The involvement of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate in the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai will be publicly aired in Chicago on May 16 when the trial of Hussain Rana of Pakistani origin, owner of an immigration consulting firm, begins.
Six Americans were among 166 people killed in the Mumbai attacks. Though the 33-page charge-sheet does not mention ISI, it names Major Iqbal of the Pakistan Army whose affiliation to the spy agency has been detailed in U.S. and Indian case files. That ISI facilitated terrorists to cross the border to carry out strikes on Indian targets chosen by the Pakistan Army has been revealed by Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. interrogators, according to a fresh set of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The revelations add to Pakistan’s embarrassment after al-Qaida chief, Osama bin Laden, was found living in a fortress-like compound surrounded by military establishments in the garrison town of Abbotabad. Those indicted in Chicago include Sajid Mir, Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba leader with ISI links, and mastermind of the Mumbai attacks whose voice was caught on tapes directing the three-day mayhem by phone from Pakistan.
Despite the unprecedented charges implicating a Pakistani Army officer, the U.S. has chosen to play it down and the prosecution documents in the Chicago court have not been made public.
However, a recent judge’s ruling in the Rana case says David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani American-turned militant, admitted to working for the ISI as well as for Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba and al-Qaida. His account has been corroborated through other testimony, communication intercepts, the contents of his computer and records of phone and e-mail contact with ISI officers. India’s investigation agency, after interrogating Headley in Chicago last year, revealed that senior ISI officers served as handlers of Lashkar militants and provided a boat, funds and technical experts for the Mumbai attack. Headley was trained in Lashkar camps before being recruited by Major Samir Ali of the ISI who referred him to Major Iqbal in Lahore in 2006.
According to the guidelines prescribed by the U.N. Security Council committee concerning al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities (Resolution 1267), five conditions are necessary for any entity to be listed under the Sanctions List of Terrorist Entities.
i) Participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden or the Taliban, or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivate thereof.
ii) Supply, selling or transferring arms and related material.
iii) Recruiting for al-Qaida, bin Laden or the Taliban or any cell, affiliate etc.
iv) Otherwise supporting acts or activities of al-Qaida, bin Laden-Q, OBL, or the Taliban etc.
v) Other acts and activity associated with al-Qaida, bin Laden or the Taliban.
The direct role of the ISI and Pakistan in the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 and the July 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul are tantamount to “perpetrating of acts” in conjunction with al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. It is about time India moved the U.N. to list the ISI as a terrorist entity and initiated steps to extradite Major Iqbal to stand trial for the Mumbai massacres.
(Editorial, The Statesman)
(Asia News Network)