Terrorizing World – "Enough is enough"

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Terror binds India, US

Posted by :) on November 23, 2009

Intel-Sharing Pact To Be Inked As PM Heads For Washington

Source : Chidanand Rajghatta | TNN

Washington: Headline-grabbing issues ranging from trade in small-fry items such as almonds and mangoes to big-ticket deals on nuclear energy and space cooperation have animated US-India ties over the past two decades. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh begins his three-day state visit to Washington on Monday, a subject that has remained on the backburner for long despite the terrible toll it has taken in the two countries will take centre-stage.
The US and India will sign a pact on intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism during the Prime Minister’s visit, one of nearly a dozen agreements to be inked during the visit. Details of the pact are not being disclosed yet, but such was the importance of the agreement that CIA director Leon Panetta flew down to New Delhi to discuss details with his Indian counterparts before the fine print could be drawn up. The agreement could involve exchanging and stationing more intelligence personnel in the two countries, including mobile units, to facilitate better interaction. Initiative for the intelligence upgrade, including “technical means’’, has come from the US side after Washington finally realized the fallacy of distinguishing Pakistani terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba from al-Qaida, a grasp that has been brought home by the latest episode involving the terror suspect duo of Tawassur Rana and Daood Gilani aka David Headley.
Washington is also aware that Manmohan Singh will be in the US capital on the first anniversary on November 26 of the Mumbai carnage inflicted by a recalcitrant Pakistan, which has refused to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the carnage, thus giving the distinct impression that its all-powerful military and intelligence were involved in the attack.
The message that the same Pakistani terrorists can strike against US, too, was brought into American living rooms powerfully this week in an one-hour HBO documentary that showed graphic videos and audios of the Mumbai carnage, including telephone intercepts of Pakistani handlers giving explicit instructions to the terrorists on how and when to kill, and footage of police interrogation of Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist. “Their method of attack could easily be adapted to any American city,’’ said Fareed Zakaria, the Mumbai-born, New York-based
editor who narrated the documentary.
Exclusive footage of Kasab’s interrogation shown in the documentary answered one question even well-meaning Pakistanis frequently ask: “Why does India blame Pakistan so soon after a terrorist strike?’’ Well, because Kasab was interrogated within hours of his capture the same night as the carnage. Lying on the hospital bed weeping like a child, Kasab tells an incredibly composed police interrogator the whole sordid story of Pakistani trainers and indoctrination.
More chilling than visuals of the carnage itself is the audio of the Pakistani handler, who passed precise blow-by-blow instruction to his wards on how, when and who to kill, including eliminating the Jewish couple in Chabad House. When a killer hesitates to execute the couple, he orders him to finish the task and waits expectantly till he hears the gunshots.
Even as the documentary records the embarrassing confusion of among the illequipped Mumbai police amid the carnage (save for stray acts of courage, including one which helped capture Kasab), it also recognizes a brilliant breakthrough by Indian intelligence that enabled them to record 284 conversations between the Pakistani handlers and their terrorist wards, intercepts that, along with Kasab’s confession, decisively nails the Pakistani hand in the attack.
The Pakistani handlers, who Indian and US officials believe to be current or former military-intelligence personnel, are being sought by New Delhi and Washington, even as Islamabad continues to shield them through legal technicalities.
As Kasab gets legal aid for his trial in Mumbai in a civil society sworn to jurisprudence, his mentor LeT supremo Hafeez Saeed is reported to be delivering hate sermons in mosques in Lahore after Pakistani authorities and courts set him free.
The one-hour ‘Terror in Mumbai’ documentary was widely previewed in the US media, and more than any single cable or network news story on terror strikes in India over the past 15 years, brought home the horrors of Pakistanisponsored terrorism. “In the eyes of many anti-terrorist experts, the Mumbai attack may have served as a dress rehearsal for future terrorist actions in other parts of the world — including here in the good old USA,’’ the LA Times wrote. That message may finally have reached both Langley and the White House, which largely ignored the 1999 Kandahar hijacking which was a dress rehearsal for 9/11.



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