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India’s 9/11. Who is Behind the Mumbai Attacks? Washington is Fostering Political Divisions between India and Pakistan

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India's 9/11. Who is Behind the Mumbai Attacks?
By: Michel Chossudovsky on: 30.11.2008 [09:50 ] (71 reads)
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November 30, 2008 Stop Paying Credit Card Debt …

India's 9/11. Who is Behind the Mumbai Attacks?

Washington is Fostering Political Divisions between India and Pakistan

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, November 30, 2008

– 2008-11-29

The Mumbai terror attacks were part of a carefully planned and
coordinated operation involving several teams of experienced and
trained gunmen.

The operation has the fingerprints of a paramilitary-intelligence
operation. According to a Russian counter terrorist expert, the Mumbai
terrorists "used the same tactics that Chechen field militants trained in Pakistan
employed in the Northern Caucasus attacks where entire towns were
terrorized, with homes and hospitals seized". (Russia Today, November
27, 2008).

The Mumbai attacks are described as " India's 9/11".

The attacks were carried out simultaneously in several locations, within minutes of each other.

The first target was in the main hall of Mumbai's Chatrapati
Shivaji Terminus railway station (CST), where the gunmen fired
indiscriminately into the crowd of passengers. The gunmen " then ran
out of the station and into neighboring buildings, including Cama
Hospital"

Attacks by separate groups of gunmen took place at two of Mumbai's
luxury hotels – the Oberoi-Trident and the Taj Mahal Palace, located at
the heart of the tourist area, within proximity of the Gateway of
India.

Taj Mahal Hotel

The gunmen also opened fire at Café Leopold, a stylish restaurant
in the tourist area. The third target was Nariman House, a business
center which houses Chabad Lubavitch, Mumbai's Jewish Center. Six
hostages including the Rabbi and his wife were killed.

The domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and the Mazgaon Dockyard were also targeted.

"The attacks occurred at the busiest places. Besides hotels and
hospitals, terrorists struck at railway stations, Crawford Market, Wadi
Bunder and on the Western Express Highway near the airport. Seven
places have been attacked with automatic weapons and grenades.(Times of
India, 26 November 2008),

Indian troops surrounded the hotels. Indian Special Forces
commandos were sent into the two hotels to confront the terrorists.
Witnesses at the hotels said that the gunmen were singling out people
with US and British passports.

Members of the Indian security forces taking up firing positions
between fire trucks and ambulances on the grounds of the Taj Hotel on
Friday. (Ruth Fremson/ The New York Times )

Casualties, according to reports, are in excess of 150 killed. Most
of those killed were Indian nationals, many of whom died in the attack
on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway Terminus.

At least 22 foreigners were killed in the attacks. Fourteen police
officers, including the chief of the anti-terror squad, were killed in
the attacks.

Who is Behind the Attacks?

A virtually unknown group called "the Deccan Mujahideen", has
according to reports, claimed responsibility for attacks. The Deccan
Plateau refers to a region of central-Southern India largely centered
in the State of Andhra Pradesh. This unknown group has already been
categorized, without supporting evidence, as belonging to the Al Qaeda
network of terrorist organizations.

Police reports confirm that nine "suspected attackers" have been
arrested and three of the attackers have, according to unconfirmed
police sources, confessed to belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba Lashkar-e-Tayyiba,
a Pakistani Kasmiri separatist organization, covertly supported by
Pakistani military intelligence (ISI). At least one of the arrested,
according to the reports, is a British citizen of Pakistani descent.

In chorus, both the Western and Indian media are pointing fingers
at Pakistan and its alleged support of Islamic terrorist organizations:

"Strategic gurus and security analysts in the US and from across
the world are examining Pakistan's role in terrorism following yet
another terror episode in India ending with fingers pointed at its
widely-reviled neighbor.

While initial reports from India suggested the Mumbai carnage was a
localized attack by militant malcontents in India because of the
"Deccan Mujahideen" decoy that was used to claim responsibility,
evidence cited by Indian army and security experts based on phone
intercepts, nature of weaponry, mode of entry by sea etc., has quickly
focused the attention on Pakistan." (Times of India, November 27, 2008)

The US media has centered its attention on the links between the Mumbai attacks and the "resurgent terrorist groups which
enjoy havens in Pakistan's tribal areas as well as alleged protection
or support from elements of Pakistani intelligence." (Washington Post,
November 28, 2008).

"Clash of Civilizations"

In Europe and North America, the Mumbai attacks by Islamic
fundamentalists are perceived as part of the "Clash of Civilizations".
"Militant Islam is involved in a war against civilization".

The dramatic loss of lives resulting from the attacks has indelibly
contributed to reinforcing anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the Western
World.

The outlines of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, are
becoming clear. The terrorists targeted India, the U.S. and Britain,
and the Jewish people. (Market Watch, November 28, 2008)

According to the media, the enemy is Al Qaeda, the illusory
"outside enemy " which has its operational bases in the tribal areas
and North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Washington's
self-proclaimed holy mandate under the "Global War on Terrorism" is to
take out bin Laden and extirpate Islamic fundamentalism.

America's right to intervene militarily inside Pakistan in
violation of Pakistan's sovereignty is therefore upheld. Bombing
villages in the tribal areas of North West Pakistan is part of a
"humanitarian endeavor", in response to the loss of life resulting from
the Mumbai attacks:

"Before these awful raids, news from South Asia had been
encouraging. The central problem remains pacifying Afghanistan, where
U.S. and other NATO forces struggle to stamp out Taliban and al-Qaeda
elements." (Washington Post, November 28, 2008)

"Washington, however, wants the Pakistani army's cooperation in
fighting terrorism. In recent weeks, U.S. officers in Afghanistan
reported better results, crediting the Pakistanis with taking the
offensive against the Taliban on Pakistani territory."

Media Disinformation

US network TV has extensively covered the dramatic events in
Mumbai. The attacks have served to trigger an atmosphere of fear and
intimidation across America.

The Mumbai attacks are said to be intimately related to 9/11.
Official US statements and media reports have described the Mumbai
attacks as part of a broader process, including the possibility of an
Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack on US soil.

Vice President Elect Joe Biden during the election campaign had
warned America with foresight that "the people who… attacked us on
9/11, — they've regrouped in the mountains between Afghanistan and
Pakistan and are plotting new attacks". (emphasis added)

These are the same people who were behind the terror attacks in Mumbai.

These are also the same people who are planning to attack America.

Immediately following the Mumbai attacks, New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg put New York City's subway system "on high alert" based on
"an unsubstantiated report of potential terrorism here in New York.
This report led the New York Police Department to take precautionary
steps to protect our transit system, and we will always do whatever is
necessary to keep our city safe," Bloomberg said in a statement"
(McClatchy-Tribune Business News, November 28, 2008, emphasis added).

It just so happens that one day before the Mumbai attacks, "the FBI
and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had warned that there is
a 'possible but uncorroborated' Al -Qaeda threat against the New York
transportation system." (Ibid)

"As the attacks in Mumbai were carried out, U.S. authorities issued
a warning that Al-Qaeda might have recently discussed making attacks on
the New York subway system. A vague warning, to be sure. 'We have no
specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond
aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern
that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming
holiday season,' the FBI and Department of Homeland Security said."
(Chicago Tribune, November 29, 2008)

Pakistan's Military Intelligence is America's Trojan Horse

The media reports point, in chorus, to the involvement of
Pakistan's Military Intelligence, the Inter Services Intelligence
(ISI), without mentioning that the ISI invariably operates in close
liaison with the CIA.

The US media indelibly serves the interests of the US intelligence
apparatus. The implications of these distorted reports are that:

1. The terrorists are linked to Al Qaeda. The Mumbai attacks are a "State sponsored" operation involving Pakistan's ISI

2. The Mumbai gunmen have ties to terrorist groups in Pakistan's tribal areas and North West Frontier Province.

3. The continued bombing of the tribal areas by the US Air Force in
violation of Pakistan's' sovereignty is consequently justified as part
of the "Global War on Terrorism".

The ISI is America's Trojan Horse, a de facto proxy of the CIA.
Pakistani Intelligence has, since the early 1980s, worked in close
liaison with its US and British intelligence counterparts.

Were the ISI to have been involved in a major covert operation
directed against India, the CIA would have prior knowledge regarding
the precise nature and timing of the operation. The ISI does not act
without the consent of its US intelligence counterpart.

Moreover, US intelligence is known to have supported Al Qaeda from
the outset of the Soviet Afghan war and throughout the post-Cold War
era. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the War
on Terrorism, Global Research, January 20, 2008)

CIA sponsored guerilla training camps were established in Pakistan
to train the Mujahideen. Historically, US intelligence has supported Al
Qaeda, using Pakistan's ISI as a go-between.

"With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of U.S.
military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a "parallel
structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government".
(Dipankar Banerjee, "Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry",
India Abroad, 2 December 1994).

In the wake of 9/11, Pakistan's ISI played a key role in the
October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, in close liaison with the US and
NATO military high command. Ironically, in October 2001, both US and
Indian press reports quoting FBI and intelligence sources, suggested
that the ISI was providing support to the alleged 9/11 terrorists.(See
Michel Chossudovsky, Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration,
The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11
Attacks, Global Research, November 2, 2001)

Pakistan's Chief Spy Appointed by the CIA

Historically, the CIA has played an unofficial role in the
appointment of the director of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence
(ISI).

In September, Washington pressured Islamabad, using the "war on
terrorism" as a pretext to fire the ISI chief Lieutenant General Nadeem
Taj.

"Washington is understood to be exerting intense pressure on
Pakistan to remove ISI boss Nadeem Taj and two of his deputies because
of the key agency's alleged "double-dealing" with the militants.( Daily
Times, September 30, 2008

President Asif Ali Zardari had meetings in New York in late
September with CIA Director Michael Hayden. (The Australian, September
29, 2008), Barely a few days later, a new US approved ISI chief
Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha was appointed by the Chief of the
Army, General Kayani, on behalf of Washington.

Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha

In this regard, the pressures exerted by the Bush administration
contributed to blocking a parliamentary initiative led by the PPP
government to put the country's intelligence services (ISI) under
civilian authority, namely under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Interior.

Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha (right) next to Gen. Ashfaq Kayani on
the USS Abraham Lincoln talking with Michael Mullen, Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The U.S. Violates Pakistan's Territorial Sovereignty

The US is currently violating Pakistan territorial sovereignty
through the routine bombing of villages in the tribal areas and the
North West Frontier Province. These operations are carried out using
the "war on terrorism" as a pretext. While the Pakistani government has
"officially" accused the US of waging aerial bombardments on its
territory, Pakistan's military has "unofficially" endorsed the air
strikes.

In this regard, the timely appointment of Lt. General Ahmed Shuja
Pasha to the helm of the ISI was intended to ensure continuity in US
"counter-terrorism" operations in Pakistan. Prior to his appointment as
ISI chief, Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha was responsible, in close
consultation with the US and NATO, for carrying out targeted attacks
allegedly against the Taliban and Al Qaeda by the Pakistani military in
the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North-West
Frontier Province (NWFP).

Upon his appointment, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha implemented a major
reshuffle within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), replacing
several of the ISI regional commanders. ( Daily Times, September 30,
2008). In late October, he was in Washington, at CIA headquarters at
Langley and at the Pentagon, to meet his US military and intelligence
counterparts:

"Pakistan is publicly complaining about U.S. air strikes. But the
country's new chief of intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha,
visited Washington last week for talks with America's top military and
spy chiefs, and everyone seemed to come away smiling." (David
Ignatieff, A Quiet Deal With Pakistan, Washington Post, November 4,
2008, emphasis added).

The Timing of the Mumbai Attacks

The US air strikes on the Tribal Areas resulting in countless
civilians deaths have created a wave of anti-US sentiment throughout
Pakistan. At the same token, they have also served, in the months
preceding the Mumbai attacks, to promote an renewed atmosphere of
cooperation between India and Pakistan.

While US-Pakistan relations are at an all time low, there were
significant efforts, in recent months, by the Islamabad and Delhi
governments to foster bilateral relations.

Barely a week prior to the attacks, Pakistan president Asif Ali
Zardari "urged opening the Kashmir issue to public debate in India and
Pakistan and letting the people decide the future of IHK." He also
called for "taking bilateral relations to a new level" as well as
forging an economic union between the two countries.

Divide and Rule

What interests are served by these attacks?

Washington is intent on using the Mumbai attacks to:

1) Foster divisions between Pakistan and India and shunt the
process of bilateral cooperation and trade between the two countries;

2) Promote internal social, ethnic and sectarian divisions respectively in India and Pakistan;

3) Justify US military actions inside Pakistan including the
killing of civilians in violation of the country's territorial
sovereignty;

4) Provide a justification for extending the US led "war on terrorism" into the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia.

In 2006, the Pentagon had warned that "another major 9/11 type terrorist
attack could create both a justification and an opportunity that is
lacking today to retaliate against some known targets" (Statement by
Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006). In
the current context, the Mumbai attacks are considered "a
justification" to go after "known targets" in the tribal areas of North
Western Pakistan.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stated that "external
forces" forces carried the attacks, hinting to the possible role of
Pakistan. The media reports also point in that direction, hinting that
the Pakistani government is behind the attacks:

US officials and lawmakers refrained from naming Pakistan, but
their condemnation of "Islamist terrorism" left little doubt where
their anxieties lay.

….

What has added potency to the latest charges against Islamabad is
the Bush administration's own assessment – leaked to the US media –
that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI was linked to the bombing of
the Indian Embassy in Kabul some weeks back that killed nearly 60
people including a much-admired Indian diplomat and a respected senior
defense official. (Times of India, November 27, 2008)

The Attacks have Triggered Anti-Pakistani Sentiment in India

The attacks have served to foster anti-Pakistani sentiment within
India as well as sectarian divisions between Hindus and Muslims.

Time Magazine has pointed in no uncertain terms to the insidious
role of "the powerful Inter Services Intelligence organization — often
accused of orchestrating terror attacks on India", without
acknowledging that the new head of the ISI was appointed at
Washington's behest. (Time online).

The Time report suggests, without evidence, that the most likely
architects of the attacks are several Pakistani sponsored Islamic
groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure), "which is part of
the 'al-Qaeda compact'", Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Kashmiri separatist
organization belonging to Al Qaeda which claimed responsibility in the
December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Union parliament in Delhi and
The Students Islamic Movement of India, (SIMI). (Ibid)

Both Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed are known to be supported by the ISI.

Islamabad-Delhi Shuttle Diplomacy

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari indicated that his government would fully collaborate with the Indian authorities.

Pakistan's newly elected civilian government has been sidetracked
by its own intelligence services, which remain under the jurisdiction
of the military high command.

The Pakistan's People's Party government under the helm of Prime
Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. has no control over the military and
intelligence apparatus, which continues to maintain a close rapport
with its US counterparts.

In this context, president Asif Ali Zardari seems to be playing on
both sides: collusion with the Military-Intelligence apparatus,
dialogue with Washington and lip service to prime minister Gilani and
the National Assembly.

On November 28, two days following the Mumbai attacks, Islamabad
announced that the recently appointed ISI chief Lieutenant General
Ahmed Shuja Pasha would be dispatched to Delhi for consultations with
his Indian counterparts including National Security Advisor M K
Narayanan and the heads of India's external intelligence agency, the
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau,
responsible for internal intelligence. RAW and Pakistan's ISI are known
to have been waging a covert war against one another for more than
thirty years.1

On the following day (November 29), Islamabad cancelled the visit
of ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha to India, following Indian foreign
minister Pranab Mukherjee's "very aggressive tone with Pakistani
officials in a telephone conversation after the Mumbai attacks". (Press Trust of India, November 29, 2008 quoting Geo News Pakistan).

Tense Situation. Deterioration of India-Pakistan Relations

The Mumbai attacks have already created an extremely tense
situation, which largely serves US geopolitical interests in the
region.

Islamabad is contemplating the relocation of some 100,000 military
personnel from the Pakistani-Afghan border to the Indian border, "if
there is an escalation in tension with India, which has hinted at the
involvement of Pakistani elements in the Mumbai carnage." (Pakistan
news source quoted by PTI, op cit).

"These sources have said NATO and the US command have been told
that Pakistan would not be able to concentrate on the war on terror and
against militants around the Afghanistan border as defending its
borders with India was far more important," (Ibid, Geo News quoting
senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir).

US Interference in the Conduct of the Indian Police Investigation

Also of significance is Washington's outright interference in the
conduct of the Indian police investigation. The Times of India points
to an "unprecedented intelligence cooperation involving investigating
agencies and spy outfits of India, United States, United Kingdom and
Israel."

Both the FBI and Britain's Secret Service MI6 have liaison offices
in Delhi. The FBI has dispatched police, counter-terrorism officials
and forensic scientists to Mumbai "to investigate attacks that now
include American victims…" Experts from the London's Metropolitan
Police have also been dispatched to Mumbai:

"The U.S. government's "working assumption" that the Pakistani
militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed are suspects in
the attacks "has held up" as Indian authorities have begun their
investigation, the official said. The two Kashmiri militant groups have
ties to al Qaeda." (Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2008)

The role of the US-UK-Israeli counter terrorism and police
officials, is essentially to manipulate the results of the Indian
police investigation.

It is worth noting, however that the Delhi government turned down
Israel's request to send a special forces military unit to assist the
Indian commandos in freeing Jewish hostages held inside Mumbai's Chabad
Jewish Center (PTI, November 28, 2008).

Bali 2002 versus Mumbai 2008

The Mumbai terrorist attack bear certain similarities to 2002 Bali
attacks. In both cases, Western tourists were targets. The tourist
resort of Kuta on the island of Bali was the object of two separate
attacks, which targeted mainly Australian tourists. (Ibid)

The alleged terrorists in the Bali 2002 bombings were executed,
following a lengthy trial period, barely a few weeks ago, on November
9, 2008. (Michel Chossudovsky, Miscarriage of Justice: Who was behind
the October 2002 Bali bombings? Global Research, November 13, 2009).
The political architects of the 2002 Bali attacks were never brought to
trial.

A November 2002 report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass,
pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence
General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA. The links of Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI) to the Indonesian intelligence agency (BIN) were never
raised in the official Indonesian government investigation –which was
guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA.
Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John
Howard "admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible
attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning." (Christchurch Press,
November 22, 2002).

With regard to the Bali 2002 bombings, the statements of two former
presidents of Indonesia were casually dismissed in the trial
procedures, both of which pointed to complicity of the Indonesian
military and police. In 2002, president Megawati Sukarnoputri, accused
the US of involvement in the attacks. In 2005, in an October 2005
interview with Australia's SBS TV, former president Wahid Abdurrahman
stated that the Indonesian military and police played a complicit role
in the 2002 Bali bombing. (quoted in Miscarriage of Justice: Who was
behind the October 2002 Bali bombings?, op cit)

Note

1. In recent months, the head of India's external intelligence
(RAW), Ashok Chaturvedi has become a political target. Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh is intent upon firing him and replacing him with a more
acceptable individual. It is unclear whether Chaturvedi will be
involved in the intelligence and police investigation.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11217

Posted by email from morris108’s posterous

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Written by morris

November 30, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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