Man said he warned Indian cops of activity

Man said he warned Indian cops of activity

MUMBAI, Dec. 4 (UPI) — A leader of a fishing community along the Indian coast says he warned Indian officials of suspicious arms activity months before the Mumbai assault.

Indian officials, however, said the information was too vague to act on before the series of attacks on Mumbai in which 179 people died, CNN reported Thursday.

Indian officials said the attackers hijacked a trawler in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, about 575 miles from Mumbai, and went ashore at the Indian financial and entertainment hub in dinghies. Indian officials have said they believe the attacks were conceived and developed in Pakistan.

The fisherman, Damoda Tandel, showed CNN a letter in which he warned Indian authorities that terrorists were using the harbor to import an explosive compound used in military and industrial applications. He says police did nothing.

Two explosives were detonated in taxis during the attack. After the siege, police found one bomb in the Oberoi hotel and two at the Taj Mahal hotel, sites where hostages were taken. Officials found another bomb at a train station but the timer device on the explosive wasn’t active.

Tandel told the cable news broadcaster he is concerned that more explosives could be planted around Mumbai, although authorities said they believe all the bombs have been found.

The fisherman said police could have prevented the 10 attackers from reaching shore if they had secured the harbor.

Police said the lone attacker in custody told them the attack was planned in Pakistan three months before it was carried out.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mumbai doctor finds no signs of torture on Chabad House bodies

satellite Soldiers carry the coffin of one of the Mumbai victims after its arrival in Israel.
Photo: GPO

Mumbai doctor finds no signs of torture on

Chabad House bodies

Dr. Gajanan Chawan, who saw the bodies, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday he did not believe the wounds he observed suggested the hostages had been tortured prior to their deaths.

Asked if he saw any evidence of torture on the bodies, Chawan replied, “No, I don’t think so.” He added that the majority of the wounds he could identify had been caused by firearms.

On Monday, a morgue employee at the JJ hospital who had also seen the bodies told the Post by telephone that the bodies of the Jewish victims had a higher number of gunshot wounds than the bodies of other victims.

A hospital doctor at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital, which received the bodies of six Jewish and Israeli hostages from the Chabad House terrorist siege, has cast doubt on a report claiming that signs of torture were apparent on the bodies of the victims.

“On the Jewish bodies, there were more injuries in numbers, they were firearms injuries,” the morgue official said.

The bodies of the victims were flown to Israel on Monday after successful Israeli diplomatic efforts to prevent autopsies being performed on them in accordance with the religious sensitivities of some of the victims’ families.

On November 30, an article was posted on the Rediff Indian news portal which cited an unnamed doctor from an unspecified hospital as claiming that torture marks were evident on the hostages’ bodies.

“Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” the doctor was quoted as saying.

The report has since been widely circulated among news outlets and internet blogs.

At least 172 people are believed to have died over 60 hours during the multiple terror attacks on Mumbai last week.

As Bush prepares to leave the White House, issue of torture haunts him


As Bush prepares to leave the White House, issue

of torture haunts him

WASHINGTON — In the dying days of George W. Bush’s wildly unpopular presidency, it seems almost fitting that the morbid issue of torture – and his support of the practice in the war against terror – has become a dominant one.

The ever-increasing chatter concerns what Bush used to call “the program,” a top-secret process of interrogation techniques that included waterboarding, extended periods of standing, hypothermia, prolonged sleep deprivation and the use of psychotropic drugs.

Obama and his freshly minted team of foreign policy and legal officials, facing pressure from congressional Democrats and human rights organizations, are grappling with calls to prosecute officials at the CIA and the Department of Justice who authorized torture.

“The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure that those who were responsible for the torture program pay the price for it,” Michael Ratner, a professor at Columbia Law School and president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said recently.

“I don’t see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable.”

Bush, in the meantime, is being pressured by those on the right to grant pre-emptive pardons to any senior staffers involved in the formation and implementation of “the program.”

“Bush should consider pardoning – and should at least be vociferously praising – everyone who served in good faith in the war on terror, but whose deeds may now be susceptible to demagogic or politically inspired prosecution by some seeking to score political points,” right-wing pundit Bill Kristol wrote recently in the New York Times.

“The CIA agents who waterboarded (9-11 mastermind) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the NSA (National Security Agency) officials who listened in on phone calls from Pakistan, should not have to worry about legal bills or public defamation. In fact, Bush might want to give some of these public servants the Medal of Freedom … they deserve it.”

Eric Holder, Obama’s choice for attorney-general, has denounced torture.

In a speech to the American Constitution Society in June, Holder urged an end to the practice of transferring terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture. He said the United States should declare it will not subject prisoners to forced interrogations or degrading treatment.

He also called for an end to warrantless wiretapping, another hallmark of Bush’s post-911 policies.

Bush, said to be consumed with his legacy, could damage it even further by pardoning some of his staff members. Such pre-emptive pardons would also imply that his government’s post-911 activities were illegal when he has long insisted they were lawful.

Instead, the president appears to be gambling that Obama will give his team a pass. White House officials have said such pardons are unnecessary, pointing to Justice Department legal opinions that supported the administration’s methods of detaining and interrogating terror suspects.

“Before conducting interrogations, the CIA officials sought the advice of the Department of Justice, and I am aware of no evidence that these DOJ attorneys provided anything other than their best judgment of what the law required,” Michael Mukasey, Bush’s attorney-general, said in a speech on Nov. 20 in New York.

He promptly passed out a moment later in a fainting spell that became a YouTube sensation, not long after an audience member shouted: “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!”

Nonetheless the ball is now firmly in Obama’s court with the White House’s insistence that the Bush administration was assured by Justice Department officials that there was nothing illegal about “the program.”

The president-elect is apparently eager, however, to avoid the appearance of seeking to punish Bush and the partisan warfare that could erupt as a consequence. Those close to Obama say it’s unlikely he’ll launch criminal probes into the Bush administration’s post-911 practices.

Instead, he’s reportedly considering a commission to investigate counter-terrorism policies and publicize as many details as possible about the Bush government’s torture policies.

The idea appeared to win some support this week from Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate’s judiciary committee.

“Personally, I would like to know exactly what happened . . . more as a ‘past is prologue’ kind of thing,” he said.

“I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Torture is going to be a major issue.”

The commission would have the power to order American intelligence agencies to open their files for review, and to question the senior officials who approved “waterboarding” and other torture tactics.

No Third World Guns


No Third World Guns

This picture, taken in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, is disturbing on a number of levels.

These aren’t AK-47s, the cheap and ubiquitous automatic weapons favored in the third world because, while crude, will shoot under almost any circumstance. No, these are Heckler & Koch MP5s, the standard submachine gun of security services throughout the world, including our own special forces in all branches of the military.

This isn’t a black market gun. While people living in caves in Afghanistan can and do manufacture Kalashnikovs by hand, the MP5 is a sophisticated weapon requiring high tech metallurgy and other technologies for their production.

Report: Obama advisors want NATO troops in West Bank


Report: Obama advisors want NATO troops in West


Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – US President-elect Barack Obama is considering a deployment of NATO forces to the West Bank as part of a plan for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, an American newsmagazine reported on Wednesday.

Former US-national security advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski reportedly endorsed the strategy in recent days. Meanwhile, Obama’s nominee to head the National Security Council, Gen. James Jones, apparently favors the idea, all according to Newsweek, a weekly American newsmagazine.

“A principle that appeared to be out of bounds I think is now in bounds,” said Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy from the International Quartet countries.

Israel has long argued that the country cannot deal with Palestine until the Palestinian Authority (PA) manages to control militants. And Palestinians complain that they cannot conciously ask militias to disarm so long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But a NATO force, Obama’s advisors argue, would bridge the impasse on both sides.

“But then it’s not clear how NATO could prevent the Israelis from taking matters into their own hands,” according to the Newsweek report, if Palestinian fighters began “picking off” NATO soldiers.

“And should all-out fighting resume–this is, remember, one of the world’s most intractable conflicts–NATO could be drawn into the middle,” the article goes on to say.

Pak TV channel says 26/11 hatched by Hindu Zionists

Pak TV channel says 26/11 hatched by Hindu


Nandita Sengupta, TNN

NEW DELHI: Mumbai’s 26/11 was actually a plan hatched by “Hindu Zionists” and “Western Zionists”, including the Mossad, said a self-styled

Pakistan security expert on a Pakistan news television show, uploaded on

” Inki shaklein Hinduonwali hain, jis zabaan mein guftagoo kar rahein hain, woh zabaan koi Pakistani istemaal nahin karta hai (They look like Hindus. No Pakistani speaks the language they chatted in),” said Zaid Hamid while referring to the terrorists on the show Mujhe Ikhtilaf Hai (I differ) on Pakistan’s News One channel. The sensationalist channel was launched in November last year.

Hamid said that it was a “badly planned” operation that had gone horribly wrong. “9/11 jo Americans ne kiya tha usko bahut khoobsurat camouflage kiya tha. Unhone media mein perception management bahut acchha kiya . Indians ne wahi game repeat karne ki koshish ki, lekin akal to hai nahin . In ahmakon ne complete disaster kiya isko handle karne mein . (The Americans executed the 9/11 attack perfectly. They managed the media very well. The Indians tried to repeat the formula but goofed up. The idiots made a complete mess of it).

He said that the attackers wore saffron Hindu Zionist bands, which no Muslim would tie. Hamid also said that within the first 5 minutes of the attack, the three ATS policemen investigating the network of terror within India’s security agencies and radical right were killed.

That ensured that those investigations reach a dead end. Anchor Qudsia Qadri added that with their killings, the investigations into the Samjhauta Express carnage would be halted. The killings also immediately shifted attention from India’s domestic terrorists to Pakistan, said Hamid.

Marvi Memon, glamorous Pakistan Muslim League member, on the same programme, was appalled at the Pakistan government’s expansion of the “India-appeasement package” by initially agreeing to send ISI chief to India. “I just don’t get it,” she exclaimed in exasperation.

She wondered how can you send the ISI chief to a ” mulk jiske sath jang chal raha hai …at a different level…,” mentioning Kashmir and accusing India of blocking Pakistan’s waters. Memon said, “They (Indians) are quite obsessed with anti-Pakistan speak and that unites them,” she said. Memon also spoke about India’s separatist movements and believed that India was only reaping the bitter harvest of the poisonous seeds it had sowed.

Blogger writes in, “India has been relapsing into religious extremism and numerous separatist movement have mushroomed due to official patronage …I see the Mumbai bombings as the desperate move of separatists who want to blame everything on Muslims.”

It’s not only random voices railing against fingers pointing to Pakistan. Blogger and journalist Farrukh Khan Pitafi is miffed. “For years I have been advocating peace between India and Pakistan,” he wrote. But he, too, says that India was out of its mind in naming Pakistan as the source of violence without identification of the perpetrators.

He wrote: “During such a long coverage of the mishap not a single outlet pointed out that Hemant Karkare… was the same man whose dismissal was Narendra Modi’s biggest demand. Or that he was the man on the verge of uncovering the home-grown terror franchise of the Hindu extremists. No channel mentioned Colonel Purohit once during the live telecast, no not even CNN, BBC or CBS. It is sad.”