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Did Pakistani Intelligence Plan India Bombings?

That's the question asked by Ed at Captain's Quarters. The HindustanTimes reports that "[Indian] Intelligence agencies on Thursday confirmed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was the “mastermind” of the blasts that killed about 200 people."

The same 'hallmarks of the ISI' that Indian intelligence notes about the attacks are also hallmarks of al-Qaeda, as Ed reminds. Let's not forget the tangled web of support and cooperation between the Pakistani ISI and bin Laden's al-Qaeda, from bin Laden's arrival during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to present, which logically leads Ed to ask some hard to answer questions:

This could lead to a chicken-egg argument. Did the Mumbai attacks come from AQ or the ISI? Did the ISI teach these tactics to al-Qaeda -- or do they still assist AQ in operational planning of such attacks? Does Pervez Musharraf have control over his own intel service, or does the ISI have a rogue element that supports international Islamist terrorism?

If India comes to firmly believe the ISI direction in the Mumbai attacks, difficult times lie ahead not too far south of Kabul.

2 Comments

of course....al qaeda has benefitted more from pakistan than anywhere,,,americans will be backstabbed by pakistan and homegrown terrorists as has india

This is something I found in Le Figaro (translated from the second paragraph):

...It is necessary to say clearly that the Pakistani intelligence service is the principal terrorist organization in South Asia. All the other groups, be they called Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Mujuhhidin Movement, are nothing but the creations and the instruments of the ISI," says Ajai Sahni, director of the Institute for Conflict Management in Delhi...

If this is true, it is indeed worrisome. Certainly Pakistan has been tolerant of LET, which is now calling itself the Dawa Party. But tolerating and sponsoring are two very different things. While Pakistan has been helpful in the fight against al-Qaeda, it is best to remember that the sentiments of those at the roots of Pakistan's intelligence service are with the other side. It was they who were the Taliban's primary sponsor during its rise in the 1990s. And of course they have long supported the jihadist groups in Kashmir, as Musharraf himself did before the coup.

Not good portents.