Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai attacks: Al-Qaeda methods & ideology; Malaysian ICs

Indian and American intelligence sources tell ABS-CBN that there is increasing evidence that the attacks in Mumbai were carried out by a Pakistani militant group linked to Al-Qaeda. The primary suspects, they say, are Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Lashkar-e-Toiba has denied it’s behind the attacks.

Indian intelligence sources say that one of the gunmen now in custody told Indian authorities that he – along with seven others – pretended to be students, rented an apartment in Mumbai and meticulously staked out the targets. Allegedly, they carried Malaysian identity cards. A Pakistani national, he told authorities he was trained by Lashkar-e-Toiba – taught to hijack a sea vessel and carry out urban warfare. These are tactics used by Al-Qaeda in past terror attacks, honed and passed along in its training camps; Lashkar-e-Toiba has long been linked to Al-Qaeda.

The ties are clear if we take the facts in Mumbai and compare them with the history of Al-Qaeda and its affiliate groups. … (more)

Terrorist groups in South Asia change their names often. Once a terrorist group is identified, often it just changes its name. For example, one of the first groups discovered with an Al-Qaeda link was Harkat-ul-Unsar (it also has links to the Philippines). The group changed its name to Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, and when they were declared terrorists, they changed their name again …. to Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The Mumbai attacks are well-planned and coordinated using tactics and methods that reflect a very familiar virulent ideology. It shows the evolution of terrorist groups – how homegrown and foreign tactics are merging and creating new threats. The roots leading to Al-Qaeda are clear. We just have to follow the links. -- By MARIA A. RESSA, ABS-CBN News 11/29/2008 9:16 PM

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