Monday, December 01, 2008

How involved was Pakistan in the Mumbai attacks?

While Americans were busy eating turkey and shopping for Black Friday deals, India was busy dealing with their own equivilent of 9/11, as 10 gunmen invaded railway stations, hotels, and shopping areas killing hundreds before all but one were killed by Indian commandos. The question now is how complicit was Pakistan in the attacks? The answer could decide whether two nuclear-armed countries go to war int he next few weeks.

The announcement blaming militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, threatened to escalate tensions between India and Pakistan. However, Indian officials have been cautious about accusing Pakistan's government of complicity.
A U.S. counterterrorism official had said some "signatures of the attack" were consistent with Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammed, another group that has operated in Kashmir. Both are reported to be linked to al-Qaida.

(AP) Mourners gather for a memorial to pay tribute to Mumbai police officers who lost their lives in the...
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Lashkar, long seen as a creation of the Pakistani intelligence service to help fight India in disputed Kashmir, was banned in Pakistan in 2002 under pressure from the U.S., a year after Washington and Britain listed it a terrorist group. It is since believed to have emerged under another name, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, though that group has denied links to the Mumbai attack.
My own impression is that it is unlikely that Pakistan incited these attacks, but that it is very likely one or more Pakistani officials looked the other way to allow them to happen. Pakistan is in the midst of a transition from one government to another, and in that time there is a power vacuum. Who knows who may have stepped in?

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