Even more shocking: ISI behind Mumbai massacre

The following news is so terribly shocking that the prestigious Captain Louis Renault Award must be issued yet again this month. Here goes: the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI, was behind the 2008 terror assault on Mumbai. This shocking news comes up in the testimony of two Pakistanis who were detained by the US and are currently on trial for terrorist activities, including the scouting of the Mumbai terror assault. From The Times of India:

David Headley aka Daood Gilani and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the two Pakistani expat foot soldiers who allegedly planned and conducted the Mumbai recce before the 26/11 terrorist carnage have implicated the Pakistani government and its intelligence agency ISI in the ghastly attack.

In court documents that have surfaced ahead of his upcoming trial in Chicago, Rana says his acts of providing material support to terrorists in the Mumbai attacks as alleged by US prosecutors ”were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organization.” The documents also cite Rana invoking his friend David Headley’s Grand Jury testimony in which the latter too implicates ISI.

More from The Globe and Mail (which has the court documents) and The Press Trust of India.

If there was any doubt about ISI involvement in Mumbai, it should have been erased after the chilling transcripts of the Pakistan-based Mumbai handlers speaking to the terrorists were released in early 2009. One of the handlers was referred to as “Major General.” And Zarar, one of the handlers, was a go-between for the ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which executed the Mumbai assault. From The Long War Journal, back January 2009:

Six Pakistani handlers monitored the news coverage from Mumbai and kept in constant touch with the terrorists holed up in Nariman House and the Taj Mahal and Trident hotels during the three day siege. The handlers are identified as Zarar, Kafa, Wassi, Jundal, Buzurg, and “Major General.”

Zarar has been identified as Zarar Shah, the Lashkar-e-Taiba communications expert who set up the network that allowed the Mumbai terrorists to speak with Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders in Pakistan during the attack. He also served as a key liaison between the terror group and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Zarar is currently in Pakistani custody and has admitted to his role in the Mumbai attacks.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • gerald says:

    All the more reason to stop sending money to Pakistan. This war is way too profitable to the Military for them to end it.

  • SR says:

    Shocking I tell you…shocking!!!!
    Now what am I going to do now that these good terrorists have named the good nation of Pakistan?
    Oh my god – this can’t be…this just can’t be…have Headley’s head examined…have the ISI issue a clarification..this just can’t be right..The Govt of Pakistan can do no harm against the beautiful people of India. Stop this!! I cant take it no more!

  • Sumit says:

    This revelation is not going to help India at all. The real truth is US is not going to do anything about Pakistan’s terror export to India as they are bound by geopolitical boundations(supply lines running through pakistan). Until and unless LET or ISI tries to export terror to West like they tried to do in Copenhagen( Daaod Gilani and Rana Chichago trial).
    Indian lives are way cheaper than Western lives.

  • blert says:

    This explains the war on Raymond Davis — and the truth.

  • Jimmy says:

    The ISI chief is enjoying Washington’s hospitality at this very moment! And we call Libya a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”, why? US hypocrisy at its best! Reminds me of the time the US turned a blind eye to the ‘Blood Telegrams’ from East Pakistan….

  • Charley says:

    Everything ISI does is cloaked in plausible deniability. They will simply claim Gilani and Rana are making things up, and they don’t even know these guys. Wait for their press release.
    ISI has created a whole new lexicon for state sponsored terrorism – non-state actors, principled position, friendly Taliban, blood money, we have suffered more, etc.
    I believe it is time to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.

  • Villiger says:

    blert, didn’t quite think of it that way. You could well be right.

    Sumit, i don’t see a basis for your Indian lives are cheaper comment. So far the US has put a darned sight more on the line in this War than India has. on 26/11 too, the FBI helped intimately with the SIGINT if i remember correctly. Also you should read Willards recent comments on LeT, if you haven’t already.
    What is RAW up to? Anything?

  • Charu says:

    @Sumit: “Indian lives are way cheaper than Western lives.”
    Indeed; as evidenced by how the Indian government has (never) responded to Pakistani-sponsored terrorism against its own citizens. Why should/would the Americans or anyone else view it any differently?
    Some 3,000 Americans died on 9-11 and America declared war on the Taliban… OK, we are making a hash of it because of our absurd reliance on Pakistan, but we do have troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan to avenge the deaths of our citizens. I have heard numbers ranging in the tens of thousands for Indians who have died from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism IN INDIA. What have the Indians done to avenge their deaths? Cricket diplomacy! Captured Pakistani terrorists are never executed; they live out the rest of their lives secure that many Indians will actively protest their death sentences on their behalf. Contrast this to the swift justice that Mir Amal Kansi received in the US.
    A handful of Jewish Americans were slaughtered by the Pakistani terrorists in Mumbai, and there is at least a lawsuit filed in NY with the ISI chief named as an accessory to murder – no one expects it to go far under the current circumstances, but at least there is an attempt to seek justice (and the Pakistanis are clearly bothered by this “affront” to their general). Hundreds of Indians were also slaughtered during this Pakistani state-sponsored onslaught on India. And what have the Indians done in return? Play cricket with Pakistan, and start more diplomatic talks with the puppet government there while the true masters of Pakistan continue to feverishly build up their WMD stockpiles.
    You can blame the pusillanimous civilian Indian government, who tightly lock up their professional military in the basement, for this sorry state of affairs. But this is a democratically-elected government (not a fake democracy covering up for a rogue military like in Pakistan) and therefore it fully represents the Indian public who, apparently, are satisfied by cheap side-show thrills like winning the Cricket World Cup. Well, CONgratulations!
    Of course Indian lives are cheaper than Western lives; because that is how they value their lives themselves.

  • Niels Brinch says:

    Very interesting artcile and of course not the first time that ISI has been implicated one way or the other.
    Hardly no surpirse ISI have helped LeT in the past – but as an unpartial oberserver of the terrorscene – is it possible that Headley is trying to establish a defence as good as possible by claiming he worked “under authority”…. to improve his own position in the court case.
    Regards Niels

  • hillbilly says:

    i dont see any justification for your self flegallation.
    india is occupying kashmir and has killed more than 80000 kashmiris in last 20 years…india agreed to hold plebicite in 1948 but reneged on its commitment,what choice does pakistan have other than helping the kashmiri freedom fighters.
    your terrorist are our freedom fighters.
    as you said america is in afghanistan to get revenge for 9/11 then why should pakistan support blood thirsty americans?….16 0f the hijackers were saudis, america should have attacked saudi arabia not the worn torn afghanistan….can someone tell me how many afghans got killed bacause of american invasion?
    the life of american troops is in danger so you go on a killing spree why should we care about the life of american soldiers but not our citizens?
    i am not a religious nut ( i am an agnostic ) but i am honest enough to admitt that i celeberate the death of american soldiers.

  • naresh c. says:

    “india is occupying kashmir”
    Kashmir is a part of India.
    “80000 kashmiris in last 20 years”
    Your figures are incorrect and fed by Pakistani media.
    Most people have died because of Pakistani terrorists.
    Fewer people die in Kashmir than in Karachi and most are killed by LeT.
    “india agreed to hold plebicite in 1948”
    Only if Pakistan agrees to withdraw from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir before it. Still waiting for withdrawal.
    “why should pakistan support …. americans”
    Because your corrupt Pasha, Kayani, Gilani etc want money to buy condos in Dubai. When is the next debt payment coming due for you?
    “16 0f the hijackers were saudis”
    All of the handlers were Pakistanis. Heard of Khalid Sheikh? Ramzi Yusuf? Was Bin Laden in Afghanistan?
    Who killed Danier Pearl? Who gave money to Muhammad Atta?
    “.can someone tell me how many afghans got killed bacause of american invasion”
    Fewer than in ISI sponsored Afghan civil war. Remember Colonel Imam?
    “i am not a religious nut ( i am an agnostic )”
    So, you don’t protest when someone draws Mo-toons?
    Or can you write a letter using the name Muhammad without using PBUH to a Pakistani newspaper?
    Do you attend Ghazwa e Hind seminars?

  • Sumit says:

    I agree that Indian government in past has done nothing to prevent state sponsored terror from Pakistan and mainly because of fear of derailing booming economy and local vote bank politics.
    I was merely saying that Indians need to stop waiting for America to take care of their issues. We can not always trust Americans, they have to put up their national interest first specially after Dawood Gilani episode.

  • Tim says:

    India was prepared to got to war with Pakistan over its repeated terror attacks atleast 3 times! Each time the US pressured it into not being tough on Pakistan. Imagine you are India’s defense minister and the US Sec of State threatens to side with the Pak Army (in addition to China) if India were to initiate a war! The US is the most hypocritical countries, my friend. The US did not allow access to Rana or Headly to the Indians. They knew about Headley well before Mumbai massacre, yet they kept quite. The US provided billions of dollars of unnecessary weapons to Pakistan, those weapons which cannot be used against insurgents but can be used against India! America turned a blind eye when Pakistan was massacring civilians in Kashmir and Bangladesh and when China illegally gave nuclear technology to Pakistan. This has made it difficult for India to start a war. Whenever India has sent RAW agents into Pakistan, the US president telephones India to curtail its activities otherwise India will be declared a state sponsor of terror!!! (The US knows of RAW agents the same way the Indians know about CIA agents in Pakistan) The US has no right to talk about India’s non-activity on this front. One must first look into one’s own soul to see the cobwebs.
    Pakistan is the main perpetrator of massacres and rape in the Entire Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the same way it genocided intellectuals in Bangladesh in 1971! Pakistan has demographically altered the entire region through its genocide. Shias in Pakistan (illegally) occupied Kashmir and Hindus in Kashmir. Most of the rapes are conducted by Pakistani army trained terrorists. India has provided jobs, democracy, freedom of press, freedom of expression. Pakistan has provided only oppression, dictatorship and mass genocide. And about the plebiscite, let me make one thing clear for uninformed people like yourself: The plebiscite requires Pakistan to first remove its army and infrastructure from Paksitan (illegally) occupied Kashmir. Then it needs to bring back the original demography of the region, something which Pakistan can never do, because it has already MASSACRED THE ORIGINAL POPULATION! Thirdly, BBC surveys have already established that a huge majority of Kashmiris favor union with India! So your arguments are totally baseless.

  • Jimmy says:

    “…but we do have troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan to avenge the deaths of our citizens.”
    Because of Pakistan’s duplicity and the US blind trust on them, our troops are in Afghanistan more for target practice sitting ducks than to “avenge the deaths of our citizens”!

  • Shailendra says:

    Dear Bill,
    The Indian papers have missed on reporting an important aspect of the matter. The statements were made by Rana in order to protect LeT and also to claim immunity from persecution. Please read the entie order copy of the court and you will realise that only a part of the order which is only an allegation has been reported.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    I missed this article. The US has been able to stop Indian revenge, but if it occurs again, we could see a real war. A nuclear one.


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