India convinced of ISI role in Mumbai terror: sources

December 4th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) India is convinced “without a shadow of doubt” about Pakistan’s spy agency ISI’s involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks and is readying to present to Islamabad “a list of ISI handlers” who allegedly masterminded the terror strikes.“We are one hundred percent convinced that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is involved in the Mumbai attacks,” a highly placed intelligence source told IANS Thursday.

“We know these attacks could not have been staged by an isolated militant group. There is not a shadow of doubt about that,” the source said.

“We are zeroing in on the names of these ISI handlers and will present a fool-proof case (to Pakistan) soon,” the source added.

Indian intelligence agencies are preparing a list of ISI handlers of the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre with the help of US intelligence, which is also convinced about the ISI’s role, the sources said.

Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who was arrested after the Mumbai terror strikes, has revealed during his interrogation that he was trained in at least four camps in Pakistan and met LeT leader Mohammad Hafeez Saeed. Saeed is among the fugitives, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and , Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit’s chief Masood Azhar, whom New Delhi wants extradited from Pakistan.

India has, however, yet to react to Pakistan’s rejection of its demand for handing over its 20 ‘most wanted’ fugitives who are suspected to have a hand in major terror strikes in the country over the years.

India has blamed elements in Pakistan for engineering the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks that lasted 50 hours and suspects the hand of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a banned militant outfit that now operates under the control of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which runs Islamic schools and charity work in Pakistan.

New Delhi is now convinced that the LeT was working in close coordination with some sections in the ISI, which created the militant outfit nearly two decades ago to wage a proxy war against India over the Kashmir issue.

There is also a growing perception among the US security and intelligence establishment about the involvement of the ISI and LeT in the Mumbai attacks.

With these disclosures as a backdrop, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sent a tough, no-nonsense message to Pakistan, asking it to cooperate “urgently and transparently” with India in tracking the perpetrators of the Mumbai mayhem that killed 172 people, including six Americans.

In a direct snub to Pakistan, Rice, who was in New Delhi Wednesday, told Islamabad that it must act against the perpetrators even if they are “non-state actors”, as claimed by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

She reinforced this message again in Islamabad when she met Zardari, asking for a “robust” response from Pakistan in dealing with India’s concerns over the Mumbai terror attacks.

According to American intelligence agencies, former officers from Pakistan’s army and its powerful ISI helped train the Mumbai attackers, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing a former Defence Department official.

But the unnamed official said that no specific links had been uncovered yet between the terrorists and the Pakistani government.

India is keeping all options open, including precision military strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan and suspension of composite dialogue, to deal with Pakistan if it fails to respond to its key demands that include taking strong action against the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks and handing over the fugitives from Indian.

India is ready to give Pakistan “a reasonable amount of time” and will decide on its next steps only after that, sources said.

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