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‘Mumbai attack may trigger Indian military response’

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Agencies

Posted: Nov 29, 2008 at 1619 hrs IST

New York US officials fear that should the firm evidence emerge that the Mumbai terror attacks were planned and directed from within Pakistan, it would certainly escalate tension between the neighbouring countries and could also provoke an Indian military response, even strikes against militants, a media report said on Saturday.

Quoting the officials in Washington, 'The New York Times' said there was no evidence that Pakistani government had any role in the attacks.

But American intelligence and counter-terrorism officials told the paper that there is mounting evidence that a Pakistani militant group, most likely Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), was responsible for deadly attacks in Mumbai.

An American counter-terrorism official was quoted as saying that there was strong evidence that LeT had a ‘maritime capability’ and would have been able to mount the sophisticated operation in Mumbai.

However, the officials, the ‘Times’ said, cautioned that they had reached no firm conclusions about who was responsible for the attacks, or how they were planned and carried out.

Nevertheless, they said that evidence gathered in the past two days pointed to a role for LeT or possibly another militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad, which also has a track record of attacks against India.

The American and Indian intelligence services, the ‘Times’ said, have used communications intercepts to tie the Pakistan-based militants to the terrorist strikes.

Indian officials may also be gleaning information from at least one captured gunman who participated in the Mumbai attacks.

The paper quoted an Indian intelligence official as saying that during the siege, the militants have been using non-Indian cellphones and receiving calls from outside the country, evidence that in part led Indian officials to speak publicly about the militants' external ties.

The LeT denied any responsibility for the terrorist strikes.

But American intelligence agencies were quoted as saying that the group has received some training and logistic support in the past from Pakistan's powerful spy service ISI, and that Pakistan's government has long turned a blind eye to the LeT camps on the Kashmir border.

American and Indian officials, the paper said, were pursuing the possibility that the attackers arrived off the coast of Mumbai in a large ship and then boarded smaller boats before initiating their attack.

They have for years blamed LeT for a campaign of violence against high-profile targets throughout India, including the December 2001 attack on Indian Parliament and an August 2007 strike at an amusement park in Hyderabad, the paper said,

Noting that at times, Indian officials have also said Jaish-e-Muhammad was responsible for the attack on Parliament.

That attack prompted the Bush administration to try to freeze LeT's assets and press Gen Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's President at the time, to crack down on the group's training operations in Pakistan, the paper recalled.

A State Department report released in 2008 called LeT ‘one of the largest and most proficient of the Kashmir-focused militant groups’.

The report said that the LeT drew financing in part from Pakistani expatriates in the Middle East, and that it used a front organisation called Jamaat ud-Daawa to coordinate charitable activities.

It said the actual size of the group was unknown, but estimated it at ‘several thousand’ members, the paper noted.

Recently, the ‘Times’ said, some of the group's operations have shifted from Kashmir to Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas and even to Afghanistan to attack US troops.

American officials and terrorism experts were quoted as saying that the group had not sent large numbers of operatives into Afghanistan, but had embedded small teams with Taliban units to gain fighting experience.

"Afghanistan is an operating war zone, so they can get active training as the Kashmir front has slowed down a bit," the ‘Times’ quoted Seth Jones, a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation, as saying.

The group is believed by experts to have at least a loose affiliation with al-Qaeda, the paper said, adding that in March 2002, a Qaeda lieutenant, Abu Zubaydah, was captured in an LeT safe house in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Lashkar-e-Toiba is not known to have singled out Westerners in past terrorist attacks, as the gunmen in Mumbai seem to have done. But one counter-terrorism official told the paper that the group ‘has not pursued an exclusively Kashmiri agenda’ and that it might certainly go after Westerners to advance broader goals.

Meanwhile, a leading US think tank has said that blaming the Mumbai terrorist attacks on Pakistan could plunge New Delhi and Islamabad into worst crisis since 2002.

In 2002, it notes, that after a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament, a near nuclear confrontation took place between the two countries in which the US brokered a stand down.

The shape of the current crisis will consist of demands that the Pakistanis take immediate steps to suppress Islamist radicals across the board, but particularly in Kashmir, it says, adding that New Delhi will need to demand that this action be immediate and public.

"This demand will come parallel to US demands for same action and, and threats by incoming US President Barack Obama to force greater cooperation from Pakistan," says Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).

It is not clear, Stratfor says, 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," it adds.

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 destabilisation is possible, it says.

In an analysis, it says that in the current situation, 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. Pakistan, Stratfor's analysis notes, has warned that such pressure could destabilise Pakistan.

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mumbai attacks by alex on 01 Dec 2008

India should prepare for low intensity conflicts . Small groups well armed , well trained . Precise surgical operations. Destroy terrorist dens , training bases in pakistan. No frontal conflict with the PAKISTAN ARMY . Forget about dreams of a " blue water navy " waste of money. Look closer to your shores. Better buy Kevlar, night sights, special weapons " shoot around the corner " ... get in touch with the western ( israeli !!) special forces and learn something from them.

Mumbai Terror Aftermath by Mike Vig on 30 Nov 2008

Sarma is so correct to point out that after every attack we go back to sleep after 1 week. Unfortunately, gutless people who are scared themselves happen to govern us. They look for a US or a UN permission to save our own citizens

Mumbai Attacks by Deshdrohi Congressi on 29 Nov 2008

We have captured one terrorist. We will instruct the ATS to torture him to give a false statement that RSS, VHP were behind the attacks so that we can use that as an election stategy win next elections.

Tit for tat by Vijay on 29 Nov 2008

There is no point in talking to Pakistan about terror troubling India.After having lost three wars,they are playing a proxy war with much low budget causing more casualities of police and defence personnel than any war.that too at a modest budget and in our territory.the element of surprise goes to their advantage.they choose the venue.Therefore,India must now counteract using the same technique as suggested by Ahmad and Abbas.In fact, Indiraji had done this in bangladesh in the initial stages before our army liberated it. The present generation of Gandhis should take a leaf from her.That will be a key to their political victory over others rather than minority appeasement technique that has become obsolete.

MMS, Sonia, Lalu, Paswan and Karunanidhi enjoying Iftaar party now by Kaushik on 29 Nov 2008

UPA and its allies won't attack terrorit camps in Pakistan as they are busy in enjaying Iftaar party on the co-rpses dead.

wake up hindus by SATISH on 29 Nov 2008

First Kargil then Parliment and now MUMBAI.when will the HINDUS GET UP AND FIGHT this CIRCMCISED BASTERDS. 'the police and politicans have failed'WAKE UP HINDUS'ITS TIME WE SUPPORT PUROHIT,SADHVI ETC.

attack on pak by kk on 29 Nov 2008

The Indian goverment is not only weak but corrupt too. The police force, civil servant and many other employees who provide service are corrupt. The government need to dismantle that and then train the police and the others civic sense and how to deal with the public. Once that is sorted it out then and then police should have the power to check with out warning all madrassas, school, mosques, temples,etc. and bring the guilties to public attention. But unfortunately in India politicians have the habit of interferring a lot and no guilty get punished. Judges have given their decision but vote hungary or greedy politicans won't let the guilty punished.Before attacking Pakistan- India need to be careful in selecting the terror target. I think most of Indian will support in dismantling the training camps and also support USA fighting in Afganistan. I know Americans look after their own interest and it is time Indian need to be like that and do things when it suits them.

Mumbai attack may trigger Indian military response’ by Suresh Rao on 29 Nov 2008

Stop giving proof to the Paki trecherous heathen. The correct response should be that Indian Intellegence Agents backed by special forces commandoes should infiltrate into Pakistan and liquidate the ISI, Let JeM , MJF and HUJI and theirfinanciers.This is the correct response. Theother thing is totakeout the training campswhich are within the range of ourlongrangeartillery which will eventually lead to moresuch attacks on all theircamps.If they then threaten us with nuclearweapons then call their bluff off with a massive show of strength of our strategic forces.This is the onl;y way in which we can save India.

Terrorism and Pakistan by Faiz Hakim on 29 Nov 2008

I am of the opinion that raising the specter of Indian Army action against Pakistan is not effective because the previous "action" was so devoid of any "real action" that now it is another case of simply shouting "boo". I am of the opinion that India needs to put boots on the ground in Afghanistan and help destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda once and for all and gain the good graces of NATO and US forces for its Kashmir issue which is bound to follow. If we do not win Afghanistan, i.e. make sure the right people win in Afghanistan and that Taliban/Al Qaeda combine find no firm footing there, then we will continue to face a reinvigorated Jihadis for foreseeable future. Kashmir's fate will be decided by what happens in Afghanistan. If the Afghans reach an understanding with the Taliban and let them in the government then these Jihadis will get sanctuary in the Pashtun dominated south for all times to come. We must block that. Then putting the squeeze on Pakistan will make more sense.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? by Jay Balsara on 29 Nov 2008

It is easy to sit in front of the television and run at ones mouth. We will all have emotional reactions and responses based on our emotions. But if the past is in any way the predictor of the future, there will probably be some political speeches by vote seekers. Some riots by extremists. And in a few months it will be life as usual. Indian culture has sanctioned corruption as a way of life. There is no guilt associated with accepting bribes or bribing people to get what you want. There is no point blaming the poeple in power because they are like every other Indian whose conscience is quite comfortable with corruption as a way of life. Change will require a psychic change in each individuals mind and this has to begin in childhood. Such a change will take decades if not centuries. One cannot just emulate the west and expect decisive action rom India. It has to be a part of ones psyche and culture. It is obvious India is not ready for it.

NRI crying for Indian pride by Dr.Mohammad Parvez on 29 Nov 2008

The Mumbai inidence is Over by the grace of God,but sir there are some fishy indiscrepencies in the statements.First they said terrorists were 40 in number, then they said 9 terrorists were captured alive,some were british born pakies.Now they say only one captured alive? some dead. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Please be honest and transperent in informing correct news.I am really ashamed a hand full terrorists (20year and odds) an cause so much havock? Where were these Shivsena,Bajarang dal,Raj thackerey? I think busy colleting HAFTA ? Where was the Indian pride in our politicians? no one gave any statement except PMship aspirer Advani. Atleast these people should have been attending the funerals of our brave heros who have fallen defending our beloved Indian pride.Jai Hind.

Those illeterate... by Hare Krhsn on 29 Nov 2008

Those people who are not well educated becomes bad and distributes hates to many people, eventually those bad people will have habit of killings many people,it is Pakistan which is total lawless and distributes bad to all the world,this is how British intelligence confirmed that those two slain terrorists were British-Pakistani origin!!!! I wish that all the world should never trust Pakistan at all unless they are educated. I rate that education is very very important than challenging (using the brain not stomach)

Think deeper by sairam sathyakumar on 29 Nov 2008

Attack may be by LeT, but deeper motive of powerful financiers based Dubai fearingthat Mumbai-Bombay has the potentiality to become Asia's financial center.West and Americans may bless a new Bombay duplicate of Hong Kong, Dubai who have invested much, to attract the Financial world with an ensnaring new City West would love. Again they can create internal dislocation via young Thakre, so Indian v Indian will help them. Underworld of good old Indian smugglers, still arrange bed fellows of our Leaders.

COURAGEOUS WIFE OF MR,KARKARE by Bernard on 29 Nov 2008

Congragulations to Mrs Karkare for turning down the offer of compensation, she has proved herself as honest and courageous as her very courageous,brave and honest husband our beloved Mr.Hemant karkare

Questions by Milind Sapre on 29 Nov 2008

A few questions we need to ask ourselves:- Who has been funding attacks in India since 1992?- Why don't we demand him to be handed over?- Why do we tolerate nexus between politicians and anti social elements?- Why are the hijackers of Indian Airlines plane still scott free in Pakistan?- Why does it take 24 hours for the Prime Minister to make a statement?- Who is the commander in chief when a disaster strikes? Do we rely on politicians in times of crisis?- Why was there no Crisis response plan ?- How can terrorists enter our country so easily?- Why are commandos talking directly to the press?- What impression have we given to the rest of the world?- Are we so focussed on financial growth that we leave our doors and windows wide open for attacks?- Why do we tolerate the Chief Minister of a state that shamelessly claims that he has no negotiators?- Why are we so "tolerant"? Why do we not respect our own lives?- Why don't we (people, government) take action?

Counter terrorism by Ajay on 29 Nov 2008

Ways to counter terrorism is to give free hand to state police departments. Let them be proactive and raid all the places such as Madarassas, Mandir's, Churches and Gurudwars's to flush out terrorist taking shelters there. Also, raid the areas notorious for harbouring Dawoods henchman in the city and costline of Maharashtra and Gujrath. It is not possible to carry out this kind of operation without support from likes of Dawood Ibrahim. Police should blankly ignore politician's call of not targeting this community or that community. We always hear clarion calls from UPA leadership to not targeting Muslim community, I say nobody should be spared. If not terrorist I am sure police will find many illegal suspected Banladeshi's in these raids. Instead of putting them in jail, profile them and send them to forced hard labour camps and make them work there until somebody comes and vouch them with their legality, if not let them die their doing hard labour.

I wish so by coomon Indian on 29 Nov 2008

I wish so. but corruptionis so dominat that dedicated officials and staff sare not able to give their best. remove corruption and make a transparent fair and just system of government so that professionalism can be grown. we are best of the brains and strongest of the hands but collectively we are not as good simply becuase of corruption. lets make our india worth dying for.

DO SOMETHING MAN by Sreenivasan Jain on 29 Nov 2008

With the spineless home minister like Patil and other Cabinet Ministers including PM who take permission from Madam even before going to loo, can we expect some stern action from this government, the clear answer is NO. This is a good opportunity for BJP to prove it to voters of India that Congress is soft on terror, who has not dared to hang Afjal Guru even after Supreme Court verdict, just for the sake of Muslim votes. We can definetely say now that Desh Bhagwan Bharose chal raha hai, if there is any Government than do not wait for Bhagwan to perform miracles, DO SOMETHING MAN!!!!!!!

we can do a lot by common indian on 29 Nov 2008

sreenivasan, we can do a lot. participate in the government functioning. dont allow the democracy to remain focussed to bureaucrates and polticians, but force it to be welfare state for the citizenry. watch their working through RTI and give feed back so that they can be accountable for their omissions and commissions.

India's response to militant attack by Baru Rajendra Prasad on 29 Nov 2008

Sir, Militant acts in Mumbai resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries are all the result of The weak UPA Government of Manmohan Singh.Bomb Blasts in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad did not prompt quick and punitive action against terrorists embolding them to try further attacks.India like USA must enter Pakistan to destroy Laskar and other militant camps that India claims to be in existance on Pak soil.President Bush' ferociously chasing Al Quida throughout the Globe be it Afghanistan,Iraq or Pakistan had seen "Peace" throughout America post 9/11.Has India gutts to attack militant camps in Pakistan the way Bush had done ?If yes India can have a safe future or else become a laughing stock in the eyes of the entire Globe and be termed a coward.

response!!! by hulkhan on 29 Nov 2008

nothing to worry about. Indian response is very predictable. ATS will find a few more sadhvis and pakistan can rest and relax

Need of the hour - Courage and Determination by A.NATARAJAN on 29 Nov 2008

This attack is master-minded by Pakistan based terrorist outfits only, whiich has the blessings of ISI. Dawood Ibrahim is very much in Pakistan. Whether they are not aware of the fact? Then why the hell they are keeping quiet. Our Government has demanded for that dreaded criminal time and again, whereas these Pakistanis are talking only about Kashmir and visiting Delhi for the so called peace talks. It is time for India to take very strong action including military action, if things are not going to take proper shape. We are not interested in these so called peace talks and non-sense at the cost of our lives and properties. Atleast now the Government should wake up from its deep slumber and take some concrete decisions, however bitter it may be. I pray God to give some intelligence and courage to this useless UPA Government, which is only interested in retaining power, vote bank politics and pacifying the temper of UPA useless partners.

Terrorists attacks on Mumbai by Zahid G.Shaikh on 29 Nov 2008

Congratulations to all of our Indian force who made successful mission of killing and made the citizens of Mumbai secured.I salute for them who were involved in tackling the situation with attackers.We are giving only our statements but you front fighter made our heads made proud to say that you are true and brave Indians. Wehave shown the world we do not need any support from any part of the world for fighting with terror ,we are in a position to take care of our security and fight for terror.I salute those brave soldiers and security officers who laid down their lives for cause of country .Jai--Hind

I salute those brave indian soldiers by Coomon Indain on 29 Nov 2008

I am grateful to those all who laid their life so that as to save our life. Lets take inspiration from those self less soldier s and dedicate ourself for selfless service to the nation.

Centralised Command for Armed Forces. by R D Ranjan on 29 Nov 2008

I wish We had a cetralised command of the Army . Navy and Airforce.But unfortunately our politician backed by Babus and selfish senior armed force officer are more worried about thier power than the country. No wonder we saw the credit grabbing exercise by both Army and Navy. In olden days we had general with great integrity, courage and style. While the courage and selfless attitude of junior officers in laudable, senior officers did not impress. Along with Centralised command We need General Likes Maneshaws and Bhagats, if we want armed forces to be powerful and world Class.

issues by arjun on 29 Nov 2008

main issues are cunning beaurocrats-get rid of them as early as possible. selfish politicians-kill them, careerist army generals, looking for post retirement job-weed them

Time to React by KN Ashok on 29 Nov 2008

People are writing in this blog even not knowing that China is not a democratic country and Russia is partly democratic. India is struggling because of some cowardice/spineless people. I think India may wake up when some one of every Indian will be killed by Terrorist.

Mumbai attacks by Rajiv.M on 29 Nov 2008

The government of India is left with no options but to call a meeting to discuss and take stock of the situation in Mumbai and elsewhere. Also a chief ministers' meeting will be called immediately after elections, followed by a meeting of state police chiefs. Jai Hind

Pakistan involvement by Abbas on 29 Nov 2008

Is Pakistan involved in Mumbai carnage? Answer is yes. LeT is creation of ISI and still fully supported by ISI. So there should not be any doubt about it.Now the question is how does India react? Some people are suggesting India should attack Pakistan or at least should launch some missile attack on these terrorist camps. if it can serve our purpose we are for it. But when I think about it, scenario look some what different. If we attack, Pakistan will defiantly react. Which in turn will blow whole thing in full fledge war. I am sure, we will even win that war, but will it only is between India and Pakistan or will china jump in favor of Pakistan. If China does, what will be our strategy? Who will support us? Surely we can’t fight Pakistan and china simultaneously.The best option is to make multiple commando raids and kill the leaders as well as follower and support of these terrorist groups. If Pakistan accuses us of attack we can deny it as Pakistan does it all the time.

PM will personally fight for you... by Jatin Patel on 29 Nov 2008

Thanks for your patronage Abbas. The sick-u-liar PM and Madam Sonia will take guns. Don't you worry a single cent.

Go Get Them by Bindiya on 29 Nov 2008

I agree. Go get them in their country and nobody knows who did it. Make this government work for India.

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