Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It helps to know who attacks you

Extensive early reporting (outlined in my previous entry) on the atrocities in India has sought to blame Kashmiri radicals Lashkar-e-Toiba. Daily News and Analysis India reports the following:
SRINAGAR: The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) on Tuesday night condemned and denied involvement in Mumbai serial blasts and five grenade explosions in J&K.

While at least 60 people were killed and 200 others wounded in seven explosions in local trains in Mumbai, eight tourists were killed and more than 40 wounded in Srinagar grenade blasts.

In a telephonic statement to several media organisations, Lashkar spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi condemned in strongest terms the serial blasts both in Mumbai and Srinagar.

"These are inhuman and barbaric acts. Islam does not permit killing of an innocent person," he added.

Dr Ghaznavi said those who have perpetrated such "dastardly acts" were "enemies of humanity".
The speed of the attack is described by CNN as:
Seven explosions in 11 minutes ripped through crowded commuter trains and stations in Mumbai, India, killing at least 147 people and leaving hundreds more bloodied and injured, police said. At least one train was split in half by a blast, and twisted metal, wires and shredded clothing could be seen inside.
The Christian Science Monitor reported on al Qaeda inroads in Kashmir in summer 2002:
A week-long investigation uncovered evidence that Al Qaeda and an array of militant affiliate groups are prospering inside Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, with the tacit approval of Pakistani intelligence. The evidence comes after recent statements by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he had "seen indications that there are Al Qaeda operating near the [UN] Line of Control" that separates Indian and Pakistani Kashmir, but that he had no hard evidence on numbers or location.

Senior officials in Pakistan called Mr. Rumsfeld's statements inaccurate and stressed that he had no real evidence. But the Pakistani military, which has begun to chase stray Al Qaeda elements in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, has been unwilling to crack down in Kashmir on Islamic militant groups that it has been pledging to eradicate since January.
With both London and Madrid, the initial "expert" opinion sought to regionalize -- or nationalize -- the vile actors that killed so many innocents. Political leaders either supported that expert opinion or encouraged it.

To an extent, we should give the politicians and experts some benefit of the doubt with these incidents; they are trying to quickly assess and respond to massive tragedies. However, there comes a point where I wonder if al Qaeda is substantially underestimated by a number of world leaders that should know better.

2 Comments:

Blogger Xanthippas said...

Just awful.

8:53 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Brutal and terrible. Yes. Do you think it was AQ?

First thing this morning, I felt it had to be. Can't think of anyone else that'd do it this way. If it was not AQ, it was meant to look like AQ.

And I wonder who the unnamed US officials are that are blaming Kashmiris alone? What could motivate that? God forbid we admit that AQ is still out there and capable of doing great harm...

9:01 PM  

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