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Nov 22 2011

The Bombay massacre

I haven’t been paying enough attention. (So often the case. There is so much to pay attention to, and it’s very difficult to pay attention to everything – ok it’s not very difficult, it’s impossible – so in paying attention to L, M and N, you miss S, T and U.) I missed David Coleman Headley. I missed the fact that an American

was one of the leading planners of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people over three days at two five-star hotels, a train station and a small Jewish community center.

I missed the fact that

Headley gave specific evidence about the close alliance between the ISI,
Pakistan’s intelligence force, and the Lashkar terrorist group.

Headley described meeting with both ISI and Lashkar officials before the
Mumbai operation. He also described meeting a Pakistani military official at Lashkar headquarters. The officer gave Lashkar advice on how to carry out a maritime attack.

“Because of his evidence, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago indicted
Major Iqbal, [a Pakistani intelligence official], which is the first time you
have a serving Pakistani intelligence officer charged in the murder of
Americans,” says Rotella.

Mark that. A Pakistani intelligence official helped people plan a mass murder in Bombay. Not a battle in a declared war, but a mass murder of non-combatants in hotels and railway stations and a community center.

Furthermore, one of the guys arrested for the Bombay massacre is using a cell phone to this day.

During a meeting overseas last summer, a senior U.S. official and Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of Pakistan’s armed forces, discussed a threat that has strained the troubled U.S.-Pakistani relationship since the 2008 Mumbai attacks: the Lashkar-i-Taiba militant group.

The senior U.S. official expressed concern that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a terrorist chief arrested for the brutal attacks in India, was still directing Lashkar operations while in custody, according to a U.S. government memo viewed by ProPublica. Gen. Kayani responded that Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), had told prison authorities to better control Lakhvi’s access to the outside world, the memo says. But Kayani rejected a U.S. request that authorities take away the cell phone Lakhvi was using in jail, according to the memo to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the National Security Council.

Staggering, isn’t it? They won’t take his cell phone away.

What are they going to do next? Give him a small nuclear weapon for his very own?

4 comments

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  1. 1
    d cwilson

    How about a compromise? Let him keep the cell phone but take away the charger.

  2. 2
    Eric MacDonald

    Yeah, I miss all sorts of things, and sometimes I feel so silly when I do, but, as you say, it’s simply not possible to be aware of everything that is happening, and since news travels so quickly now and in such quantity, it’s even more than impossible. It’s simply absurd to think that one can keep up with things.

    However, this is an astonishing story! Not only the carrying on of terrorist operations from a jail cell by cell phone, but being allied to a nation that has government agencies that plan totally arbitrary massacres of innocent people.

    By the way, Ophelia, talking about alliances, are you not at all troubled by some of the advertisements that appear on Freethought Blogs? Take the one that I’m looking at just now: “God Jusges due to sins for our corrections, gods-messenger.webs.com! And I’ve noticed others too along the way.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    Eric – oh sure, I’m troubled by them, but we get to point out the duds, and the process will improve over time (we’re told).

  4. 4
    Dunc

    However, this is an astonishing story! Not only the carrying on of terrorist operations from a jail cell by cell phone, but being allied to a nation that has government agencies that plan totally arbitrary massacres of innocent people.

    Like Pakistan is the only one… You do know that the primary overland supply route for US forces in Afghanistan is via Uzbekistan, right? And that Uzbekistan has a human rights record that makes this kind of thing look like a church picnic?

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