Posts Tagged ‘26/11’

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Terror planner says Pakistan paid him

April 4, 2016

David Headley, a Pakistani with U.S. citizenship, served as the lead scout for the Nov. 26 terrorist attacks against Mumbai, India.  Headley was convicted for his crimes in the U.S. in 2013.  As evidence at his trial indicated, Headley was paid by the ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency, to conduct the Mumbai reconnaissance.  Headley has repeated this version of events again during remote video testimony for his trial in India.  Headley also worked for the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.  What does that tell you about the shared interests of the ISI and the LeT?

From Foreign Policy‘s South Asia Daily brief:

David Headley: ISI paid me for reconnaissance for 26/11 targets

A U.S. citizen convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks told an Indian court on Thursday that the Pakistani intelligence service ISI paid him directly for reconnaissance of target for the 26/11 attacks (CNN-IBN). In his testimony given through video link from the United States, Headley claimed that he was given one hundred thousand Pakistani rupees to scout National Defence College, Chabad House, and other places in Mumbai. Last month, Headley also told the court that he had visited India seven times prior to the attack, on behalf of the banned Pakistani militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to gather information scouting potential target locations in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. Headley, 52, was captured in 2013 in the United States and plead guilty to charges of working with LeT and his involvement in the attacks, to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India. The November 2008 attacks in Mumbai were a coordinated set of strikes on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural center, and claimed 166 lives along with nine attackers.

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Islamic charity funded Mumbai terror attacks

July 11, 2014

Many of us will long remember the images of smoke billowing up from the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008, as a result of the wider operation that would become known in India as the 26/11 terrorist attacks that left 160 dead.

It has been presumed since then that hawala, the traditional Islamic money transfer system, was involved in the financing of the attack, which Money Jihad also believed helped the perpetrators. However, it is now beginning to appear, based on accounts from India’s Intelligence Bureau, that the Islamic charity known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its imams were actually behind the equivalent of $200,000 in payments, and that the money was transferred in small increments outside of the hawala system.

Rediff.com reports (h/t Geuzen):

‘JuD used charity money to fund Mumbai 26/11 attacks’

An Intelligence Bureau dossier has revealed that an amount of around Rs 1,17,37,820 was spent to carry out the Mumbai 26/11 terror attack by Pakistan sponsored Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The dossier is significant considering the recent ban on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa — Lashkar’s financial wing — imposed by the United States of America.

The JuD has been raising funds under the garb of charity and diverting it for terror activities particularly against India. The IB dossier details the manner in which the JuD raised funds for the 26/11 attack and diverted it to the Lashkar coffers.

The JuD has 50,000 members and each one is assigned a specific task of raising money under the pretext of charity, says the dossier. Until the year 2002, the Lashkar enjoyed the open backing of the Pakistan government. But after they chose to be more discreet, the JuD was floated to channelise funds.

The IB has said that its dossier was prepared based on statements made by Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist David Headley and intelligence collected from various sources. The dossier states the expenditure for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were divided into four parts.

The money spent on the ten terrorists, including the pay off to their families and their training, was around 130,000 US dollars. The Lashkar spent 25,000 US dollars on weapons and 500 dollars for the VOIP accounts through which communication was maintained through the operation.

Headley had said that he received an amount of 40,000 US dollars from the Lashkar to carry out surveillance and other expenditure during his visits to India.

The dossier also states that funding for the JuD comes from sympathisers based out of Saudi Arabia. People who subscribe to the Wahabi school of thought contribute the most. Till date many donors contribute money for the Lashkar’s fight in Kashmir.

JuD members travel across the world to collect funds. When planning for the 26/11 attacks commenced a core team was constituted to collect funds. The Lashkar ensured that majority of the funds were collected through donations and every JuD office had a box that read charity on it. While 60 per cent of the funds came from Pakistanis settled in Saudi Arabia and Britain the rest was collected through open donations in Pakistan, the dossier states. It was around this time that the Islamic Society in the Gulf was revived and contributions began to pour in.

Since 2002, the Lashkar has devised several methods to raise funds but according to the Intelligence Bureau, JuD has been most effective in fund collection. What worked in JuD’s favour was that it was considered a legitimate outfit and none of the money was accounted by the international community as it was considered to be a charity organisation.

The JuD not only collected funds for charity and diverted it to the Lashkar, but also helped the outfit legitimise the money collected by extortion, counterfeiting, smuggling and animal skin trade.

The JuD has also set up hospitals, fish farms and a carpet business. The outfit made it compulsory for every agriculturist in Pakistan to contribute 10 per cent of their annual earnings to charity, known as ushr.

But for the Lashkar, its biggest source of income is from the drug trade. While on one hand the Inter-Services Intelligence collects money from Dawood Ibrahim, who is the leader of this trade, the Lashkar has its own set of men who undertake the same business. The Lashkar alone smuggles out 5000 tons of opium every year, which approximately accounts to 2.5 billion dollars. This money is equally shared with the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which aides Lashkar operatives smuggle opium out of Afghanistan where it is produced.

The dossier also states that most of the money is sent to different parts of the world where the Lashkar operatives are present. It is also distributed among Al-Qaeda members present in Syria, Iraq, US and other countries. A significant amount is also sent to Jammu and Kashmir. At least 2 banks in the Valley are directly under the control of the Lashkar, which means they do not rely on the hawala network.

Money sent to different parts of the world is often carried by JuD preachers. Until now these persons were not checked, as the JuD was considered to be a legitimate organisation…

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Terror financier sentenced to 14 years

January 25, 2013

Muslim front company owner

Tahawwur Rana, an Islamic extremist who used a Chicago front company to fund the Pakistani jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.  Rana also bankrolled activities of his lifelong friend David Coleman Headley, the lead scout behind the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks—attacks which were also funded by Pakistan’s ISI spy service via Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Headley himself was sentenced to 35 years in prison yesterday.  He was largely responsible for the deaths of over 160 people including six Americans.  U.S. officials claimed that Headley was cooperative with investigators.  Eric Holder authorized prosecutors not to seek the death penalty, and the prosecutors didn’t even seek a life sentence in light of Headley’s “cooperation.”

Asked if he was remorseful about the loss of life, Headley simply said “they were Indians.”

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India wanted U.S. to name ISI as terror group

August 1, 2012

Over a year ago, a prominent Indian newspaper predicted that the U.S. would have little choice but to issue a formal designation against the ISI as a terrorist entity.  The Times of India, perhaps the most widely read English-language newspaper in the world, believed that the Obama administration had “little wiggle room” in its decision due to testimony given during the David Headley trial about the role the ISI played in the 26/11 terror attacks against Mumbai:

Chicago case puts US support to Pakistan on trial

Chidanand Rajghatta, May 24, 2011

WASHINGTON: Far away from the courtroom drama in Chicago, in rarefied policy making circles in Washington DC, the Obama administration is also on trial for continued support to Pakistan despite copious information spilling out on the witness stand about the country’s sponsorship of terrorism and the role of its spy agency ISI in the Mumbai attack.

What puts the US administration in a fix — and spotlight — is that the information is coming from the government’s own witness. Testimony by the Department of Justice’s star prosecution witness David Headley in the trial of his friend Tawahhur Hussain Rana has left no doubt about the complicity of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI in overseeing the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008 which killed 170 people, including six Americans.

Headley, who plea bargained with the government to escape death penalty, says he reported to a serving ISI officer named Major Iqbal among others ahead of the Mumbai attack, and a Pakistani Navy frogman helped land terrorists for the attack. He is also providing elaborate details about the ISI’s nexus with Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist entities which are formally designated as such by the State Department.

That leaves the Obama administration little wiggle room in avoiding formally designating ISI as a terrorist entity, although informally Washington already considers it a “terrorist support entity,” as disclosed in secret cables.

The State Department has been circumspect in addressing information emerging from the Chicago trial, even though it is a DoJ witness who is implicating ISI, and by inference, the Pakistani government (since Islamabad insists that the spy agency is compliant with government directives).

“Those are allegations, and we’ve asked the Pakistani Government to address those allegations in the past,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday, adding he didn’t want to “get in beyond that” since the trial was ongoing.

But there is growing unease in policy circles about how long Washington can continue to shield Pakistan citing its critical importance in the war on terror, especially in a case where Americans were also killed.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst now with the Brookings Institution, who has written extensively on Pakistan’s ties to terrorism, says the Obama administration simply can’t make the call. “I think it remains unlikely Department of State (DoS) will put ISI on the terrorist list. They are just too important,” he told ToI.

The Chicago proceedings also animated a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday, with at least two Senators wanting Pakistan to be called to account for its sponsorship of terrorism.

“I don’t know how we can just ignore that. The United States should confront Pakistan’s support to terrorists,” said Senator Ben Cardin, referring to the testimony from Headley implicating ISI, which one witness, CIA analyst Paul Pillar said could not be differentiated from the Pakistan military. “That is an issue that will come to consideration of US Congress,” Cardin warned.

But three witnesses who testified at the hearing all seemed to agree that Washington could not call Pakistan to heel despite its sponsorship of terrorism because of larger political and geo-strategic compulsions.

The news media have never had much of a record for predictions, and this case was no exception.  The Headley story never received as much coverage as it should have by the American press, and the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department never came under public pressure to designate the ISI.  Moreover, Washington D.C. has normally preferred to cooperate with Pakistan and give it foreign aid rather than expose the truth about its spy agency.

But it’s not too late.  Given the details we’ve learned over the past year about Pakistan’s role in hiding Osama bin Laden, the State Department should revisit the issue and designate the ISI now.

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SFW: Someone was financing Merah

March 25, 2012

From Shariah Finance Watch yesterday:

Before he was killed by crack French security forces, the Jihadist terrorist Mohammed Merah claimed that he received funding for weaponry from inside and outside France.

This makes sense since he was known to have multiple Colt 1911 .45 automatic pistols, an Uzi, a Sten gun and a riot shotgun in his possession. The Uzi and the Sten are both submachine guns that would not be easy to come by at all. Even in civilian semi-automatic versions, those two weapons, combined with the others mentioned would likely have required over $3,000 to purchase in the USA. Such weapons are not believed to be readily available in France.

Someone was financing and supplying Merah…

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/0321/French-gunman-I-was-planning-more-attacks-with-outside-funds?cmpid=ema:nws:Daily%20Custom%202%20(03212012)&cmpid=ema:nws:NzQ4MDUwNDg4MgS2

“Someone” indeed.  Merah had visited Afghanistan or Pakistan three times.  It stands to reason, therefore, if Merah said he received funding from both “inside and outside France” that he was referring to Afghanistan or Pakistan.  And, if he fits the pattern of many other terrorists who received training or formed contacts in Afghanistan or Pakistan, then he possibly received the money from Pakistan’s ISI spy service or any number of Pakistani militant Islamic groups which are themselves funded by the ISI.  In this respect, the money trail looks similar to that of David Headley, the U.S. resident from Pakistan who scouted out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

On the other hand, his Algerian roots suggest that he could have received money from Algeria, where Al Qaeda’s North African branch has been raking in cash by charging ransoms for European captives.  The fact that France itself has paid massive ransoms for the release of captives in Afghanistan and Africa looks especially counterproductive in the light of jihadist-funded weapon smuggling into Toulouse.

In any case, Merah got the money from jihadists to help wage jihad in France.  This shouldn’t be too surprising when one of Bin Laden’s last video messages was directed with particular scorn against France.

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Mumbai links

July 15, 2011

The latest terrorist attacks against Mumbai may have been conducted by Lashkar-e-Taiba with the blessing of Pakistan’s spy service, the ISI.  A few tidbits for background on Lashkar-e-Taiba’s funding…

  • Historically, Lashkar-e-Taiba and its Jamaat-ud-Dawa arm receive money from zakat (Shariah Finance Watch)
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa have raised money from mosques in Kashmir
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba is “flush with funds” from major Gulf and Pakistani donors
  • The provincial government of Punjab, Pakistan, has directly funded Jamaat-ud-Dawa
  • The 26/11 Mumbai attacks were funded in part by zakat, diamond smuggling, and halal meat sales.
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Details emerge on Headley’s ISI patrons

May 1, 2011

David Headley, a Muslim Pakistani who lives in the U.S., performed a reconnaissance mission in Mumbai prior to the 26/11 terrorist attacks.  The operation was funded partly by the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.  (See prior Money Jihad coverage here and here.)  The details of ISI’s role have been somewhat murky, but a new round of indictments made by federal prosecutors in Chicago is helping to paint a clearer picture.

Just keep following the money with us for more proof that Pakistan served as midwife to the Taliban and as the butcher of Mumbai.  Yet for some reason, we’re going to allow Pakistan at the bargaining table as we try to reach a “negotiated settlement” with the Taliban in Afghanistan.  We will apparently reward them for their terrorist financing bonanza by letting them have Afghanistan as a colony.

From the Arab News (h/t Rantburg) on Apr. 28:

WASHINGTON: New indictments were issued by US Justice Department officials in Chicago this week, charging four Pakistanis with played a role in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai which killed 166 people, six of them Americans.

The indictments, filed Monday, do not cite press news reports that directly tie the defendants to Pakistani security forces, nor do the charges claim that the Pakistan government was officially involved in the attacks in India three years ago. However, the legal action serves as a diplomatic landmark because of the close — and frequently uneasy — alliance between Washington and Islamabad in the war against global terrorism.

One of the defendants charged in the indictment, a man known only as “Major Iqbal,” is said to have paid David Coleman Headley to set up a reconnaissance operation several months before the November 2008 attacks. Headley, a Pakistani-American businessman who at one time worked as an undercover intelligence agent for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, was arrested October 2009, and is serving as a material witness in the case.

This week’s indictment characterizes Major Iqbal as “a resident of Pakistan who participated in planning and funding attacks by (the Pakistani terror goup) Lashkar.” Press reports, citing Indian and American counter-terrorism officials, say that Iqbal was an officer in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate at the time of the attacks. Read the rest of this entry ?