Mumbai Blasts: Hunting down the terrorists

After the Mumbai Bomb Blasts, which CNN calls Terror on Tracks, the authorities were not sure about the perpetrators. Initially it was said to be Dawood Ibrahim. Then the suspects were LeT and SIMI. Some suggested that it could be angry Muslims seeking revenge for the Gujarat riots. Most of these were speculation, based on common sense and pattern analysis.

Now based on investigations, the Anti-Terror Squad has released the photos of two suspects,Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz. There is no information about their nationalities or affiliation. The Home Ministry has concluded that SIMI has provided logical support for the blasts . According to Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh  it would be improper to call SIMI a terrorist organization since his Muslim vote bank is more precious than the life of 200 people who died and hundreds of others who have been wounded. SIMI, though a banned organization has been flourishing without any issues under various secular Governments in Kerala too showing how much resolve the elected officials have in protecting the life of Indian Citizens.

In a news conference in Delhi, a Simi leader, Shahid Badr Falahi, described the attacks as deplorable and said his organisation had no part in them. If SIMI is a banned organization and if they have been found to provide support for the blasts, what is a SIMI leader doing in public, giving news conferences in Delhi?

Currently CCTVs have been installed in seven stations and a  security agency has been hired to setup international standard security. Meanwhile Al-Qaeda has announced their office opening ceremony in India  and have praised the murderers of innocent civilians.

Police rounded up 350 people for questioning in Mumbai. Meanwhile Zaibuddin Ansari, Lashkar-e-Toiba module leader, suspected to be the link between LeT and SIMI is being searched for by Anti-Terrorists Squad of Mumbai Police and central intelligence agencies. Police also suspect Rahil, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative who was behind the October 2005, pre-Diwali bomb blasts. Nepal Police has arrested two Pakistanis, Aftar Moiddin Siddiqui and Gulam Hussain Cheema in Kathmandu and are investigating if they have any connection to the Mumbai blasts. In India, a man on a train in Hyderabad – identified as Abdullah – was arrested in connection with the bombings.

Meanwhile Police from
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have reached Bangalore following reports that the terrorists behind the blasts could have reached the city to hide. When Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi was assassinated, his murderers also found it convenient to hide in Bangalore.

Terrorists strike Mumbai Again (contd)

Continuing from where we left off yesterday, The Acorn points to a piece by Praveen Swamy

what evidence is available, though, suggests that the tactics and techniques used in the Mumbai bombings are similar to those deployed in the wave of strikes that have taken place across India since the end of 2005. Fabricated from easily-available chemicals such as potassium permanganate or aluminium chlorate, with small amounts of RDX to accelerate the detonation, the kinds of explosives that seem to have been used in Mumbai are easy to manufacture — and lethal when used in crowded locations.
If recent experience is a guide, investigators are likely to find that the real architects of the bombing are outside its reach: the Lashkar is headquartered at Muridke, near Lahore, while the HuJI operates out of bases in Dhaka and Chittagong. More likely than not, though, the operation will have been facilitated by local operatives of these terror groups — part of a subterranean but still enormously dangerous movement of small numbers of recruits into the ranks of Islamist terror groups.

CNN reports that timers were hidden in pencils
Update 1: According to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh (not Sonia Gandhi), India will win the war on terror. Terrorists must be surrendering in droves after hearing his pathetic speech.
Update 2: Mumbai Politician suspected?

He, however, dodged a query on a media report that claimed a south Mumbai politician, who has considerable clout in a minority community, was under the scanner of intelligence agencies for his suspected role in yesterday’s serial blasts in suburban trains.
The report quoted intelligence sources as saying that the politician could have instigated the blasts in retaliation for a recent strife in a minority-dominated area of Thane district.

Update 3:
Premature to blame LeT

The director general of police in Maharashtra, the Indian state that includes Mumbai, said that officers had

Terrorists strike Mumbai Again

Terrorists (not militants as the MSM likes to call it), have struck Mumbai. Amit Varma has the updates and he points to Mumbai Help for getting additional help and information.
Update 1: Amit mentions an incident where a correspondent asks a victim if this was a terrorist attack and remarks how would he know in five minutes. B. Raman has guessed who is behind the blasts instantly.
Update 2: Indian Intelligence believes that Dawood Ibrahim was behind the serial attacks. (via Counter Terrorism Blog)

Indian intelligence believes the attacks on Mumbai

Afghanistan and Somalia: The Similarities

Following the withdrawal of the Soviet forces in 1992, Afghanistan was thrown into a civil war. Warlords were in charge of various sectors and they enforced their own rules Businesses had to pay them for safe transport and there were competing warlords. So if a Pakistani businessman wanted to send goods via road to Turkmenistan, he would end up lining the pockets of many warlords, which affected the profit margin. Then came the Taliban, from the madrassas in Pakistan and took over the Afghanistan and bought “stability”. They defeated various warlords and established a single point of payment.
Then they imposed Islamic laws on the poor Afghanis. Criminal punishments included amputations, and stoning. Women could go out only with a male relative and Hindus were required to a special marking on their cloth. Finally they forged a relationship with Osama bin Laden and you know the rest.
Now this story is repeating in Somalia. Following the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre in 199, the county has been in chaos. In a scene by scene replay of the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, an alliance of Islamic militias have taken over the country. Now people can walk without fear in the streets of Mogadishu.

Somalis interviewed by Reuters in Mogadishu — and Jowhar and Balad to the north, which the Islamic militia also captured last week — almost unanimously expressed happiness at the new-found stability on their streets since the power shift.
Transport was moving more freely, business was flourishing, roadblocks had come down, and guns were less visible on the streets, they said. [Islamists bring rare peace, new worry to Mogadishu]

The new rulers have started enforcing their code of conduct as well.

Abdifatah Nur, 26, said he was watching a World Cup soccer match at a movie house when Islamic militiamen crashed through the doors and ordered the television turned off. They beat the children with lashes and took the young men to a jail. Before the militiamen let their prisoners free three days later, Nur said, they whipped him and cut off his long, curly hair.
Nur said that a few days later, in a different movie house, he watched as Islamic militiamen beat the owner to death, apparently for ignoring earlier orders to not show soccer matches."I hate what they are doing," Nur said. "We have no choice.">Several leaders of the Islamic militias have said they have issued no orders banning World Cup broadcasts or requiring men to cut their hair.

Now the Taliban were happily thinking of doing business with UNOCAL when the Al-Qaeda folks landed and became party poopers.Here is the composition of the groups that make up the Union of Islamic Courts.

Alas, the truth is that the Union is made up of at least four major jihadi groups: al-Ittihad al-Islami (“Islamic Union”), a group which used to appear on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations (the folks at Foggy Bottom apparently bought at face value the group’s previously self-proclaimed dissolution); al-Takfir wal-Hijra (“Excommunication and Exodus”), a group so extreme that it considered Osama bin Laden too moderate and tried to kill him in Sudan in 1996; al-Islah (“Reconciliation”), an Islamist group pushing for the establishment of a Islamic state in Somalia; and al-Tabligh (“Making Known”), an Islamist “missionary” group with links to the same madrassas in Pakistan which gave us the Taliban [WSJ:The New Taliban (subscription required)]

If you have a group which considers Osama bin Laden a moderate, you know which direction Somalia is heading.

Will Suryanarayana get justice?

Indian Engineer K.Suryanarayana was murdered in Afghanistan by the Taliban. The Acorn wrote

Suryanarayana was a telecom engineer working for a Bahraini company. He was neither a soldier nor an employee of the Indian government. His Taliban kidnappers killed him simply because of his nationality and religion. His kidnapping may have been opportunistic or premeditated.[Send Special Forces to Afghanistan]

Now more damning evidence comes from Afghanistan. In an interview to Afghanistan’s Tolu channel, a Taliban commander claimed that Suryanarayana was beheaded by Mullah Latif, a militiaman working for Maulvi Mohammed Alam Andar, on the orders of the ISI. When such charges are raised, any responsible Govt. would immediately take up the issue with Pakistan.
When the 35 Hindus were murdered in cold blood in Doda, the Manmohan Singh ministry decided that such activities will not deter us from talking to terrorist supporters as Indian lives are meant to be sacrificed in the altar of peace. Due to this divine guiding philosophy and worrying concern that Pakistanis might feel offended, New Delihi has not taken Suryanarayana’s beheading as an issue with Pakistan. The official excuse is that we are waiting for Afghanistan to complete their investigation.
Pakistan meanwhile did not wait for India to make an issue of it and issued a denial. They have the standard denial template and all they had to do was fill in the date and cause and publish it. Now that Pakistan has denied it, there is no reason for us to worry about their involvement.
If the Indian Govt. does not have the guts to pursue this, we should use other sophisticated techniques. We have successfully used other pressure tactics which has brought terrorism to its knees. I am talking about sending the candle holders to Wagah border (after checking to see they have candles with them). But then, suddenly all those folks are missing.

Terrorist attack in Varanasi

They were normal people like you and me. They were old people like our parents who are religious. They had gone to pray to Hanuman in Varanasi, the holy city for Hindus and now they are dead due to the handiwork of few murderers.

The first blast came as devotees gathered for evening prayer at a 16th-century temple dedicated to Sankat Mochan. Tuesdays are particularly busy there, when special services are held for the Hindu monkey deity, Hanuman, who is known as the Liberator From Troubles. The second blast went off 45 minutes later at the main train station, Reuters reported. It was unclear how many people died in each place. Unexploded bombs were also found across Varanasi, including the maze of narrow streets in the oldest quarters of the 2,500-year-old city. Varanasi, also known as Benares, has a Hindu majority and a large minority of Muslims.[Bombs Rock a City Holy to Hindus, Killing at Least 15]

Also note their targets.

“The bomb was placed near a tree where women usually sit and take rest,” Singh said. “Moreover, a wedding was just over when the blast took place. Had the blast taken place a few minutes earlier, the toll could have been more.”[Indians Protest, Fear Violence Will Spread]

50 people in Delhi, 20 in Varanasi and God knows how many more to come.
The Indian Blogosphere comments on this mass murder: Die #$* Infidels!, Terrorists attack Varanasi, Caught in the cross-fire, Bomb blasts in Hindu holy city, What the Varanasi attack really is

Unconventional Tactics

Assuming that Ayman al-Zawahiri was present in the Pakistani village of Damadola, an unmanned American aircraft fired four Hellfire missiles at a mud walled compound killing 18 people. Few Al Qaeda members including the weapons expert Midhat Mursi was killed in the attack. While this attack got major press coverage both in United States and in Pakistan, there was another minor incident which happened a week before it which was not noticed much. According to Jim Hoagland, some foreign troops landed in Saidgi in North Waziristan, grabbed some folks and flew back into Afghanistan.
All this happened due to the help Musharraf is doing to prevent terrorism from Pakistani soil. Remember how he tried to hoodwink India into believing that there are no terrorists in Pakistan. He has been trying to do the same with the Americans. But since Americans are not Indians, they decided to take matters into their own hands and teach Musharraf a lesson.

“You can draw the Afghan-Pakistan border on a map by looking at the pattern of signal intercepts,” says one U.S. official. “The bad guys chatter away in Pakistan, feeling they are safe. That area lights up like a Christmas tree. Then they go silent when they cross into Afghanistan, where they fear getting hit.”
Two limited, carefully planned border attacks in rapid succession would appear to be something more than accidents of opportunity. The escalation by terrorists in Afghanistan has been met with an escalation, still at a low level, in U.S. attacks on Pakistani soil. Musharraf’s failure to curb the terrorist forays into Afghanistan after the incursion at Saidgi conceivably led to the attack on Damadola and the death of innocents there.[Message to Musharraf]

Fighting terrorism requires unconventional tactics and only Americans seem to have understood it.

Iran's simple wish

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for “Israel to be wiped off the map”. He hopes that the Palestinian terror attacks would achieve that goal.
This has to be the the most outrageous statement of the century, and that too coming from a democratically elected leader. During a war like situation even a man like Musharraf has not made such statements. If the statement alone was given and asked to guess who said it, probably you would have said Hamas or Islamic Jihad, but never the President of a country. Even though most of Israel’s neighbours desire what was mentioned by Ahmadinejad, no one has the audacity to make such public statements. This speaks volumes about the direction Iran is taking under the leadership of Ahmadinejad.
Today in an interview with Terry Gross, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations, Richard A. Clarke spoke about the relation between Iran and terrorist organizations. Many Al-Qaeda operatives, like the members of the Shura and bin Laden’s oldest son, were captured by Iran and placed under house arrest which must be like how Pakistanis keep terrorists under house arrest. Iran has refused to hand them over to United States and this raises questions about the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda. Besides this there is the Iranian support for Hezbollah
India does not seem to mind this terrorist connection and has even embarked on a project to build a pipeline to bring gas from Iran via Pakistan. Besides business relations, there are contacts at the level of Parliamentarians. But this does not mean that we remain silent on this statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Israel is one nation which has come to our help during times of need. Right from the 1962 war with China to the Kargil war in 1999, Israel has supported India even though we have always publicly kissed Arafat. When such calls for genocide are being made by the Iran, India should not use diplomatic channels to convey displeasure, but instead borrow a leaf from Musharraf’s book and use megaphone diplomacy.
Footnote: Ahmadinejad also mentioned that

“Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, [while] any [Islamic leader] who recognises the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad said.[‘Israel must be wiped off the map’]

This is going to be a serious burn for Musharraf.

Our Friends, the Saudis

“Fish are friends, not food”. That’s what Chum tells Bruce the Shark in Finding Nemo. Similarly the establishment in India keeps on repeating that Arab countries are our friends. Recently Natwar Singh suggested that it was the relationship with Arab countries that guided India’s foreign relations. Nutwar, did not produce this logic out of the blue for it has been used before by the Indian Blogosphere’s favourite football, Jawaharlal Nehru. Once when Albert Einstein asked for Nehru’s support for the creation of Israel, he produced some kind of warped logic involving Muslims not to support it.
For all this obeisance, countries like Saudi Arabia reciprocate by funding more madrassas and not supporting India’s position on Kashmir. On top of it, they are allowing the country to be used as a venue for planning terrorist activities against India. Syed Salahuddin is visiting the holy land for haj and “other” reasons.

Salahuddin has been living in Pakistan ever since he crossed the border from Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir 18 years ago, leaving behind his wife and children behind there, The Times of India said. He has invited like-minded people to come to Saudi Arabia where they can then together find ways to revive the ebbing momentum of terrorism in the Valley of Kashmir.[Kashmir terror chief heads for Mecca]

At this point do you think Nutwar Singh will call King Abdullah, sing songs of friendship and ask him not to let this happen?

Need more proof?

Pakistani ministers contantly say that there are no terrorist training camps and madrassas do not incite terrorism. The chorus for this song is sung by various Presidents, Prime Ministers, Newspapers and think-tanks. But here comes a party pooper from Pakistan itself.

The fact is that most top madrassas are directly or indirectly involved in breeding militant Islamists who are inclined to become terrorists. This has been proved beyond doubt, unless you want proof of nothing less than actual military training grounds on their premises. Pakistan’s most notorious terrorist wanted by India together with Ahmad Umar Sheikh, the murderer of Daniel Pearl in Karachi, is Maulana Masood Azhar, a graduate of the Banuri Town madrassa in Karachi. The director of the madrassa, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai — target-killed last year –arranged the first meeting between Osama bin Laden and Mullah Umar, the self-styled “caliph” of the Taliban. The South Waziristan terrorist still on the loose in his area, Abdullah Mehsud, went straight to Banuri Town madrassa after his release from Guantanamo Bay and declared war on the Americans and “their allies”. After his mentor Mufti Jamil of the madrassa was killed in Karachi, he struck in South Waziristan, kidnapping two Chinese engineers, with horrible consequences for Pakistan. On June 24, Mufti Rehman and Maulana Irshad, new heads of the Banuri Mosque madrassa in Karachi, were also target-killed.[EDITORIAL: Madrassas, Ijaz ul Haq and Musharraf]