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Joel Skousen< – 2008-12-05


As usual, Joel Skousen has a pithy and relevant word to say about the recent attacks in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, India.



by Joel Skousen
World Affairs Brief
December 5, 2008

An all too familiar pattern is once again emerging in the Mumbai terror investigation–prior knowledge by governments and their secret services, involvement of organized crime in arming the terrorists, prior warnings to key establishment people, and no preparations to stop the events.

As government sources begin to leak what they knew about the attackers and their supporters before the event, it becomes very clear that they all knew way too much to have allowed the terrorist leaders to remain free. The alleged Pakistani based terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Taiba have been known for years and have not been eliminated. It is little wonder that analysts such as I view the War on Terror as phony and manipulated. Terrorism is a two edged sword, simultaneously threatening innocent civilians and providing a necessary excuse for conspiring governments to create conflict. For example, there are no armed terrorist groups of any size in the world that are not sponsored and funded, at least indirectly, by government black operations, including those in the West. There are no major black market arms dealers that are not tolerated and used on occasion by Western black operations. Neither are there any major criminal syndicates that do not operate in collusion with the dark side of government. That is precisely why the CIA and Pakistani ISI know almost everything about these events before they happen. No agency is good enough to develop all this intelligence within days of a major terrorist event.

As US Sec. of State Condolezza Rice and Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen go to Pakistan and India to mediate the tense rift between these two nuclear powers, Rice is calling for a thorough investigation and Mullen is twisting arms about the hidden US agenda. There is no such thing as a clean government investigation anymore. All government investigations are designed to cover-up key facts and motives. Already there is so much disinformation flooding the news channels that it is impossible to sort it out unless you are on the inside. Internet writers (all claiming too-good-to-be-true unnamed sources) have blamed the CIA, the Pakistani ISI, the Israeli Mossad, the Hindu right wing in India, and organized crime king Dawood Ibrahim for this attack. They all can’t be the exclusive controllers, though it is possible that each has some involvement.

Here are the suspicious details:

The sole terrorist captured alive claims there were only 10 terrorists, divided into 5 teams of two, each assigned to attack two targets. That seems like a very small number to cover 10 targets including massive hotels like the Taj Mahal and Trident/Oberoi, which are vast. And yet, with half the Indian police barely armed and poorly trained, this is possible. “Maharashtra, India’s richest state, has 180,000 policemen, but only 2,221 weapons, of which 577 are earmarked for Mumbai, a city of 13 million.”

All but one policeman initially fled from the attackers and he, ironically, was unarmed. He was forced to grab the gun of a fleeing policeman to engage the 2 terrorists who were shooting up the train station with AK-47s. He alone successfully stopped the attack by wounding Ajmal Kasab in both arms. The success of the attack was greatly enhanced by police lack of arms and strict gun control for private citizens.

It also didn’t help that the Indian government, notified within 10 minutes of the initiation of hostilities, took over 10 hours to get its elite “Black Cat” commandos on the scene-which smacks of more than incompetency. It took them 3 days to root out 2 terrorists in each hotel. Incredible! One source tells Wayne Madsen that the fires in the Taj Mahal hotel were started by US clandestine services, burning secret documents in order to keep them out of the hands of the terrorists. I have no way of confirming that, but it is not out of the ordinary for US black operation leaders to “live it up” at 5 star hotels when operating abroad at taxpayer expense.

The Times of India reports that, “Ajmal’s interrogators said he had received rigorous training and had been primed for fidayeen (suicide) attacks. He and others in the training camps were subjected to severe beatings by their trainers to develop resistance against any kind of interrogation [yet he sang like a canary to the police which doesn’t make sense]. Ajmal also revealed the names of nine other terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks and were killed in various places. ‘The nine names revealed by Ajmal reflects that the youngest fidayeen was 20 years old while the eldest was 28 [the young age was confirmed by the accounts of numerous eye witnesses, shocked by how young and fanatical they were].

“The terror group which attacked Mumbai was imparted training at various camps and in different groups. Investigators said that of those named by Ajmal as tutors, many had retired from the Pakistan Army [what the dark side calls “cut outs” so as to provide no direct trace to the ISI or Army] and were imparting training at Lashkar camps in coordination with ISI.”

It seems this week that everyone in government intelligence whether in India, Pakistan, the UK or the USA is leaking juicy pieces of information to reporters. The wire services are flooded with it. So, what can we trust? Asia Times writer Raja Murthy put it best when he said, “Fifteen Mumbai police officers are interrogating Kasab. Apparently each one is sneaking his version of proceedings to media contacts, with the Maharashtra state government too busy with its own woes to plug leaks… With the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Israeli police and Scotland Yard joining in the interrogations, more versions of Kasab’s statements can be expected until Mumbai police reveal videos of his recorded testimony.”

Here’s another: “According to anonymous leaks to the daily Hindustan Times from RAW —- the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s equivalent of the CIA —- intercepts of satellite telephone conversations indicated that the terrorists would arrive by sea, using a prohibited route from Pakistani waters, and attack five-star hotels in Mumbai.”

The Wall Street Journal received leaks from US intelligence which predictably project the ever-present link to al Qaeda. Staff writer Susan Schmidt dutifully tows the party line saying, “Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani group suspected in the Mumbai attacks, has a history of documented links to al Qaeda and has trained many of the militants who have landed in U.S. and British jails since 9/11. The group is of particular concern to intelligence officials and terrorism experts because it has become a major gateway to jihad for some disaffected people in the West, including converts to Islam… The group has received funding from donors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [both lackeys for the US], according to U.S. government testimony and Central Intelligence Agency records [which she would never be allowed to see].

“Westerners who have passed through Lashkar-e-Taiba’s training camps [in other stories these camps were labeled al-Qaeda camps or Taliban camps–I guess the labels change to suit whoever is the latest target of US vilification] include Australian al Qaeda operative David Hicks, convicted ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid and Dhiren Barot, the mastermind of a failed gas-cylinder bombing plot in London who prepared detailed blueprints for al Qaeda of buildings in New York’s financial district, according to information that emerged in legal proceedings [disinformation testimony by CIA people in court]… ‘Lashkar and al Qaeda have been intertwined for a number of years,’ an FBI counterterrorism analyst, Sarah Linden, testified in a Virginia terrorism trial last year [Linden was a professional staff member on the 9/11 commission under Lee Hamilton which gives her a special taint. She was also a Special Agent from FBI’s Washington, DC Field Office, Counterterrorism Program].”

But what she doesn’t say is that the links between Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda are due to their common source of control and funding: the Pakistani ISI and US CIA. Here is Tariq Ali, interviewed by Democracy Now outlining these past links. “This [Lashkar] is a well-known organization, which was set up initially by the Inter-Services Intelligence [acting for and funded by the CIA] during the first Afghan War against the Russians and later became very active in infiltrating jihadis into Kashmir. Over recent years, however, during the Musharraf period, funding was removed from them [but probably went underground via organized crime boss Dawood Ibrahim who has been implicated in both funding and arming terrorists], the ISI was supposedly said to have no contact with them at all, and they became more or a less an independent, freelance organization [the official line].

CNN reported that “Mumbai police believe a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba planner in Pakistan masterminded the Mumbai terrorist attacks last week and was among several leaders of the militant group who were in touch by satellite links with the 10 terrorists in the two days before they landed in India. A senior police official said that, in all, the names and numbers of five members of the Pakistani group’s leadership were contained in a satellite phone left behind by the terrorists on a fishing vessel they hijacked then abandoned before reaching Mumbai. Records from the phone show calls had been made from it to these five men. Among them: Yusuf Muzammil, head of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s terrorism operations against India.

This is highly unlikely. Real terrorists don’t use satellite cell phones or normal email to communicate with their people about an operation. They all know that satellite phones, cell phones, and emails are monitored. If they do use them, they use stolen phones not traceable to the principals doing the directing, and they speak in pre-arranged informal code words. Controlled terrorists, on the other hand, always use traceable phones since this allows their handlers to show they are busy intercepting terrorist calls which, in turn, justifies more warrantless surveillance. These kinds of leaks smack of manufactured information to poison relations between India and Pakistan, just as Pakistan’s new president Zardari was making peace overtures to India.

Advanced warning: CNN reports, “The Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, temporarily increased security after being warned of a possible terrorist attack, the chairman of the company that owns the hotel said Saturday. But Tata Group [largest auto maker in India] Chairman Ratan Tata said those measures, which were eased shortly before this week’s terror attacks, could not have prevented gunmen from entering the hotel. ‘If I look at what we had … it could not have stopped what took place,’ Tata said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that will air Sunday. ‘It’s ironic that we did have such a warning, and we did have some measures,’ Tata said, without elaborating on the warning or when security measures were enacted. [He was talking about fairly minor precautions:] ‘People couldn’t park their cars in the portico, where you had to go through a metal detector.’ However, Tata said the attackers did not enter through the entrance that has a metal detector. Instead, they came in a back entrance, he said. All of our arrangements are in the front,’ he said.”

This was completely predictable. Higher security in one area of the hotel guarantees that the attackers will seek out weaker positions. The hotel needed armed guards, but the Indians have a tradition left over from British occupation of discouraging armed guards in private and public.

The UK Guardian also had confirmation of advanced warning from the US: “The US warned India before the Mumbai attacks, a senior Bush administration official said today [anonymously], fueling criticism of the Indian government’s lack of preparedness. According to an unnamed official, the US told Indian officials that terrorists appeared to be plotting a water-borne attack on India’s financial capital. Several top Indian officials have resigned after the attacks that claimed at least 183 lives and injured more than 300.” This hints at US foreknowledge.

“As police continued to retrieve bodies from the Taj hotel, the Trident-Oberoi remained sealed off. But another site of an attack by militants — the Cafe Leopold — briefly reopened. The famous tourist restaurant was one of the first attacked and was opened for the first time since the violence but was then quickly closed by police who said it had not obtained the required permission.” If India worried half as much about arming its police and protecting its citizens as it does in enforcing impossible bureaucratic regulations like this, these attacks might have been prevented.

“Since the election this year of a civilian government in Pakistan and the replacement of Pervez Musharraf as President with Asif Ali Zardari, there had been hopes that the relationship between Islamabad and Delhi might be improved.”

This may well be one of the real motives for the attack, financed by the US connected ISI in Pakistan. The US is still stung by the removal of its Pakistani puppet Musharaff, who ran the ISI on behalf of the CIA, and may well have set Zardari up for this disastrous downturn in India-Pakistani relations. I do think there was a deal made with Zardari when he was allowed to come to power (to stay out of the way of the ISI and the Army), but Zardari has since closed down the ISI’s political wing, hoping to curtail its black operations. It is also possible that the real US target may be the destabilization of Prime Minister Gilani, who has been loudly complaining about US violations of Pakistani sovereignty in attacking civilian targets in western Pakistan. Virtually all of the establishment news reports touting the US’ determination to shut down al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan are simply repeating government propaganda. This is all a front. The US never intends to shut down terrorism, especially not their own.

Why is Indian security so corrupt and ill equipped? The media always evades taking notice of communists [Socialists], as if they don’t exist anymore. Much of the blame for India’s woes goes to the large number of communists elected to Parliament who continually work to keep both Indian citizens and the police disarmed. But even without the communists playing a major role in Indian politics, corruption is a way of life in South Asia. Indian’s warlords and fat cat governors have run roughshod over the people for centuries. That’s hard to root out.

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