Πέμπτη, 27 Νοεμβρίου 2008

Intelligence chiefs were expecting Al-Qaeda spectacular

Western intelligence services have been expecting an al-Qaeda spectacular terrorist attack in this crucial period between the end of President George Bush’s administration and the succession of Barack Obama. Signals intelligence “chatter” in recent weeks indicated that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organisation might be plotting an attack “to grab the headlines” before Mr Obama takes over in the White House on January 20. British security and intelligence sources said there had been increasing concern, particularly in the United States, that a “terrorist spectacular” was on the cards. The multiple attacks on Westerners in Bombay last night showed all the signs of an al-Qaeda strategy — picking on vulnerable Western “soft targets” but not in a country where there would be maximum security. The attacks on Western targets in Bali in 2002 when al-Qaeda-linked terrorists planted bombs in tourist-favoured restaurants and clubs was another example where the group switched its resources to achieve maximum impact. Counter-terrorist experts last night said that India would have been selected for the latest spectacular “probably because that’s where al-Qaeda has sufficient resources to carry out an attack on this scale. They don’t choose for the sake of it, they look to see where they have the greatest capability and then order an attack,” a counter-terror expert told The Times. The key to this latest attack was the search by the armed terrorists for American and British passport holders. With a reported 40 Britons held hostage, the terrorists have the upper hand. The counter-terrorist sources said targeting Bombay’s most luxurious hotels and a crowded railway station had all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation. Bombay has been targeted before when 180 people died during a bomb attack on the railway station in 2006, but that incident was put down to militants, not al-Qaeda, and the Indian government suspected that the attackers had links to Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. This attack, however, involving the taking of Western hostages made it more likely that the operation’s masterminds were from the core leadership of al-Qaeda, which is based in the lawless tribal regions close to the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. The Americans have been expecting an atrocity partly because of the recent CIA success in eliminating figures in al-Qaeda, using Predator unmanned drones, firing Hellfire missiles at hideouts in the tribal regions of Pakistan. About a dozen al-Qaeda figures have been killed this year. Although an unknown group claimed responsibility last night, the taking of Western hostages and the deliberate seeking out of American and British citizens indicated a “typical al-Qaeda-style activity”, according to security sources. Other sources said India was the home of a complicated network of terrorists and it might be too early to jump to the conclusion that it was an al-Qaeda operation. “It seems to be a highly opportunistic attack,” one source said. The group that claimed to be behind last night’s attacks on Bombay -- the Deccan Mujahideen — has not hitherto been heard of in India, let alone in the outside world. But it could be an offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamist group that was also unknown until it said it had caused a series of multiple bomb attacks on Indian cities in the past year.
Last night’s attacks also appear to fit into a new campaign to hit busy urban targets, popular with foreigners and wealthy Indians, to cause maximum damage to India’s economy and international reputation. Many of last night’s targets — especially the Taj and Oberoi hotels — are frequented by tourists, diplomats and foreign business people as well as the city’s own wealthy elite. The Taj is one of India’s best-known colonial buildings and is next to the Gateway of India, which was built in 1911 to mark a visit by George V and is one of India’s most popular tourist sites. India has blamed most of the recent terrorist attacks on Islamist militant groups based in Pakistan or Bangladesh which, it says, have links to Pakistan’s intelligence service. Other alleged culprits include Maoist rebels and separatist groups in India’s remote northeast, on the borders of China, Bangladesh and Myanmar. But this year, the Indian Mujahideen has said that it has carried out multiple bomb attacks that have killed more than 130 people in the cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. In September the group threatened to attack Bombay, accusing the city’s Anti-Terrorism Squad of harassing Muslims. It is also reported to have threatened British and US targets in India. Some terrorism experts say the Indian Mujahideen is a front for an older group called the Students Islamic Movement of India, which they say has links to Pakistan. Others decribe it as the first homegrown terrorist group to have emerged from India’s 151 million strong Muslim population. India’s Muslims have long complained of discrimination at the hands of its Hindu majority. Many also object to Indian rule in Kashmir, the Muslim majority region claimed by both india and Pakistan. Al-Qaeda has repeatedly threatened to attack India in revenge for its policies in Kashmir, although Indian security officials maintain that the group has no active presence within the country. The picture has this month been complicated by the arrest of a senior military intelligence officer on suspicion of involvement in a bomb attack by Hindu extremists in western India in September. Colonel Srikant Prasad Purohit is the first serving officer in India’s Army — seen as a bastion of secularism since the country won independence in 1947 — to be arrested on terrorism charges.
Police are now investigating whether he and other members of Abhinav Bharat (New India), a Hindu nationalist organisation, were behind other recent bomb attacks. Abhinav Bharat’s president is Himani Savarkar, the niece of the Hindu radical who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.

Η Αλ Καιντα ακολουθεί σταθερά την πολιτική της όσο και αν λένε πολλοί αναλυτές ότι έχει αλλάξει τρόπο δράσης. Ο κοινός παρονομαστής της δράσης της είναι η ΑΣΥΜΜΕΤΡΙΑ. Να κτυπά εκεί όπου δεν υπάρχει αντίσταση και το κτύπημα έχει μεγάλη απήχηση στην Διεθνή κοινή γνώμη και να υποχωρεί και να αποχωρεί όπου πιέζεται. Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι όταν πιέστηκε από τον Πετρέους στο ΙΡΑΚ αποχώρησε προς το Αφγανιστάν , και όταν οι Αμερικανοί άρχισαν να κτυπούν και τις βάσεις τους μέσα στο Πακιστάν μετέφεραν τον Πόλεμο στην Σομαλία , και τώρα στις σχέσεις Ινδίας – Πακιστάν.
Έχει ειπωθεί πολλές φορές ότι το Πακιστάν αποτελεί τον αδύνατο κρίκο . Το κτύπημα στην ΒΟΜΒΑΗ δεν έχει στόχο τόσο πολύ την Ινδία αλλά το ΠΑΚΙΣΤΑΝ. Μία ενδεχόμενη αύξηση της έντασης ΙΝΔΙΑΣ – ΠΑΚΙΣΤΑΝ θα αποσταθεροποιήσει το ΠΑΚΙΣΤΑΝ σε ανεξέλεγκτο βαθμό. Από κει και πέρα, αν αυτό γίνει , όλα θα είναι εύκολα για την Αλ – Καιντα.

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