ISI runs anti-India ops in Afghan: Report

Pak`s spy service is aiding the Afghan insurgency with a wing operating against India.

Updated: Jul 27, 2010, 09:10 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New York: A week before the July 2008
bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Polish intelligence
had tipped off of a possible Taliban strike on the Indian
mission, according to leaked US military documents, which also
say that American ally Pakistan`s ISI maintains direct links
with the outlawed Afghan group.

The leaked documents also say
that ISI has set up a semi-autonomous `S-wing` to run
operations against India and Afghanistan and an official of
the powerful spy agency is in charge of running suicide
attacks in Kabul.

"Taliban are planning to carry out an attack on the
Indian embassy in Kabul. TB (Taliban) designated an engineer
____ to take this action," WikiLeaks, the online
whistleblower, quoted the Polish intelligence warning of
possible strike on June 30, 2008, almost seven days before the
attack took place.

Called "The War Logs", 92,201 secret US military documents spanning six years of the war in Afghanistan present the military`s own raw data on the war, including numbers killed, casualties, threat reports and the like, according to whistle blower website WikiLeaks.org founder Julian Assange.

The documents, the biggest leak in intelligence
history, said the attack on the Indian embassy led the CIA`s
then deputy director Stephen R Kappes to immediately go to
Islamabad to confront the ISI with evidence that it had helped
organise the attack. But the leaks gave no clue whether the
Indians were tipped off about the impending attack.

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into
the heavily fortified Indian embassy gates in Kabul on July 7,
2008, killing 58 people and wounding more than 140.

Defence Attache Brigadier R D Mehta and Counsellor
Venkateswara Rao were among those killed as the suicide bomber
targeted the embassy during the morning rush hour.

"INS (Insurgents) are planning to divide into two
groups: first will attack Indian embassy building, whilst the
second group will engage security posts in front of MOI
(Ministry of Interior), IOT (In Order to) give possibility to
escape attackers from the first group," said the warning, part
of a massive leak of 92,000 documents, posted by WikiLeaks on
Sunday.

"Budget for this action is about USD 1,20,000. The
main goal of this operation is to show TB`s (Taliban)
abilities to carry out attack on every object in Kabul."

Suggesting that the war in Afghanistan is going badly
for the US, the leaks said Pakistan`s ISI "allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders".

Giving details of the Polish intelligence tip-off, the
leak said that attacker intended to use stolen ANA/ANP (Afghan
National Army/ Afghan National Police) car, and may wear
stolen uniform.

"He (the attacker) speaks Dari with distinct Iranian
accent. Allegedly, he is the owner of a ___ company," it
added.

Advance copies of the leak were made available to
three publications - The New York Times, British daily
newspaper Guardian, and German weekly Der Spiegel, which made
some excerpts available.

The document dealing with the Indian Embassy is titled
`Threat Report... Threat to Indian Embassy.`

The date of information is June 30, 2008, while the
date of report is July 1, 2008. The organisation involved is
"Taliban Center" and the Report number is 75010708.

Other documents strongly indicate that Pakistan`s ISI
is supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan, as well as
plotting with Taliban leaders to assassinate Afghan leaders.

A member of the ISI, the documents indicate, is in
charge of organising suicide bombing operations in Kabul.

It suggests that the man studied at Haqqania madrasa
near Peshawar and revealed the general preparations to carry
out these attacks including training of the suicide attackers
in the `Ghalani camp Mohmand Ghar and Maulana Jalaluddin
Haqqani`s camp located in northern Waziristan`.

The report also suggests that the militants are
getting help from the Afghan police.

The New York Times pointed out that it has been
difficult for the US to pin Pakistan`s spy agency directly to
an attack orchestrated by the Taliban but the intelligence
warning provided evidence of ISI`s involvement.

The reports, while written by soldiers and
intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military
actions involving the US military, also include intelligence
information, reports of meetings with political figures, and
related detail, Wikileaks said in its posting on the website.
"Taken together, the reports indicate that American
soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a
network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from
the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through
southern Afghanistan, and all the way to the capital, Kabul,"
The New York Times said in its report.

"Many of the documents posted by Wikileaks suggest
that Pakistan`s spy service may be helping Afghan insurgents
plan and carry out attacks on US forces in Afghanistan and
their Afghan government allies," The Washington Post said.

Behind the scenes, both Obama and Bush administration
officials, and top American commanders have confronted top
Pakistani military officers with accusations of ISI complicity
in attacks in Afghanistan, as well as with names of military
officials working with militants, said the NYT.

Pakistani Ambassador in the US, Hussain Haqqani,
however, denied ISI`s role.

"These reports reflect nothing more than single-source
comments and rumours, which abound on both sides of the
Pakistan-Afghanistan border and are often proved wrong after
deeper examination," Husain was quoted as saying.

The documents indicate that Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, who ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, has worked tirelessly to reactivate his old networks, employing familiar allies like Jaluluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose networks of thousands of fighters are responsible for waves of violence in Afghanistan.

The documents indicate that from July to October 2009, nine threat reports detailed movements by Taliban suicide bombers from Pakistan into populated areas of Afghanistan, including Kandahar, Kunduz and Kabul, the Times said.

Some of the bombers were sent to disrupt Afghanistan`s presidential elections, held last August.

In other instances, American intelligence learned that the Haqqani network sent bombers at the ISI`s behest to strike Indian officials, development workers and engineers in Afghanistan. Other plots were aimed at the Afghan government.

Experts, however, cautioned that although Pakistan`s
militant groups and Al Qaeda work together, directly linking
the ISI, the Directorate for Inter Services Intelligence, or
ISI with al Qaeda is difficult, The NYT said.

It added that according to reports the Pakistani
military has played a double game -- "appeasing certain
American demands for cooperation while angling to exert
influence in Afghanistan through many of the same insurgent
networks that the Americans are fighting to eliminate".

Notably, the man the US has depended on for
cooperation in fighting militants, Pakistan Army chief Gen
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ran the ISI from 2004 to 2007, the
period from which many of the reports are drawn.

The National Security Advisor, Gen (rtd) James Jones,
in a statement, strongly condemned the disclosure of
classified information by individuals and organisations which,
he said, "could put the lives of Americans and our partners at
risk, and threaten America`s national security".

He said Wikileaks made no effort to contact the
administration and the government learned about the leak from
the media.

"Yet the Pakistani government - and Pakistan`s military and intelligence services - must continue their strategic shift against insurgent groups," Jones said. "The balance must shift decisively against Al Qaeda and its extremist allies."

Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, expressed strong concern over the
information revealed by the leaked documents.

"However illegally these documents came to light,
they raise serious questions about the reality of America`s
policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan," Kerry said in a
statement.

-Agencies inputs