Tuesday, December 02, 2008

MUMBAI: WHO'S TELLING THE TRUTH?

India says a Pakistani guy did it:

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.

Mr. 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.


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.


Pakistan says they had nothing to do with it:

WASHINGTON: President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that Pakistan was not involved in the lethal attacks on Mumbai last week.

"I think these are stateless actors who have been operating all throughout the region," Zardari said on U.S. based television channel in an interview aired Tuesday night. "The gunmen plus the planners, whoever they are stateless actors who have been holding hostage the whole world."

President Asif Ali Zardari informed that it was wrong to put blame on Pakistan as the person arrested has no connection with Pakistan and he does not posses Pakistani nationality.

Indian officials have publicly blamed Pakistani militants for the attacks, and called on Pakistan to hand over a group of wanted militant leaders suspected of plotting them. On Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi proposed a joint investigation into the attacks and said, "This is not the time to point fingers."

Zardari confirmed he is willing to have Pakistani security officials participate with India in a joint investigation.

"The state of Pakistan is in no way responsible," he told media "Even the White House and the American CIA have said that today. The state of Pakistan is, of course, not involved. We’re part of the victims. I’m a victim. The state of Pakistan is a victim. We are the victims of this war, and I am sorry for the Indians, and I feel sorry for them."


India and Pakistan. Both our allies and each other's mortal enemies. And both nuclear powers. Obama said even before this happened that he'd be willing to strike Pakistan if necessary.

Oh dear.

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