India: Pakistan Intelligence Masterminded 11/7 Bombings
Forty-eight hours after bombs ripped through Mumbai, the needle pointed to Pakistan. Intelligence agencies on Thursday confirmed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was the “mastermind” of the blasts that killed about 200 people.
The Mumbai Police, meanwhile, identified the trio who planned and executed 11/7: Rahil, Zahibuddin Ansari and Faiyaz, linked to the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Of them, Rahil had reportedly made an abortive bid to trigger a blast at Byculla railway station on March 11 — the eve of the anniversary of the 1993 Bombay blasts.
The agencies, which briefed National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi, said the blueprint for Tuesday’s blasts was made by the ISI while the “plan” was executed by “local Indian operatives”. A senior intelligence officer said the synchronised explosions had the “hallmark” of an ISI operation. Militants operating in Kashmir were not capable of such meticulous planning and could only carry out fidayeen attacks or plant bombs in crowded places like markets. “A lot of planning went into the blasts. This is typical of an ISI operation, as was revealed during the 1993 Bombay blasts,” said an officer.
Obviously, I’m not privy to the raw intelligence to make any determination. Surely, though, the fact that the bombings were “well planned” is not proof that this was an ISI op. This is especially true in light of claims by al Qaeda that they’re organized in the region.
Further, one can scarcely imagine why it would benefit Pakistan to commit a provocation that would inevitably lead to war with India at this juncture. One would think they have their hands full with internal matters at the moment. Perhaps Bruce McQuain is right that this was a “rogue” operation conducted without Musharraf’s approval.