Guess Who Helped Plan the Mumbai Attacks?


Why, our friends and allies in Pakistan, of course! The Guardian's Jason Burke breaks a big story today—which is also, alas, completely unsurprising: According to interrogations of those involved, Pakistan's ISI intelligence service helped orchestrate Lashkar-e-Taiba's brutal 2008 attack on Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel.

Pakistan's powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by the Guardian.

A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.

Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

He claims a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups.

Here comes the not unexpected hedge:

Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai for the operation, claims that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched.

Full story here. Burke's related story on Pakistani-American suspect David Headley here.

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  1. The Guardian’s Jason Burke breaks a big story today?

    Huh, is this part of his work with Treadstone? I thought that program was defunct.

  2. And sky rose in the east this morning.

    Let’s send our Pakistani allies in the war on terror some more money.

    1. Well, GWB did tell Pakistan that “you’re either with us or against us,” but that was simplistic cowboy crap, so we later decided that it was okay if they were both with us and against us at the same time, right?

      1. GWB later decided that…

  3. sky=sun It’s a new age thing.

  4. So, does that mean we invade Pakistan and hold off on Iran?

    1. No, no, no. The Pakistani political situation is very complex and we shouldn’t judge them because they decided to sponsor a terrorist attack on an Indian city.

      Just like the Saudi political situation is very complex and we shouldn’t just them because they have religious police who cut off people’s hands and execute gays and imprison women for being raped.

      You shouldn’t mention these good, nice countries in the same breath as those dangerous and evil mullahs in Iran.

      1. lulz. I love that we are backing an Islamic republic that funds attacks on an actual democratic country. Fucking spreading democracy, how does it work?

        1. Well, our deal immediately after 9/11 was that we would stop criticizing Musharraf as long as he helped keep the ISI in check. Of course, that deal ended for a variety of reasons, including domestic Pakistani reasons.

          1. And who’s the dumbfuck who believed he would keep them in check?

        2. Fucking spreading democracy, how does it work?

          After we solve the magnet thing, that’s out next assignment.

      2. Of course we couldn’t keep Oliver North from sending money to the contras. Should be any surprise at all that the Pakistanis can’t keep the radicals in their intelligence services from helping Indian terrorists?

        I agree this sucks, but what are we going to do about it? Start a war with Pakistan? Encourage the Indians to start a war? Cut Pakistan off? Okay, then what?

        I don’t think there are any good answers. But if you want the US to shoot its mouth off about this, you better be ready to back it up.

        1. Anyone who simultaneously:

          1) Bashes the US for allying with Musharraf in exchange for him cracking down on the ISI (and celebrates his removal);
          2) Attacks the “you’re with us or against us” formulation as applied to Pakistan; and
          3) Is against fighting another war

          is saying that having the ISI involved in terrorist plots against us is the least worst alternative.

          Fine so far as it goes, but it is the expected consequence in the real world.

        2. please tell me you don’t think Ronnie didn’t know what was going on.

      3. So you’re “you’re with us or against us” kind of guy, right Fluffy? None of these complex geopolitical situations for you.

    2. Personally, I think we should be more closely allied with India, not Pakistan.

      1. We should be and really are whether we like it or not. But, many of our enemies live in NW Pakistan. How do we go after them without Pakistan’s cooperation?

        1. India is relatively free and democratic. India is a growing economic power, probably the preeminent one in Asia in the long run. India has Bollywood.

          1. Well yeah. But that doesn’t solve our Pakistan problem.

          2. Still leaves the question, ProLib:

            How does being friends with India grant us access to our evil sandfucking enemies in Pakistan?

            1. We just cross over the border without permission like we already do.

              1. We have more permission than you think. There is a lot of “oh we told those evil Americans they couldn’t do that” lying going on. And the Pakistanis allow our supply convoys to pass through their country.

                Life would suck with Pakistan as an overt enemy.

                1. I say we make Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, and Bangladesh merge into one super country called India.

                  1. The Indians would gladly do that as long as they could eliminate all of those pesky Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

                  2. Hmm, that arrangement seems familiar somehow!

                    1. The above was supposed to be in response to Pro Libertate @5:06 PM

                    2. It’s what Gandhi wanted.

                    3. wasn’t that the ancient scope of “India”?

                  3. I believe that has been tried.

                    1. Reunification worked okay for Germany, you know.

      2. Yeah, but Pakistan was our cold war ally while India leaned communist. It’s a legacy thing.

        1. And Pakistan has helped us out a lot over the years. It didn’t start going radical until recently. If this is true, and that is a big if, it is a product of rogue elements in the ISI. It has been pretty well known for a while that the Pakistani government doesn’t have a lot of control over the ISI.

        2. That’s true enough, but time to make a change.

          1. W is glad you agree with him.

            1. I’m agreeing with Gandhi, dammit!

      3. We are, so that’s good. GWB made a ton of security and treaty arrangements with India, drawing us closer to them for the first time.

  5. At least their Atomic bombs are safe.

  6. Mother ….. fuckers!
    This was a huge deal @ werk (the John Patel lab).
    Not really surprising, that’s the really depressing thing.

  7. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched.

    In other news, if only Stalin had known of the gulags he would have shut them down.

  8. Meh.

    Sorry, a report based on “interrogations” by Indian intelligence services that just might have their own agenda in wanting to prove that the Pakistani ISI was involved is less than convincing. Especially when reported in The Guardian.

    The link between the attackers and the ISI would be unsurprising, but I am also cautious about ‘reports’ that confirm my preconceptions.

    Maybe we should learn something from all those ‘reports’ that confirmed Saddam Hussein had WMD in 2003?

    1. I always wondered whether the hole Hussein was captured in was actually the entryway into his underground lair. Where he kept all his nukes. We only caught him because he was outside, catching a smoke.

      1. The secret entrance to his lair hidden in another, smaller secret lair? Genius!

        1. It’s why it took two whole wars to deal with the man.

          1. It was really only one war.

            With a 12 year commercial break.

            1. It wasn’t even really a break. We controlled the northern third of the country and routinely bombed the shit out of them.

              1. That was the half time show.

              2. Hey, World War I only just ended, so don’t be too hard on the U.S.

              3. But that had nothing to do with 9/11, John. Bombing Arabs DOES NOT make them want to bomb us back, but drinking at bars and letting women vote does

                1. Or drawing pictures of Mohommed. France fucks around in Arab countries all the time and nothing happens in response to that. So yeah.

    2. Bingo. I can’t believe how credulous the OP and the commenters are. The Indian authorities have an agenda? No way.

      1. Of course they (India) have an agenda. As do we, as do everyone.

        It doesn’t mean the story isn’t the least bit *plausible*. Or that there have been similar instances in the past where India wasn’t the one ‘outing’ the ISI. I’d guess the story is probably true in the broadest details, with some speculation and insinuation enlarged to ‘allegations’.

        The idea (proposed below) that there’s an *equally* tiny chance of this case being true as there is of the Mumbai attacks being a ‘false flag’ operation is flat out silly; more accurate would be that there’s a *good* chance of this case being true… the idea of India murdering its own people in a provocative operation makes about as much sense as 9/11 trufers thinking Bush & Co. orchestrated the attacks on the trade center, and that bin laden actually works for the CIA. Its a case of cynicism overwhelming actual facts and historical details. Again, do I think India is 100% an innocent lilly in all cases? No. That doesn’t mean that Pakistan isn’t likely directly culpable in this particular instance.

    3. “”Maybe we should learn something from all those ‘reports’ that confirmed Saddam Hussein had WMD in 2003?””

      We did, the idea that if you keep repeating it they really will think it’s true, actually works.

    4. my thoughts exactly

    5. Aresen has won the thread.

      Hindu fundamentalist attitudes towards Pakistan mirror Muslim fundamentalist attitudes towards Israel more closely than people think. The saffron brigades simply want Pakistan gone.

      There’s a tiny chance that this report is accurate, but the same tiny chance exists that the Mumbai attacks were a false-flag operation led by the Indian state or it’s sympathisers.

      1. The saffron brigades simply want Pakistan gone.

        Can’t blame them. Actually, I agree. Pakistan has always been a disaster. America should start to talk with India about erasing certain borders.

        1. Yeah, since America’s done such a grand job of fixing up other countries lately.

  9. Pay up, suckers. Killing Indians is our business, and business is good.

    U.S. Military and economic aid to Pakistan

    Year Military (USD in billions) Economic (USD in billions)

    2005 1.313 .338
    2006 1.260 .539
    2007 1.115 .567
    2008 1.435 .507
    2009 1.689 1.366
    2010 1.232 1.409

  10. So we’re gonna bomb Pakistan now? I mean, more than we already are?

  11. “Guess Who Helped Plan the Mumbai Attacks?”

    Was it…Hitler?

    1. And his accomplices in the Tea Party.

    2. The “Too Damn Many Bombs” Party?

      1. Wait, I thought it was the “Too Many Damn Indians” party.

  12. There’s a reason why GWB’s “You’re either with us or against us” was directed at Pakistan. These sorts of activities by the ISI have been known for a long time.

    I assume that all the people who thought that that was an overly simplistic statement also have no problem with Pakistan playing both sides like this.

    1. It was a stupid statement since he had no intention of acting on it.

      1. He should have.

  13. please tell me you don’t think Ronnie didn’t know what was going on.

    1. ack that was supposed to be a reply. disregard.

  14. India will be our friend no matter what, so i guess we don’t have to worry about pissing them off. Pakistan on the other hand could flip to islamo-facist america hater in a heartbeat.

    1. They already hate us. Pak is a backstabbing fuck of an ‘ally’, just like our arab ‘allies’. Fuck them go India.

  15. This David Coleman Headley guy is a former DEA undercover agent….now he turns up in a Pakistani terror group? Also, it appears his wife reported him numerous times to authorities when he was training in Pakistan, but the U.S. basically ignored her:…..n-headley/…..gewanted=2

    Something smells to high heaven about this

    1. Criminal informant, not agent. And the only thing that stinks is that the U.S. probably gave substantially less of a shit about his plans to attack Indians than they did about his plans to do the same to Europeans.

      1. Right, but who goes from being a drug-addicted “mercenary,” as that one guy described him, to a radical Islamist? And note how he was described as “chameleon-like, deceptive”

  16. Terrorism is commonly portrayed as irrational, but just consider the billions of dollars Pakistan milked from the West over the past few years now that our leaders are so freaked out by terrorist attacks that they see the Pakistani government as a good alternative. From an evolutionary perspective, radical Islam is just the proximal cause of Islamic terrorism. Attempts to bribe radical Islam away is the ultimate cause of Islamic terrorism.

  17. “Guess Who Helped Plan the Mumbai Attacks?”

    And here I assumed the Obama Administration was blaming it on the Chamber of Commerce.

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