November 16, 2009
Plot Thickens: Indians Now Believe American Key to Mumbai Massacre
UPDATE: Attack on Nuke Sites Planned?
I reported on Saturday that India was looking into the possible connection between the Mumbai massacre and two men arrested in Chicago last month.
Daood Gilani (who had his name changed to David Headley in order to make it seem more "American") had been urged by his contacts in Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to abandon his plot against Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper for publishing the controversial Mohammad cartoons in favor of targets in India.
Last week Indian officials revealed that "Headley" had visited Mumbai and that two of the hotels he stayed at were attacked during the terror raid by LeT operatives. Those attacks killed 173 people and have been described as India's 9/11.
To give context to Headley's visit, one must remember that he had made similar trips to Coppenhagen in order to do reconnaissance on the Jyllands-Posten. On that trip he passed himself off as someone interested in buying advertising from the newspaper. From the federal complaint against Headley:
Among other things, HEADLEY conducted extensive surveillance for the purpose of facilitating terrorist attacks ...Today we learn that Headley also visited Mumbai's Chabad center -- also a target in the 2008 attacks -- and passed himself off as Jewish.
HEADLEY identified and conducted surveillance of potential targets of
terrorist attacks in Denmark, and reported and attempted to report on the results of his surveillance and related matters to other members of the conspiracy, including, among others: Individual A; Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, and Ilyas Kashmiri.
On Saturday I said that this could be a coincidence. The two hotels that Headley stayed at are frequented by Westerners. But to call this a coincidence would be to stretch incredulity.
It is becoming increasingly clear why the FBI would raid a halal meat processing plant (that employed only 13 people) run by Headley's accomplice -- Tahawar Rana -- with over 100 agents: Headley and possibly Rana were involved in the Mumbai massacre.
To what extent did Headley or Rana know that LeT was planning an attack on such a massive scale? That remains a mystery. It could very well be that Headley alone or in concert with Rana was asked to scope out areas of Mumbai but not told for what reason.
But it should be remembered that Headley approached LeT with the plan to attack the Jyllands-Posten. That is, we know that he is a terrorist entrepreneur. Perhaps he thought Mumbai offered a soft target the LeT would be interested in?
Either way, this is bad news. Headley is an American citizen. And to have any Americans involved in the Mumbai attacks is bad news. It means our homegrown terror problem is much worse than even I thought.
The American and Indian authorities are questioning an American citizen of Pakistani descent on suspicion of involvement in last year's Mumbai terror attacks. Indian media reported on Sunday that the suspect pretended to be Jewish, stayed at the Chabad center and prepared the ground for the lethal attack....Also, let me further note once again that Headley and Rana ran an immigration service. Who were they helping immigrate to the US and to what ends?
According to the report, Headley visited the Chabad center in Mumbai in July 2008 – four months before the attack – and presented himself as a Jew in order to stay at the place. Prior to the Chabad center, he stayed at the Taj Mahal Hotel, which was one of the central targets of the terror attack.
Thanks to Esther.
UPDATE: It gets worse:
India has put its nuclear power plants on alert and tightened security after intelligence about possible attacks, a report said on Monday.Thanks to JT.
The step comes after a man arrested in the United States on charges of plotting attacks in India was found to have travelled to Indian states that have nuclear installations, the Press Trust of India (PTI), the country's biggest news agency, said....
A senior home ministry official, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters that some states had been asked to tighten security around "vital installations", without giving out more details.