Thursday, January 08, 2009

Chilling

The Indian government has released a dossier of alleged transcripts of the VOIP-based cell phone calls that record what handlers in Pakistan directing in real-time the actions of terrorists inside the Taj Mahal hotel during the Mumbai attacks last month. Some of it reads like dialog from a bad Hollywood thriller:

The dossier notes that on the basis of the interrogation of Mohammed Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab,’ the lone terrorist to be captured alive, the role of Lashkar commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in the training of the crew had been established. The terrorist group initially consisted of 32 persons but the team chosen for the operation was eventually whittled down to 10.

[snip]

At the Oberoi at 0353 hrs on November 27, a handler phones and says:

“Brother Abdul. The media is comparing your action to 9/11. One senior police official has been killed.”

Abdul Rehman: “We are on the10th/11th floor. We have five hostages.”

Caller 2 (Kafa): Everything is being recorded by the media. Inflict the maximum damage. Keep fighting. Don’t be taken alive.

Caller: Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims. Keep your phone switched on so that we can hear the gunfire.

Fahadullah: We have three foreigners, including women. From Singapore and China.

Caller: Kill them. The dossier then notes that the telephone intercept records the “voices of Fahadullah and Abdul Rehman directing hostages to stand in a line, and telling two Muslims to stand aside. Sound of gunfire. Cheering voices in background. Kafa hands telephone to Zarar,” who says, “Fahad, find the way to go downstairs.”

There's also a strong suggestion that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence--widely regarded as an Islamist-sympathizing rogue agency within the Pakistani government that once backed the Taliban in Afghanistan and still supports Kashmiri insurgents--was behind the Mumbai attacks.

Now it's certainly possible that this released material is disinformation--it's impossible to verify definitively. But if these allegations are true, it's a casus belli for sure.

1 comment:

zachawry said...

I remember reading a news story last year about the amazing nonchalance with which both Indians and Pakistanis viewed possible use of nuclear weapons. It might have been pure ignorance or maybe just bravado, but multiple interviews with "guy on the street" types in both countries yielded a "Nukes? We ain't afraid of no nukes! Bring it on!" kind of attitude. Truly frightening.