June 2011 Archives

True believers of Mohammad are embedded in Pakistan's security forces, most notably the intellingence service (ISI). A book published yesterday written by recently murdered Syed Saleem Shahzad recounts how the ISI planned the 2008 Mumbai massacre and handed the plans over to Lashkar-e-Taiba (L-e-T) for execution. Americans were among the hundreds killed and wounded.

Yet the U.S. calls Pakistan an "ally" and showers billions of dollars on the weak government, which itself is infiltrated with hard-core terrorist supporters. Appeasement? Yes. It is an unstable country with nuclear weapons and a danger to the world. No good plan has emerged for dealing with it.

This 99% Muslim, Sunni majority country of 170 million has for generations been "educated" by Saudi imans in what the Koran really requires of Muslims. Saudi-supported madrassas teaching the Koran and little else are more influential than public or private schools and are the prime souce of suicide murderers.

As a consequence, persecution of Christians and other minorities is rampant. As a civilized socienty, Pakistan appears to be sliding backward toward the 7th century more and more every year. Our alliance with India is critical for the years ahead.

ISI scripted Mumbai attack, Qaida cleared it: Shahzad book

NEW DELHI: The 26/11 terror attacks that killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war was scripted by ISI officers and approved before its execution by al-Qaida commanders, according to a book just written by slain Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.

The 40-year-old reporter in his book titled `Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taleban -- beyond bin Laden and 9/11' describes the Mumbai plan as one pushed through by Ilyas Kashmiri, a key al-Qaida ally with wide links with the Pakistan defence establishment. Shahzad, who was an authority on terrorism in Afghanistan and the neighbourhood, says in the book that the plan was authored by the Inter-Services Intelligence officers and embraced and executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"With Ilyas Kashmiri's immense expertise on Indian operations, he stunned the al-Qaeda leaders with the suggestion that expanding the war theatre was the only way to overcome the present impasse. He presented the suggestion of conducting such a massive operation in India as would bring India and Pakistan to war and with that all proposed operations against Al-Qaeda would be brought to a grinding halt. Al-Qaeda excitedly approved the attack-India proposal," Shahzad wrote in the book, excerpts of which were published in Karachi's The Dawn newspaper on Wednesday.

Shahzad's friends and family believe the ISI may have had something to do with his kidnapping on Sunday and his death by torture and Shahzad himself had spoken of threats from the ISI. The bureau chief of Asia Times Online was killed days after he had exposed links between Pak navy personnel and al-Qaida, explaining how the devastating attack on the Mehran naval base in Karachi was engineered. He is believed to have been killed for "knowing too much" about how al-Qaida has infiltrated the Pakistani defence forces, sources said. The book, yet unavailable in India, is further proof of the close ties between Pakistani officers and al-Qaida.

"Ilyas Kashmiri then handed over the plan to a very able former army major Haroon Ashik, who was also a former LeT commander who was still very close with the LeT chiefs Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza," the book says.

"Haroon knew about a plan by Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that had been in the pipelines for several months with the official policy to drop it as it was to have been a low-profile routine proxy operation in India through LeT.

"The former army major, with the help of Ilyas Kashmiri`s men in India, hijacked the ISI plan and turned it into the devastating attacks that shook Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and brought Pakistan and India to the brink of a war."

According to a friend of Shahzad, the slain writer and he discussed the militant infiltration in the lower ranks of the defence forces. "He also expressed a fear that there would be a rise in violence as the security establishment is really shaky," the friend was quoted as saying in the Dawn newspaper

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