and the Soviets were, for all intents and purposes, several thousand miles apart, despite the proximity of Alaska to Russia’s Far East. The inability to deliver meaningful conventional strikes at that distance until the waning days of the Cold War meant that any direct confrontation likely would be nuclear or result in a massive land war in Europe. In comparison, Islamabad and New Delhi are less than 500 miles apart. Dense populations, saddle both sides of the border, and the Pakistani demographic, agricultural and industrial heartland lies directly across a border from India — with no real geographic barriers to invasion. This increases the likelihood of conventional warfare and, therefore, the potential for escalation toward the nuclear realm.
Global scale: With interests around the globe, it was easy enough for the Soviet Union and the United States to challenge each other indirectly through proxies and peripheral wars, from Korea to Vietnam and Afghanistan. In the case of Pakistan and India, the historical alternatives to a massive confrontation along the Punjab border have been fighting in the mountains and on the glaciers of Kashmir, blockades of Pakistani ports, and the use of militant proxies. With military competition so close to home, the use of ballistic missiles and strike aircraft in conventional roles inevitably raises the specter of their use in the nuclear role — and when the stakes are that high, one does not have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for clarification of intent once a missile makes impact. With any launch, one must assume the worst.
Mutually assured destruction: Though Pakistan’s small, crude and low-yield arsenal could indeed be devastating, it does not threaten India with total destruction. With its own delivery systems capable of reaching every corner of Pakistan, New Delhi enjoys immense strategic depth that Islamabad cannot match with any current systems. India’s arsenal is more mature and more robust than Pakistan’s. Thus, Islamabad’s first-use policy is actually defensive in nature; it is a deterrent against Indian aggression that, in the end, Pakistan knows it could not defeat.
But first-use is also a policy of which not only the Indian military, but Indian society at large, is well aware. Delivering an explicit reminder of this issue, during a tense conversation in the midst of a crisis, would be a deliberate choice by Pakistan.
The advantage of being a nuclear power is the ability to draw a line in the sand when the going gets tough. It is hardly a guaranteed defense, but certainly will give one’s adversary pause. Ultimately, it did not deter the Chinese from moving forces into North Korea in 1950 or the Syrians and Egyptians from invading Israel in 1973 (which, at that point, was known to have nuclear weapons). In fact, it didn’t deter Pakistan from conducting a bold military operation in the 1999 Kargil war, nor did it keep India and Pakistan from coming to a near-nuclear confrontation in 2002 after an attack on the Indian parliament. And ultimately, it might not deter India now. Islamabad is probably not willing to escalate to nuclear war over a few Indian air strikes, when the price for escalation would be an inevitable and devastating nuclear reprisal from New Delhi. India can be fairly confident of this fact.
The question, now that Pakistan appears to have drawn a very clear line in the sand, is how India will respond. How will the world community move to de-escalate a crisis that no one —- not India, not Pakistan, nor anyone else —- is interested in seeing deteriorate into a nuclear exchange (however unlikely this remains in practice)?
There is a problem with a weaker nuclear power playing this card when neither its chief foe nor the world’s sole superpower has any interest in escalating nuclear tensions: The threat itself might go too far. While it could succeed in getting India to take a step back and re-evaluate, it also could drive the Indians and Americans to consider a bilateral strategic deal. Moreover, it leaves India -— and the United States —- to contemplate just how hard it might be to take the Pakistani deterrent out of the equation.
And removing a nuclear power’s nuclear power is a profoundly dangerous proposition in and of itself.
Strat, part 2: Crisis in Ind-Pak relations
Reply #36 on:
January 01, 2009, 05:19:35 AM »
Part 2: A Crisis in Indian-Pakistani Relations
December 18, 2008 | 1243 GMT
Islamabad has long tried to play a double game with Washington by offering piecemeal cooperation in battling jihadists while retaining its jihadist card. But this is becoming an increasingly difficult balancing act for Pakistan as the United States, and now India, after the November Mumbai attacks, lose any tolerance they once had for Pakistan’s Islamist militant franchise. Long the guarantor of state stability, the Pakistani military is now suffering from civil-military infighting, rogue intelligence operatives, a jihadist insurgency of its own and distinct disadvantages vis-à-vis its South Asian rival.
Related Special Topic Pages
Countries In Crisis
Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences
Part 1: The Perils of Using Islamism to Protect the Core
The Geopolitics of India: A Shifting, Self-Contained World
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a series on Pakistan.
The Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed 163 people were carried out by a group of well-trained, die-hard militants who wanted to create a geopolitical crisis between India and Pakistan. The identities of the attackers reveal a strong link to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Kashmiri Islamist militant group whose roots lie in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, but whose weakened ties to the Pakistani state have drawn it closer to Pakistan’s thriving al Qaeda network.
While India has been quick to assign blame to Pakistan for past attacks carried out by Kashmiri Islamist militant groups, it now faces a quandary: The same groups that were under the ISI’s command and control several years earlier have increased their autonomy and spread their networks inside India. More importantly, Pakistan has more or less admitted that its military-intelligence establishment has lost control of many of these groups, leaving India and the United States to dwell over the frightening thought that rogue operations are being conducted by elements of the Pakistani security apparatus that no longer answer to the state.
The link between the Mumbai attackers and the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment might be murky, but that murkiness alone does not preclude the possibility of Indian military action against Pakistan. Washington, given its own interests in holding the Pakistani state together while it tries to conduct counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, is attempting to restrain New Delhi. But just as in the wake of the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, India is not likely to be satisfied with the banning of a couple of militant groups and a few insincere house arrests. The diplomatic posturing continues, but the threat of war is palpable.
The India-Pakistan Rivalry
The very real possibility that India and Pakistan could soon engage in what would be their fifth war after nearly five years of peace talks is a testament to the endurance of their 60-year rivalry. The seeds of animosity were sown during the bloody 1948 partition, in which Pakistan and India split from each other along a Hindu/Muslim divide. The sorest point of contention in this subcontinental divorce centered around the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, whose princely Hindu ruler at the time of the partition decided to join India, leading the countries to war a little more than two months after their independence. That war ended with India retaining two-thirds of Kashmir and Pakistan gaining one-third of the Himalayan territory, with the two sides separated by a Line of Control (LoC). The two rivals fought two more full-scale wars, one in 1965 in Kashmir, and another in 1971 that culminated in the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh.)
Shortly after India fought an indecisive war with China in 1962, the Indian government embarked on a nuclear mission, conducting its first test in 1974. By then playing catch-up, the Pakistanis launched their own nuclear program soon after the 1971 war. The result was a full-blown nuclear arms race, with the South Asian rivals devoting a great deal of resources to developing and testing short-range and intermediate missiles. In 1998, Pakistan and India conducted a series of nuclear tests that earned international condemnation and officially nuclearized the subcontinent.
(click image to enlarge)
Once the nuclear issue was added to the equation, Pakistan became bolder in its use of Islamist militant proxies to keep India locked down. Such groups became Pakistan’s primary tool in its military confrontation, as the presence of nuclear weapons, from Pakistan’s point of view, significantly decreased the possibility of full-scale conventional war. Pakistan’s ISI also had a hand in a Sikh rebel movement in India in the 1980s, and it continues to use Bangladesh as a launchpad for backing a number of separatist movements in India’s restive northeast. In return, India would back Baluchi rebels in Pakistan’s western Baluchistan province and extend covert support to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan throughout the 1990s.
Indian movements in Afghanistan, a country Pakistan considers a key buffer state for extending its strategic depth and guarding against invasions from the west, will always keep Islamabad on edge. When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Pakistan was trapped in an Indian-Soviet vise, making it all the more imperative for the ISI’s support of the Afghan mujahideen to succeed in driving the Soviets back east.
Pakistan spent most of the 1990s trying to consolidate its influence in Kabul to protect its western frontier. By 2001, however, Pakistan once again started to feel the walls closing in. The 9/11 attacks, followed shortly thereafter by a Kashmiri Islamist militant attack on the Indian parliament, brought the United States and India into a tacit alliance against Pakistan. Both wanted the same thing — an end to Islamist militancy — and this time there was no Cold War paradigm to prevent New Delhi and Washington from having a broader, more strategic relationship.
This was Pakistan’s worst nightmare. The military knew Washington’s post-9/11 alliance with Islamabad was short-term and tactical in nature in order to facilitate the U.S. war in Afghanistan. They also knew that the United States was seeking a long-term strategic alliance with the Indians to sustain pressure on Pakistan, hedge against Russia and China and protect supply lines running from the oil-rich Persian Gulf. In essence, the United States felt temporarily trapped in a short-term relationship with Pakistan while in the long-run, for myriad strategic reasons, it desired an alliance with India. Pakistan has attempted to play a double game with Washington by offering piecemeal cooperation in battling the jihadists while retaining its jihadist card. But this is becoming an increasingly difficult balancing act for Pakistan, as India and the United States lose their tolerance for Pakistan’s Islamist militant franchise and the state’s loss of control over that franchise.
The Military Imbalance
Pakistan’s hope is that, given its fragile state, Washington will restrain India from engaging in military action against Pakistan that would destabilize the Indo-Pakistani border and further complicate U.S./NATO operations on Pakistan’s western frontier. But Islamabad cannot afford to become overconfident. India has a need to react to the Mumbai attacks, for political as well as national security reasons. If Pakistan is incapable or unwilling to give in to Indian demands, New Delhi will act according to its own interests, despite a U.S. appeal for restraint.
Pakistan: Assessing Military Options
Afghanistan, Pakistan: The Battlespace of the Border
The natural geographic area for Pakistan and India to come to blows in a full-scale war is in the saddle of land across the northern Indian plain, between the Indus and Ganges river basins, where Pakistan would be able to concentrate its forces. But military action against Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks is far more likely to be limited to Pakistani-occupied Kashmir, involving some combination of airstrikes, limited artillery exchanges and tactical ground operations.
To some extent, Indian military action against Pakistan serves Islamabad’s interest in rallying a deeply wounded and divided Pakistani population around the government. Nevertheless, an Indian attack also would expose Pakistan’s profound military disadvantages vis-à-vis its South Asian rival.
Geographically speaking, India’s vast territory offers considerable strategic depth from which to conduct a war, and its large population allows it to field an army that far outnumbers that of Pakistan. Though the lack of terrain barriers along the Indian-Pakistani border is an issue for both sides, Pakistan’s core in the Punjab-Sindh heartland of the Indus River Valley deprives Islamabad of the strategic depth that India enjoys. This is why Pakistan concentrates six of its nine corps formations in Punjab, including both of its offensive “strike” corps.
Compounding its underlying geographic weaknesses are the qualitative challenges Pakistan faces in its military competition with India. Pakistan’s game of catch-up in the nuclear arms race is ongoing, and the gap is enormous. Its warhead design is still limited by rudimentary test data, while India is thought to have attempted tests of more advanced designs in 1998. And with a recent U.S. civilian nuclear deal, India can now secure a foreign supply of nuclear fuel for civilian use, thereby expanding the portion of domestic uranium resources and enrichment capability available for military purposes.
Indian delivery systems are also more advanced. Pakistan has cooperated closely with China and North Korea in nuclear weapon design and delivery system development, but India’s missile program is far more advanced than Pakistan’s. With two domestic satellite launch vehicles already in service, India’s knowledge of rocketry is far ahead of Pakistan’s, which relies largely on expanding Scud technology. And though both countries are also working on cruise missiles, India has already fielded the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile, developed in cooperation with Russia (though it is not clear whether India’s nuclear warheads are compact enough to fit into one).
(Click to enlarge map)
With mobile land-based ballistic missiles and limited quantities of delivery systems on either side, India and Pakistan are each thought to have the capacity for a second, or retaliatory, strike. This, along with fairly dense populations on both sides of the border, makes nuclear conflict especially unattractive (in addition to the obvious detractions). Still, nuclear weapons capability is yet another area where Pakistan’s disadvantage is real and significant, further absorbing Islamabad’s resources and military capability.
India’s recent military cooperation with Russia has stretched the qualitative lead even further. Specifically:
India has fielded the most modern Russian main battle tank, the T-90, and has even begun to build the tanks under license. While Pakistan fields a significant number of older but still reasonably modern and capable Russian T-80s, it is qualitatively outmatched in terms of tanks.
India’s armored formations also include more heavily armed armored fighting vehicles than those of Pakistan. (However, Pakistan fields a large number of U.S. BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, including TOW systems aboard AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, which give it an anti-armor capability that cannot be ignored.) The Indian formations are provided additional support by heavier and newer rocket artillery, including the Russian heavy 300 mm BM-30 “Smerch” system.
The Indian air force has begun to field the Russian Su-30MKI “Flanker,” one of the most modern jet fighters in the world, and has more on the way. In international exercises with the United States in Nevada known as “Red Flag,” India’s Su-30s and their pilots have been regarded as increasingly professional and capable over the years. Pakistan, meanwhile, has struggled to secure more modern F-16s from the United States in return for its counterterrorism cooperation, but even the latest F-16 is outmatched by a competently operated Su-30.
Already overwhelmed by a jihadist insurgency within its own borders, Pakistan is in no way fit to fight a full-scale war with India. The Pakistani military simply lacks the resources for internal security missions and border protection in rough, mountainous terrain in both Kashmir to the east, and along the Afghan border to the west. With more attention now being placed on the Indian threat, the jihadist strongholds in Pakistan’s northwest have more freedom to maneuver in their own operations, with Pakistani Taliban leaders even volunteering their services to the Pakistani military to fight the Indians.
Exacerbating matters is the fact that the Pakistani military, the primary instrument of the state, is in internal disarray. With military threats from India, pressure from the United States, rogue ISI operatives, civil-military infighting and a battle against jihadists whose main objective is to break the morale of Pakistan’s armed forces, command and control within the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment are breaking down.
Ethnically, religiously and territorially divided, Pakistan began as a nation in crisis. It was not until the military intervened in the early days of parliamentary democracy and established itself as the guarantor of the state’s stability that Pakistan was able to stand on its own feet. Given the current state of the military and the mounting stresses on the institution, Pakistan is showing serious signs of becoming a failed state.
Classifeye's authentication system is a boon to India's poor
Reply #37 on:
January 03, 2009, 11:37:54 AM »
Classifeye's authentication system is a boon to India's poor
Dec. 29, 2008
David Shamah , THE JERUSALEM POST
Back in the 1850s, pundits were telling would be entrepreneurs to "go west, young man." The west has long been won, though and experts agree that today the big entrepreneurial challenges are in the east - the Far East, that is, with India, in particular, seen as the new "land of opportunity." Thanks to the cheap and easy identity authentication system developed by Israeli startup Classifeye, hundreds of millions of low-income Indian residents are about to get a major push into the middle class - enhancing the world economy with new demands for goods and services, just when the developed world needs that boost most.
For generations, third world societies like India have been sharply divided along class lines, with the poor sentenced to a nearly endless poverty cycle, with children following parents as sharecroppers, subsistence workers, and service workers. It's the same in much of the Far East and Africa but surprisingly, India's poverty problem is even worse than Africa's with 828 million people, or 75.6 percent of the population of 1.1 billion, living on less than $2 a day, compared to 72.2% in sub-saharan Africa, according to figures by the World Bank. While things have improved in recent years, thanks to the "Indian miracle" led by high-tech development and international call centers, poverty is still rampant. Most of the poor live in rural areas, which often have no running water, electricity, and other basics; and experts agree that generating growth in these areas is crucial to moving the country forward and helping the poor to thrive (
If such growth could be achieved, however, the impact on India and the rest of the world would be enormous maybe enough to jumpstart the economies of the developed countries, who would rush to supply the newly relatively-affluent Indians with products and services to improve their lives. India, not having the same manufacturing or service infrastructure as China or the US, would be doing a lot of shopping abroad to satisfy the pent-up demand. With more money in circulation, economic activity goes up, lining the pockets of the poor with cash, giving more money to consumers and business alike.
Providing credit to business owners and consumers is one important way to increase economic activity. But in places like rural India, where many people have trouble even getting enough calories to subsist on, the idea of getting a bank loan is akin to taking a trip to the moon. Most peasants have no idea how to go about it, and there are no facilities in place to provide them with money anyway if any institutions were willing to do so at all. Even instituting loans using UN or government money is difficult under these circumstances.
One solution to this dilemma has been the rise of microfinancing - a system that provides credit and banking services to the rural poor, who formerly had to rely on the services of loan sharks, guaranteeing that they would remain in debt - and poor. The sums involved are small. But for many of the rural poor, an extra $100 will buy them the seeds they need to plant more crops, giving them more to sell at the market, helping their family move ahead and earning enough to pay back the loan. In India, microfinance is conducted by companies like Cashpor (
), which has made thousands of loans in rural India since it was established in 1997.
Like any other bank, though, the microfinance institution - which usually sends people out into the villages and farms where their clients live and work - needs to keep accurate records, and authenticate the identity of their clients. And this is where Classifeye comes in, says company CEO Rami Cohen. Classifeye has developed software which can use a cellphone camera to conduct biometric authentication of clients via their fingerprint! Clients hold their finger up to the phone's camera, and the image gets sent back to headquarters for comparison to a bank database. Once authenticated, the client has access to the full range of banking services, just like city folk who use a bank or credit card.
Using the cellphone, cheap and portable, makes sense for authentication, says Cohen, but it was impractical until Classifeye developed its product.
"Some cellphones have been made with fingerprint scanners, but cellphone manufacturers aren't going to put a feature like that on phones unless they know someone is going to buy them and relying on hardware forces users to either buy an upgrade or do without when the technology improves. Using a software solution makes much more sense," he says.
All a client has to do, says Cohen is hold his or her finger up to the bank agent's phone (Cashpor has been using the technology for its rural clients), and wait for authentication.
"We take remote control of the phone's camera to conduct the authentication, so the process is simple and secure for the bank and the client," says Cohen.
While many governments and institutions in the west are willing to provide funds for microfinance operations, no one wants to see their money hijacked by criminals and the practical difficulty of making sure that the money is getting into the right hands has been a major reason why microfinance hasn't grown more quickly.
"What Classifeye does is solve the practical problem of 'the last mile,' making sure that the money and services get to where they are supposed to," says Cohen. "We are providing a secure terminal for customers and bankers, with a high level of security - one that's almost impossible to compromises, since it's based on the precise science of biometrics. As a result, more money can get into the hands of the poor, and even the small amounts involved in microfinancing transactions can make a big difference."
Right now, Cohen says, some 100 million poor people are part of microfinancing networks and by 2015 that number could reach a billion.
It's a prime market, and with it's unique solution, Cohen hopes to be able to capture a good chunk of the business. Besides the deal with Cashpor, which has 350,000 customers (Cashpor is working towards expanding that number to 500,000), Classifeye is working to close deals with other large microfinancers, so that in the coming months, as many as one million poor Indians will be able to do their banking via Classifeye's authentication system. That impresses wary investors, who, having been burned badly in recent months, are being very conservative in their investments.
"Having spoken to investors - VC's and angels - in the US in the past month, I have seen a lot of interest in what we are doing," Cohen says.
Investors realize that India is a where the action is going to be and with Classifeye already having a foot and a half in the door (besides its Har Hotzvim headquarters, Classifeye has an operations center in Bangalore), the company's technology may turn into a major weapon in India's war on poverty.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #38 on:
January 06, 2009, 04:27:21 AM »
Nariman House, not Taj, was the prime target on 26/11
Think 26/11, and images of the carnage at the Taj come to mind. But the terrorists themselves were in no doubt that Nariman House was the prime focus. For this was the place which housed a Jewish centre, and the fanatics from Pakistan were clear that they wanted to send a message to the world from there.
The Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the terror attacks, has found that the terrorists’ handlers in Pakistan were clear this operation should not fail under any circumstances. The rest of the operations — at the Taj, Oberoi and Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus — were intended to amplify the effect.
A senior police official, told DNA on condition of anonymity, that the interrogation of Mohammed Amir Iman Ajmal (aka Kasab) revealed as much. Just before entering the city, the terrorists’ team leader, Ismail Khan, briefed them once again about their targets. “But Khan briefed Imran Babar, alias Abu Akasha, and Nasir, alias Abu Umer, intensely on what to do at Nariman House,” the officer said.
When asked during interrogation why Nariman House was specifically targetted, Ajmal reportedly told the police they wanted to sent a message to Jews across the world by attacking the ultra orthodox synagogue.
According to the statement by Ajmal, Khan told Babar and Nasir that even if the others failed in their operation, they both could not afford to. “The Nariman House operation has to be a success,” the officer said, quoting from Ajmal’s statement.
“Khan also said that as far as Nariman House was concerned, there should not be even a minimal glitch in finding it and capturing it,” the officer quoted Ajmal as saying.
After the dinghy carrying the 10 terrorists reached Mumbai at the Macchimar colony opposite Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade, it was decided that no bombs would be planted in the taxi to be used to reach Nariman House.
“The idea,” according to the police officer, “was that if Babar and Nasir got delayed in locating and entering Nariman House, the bomb in the taxi may explode even before they entered their target.”
The officer further quoted Ajmal’s confession as indicating the Nariman House killers may have either lost their way or took their time entering the building to avoid failure.
The dinghy reached Cuffe Parade around 8.30pm, but Babar and Nasir entered
Nariman House at around 10pm. This means they took around one- and-a-half hour to locate and enter Nariman House,” the officer said. Anyone who knows Colaba would have got there in 15-20 minutes.
Another aspect which indicates that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) did not want the Nariman House operation to fail was Fahim Ansari’s revelation to the crime branch. Ansari, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the bomb blasts at a CRPF camp in Lucknow in January last year, told the police that Nariman House was also surveyed by him last year. Interestingly, Ansari did not reveal this detail when he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in February last year.
“Ansari told us that he did not divulge this information earlier because it would have jeopardised the most important operation of the LeT. He had also been warned by the LeT that Nariman House was their most secret operation and must not be compromised at any cost,” the officer said.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #39 on:
January 08, 2009, 12:57:28 AM »
Transcripts of phone conversations between Mumbai terrorists
National Post Published: Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Transcripts published by the Indian newspaper The Hindu make it apparent the six handlers involved in the Mumbai attacks were closely monitoring events in Mumbai through the live TV coverage that went on non-stop for 60 hours.
"There are three ministers and one secretary of the cabinet in your hotel. We don't know in which room," a Pakistan-based caller tells a terrorist at the Taj at 3:10 a.m. on Nov. 27.
"Oh! That is good news" It is the icing on the cake!," he replies.
"Find those three-four persons and then get whatever you want from India," he is instructed.
"Pray that we find them," he answers.
At the Oberoi at 3:53 a.m., a handler phones and says: "Brother Abdul [Bada Abdul Rehman], the media is comparing your action to 9/11. One senior police official has been killed."
Abdul Rehman: "We are on the 10th/11th floor. We have five hostages."
Caller 2 (Kafa): "Everything is being recorded by the media. Inflict the maximum damage. Keep fighting. Don't be taken alive."
Caller: "Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims. Keep your phone switched on so that we can hear the gunfire."
Fahad Ullah: "We have three foreigners, including women from Singapore and China."
Caller: "Kill them."
The dossier then notes the telephone intercept records the "voices of Fahad Ullah and Bada Abdul Rehman directing hostages to stand in a line, and telling two Muslims to stand aside. Sound of gunfire. Cheering voices in background. Kafa hands telephone to another handler, Wasi Zarar, who says, "Fahad, find the way to go downstairs."
At Nariman House at 7:45 p.m., Wasi Zarar tells a terrorist: "Keep in mind that hostages are of use only as long as you do not come under fire because of their safety. If you are still threatened, then don't saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them."
He adds, "The Army claims to have done the work without any hostage being harmed. Another thing: Israel has made a request through diplomatic channels to save the hostages. If the hostages are killed, it will spoil relations between India and Israel."
"So be it, God willing," the terrorist replies.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #40 on:
January 08, 2009, 01:48:17 AM »
This is a scanned copy of the 69-page dossier of material stemming from the ongoing investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26-29, 2008 that was handed over by India to Pakistan on January 5, 2009.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #41 on:
January 09, 2009, 07:34:12 PM »
I went to post India's evidence against Pakistan and saw that GM already got to it 2 days ago. Again:
Here are a few excerpts from intercepted telephone conversations between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan that gives a good feel for the outside coordination of the terrorists - from powerlineblog.com. Highly recommended reading if you want a glimpse inside their warped minds.
Caller [to the terrorists in the Taj Majal Hotel]: Greetings! There are three Ministers and one Secretary of the Cabinet in your hotel. We don't know in which room.
Receiver: Oh! That is good news! It is the icing on the cake.
Caller: Find those 3-4 persons and then get whatever you want from India.
Receiver: Pray that we find them.
Caller: Do one thing. Throw one or two grenades on the Navy and police teams, which are outside.
This one is between a Pakistani controller and one of the terrorists who attacked Chabad House:
Caller: Greetings. What did the Major General say?
Receiver: Greetings. The Major General directed us to do what we like. We should not worry. The operation has to be concluded tomorrow morning. Pray to God. Keep two magazines and three grenades aside, and expend the rest of your ammunition.
This one is between a terrorist at the Oberoi Hotel and a Pakistani handler:
Caller: Brother Abdul. The media is comparing your action to 9/11. One senior police officer has been killed.
Abdul Rehman: We are on the 10th/11th floor. We have five hostages.
Caller 2 (Kafa): Everything is being recorded by the media. Inflict the maximum damage. Keep fighting. Don't be taken alive.
Caller: Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims. Keep your phone switched on so that we can hear the gunfire.
Fahadullah: We have three foreigners including women. From Singapore and China.
Caller: Kill them.
(Voices of Fahadullah and Abdul Rehman directing hostages to stand in a line, and telling two Muslims to stand aside. Sound of gunfire. Cheering voices heard in background.)
From the Taj Mahal Hotel:
Caller: How many hostages do you have?
Receiver: We have one from Belgium. We have killed him. There was one chap from Bangalore. He could be controlled only with a lot of effort.
Caller: I hope there is no Muslim amongst them?
Receiver: No, none.
Finally, this conversation between a terrorist at Chabad House and his superior in Pakistan:
Wassi: Keep in mind that the hostages are of use only as long as you do not come under fire because of their safety. If you are still threatened, then don't saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages, immediately kill them.
Receiver: Yes, we shall do accordingly, God willing.
Wassi: The Army claims to have done the work without any hostage being harmed. Another thing; Israel has made a request through diplomatic channels to save the hostages. If the hostages are killed, it will spoil relations between India and Israel.
Receiver: So be it, God willing.
I'm sure there must be some good reason why the evil incarnate that was revealed in the Mumbai attack, and the information that has emerged subsequently about Pakistan's role in it, did not give rise to world-wide protests and demonstrations. Offhand, though, I can't think what it might be. - John Hinderacker, Powerline
India's Afg option
Reply #42 on:
January 21, 2009, 11:17:19 PM »
Geopolitical Diary: India's Afghanistan Option
January 22, 2009 | 0142 GMT
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a conference in New Delhi on Wednesday that Pakistan is still sponsoring international terrorism and must be disciplined. India has reiterated this message on a near daily basis ever since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, yet the only disciplinary action it has taken has been limited to mere rhetoric.
There is no question that the Mumbai attacks outraged India's decision-makers, the vast majority of whom maintain that there are clear and identifiable links between the perpetrators of the attack and the Pakistani military establishment. As far as New Delhi is concerned, the Islamist militant proxies that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency has long supported are still well within the military's reach, and could be reined in if Islamabad actually had the will to do so.
With the blame cast on Pakistan, in the wake of the attacks, India prepared for military action, ranging from surgical strikes and hot-pursuit operations in Pakistani-administered Kashmir to a full-scale war. Pakistan soon grew nervous and started redeploying its troops from the Afghan border in the west to the eastern border with India. At that point, Pakistan's best hope was to pressure the United States into holding India back, which it did by reminding Washington of the risk it would incur to its supply lines in Pakistan – which are critical to fighting the war in Afghanistan — if the Pakistanis were faced with the need to confront a military threat from India.
But it wasn't just U.S. pressure that could restrain India. The Indians knew themselves that they lacked any good options for responding forcefully against Pakistan. Limited strikes in Pakistani-administered Kashmir would be mainly of symbolic value, given that many of the militant assets there had already had time to relocate. And any such strike likely would end up working in Pakistan's favor; the local population, united by an Indian threat, would have good reason to rally behind the Pakistani military and government.
Any plans India might have had to go beyond a limited war in Kashmir did not have the full support of the military — particularly the army, which lacked confidence in its capabilities and felt that stalemate was a far more likely outcome than victory. Indian policymakers also had to deal with the uncomfortable possibility that the militants who carried out the Mumbai attacks likely had the intent of pulling India into a military confrontation with Pakistan. The more Pakistan destabilized, the more room jihadists in the region would have to maneuver. Any large-scale military action by India could be seen as playing into the militants' hands –- and could intensify the jihadist focus on India for further attacks.
In short, India's hands were tied post-Mumbai, and as New Delhi spent time debating among bad options and more bad options, the window of opportunity to strike in the wake of the attacks (when international outrage against Pakistan was highest) had soon passed.
But this is not to say that India is left without any options. On the contrary, India is keeping open the option of hot-pursuit strikes in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and is moving forward with plans for covert operations inside Pakistan to target militant networks. The Indians also are cognizant of the fact that a follow-on attack would require them to take some level of military action. But there is another pressure tactic the Indians are throwing around, one that involves India stretching beyond Pakistan into the war-torn territory of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is essentially the extension of Pakistan's western buffer against foreign threats. Without a foothold in Kabul, Pakistan runs the risk of being sandwiched between a hostile power to its west and its main rival, India, to the east — a position it remembers well from the Cold War days when the Soviet Union, then allied with India, invaded Afghanistan. As a result, Pakistan has to rely heavily on its Pashtun ties to Afghanistan to secure its western frontier.
India knows what makes the Pakistanis jumpy, and has spent recent years steadily upping its involvement in reconstruction work in Afghanistan to make good with Kabul, which currently has a very shaky relationship with the Pakistanis over the insurgency plaguing the country. So far, India has not ventured beyond its $86 million reconstruction commitment to Afghanistan, but has been throwing around the rather contentious idea of sending troops to the country to help with fighting the insurgency.
This would be a gigantic step for India to take, and one that would make the Pakistanis jump through the roof. India is extremely wary of deploying forces beyond its border. (It learned the pains of counterinsurgency the hard way when it got pulled into a bloody war of attrition with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the late 1980s.) New Delhi prefers to keep to itself in most foreign policy matters, particularly when it comes to fighting other nations' wars. But sources in Indian defense circles say there are serious discussions going on among the political and military leadership over the Afghan option. Even Indian army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor publicly raised the possibility Jan. 14 when he said in a conference, "Changing our strategic policy towards Kabul in terms of raising military stakes is one of the factors that is to be determined politically."
Kapoor was being careful in wording his statement, essentially saying it is up to the politicians to give the military orders to deploy. But he was also deliberate in his message to Pakistan: If Islamabad continues to push India through its array of Islamist militant proxies, India could end up making a strategic decision to break through a few foreign policy barriers and shoulder some of the security burden on Pakistan's western frontier. At a time when U.S. tolerance for Pakistan is wearing dangerously thin, and when the United States and India are exploring deeper, long-term and more strategic ties, this type of adversarial encirclement is a threat that potentially could shake Pakistan to its core.
That is, if India actually follows through. As mentioned earlier, this would require a major leap in Indian foreign policy — not to mention arrangements to coordinate and integrate Indian military efforts in Afghanistan with U.S. and NATO operations. And there is currently no indication that the discussions are anywhere near an implementation stage.
Also, the United States would probably prefer that India keep things as they are for now. An Indian military presence in Afghanistan would make a juicy target for jihadists in the region, and it would give Pakistan all the more incentive to redirect and intensify the insurgency in Afghanistan, putting both the United States and India in an even stickier situation.
However, the threat of sending Indian troops to Afghanistan does a decent job in keeping Pakistan off balance. And, at least for the moment, that is what New Delhi and Washington want to intimidate Pakistan into giving up its militant proxy activities. Time will only tell if the Indians actually put the Afghan option into practice, but the Pakistanis are certainly keeping watch.
Can Pakistan survive?
Reply #43 on:
January 22, 2009, 09:50:03 PM »
Can Pakistan Survive ?
This essay begins with quotations from essentially non-Indian sources to buttress the arguments that follow and assert that these arguments do not reflect a preconceived notion about Pakistan but depict a stark reality that many perceptive Pakistanis also see today. And they worry about the future of their country. We too should be concerned about the fate of a neighbour who has been consistently hostile to India, has been internationally delinquent and in the process has become economically weak, with a weak middle class a polity in disarray and now has a highly Islamised Army in control not only of the country but also the nuclear button. The mosaic of quotations from Pakistani, American and British authors will indicate the problems that confront Pakistan and its neighbours.
"If the British Commonwealth and the USA are to be in a position to defend their vital interests in the Middle East, then the best and most stable area from which to conduct this defence is from Pakistan territory. Pakistan is the keystone of the strategic arch of the wide and vulnerable waters of the Indian Ocean." Cited by Narendra Singh Sarila in his book 'The Untold Story of India's Partition' from an unsigned British memorandum dated May 19 1948 – 'The Strategic and Political Importance of Pakistan in the Event of a War with the USSR'. (These were from Mountbatten Papers, Hartley Library, Southampton).
Commenting on Pakistan's early days, Owen Bennett Jones in his book "Pakistan-Eye of the Storm " (2002) said "Even if the vast majority of Pakistan's first generation of politicians were firmly in the modernist camp it is significant that they tried to avoid a direct confrontation with the Islamic radicals. Faced with growing challenges from Baloch, Sindhi, Pukhtoon and Bengali nationalists, even the most secular leaders found it was expedient to appeal to Islam so as to foster a sense of Pakistani unity. In doing so, the politicians established a trend which has been a feature of Pakistani politics ever since." "The fate of Pakistan will affect the entire world. Will Pakistan's military continue to use the mullahs to achieve its short term political and military goals? Will the sectarian killers – created by the ISI – get involved in sectarian crimes in other countries, for example in Iraq, further destabilising the country? Will terrorists continue to see Pakistan as a hospitable place of refuge? If Pakistan is to be saved from a Taliban-like future, and the rest of the world saved from future Dr Khans, it will have to make accommodations with India on Kashmir and stop flirting with the mullahs. It will have to spend less of its national income on defence and more on educating its youth. It will require that a true democracy take hold. But none of this will happen, Abbas warns, without the assistance of the United States. After all, the U. S. government helped to design and fund the strategy of employing violent Islamist cadres to serve as "volunteer" fighters in a war that seemed critically important at that time, but left those cadres to their own devices once they were no longer important for achieving U. S. strategic goals. The idea of international jihad – which was promoted by the United States and Pakistan when it was expedient, took hold and spread, ultimately resulting in deadly terrorist crimes throughout Asia as well as the September 11 strikes.....Mr Abbas warns of a frightening future – one in which extremists gain more military support and more military might; and tensions between India and Pakistan continue to rise...." Jessica Stern, in her foreword to Hassan Abbas's book 'Pakistan Drift into Extremism – Allah, the Army and America's War on Terror' 2005.
Abbas himself sounds rather concerned when he says in the concluding chapter of this book, "The Pakistan Army dare not confront them, [Islamists] knowing their strength and suspecting that they have many sympathisers, if not supporters, within its own ranks. It was therefore considered more feasible for the Army to continue to direct its energies in the battle zone of Kashmir rather than to face the jihadis.......No one knows has a clear idea about the exact numbers, but their potential capability resides in the subconscious of those in authority, and this stays there because the reality of it is too hard to confront. Their funding will not dry up because thousands of Pakistanis and Arabs believe in them and contribute to them."
Former adviser to Benazir Bhutto and the present Pak Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani had made some very perceptive comments in his book 'Pakistan-Between the Mosque and Military' (2005). Haqqani observed "Pakistan's military historically has been willing to adjust its priorities to fit within the parameters of immediate U. S. global concerns. It has done this to ensure the flow of military and economic aid from the United States, which Pakistan considers necessary for its struggle for survival and its competition with India. Pakistan's relations with the United States have been part of the Pakistani military's policy tripod that emphasises Islam as a national unifier, rivalry with India as the principal objective of the state's foreign policy and an alliance with the United States as a means to defray the costs of Pakistan's massive military expenditures. These policy precepts have served to encourage extremist Islamism, which in the past few years have been a source of threat to both U.S. interests and global security."
Haqqani adds "America's alliance with Pakistan, or rather with the Pakistani military, has had three significant consequences for Pakistan. First, because the U.S. military sees Pakistan in the context of its Middle East strategy, Pakistan has become more oriented toward the Middle East even though it is geographically and historically a part of South Asia. Second, the intermittent flow of U.S. military and economic assistance has encouraged Pakistan's military leaders to overestimate their power potential. This in turn has contributed to their reluctance to accept normal relations with India even after learning through repeated misadventures that Pakistan can, at best hold India to a draw in military conflict and cannot defeat it. Third, the ability to secure military and economic aid by fitting into the current paradigm of American policy has made Pakistan into a rentier state, albeit one that lives off the rents for its strategic location."
Two other observations by Haqqani are important. He says, "Contrary to the U.S. assumption that aid translates into leverage, Pakistan's military has always managed to take the aid without ever fully giving the United States what it desires." Further, "Unless Islamabad's objectives are redefined to focus on economic prosperity and popular participation in governance – which the military as an institution remains reluctant to do – the state will continue to turn to Islam as a national unifier."
Amir Mir, in his book 'The True Face of the Jihadis', (2004) writes "The Pakistani Army became a politicised army in the very first decade of the creation of Pakistan.....The politicisation of the Pakistan Army has led to a further spread of Islamic fundamentalism --- a phenomenon that has found fertile ground in Pakistan primarily due to socio-economic reasons. Large masses of the urban and rural poor, with no avenues for economic advancement, are being drawn to fundamentalism. As the soldiery of the army is largely drawn from the rural and urban masses, it would be well nigh impossible for it not to be infected with the virus of Islamic fundamentalism being propagated thousands of deeni madrassas across Pakistan. During the Zia ul Haq regime, the composition of the Pakistan Army was changed at the expense of the urbanised, Westernised looking middle class and upper class elite and preference in officers' commissions was given to the rural educated generation with strong leanings towards conservative Islam. This large body of Islamist officers, commissioned during the Zia ul Haq regime, forms the backbone of the present day Pakistan Army, and its members have since moved up the ranks....The resentment within the Army is believed to be two levels: among junior officers who view with contempt General Musharraf's attempts at getting the army to combat rather than abet Islamic militancy, and among the upper echelons where Musharraf finds himself pitted against a few of his senior generals."
Later in the book, Mir says, "While the US may feel that it has achieved a great success in convincing Musharraf to make a U-turn on the Taliban, and on stopping the inexorable tide of hate-filled messages put out by the Deobandhi and Ahle Hadith seminaries, the real question is whether the Pakistan government will change its long term policy and stop supporting jihad. The Pakistan defence for its slow progress is that madrassa reform is difficult and dangerous, so it may take a while. The problem with that argument is that the longer the madrassas operate as they do, the fewer people there will be in Pakistan who would support such a change."
Shuja Nawaz, author of the book "Crossed Swords: Pakistan Army and the Wars Within" while on a visit to the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi in May 2008 said "The young officer cadre in Pakistan army today is conservative and ritualistic, not necessarily radical. But the influences of Zia's Islamisation continue to bedevil the armed forces."
In his book 'Gateway to Terrorism' (2003), Mohammed Amir Rana describes the jihadi culture "During the course of the last two decades, thirty thousand Pakistani youth have died in Afghanistan and Kashmir, two thousand sectarian clashes have taken place and twelve lakh youth have taken part in the activities of jihadi and religious organisations.....In consequence, Pakistan got neither Kabul nor Srinagar, but was itself saddled with terrorism." Rana adds, "During the first phase of her rule, when Benazir Bhutto had visited Muzaffarabad, ISI briefed her about the Hurriyat movement in Occupied Kashmir and recommended status quo in the Kashmir policy. Benazir Bhutto approved of the policy and the future plan. No one ever thought of changing the character and style of ISI before 11 September 2001. ISI and the governments working under its influence gave a fillip to the jihadi culture. The raw material(s) for jihad were collected from two sources: religious madrassas (and) students of government colleges and schools."
"Lashkar-e-Tayyaba will ultimately plant the flag of Islam on Delhi, Tell Aviv and Washington,' according to Lashkar leader Hafiz Saeed speaking in 1998. Ten years later in October 2008 the same Hafiz Saeed said "India understands only the language of jihad."
In a subsequent book 'The Seeds of Terrorism' published in 2005, Rana says "In an interview in Newsweek in March 2000, the President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf, said: "I cannot pressurise the Taliban to arrest Osama bin Laden. The Taliban lead a free country." The jihadi weekly, Zarb-e-Momin (Karachi) published an extract from that interview. It quoted the president as saying "No jihadi organisation in Pakistan is involved in terrorism. They are now working against India in occupied Kashmir after completing their jihad against Russia in Afghanistan."
The Daily Times in its edition of March 6 2004 quotes former ISI Chief Javed Ashraf Qazi as saying "We must not be afraid of admitting that Jaish (-e-Mohammed) was involved in the deaths of thousands of innocent Kashmiris, bombing the Indian Parliament, Daniel Pearl's murder and attempts on President Musharraf's life." And the talkative General Musharraf's pronouncement that "If we find a solution on Kashmir with India, all jehadi organisations have to pack up" (The News August 10, 2004) was in effect an admission of Pakistani involvement in the violence in Kashmir.
The concluding sentences of Owen Bennett Jones book are even more telling "If General Musharraf is to transform his vision of Pakistani society into a reality he will need great reserves of political will and a more effective bureaucracy. He has neither. And while he still believes that the Pakistan army is the solution to the country's problems, he shows no signs of accepting that, in fact, it is part of the problem."
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa in her book "Military Inc-Inside Pakistan's Military Economy" (2007) describes the Pak Army's hold the best. "The fragility of Pakistan's political system, however, cannot be understood without probing into the military's political stakes. The fundamental question here is whether the Army will ever withdraw from power. Why would Pakistan's armed forces, or for that matter any military that has developed deep economic stakes, transfer real power to the political class? The country is representative of states where politically powerful militaries exercise control of the state and society through establishing their hegemony. This is done through penetrating the state, the society and the economy. The penetration into the society and economy establishes the defence establishment's hegemonic control of the state. Financial autonomy, economic penetration and political power ae interrelated and are part of a vicious cycle.
She goes on, "Today the Pakistan military's internal economy is extensive, and has turned the armed forces into one of the dominant economic players. The most noticeable and popular component of Milbus relates to the business of the four welfare foundations: the Fauji Foundation, the Army Welfare Trust, Shaheen Foundation, and Bahria Foundation. These foundations are subsidiaries of the defence establishment, employing both military and civilian personnel. The businesses are very diverse in nature, ranging from smaller scale ventures such as bakeries, farms, schools and private security firms to corporate enterprises such as commercial banks, insurance companies, radio and television channels, fertiliser, cement and cereal manufacturing plants and insurance businesses. Operations vary from toll collecting on highways to gas stations, shopping malls and to other similar ventures." Further, .... "there are a variety of benefits provided to retired personnel in the form of urban and rural land or employment and business openings. The grant of state land is a case of diverting the country's resources to individuals for profit."..... "Over the past 59 years of the state's history, the army has experienced direct power four times, and learnt to negotiate authority when not directly in control of the government.... As a result the political and civil society institutions remain weak."
Dr Siddiqa also says, "Stephen P Cohen also mentions an elite partnership in his latest 'The Idea of Pakistan.' He is of the view that the country is basically controlled by a small but 'culturally and socially intertwined elite', comprising about 500 people who form part of the establishment. Belonging to different subgroups, these people are known for their loyalty to the 'core principles' of a central state. These key principles include safeguarding the interests of the dominant classes."
This is the most telling commentary "Today no other country on earth is arguably more dangerous than Pakistan. It has everything Osama bin Laden could ask for: political instability, a crusted network of radical Islamists, an abundance of angry young anti-western recruits, secluded training areas, access to state of the art electronic technology regular air service to the west and security services that don't always do what they are supposed to do." Newsweek, January 2008.
This is the mosaic as seen by Pakistani, British and US commentators. Now the narrative of what has happened and what might happen next.
Pakistan's problems began in the beginning. The country was created by a group of elitists on behalf of Muslims who eventually did not leave India for the new homeland and was formed for a people that did not really ask for a new homeland. From its early days, Pakistani rulers denied their new country's Indo-Gangetic past and promised its people a glorious Islamic future with its moorings away from 'Hindu' India. Fearful of being dominated or of being overpowered by a larger India seen as irreconciled to the partition, Pakistan's leaders relied on Islam and an image of non-India to try and establish an identity. Pakistan's population had to be cleansed of everything Indian and hatred and fear of the Hindu was the common idiom. Being non-Indian was being a Pakistani and soon being Islamic was being a good Pakistani.
Governance was first taken away from the educated migrants from UP and Bihar by the Punjabi feudals who came with a particular Islamic mindset from eastern Punjab and their feelings of insecurity. Eventually this was taken over by the Punjabi army with a special vehemence and tenacity. Over time, Pakistan's USP became its ability to be a nuisance in the neighbourhood while being a client-state of distant powers. It was this military and economic sustenance from friends that gave Pakistani rulers a false sense of power and invincibility backed by their religion.
While the Indian leadership of the day set about giving its people a written Constitution, in Pakistan the twin pillars of governance were the Army and Islam. Punjabi feudalism to the exclusion of almost everyone else did not help either. Over the years this problem has only accentuated with the mullah, intolerant of any deviation today, interprets the Islamic tenets in a narrow sectarian sense that excludes women – half the country's population -- from equal treatment. He also seeks to exclude other sects from similar benefits, earthly or otherworldly. The Army by training treats any adherence to alternative opinion as disobedience at best and treason most of the time. Equality and dissent are the essential ingredients of democracy but Pakistan's twin pillars discouraged both. Protection and military assistance was sought from the US by being rendering assistance for its strategic goals.
Part Two: Can Pakistan survive?
Reply #44 on:
January 22, 2009, 09:50:59 PM »
With all its institutions of legitimate governance trampled beyond recognition, Pakistan today is a country with a murky past and uncertain future. There are many in India who still believe that Pakistan has changed and that there is a genuine desire for peace and that India should now sit down and solve all problems with Pakistan. The truth is that the change in Pakistan has been towards more and not less, Islamisation. Pakistan is not a moderate Islamic state. It is ruled by the mullah-military alliance neither of who understand secularism or democracy. From early days Islam was a higher ideal than nationalism. Created in the name of Islam, Pakistani leaders took recourse to Islam in danger almost from the very beginning. Even the Bengali language riots of 1952 were countered with Islamic slogans and stress on their Islamic identity. From then it was an incremental move which after 1971 became a common goal for the Army and the mullahs. The former wanted to balkanise in India as revenge and the latter wanted to establish caliphates in Hindu India.
However, Pakistan today is facing a bigger crisis than it did in 1971. At that time, Pakistan could blame its predicament on enemy India and this acted as a unifying factor. There was a fall back in West Pakistan and Z. A. Bhutto was able to consolidate the fragmented country. In 1971, the Pak Army had not been Islamised; it was only Punjabised. Today's Pakistan Army is Islamised and its motto Iman (faith), taqwa (piety), Jehad fis'billah (Jehad in the Name of Allah) is intact. Today, Pakistan cannot blame India for its multiple sclerosis and it has no fall back. And that is the danger.
The blow back then, is in Pakistan. The concentration on jehad and military rule has cost that country enormously in economic terms. The pursuit of jihad has damaged its already weak civil society, irreparably hurt generations of bright young men and women who have had to go without a reasonable education or hope for a respectable employment opportunity in a country where science and humanities have been subverted to Islamic teachings. The country now lives perpetually on the dole and handouts from the IMF; there is no industry worth the name.
In today's Pakistan there are other fault lines too. The Baloch struggle continues. It is not about preserving the Sardari system of the Bugtis, Marris and the Mengals. The struggle is about basic rights — economic and political — because the revolt is all over Balochistan and not restricted to these three tribal areas. The second reality is that FATA , which was the launching pad for many of the campaigns in the jehad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, is today prime Taliban country — and continuing to grow in depth and area. This would be of considerable concern to persons like Gen Mahmud Ali Durrani, the Pak NSA who is credited to have remarked "I hope the Taliban and Pushtun nationalism don't merge. If that happens, we've had it and we're on the verge of it." Third, Pakistan is now 'jehadised'.
There was a time when the jehadis and the fundamentalists were the fringe elements and the civil society of Lahore and Karachi was the mainstream. The fear is that this may not be so any more. It is the civil society that has increasingly become the fringe and jehadi mindset now the mainstream. Gen Zia is considered the father of Pakistani Islamisation but it must be remembered that Islamisation was possible because there was receptivity to the idea. Every setback that the Pakistan Army had at the hands of the Indians was interpreted to mean that Islamic tenets were not being properly followed. Every defeat for the Army also meant that it was strengthened further. Thus both Islam and the Army grew stronger together. Jihad became a favourite weapon of the Pak Army who did not have to fight the Indian enemy themselves and let the jihadis do this fighting at much lower rates. The only problem now is that, as Sushant Sareen says, "The bottom line is that instead of the Pakistan Army exercising control over its jihadist assets, the army itself has become an asset of the jihadis." The Pakistani Army can hardly say it is fighting for the defence of Islam against those every Islamists who are also defending Islam.
Pakistan is a country that has been run by a self-seeking warrior class that has always felt that it has been ordained as Protectors of the Realm and Defenders of the Faith. They have been helped by a pliable and self-serving elite consisting of the bureaucracy and judiciary, the feudals of the Punjab, and most of the politicians. The corporate interests of the Pakistan Army cover almost every activity of the country's economy. The Pak Army, for instance, runs the Fauji Foundation, established as a charity for retired military personnel. Over time it has become a mammoth organisation with multiple interests and worth about Rs (Pak) 9000 crores a few years ago and growing. In addition, the Army Welfare Trust deals dabbles and controls varied economic and financial interests including the Askari Commercial Bank, which has been run by a very understanding kind of management many of whom had earlier served in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. The Trust's assets are estimated to be about Rs 18000 crores. Apart from this, the National Logistics Cell and the Frontier Works Organisation which monopolise government contracts in the transport and construction sectors. Accounting rules are flexible and transfer of funds from the defence budget quite routine. It is the collective corporate interest of the Armed Forces that is at stake in any arrangement that appears to diminish the role of the Army. A peace deal with India threatens to do precisely that.
There are many in India, Pakistan and the West who remain in a state of denial about the march of Islamic forces in Pakistan. The manner in which various issues involving the Islamists have been handled in Pakistan by Pakistanis -- with hesitation and extreme circumspection and under compulsion are some of the symptoms of the disease and of what is happening in Pakistan. Islamic radicalism is today backed by the gun of both the radicals and the Army. There are believed to be 18 million unlicensed weapons in the country and the estimates of possible extremists trained in extremist universities vary from 225,000 to 650,000. It is apparent that the Army cannot take action against the very fundamentalists and extremists and also rely on them for survival. Yet unless the Pakistan Army moves beyond looking for patchwork solutions to ensure its own primacy and decides to eradicate this menace, a spectre of total radicalism haunts Pakistan.
The Taliban takeover in the FATA is now being replicated in the rest of the NWFP. Large tracts the valley of Swat, Pakistan's idyllic tourist spot, are today under Taliban control. There are reports of other districts of NWFP like Dir coming increasingly under Taliban dominance. The Army's attempts to oust them have failed. It is obvious that in the eyes of many especially the Pushtuns, the Pakistan army has been fighting an unpopular war in FATA against the Taliban. It was far easier for the Pakistan establishment to switch the mood and generate an anti-India fever following the Mumbai massacres. The manner in which the hunted Baitullah Mehsud became a patriot was alarmingly easy. This only underscores the fact that it is easier in Pakistan to be anti-Indian than being anti-Taliban.
Tribal loyalties, which are quite often trans-border, the Pushtun code of conduct and religious sentiments have become intertwined in the province. Recruitment among the devoutly religious locals is easy for the Taliban. The morale of the government forces is low and they are unwilling to fight fellow Muslims. There have been desertions. The Pakistani army brought up on a single threat perception, is ill-equipped to play a counter-insurgency role. Besides, it would need local intelligence which will not be available to Punjabi troops operating in the absence of Pushtun troops. It will take years for the Pakistan army to cover this gap and, meanwhile, a Punjabi-Pushtun animus could set in.
The manner in which Pakistan was allowed to go nuclear, acquire warheads and trade in nuclear technologies by successive regimes is a tragic testimony to failure of policy or mindless pursuit of self-interest. And almost simultaneously, Pakistan was allowed or even encouraged to become jehadi. Pakistan's hopelessly misconstrued policies have only converted the unemployed young of Pakistan into terrorists who have now returned as unemployable jehadis to haunt their former masters.
This now leaves the world petrified about Islamist terrorists armed with nuclear weapons. Statements from Washington and Islamabad have tried to assuage this fear. This evades the larger issue that the Pakistani state has systematically proliferated for decades which constitutes by far the bigger danger. Pakistan has continued to harbour criminals like Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Akhtar, Omar Sheikh and has denied their presence is indicative of a criminal and irresponsible mindset.
There is more to follow with an impatient Washington unable to control Afghanistan now contemplates active intervention in Pakistan, something that will further inflame passion in the country. Yet the Taliban advance eastward into the NWFP and beyond must be rolled back but how does Islamabad organise retreat from a mindset that is far more pervasive than is imagined.
The entire episode of the Mumbai massacres and the manner in which the Pakistani leadership has behaved only indicates the extent to which that state can act without any responsibility. The extent of state involvement in this terror attack is obvious. This means that the state of Pakistan, despite being a basket economic case and dependent on doles, is either consciously willing to be the delinquent or is unable to control elements within its own apparatus. This leads to the conclusion that if this is so then the state, which in Pakistan is the Army, has lost control. Therefore, it follows that if the state has lost control over parts of its territory and has also begun to lose control of its instruments, then the state is spinning out of control. It is a failing state.
This is not going to happen in isolation. The US and China have huge real estate interests in Pakistan. The US has its energy security interests as well as strategic interests of keeping the Russians and Iran in check. Supplies to Afghanistan in the current war have been through Pakistan and should that need to change then the alternative routes lie through the Caspian Sea running overland via Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This would naturally bring in greater American presence into Central Asia and add to Russian discomfiture. China remains interested in Pakistan as a means of access to the Arabian Sea through Gwadar, to outflank India and ultimately to be able to take on the Americans in the region.
It increasingly appears that the Pakistan Army that is not going to be able to solve the problem and, paradoxically, the longer it lasts the more it hurts that country. The core issue in Pakistan today is not India or Kashmir. The core issue is the collective corporate interest of the Pakistani Army derived as a war dividend. The arrival of Zardari as a civilian president on the scene has not changed the basic reality.
Unfortunately, if neither the Army nor the Taliban retreat, we are staring at an abyss as Pakistan is consumed by its own creations – jehad and Taliban.
Source : Eternal India , January 2009 Issue
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #45 on:
January 28, 2009, 05:17:23 PM »
Want to defeat the Talibs in Afghanistan? Kill the head of the snake. It's Pakistan's ISI.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #46 on:
January 28, 2009, 05:53:01 PM »
Having seen some material coming out of India, I share considerable sympathy with that line of analysis.
Given our lack of conceptual clarity on the basics and/or even who the players are, are we up to a strategy that essentially calls for the disintegration of the Islamic nuclear state of Pakistan?
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #47 on:
January 28, 2009, 06:18:36 PM »
We aren't under this administration. When things get bad enough, we'll do what has to be done. Thankfully, the last president built bridges with India. They are a vital ally for what faces us.
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #48 on:
February 13, 2009, 05:38:27 PM »
More interesting stuff from the Indian POV:
With friend's comments:
Considering that the war is now moving to AF-PAK arena...it behooves us to familiarize oneself with the region. Here's a link to a citizen's power point presentation, which has some interesting maps being debated on the sub continent. Its easier to see them with the full screen mode
The feeling in Indian circles (wishful thinking ?) is that we must achieve a PIP (Peaceful Implosion of Pak), as opposed to a Violent Implosion of Pak...which seems to be ongoing. There is no clarity yet on US tactics or strategy...but there are elections planned in AFG, and India. I expect 2009 to be interesting...
Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 06:40:56 PM by Crafty_Dog
Re: India and India-Pak
Reply #49 on:
February 16, 2009, 08:01:59 AM »
Quote from: G M on December 28, 2008, 09:41:01 AM
Quote from: G M on November 30, 2008, 02:36:40 PM
**I expect the jewish females hostages suffered very deliberately sadistic sexual assaults, including the use of foreign objects, as is standard jihadi procedure for the treatment of hostages.**
Once again, proven correct.
Symposium: Islamic Terror and Sexual Mutilation
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, February 13, 2009
During the horrifying siege of the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Islamic terrorists sexually humiliated and mutilated the guests before shooting them dead. Why? Frontpage has assembled a distinguished panel to discuss this question with us today. Our guests are:
Dr. Joanie Lachkar, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in private practice in Brentwood and Tarzana, California, who teaches psychoanalysis and is the author of How to Talk to a Narcissist (2007), The Many Faces of Abuse: Treating the Emotional Abuse of High -Functioning Women (1998), and The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Marital Treatment (1992). Dr. Lachkar speaks nationally and recently presented, "The Psychopathology of Terrorism" at the International Psychohistorical Association. She is an affiliate member of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary's College, a psychohistorian, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Emotional Abuse.
Dr. David Gutmann, emeritus professor of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York , a psychotherapist, and the author of thirteen books including, Women and Madness, The New Anti-Semitism, and The Death of Feminism in which she describes how Islamic gender apartheid has been penetrating the West. She has written about her captivity in Afghanistan for Frontpage Magazine. She has a blogsite and may be reached through her website: phyllis-chesler.com.
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a psycho-analyst, Arabist, and counter-terrorism expert.
FP: Dr. Joanie Lachkar, Dr. David Gutmann, Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Dr. Nancy Kobrin, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Gutmann, let’s begin with you.
How do you see this sexual humiliation and mutilation that the Islamic terrorists perpetrated at Mumbai? This is a repetitive pattern when it comes to Islamic violence against infidels. How does one interpret this pathology?
Gutmann: The torture, mutilation and murders documented recently in Mumbai are certainly not limited to Kashmiri Jihadists. During the Israeli War of Independence Jewish fighters, including female soldiers captured by Arab irregulars, were routinely tortured and mutilated in the most obscene ways (by contrast, water-boarding would have furnished a pleasant interlude), and IDF officers warned their troops against being taken alive.
I cannot know what passions motivated the Mumbai torturers, but given that they are Islamists, and given that their savage practices matched those of the Palestinian Muslim guerrillas, we may assume that they shared the Palestinian’s sadism, as well as the psychology underlying that perversion.
The Palestinians, along with the majority of Arab males, belong to what has been called a “Shame” culture, in that they are quick to feel humiliated, and equally quick to defend against the sense of insult - usually by gross denial of their shameful condition, by projection of the humiliated condition onto others, or by massive retaliation against the insulting party. Thus, the Palestinians, who ran away from inferior Jewish forces during the Independence War, and who have never recovered from the shame of that self-imposed defeat, have vigorously exercised all of these contra-humiliation tactics: By claiming that they were forced out of their homes by superior Jewish forces, they deny that they ran away; by mutilating the bodies of their Jewish captives, the Palestinians metaphorically rob them of their manhood; and by launching suicide attacks against Jews they retaliate massively against the Israeli conqueror.
The Koran does not call for the torture and mutilation of captives, and so Islam per se cannot be held directly responsible for the Mumbai horrors; but Islam does sponsor, more than any other religion, the Shame cultures which in their turn sanction these terrible rituals. Again, I am assuming that, like the Palestinians, the Mumbai Jihadists are members of a shame culture, and that we can understand their actions from that perspective.
Psychologically speaking, torture and mutilation followed by murder as practiced most recently in Mumbai are the most complex of the shame-dispelling procedures, in that they expunge shame at the cost of incurring guilt: Even the most hardened terrorist will likely feel some qualms of guilt as he mutilates the body of a still living young woman. But for the members of a Shame culture, the feeling of humiliation is the most traumatic, and heavy prices are willingly paid to be rid of it. The aim of torture is to reveal the cowardice and femininity of the foe, and in so doing to export the torturer’s hidden shames onto the enemy, while co-opting his store of courage and hardihood – the masculinity – that he has given up, screamed away, under the knife. The enemy’s terror, castration and invaginated wounds confirm the torturer’s successful projection of his own covert and shameful womanliness and/or homosexuality: “Clearly, he and not me, is actually the woman.” In the murder which – as in Mumbai - follows this projection, the Jihadist kills off the qualities that he despises, now conveniently discovered in the person of the other: “This coward deserves nothing but death.”
Unfortunately, diagnosing the aggravated Shame syndrome will not lead to a cure. The Jihadists, whether in Mumbai or Palestine, can only be killed or jailed.
Chesler: Hello everyone, I am honored to join you.
First, we have no specific details about the torture or sexualized mutilation in Mumbai. The only article that addressed this, but only briefly, is the Mumbai Mirror. The photograph is not clear nor does the reporter, Santosh Mishra, give us any specific data. In the past month, only one Indian doctor was quoted, over and over again, saying that what he saw was "horrifying" and that he's never seen anything like it. For example:
“Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.
Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.”
The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.”
This refusal, or perhaps inability, (of the physicians, police, counter-terrorism officials, family members--possibly the media), to provide us with full forensic details is understandable but frustrating but it also functions as another kind of terrorism. We are free to imagine "the worst" -- but not based on an actual forensic report with specific details.
I wonder if it is wise to engage in psycho-analytic elaborate deep psycho-analytic depth based on what we know in general about Arab, Muslim, male, and terrorist culture which runs the gamut from how they themselves are reared from infancy coupled with the ways in which sexual repression and indoctrination into terrorism jointly operate in terms of torture.
We have just learned two more things in terms of Mumbai and Al-Qaeda. First, that Jews were the highest-priority target in Mumbai. And, that Al-Qaeda has been using child pornography and pedophile sites to safely communicate with each other.
Therefore, based on this recent and additional information, I agree with Dr. Gutmann that central Asia has become Arabized and "Palestinianized." This means that the tribal/collective mentality which engages in the "unspoken" forms of sexualized child abuse (this includes the anal rape of both male and female children), can and does lead to adult paranoia, imagined "slights," savage scapegoating, the practice of human sacrifice and in the need for perpetual revenge to cleanse the real and imagined "shame."
But, these are behaviors that Arabs and Muslims engage in towards their own families and peoples. We need to understand how such normatively pathological groups then "cleanse" themselves of dishonor differently by attacking infidel groups, especially infidel women.
I think Dr. Gutmann's discussion of the Jew as "woman" is very good as is his understanding that the infidel must first be "feminized," by means of torture in order for the terrorist's shame to be "cleansed." I am sure that Dr. Kobrin will have quite a lot to say about this.
One last point: Some of this terrible behavior is not only confined to the Arabian Peninsula or to modern-era terrorism. I would bet that the Afghans taught Bin Laden a thing or two in Afghanistan. For example: an Afghan acquaintance recently related the following story to me:
Back in the 1940s, a close friend of his father's left Kabul for Kandahar. He set up shop as a mullah. He may have been teaching some local women to read or lending books to those who could already do so. One night, his door flies open, and, without a word, three Pushtun men knife him to death in front of his wife and three children, cut his body up into very small pieces, load them into two burlap bags and disappear into the night. His widow flees with her children and seeks asylum and justice in Kabul. Here is what the chief of police told her: He said that yes, he could send some men. The fighting would be close and fierce, he would have to lose some men in order to capture even one of the three murderers. But, he pointed out, were that to happen, the widow's days would be numbered, as would the days of her three children. They would be dead in days. He advised her to "let it go." And she did.
My point: Tribes are savage and atavistic in how they treat their "own." We need more specific forensic information about the torture and sexual mutilation in Bombay/Mumbai in order to psycho-analyze the tragic crime scene.
Kobrin: I want to thank FrontPage and you, Jamie, for intuitively picking up on the need to discussion the imagery of terrorism via the subject of mutilation. The mass media over-focuses on “the talk” of the terrorists and not their “walk.” The media doesn’t question “how they [perpetrators] perform tasks and take action” (p. 66) to borrow Dan Korem’s analogy (cf. his excellent book The Rage of the Random Actor).
This is not to say that the mass media doesn’t get off on the gruesome imagery – they just don’t bother or attempt to understand its symbolic communication. Perhaps because it is too terrorizing so that the media forms an identification with the aggressor. The media hypes the sadomasochism. Hence the media engages in mass mediated passive terrorism. There must be a way that the media can be held accountable for this. I don’t know but Korem rightly notes that the media acts as an accelerant for the perpetrators. (p. 75)
Yes, it is very frustrating not to have access to the forensics and that is crucial. My hope though is that with this unique symposium those who are working in the forensics of terrorism will be willing to explore this symbolic communication, a kind of pantomime that these terrorists unwittingly reveal to us through this horrific mutilation and the making of body parts. It is the result of a shame honor environment as Phyllis and David rightly note. Troubling too is that there is a Palestinization of violence. The ummah is a fused regressed group which engages in passive terrorism by not setting limits with their terrorists and engage in abusive child-rearing practices. Halim Barakat wrote that the Arab family is a miniature of Arab society.
In shame honor families the symbiotic tie to the mother is suffocating. Sudhir Kakar, a Delhi psychoanalyst, writes about large extended families which remind me of Palestinian families: “. . .the frequent comings and goings of other adults in an extended family can also make children clutch to their own parents, especially the mother with marked intensity as they seek to establish intimacy, enduring and trusting relationship in their inner representational worlds – to establish object constancy. . .” The Color of Violence: Cultural Identities, Religion, and Conflict, p. 93.
Their rage is against their internal mothers, which they project out and into their unwitting victims. The body parts are a symbolic representation of an unintegrated picture of their mothers – part objects of her body left over from very early childhood. They feel persecuted by her because they are not permitted to separate and they are treated as objects by their mothers because of the female’s devalued status. Oddly mutilation is their attempt to seek intimacy.
The mutilation takes us deeper into their internal disturbed lives. To go there we need the brilliant work of Abby Stein, a professor of criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who devotes a section of her book Prologue to Violence: Child Abuse, Dissociation and Crime, on the mutilation of objects pgs. 54-55. We can speculate by drawing on FBI profiling for serial killers that they have some kind of a sexual perversion. Mutilation expresses rage that can not be satiated by murder.
You might wonder – well these poor Jewish people did to deserve such a brutal death. Indeed the victims of the Mumbai Massacre did nothing wrong but in the eyes of the terrorists and because it is their projection – “. . ..essentially safe figures [i.e. the victims] can radiate menace while ostensibly posing no real threat to psychic integrity.”
Since Stein says it better than I can, I quote at length and pass the baton on to my esteemed colleagues in this symposium for further comment:
“Guilt forms but, instead of leading to mourning and concern, it leads to an even greater feeling of persecution. As regret grows, the victim seems to be rebuking the criminal, especially the partially perceived eyes that transmit blame and musts be existed. The threatening symbol [i.e. the mother] is concretized so that it seems agentic; only obliteration will suffice. Through mutilation, or other kinds of overkill, any chance that the abuser will revive is eliminated; the imagined persecutor is somehow deader than dead. Mutilation is the ultimate evidence of partialization; the victim is cut up to match the internal picture that the offender has of him: a tongue that scolds, hands that pinion and pilfer, feet that abandon, eyes that see all or naught.” P. 55
Lachkar: I would like to start by asking the panel: why don't terrorists just kill their captives? Why do they need to mutilate or cut off their heads? Most photos were too gruesome for Western broadcast to view, but the Arab world had them displayed throughout.
To expand on Kobrin's theme about symbolic communication, I agree that the rage toward the "internal mother" becomes a symbolic enactment of projected rage via mutilation fantasies .e.g, strewn/severed/mutilated body parts as we just witnessed in Mumbai. I would like to refer to this process as the "unmentalized experience." Terrorists are enacting some kind of unconscious fantasy by translocating their rage, their anger, their shame (Aar), their humiliation, their envy and states of deprivation onto others. According to Melanie Klein, it is an unconscious defense mechanism which allows the "projector" to rid the psyche of its unwanted parts by projecting them externally, hence the "external enemy."
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