Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pressure on Pakistan mounts; U.S. intercedes

Burned-out interiors on the top floors of the Taj Mahal Hotel, where the terror attacks in Mumbai finally ended on Saturday, are shown in a picture taken by the Mumbai Fire Brigade.

Associated Press/Mumbai Fire Brigade

Burned-out interiors on the top floors of the Taj Mahal Hotel, where the terror attacks in Mumbai finally ended on Saturday, are shown in a picture taken by the Mumbai Fire Brigade.

WASHINGTON — American and Indian authorities said Tuesday there was now little doubt that militants from inside Pakistan had carried out the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Indian officials, saying they had identified three to four masterminds of the deadly assault, stepped up pressure on Pakistan to act against the perpetrators of one of the worst terror attacks in India's history.

The emerging consensus came as the Bush administration increased its diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan over the attacks, dispatching the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, to the region. He will join Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was scheduled to arrive in India today.

Both officials are expected to issue stern warnings to the government of Pakistan to crack down on militant groups in Kashmir and the tribal areas along the border of Afghanistan, top American aides said.

Two senior American officials said Tuesday that the United States had warned India in mid October of possible terrorist attacks against "touristy areas frequented by Westerners" in Mumbai but that the information was not specific. Nonetheless, the officials said, the warning echoed other general alerts this year by India's intelligence agency, raising questions about the adequacy of India's counterterrorism measures.

Details about the attack planners also became clearer on Tuesday. The only gunman captured by the police told his interrogators that one of main plotters was a fugitive known to Indian authorities: Yusuf Muzammil, a leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to a senior Indian police official and a Western official.

The group, though officially banned and once focused primarily on Indian claims to disputed Kashmir, maintains its leadership in Pakistan and is believed to have moved its militant networks to Pakistan's tribal areas.

Muzammil, who is the right-hand man to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvhi, the operational commander of the group, talked by satellite phone to the attackers from Pakistan when the gunmen were in the Taj and Oberoi hotels, the Western official said.

The mounting evidence increased the pressure on the United States to find a way to resolve the tensions between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed neighbors. The officials said there was still no evidence that Pakistan's government had a hand in the operation, although investigators were still searching for clues of outside support for the terrorists.

There's very little doubt that Lashkar-e-Taiba is responsible, but beyond that more information is needed, said a senior American official, who was briefed on the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity, citing its continuing nature.

Terror in digital age: india Attackers were high-tech

The heavily armed attackers who set out for Mumbai by sea navigated with GPS equipment, according to investigators. They carried BlackBerries, CDs holding high-resolution satellite images, and multiple cell phones with switchable SIM cards that would be hard to track. They spoke by satellite phone.

Emerging details about the 60-hour siege of Mumbai suggests the attackers made sophisticated use of high technology in planning and carrying out the assault that killed at least 173 people and wounded more than 300. The flood of information on the attacks — on TV, cell phones, the Internet — was exploited by the assailants to direct fire and cover their origins.

"Both sides used technology. The terrorists would not have been able to carry out these attacks had it not been for technology. They were not sailors, but they were able to use sophisticated GPS navigation tools and detailed maps to sail from Karachi to Mumbai," said G. Parthasarathy, a security expert in New Delhi. "The public also sent text messages to relatives trapped in hotels and used the Internet."

When the gunmen called to their leaders, they used satellite phones calling voice-over-Internet-protocol phone numbers, making it harder to trace, said terrorism expert Praveen Swami. Once on the scene, they used hostages' cell phones to stay in contact with one another.Washington Post

Pressure on Pakistan mounts; U.S. intercedes 12/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

    World

    MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have …

    Policemen watches vehicles at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, May 24, 2017 as the Philippine National Police is placed under full alert status following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao southern Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Wednesday that he'll be harsh in enforcing martial law in his country's south as he abruptly left Moscow to deal with a crisis at home sparked by a Muslim extremist siege on a city, where militants burned buildings overnight and are feared to have taken hostages. [Associated Press]
  2. Manchester police say they have made three more arrests in concert bombing

    World

    BREAKING: Manchester police say they have made three more arrests over pop concert bombing. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

    PREVIOUS STORY:

    People light candles after a vigil in Albert Square, Manchester, England, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. [Associated Press]
  3. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?

    Blogs

    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?
  4. New DEP secretary says there's no conflict in political side businesses

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — When Noah Valenstein, the newly appointed head of the Department of Environmental Protection, was applying in April to be the state's top environmental regulator, he left one thing off the application: Companies he started and his wife runs have been paid nearly $1 million by politicians and lobbying …

     Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday May 23rd, on a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year. [Florida Governor's Office]
  5. Trump says 'we can use peace' during meeting with Pope Francis

    Religion

    VATICAN CITY — President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

    Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. [Associated Press]