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  #1  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:18 AM
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26/11 could have been stopped

26/11 could have been stopped

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As the investigation into the intelligence failures that preceded the Mumbai attacks proceeds, there is evidence that even quite specific information that was gathered was either not properly analysed or not acted on.

The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, had provided several intercepts from signals intelligence over the last three months. These suggested that a terror strike on a Mumbai hotel was imminent. But they were largely ignored.

On September 18, R&AW computers intercepted a satellite phone conversation between a known Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) asset and an unknown person. The LeT asset said that an operation to target a hotel at the Gateway of India in Mumbai was being planned and that the sea route would be used.

On September 24, R&AW’s computer recorded another satellite phone conversation. This time, the LeT asset identified the hotels that were being considered for the attack by name. They were the Taj, the Marriott, the Land’s End and the Sea Rock. A possible attack on the Juhu airfield (used by a flying club) was also discussed.

All these hotels have one thing in common: they are easily accessible from the sea. The Taj is on the Apollo Bunder waterfront, the Marriott is on Juhu sea face and the Land’s End and the Sea Rock are both on the sea-facing tip of Bandra. This should have been enough to let police know that: 1) Hotels were the target. 2) The attackers would use the sea route.

On November 19, R&AW listeners picked up another unexplained satellite phone conversation. A voice said, “We will reach Bombay between nine and eleven.” R&AW trackers identified the exact coordinates of the call and discovered that it came from the sea near Mumbai, 40 km west of Jhol.

This was clear evidence — at the very least — of an attempt being made to enter Mumbai illegally by people armed with advanced satellite phones.

R&AW passed on the information contained in each intercept on the very day it was received to the centralised intelligence group set up by the National Security Adviser. Its officers say that R&AW’s job ended there — it does not have the authority to operate on Indian soil.

Despite repeated attempts by HT, National Security Adviser MK Narayanan did not take calls.

On November 26, the day of the attack, but several hours before it had begun, R&AW trackers recorded a conversation between the LeT’s Muzammil, who has been under surveillance for some time, and a Bangladesh number.

Muzammil said that five SIM cards would be required for the operation.

R&AW analysts are still making sense of the conversation. Was Muzammil referring to another operation? Why would he ask somebody in Bangladesh for SIM cards to be used in Mumbai on the day of the operation?

One theory is that the LeT was unwilling to phone its Mumbai assets directly for fear that they would be traced. The Bangladesh number was either a relay station from which the call was forwarded to Mumbai or perhaps the LeT communicated with its Mumbai cells through Bangladesh based cut-outs or intermediaries.

The revelations about the phone intercepts (which R&AW has documented) are certain to lead to questions about the government’s inept response to the attack, especially as the intercepts make it clear that (a) Mumbai hotels were being targeted (b) that the sea route was being used and (c) that the attacks were imminent.

The Mumbai police say they had no specific inputs from intelligence agencies. But these intercepts were clear, detailed and specific. So, are the police lying? Was this information not passed on? Or was it just incorrectly processed?
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  #2  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Re: 26/11 could have been stopped

Haanji.

Ab sab royenge.

Lekin kyaa faaydaa?

"Could have been stopped" se kyaa kyaa nahi ho sakta?
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  #3  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Re: 26/11 could have been stopped

Cops just had 577 rifles, hadn't fired in 10 yrs



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Quote:
MUMBAI: The state constabulary was grossly unprepared to deal with the worst-ever terror attacks on the metropolis because of an acute shortage of weapons and ammunition.

Official records show that for a force of well over 1.8 lakh, the home department procured a meagre 2,221 weapons — 577 for Mumbai, and 1,644 for the rest of Maharashtra.


‘‘Under the centrally sponsored modernisation programme, we purchased almost all types of weapons, but for a state like Maharashtra, the number of weapons was grossly inadequate ,’’ a senior official told TOI on Monday.

In the absence of a firing range and of ammunition for practice, members of the law enforcement agencies have not opened fire in the last ten years. ‘‘I’ve been in the police force for a long time, but I had no occasion to open fire for practice,’’ a senior inspector of police said.

As per the police manual, officials ranking from constable to assistant inspector get rifles with 30 rounds each, and those with the rank of police sub-inspector and above get revolvers, also with 30 rounds each.

Jawans with the State Reserve Police Force are given SLRs or self-loading rifles. In addition, AK-47 rifles have been given to officials posted in areas where there is Naxal activity, while officials on VIP security duty are armed with either revolvers or carbines.

The manual also prescribes mandatory training for all officials, especially shooting practice at the firing range. According to a senior IPS official, the norms prescribed in the manual now exist only on paper because of the acute shortage of ammunition for practice and the non-availability of a firing range.

As per the rules, every district should have a firing range exclusively for the police. But official records indicate that more than half the state’s districts have no independent firing range.

‘‘We have constables who have not opened fire even for practice ever since their recruitment,’’ the official said.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Re: 26/11 could have been stopped

Hindsight is always 20/20.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Exclamation Re: 26/11 could have been stopped

read this and boil your blood even more

India names Pakistani masterminds, date plot to '07

NEW DELHI – A Pakistani militant group apparently used an Indian operative as far back as 2007 to scout targets for the elaborate plot against India's financial capital, authorities said Thursday, a blow to Indian officials who have blamed the deadly attacks entirely on Pakistani extremists.

As investigators sought to unravel the attack on Mumbai, stepping up questioning of the lone captured gunman, airports across India were put on high alert amid fresh warnings that terrorists planned to hijack an aircraft.

Also Thursday, police said there were signs that some of the six victims of the attack on a Jewish center may have been tortured. "The victims were strangled," said Rakesh Maria, a senior Mumbai police official. "There were injuries noticed on the bodies that were not from firing."

Members of an Israeli rescue group which had a team in Mumbai said it was impossible to tell if the bodies had been abused, however, because no autopsies were conducted in accordance with Jewish tradition.

The surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab, 21, told interrogators he had been sent by the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and identified two of the plot's masterminds, according to two Indian government officials familiar with the inquiry.

Kasab told police that one of them, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Lashkar's operations chief, recruited him for the attack, and the assailants called another senior leader, Yusuf Muzammil, on a satellite phone after hijacking an Indian vessel en route to Mumbai.

The information sent investigators back to another reputed Lashkar operative, Faheem Ansari, who they hope could be key in pulling together different strands of the investigation.

Ansari, an Indian national, was arrested in February in north India carrying hand-drawn sketches of hotels, the train terminal and other sites that were later attacked in Mumbai, said Amitabh Yash, director of the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police.

During his interrogation, Ansari also named Muzammil as his handler in Pakistan, adding that he trained in a Lashkar camp in Muzaffarabad — the same area where Kasab said he was trained, a senior police officer involved in the investigation said.


In Pakistan, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters he had no information on Lakhvi or Muzammil but that authorities would check.

Ansari "told us about a planned Lashkar attack on Bombay, on southern Bombay," said Yash, referring to Mumbai by its previous name. "He gave us eight or nine specific locations where the attack would be carried out," he said, adding that Ansari had detailed sketches of the places and escape routes from the sites.

Ansari said he carried out the reconnaissance in the fall of 2007, which also included the U.S. consulate, the Bombay stock exchange and other Mumbai sites that were not attacked.

Ansari is now in Indian custody, according to Yash. It was unclear if he was being questioned again, but Maria said they were working to determine if Ansari played a role in how the attackers "got such intricate knowledge of the sites."


Indian authorities have faced a torrent of criticism about missed warnings and botched intelligence, and revelations that Ansari disclosed details of the Mumbai plot 10 months ago will be added to the list. Linking an Indian national to the plot also undermines India's assertion that Pakistan is solely responsible.

Yash said during extensive interrogations Ansari confessed to scouting Mumbai, arranging a safe-house there for Lashkar militants and provided details on his involvement in the group. "We got everything out of him, whatever he knew," he said.

Ansari linked up with Lashkar while working at a printing press in Dubai. He was taken by sea to Pakistan to the Lashkar camp in Muzaffarabad and received a false Pakistani passport and citizenship papers, which police recovered when he was arrested.

In 2007, Ansari said, he traveled to Katmandu, Nepal, and then crossed back into India and settled in Mumbai, where he conducted reconnaissance for a future attack, Yash said.

He was arrested Feb. 10 in the northern city of Rampur after suspected Muslim militants attacked a police camp, killing eight constables. He said he was there to collect weapons to bring to Mumbai for a future attack.

Yash said Ansari's arrest did not derail Lashkar's plans for an attack. "When they found that their mole in Bombay had been caught...they carried out the operations in a different way," he said.

Meanwhile, police officers said they were trying to get as much detail as possible from Kasab.

"A terrorist of this sort is never cooperative. We have to extract information," said Deven Bharti, the head of the Mumbai crime branch.

Indian police are known to use interrogation methods that would be regarded as torture in the West, including questioning suspects drugged with "truth serum."

Bharti provided no details on interrogation techniques, but said "truth serum" would probably be used next week. He did not specify what drug would be used.

During questioning, details of Kasab's recruitment by Lashkar began to emerge, said police, describing him as fourth grade dropout from an impoverished village who was gravitating to a life of crime.

"Lashkar recruited him, preying on a combination of his religious sentiments and his poverty," said Maria.

The revelations came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with leaders in Islamabad after visiting India's capital — part of a U.S. effort to pressure Pakistan to share more intelligence and pursue terrorist cells believed to be rooted in the country.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari promised Rice his country would take "strong action" against any elements in Pakistan involved in the siege.

On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department designated as terrorists four individuals who hold leadership positions in Lashkar, including Lakhvi, and ordered any of their U.S. assets to be frozen. Also named were Muhammad Saeed, the group's leader; Haji Muhammad Ashraf, its chief of finance; and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, a financier with the group.

Meanwhile, India put its airports on alert following threats of possible airborne attacks. Security forces swarmed New Delhi's international airport early Friday after the sound of gunfire was heard, police said, but no one was injured or killed. Police said it was not a terrorist incident.

The warning received by the airports "spoke of possibility of aircraft being hijacked by terrorists," India's air force chief, Fali Homi Major, told reporters Thursday.

The alert focused on three major airports — New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai — but security was stepped up across India.

Several extra layers of security were set up and some passengers' bags were scanned for explosives.

"Passengers have been asked to pass through six-stage security checks," said Brij Lal, a senior police official organizing security at the airport in the northern city of Lucknow.

Nirmala Sharma, a passenger who flew from New Delhi to Lucknow, said her bags were checked a half dozen times and she went through a metal detector three times. "Sometimes it seemed tedious, but it seems to be the need of the hour," she said.
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sometimes I sit and look at life from a different angle,dunno if I m God's child or Satan's angel
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