Friday, October 30, 2009




The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US has arrested and produced before a court in Chicago two local Muslim residents on a charge of conspiring with three others in Pakistan to carry out a Mumbai 26/11 style terrorist strike in Copenhagen and another strike in India.

2. The two arrested persons are David Coleman Headley ( aged 49 ) also known as Daood Gilani, an American citizen, who is a white convert to Islam, and Tahawar Hussain Rana (aged 48), a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin, who has been running an immigration services office in Chicago with branches in Toronto and New York. He has also been running a company which was supplying meat to Muslims.

3. Headley was arrested on October 3,2009, and produced before the court on October 11.His arrest was kept a secret with the permission of the court for eight days to facilitate further investigation. The FBI arrested him at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Philadelphia for an onward trip to Denmark. According to the FBI, he was allegedly carrying a copy of a newspaper (not specified), a street guide for Copenhagen, a list of phone numbers and a computer memory stick with ten short video recordings of the offices of a Danish newspaper, which had published in 2005, a cartoon depicting the Holy Prophet, and the entrance to a military barracks in Copenhagen.

4.It was reported by the local media that Headley had "waived his rights" and made voluntary statements to the FBI about his connection to Pakistani terror groups.The authorities said the plot against the Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, was referred to as the "Mickey Mouse Project" in communications between Headley and his contact in Pakistan. Headley had already traveled to Copenhagen in January and visited two different offices of the newspaper, the FBI said. Rana had allegedly reservations to fly to Copenhagen on Oct0ber 29. He was arrested on October 18 and produced before the court the next day

5.During his visit to Denmark in January last, Headley allegedly flew to Pakistan and met with his contact there, according to the FBI's affidavit filed with the court. The texts of the two affidavits filed by the FBI against the two arrested persons are available at and .

6. The FBI authorities have identified the contact as Ilyas Kashmiri, a former Commando of the Special Services Group(SSG) of Pakistan, who gravitated to the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) of Pakistan and subsequently to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET). He was one of the suspects in Al Qaeda-inspired plots to kill Pervez Musharraf in December,2003, and other terrorist strikes.He was recently reported to have been killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan in September, but this was subsequently reported to have been incorrect. He himself contacted some Pakistani journalists to prove that he was still alive. According to the FBI's affidavit, Headley was introduced to Ilyas Kashmiri by an individual referred to as Individual A during a visit to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in July-August 2008. A persual of the two FBI affidavits would indicate that Headley's subsequent communications with Ilyas Kashmiri were through this individual and not direct.

7.In the past there were conflicting versions of the organisational affiliation of Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri. While some reports described him as the Amir of the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) branch of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), other reports described him as the head of a splinter group of the HUJI of Pakistan headed by its Amir Qari Saifullah Akhtar, which had split from it and was operating independently in Jammu & Kashmir of India from sanctuaries in the POK.

8. Ilyas Kashmiri was among those arrested by the Pakistani authorities in January,2004, in connection with the investigation into the two unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December,2003. While some of the others arrested, including some junior Air Force officers, were prosecuted and convicted, Ilyas Kashmiri himself was released for want of evidence of his involvement. It was claimed by sections of the Pakistani media at that time that Ilyas was released on the intervention of Syed Salauddin, the Amir of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the head of the United Jihad Council for Kashmir, who reportedly managed to convince the Police that Ilyas had nothing to do with the two attempts to kill Musharraf.

9. Ilyas was subsequently reported to have closed down the camp of his set-up in the POK and shifted to North Waziristan from where he was operating in the non-tribal belt of Pakistan. In a despatch of May 24,2009, Amir Mir, the well-informed Pakistani journalist, who writes for the "News" and other papers said: "Commander Ilyas Kashmiri was recently named in a charge sheet filed by the Islamabad police in the November 2008 gruesome murder of Major General (retd) Amir Faisal Alvi, the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the elite Special Services Group (SSG). The 12-page charge sheet submitted by the Rawalpindi police in an anti-terrorism court on May 12, 2009 stated that the former SSG commanding officer was killed to avenge the role he had played in the fight against Taliban linked militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The charge-sheet prepared by the Koral police station states that those involved and already arrested in the murder included Major (retd) Haroon Rasheed, a resident of Azad Kashmir; Mohammad Nawaz Khan of Peshawar and Ashfaq Ahmed of Okara. The charge sheet says the murder of Major General Amir Faisal Alvi was carried out on the instructions of Commander Ilyas Kashmiri who had provided funds and weapons.The charge sheet pointed out that Ilyas Kashmiri had already been named by the intelligence agencies for involvement in the October 2008 kidnapping for ransom of Satish Anand, a Karachi-based renowned film producer and distributor and the real uncle of Juhi Chawla, a well known Bollywood actress. After Satish Anand was recovered in the last week of April 2009 and the kidnappers arrested, it transpired during interrogations that one of them - Major Haroon Rasheed alias Abu Khattab – was a former Pakistani Army officer and involved in the murder of General Alvi. According to the murder charge sheet, the three accused – Haroon, Ashfaq and Nawaz followed Alvi when he left his residence in Bharia Town in Rawalpindi for his private office in Islamabad and killed him and his driver near the PWD Colony. Once considered close to General Pervez Musharraf, Amir Faisal Alvi was the first General Officer Commanding of the elite Special Services Group, and had also commanded the elite Group as a Brigadier. The first Pakistani Major General to have captained the Armed Forces Skydiving Team (AFST) as a GOC, Faisal Alvi was forcibly retired from the Army on disciplinary grounds ‘for conduct unbecoming’ by then Army Chief General Musharraf in August 2005."

10. Ilyas Kashmiri reportedly had his own training camp in the Razmak area of North (?) Waziristan and was collaborating with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

11.According to the FBI affidavit, "in July and August 2009, Headley exchanged a series of e-mails with LeT Member A, including an exchange in which Headley asked if the Denmark project was on hold, and whether a visit to India that LeT Member A had asked him to undertake was for the purpose of surveilling targets for a new terrorist attack.These e-mails reflect that LeT Member A was placing a higher priority on using Headley to assist in planning a new attack in India than on completing the planned attack in Denmark."

12.Although the affidavit named Ilyas Kashmiri, it did not identify two other Pakistan-based members involved in the plot, referring to them merely as LeT member A and Individual A. It said the LeT member A “has substantial influence and responsibility within the organization” and his “identity is known to the government.”

13. It is not clear what the FBI affidavit meant by saying that the LET member's identity is known to the Government. Which Government---the Government of Pakistan? If so, what action has been taken by the FBI to have him picked up by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the FBI for interrogation and further investigation? The FBI has been silent on this till now.

14. The idea of using the US territory as a launcing pad for terrorist attacks in India had figured in the plans of the LET in 2003.On June 27,2003, the FBI had charged seven men in the Washington area and an eighth in Philadelphia with stockpiling weapons and conspiring to wage "jihad" against India in support of a terrorist group in Kashmir. The FBI's charge-sheet against them described them as members of the LET. It also said that three others involved in the case were absconding and were believed to be in Saudi Arabia.

15. Although the FBI officials said that there was no evidence of a plot against the US, the members of the group had pledged support for pro-Muslim violence overseas, hoarded high-powered rifles and received military training in Pakistan. Nine of the 11 accused were American citizens, and three had served in the US armed forces for some time in the past. The charge-sheet said that seven members of the group had travelled to Pakistan in the last several years, and some received military training in small arms, machine guns, grenade launchers and other weaponry at a camp in northeast Pakistan connected to the LET.

16. The 41-count indictment charged the 11 accused with conspiracy, firearms violations and plotting against a friendly nation — namely, India. US officials connected with the investigation were quoted by the media as saying that there was no evidence that the accused were considering an attack within the United States or had ties to Al Qaeda.

17. However, the officials charged that the men conspired to help Muslims abroad in violent jihad not only in India, but also in Chechnya, the Philippines and other countries. The men, the indictment said, obtained AK-47s and other high-powered weaponry and practised small-unit military tactics in Virginia.

18. The indictment charged that the accused pledged their willingness to die as martyrs in support of the Muslim cause and gathered in private homes and at an Islamic center in suburban Washington to hear lectures "on the righteousness of jihad" in Kashmir, Chechnya and elsewhere. They also watched videotapes showing Muslim fighters engaged in jihad. They had also organised a function to celebrate the crashing of the space shuttle Columbia. One of the astronauts killed in the crash was of Indian origin. A message read out on the occasion had described the USA "as the greatest enemy of the Muslims."

19. According to the indictment, one of the accused Masoud Ahmed Khan, a Maryland resident, had a document titled "The Terrorist's Handbook," with instructions on how to manufacture and use explosives and chemicals as weapons, as well as a photograph of F.B.I. headquarters in Washington.

20. At least two of the 11 accused were described as of Pakistani origin. One of them, Mohammed Aatique, 30, was a work (H-1) visa holder while Khawja Mahmood Hasan, 27, was a naturalized US citizen born in Pakistan. But at least one more suspect, Masoud Ahmad Khan, 31, also had a Pakistani sounding name although his nationality was not disclosed. The other accused were Randall Todd Royer, 30; Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hamdi, a Yemeni national and non-resident alien; Yong Ki Kwon, 27, a naturalized US citizen born in Korea; Seifullah Chapman, 30; Hammad Abdur-Raheem, 35; Donald Thomas Surratt, 30; Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem, 29, and Sabri Benkhala, 28. Chapman, Hasan and Benkhala were stated to be living in Saudi Arabia.

21.Earlier, on June 20, 2003 FBI officials had disclosed that they had arrested in April Iyman Faris, also known as Mohammad Rauf, originally a resident of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), who had migrated to the US in 1994 and was working as a truck driver in Ohio and charged him with having links with Al Qaeda and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, said to be Osama bin Laden's operations chief, who is believed to have co-ordinated the terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001, in the US. Khalid was arrested in the house of a women's wing leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Pakistan at Rawalpindi in March, 2003, by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the FBI.

22. According to FBI officials, as quoted in the US media, Faris had visited Afghanistan and Pakistan a number of times between 2000 and 2002, met Osama bin Laden and worked with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, in organising and financing jihad causes. After returning to the US from Pakistan in late 2002, officials said, he began examining the Brooklyn Bridge and discussing via coded messages with Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan ways of using blow torches to sever the suspension cables.

23. "The plotting continued through March, as Faris sent coded messages to operatives in Pakistan. One such message said that the "weather is too hot. "FBI officials were quoted as saying that meant that Faris feared the plot was unlikely to succeed---apparently because of security and the bridge's structure-- and should be postponed. He was arrested soon thereafter. Sources in Pakistan described Faris, aged 34, as a Punjabi ex-serviceman settled in POK, before he migrated to the US.

24. The above-mentioned details of LET activities in the US have been covered in my latest book titled "Mumbai--26/11 : A Day of Infamy" released for sale by the Lancer Publishers of New Delhi on October 26,2008 ( ).

25.The plans of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa , the parent organisation of the LET, to carry out terrorist strikes in foreign territory against those insulting the Holy Prophet came to notice from the following report carried by the Pakistani journal "Ausaf" in its issue dated September 18,2006:"Pakistan's Jamaat-ud-Dawa has issued a Fatwa asking the Muslim community to kill Pope Benedict for his blasphemous statement about Prophet Mohammad. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa has declared death to Pope Benedict and said that in today's world blasphemy of the Holy Koran and the Prophet has become a fashion. The leaders of the Jamaat were speaking at a Martyrs' Islamic Conference in Karachi. Prominent Jamaat leader Hafiz Saifullah Khalid said that in the present circumstances, jehad has become obligatory for each Muslim. Muslims are being declared terrorists and our battle for survival has already started. The Muslim world has rejected the Pope's apology and decided to continue protests and demonstrations in big cities. The Pope's apology is just a drama and no political leader has any power to pardon him. It is part of a crusade initiated by the US in the name of terrorism. Instead of accepting fake apologies, Muslims should realise Europe's enemity towards Islam and Muslim Ummah shou ld prepare itself to defend its faith. Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Abdur Rahman Makki said the West and Europe have started a campaign against the Holy Koran and the Prophet and have abused jehad. We should take appropriate steps to deal with the champions of crusade. It is time for Muslim leaders to open their eyes and understand that the West had never been a friend of the Muslims and will never be so."

26. A perusal of the FBI affidavits indicates the following: Headley was a self-motivated jihadi who volunteered his services for the LET and Ilyas Kashmiri. He seems to have come into contact with the jihadi world in Pakistan by frequenting an Internet chat group of "Abdelians" ---- meaning former cadets of the Punjab Government's military cadet college at Hasan Abdal, 40 kms to the north of Rawalpindi, set up in 1954 to prepare young boys aspiring to join the armed forces. He had established independent contacts with an LET operative and Ilyas Kashmiri. While the LET operative was interested in using him to prepare the ground for a terrorist strike in India, Ilyas Kashmiri was interested in using him for a terrorist strike in Denmark.He had visited Denmark at least once to study the ground conditions there, but there is no indication of his having visited India. The role of Rana seems to have been to provide Headley with a business cover for his travels to Denmark and Pakistan. The two had discussed the operational plans of Headley during a long drive together in the US.

27.Al Qaeda, the LET and their jihadi associates are like homing pigeons. Once they draw up a plan for a terrorist strike, they focus on carrying it out whatever be the difficulties. It came out during the investigation of the November, 2008, terrorist strike in Mumbai that the LET had originally planned to carry it out in September, but postponed it---presumably because security had been tightened up at the hotels which it was planning to attack. It attacked on November 26, when the security had become slack.Its plans for a terrorist strike in India from US territory in 2003 with the help of White and other converts to Islam holding US and other Western passports were foiled in time by the FBI, but it did not give up this idea and has once again tried to give it shape.Despite its failure for a second time, it will continue looking for another opportunity. (30-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Wednesday, October 28, 2009




"While the Pakistan Army has prepared itself well for the counter-insurgency style operations in South Waziristan, its ability to prevent attacks behind its back in the NWFP and Punjab is doubtful. Despite the spurt in suicide and commando-style terrorism in the NWFP and Punjab and even in supposedly well-guarded cantonments since the Lal Masjid raid in July,2007, the Pakistani counter-terrorism machinery has not re-fashioned and re-tooled itself to meet this threat. ....There is a danger of the NWFP and Punjab becoming the failed provinces of Pakistan if the Army's offensive does not succeed." ---- Extract from my article of October 17,2009, titled THE PAK ARMY OFFENSIVE IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN available at

Over 90 innocent civilians----many of them women and children---- were killed in a timed or remotely-controlled car bomb explosion in a busy market area of Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, on October 28,2009. Reports from Peshawar indicate that the car packed with explosives had been left unattended by two men wearing police uniform near a Shia mosque about three hours before the explosion. The unattended car did not attract the suspicion of the policemen on duty in the market area.

2. This has been the second deadliest terrorist strike in Pakistan-----the first being the suicide explosion in Karachi at the time of Benazir Bhutto's return from exile on October 17,2007, in which nearly 180 persons were killed.This has been the deadliest terrorist strike in the history of Peshawar and the third strike this month. The previous two took place on October 9 in which over 50 persons were killed in a suicide explosion in a market place and on October 16 involving 16 fatalities.

3. The local police had claimed to have identified and arrested the ringleaders of the previous incidents. Despite this, the attack of October 28 took place. This calls into question the credibility of the police claim.

4. There has so far been no claim of responsibility for the latest explosion. On the contrary, Pakistani electronic media have quoted alleged sources in Al Qaeda and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as denying responsibility and condemning the explosion as the work of anti-Muslim elements.

5.The denials need not necessarily be true. The public outrage over the wanton killings of women and children would have made it unwise for the perpetrators to admit responsibility.

6. The fact that the explosion coincided with the visit of Mrs.Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, to Pakistan, gave the explosion a political colour as meant to express the protest of the perpetrators against the continuing US drone strikes on Al Qaeda and Taliban hide-outs in the tribal belt and against Pakistan's continuing co-operation with the US in counter-terrorism. The current military operations by the Pakistani Army against the Mehsud component of the TTP in South Waziristan is viewed by the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements as undertaken at the behest of the US.

7. The NWFP is the traditional homeland of the Pashtuns and the cradle of the Pashtun culture. Over the years, it has had pockets of secular thinking and traditions nurtured initially by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi, and maintained subsequently by his successors in the Awami National Party (ANP), which has been in power in the province as part of a coalition since the elections of last year. It has also been supporting the ruling coalition in Islamabad and has managed to maintain good relations with President Asif Ali Zardari.

8. In recent months,there have been reports that the US, which in the past kept away from the ANP due to a perception that it was a leftist, pro-communist party, has started interacting with its leaders and inviting some of them to visit the US. The fact that the Pashtun followers of the ANP have remained steadfast in their loyalty to the ANP and its secular ideology and have kept away from the Afghan as well as Pakistani Taliban has been a sore point with the TTP leadership.

9. Despite this, will the TTP target the Pashtun followers of the ANP and indulge in an orgy of killings of Pashtun civilians in Peshawar and other places? The TTP attacks in the Malakand Division, including the Swat Valley, largely targeted the security forces, but in Peshawar the perpetrators have been targeting Pashtun civilians as well as the security forces. There is also an anti-Shia angle to these attacks because the Shia Pashtuns support the ANP, which is seen by them as a protector of the Shias.

10. Sources in the ANP seem to believe that the repeated attacks on civilians in Peshawar are being carried out by elements in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), another Uzbek group, both allied to Al Qaeda. This serves the purpose of discrediting the ANP-led Government in the NWFP and at the same time sparing the TTP of unpopularity for slaughtering innocent Pashtun civilians.

11. What should be of special concern to the US and other members of the international community in the light of the deteriorating situation in the NWFP is the danger of the growing anarchy in the province enabling Al Qaeda to lay hand on Pakistan's nuclear waste stored in the province for being used in a dirty bomb. (29-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )



Since 9/11, one talks of old and new terrorism and modern and post-modern terrorism. The reference is to the modus operandi (MO) and tactics used by the terrorists and their ability to use modern scientific and technological innovations for planning and committing acts of terrorism. Their use of modern innovations increases the lethality of their acts of terrorism, but, at the same time, increases their vulnerability to neutralisation by the security agencies. One saw in Mumbai in November, 2008, how the terrorists' use of modern means of communications facilitated not only their acts of terrorism, but also the investigation by the police.

2.After 9/11, the Neo Taliban of Afghanistan, headed by Mulla Mohammad Omar, has emerged as a modern insurgent force capable of planning and launching conventional-style attacks as well as sophisticated, complex, multi-target and multi-MO attacks involving the use of modern means of communications and weaponry. This should account for its successes against the NATO forces and the Afghan National Army (ANA) in certain areas and its vulnerability to neutralisation by the NATO forces in other areas due to the interception of its communications.

3. As compared to the Neo Taliban,the Maoist insurgents of the tribal belt in Central India are an old-style insurgent force still using tactics and MO such as ambushes, attacks with landmines and conventional weapons etc of the kind used by the communist insurgents of Malaya in the 1940s and of Myanmar and Thailand in subsequent years. Their strong points are not their weaponry, but the support from large sections of the tribal community in whose midst and on whose behalf they operate, their superior knowledge of the terrain and their non-dependence on modern means of communications.

4.The support of the community and their non-dependence on modern means of communications should explain the difficulties faced by the intelligence agencies in collecting human and technical intelligence about them. Their superior knowledge of the terrain gives them an advantage over the security forces. Clandestine, undetected movement through the terrain comes easily to them, but not to the security forces heavily dependent on modern means of transport for their movement.

5. The objective of any counter-insurgency strategy against the Maoists should be not to defeat them, but to deny them successes through better tactics and better MO by the security forces. This would be possible only with the support of the tribal community. Winning over the tribals through better governance, better development and better redressal of their grievances against the State has to be the core component of this strategy. Disproportionate use of force against the Maoists and the tribals supporting them would drive more tribals into the arms of the insurgent leaders.

6. Better tactics and better MO by the security forces would mean better capability for the detection and neutralisation of landmines, better skills in ambushing insurgent groups on the move and a capability for rapid intervention. The facts that there have been more instances of successful ambushes by the insurgents of the security forces than of the insurgents by the security forces, that deaths of members of the security forces due to landmines continue to be high and that a group of insurgents managed to stop the Rajdhani Express from Bhubaneshwar to New Delhi for over five hours on October 27,2009, without any counter-action by the rapid intervention forces speak of major deficiencies in our counter-insurgency capability.

7. The incident of October 27 underlines the need for a specially-trained and equipped special intervention force capable of operating rapidly and stealthily in the rural areas. The National Security Guards (NSGs), who were used to counter the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, are specially trained and equipped to intervene in terrorism-related situations in the urban areas. A similar force for rapid intervention against the Maoists in the rural areas is necessary.

8. Since the Maoist insurgency has spread over a wide geographic area coming under the jurisdiction of the police forces of a number of states, the command and control of the counter-insurgency operations becomes more difficult than in the case of terrorism. Should there be a centralised operational command and control or should the command and control remain the responsibility of the police forces of the affected States, with the role of the Government of India confined to co-ordination, guidance, capacity-building in the affected States and facilitation of the counter-insurgency operations? How to ensure better co-ordination among affected States and joint action where necessary? Should there be a joint action command? If so, how shoud it be constituted? These are questions which need attention.

9.Andhra Pradesh has had success stories in dealing with Naxalite/Maoist insurgency----through better intelligence, better terrain awareness, better physical security, better tactics and targetted attacks on key leaders. Its example should be of value to other states.

10. Non-state actors---whether terrorists or insurgents----cannot be defeated like one defeats a State adversary except in exceptional cases such as the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan security forces. The LTTE, under Prabakaran, conducted itself like a State and paid a heavy price for it. Non-state actors can be made only to wither away through a sustained campaign of attrition with the support of the community. The campaign will be long and has to be sustained. One should not expect quick results.

11. Hard rhetoric and war cries have no place in counter-insurgency. A State, which is perceived by the community as caring for the people, has greater chances of prevailing over the insurgents than a State, which is seen as indifferent to the problems of the people. (28-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


The biopsy report was received today. It has confirmed high-grade malignancy in the urinary bladder--prostrate region.The doctors say they are not yet certain who is the enemy. They have prescribed one more test today. Results will come on Nov.3. Thereafter, the urologists, who have been treating me till now, will consult cancer specialists and decide on the course of the treatment, which may have to be aggressive. Regards. B.Raman. 28-10-09

Monday, October 26, 2009


Mumbai -26/11 saw a mix of commando-style attacks typical of the special
forces of an army and indiscriminate killing of civilians typical of the Lashkare-
Toiba (LeT), the Pakistani jihadi organization. The meticulous planning, the
thorough training of the 10 LeT terrorists, who carried it out, and the close coordination
of the attacks from the command and control of the LeT had the stamp
of Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence with both of which the LeT
has a close relationship.

The LeT terrorists attacked a mix of targets—innocent Indian civilians in public
places, Jewish people in a religious-cum-cultural centre and members of the Indian
and foreign social and business elite in two five-star hotels. The attacks on the Jewish
centre and the hotels lasted over 60 hours and were continuously telecast live by
the TV channels.

The success of the terrorist attacks, mounted from the sea, highlighted once again
the serious deficiencies in India’s national security apparatus and the role of Pakistan
in the spread of terrorism across the world. Have we drawn the right lessons in
respect of both? Can the Indian people expect at least now a more robust counterterrorism
policy to prevent another 26/11?

A day of Infamy


B Raman 2009 ISBN: 978-1-935501-16-9 Hb pp 242

Published in October 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Mumbai 26/11: A day of Infamy

by B Raman

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The cystoscopy on October 22,2009, actually showed two growths---one in the urinary bladder and the other in the prostrate.Both were removed by the doctors and sent for biopsy.I am being discharged on October 25.The biopsy report will be received on October 27. The biopsy report will indicate the staging of the malignancy and whether it started in the bladder and then spread to to the prostrate or vice versa.The doctor will discuss with me on October 28,the course of treatment.Regards.B.Raman 24-10-09

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hi All

I am entering the Hospital tomorrow (October 21,2009) for cistoscopy followed by biopsy. Yesterday and today, I had a series of tests---stress test, ECG, Echo etc--- to enable the doctors satisfy themselves that I will be able to withstand the procedure. According to the doctors,my heart condition is superb for my age (73). My energy level is very high. The biopsy will enable the doctors to grade my urinary bladder cancer---superficial affecting the bladder lining only in which case the treatment will be simple or deeper affecting the bladder muscle in which case it could be life-threatening calling for an aggressive treatment. According to my doctors, 85 per cent of the urinary bladder cancers are a nuisance, but not life-threatening. Fifteen per cent are life-threatening. They are hoping that the biopsy will show that I fall in the 85 per cent group. I expect to be out of hospital on Oct. 25. Thereafter, I will be in my brother's house awaiting the biopsy result. Regards. B.Raman 20-10-09

Sunday, October 18, 2009




According to the Iranian State TV, General Noor Ali Shooshtari, the national Deputy Commander of the ground force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (RG), the Guards' chief provincial commander, Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, and four other senior officers of the RG were among 31 persons killed in a suicide attack in the Pishin region of Iranian Balochistan known as Sistan-Balochistan on October 18,2009. The RG officers had gone to the area on a routine inspection tour during which they were having a discussion with representatives of the local Baloch community when a suicide bomber struck. Some reports speak of two suicide bombers.One reportedly managed to get into the venue of the meeting. The other blew himself up at a vehicle carrying some Revolutionasry Guards outside the venue.

2.Thirty persons were killed and over 180 injured on May 28, 2009, in a suspected suicide bomb blast at the Amir-al Momenin Shia mosque in Zahidan, the capital of Iranian Balochistan. It is the second largest Shia mosque in Zahidan. Mainly Shia Government servants and members of the security forces pray there. Three persons were injured on May 29, 2009, when unidentified gunmen attacked the election office of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Zahidan. On May 31, 2009, there was an exchange of fire between groups of Shias and Sunnis in different parts of Zahidan following an unsuccessful attempt by unidentified persons to kill Mulla Abdol Hamid, a senior Sunni leader.While he survived the attack, many of his body guards were reportedly injured.

3.Following these incidents, the Iranian authorities announced the execution of three Balochs on a charge of involvement in the explosion of May 28. Baloch sources, however, maintained that these persons were already in police custody and had been arrested before the explosion. Hence, they contended, these persons could not have participated in the explosion as alleged by the Iranian authorities.

4.The province of Sistan-Balochistan has around 3.5 million Balochs, the majority of them Sunnis. The province has been the scene of frequent incidents of violence unconnected with the liberation struggle being waged by the Balochs in Pakistan's Balochistan province for over three years now. There are close ethnic and religious links between the two Baloch communities on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border. Iranian Balochistan also has a common border with Afghanistan.

5. The responsibility for the violent incidents in Iranian Balochistan in the past as well as for the latest one on October 18,2009, has been claimed by an organisation called Jondollah (Soldiers of Allah), which projects itself as the People's Resistance Movement of Iran and not as the People's Resistance Movement of Sistan-Balochistan. It has no links with any of the Baloch nationalist organisations in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. In the past, there were reports of its having links with the anti-Shia Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of Pakistan.In the 1990s, there were reports that a major explosion in the province was organised by Ramzi Yousef, who is now undergoing imprisonment in the US for his involvement in the attempt to blow up the World Trade Centre in New York in February, 1993. The Jondollah seems to be more a Sunni extremist than a Baloch nationalist organisation.

6. The Jondollah had claimed that 130 members of the Iranian security forces were actually killed in the Zahidan attack of May 28,2009. A statement attributed to Jondollah after the May 28 attack said: "This incident has been organised in response to one week of Omar Denunciation Ceremonies which the fanatic Shias and security forces organised to curse Omar, the second Caliph, whom they blame for killing Fatema, the daughter of Prophet Mohammad. The false and fabricated narrative has been officially recognized in Iran as a fact and therefore, Iranian authorities have initiated a large number of denunciation ceremonies in which the second Caiph is cursed by the speakers and audience; even though Ayatollah Khamenaei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, announced three weeks ago that any action that may generate divisions among Moslems is treason. The Shia leaders and followers are famous for what they call Taghiya, which means lying for the sake of Islam but now it has been turned in Iran as an official way of misleading and deceiving the public and opponents, saying something in the public and doing something else. If the supreme leader really believed in what he said, organising such incidents should have been prohibited by law and if anybody acted against the law, should have been arrested and tried for generating severe divisions among Moslems. The authorities have blamed the US for hiring terrorists who carried out the suicide bombing. Jondollah categorically rejects this claim. It does not have any kind of relationship or any kind of support from the US or any other country. This action was in response to systematic and regular insults to the beliefs of Sunni Muslims in Iran and wide discrimination against the Baloch people. We reject the Government’s claim that we are a terrorist organization. We are a defensive organization and act according to international law ofself-defence by the same strategy and equipments the Iranian governments are using against us. Several religious leaders and hundreds of Baloch youth have been killed or hanged by the Islamic Republic of Iran just for their beliefs after severe and long torture. The Islamic Republic of Iran has destroyed several Sunni mosques and has hanged several top religious leaders of Sunni people in Iran."

7.A statement of July 23,2009, attributed to the Jondollah said: "The Islamic regime hanged 13 young Baluch political activists on 14 July to create a sense of fear among the public. The Baluch people have been in the vanguard of the political campaign against the IslamicRepublic of Iran that conducted the biggest fraud in election in the history of Iran and the world. The resistance of Baluch people became a great source of inspiration for other people of Iran to express their discontent about the fraudulent elections and other injustices in the form of demonstrations and huge marches......At the same time, the Government of Pakistan extradited one Baluch who was in prison for some time to the Iranian regime, knowing that he will be tortured and executed. The Pakistan Government under Musharaf extradited a group of Baluch opposition to the Government of Iran and all of them were tortured and executed later. The Baluch people are Sunnis and they have been subjected to discriminatory policies. Baluchistan has the highest poverty rate and according to all international and UnitedNations research, is the poorest province of Iran. According to official figures, poverty rate in Baluchistan is over 76 per cent. The Baluch students are not admitted into universities on an equal basis and on merit. While the Islamic Republic of Iran has given more than a million scholarships to Iranian students to study abroad or in the top Iranian universities, only three Baluch students have been awarded scholarships. The Baluch people are under daily threat and a security environment has been imposed in Baluchistan. Everybody is a suspect and the security guards shoot the Baluch people with total impunity. Although hundreds of Baluch people have been killed in the streets of Iran, not even one single agent has been tried in the court. Baluchistan is in the vanguard of the freedom seeking people of Iran and will never stop its campaigning until a democratic regime is established in Iran."

8.In an earlier statement of July 14,2009, the Jondollah said: "The young Baluchs (executed on July 14) have been forced to accept that they have been agents of CIA. They were campaigning for the legitimate rights of the Baluch people who are Sunnis in a majority Shia country. The Baluch people have been systematically oppressed since the beginning of the revolution for seeking equality of rights and opportunities with other Iranians. According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic and other laws that have been passed by Iranian parliament, the Sunnis are prohibited from becoming supreme leader, president, minister, deputy minister, army general, ambassador, or any other high official. The official religion of the state has been declared Shiism which is a radical opponent of the Sunni people."

9. The Iranian authorities have been projecting the Jondollah as a surrogate of the US intelligence operating from sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. They have been alleging that the periodic terrorist strikes in Iranian Balochistan are being mounted from Pakistani territory. While they accuse the Pakistani authorities of inaction against the anti-Iranian Sunni elements operating from Pakistani territory, they have never accused the Baloch nationalist organisations of Pakistani Balochistan of backing the Jondollah. They have been suspecting the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the anti-Shia organisation of Pakistan which is allied with Al Qaeda, to be training the suicide bombers of the Jondollah. However, they have never accused Al Qaeda of involvement in Iranian Balochistan.

10. According to the Iranian authorities, the leader of the Jondollah is Abdul Malik Rigi, who lives in Pakistan. His elder brother Abdul Hamid Rigi, who was also based in Pakistan, was arrested by the Musharraf regime and handed over to the Iranian authorities. Reports received in July had indicated that he was among those to be executed on July 14. He made a self-confession before local TV channels. But, latest reports say that the Iranian authorities decided not to execute him to avoid creating any embarrassment for Islamabad. Some of the statements attributed to the Jondollah are disseminated from London. This has created some suspicion in the minds of the Iranian authorities that the UK is also probably backing the Jondollah in its anti-Teheran activities. ( 19-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Saturday, October 17, 2009



Reports from Pakistan indicate that about 30,000 troops of the Pakistan army and Frontier Corps launched on the morning of October17,2009, the long heralded offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in South Waziristan. The ground offensive was preceded by sustained air strikes against the suspected hide-outs of the TTP in the area.

2. The TTP is a hotch-potch of the myriad Pakistani insurgent and terrorist groups, which were trained and armed in the past by Pakistan'sInter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Special Services Group (SSG) for use against India and for supporting the Afghan Taliban headed byMulla Mohammad Omar, its Amir, now sheltered in the Quetta area of Balochistan. Most of these groups have since turned against the Pakistani State, which they look upon as apostate because of its co-operation with the US. The fighting capabilities imparted to them in the past by the ISI and the SSG have since been supplemented by the capabilities imparted to them by Al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Islamic Jihad Union, another Uzbek group, and by small numbers of Chechens and Uighurs.

3. The element of surprise, which is important in any such ground offensive, has been lost by the long time taken by the political and military leadership of Pakistan to launch the offensive. It is a face-saving offensive forced on the Pakistan Army by the series of spectacular attacks launched by the Pashtun and Punjabi components of the TTP on the General Headquarters of the Army in Rawalpindi and on prestigious police establishments in Lahore, Peshawar and Kohat. It is an offensive , which seems to focus only on the Mehsud componentof the TTP based in South Waziristan.

4.The Mehsuds are the sons of the South Waziristan soil, but have repeatedly demonstrated a capability for action outside South Waziristan in areas such as the Orakzai agency of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in the Peshawar, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan areas of the North-West Frontier Province. Hakeemullah Mehsud, who was chosen as the Amir of the TTP after the death of Baitullah Mehsud in a US Drone strike on August 5,2009, is reportedly still based in the Orakzai agency, where he has been supervising operations against the NATO's logistic convoys to Afghanistan while at the same time co-ordinating operations in Peshawar, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan.

5. Waliur Rehman, a confidante of Baitullah, who is in charge of the Mehsuds based in South Waziristan, will be organising the resistance against the Pakistani forces in South Waziristan with the help of the forces of Serjuddin Haqqani of the so-called Haqqani network.. The Pakistan Army seems to have launched the offensive without factoring into its planning the lessons from the recent attacks in Rawalpindi,Lahore. Peshawar and Kohat. While the attacks in Rawalpindi and Lahore were spearheaded by the Punjabi component of the TTP, which calls itself the Amjad Farooqi group and has shown a capability for SSG-style commando operations, the attacks in Peshawar and Kohat were carried out by the suicide bombers of the suicide squad trained and motivated by Qari Hussain Mehsud.

6. The TTP will seek to counter the offensive on three fronts---- insurgency style operations against the advancing troops in SouthWaziristan similar to the operations of the Afghan Taliban in Afghan territory, more suicide attacks by Pashtun suicide bombers of Qari Hussain Mehsud in Peshawar and Kohat and more terrorist attacks---some of them of a complex nature--- in Punjab, including Rawalpindi as well as in Islamabad. While the Pakistan Army has prepared itself well for the counter-insurgency style operations in South Waziristan, its ability to prevent attacks behind its back in the NWFP and Punjab is doubtful. Despite the spurt in suicide and commando-style terrorism inthe NWFP and Punjab and even in supposedly well-guarded cantonments since the Lal Masjid raid in July,2007, the Pakistani counter-terrorism machinery has not re-fashioned and re-tooled itself to meet this threat.

7. In South Waziristan, the Mehsuds will follow the same tactics that the Pashtuns have been following for centuries against invaders of their territory---- avoid a frontal confrontation, split into small groups and harass the strangers to a terrain which the Mehsuds know well.Their tactics will be not territorial domination, but dispersal of their presence and operational focus. They will try to deny to the Pakistan Army the advantages of a well-focused assault, by harassing it here, there and everywhere, without allowing it to get its bearings in a hostile terrain.

8. As the Army carries forward its offensive, US Predators will be looking for Serajuddin Haqqani, Waliur Rehman, Hakeemullah and QariHussain Mehsud.If they succeed in eliminating one or some or all of them, it could be a morale-booster to the Pakistani troops. Otherwise,their difficulties could increase.

9. Pakistan's counter-terrorism mechanism is in a shambles. It does not know who is a friend and who is a foe in Punjab. It does not know who is a terrorist and who is a serving or retired serviceman. It does not know who is an ally against India and who is an adversary of the State of Pakistan. There is a danger of the NWFP and Punjab becoming the failed provinces of Pakistan if the Army's offensive does not succeed. (17-10-09)
( The writer is Additional Secretary(retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Thursday, October 15, 2009


In the wake of the four well-orchestrated commando-style attacks launched by different terrorist groups against security establishments on October 15,2009---- three in Lahore and one in the North-West Frontier Province--- Rehman Mallick, Pakistan's Interior Minister, is reported to have aptly described the increasingly uncontrollable situation faced by Pakistan in the Pashtun tribal belt and in Punjab as a guerilla warfare launched against the State of Pakistan.

2. 149 fatalities---security forces personnel and civilians as well as terrorists--- have been reported in a relentless series of fedayeen attacks launched by different groups since October 5,2009. Among the targets of the terrorists were the highly-guarded but easily penetrated General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi, a Lahore office of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which isresponsible for the investigation of terrorism-related cases, two training institutions in Lahore and a police station in the NWFP. RehmanMallick used to be a senior officer of the FIA when Benazir Bhutto was the Prime Minister from 1993 to 96.

3. The attacks are more and more fedayeen (suicidal) than suicide and have involved a mix of modus operandi---use of hand-held weapons and explosives. Suicide attacks involving explosives-laden vehicles continue to take places against convoys of security forces, but commando-style attacks against well-fortified and supposedly well-guarded fixed establishments of the Army and the police are taking place with increasing frequency----to demonstrate the ability of the terrorists to attack with ferocity despite supposedly enhanced physical security.

4.Of the four attacks reported on October 15, two were against targets which were attacked earlier----the FIA office in Lahore and the police training academy at Manawan, a Lahore suburb. They had both been attacked in March last, following which physical security was reportedly enhanced. This could not prevent the terrorists from attacking them again. About 20 terrorists split into three groups are reported to have participated in the three attacks in the Lahore area on October 15---against the FIA office, the Manawan Police Academy and a commando school at Bedian on the outskirts of Lahore. It is not yet clear whether the Bedian commando school is of the police or of the army's Special Services Group (SSG). It is, however, noticed that the security forces personnel who participated in the fighting against the attackers at Bedian, which reportedly lasted about four hours, were mainly from the Army and not from the police.

5. At least 10 of the attackers in Lahore perished---some were killed by the security forces and some blew themselves up. The fourth attack of the day on a police station at Kohat in the NWFP was carried out by a lone vehicle-borne suicide bomber. There were 32 fatalities in the four attacks---of security forces personnel as well as civilians caught in the firing or explosion.

6. Poor intelligence, poor investigation, poor physical security in establishments of the security forces, including in the army's GHQ, poor access control, poor road security and poor morale and motivation as seen from the failure or reluctance of the security forces personnel to give a chase to the surviving terrorists and capture them continue to be the bane of Pakistan's counter-terrorism mechanism. One saw this after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team earlier this year when the terrorists just sauntered away after the attack without being stopped or chased and caught by the security forces.

7. While the morale, motivation, training and resilience of the terrorists belonging to different Taliban affiliates have been steadily increasing, there are worrisome signs of poor morale and motivation among the security forces. One notices also an alarming casualness and a lack of professionalism in performing their counter-terrorism tasks There is a tendency, even in the army, to avoid coming to terms with the ground reality, which is that the situation, which has already deteriorated in the Pashtun tribal belt, has now started deterioratingin the non-tribal areas of Punjab. Senior political leaders and military officers continue to behave with a certain nonchalance as if they are the masters of the situation despite the repeated attacks. Seriousness and determination in dealing with the situation are totally lacking.

8. There are more and more reasons to be worried about the security of Pakistan's nuclear establishments---if not of its nuclear arsenal. If the terrorists can lay hands on Pakistan's nuclear waste, which is stored in the NWFP, they could threaten the international community with the use of dirty bombs.Even if one feels that the fatalities due to the use of nuclear waste may not be much, the psychological effect on the general population could be high. ( 15-10-09)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


One should not be surprised by the Lahore High Court's dismissal on October 12,2009, of the two cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act registered against Hafeez Mohammed Sayeed, the Amir of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the political wing of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET ), by the Faislabad Police in the Pakistani province of Punjab. The cases were registered following two inflammatory speeches delivered by him glorifying jihad and for collecting funds for a supposedly banned terrorist organisation. His speeches were interpreted as amounting to incitement to terrorism.

2. The dismissal of the cases was ordered by the Lahore High Court after it was admitted by the prosecution that the JUD was not a banned organisation. While there is a notified ban on the LET as a terrorist organisation since January 2002, there is no notified ban on the JUD.Sayeed and his aides have been maintaining since the JUD was formed after the January 2002 ban on the LET that the JUD had nothing to do with the LET. This argument has not been successfully challenged in any Pakistani court.

3. Ever since the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008, Pakistani authorities have been repeatedly saying that whatever action they took or sought to take against Sayeed and the JUD such as arresting some of their cadres, seizing their funds etc was in pursuance of the decision of the anti-terrorism sanctions committee of the UN Security Council calling for action against the JUD and Sayeed and not based on their own evidence.

4.The lawyers for Sayeed have been repeatedly arguing before different courts---with some success--- that no action can be taken against Sayeed and the JUD purely on the basis of a resolution of the UN Committee without any independent evidence supporting such action collected by the Pakistani investigation agencies. The Pakistani authorities have shown no interest in collecting such evidence.

5.Two actions by the Pakistani authorities are required in the wake of the involvement of the LET in the Mumbai terrorist attack. The first is action against the JUD and Hafeez for orchestrating the attack as has come out during the investigation by the Mumbai Police. The second is prosecution of those members of the LET in Pakistan involved in planning the attack and having it carried out.

6. The Pakistani authorities have shown some interest---one does not know how sincere they are--- only in the second action. They have been repeatedly dragging their feet in respect of the first. They are encouraged by the fact that the international pressure ---including US pressure--- on them is only in respect of the second. There is only seeming pressure in respect of the first --- even from the US.

7. A careful reading of the observations by judges of different courts----even by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury of the Pakistan Supreme Court--- before which the lawyers of Sayeed had challenged on different occasions the action sought to be taken against Sayeed clearly shows that there is considerable judicial sympathy for Sayeed ---if not for the JUD. These observations have mainly related to two points. Firstly, that the action against him is being taken purely on the basis of a resolution of the UN committee, which has no relevance for the judicial proceedings against him. Secondly, that the action was also under Indian pressure.

8.Instead of reacting to the goings-on in Pakistani courts on a day-to-day basis through the media, the Government of India should carefully examine the various observations made by the Pakistani courts, decide how to counter them and then pressure Pakistan in a low-profile manner instead of through the media to pursue the cases against him. The high-profile campaign through the media against Sayeed seems to be proving counter-productive. It is being exploited by his lawyers to contend that the Indian pressure--- and not legal evidence--- is making the Pakistan Govt. act against him. ( 15-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Monday, October 12, 2009


The interrogation of Muhammed Aquil alias Dr.Usman, the only surviving member of the group of nine terrorists, which launched a commando-style attack on the Pakistan Army's General Headquarters (GHQ) at Rawalpindi on October 10,2009, which lasted a little over 20 hours, has not yet started. He is reported to have been seriously injured, when he tried to blow himself up inside the GHQ to avoid being captured. He is presently under treatment in a military hospital, where army doctors are desperately trying to save his life. The Pakistani authorities now believe that he was the leader of the commando group, which attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March last and the GHQ on October 10-11.

2. On the basis of a record check, Pakistani investigators say that he is a Punjabi from the Kahuta Tehsil of the Rawalpindi District. He had served as a sepoy in the Army Medical Corps. He resigned from the Army after some years and joined the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ).When the Pashtun-dominated Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) came into existence after the Pakistani Army commando raid in the Lal Masjiid of Islamabad in July,2007, some of the Punjabi members of the LEJ , including Aquil, floated a new organisation called the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab. Its leader's name is given as Farooq. Not much is known about him.

3. In the 1990s, the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which came into existence with the encouragement of the late Zia-ul-Haq, floated the LEJ. The SSP and the LEJ projected themselves as different organisations with no links, but Pakistani police officials believed that the SSP was the political wing of the clandestine LEJ. They further believe that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab is a newly-created united front of the LEJ, which seeks to bring together the various anti-Shia and pro-Al Qaeda groups of Punjab to act against the Army as well as the Shias.While the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) is part of this united front, the Laashkar-e-Toiba (LET) is not.

4.The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), now headed by Hakimullah Mehsud, and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab share a Wahabist ideology and a common objective of fighting against the Pakistan Army's co-operation with the US. The two organisations share each other's training facilities and sanctuaries. They keep using each other's trained and motivated cadres for their operations. However, the operations of theTehrik-e-Taliban Punjab are largely confined to the non-tribal belt. The LEJ sometimes acts as the fighting arm of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab and sometimes independently. Al Qaeda acts as the mentor and motivator of all these organisations.

5. Police sources say that Aquil's name had earlier figured in the investigations into the assassination of the Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army Hafiz Mirza Muhammad Mushtaq Baig last year, the firing of a rocket at a plane carrying Pervez Musharraf in July,2007, and the attack on the SL cricket team in Lahore in March last.

6. Both the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the LEJ are members of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF) for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People. Both are strongly Wahabi organisations, but whereas the LEJ is strongly anti-US, anti-Israel, anti-India,anti-Iran and anti-Shia, the LET is only anti-US, anti-Israel and anti-India, but not anti-Iran or anti-Shia.

7.There is no confirmed instance of the LET indulging in planned anti-Shia violence in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but the LEJ has been responsible for most of the targeted attacks on Shias and their places of worship in Pakistan and on the Hazaras---who are Shias---in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

8. The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which are also members of the IIF,strongly share the anti-Shia feelings of the LEJ, but they do not indulge in targeted attacks on Shias and their places of worship. Many of the leaders of these organisations, including Maulana Masood Azhar, the Amir of the JEM, started their jihadi career in the SSP, but later drifted away from it since they felt uncomfortable with its targeted attacks on Shias and their places of worship. Despite being separate now, they do co-operate with the LEJ in its operations directed against US interests and the Pakistani armed forces. The LET prefers to operate independently without getting involved with the SSP or the LEJ. The LET avoids attacks on Pakistani security forces.

9.The strong action taken by the international community against known and suspected Arab members of Al Qaeda created difficulties for them in travelling freely and in carrying out operations in non-Muslim countries. Consequently, it started depending increasingly on thePakistani members of the LET for its operations. Post-9/11, the LET opened its sleeper cells in countries such as Australia, Singapore, the UK, France and the US to help Al Qaeda in its operations by collecting information, motivating the members of the Pakistani diaspora and other means.

10. The discovery of LET sleeper cells in the Western countries post-2002 brought increased focus on the LET in the West.Next to the Arab members of Al Qaeda, suspected Pakistani members of the LET were placed under close surveillance in many countries. This created difficulties in the movement and activities of the LET. The LET is no longer able to operate outside the Indian sub-continent and the Gulf countries as freely as it used to do in the past.
11.Moreover, the LET started feeling uncomfortable over the anti-Shia violence unleashed by Al Qaeda and its surrogates in Iraq. While continuing to be a member of the IIF, it tried to avoid being associated with Al Qaeda's anti-Shia and anti-Saudi policies. Saudi charity organisations have been one of the main funders of the LET, which has an active branch in Saudi Arabia to recruit members from the IndianMuslim diaspora in the Gulf countries.

12.In view of these developments, Al Qaeda has started increasingly using the LEJ for its operations in Pakistan itself as well as in the non-Muslim countries. The LEJ was actively involved in supporting the students of the two madrasas of the Lal Masjid of Islamabad before they were raided by Pakistani military commandoes in July, 2007. Many of the women, who were targeted by the girl students for allegedly running a call girl racket, were reportedly Shias. It has been actively backing the tribals, who have taken to arms against the Pakistani security forces in North and South Waziristan and in the Swat Valley in the Provincially-Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of the North-West Frontier Province. Under the influence of the LEJ, the tribals have been beheading or otherwise killing only the Shias among the security forces personnel captured by them. Well-informed Police sources say that all the para-military personnel beheaded so far by the tribals were Shias. According to them, there has not been a single instance of the beheading of a Sunni member of the security forces though many Sunnis have been killed in explosions.

13. The JEM is also actively involved in supporting the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in its fight against the security forces in the Swat Valley. There have been targeted attacks on members of the local Shia community. The anti-Shia dimension of the current violence in the tribal areas was also corroborated by the well-informed "Daily Times" of Lahore in an editorial titled "Two Oppressions"carried by it on November 10, 2007. The editorial said: ' The latest news from Waziristan is that a well-known Shia personality has been gunned down. This is a part of the sectarian violence that Al Qaeda commits in the territories it captures. Earlier, Shias among the captured Pakistani troops were casually beheaded while the Sunnis were returned. In the Shia-majority Parachinar in the Kurram Agency,suicide-bombers have been killing indiscriminately."

14.Al Qaeda's use of the LEJ is not confined to Pakistani territory. Police sources say that in view of the difficulties now faced by suspected LET members in Western countries and in South-east Asia, Al Qaeda is encouraging the SSP and the LEJ to gradually take over the role of the LET as the motivators and mobilisers of members of the overseas Pakistani diaspora for assisting Al Qaeda in its operations.They claim that some sleeper cells of the SSP and the LEJ have already come up in the US, the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Singapore andAustralia. Since the foreign intelligence agencies do not have much information about the SSP and the LEJ, they are able to operate without creating suspicions about them. ( 12-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Sunday, October 11, 2009



I have received through a common friend the following comments on my articles on the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Army GHQ on October 10,2009, from a very distinguished retired senior officer of the Indian Army:
1.Though I would call this a suicide attack there are some interesting aspects to be taken note of.
2.Firstly the target was Army HQ. HQ are usually weak spots.
3.Death of a Brigadier and other officers is surprising. It shows they just rushed to the gates non tactically. Pakistani officers are not known for their professionalism. Unfortunately similar to Police officers’ deaths at Mumbai.
4.Total Number of terrorists seems to be minimum 8 since four died at Gate 1, and at least 4 must have gone through Gate 2 to hold large number of hostages.
5.How did they know personnel of one gate would go to the other? Must have been insiders or had observed the drills well. Or some insider told them of this drill. Shows reserves were not held on the premises.
6.All guards at the GHQ were unprofessional. These could not be of the SSG. SSG must have been called later and these too took so much time to eliminate the terrorists.
7.Why were SSG called in and not normal infantry? Shows professional standard of the military and the SSG.
8.Interesting that a maximum of four terrorists could hold at least 40 hostages. How could a max of four terrorists hold 40 hostages for so long? The hostages did nothing throughout last night!!
9.HQ of Pakistan’s elite 10 Corps and its Corps reserve brigade (111?) are located at Rawalpindi besides troops of other arms and services.
10.Most demands were anti Army operations and against Pervez Musharraf, who is a non entity now.
11.Why did the Taliban waste at least 8 suicide terrorists just to send this message? Could have been done with much less. Do they have plenty of suicide terrorists? Are there mature leaders planning strategies for them? Seems the aim was to tarnish image of the Army. Why?by Who?
12.There is nothing new about their state of training or modus operandi. Attacks at Kalu Chak, Sanjuwan and Akhnur in 2002 – 2003 as well as the attack on the Parliament followed similar tactics. They wore Khaki uniforms and shot their way in killing guards at the perimeter.


The crdibility of the Pakistani Army and its Chief of Staff, Gen.Pervez Ashfaq Kayani ,has taken a beating following the daring raid launched by a group of nine terrorists into the Army's General Headquarters at Rawalpindi and their success in holding the Army and its commando group called the Special Services Group (SSG) at bay for nearly 20 hours before the terrorists could be neutralised and 39 of the 42 hostages---civilians and military personnel---taken by them got released. Eight military personnel, including a Brigadier and a Lt.Col, and eight terrorists were killed during the raid and the subsequent action to free the hostages.

2.The Urdu daily Jang and its English sister publication The News International had published a report on October 5, 2009, stating that according to the Interior Department of the provincial Government of Punjab a source had revealed that terrorists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban,Pakistan (TTP) were planning a commando-style attack on the GHQ in collaboration with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the anti-Shia organisation, and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). According to the report carried by these papers, the Punjab Interior Department had warned that the the terrorists had planned to enter the GHQ using fake army uniforms and vehicles.

3. Embarrassing questions are being asked as to what action the Army and the federal Ministry of the Interior headed by Rehman Mallik had taken on this report of the Punjab Interior Department and what precautions were taken to thwart a commando-style attack by the terrorists.

4.The Army's credibility has also been damaged not only by the success of the terrorists in forcing their way into the GHQ premises, but also by the confusion, which prevailed in the GHQ as was evident from the conflicting reports given by an army spokesman about the raid.After the four terrorists, who tried to force their way into the GHQ premises, had been foiled and killed by the security guards at Gate No.1after an exchange of fire lasting about 45 minutes, an army spokesman claimed that the operation was over and that the terrorists' attempt to enter the GHQ premises had been thwarted at the gate itself.

5. Subsequently, it turned out that five other terrorists had made their way in through Gate No.2 by taking advantage of the fact that the security picket at this gate had left it unattended and rushed to Gate No.1 when the exchange of fire started there and that they had taken some hostages. Only some time after the four terriorists had been killed at Gate No.1 that the Army realised that some other terrorists had made their way in and had taken hostages. For over 14 hours after the terrorist attack had started, the Army had no clue as to how many hostages had been taken.

6. Initially, the Army spokesman gave the number of hostages taken by the five terrorists as between 10 and 15. Then, he raised it to between 20 and 25. Finally, it turned out that the terrorists had actually taken 42 hostages, of whom 39 were rescued by the Army early on the morning of October 11 and the remaining three died during the exchange of firing. The Army has not so far given the names of the hostages, who died, and of those, who were rescued.

7. After the action was over, the Army spokesman announced that while eight of the raiding party were killed, the leader of the terrorist group by name Aquil alias Dr.Usman, who was injured when he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself with an explosive device, had been taken into custody and was being interrogated. Initially, it was stated that he was the same person who had led the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore in March last as the team was being taken by bus from the hotel in which it was staying to the stadium.Subsequently, the Army modified its contention by stating that the terrorist leader arrested in the GHQ premises had a name sounding similar to that of the leader of the group which had attacked the SL cricket team and that it was being verfied whether the two are one and the same.

8.The Lahore City Police Chief Pervez Rathore had told the media at Lahore on June 17,2009, that one of the terrorists involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team had been arrested and six other terrorists involved in the attack, including the mastermind, had been identified. He said that the arrested terrorist had been identified as Zubair alias Naek Muhammad and that he belonged to a till then unknown organisation called the Tehrik-e- Taliban Punjab .He described Zubair as a retired low-ranking army officer. He identified the mastermind as Aquil alias Dr. Usman alias Rana Hanif and said that he was also involved in the firing of a rocket on a plane carrying Musharraf from an air base near Islamabad to Balochistan in July,2007. He also said that all the militants involved in the attack on the SL team belonged to Southern Punjab. He said that Zubair identified the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab as one "Emir Farooq" . The Lahore City Police chief said that the attack on the SL cricket team was jointly mounted by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab and the anti-Shia Lashkar e-Jhangvi. He identified four others involved in the attack as Muhammad Adnan, alias "Sajad"; Sami Ullah, alias "Ejaz"; Abdul Wahab, alias "Umar"; and Qari Ehsan Ul Haq, alias "Qari Ajmal." The Lahore police offered a cash reward of Rs. 2.5 million ($52,000) each for the arrest of any of these men or "any other suspects."

9. If it turns out that Aquil alias Usman arrested for allegedly leading the attack on the GHQ on October 10 is identical with the person by the same name wanted for leading the attack on the SL cricket team, this would indicate that the attack on the GHQ was carried out by a group of jihadis from Punjab and not from the Pashtun tribal belt. It is possible that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab is also known as the Amjad Farooqi detachment of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in whose name the responsibility for the GHQ attack was claimed shortly after the attack. (11-10-09)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This is only a tentative assessment on the daring commando-style attack on the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army at Rawalpindi for which responsibility has been claimed on behalf of a so-called Amjad Farooqi detachmentof the Pakistani Taliban known asthe Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Sixteen hours after the attack started around mid-day on October 10,2009, the Pakistani Army,including its Special Services Group (SSG), are still engaged in an attempt to flush out at least two to four terrorists, who managed to gain entry into the premises and take at least 20 to 30 inmates of the premises as hostages to negotiate their demands. An Army spokesman has claimed that 22 of these hostages have since been got released and that the operation is coming to a successful conclusion, but this is not confirmed by independent sources so far.

2.It is understood that the terrorists have put forward a number of demands such as the release of all those captured by the Army during the operations in the Swat Valley and the rest of the Malakand Division of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), the calling-off of the reported plans to start a military offensive in South Waziristan,immediate stoppage of aerial strikes by the Pakistani Army in the tribal areas and of the Drone strikes by the US intelligence, the termination of all counter-terrorism co-operation with the US and the trial of PervezMusharraf on a charge of treason. The terrorists have reportedly been projecting their successful attack as in reprisal for the death of Baitullah Mehsud, the then Amir of the TTP, in a US drone attack in South Waziristan on August 5,2009.

3.The facts are still sketchy and confusing. From the available facts, one could attempt the following reconstruction. A group of at least four terrorists, wearing the uniform of SSG commandoes, drove up to the Security Gate No.1 of the GHQ premises. There was an exchange of fire lasting about 45 minutes between them and the security picket at Gate No.1. During the exchange, a Brigadier, who was in charge of the physical security of the premises, a Lt.Col assisting him and four other military personnel and all the four terrorists who came by the vehicle were killed.

4. As the exchange of firing was going on in Gate No.1, the members of the security picket guarding Gate No.2 rushed to Gate No. 1 to help the security picket there. Taking advantage of the unmanned Gate No.2, two to four other terrorists----also wearing the SSG uniform----managed to enter the premises, rush to the Army library and take hostage a number of persons who were there. It is not known whether they have been kept by the terrorists in the library itself or whether they have been taken to some other building. It is also not known whether the terrorists have captured any other person in the GHQ premises.Also not clear is whether this second group came by the same vehicle or reached the GHQ independently.

5. The identities of the hostages have not been revealed by the Army. The commando-style attack on the GHQ---like the commando-style terrorist attack in Mumbai in November last year--- has the imprint of the operational methods of the SSG. The terrorists in the GHQ have had the benefit of the kind of training and expertise, which is available in the SSG. The reported death of Ilyas Kashmiri of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) in a recent Drone strike brought out in Pakistani media accounts the fact that he was a trained officer of the SSG, who had gravitated to the world of jihadi terrorism and joined the HUJI.

6. There are possibly other SSG officers---serving and retired---- who have similarly gravitated to the world of terrorism. As a result of this,knowledge of commando-style operations seems to be widespread in Pakistan's jihadi world. Till now, the international focus has been on the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as the sponsor and trainer of jihadi groups. Indications of a similar role being played by at least some elements in or of the the SSG---- possibly in tandem with the ISI --- are coming to the fore now. ( 11-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )




A news agency report says as follows: "The Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the brazen attack on the Pakistan Army's Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Saturday, which left four of its militants and eight soldiers dead. The outfit has again demanded a halt in the ongoing military campaign in the NWFP. The Amjad Farooqi group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella grouping claimed that it was behind the audacious attack and demanded that former President Pervez Musharraf be put on trial. The group took the responsibility in a telephone call made to Geo News. They also asked for closure of all Western NGOs and expulsion of US private security firm Blackwater."

2. Who was Amjad Farooqi? Reproduced below is an article dated September 29,2004, under the title "AMJAD FAROOQI: THE UNTOLD STORY" written by me which is available at .

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


The Pakistani security agencies claimed to have killed on September 26, 2004, Amjad Hussain Farooqi alias Mansur Hasnain alias Imtiaz Siddiqui alias Hyder, alias Doctor who, according to them, was the mastermind behind the two abortive attempts to kill Gen.Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December last year. According to them, he was killed during an encounter with the para-military forces who had surrounded a rented house in Nawabshah in Sindh, where he along with some others had been living for the last two months.

2. On August 20, 2004, the Pakistani authorities had announced cash rewards amounting to Rs.20 million each (US $ 344800) to anyone who would give information leading to the capture of Amjad Hussain Farooqi, a Pakistani national, and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a Libyan national, said to be belonging to Al Qaeda.Amjad Hussain Farooqi was accused of acting at the instance of the Libyan in his attempts to kill Musharraf.

3. Talking to the media at The Hague on September 27,2004, Musharraf was reported to have stated as follows:" We eliminated one of the very major sources of terrorist attacks. He was not only involved on attacks on me, but also on attacks elsewhere in the country. So a very big terrorist has been eliminated."

4.All accounts from Nawabshah indicate that if the Pakistani authorities had wanted they could have caught him alive and questioned him about the role of Pakistani civilian and military officials in the various terrorist incidents of the last three years, including the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the US journalist, the attempts to kill Musharraf himself and Shaukat Aziz, the Prime Minister, and the attacks directed against American and French targets. But, they did not want him alive.

5.In a report under the heading "Real conspirators in Musharraf case may never be exposed", Kamran Khan, the Pakistani investigative journalist, stated as follows in the "News" of September 28, 2004: "Senior lawyers say that the killing of Amjad Farooqi, the main accused in President Musharraf and Daniel Pearl cases, may also influence the final outcome of the two most important cases. A nationwide military investigation launched after two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf last year had unveiled that some civilian and low level military individuals were the field operatives while Amjad Farooqi played an anchor in the abortive bids on Gen Musharraf’s life. Because of the most sensitive nature of the probe the principal investigative work was carried out under the supervision of the Commander Corps 10, who received inputs from all federal and provincial law enforcement agencies in the most extensive investigation of a crime case in Pakistan. "It was very important to catch Amjad Farooqi alive," said a senior law-enforcement official. "Farooqi was the key link between the foot soldiers and those who ordered the murder." "Amjad Farooqi is now dead with the most important secret and we still don’t know for sure the real identity of the Pakistani or al-Qaeda or any other foreign elements who had launched Farooqi into action to remove General Musharraf from the scene," said a second senior law-enforcement official. Some circumstantial evidence collected during the investigation of President Musharraf case had cited some connection between Abu Feraj, an al-Qaeda operative of Libyan origin, and Amjad Farooqi, hence the suspicion that al-Qaeda could be behind the murder attempts through Amjad Farooqi.The military investigators had found solid evidence to connect Amjad Farooqi with the suicide bombers involved in December 25 attacks on President Musharraf. Farooqi’s connections were also established with the group of low level Pakistan Air Force technicians who had planted bombs under Lai Bridge for the December 11 bid on the President’s life. The military investigators were also baffled how come the Air Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the PAF, detected no signs that about two dozen PAF men posted at the Chaklala airbase had been attending meetings with religious extremists and in the first week of December were making active preparations at the heart of the PAF base to bomb the presidential motorcade. Pakistani officials, worried that Farooqi’s killing would prevent them from getting the full knowledge about Farooqi’s connections and his actions, said that if captured alive Farooqi could have provided crucial information on the plot to kidnap and murder the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.Pakistani officials believed that, like in the murder attempts against the President, Farooqi was an anchor in the Pearl case. "The gruesome murder of Pearl and its video filming for the world was the work of Amjad Farooqi- Khalid Sheikh Muhammad combine," said a senior intelligence official who did not want to be identified.

6. The truth will now never be known. Somebody in the Pakistani military-intelligence-police establishment did not want the truth to be known. Why? Who was Farooqi? What were his links with the Army, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and others in Pakistan? To which organisation he belonged? Read the following.

7.In April,1992, the coalition of Afghan Mujahideen groups, taking advantage of the revolt of Rashid Dostum, the Uzbek Commander, against Najibullah, the then President of Afghanistan, managed to invade and capture Kabul. Najibullah, who was overthrown from power, was taken by the United Nations into its protective custody and kept in its office in Kabul. The efforts of the UN to persuade the Mujahideen to allow Najibullah to go to India, where his family was living, failed.

8. The Mujahideen's success in capturing power was made possible by the assistance of a large number of jihadis from the Pakistani madrasas, who had been trained and armed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and sent into Afghanistan to help the Mujahideen. The Pakistani contingents, which participated in the invasion of Kabul, belonged to the anti-Shia Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), the Harkat-ul-Ansar (HUA), as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) was then known, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET). Amjad Farooqi, then an 18-year-old youth, entered Kabul as a member of the contingent of the SSP.

9. In 1994, there was a serious failure of the Pakistani cotton crop, which threatened to bring its textile industry to a standstill. Asif Zardari, the husband of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto, the then Prime Minister, flew into Turkmenistan and entered into a contract for the purchase of a large quantity of cotton. The Turkmenistan authorities wanted to send the cotton to Iran and from there ship it to Karachi.

10.Zardari did not agree to it. Instead, he asked them to send the cotton by road via Afghanistan. He had the contract for the road transport of the cotton awarded to a Pakistani crony of his based in Hong Kong. The first two cotton convoys from Turkmenistan were looted by Mujahideen groups operating in the Herat area of Afghanistan.

11. Zardari thereupon sent Maj.Gen. (retd) Nasirullah Babbar, Benazir Bhutto's Interior Minister, and Pervez Musharraf to Afghanistan to provide protection to the cotton convoys. They asked Mulla Mohammad Omar, who subsequently became the Amir of the Taliban, to collect a large number of students (Talibs) from the madrasas of Pakistan and constitute them into a force for the protection of the cotton convoys. Thus, was the Taliban born.

12.Babbar and Musharraf, who had heard of the exploits of Amjad Farooqi in Kabul in 1992, asked him to help Mulla Omar in organising this convoy protection force. He did so. Babbar himself travelled with the first convoy after this arrangement came into force and Amjad Farooqi and his boys escorted it.

13. A few months later, Mulla Omar deputed Amjad Farooqi to raid Herat and capture it with the help of his boys. He did so without difficulty, to the pleasant surprise of many, including the ISI. Thus, from a cotton convoy protection force, the Taliban became the ruler of Kandahar and Herat and other areas. Assisted by Amjad Farooqi and his associates, it started gradually extending its administrative control to other areas.

14. In the beginning of 1995, Amjad Farooqi left the SSP and joined the HUA. The HUA sent him along with some others into India's Jammu & Kashmir, where they, under the name Al Faran, kidnapped a group of Western tourists. One of the tourists was beheaded and another managed to escape. The fate of the remaining is not known till today. They are believed to have been beheaded and buried, but this has not been confirmed.

15. In October,1995, Gen.Abdul Waheed Kakkar, the then Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) under Benazir Bhutto, discovered a plot by a group of Army officers headed by Maj.Gen.Zaheer-ul-Islam Abbasi to have him and Benazir assassinated, capture power and proclaim the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Abbasi and his associates in the Army were arrested. They were found to have been plotting in tandem with a group in the HUA led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar. Abbasi, his associates and the Qari were arrested during the investigation. While Abbasi and his associates were court-martialled and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, the Qari was released without any action being taken against him.

16.Before 1990, there were two jihadi organisations called the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (HUJI). The HUM was headed by Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil and the HUJI by Qari Saifullah Akhtar. Around 1990, the two merged to form the HUA, with Maulana Khalil as the Amir and Qari Akhtar as the Deputy Amir. Amjad Farooqi used to work closely with the Qari.

17. In the late 1980s, Abbasi as a Brigadier was posted in the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi as the head of the ISI station in India. The Government of India had him expelled. On his return to Pakistan, he was posted to the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan). In the beginning of the 1990s, without the clearance of the late Gen.Asif Nawaz Janjua, the then COAS under Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister, Abbasi organised a raid on an Indian Army post in the Siachen area and was beaten back by the Indian Army with heavy casualties.Janjua had him transferred out and censured. Since then, he had been nursing an anger against the Pakistan Army's senior leadership and hobnobbing with the Qari. A few months after capturing power on October 12,1999, Musharraf had Abbasi released from jail. He formed an anti-US organisation called Hizbollah, which acted in tandem with the HUJI.

18. In September,1996, the Taliban captured Jalalabad and Kabul. A large number of jihadi students from the Pakistani madrasas joined the Taliban unit which invaded and captured Kabul. Amjad Farooqi joined the unit at the head of a contingent of the HUA. After capturing Kabul, Amjad Farooqi and his boys raided the UN office, where Najibullah was living, lynched him and hung him from a lamp-post.

19. When the Taliban, with the help of the madrasa students from Pakistan, captured Jalalabad, Osama bin Laden was living there. He had been permitted by the Burhanuddin Rabbani Government, which was in power in Kabul till September,1996,to enter Afghanistan and take up residence in Jalalabad. It had taken the clearance of the Benazir Bhutto Government to do so. After capturing Jalalabad, the Taliban had bin Laden shifted to Kandahar by Amjad Farooqi and his men.

20.In October,1997, after establishing the involvement of the HUA in the 1995 kidnapping, the US State Department designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation under a 1996 US law. The HUA thereupon dissolved itself and the pre-1990 HUM and HUJI resumed their original existence under their previous names. Qari Saifullah Akhtar took over as the Amir of the HUJI and made Amjad Farooqi his deputy.

21. In February 1998, Osama bin Laden announced the formation of his International Islamic Front (IIF) for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People. Among those who joined it at its inception were the HUM and a Bangladesh branch of the HUJI, identified as HUJI ( B ). The Pakistani branch of the HUJI, the LET and the SSP joined it in 1999. Amjad Farooqi used to represent the Qari at the meetings of the shoora (consultative council )of the IIF.

22. In December 1999, a group of Pakistani hijackers, said to be belonging to the HUM, hijacked an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, which had taken off from Kathmandu, and forced the pilot to fly it to Kandahar. They demanded, inter alia, the release of Omar Sheikh, a British Muslim of Pakistani origin, and Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani Punjabi belonging to the HUM. The Government of India conceded their demands in order to terminate the hijacking.

23. Amongst the hijackers was a Pakistani Punjabi by name Mansur Hasnain. Sections of the Pakistani media reported that this hijacker was none other than Amjad Farooqi. After their release from detention by the Indian authorities, Maulana Azhar and Omar Sheikh went to Pakistan. The return of Azhar led to a split in the HUM. Azhar and his followers formed a new organisation called the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which joined bin Laden's IIF. The formation of the JEM was blessed by the late Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, of the Binori madrasa, Karachi, who used to be looked upon as the mentor of bin Laden, Mulla Omar and the Pakistani jihadi leaders.

24. Omar Sheikh took up residence in Lahore and was made in charge of an office run by Al Qaeda in that city. Among other tasks, he was made responsible by bin Laden to procure medicines and other humanitarian relief for the jihadis of the IIF. Azhar and Omar Sheikh, who were working for the ISI before their arrest in India, resumed their contacts with the ISI. Omar Sheikh used to visit Kandahar periodically to meet bin Laden. During one of those visits, he claimed to have come to know of Al Qaeda's plans for the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US and passed on the information to Lt.Gen.Ehsanul Haq, the present Director-General of the ISI, who was then posted as the Corps Commander in Peshawar,

25. When the USA launched its military operations in Afghanistan in October,2001, the Pakistani components of the IIF called upon their members to proceed to Afghanistan to join in the jihad against the US. Over 30,000 Pakistani volunteers were estimated to have gone into Afghanistan. The largest number of them belonged to the HUJI and were led by Amjad Farooqi. The US air strikes inflicted heavy casualties on them and the survivors, including Amjad Farooqi, fled back into Pakistan. Farooqi took up residence in the Binori madrasa of Karachi where he was sheltered by the late Mufti Shamzai. From his sanctuary in the madrasa, he established contact with Omar Sheikh, who was living in Lahore, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM), who was living in Karachi along with Ramzi Binalshibh.

26. On January 12,2002, under pressure from the US in the wake of the attempted terrorist strike on the Indian Parliament at New Delhi in December,2001, Musharraf announced a ban on the LET, the JEM and the SSP and had their leaders arrested or placed under house-arrest. The whole thing was a farce as was seen subsequently. Intriguingly, he did not ban the HUM and the HUJI, which had many supporters in the Army and did not take any action against Qari Saifullah Akhtar and Amjad Farooqi.

27. In January,2002, Daniel Pearl, the correspondent of the USA's "Wall Street Journal" in Mumbai (Bombay) in India, along with his wife Marianne went to Karachi to enquire into the Pakistani links of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. They reportedly stayed at Karachi in the house of an American free-lance journalist of sub-continental origin, who had worked for some time as a free-lancer for the WSJ, where she had come to know Pearl and Marianne. She had gone to Karachi in connection with a book she was writing on the sub-continent.

28. Before going to Karachi, Pearl had contacted many people in Pakistan and the USA in order to get introductions to knowledgeable people in Karachi and elsewhere who might be knowing about the local contacts of Reid. It was alleged that among those whose help he sought were James Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Mansoor Ijaz, an American lobbyist of Pakistani origin, who often used to write articles for the US media jointly with Woolsey.

29. Pearl was particularly keen to meet Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, leader of the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra (JUF), a terrorist organisation based in the USA and the Caribbean with a large following among Afro-Americans. Two of Gilani's four wives are stated to be Afro-Americans. Pearl wanted to talk to him about Richard Reid, since he had reportedly heard that Reid was a member of the JUF and had been trained in a HUM camp in Pakistan in the 1990s.

30. Even before coming to Karachi, Pearl was reportedly in E-mail contact with one Khalid Khwaja, a retired officer of the Pakistani Air Force who had served in the ISI in the late 1980s and one Mohammad Bashir, who later turned out to be none other than Omar Sheikh. It was alleged that Mansoor Ijaz had given Pearl an introduction to Khwaja. It is not known how he came to know of Bashir. According to the Karachi Police, Pearl was keen to meet Gilani and Omar Sheikh. Bashir promised to help him.

31.On January 23, 2002, Pearl went by a taxi driven by one Nasir to the Metropole Hotel of Katrachi. He asked the taxi to stop near the hotel and got out of it. He then went to a car parked nearby in which four persons were waiting. One of them got out, introduced himself and invited Pearl to get in. He willingly did so. The car then went away from there. Subsequently, after the arrest of Omar Sheikh, Nasir identified him as the man who got out of the parked car and invited Pearl to get in. The driver testified during the trial of Omar Sheikh that from the willing manner in which Pearl got in it was apparent that he did not suspect a trap.

32. Subsequently, E-mail messages announcing the kidnapping of Pearl with his photographs started arriving in newspaper offices in Karachi. The Pakistani authorities launched a drive for the recovery of Pearl. There was no success. They started searching for Omar Sheikh after finding out that it was he who, under an assumed name, had laid the trap for Pearl. They took into custody Omar Sheikh's wife and young child in order to force him to surrender. On February 5, 2002,he surrendered to Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah, the Home Secretary of Punjab, who had previously worked in the ISI and was the handling officer of Omar Sheikh. The ISI kept him in its custody till February 12,2002, and then handed him over to the Karachi Police for interrogation. The public announcement about his arrest claimed he was arrested on February 12 and did not refer to the fact that he was in the ISI's custody since February 5, 2002.

33.Omar Sheikh told the Police that the kidnappers operated in three groups. Omar himself and Muhammad Hashim Qadir alias Arif, a resident of Bhawalpur, won the confidence of Pearl and made him come to the hotel for a meeting. They kidnapped him and handed him over to Amjad Hussain Farooqui for keeping him in custody. Omar Sheikh , with the help of Adil Mohammad Sheikh, a member of the staff of the Special Branch of the Sindh Police, and his cousins Suleman Saquib and Fahad Nasim arranged for taking the photograph of Pearl in custody, having it scanned and sending the E-Mail with his photograph to the media and others making their demands. According to the Police, Saquib and Nasim belonged to the JEM, thereby indicating the possibility that the kidnapping might have been jointly planned and carried out by the HUJI, the HUM and the JEM.

34. A few days later, messages arrived announcing the killing of Pearl, along with pictures showing his throat being slit. However, his dead body was not recovered. On May 16, 2002, the Karachi Police claimed to have recovered the remains of an unidentified dead body cut into 10 pieces, which were found buried in a nursery (Gulzare Hijri) on a plot of land in the outlying Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Karachi. They further claimed that the remains were recovered following a tip-off from a human source and that, according to the source, the remains were of Pearl. The local media also reported that there was an improvised shed on the plot where Pearl was suspected to have been held in captivity before his murder and that the plot belonged to Al Rashid Trust of Karachi. DNA tests and other forensic examination determined that the remains were of Pearl.

35.The Al-Rashid Trust, whose accounts were ordered to be frozen under the UN Security Council Resolution No.1373 because of its suspected links with Al Qaeda, is also closely linked with the JEM. Before Musharraf's ban on the JEM, the offices of the two used to be located in the same buildings in different cities of Pakistan. The two also had common cadres to undertake fund-raising activities for both the organizations.

36.Initially, it was not clear as to who gave the information to the Karachi Police about the burial of these remains in a plot of land belonging to the Al Rashid Trust----a human source as claimed by the Police or by some new suspects who had been picked up by the Police, but whose arrest had not been shown in Police records, lest the USA's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted to interrogate them or sought their extradition to the US?

37.The answer came in a report carried by the "News" (May 23, 2002), the prestigious daily of Pakistan, which revealed that the information about the remains was given to the Karachi Police by one Fazal Karim -- a resident of Rahim Yar Khan and a father of five-- who was in Police custody, but had not been shown as arrested. According to the paper,Fazal Karim had identified Lashkar-e- Jhangvi's Naeem Bukhari as the ring leader of the group that also included "three Yemeni-Balochs" (father Yemeni and mother Baloch) who took part in Pearl's kidnapping, his murder and disposal of his body parts. Naeem Bukhari was wanted by police in Punjab and Karachi in more than a dozen cases of anti-Shia killings. Fazal Karim reportedly confirmed Omar Sheikh's role in planning Pearl's kidnapping.
37.According to Karachi Police sources, Amjad Farooqi was also taken into custody on the basis of the tip-off from Fazal Karim, but the ISI ordered them to release him and let him go. Fazal Karim reportedly named one of the Yemeni-Balochs involved in the beheading of Pearl as KSM, but the military regime did not admit this. On the basis of his information, the Police also rounded up some others involved in the kidnapping and murder.

38.Intriguingly, on May 14, 2002, two days before the recovery of the remains of the dead body of Pearl by the Karachi Police, the Punjab Police claimed that Riaz Basra, a long absconding leader of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the militant wing of the SSP in which Amjad Farooqi had started his career as a terrorist, and three of his associates were killed in an encounter in a Punjab village when they had gone there to kill a Shia leader. Sections of the Pakistani media expressed doubts over the Police version and alleged that Riaz Basra was in the informal custody of the ISI since Pearl's kidnapping in January, 2002, without it taking any action against him and that the Police, for reasons not clear, had shown him as having been killed in an encounter.

39. During the trial of Omar Sheikh and his associates, the defence lawyers drew the attention of the anti-terrorism court to media reports about the arrest of Fazal Karim and others and urged that the court should order a re-investigation of the case in order to determine their responsibility for the offence. The prosecution described the media reports as baseless and opposed any re-investigation. The court rejected the defence plea.

40. The court sentenced Omar Sheikh to death and others to various terms of imprisonment. The appeal against the death sentence filed by Omar Sheikh has not been disposed of by the court so far under some pretext or the other. In the meanwhile, KSM was arrested in Rawalpindi by the Pakistani authorities in March, 2003,and handed over to the FBI, which had him flown out of the country. In an article written in the "Salon", an online journal, in October,2003,the free-lance journalist in whose Karachi house Pearl and his wife had stayed said that Marianne had been informed by the US intelligence that KSM had admitted having personally killed Pearl. The defence lawyers of Omar Sheikh again raised the question of a re-investigation, but their plea was again opposed by the prosecution and rejected by the court.

41. In December, 2003, there were two unsuccessful attempts to kill Musharraf in Rawalpindi with explosives. In the second incident, suicide bombers were involved. There were strong indications of the involvement of insiders from the Pakistani Army and Police in both the incidents. Till June,2004, Musharraf blamed the JEM for the attempts just as he had initially blamed it in 2002 for the kidnapping and murder of Pearl. Subsequent investigation brought out that it was the HUJI and not the JEM, which was involved. Of all the pro-bin Laden jihadi organisations of Pakistan, the HUJI has the largest following in the Army. The investigation into Pearl's kidnapping and murder had also brought out indicators of a possible HUJI penetration into the Air Force.

42. By the end of January,2004, the investigators had started gathering evidence of the involvement of junior officials of the Army and the Air Force belonging to the HUJI and the Hizbut Tahreer in the two assassination attempts, which, according to them, were orchestrated by Amjad Farooqi at the instance of the Libyan.However, Musharraf did not openly admit this.

43. On June 10, 2004, the Corps Commander of Karachi narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Karachi. With the help of a mobile phone, which the terrorists had left behind at the scene, the Karachi Police established that the attempt was jointly organised by the HUJI and a new organisation called Jundullah (Army of Allah), which had been trained by the Uzbecks and Chechens in the South Waziristan area of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. The Police managed to identify and round up the Jundullah members involved in the incident.

44. During their interrogation, they reportedly admitted their involvement and said that they were acting under the leadership of Amjad Farooqi. The Police had kept the arrest and interrogation of the Jundullah members a secret lest Amjad Farooqi be alerted before they got him. But, Sheikh Rashid, the Information Minister, prematurely announced it to the media, thereby alerting Amjad Farooqi before the Police could arrest him. He managed to escape from his Karachi hide-out and fled to Nawabshah.

45. For the first time, Musharraf admitted in an interview to a private TV channel in June, 2004, the involvement of junior officers of the Army and the Air Force in the plot against him and the role of Amjad Farooqi and the Libyan in the plot.

46. A man-hunt for Farooqi and the Libyan was launched by the Police. Before they could get Farooqi alive, someone in the military-intelligence establishment would seem to have ensured that he would not fall alive into the hands of the Police. Who is that somebody?

47.Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the Amir of the HUJI, was picked up by the Dubai authorities on August 6, 2004, and handed over to the Pakistani authorities, who had him flown to Pakistan the next day. The results of his interrogation are not known so far.

48.One of the most mysterious aspects of the activities of the jihadi organisations in Pakistan is why Musharraf has always been reluctant to or even afraid of taking action against the HUJI. He has avoided banning it even after evidence of its penetration into the Army and the Air Force and its involvement in the plots against him.