The names and pictures of the Mumbai Terrorists have now been publically released by Indian Authorities, story at BBC.
Pakistan Raids Lashkar e Toiba Camp
Just breaking, Pakistan has raided a Lashkar e Toiba camp, who are believed by most world intelligence agencies to be responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks. This comes just in the wake of Secretary of State Rice stating unequivocably on Wolf Blitzer’s program that there was “No doubt that the attacks were planned in Pakistan.”
Story from Reuters:
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani security forces on Sunday raided a camp used by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), two sources said, in a strike against the militant group blamed by India for last month’s deadly attacks on Mumbai.
Local man Nisar Ali told Reuters the operation began in the afternoon in Shawai on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani side of disputed Kashmir region.
“I don’t know details as the entire area was sealed off, but I heard two loud blasts in the evening after a military helicopter landed there,” Ali said.
An official with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, which is linked to LeT, said security forces had taken over the camp.
India has demanded Pakistan take swift action over what it says is the latest anti-India militant attack emanating from Pakistani soil. No comment on the raid was immediately available from Indian officials
Update: According to Syed at Asia Times other Let and JuD offices have been raided. A word of warn about Syed: he will put AQ / Taliban spin and agitprop out, so some of this is factual, some not. [e.g. when he implies that we might drive LeT into AQ arms, we know they are already there and have been allied since at least Sept. 2007.]
UPDATE: Little Green Footballs has discussion.
US asks UN to Declare Hamid Gul a Terrorist
The US is asking the UN to declare Hamid Gul and three other ex-ISI terrorists, this according to the International Times. Since Hamid Gul himself is a known liar, (see this interview two weeks after 9/11,) I wouldn’t put it beyond him to float this finely crafted newsbit on his own. So the 24 hour rule is in effect on this one, we will wait and see what the other papers say. The US Embassy is denying Hamid’s Tale:
The US has given four names of former ISI officials, including Lt-Gen (retd) Hameed Gul, to the UN Security Council to put them on the list of international terrorists.
Government of Pakistan is aware of this move, which is considered here by some as part of an international conspiracy to target the ISI, whose reformation has already been sought by Washington.
The US embassy in Islamabad claims to be completely unaware of this move while the foreign office spokesman also did not come up with any explanation on the matter despite being approached on Tuesday.
However, Lt-Gen (retd) Hameed Gul confirmed to this correspondent that he was included in the list of those four or five former ISI officials whose names had been provided to the UN secretary-general by the US government to be included in the list of international terrorists.
Gul admitted that he had already met the foreign affairs secretary to discuss the issue. A Foreign Office source also told this correspondent that the issue had already been referred to the prime minister’s office but despite the lapse of a few weeks, no decision had been taken by the government so far. It is not clear whether or not Islamabad wants to pursue intense lobbying to stop this thing to happen.
A diplomatic source in Washington, however, told this correspondent that it would not be easy for the United States to get all these names enlisted in the list of terrorists because it would require the consent of the all the five permanent members of the Security Council.
Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq was contacted on Tuesday to give its response on the matter but The News has not heard anything from his side till the filing of this report on Wednesday night. Off the cuff, Sadiq said he had heard or read about this but was not sure about the case.
The Pakistan embassy in Washington is not in the know of this move. Pak envoy to US Hussain Haqqani, when contacted, said he had no comment to offer as no such thing was routed through the Pakistani embassy.
This is coming from a behind the scenes puppet master who’s bridged terror groups and politics in Pakistan for decades. An old-guard ISI Lt General who some would also say was tied to Lal Masjid, the murders and kidnappings of Chinese nationals, and some of the targetted assassinations of Pakistan and US Government officials. Who knows, perhaps in the wake of the terror murders in Mumbai he’s feeling a bit vulnerable as old friends are on the run and of little aid at the moment.
The Confession on Mumbai: Timeline
There’s now a leaked confession in India from the one live terrorist out to the news, and it made the rounds yesterday. It came out very fast, and I’ll withold judgement on its veracity until more of the real evidence comes out. The confession does lay out a realistic timeline, but there are a few gaps I find in it.
Normal terror Logistics, and the fact that the terrorist shot more than 250 rounds they were supplied with tells me there were more than the 10 stated. I would suspect there are others who did just logistics work and facilitation, and there are the unknown financiers. Those are the real leads that need to be followed up on, the weapons used, the RDX, the grenades, etc. did not materialize out of thin air, someone bought them.
Here’s the purported timeline from the confession at The Malaysian Insider:
Azam said he was member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, but the Kashmir- based Pakistani militant group has denied any role in the attacks.
Founded as a guerilla group to fight the Indian army in Kashmir, the group was banned by the Pakistani government after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, but reportedly continues to enjoy the backing of some Pakistani politicians and security officials.
A native of Faridkot in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, Azam revealed the names of his fellow terrorists, all Pakistani citizens: Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).
But the 10 men were apparently not the only ones directly involved: Another group, he claimed, had checked themselves into hotels four days before, waiting with weapons and ammunition they had stockpiled in the rooms.
The 10 men in Azam’s group were chosen well: All were trained in marine warfare and had undergone a special course conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Preparations were also detailed, and started early.
Azam and eight others in the team made a reconnaissance trip to Mumbai several months before the attacks, pretending to be Malaysian students. They rented an apartment at Colaba market, near one of their targets, the Nariman House.
The chief planner of the attacks also visited Mumbai a month before to take photographs and film strategic locations, including the hotel layouts.
Returning to Pakistan, the chief plotter trained the group, telling them to ‘kill till the last breath’.
Surprisingly, the men did not expect themselves to be suicide terrorists. Azam said they had originally planned to sail back on Thursday – the recruiters had even charted out a return route, stored on a GPS device.
On the evening of Nov 21, Azam’s group set off from an isolated creek in Karachi in a boat. The next day, a large Pakistani vessel with four Pakistanis and crew picked them up, whereupon the group was issued arms and ammunition.
Each man in the assault team was handed six to seven magazines of 50 bullets each, eight hand grenades, one AK-47 assault rifle, an automatic loading revolver, credit cards and a supply of dried fruit. They were, as some media put it, in for the long haul.
A day later, the team came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which they boarded. They killed four of the fishermen onboard, dumped their bodies into the sea, and forced its skipper Amarjit Singh to sail for India.
The next day, they beheaded the skipper, and one of the gunmen, a trained sailor, took the wheel and headed for the shores of Gujarat, India.
Near Gujarat, the terrorists raised a white flag as two officers of the coast guard approached.
While the officers questioned them, one of the terrorists grappled with one of them, slit his throat and threw his body into the boat. The group then ordered the other officer to help them get to Mumbai.
On Nov 26, the team reached the Mumbai coast.
Four nautical miles out, they were met by three inflatable speedboats. They killed the other coast guard officer, transferred into the speedboats and proceeded to Colaba jetty as dusk settled.
The Kuber was found later with the body of the 30-year-old captain onboard.
At Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade – just three blocks away from Nariman House – the 10 men got off, stripped off the orange windbreakers they had been wearing and made sure to take out their large, heavy backpacks.
It was there that they were spotted by fisherman Prasan Dhanur, who was preparing his boat, and harbour official Kashinath Patil, 72, who was on duty nearby.
“Where are you going?” Patil asked them. “What’s in your bags?”
The men replied: “We don’t want any attention. Don’t bother us.”
Thinking little of it, Dhanur and Patil, who said they did not see the guns hidden in the backpacks, did not call the police, and watched the 10 young men walk away.
Then the carnage started.
On hitting the ground, the 10 men broke up.
Four men headed for the Taj Mahal Hotel, two for The Oberoi Trident, two for Nariman House and two – Azam and Ismail – for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by taxi.
At the railway station, Azam and his colleague opened fire, targeting Caucasian tourists while trying to spare Muslims.
The two gunmen also destroyed the CCTV control room, throwing grenades into it.
It was here that Azam was photographed, dressed in light-grey combat trousers and sneakers, a rucksack on his back, toting his AK-47.
According to one security expert, the way he carried the assault rifle revealed months of training.
The two men left the main hall of the railway station littered with bodies and pools of blood, then moved on to Metro Cinema and then to the Girgaum Chowpatty area in a stolen Skoda.
It was there that their plans started to unravel.
At the Girgaum Chowpatty area, Azam and Ismail were intercepted by anti-terror troops from the Gamdevi police station, and they ended up trading shots.
Azam managed to shoot dead assistant police inspector Tukaram Umbale, while one of them also gunned down anti-terror squad chief Hemant Karkare.
Ismail, however, was eventually killed, while Azam himself was shot in the hand. Pretending to be dead, he fell, and the two men were taken to Nair Hospital.
But police soon spotted him breathing and quickly evacuated the hospital’s casualty ward, and brought in the anti-terror squad to interrogate him.
In the end I won’t be surprised if other Kashmiri groups like Harkat ul Mujahideen, Harkat ul Mujahideen al Islami, Jaish e Muhammed, and Al Qaeda are involved. All of these groups including Lashkar e Toiba declared loyalty to Al Qaeda in September 2007. Any or all of the above could have aided with planning, logistics, finance, or training, and it’s likely that one of these groups did.