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Terror tycoon sheltered by our “partner”

August 3, 2015

Pakistan, an alleged “partner” of the U.S., is sheltering yet another international terrorist.  This time it’s not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar, but underworld kingpin and terrorist financier Dawood Ibrahim.

France often serves as a waiting area for revolutionaries before they go back to their home countries.  Saudi Arabia is often a flophouse for deposed Arab dictators.  Now we know who Pakistan likes hosting the most–fundamentalist Islamic madmen who murder civilians at will.

From the Sunday Guardian (h/t El Grillo):

Dawood hiding in plain sight with new identity: US experts

MADHAV NALAPAT New York | 25th Jul 2015

Experts in counter-terrorism activities say that there is “credible information that India’s most wanted person”, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, aka Sheikh Dawood Hassan, who, ironically, was the son of a Mumbai police constable of known integrity, “was in March 2003 given a new identity and accompanying papers by the ISI, in order to reduce the chances of detection and to facilitate his travel to multiple locations across the globe, including South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Portugal and Dubai”. They say that this identity change was carried out once it was confirmed that the United States (responding to repeated requests by the A.B. Vajpayee government at the level of Home Minister L.K. Advani and National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra) would declare Dawood a Specially Designated International Terrorist. This was done in October 2003, or six months after Dawood’s identity makeover. According to these sources, “such a step had no effect on Dawood’s international operations, both business and terror-related”, in view of the fact that he was thereby enabled to travel safely to multiple locations through use of the documents prepared for him by the ISI. They claim that Dawood was made aware in advance — presumably by the Pakistan authorities — that he would be labelled an international terrorist by the US. Responding to this, towards the close of 2002 itself, the canny fugitive had transferred properties which were in his name to nominees and benamis, so that nothing of any value was seized anywhere in the world, including in India, where he has substantial assets, especially in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Terrorism, hawala and narcotics go hand in hand in Dawood’s business empire, which at its peak had an estimated annual turnover of $4 billion in value before beginning a decline around 2007, because of increased US tracking of his assets and the financial networks operating on his behalf in Hong Kong and Singapore. The heightened interest was because of the expansion of operations of the LeT to Europe. “During 2006-2011, (Dawood) sold much of his international businesses and relocated some assets to India and most to Pakistan”, these US-based sources claimed, adding that there was little effective countering of Dawood’s operations in India during the period in office of both Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. But they added that “the heat has increased after (Prime Minister) Modi took over in 2014”. During Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September 2014, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval stayed an extra two days in Washington “mainly to work out ways of capturing or otherwise incapacitating Dawood”. They add that Doval told his US interlocutors that he had been on the fugitive’s trail for two decades, and that he wanted to ensure success in the hunt during his tenure in office as the NSA.

However, the problem facing the sleuths in India is that the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts has been travelling under a new legal identity since 2003, and has adopted a very low profile, shunning the high-profile events he was earlier seen in, “although he retains his contacts with Bollywood and is working to ensure through his contacts that favourites of his be given meaty roles”. They say that sports and movies are his favourite hobbies, as well as being money-spinners, mainly through match-fixing in the case of the first and influence over distribution networks in the subcontinent in the case of the second.

These sources claim that “the 26/11 attack could not have succeeded the way it did but for longstanding contacts within the Mumbai police and state political network of Dawood and his close associates”. They claim that “high-level politicians, afraid of being implicated through Dawood ensured that the domestic angle was never seriously probed by the police following the blasts”, with the bulk of attention being focused on captured operative Ajmal Kasab and his contacts in Pakistan…

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