Mumbai attackers had hit list of 320 world targets: Report

20 02 2009

Source: TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ringleaders had ambitions well beyond Mumbai and had placed India’s financial hub in a list of 320 worldwide locations as potential targets for commando-style terror strikes, Britain’s daily Guardian said in a report published on Thursday.
According to the report, western intelligence agencies that accessed the computer and email account of the Lashkar’s communications chief Zarar Shah found a list of possible targets, only 20 of which were in India.
Two of the November 2008 attack’s key planners – Shah and Lashkar’s operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi – are now in police custody in Pakistan.
Analysts say the computer list is more of a statement of intent because Lashkar would need time to set up terrorist cells in so many places.
Islamabad’s decision to bring criminal charges against nine men accused of involvement in the Mumbai attack has partly placated Indian officials but the government in New Delhi has said it wants to see people brought to justice for terrorist acts.
“There has been some speculation that raids in Spain which netted 12 men- an Indian and 11 Pakistanis – were a result of the investigations into Lashkar’s role in the Mumbai attacks,” the report said.
“The dozen men were reportedly picked up for forging passports and other travel documents for terror organisations, including al-Qaida.
Pakistan’s government has said the Mumbai attacks were partly planned from Spain.
The US has been trying behind the scenes to coordinate intelligence exchanges between the two nuclear-armed rivals. The CIA has worked hard to be seen to help New Delhi – including by recovering phone numbers deleted by the terrorists on their satellite phones.
India has also received crucial evidence from the US agency FBI in connection with the 26/11 attacks.
Intelligence agencies have warned that Mumbai raises the spectre of a new style of terrorist assault. The city was brought to a halt by 10 heavily armed gunmen rampaging through the CST railway station, a house, restaurant Café Leopold, and hotels Trident-Oberoi and Taj for three days, killing over 180 people.

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Are we a Soft State ? India

17 05 2008

Congress Spokesperson, Veerapa Moily — ironically — said, ” I agree. Laws must be tougher.”

With 2,300 lives lost in 2007 because of terrorism, many are now asking India to look westwards and borrow from their version of war on terror.

In the UK, the Terrorism Act 2006, enacted after the July 7 2005 London bombings, allows detention for 28 days of any suspect without any charges.

The US has the Patriot Act, passed a month after the 9/11 bombings. Provisions under the Act range from allowing police to conduct raids on private property without notice, to indefinite detention of non citizens without any charge.

In Australia, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005 enables the investigating authorities to deny the right for a detainee to question as to why he or she is being detained.

India has a long list of cities which have suffered terrorist bomb attacks: Mumbai, Delhi, Malegaon, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Ajmer and now Jaipur.

The two attacks in Hyderabad, the blast on Samjhauta Express train, the blast outside a mosque in Malegaon and the attack in Varanasi have not been conclusively solved. Often, the masterminds behind the blasts are never caught.

Does the recurring terrorist attacks and the authorities inability to prevent them prove that India a safe haven for terrorists?