Washington: David Headley`s revelation that LeT planned the Mumbai attacks with possible help from the ISI is a "ticking time bomb" that could wreck the US-Pakistan relationship and take the subcontinent to disaster, a former CIA official has warned.
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and now with the
prestigious Brookings Institute, said Pakistan should carry
out a "thorough house cleaning" of its military after the
Pakistani-American LeT operative`s revelations that attackers
had links to the ISI.
"Thanks to David Headley`s extraordinary confessions,
we now know how thoroughly LeT planned its 2008 Mumbai attack
and how closely linked it is to al-Qaeda - and perhaps to the
Pakistani military," said
"There is no excuse for not executing a more robust
crack down on Lashkar-e-Taiba and its front organisations from
the Pakistani government and for not conducting a thorough
house cleaning within the Pakistani army," he said commenting
on the recent statements of top Indian officials that
Headley`s interrogations had given ample proof of ISI`s
involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack.
"Headley revelations, if true, paint a picture of
official Pakistani military cooperation in an act of mass
causality terror that raises very worrisome and alarming
questions about our most important partner and India?s
nuclear-armed neighbour," he said.
"The truth about Mumbai and the future of Lashkar-e-
Taiba is the ticking time bomb that could wreck the nascent
US-Pakistan partnership Secretary Clinton is rightly trying to
build and that could take the subcontinent to disaster,"
The former CIA official, who helped draft the new
Afghanistan policy of the Obama Administration, said Headley
is a convicted conspirator and may have his own reasons to
mislead and lie, but his newest accusations are raising a
firestorm in India.
Headley reportedly told his Indian interrogators
that the Pakistani intelligence agency paid for the boat that
took the 10 terrorists from Karachi to Indian waters and that
Pakistani naval frogmen had provided intensive commando
training for them.
Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist arrested for the
Mumbai attacks, also told the investigators about the naval
Home Secretary G K Pillai said that the Headley
revelations show that Pakistani intelligence was "literally
controlling and coordinating the attack from the beginning to
Ridel said: "Washington and New Delhi are both now
waiting for Islamabad to respond. The Indians who have resumed
their official dialogue with Pakistan after suspending it in
the wake of 26/11 seem uncertain about how to proceed next.
"They have suspected Pakistani collusion in the Mumbai
attacks from the start but could not prove it before Headley`s
statements," Riedel said.