The Attacks on Mumbai, India
[posted by mtk, 2230 IndianStandardTime, Saturday, November 29th]
Late Wednesday night, in Mumbai’s priciest district, on the city’s south coast shoreline, two-member teams of gunmen suddenly appeared, fanned out and fired AK-47 rounds randomly into crowds while hurling grenades out of their backpacks.
They targeted luxury hotel restaurants and eventually seized hostages and whole floors of two major hotels and a Jewish Center, from which they launched a firestorm of bullets and incendiary devices aimed at Mumbaikars, tourists, police, anti-terror forces, and the colonial-era hotels themselves.
Gunfire began at or near the Oberoi Hotel at Nariman Point around 9:30pm, and by 11:30 the coastal Marine Drive was a war zone of ambulances, police vehicles, satellite TV vans and trucks filled with heavily armed soldiers. Soldiers moved into the Oberoi even as seven grenade explosions rocked the Taj Mahal, which burned for hours. Simultaneous grenade and gunfire attacks by armed gunmen began at the central railway station, a taxi stand and a hospital. Fierce battles between police and terrorists lasted more than 50 hours and have been described as urban warfare.
Two full days later, the death toll stands at nearly 200, including 22 foreigners, three high-ranking Indian anti-terror police, and at least nine of the terrorists. One has been captured, nine others detained and the nation of India stands shocked to attention.
The attacks themselves relied on multiple, audacious gunmen and were conducted with organized and well-trained execution, implying greater terrorist infrastructure, but most serious experts doubt the involvement of al Qaeda.
At the Trident Oberoi and Taj Mahal luxury hotels, the “terrorists” sought and killed foreigners. American and British guests were targeted in particular, but among the dead are a Greek millionaire, a Japanese tourist and at least two Australians. The attacks were brash, loud, pointed and violent. Many are still wondering who would do such a thing and why?
On Thursday morning, speaking from inside the Oberoi, where foreigners were held hostage, a man identified as Sahadullah told India TV he belonged to an Indian Islamist group seeking to end the persecution of Indian Muslims: “We want all mujahideens held in India released and only after that we will release the people.”
This claim and a written fax #stating responsibility was with a group called “Deccan Mujahadeen” – a regional identification with the South Central Deccan Plateau in India – masked the true authors and were meant to inspire “homegrown” terrorists within India.
The attacks are cast thus somewhere between a suicide bombing and a revolutionary assault. But they seem hyper-provocative – an orgy of public violence for an unlikely single objective. There are strong reasons to believe they are provocations with other authors and objectives.
We can describe four:
1. Hindu Extremists
Mumbai has a history of Election year violence and investigations continue into an internal political agency for the attackers. There are accusations against Hindu Nationalists in pursuit of a harder-line policy, concerning Kashmir and Pakistan in specific, and Muslims in general. Extremist Hindus have executed attacks or organized them to create a greater fear of terrorism and push the election toward their policy.
It has been reported that Hemant Karkare, chief of the city’s anti-terrorism squad, who was gunned down Wednesday in the line of duty, was in fact on the trail of Hindu extremists in the cases of certain attacks in previous years. This from Amaresh Misra [tel:91-9250305699]:
“The Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare and other officers of the ATS have been killed. These were the same people who were investigating the Malegaon Blasts–in which Praggya Singh, an army officer and several other noted personalities of the BJP-RSS-Bajrang Dal-VHP were arrested. Karkare was the man to arrest them. Karkare was receiving threats from several quarters. LK Advani, the BJP chief and several other prominent leaders of the so-called Hindu terrorism squad were gunning for his head. And the first casualty in the terrorist attack was Karkare! He is dead–gone. the firing by terrorists began from Nariman House–which is the only building in Mumbai inhabited by Jews. Some Hindu Gujaratis of the Nariman area spoke live on several TV channels–they openly said that the firing by terrorists began from Nariman house. And that for two years suspicious activities were going on in this house. But no one took notice.”
UPDATE: China says don’t rule out Hindu extremists on the basis of “the red thread” around the wrist of attackers – a Hindu practice, that wouldn’t be necessary camo/costumery where they were attacking, a westernized part of town. Read the “Red Thread” China angle here. (Chinese Red Thread, ha! multicultural poetry, I say) The only other named agent in all this then is Dawood Ibrahim (discussed below) who serves as the transition to:
2. Unseen Hands in Pakistan
China, the USA, Russia and Iran all have their hands in “leaderless” Pakistan, since the collapse of Musharraf and the murder of Benazir Bhutto. China has negotiated a port with Pakistan to allow the Chinese access to Caspian Sea oil by pipeline. The United States is actively interested in Indian/USA alliance to balance China. Iran is the source of the China oil, Russia seeks to counterbalance USA’s presence in region. Jane’s has alredy identified a China/Russia/Iran Axis that seeks Pakistan. Countered by a USA(via Iraq/Afghanistan and now)/India alliance – trying to get India into aggression with USA versus Pakistan. All of these hands have interests and remain largely unseen could any of them be involved in these attacks? Are there terrorist or operatives willing to deal with anyone for the highest price? Who are they? Could this be from Pakistan but having no relation to Zardari or ISI?
3. Israel/BJP connection?
There are claims that when the BJP was in power in 2001 (when it allowed Sharon to visit as the first Israeli PM recognized by India) secret alliances were made between Extremist Hindus and Zionist Jews to address Pakistan more aggressively. It has been claimed that as recently as this summer, Israeli Security and Mossad Agents have been involved in training these Indian Extremists. The idea of Mossad involvement here is far-fetched, but possible. Could extremist Zionist and Extremist Hindus be running provocation false flag attacks to incite violence? Again, Misra:
“It is clear that Mossad is involved in the whole affair. An entire city has been attacked by Mossad and probably units of mercenaries. It is not possible for one single organization to plan and execute such a sophisticated operation. It is clear that this operation was backed by communal forces from within the Indian State. … Muslims and secular Hindus have been proven right. RSS type forces and Israel are all involved in … destabilizing … India. India should immediately snap all relations with Israel. We owe this much to Karkare and the brave ATS men who had shown the courage to arrest Praggya Singh, Raj Kumar Purohit, the army officer and several others.”
the radical blogster aangir fan agrees and thinks Dawood Ibrahim (if you don’t know who he is, it’s detailed in clip) is a pawn of both Pakistan’s ISI and USA’s CIA! [BTW, after the NYT blamed them yesterday, the L-e-t have since issued a denial] so Ibrahim serves again as a transition which leads us to:
4. Bush/Cheney Actively Agitating Covertly (cf. Iran)
Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker this year that Bush/Cheney received the go ahead from Nancy Pelosi and seven other Congressmembers – four Democrats and four Republicans – to earmark $400 million dollars for covert actions in Iran. COVERT US military within the sovereign country of Iran! These are resources and personnel allocated to agitation. Bush/Cheney and the neocons’ stated policy is to agitate and push these countries into action in an attempt to get the US military involved to “settle” it as a part of their War on Terror. Are the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and these attacks on Mumbai covert agitiation black-ops out of USA’s Pentagon?
UPDATE: Professor Michel Chossudovsky of The Centre for Research on Globalization at Univ of Ottawa has an excellent piece on the whole affair! with deep details into U.S./I.S.I. relations. It concludes with this smart rebuke of “what we are seeing now” in the English-language press:
“The role of the US-UK-Israeli counter terrorism and police officials, is essentially to manipulate the results of the Indian police investigation.
It is worth noting, however, that the Delhi government turned down Israel’s request to send a special forces military unit to assist the Indian commandos in freeing Jewish hostages held inside Mumbai’s Chabad Jewish Center (PTI, November 28, 2008).
Bali 2002 versus Mumbai 2008
The Mumbai terrorist attacks bear certain similarities to the 2002 Bali attacks. In both cases, Western tourists were targets. The tourist resort of Kuta on the island of Bali, Indonesia, was the object of two separate attacks, which targeted mainly Australian tourists. (Ibid). The alleged terrorists in the Bali 2002 bombings were executed, following a lengthy trial period, barely a few weeks ago, on November 9, 2008. (Michel Chossudovsky, Miscarriage of Justice: Who was behind the October 2002 Bali bombings? Global Research, November 13, 2009). The political architects of the 2002 Bali attacks were never brought to trial.
A November 2002 report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA. The links of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to the Indonesian intelligence agency (BIN) were never raised in the official Indonesian government investigation –which was guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA. Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John Howard “admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning.” (Christchurch Press, November 22, 2002).
With regard to the Bali 2002 bombings, the statements of two former presidents of Indonesia were casually dismissed in the trial procedures, both of which pointed to complicity of the Indonesian military and police. In 2002, president Megawati Sukarnoputri, accused the US of involvement in the attacks. In 2005, in an October 2005 interview with Australia’s SBS TV, former president Wahid Abdurrahman stated that the Indonesian military and police played a complicit role in the 2002 Bali bombing. (quoted in Miscarriage of Justice: Who was behind the October 2002 Bali bombings?, op cit)”
All of this must be considered and investigated seriously, and restraint and calmness must be encouraged in India. Let us mourn and heal and investigate.
Indian investigators, from the street level up to the Prime Minister’s office, state that forces responsible for the attacks are “based outside the country” – and the world’s press has rapidly presumed Pakistan. There has as yet been no explicit charge against another nation, but it has been revealed that the one captured terrorist is from Pakistan[and stated he had accomplices in Mumbai] , and a guarded, but confident and firmly-worded statement from the Prime Minister warned “neighbours” of consequences if they continued to allow the use of their territories to terror groups.
[posted by mtk, 2230 Indian Standard Time, Saturday, November 29th]