`ISI behind 26/11 & Indian embassy bombing in Kabul`

Last Updated: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 19:00

London: Pakistan`s ISI was behind the 26/11
attacks as well as the July 2008 bombing of the Indian embassy
in Kabul, the BBC said in a damning report on the military-run
spy agency that does not function "without the authority" of
the Pakistan Army chief.

In a new two-part series titled `Secret Pakistan` on BBC
two, Bruce Riedel, the CIA officer who served as advisor to US
President Barack Obama, said he had informed the then
president-elect about 26/11: "Everything pointed back to
Pakistan. It was a defining moment.

"I told the President Pakistan was double-dealing us and
that the Pakistanis had been double-dealing the United States
and its allies for years and years, and they were probably
going to continue to do so."

Riedel pointed out that "this (the attacks) had the
signature of Lashkar-e-Taiba all over it, from the very moment
the attacks began.

"And once you link it back to Lashkar-e-Taiba, you link it
back to the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI."

The second part of the programme, aired on Wednesday night
also revealed the "CIA later received intelligence that said
the ISI were directly involved in training the Mumbai gunmen".

About the car-laden explosives that went off at the Indian
embassy in Kabul that killed 58 people and injured 141, Mike
Waltz, who worked in the US vice president`s office while
George Bush was still president, said: "Through information
and a series of events (not to mention preceding intelligence
intercepts) it became pretty clear the Pakistanis were behind
the (Jalaluddin) Haqqani network, which was behind the
bombing."

He then damningly concluded: "The question was how high in
the Pakistani state this went. And the answer was pretty
high."

Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British ambassador posted in
Kabul at the time said: "A small cell (in the ISI) never
knowingly exposed to western eyes are in touch with the
Haqqani network."

Riedel also dismissed the belief in some quarters that the
ISI was a law unto itself.

"The ISI is a professional intelligence agency. People
don`t go about blowing other people`s embassies or giving guns
and money to terrorists without the authority of the head of
the Pakistani army, chief of army staff.

"The notion that the ISI is some kind of a rogue
organisation is a myth."

In the documentary, Taliban commanders have revealed to
the BBC the extent of Pakistan`s support for the Taliban`s war
against British and American troops in Afghanistan.

A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders gave
detailed accounts of how Pakistan, and in particular its
security service helped train, arm and supply Taliban forces
that have been killing British soldiers.

In the 1990s Pakistan helped create the Taliban to prevent
Afghanistan falling under the influence of India.
According to one active Taliban commander, who fights
under the name Mullah Qaseem: "For a fighter there are two
important things - supplies and a place to hide.

"Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us
by providing a place to hide which is really important.
Secondly they provide us with weapons."

Other Taliban fighters describe how they and their
fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on
Pakistani soil.

According to a commander fighting under the name of Mullah
Azizullah the experts running the training are either members
of the ISI or have close links to them: "They are all the
ISI`s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they
train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance.

They are present during the training."

Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al
Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent-spotting
possible suicide bombers: "I was in the camp for a month...
They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we
specialised in... suicide bombers were taken to a different
section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to
be suicide bombers were there..."

According to Richard Kemp, Head of Intelligence, Cabinet
Office 2001-2006 in London: "It was quite clear to us that the
Pakistanis were playing very much a double game and a lot of
what they were saying and some of what they were doing was,
was very clearly aimed at the, the eyes of the West and didn`t
necessarily reflect their real intentions and their real
actions.

"Over a number of years I`d been monitoring international
terrorist activity not just in the UK but around the globe and
I`d seen in virtually every case links back to Pakistan so it
didn`t come in any way as a surprise to find that terrorists
operating the UK were being directed by al-Qaeda leaders in
Pakistan...

"The ISI of course... must take responsibility for the
fact that some of these camps were still up and running
including perhaps the camp that, that was responsible for
training the 7/7 London attackers."

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 18:59

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