`Mumbai blasts bear all markings of LeT`
Washington/Boston: Stating that the Mumbai serial blasts "renew questions" about Pakistan`s crackdown on militants, the US media has pointed out that the latest attacks in India`s financial hub had all the markings of LeT which also carried out the 2008 terror strikes there.
While Indian investigators begin to sift through the wreckage of three terrorist bombings in Mumbai, suspicions have immediately turned to Pakistan-connected militant groups,
"Whatever the investigation uncovers -- and it`s still very early -- one thing is clear: Those groups still operate despite international pressure on Pakistan after the Mumbai
attacks of nearly three years ago," said the report headlined `Mumbai Attacks Renew Questions About Pakistan`s Crackdown on Militants.`
It said that yesterday`s "coordinated rush-hour explosions" were smaller and less sophisticated than the "meticulously planned strike on Mumbai in November 2008."
The latest attack "involved bombs planted in strategic locations, a recurring tactic used by Indian affiliates of Lashkar in recent years."
In the report, ProPublica`s investigative journalist Sebastian Rotella said that during the past week, Pakistani leaders have criticised the Obama administration for...withholding 800 million dollars in military aid."
The latest Mumbai attacks "could also turn out to be part of that shadow-conflict. The ISI uses militant groups as a weapon to strengthen its position in the dangerous triangle of Pakistani relations with the United States and India," the report said.
The Chicago Tribune said the latest Mumbai assault "appears to have been carried out by associates of two Chicago terrorists (David Headley and Tahawwur Rana) convicted last
"While no group has claimed responsibility, and the Indian government has not blamed anyone, Wednesday`s attack has all the markings of Lashkar-e-Toiba, radical Pakistani terrorists who employed a pair of Chicago men as scouts and planners," it said.
The report said the "coordinated explosions" in the jewellery and financial districts of Mumbai are "precisely the kinds of attacks that David Coleman Headley helped to plot for Pakistani terrorists. This latest assault was shorter, smaller and more precise, but no less unnerving."
A report in the online edition of the Los Angeles Times said that in the aftermath of the Mumbai explosions, "...some suspicions focused on Pakistan-based militant groups."
At least 21 people were killed and more than 140 injured in the terror attacks in Mumbai`s Dadar market area, Jhaveri Bazaar and Opera House neighbourhood.
US President Barack Obama condemned the attacks, saying "American people will stand with the Indian people in times of trial... and we will offer support to India`s efforts to bring
the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice."
Taking note of the date 13th, the Chicago Tribune report further said that terror investigators have returned to the calendar, noting that the 13th and the 26th have been the chosen days for attacks against India.
"Since 2009 there have been six such attacks, always occurring on either the 13th or the 26th days of the month, all deadly, culminating with the Wednesday`s July 13 in Mumbai."
"Terrorism experts in the US and overseas have not been able to crack the date code of 13 and 26. David Headley and other terror subjects have been questioned about why attacks
occur on those dates and either they don`t know or won`t say," the report said.
The Wall Street Journal termed the attacks as the "worst terrorist attack since a three-day militant siege in Mumbai in 2008."
"The attacks underscored India`s significant domestic security vulnerabilities, despite efforts in recent years to bolster intelligence-gathering and coordination between local and national-security officials.
"The attacks could also complicate nascent efforts at establishing peace between India and neighbouring rival Pakistan," the WSJ report said in its online edition.
"While no suspects were named and no group came forward to claim responsibility Wednesday, if Pakistani-based militants ultimately are held responsible, it could throw the
countries` detente off course and lead to new tensions between the historic rivals," it added.
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