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Saturday, July 9, 2005

US must wake up

I am never tired of repeating this. Had the world's superpowers, particularly the US, been serious about the terror attacks in India during the 1990s, the hideous, cataclysmic events of 9/11 wouldn't have happened. The Times of India has put out a story on how terrorists prior to 9/11 used India as a laboratory to perfect their strategies and make dryruns of their plans.

Some of those deadly attacks in India were:
* 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai and subsequent incidents of bombing commuter transport.
* Hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in December 1999.

The hijackers who successfully bargained their way out, walked cross the border from Taliban's Afghanistan to Pakisatan. Less than two years later, George Bush realised the Pakistan link to 9/11, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Mumbai blasts took 258 lives, and the mastermind, Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan.

The report says: "Last year, new methodology used by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center to tabulate terrorist incidents showed that India was the worst victim. Of the 651 terrorist in the year, over 40% (295) took place in India with Iraq coming next at 201. The US and UK were not even on the board. But such is the nature of the western media that the London attack, which has claimed 50 lives so far, gets saturation coverage, while the Akshardam massacre, which claimed 37 lives, was just a blip on the western radar."

How true! Bush's war on terror is fine. No one has any objection to the larger goal that Bush is pursuing. But the war will turn out to be an investment with diminishing, or even no returns, if Bush doesn't sincerely take note of and act upon attacks elsewhere. The recent attack on Ayodhya evoked little comment from the West.

The US and the UK, particularly should realise that the terror attacks in India emanate from Pakistan (despite Pak's protestations to the contrary), and the global terrorism is only an extrapolation of this. Bush must take the whole world along, particularly in today's global geopolitical configurations.

Today's Times of India report:

India a lab for terror strikes

By Chidanand Rajghatta/TNN

Washington: Has the failure of western intelligence agencies to recognise India as a victim of terrorism and their lack of interest in terrorist modus operandi in India over the past 15 years brought them grief in recent years? It would appear so, going by the action replay of terrorist acts in India that one is now witnessing in various parts of the world.The serial blasts that shook London on Thursday show again that India has been used as a laboratory by terrorists.

The Mumbai blasts of 1993 and subsequent incidents of bombing commuter transport may have been a dry run for attacks in Madrid and London among other places.It does not stop there. The hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu to Kandahar also seemed a practice run for what happened on 9/11 — five men to a plane, armed with nothing more than box-cutters managed to commandeer a flight, the only difference being they did not fly and crash the planes into any buildings.

All that may be changing, now. Last year, new methodology used by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center to tabulate terrorist incidents showed that India was the worst victim. Of the 651 terrorist in the year, over 40% (295) took place in India with Iraq coming next at 201.The US and UK were not even on the board. But such is the nature of the western media that the London attack, which has claimed 50 lives so far, gets saturation coverage, while the Akshardam massacre, which claimed 37 lives, was just a blip on the western radar.

Some of that change is evident in high-level exchanges. Two years ago, then home minister L.K. Advani entered the portals of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for talks with America’s top spooks, in a repudiation of the stigma that was attached to the agency in India. In June, India’s national security adviser M.K. Narayanan held talks with the new US intelligence czar John Negroponte.But Indian officers say there’s a degree of reserve in intelligence dealings between the two countries.

The litmus test is the Dawood Ibrahim case. Despite naming him in its terrorism watchlist, Washington has shown little urgency in helping India extradite him from Pakistan, where he is believed to be staying. Recent reports of Dawood’s daughter’s marriage to the son of Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad have brought the underworld don within range of intelligence agencies.

The question is whether they can nail the man who masterminded the mother of all serial bombings in Mumbai, an act which claimed 258 lives.

1 comment:

  1. It is in the interest of the US to support the largest democracy in the world.The US is being terribly short sighted in its bid to win allies that are in its economic and strategic interests only! Osama Bic Laden was an ally of the US in the not too distant past.

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