New Delhi Threat: More Terrorists Loose in India
Fresh reports that more terrorists are 'on the run' in or around Mumbai. In addition to the unknown number of terrorist facilitators, planners, coordinators and collaborators that set up shop in Mumbai before the attack of last week, five more infiltrators are suspected to be on the loose.
Officials in Mumbai have failed to account for the movement of the terrorists believed to have been part of the operation to attack multiple high profile targets in the commercial capital.
Diplomats said the primary focus of the terrorists is likely to shift outside the city. The Intelligence Bureau was reported to have circulated a warning that four prominent targets in Delhi were under imminent threat from the Deccan Mujahideen, including Indira Ghandi International Airport and the city's main railway.
An intercepted email from the group also revealed plans to use auto-rickshaws in a fast-moving blitz on the city. Police have stepped up spot checks on Delhi's tens of thousands of three-wheeled taxis.
Eight men that were said to have paved the way for last week's attacks by infiltrating Mumbai, taking a flat and carrying out reconnaissance missions in the targeted hotels have not been traced.Officials also revealed that five more men, in addition to the 10 who carried out the attacks, are suspected to have arrived on the fast dinghies used by the attackers. A total of 15 life jackets were found when the dinghies were recovered.
In addition to the 15 life jackets, there were also fifteen sets of other items found aboard the Indian fishing vessel hijacked to transport the terrorists from Pakistani waters to Indian waters near Mumbai, including 15 toothbrushes and similar items.
Reports of the one live captured Mumbai attacker stating he was a part of a team of 10 brings questions to the fore:
Was he telling the truth or continuing his jihad by deception?
Were some of the items aboard the Indian vessel possibly that of the original crew (which was 5, one found beheaded and four others missing - likely tossed overboard) in addition to the ten referenced?Was there more than one infiltration, with terrorists making their way to New Delhi posing as Bangladeshi students, as the Mumbai attackers had in dry runs?
Regardless, let's acknowledge that the aim of these attacks, as initially observed early on, is and will remain going forward the instigation of a state-on-state Indo-Pak war. Such serves the Islamist terrorist groups feeling the pinch from US and Pakistani military forces in northwest Pakistan.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba, a signatory to bin Laden's International Islamic Front agreement issued in 1998 which officially formed al-Qaeda, has as its stated purpose the breakup of India and control of Muslim-majority areas - then the rest of India - as an early part of the establishment of a greater global caliphate. To intellectually separate Lashkar-e-Taiba from al-Qaeda is to intellectually separate the Buffalo Bills from the NFL. No matter what its members say publicly.
Earlier this evening, I spoke via telephone with the official representative of JUD, Abdullah Muntazir, to discuss the situation in Mumbai and mounting allegations of involvement by LET and/or Pakistani Islamists. Muntazir strongly denied these charges, referring to the attacks as an "internal problem" for India. He repeatedly insisted to me, "we have nothing to do with it", and blamed Indian "propaganda" for "divert[ing] the attention of the public media" --- which he described as "their usual practice." Interestingly, during our conversation, Muntazir went even further and actually condemned the events that have taken place in Mumbai as needless "carnage": "Islam does not permit killing civilian people." He added, "I don't think that this is a legitimate tactic."
Other leaders of the LeT have clarified in the past, quite literally, that when they say "innocents" are not permitted to be killed, by "innocents we mean Muslims." Muslims were not under attack in Mumbai. Indians, British, Americans and Jews (also expressed to attackers as "find white people") were under attack and murdered. Dismiss Muntazir's above statement as the deflective disinformation that it is. LeT is a signatory to bin Laden's International Islamic Front - ie al-Qaeda. And for al-Qaeda, even Muslims are permitted to be killed on their 'Holy' quest.
Expect the Mumbai tactics to be duplicated and replicated in large cities throughout the region when al-Qaeda affiliates launch attacks going forward. The near term, according to intercepts, appears to indicate the Indian capital of New Delhi as the next target.