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For The Record  

FTR #657 Targeting the Centers of Finance

MP3: 30-Minute Segment
REALAUDIO

Introduction: While John McCain touted himself and the GOP as successful defenders of American security against the terrorist threat, there were no major terrorist incidents during the U.S. presidential campaign. With the U.S. and the world beset with major economic problems, the “terror front” exploded with a major, headline-garnering attack on Mumbai, India’s financial and cinematic center–an incident that occurred at the same time as the surfacing of a report of al-Qaeda targeting of the New York City subway system. (Osama bin Laden has explicitly said that the destruction of the U.S. economy is the key to bringing down the United States.) Noteworthy is the fact that, shortly after the election, al-Qaeda’s number two man (Ayman al-Zawahiri) issued a racist communique in which he labeled Obama a “house negro” and said that Obama’s plan to shore up the troop deployment in Afghanistan would not result in victory. In the wake of the Mumbai attacks, strategic analysts have noted that a redeployment of Pakistani troops to shore up positions on the border with India would weaken Pakistani forces policing the tribal areas adjoining Afghanistan, a development that would help the Taliban and its Muslim Brotherhood allies! The Mumbai incident has also created a potential diplomatic crisis for the incoming Obama administration.

The Mumbai attacks have indeed heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. Of additional significance in this context is the evidence of involvement of the ISI (Pakistani intelligence) with both the 9/11 attacks and the Lashkar-e-Taiba–the perpetrators of the Mumbai assault. In addition to its strong links to the Pakistani intelligence service, Lashkar is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic fascist organization that parented al-Qaeda, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The attacks against India’s financial center took place as India was falling prey to the global economic crisis, making the attack all that more sinister. An eye to the future of the Indian/Pakistani conflict must be a fearful gaze, understanding that Lashkar-e-Taiba is linked not only to Pakistani intelligence but also to the A.Q. Khan nuclear network. Also terrifying is the fact that Lashkar has–according to Indian intelligence–targeted Indian nuclear facilities. Shortly after the originally-scheduled date for the Mumbai assault (9/27), the brother of the head of Lashkar was deported from the United States.

Program Highlights Include: Reports that the Mumbai attackers were high on coke and other drugs; review of credible reports that Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 hijackers in Southern Florida were also frequent dope users; Pakistani media reports blaming the attacks on-you guessed it-“the Jews” or, more precisely, “Hindu Zionists”; an attack on EU headquarters in Kosovo for which three German intelligence were blamed.

1. Investigators have effectively concluded that the Mumbai massacres were perpetrated by Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist terrorist group with strong links to the Pakistani intelligence service. Lashkar is also associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic fascist organization that parented al-Qaeda, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“Terror does leave a calling card. As the enormity of the attack on Mumbai sank in, it seemed like the arrival of al-Qaida in India, aversion of 9/11 designed to attract a global audience given the scale of violence and the planned targeting of westerners. With the capture of a terrorist, the actual authors were revealed. It wasn’t the al-Qaida. But the jihadi credentials were not much less impressive with Lashkar-e-Taiba named as the suspect. Given the operation’s obvious planning, few doubted it was the deadly firm of LeT-ISI in action yet again.

“Yet the difference between LeT and al-Qaida is not so significant as might have once been the case. In recent years, Lashkar has emerged as not only the single largest pan-Indian terror threat, but also a partner with al-Qaida in jihadi battlegrounds like Iraq, Chechnya and Afghanistan. It has shared training camps and cadre and used al-Qaida-Taliban facilities for a ‘jihad’ against India. . . . Aligned with the Ahl-e-Hadees sect, Lashkar was founded in 1987 by Saeed, who incidentally was also trained as an engineer like Osama and many other prominent jihadis, and who drew his inspiration from the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood — an organisation that saw Palestine as an Islamic cause way back in the 1930’s. In collaboration with ISI, Lashkar built up an impressive Kashmir portfolio with recruits chiefly drawn from Pakistani Punjabis, Pashtoons, Bangladeshis, Arabs and south-east Asians. . . .”

“Qaida in Partnership with Lashkar in India”; The Times of India; 11/29/2008.

2. Mumbai is the economic center of India, as well as the epicenter of its growing cinema and cultural production. As a result, a blow at Mumbai threatens Indian society as a whole.

” . . . Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. “Mumbai is a golden songbird,” he said. It flies quick and sly, and you’ll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you. The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

“Just as cinema is a mass dream of the audience, Mumbai is a mass dream of the peoples of South Asia. Bollywood movies are the most popular form of entertainment across the subcontinent. Through them, every Pakistani and Bangladeshi is familiar with the wedding-cake architecture of the Taj and the arc of the Gateway of India, symbols of the city that gives the industry its name. It is no wonder that one of the first things the Taliban did upon entering Kabul was to shut down the Bollywood video rental stores. The Taliban also banned, wouldn’t you know it, the keeping of songbirds. . . .”

“What they Hate about Mumbai” by Suketu Mehta; The New York Times; 11/29/2008.

3. As the blow against Mumbai was struck, the global economic downturn was affecting India, making the potential fallout from the 11/26 attacks even more severe.

“After years of being blamed for job losses in America and elsewhere, India’s high-tech companies and outsourcing firms are going through a downturn of their own. The global slowdown is forcing them to reduce hiring, freeze salaries, postpone new investments and lay off thousands of software programmers and call center operators.

“While some industry insiders insist the global crisis will actually benefit companies here, as Western businesses seek to cut costs by moving jobs overseas, right now the sector is suddenly gripped by an unfamiliar sense of uncertainty.

“‘It’s certainly not irrational exuberance,’ said Nandan Nilekani, co-chairman of Infosys, one of India’s best-known technology outsourcing firms. ‘There is a lot of introspection about what does this mean and when does it end.’

“The downturn is exposing a deeper concern: India has become the world’s front office, handling customer service calls, and its back office, helping to process payments and run accounting and other computer systems. But it has not yet become the head office — making major new products, pioneering marketing techniques or helping to shape corporate strategy. . . . “

“Recession Trickles to India” by Jeremy Kahn; The New York Times; 12/04/2008; P. B1.

4. Auguring very, very poorly for the future is the fact that the Lashkar is close to A.Q. Khan and his nuclear network.

” . . . Worse yet, the Lashkar-e-Taiba is, as I discovered while researching and reporting my book on Daniel Pearl, a group of which A.Q. Khan, the inventor of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, was a longtime friend. Mr. Khan, one may recall, spent a good 15 years trafficking in nuclear secrets with Lybia, North Korea, Iran and, perhaps, al Qaeda, before confessing his guilt in early 2004. Later pardoned by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Mr. Khan remains perfectly free to travel within Pakistan, as he was just admitted this Monday, under the protection of the ISI, to the most elite hospital in Karachi.

“No, this is not a dream — it is reality. Pakistan is home to a man both father of his country’s nuclear program and known sympathizer of an Islamist group whose latest demonstration has netted at least 188 dead and several hundred wounded. . . .”

“Let’s Give Pakistan the Attention It Deserves” by Bernard-Henry Levi; The Wall Street Journal; 12/03/2008.

5. In addition to the unappetizing prospect of a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate having access to nuclear weaponry courtesy of the A.Q. Khan network, Indian intelligence believes that Lashkar intends to attack Indian nuclear installations.

“India’s defense minister on Monday repeated a warning that Islamic militants based in Pakistan were targeting Indian nuclear, military and religious sites, a news agency reported.

“Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers that militants from Lashkar-e-Tayabba – a group believed to have links to al-Qaida – “are planning to carry out some strikes on critical infrastructure items, military targets and religious places,” according to the Press Trust of India.

“Pakistan-Based Rebel Group Is Targeting Nuclear Facilities: India” [AP]; Khaleej Times Online; 7/31/2008.

6. Recalling Daniel Hopsicker’s research on Mohamed Atta and the 9/11 hijackers in South Florida, it is interesting-and possibly significant-that the Mumbai attackers were apparently fueled in part by cocaine and LSD. VERY un-Islamic. When investigative reporter and author Hopsicker investigated the activities of the 9/11 perps, he found that they routinely engaged in drug abuse.

“Did the jihadists who tore up Mumbai last week rely on party drugs usually associated with Western decadence to stay awake and alert throughout their three-day killing spree? Britain’s Telegraph newspaper suggests that they did, citing unidentified officials claiming physical evidence shows the assailants used cocaine and other stimulants to sustain their violent frenzy. And if the notion of self-anointed holy warriors on a coke binge sounds incongruous, the report also maintains that the killers imbibed the psychedelic drug LSD while fighting advancing security forces. . . .”

“Were the Mumbai Terrorists Fueled by Coke?” by Bruce Crumley; Time; 12/04/2008.

7. Some Pakistani media outlets are blaming the Mumbai attacks on-you guessed it-“the Jews” or, more precisely, “Hindu Zionists.” This, and the targeting of Jews during the attacks themselves, suggests the attackers had more on their minds than anti-Hindu/anti-Indian sentiment.

“Mumbai’s 26/11 was actually a plan hatched by ‘Hindu Zionists’ and ‘Western Zionists’, including the Mossad, said a self-styled Pakistan security expert on a Pakistan news television show . . .”

“Pak TV Channel Says 11/26 Hatched by Hindu Zionists” by Nandita Sengupta; The Times of India; 12/02/2008.

8. Another terror incident-supposedly involving Islamists-took place in the Balkans at the same time. In the immediate aftermath of the rejection by the [largely Albanian Muslim] Kosovar population of an EU proposal to introduce security forces into Kosovo, an EU administrative building was the target of a bomb attack. Three agents of the BND–the successor to the Gehlen spy organization–were detained as suspects in the attack. Is there any connection between this attack, the Mumbai attack and the threat against the New York Subway system? The Muslim Brotherhood, like the Kosovo Liberation Army, has historical and political links to the Third Reich and its postwar underground incarnation. (The Kosovo Liberation Army incorporated many of the descendants of the 21st Waffen SS Division [Skanderbeg].)

“A Kosovan judge has ordered three Germans suspected of throwing an explosive device at the EU headquarters in Pristina to be held for 30 days.

“The three reportedly deny involvement in the attack on 14 November, saying they were detained while investigating it themselves.

“Windows in the glass-fronted building were shattered but nobody was hurt. . . .”

“Germans Held in Kosovo over Blast”; BBC; 11/23/2008.

9. Shortly before the Mumbai attacks, the brother of the founder of Lakshar was deported from the United States. Note the date of October 4th–a week after the original scheduled date for the Mumbai attacks.

“Imam Muhammad Masood, brother of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, was ordered deported by a Boston, Massachusetts court on Thursday on an immigration violation charge.

“Under an agreement with federal immigration authorities, the former imam of the 1,500-member Islamic Centre of New England agreed to voluntarily leave the United States on Friday night and return to Pakistan rather than be deported by the authorities which would have taken months, a period he would have spent in jail. He was accused of having lied to immigration authorities from 2002 to 2006 in a bid to obtain a Green Card. He pleaded guilty in February to five federal crimes stemming from his actions, which led to his deportation order. He will leave behind his wife and eight children. . . .”

“US Court Orders Deportation of Hafiz Saeed’s Brother” by Khalid Hasan; Daily Times [Pakistan]; 10/04/2008.

10. Note that the original date of the Mumbai attacks was supposed to take place on September 27th. Why the delay? Was the delay to avoid having them during the US election campaign?

“The gunman captured in last month’s Mumbai attacks had originally intended to seize hostages and outline demands in a series of dramatic calls to the media, according to his confession obtained Saturday by The Associated Press. . . . He said the assault, which started Nov. 26, was initially set for Sept. 27, though he doesn’t explain why it was delayed. The gunmen had been told by their handlers to carry out the attacks during rush hours when the station is teeming with commuters. . . .”

“Mumbai Gunman’s Confession Sheds Light on Massacre” by Ramola Talwar Badam [AP]; Yahoo News; 12/14/2008.

11. Shortly before the 11/26 attacks against India’s financial center, there was a threat against the subway system of New York’s financial center–New York. Note that the terror front was quiet during the presidential campaign. It heated up shortly afterward. In some of our discussions with Robert Parry, we noted that the Islamists/al-Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood favor the GOP and–through the Grover Norquist/Karl Rove Islamic Institute, are connected to it. In addition to points of ideological similarity between the Brotherhood and the GOP, the Islamists know full well that the Bush administration’s policies–which McCain figured to perpetuate–were good for its cause and bad for the United States. With the “terror front” quiet during the campaign, the GOP’s pretense to being “strong” on terror/national security had more credibility.

“Police bolstered security in subways and trains Wednesday after the government warned that al-Qaida were contemplating an attack on New York’s mass-transit systems during the holiday season. An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press says the FBI has received a ‘plausible but unsubstantiated’ report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system.

“The internal bulletin says al-Qaida terrorists “in late September may have discussed targeting transit systems in and around New York City. These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems,” according to the document. . . .”

“NY Subway Terror Threat Emerges on Busy Travel Day” by Devlin Barrett and Tom Hays [AP]; Yahoo News; 11/26/2008.

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