August 23, 2008



(To be read in continuation of my paper of 14-8-08 titled "Taliban Fights Fiercely to Protect Zawahiri", which is available at )

At least 64 persons, most of them civilian workers in a cluster of arms production factories located in the heavily-protected cantonment area of Wah, about 30 kms from Islamabad, were reported to have been killed on the afternoon of August 21,2008, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside different gates of the factories during shift change. The ease with which they penetrated into this high security area would indicate either that they had accomplices in the security staff or that they were workers of one of the factories, who had no difficulty in entering the complex. If suicide bombers could penetrate into such a high-security area with so much ease, it should be equally easy for other terrorists to penetrate one day into Pakistan's nuclear establishments. The expression high security has ceased to have any meaning in Pakistan's sensitive establishments because of the penetration by the jihadi elements.

2. This is the third suicide attack in the non-tribal areas since the elected coalition Government headed by Yousef Raza Gilani came to office on March 18,2008. The previous two targeted the Danish Embassy in Islamabad (June 2,2008) in protest against the publication by some Danish newspapers of caricatures of the Holy Prophet and policemen, who were returning to their police stations after performing duty at the Lal Masjid in which a meeting was held (July 6,2008) in memory of those killed during the Commando raid in July last year.

3. The blasts in Wah came in the wake of the threat issued by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to resume terrorist attacks in the non-tribal areas if the Government did not stop the on-going military operations in the Bajaur Agency, where many leaders and cadres of Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban have reportedly taken shelter.Since the threat was issued by the TTP, the Pakistan Army has not been much active on the ground in the Bajaur Agency either by itself or through the para-military Frontier Corps. However, helicopter gunships of the Army and the planes of the Air Force have stepped up their air strikes in response to the US pressure to neutralise the terrorist infrastructure in the area, which was making the NATO forces in Afghanistan bleed.

4.Making a statement in the NWFP provincial Assembly on August 21, Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti said that thousands of foreign militants were present in the Bajaur Agency and claimed that they would have captured the area if the military operation had been delayed for a couple of days.According to him, in the past, the two traditional pillars of power in the tribal belt were the political administration and the Malik (tribal chief) system. He said that a third pillar, inducted into the area during the 1980s, had emerged stronger than the traditional pillars. He added that some called this third pillar the Mujahideen, some others called it the Taliban and yet some others termed it Al Qaeda. It was this third pillar which was now dominating the tribal belt. According to him, there cannot be peace in the NWFP without peace in the FATA and there cannot be peace in the FATA without peace in Afghanistan. The ground situation in Afghanistan, the FATA and the NWFP was closely inter-connected. He said that before launching the military operation in the Bajaur Agency,the Government had sent a delegation for talks with the local tribals, but there were thousands of Arabs, Uzbeks and Chechens in the area, who are unaware of the Pashtun traditions and customs and came in the way of peace.

5. In retaliation for the air strikes, the TTP blew up an Air Force bus on the Kohat Road in the NWFP on August 12 killing 13 persons, including seven administrative personnel of the PAF, and followed this up on August 19 with an explosion outside the District headquarters hospital of Dera Ismail Kahan in the NWFP, in which 32 persons, many of them Shia outdoor patients, were killed. The TTP claimed responsibility for both these attacks and projected them as in retaliation for the continuing air strikes in the Bajaur Agency.

6. While the targeting of the PAF bus is explained by the anger of the TTP over the air strikes, its targeting of Shia outdoor patients is attributed by well-informed police sources to its strong suspicion that the Shias of the NWFP and the Kurram Agency of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been collaborating with the Pakistan Army in its operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Over 100 persons--- more Shias than Sunnis--- have been killed in continuing Shia-Sunni clashes in the Kurram Agency for the last 10 days.

7. While the attacks of August 12 and 19 were in the tribal areas, the attacks in Wah on August 21 were in a non-tribal area. The TTP has already admitted responsibility for the suicide attacks in Wah and warned of similar attacks on military installations in other cities, including Lahore, Karachi,Islamabad and Rawalpindi if the Government does not stop the air strikes in the Bajaur Agency and withdraw the Army from the Agency and the Swat Valley of the NWFP.The Government has to take these threats seriously in view of the repeatedly demonstrated capability of the TTP to strike at military targets in non-tribal areas since the commando action in the Lal Masjid of Islamabad from July 10 to 13,2007.

8. The anger of the TTP, the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda against the Pakistan Army has not subsided as a result of the resignation of Pervez Musharraf from the post of President on August 18,2008. They hold Musharraf as well as the Army responsible for the commando action in the Lal Masjid and for the military operations in the tribal belt, which they view as undertaken to protect Western lives and in support of the NATO operations in Afghanistan. They are demanding not only the stoppage of all air strikes in the tribal belt and the withdrawal of the Army from there, but also the stoppage of any co-operation with the US and other NATO forces against the Afghan Taliban. It is only a question of time before the anti-Musharraf and anti-Army anger for their co-operation with the US broadens to include anti-Asif Zardari anger for the continuing co-operation with the US. The terrorists view Zardari as no different from Musharraf and as much an apostate as Musharraf. They are convinced that the air strikes and ground operations in the Bajaur Agency have been agreed to by Zardari and Gilani as a quid pro quo for the role of the US and the UK in persuading Musharraf to quit as the President.

9. The FATA is emerging as Pakistan's Falluja. After the US occupatiion of Iraq, Falluja became the launching pad of terrorist strikes in the rest of Iraq---- whether by Al Qaeda or by ex-Baathist resistance fighters. Only after the US ruthlessly pacified Falluja and destroyed the terrorist launching pads there, did it start making progress in its counter-insurgency operations in the rest of the Sunni areas of Iraq. The NATO forces will continue to bleed in Afghanistan and the jihadi virus will continue to spread in Pakistan unless and until the FATA is similarly pacified through ruthless application of force. The Pakistan Army has not demonstrated either the will or the capability to do so.A more active role by the NATO forces under US leadership is necessary----either covertly or openly. A strategy for a Falluja-style pacification of the FATA is called for----with the co-operation of the Pakistan Army if possible and without it, if necessary.

10. The USSR was defeated by the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s because of the reluctance of the Soviet troops to attack their sanctuaries in the FATA and the NWFP. India has been unable to prevail over cross-border jihadi terrorism because of the reluctance of its leadership to attack their sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. The US is unlikely to prevail over the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan unless it is prepared to destroy their infrastructure in the FATA. Deniable Predator air strikes by the US intelligence agencies on suspected terrorist hide-outs in the FATA have been increasing and some of them have been effective in neutralising well-known Al Qaeda operatives. But air strikes alone will not be able to turn the tide against the jihadis. Effective hit and withdraw raids into the FATA in the form of hot pursuit should be the next step. The longer it is delayed the more will be the bleeding. (22-8-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institte For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

August 20, 2008

Sonia supporting SIMI-- is it not an criminal offense?

"It is not hard to see why Sonia has been soft on SIMI and other Islamist organizations. She is scared that they could turn their guns on her and her family. It has nothing to do with vote bank politics. It raises a question though. If you or I were to extend support to a SIMI like organization, would we not be held culpable? Can this point not be made with regard to Sonia?"

N.S. Rajaram, Eminent Scholar

SIMI’s ‘secular’ admirers

http://www.newindpr s.asp?page= m&Title=Main+Article&
Thursday August 21 2008 00:39 IST

S Gurumurthy

Afew publicly known facts expose the state of the Indian debate on- Islamist terror. The Ahmedabad serial blasts of July 26 killed over 50 people and injured over 200. The serial blasts in Bangalore, a day before, did not yield the same rich harvest of blood. After the blasts, day after day, the Gujarat police kept uncovering and defusing dozens of live bombs in Surat that fortunately did not explode.

Even as the recovery of such bombs was being telecast live on all channels, on August 5, a court in Delhi annulled the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), faulting the UPA government for providing “no fresh evidence” to continue the ban.

How did the “seculars” react to the court lifting the ban on SIMI? Mulayam Singh and Lalu Yadav said that the ban was wrong in the first place! Congress party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said the order was “no setback.” He went one step further and said, “Wherever terrorist attacks have taken place in the recent past — Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat — it is the state governments that are investigating the matter. It is their responsibility to submit the evidence against SIMI to the Central Government,” almost implying that, as the state governments had not provided any, no evidence existed against SIMI. Other secular parties, the “seculars” in the NDA included, were careful not to fault the government for allowing SIMI to escape the charge of terror.

Stunned by the court’s view that “fresh evidence” of terror was necessary to keep the ban on, the state rushed to the Supreme Court and got the ban continued.

It was against the background of such prevarication on SIMI that the Gujarat police announced on August 16 that it had arrested 10 top SIMI officials and activists who had masterminded the Gujarat blasts; and also the blasts in Rajasthan and elsewhere. It also came out with an irrefutable story of how the terrorists conspired, how many of them and when and where, with identities, dates, sequences and locations.

When the secularists were handing out negative certificate of good conduct to SIMI, thanks to the court order, a study by the Institute of Conflict Management headed by KPS Gill, the terror of the Punjab terrorists, had already catalogued over 100 incidents from 2000 to July this year, that characterised SIMI as a terror outfit. Its cadre had been charged as motivators and perpetrators in major attacks from 2002 to 2008.

State governments, including Congress and communist governments and the UPA government at the Centre, had told courts and the Parliament at different times that SIMI was an anti-national, terrorist organisation; that it was linked to Lashker-e-Toiba and other Islamist terror outfits; that huge quantities of arms and ammunition including RDX were seized from their hideouts and cadres.

In February 2007, holding that the SIMI was secessionist, the Supreme Court said that it had not stopped its activities when its counsel pleaded that, after 2003, there was no evidence to link it to anti-national activities. Moreover, it is the secular Maharastra government’s police that alleged in a chargesheet that SIMI was linked to Pakistan!

And now a brief note on SIMI. It was founded in 1977 by Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, Professor of Journalism and Public Relations at Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois, but originally from Lucknow!

To make “the Holy Koran the governing text of human life, propagation of Islam, and jihad in the cause of Islam” were its founding goals.

Javed Anand, a secular icon, has this to say about SIMI: “True to its ideological mooring, in the ’80s, SIMI produced eyecatching stickers proclaiming “Secularism, no; Democracy, no; Nationalism, no; Polytheism, no; Only Islam.” But no one seemed unduly perturbed by this dangerous drift of a section of Indian Muslim youth spreading wings under the loving care of its patron, JeI (Jamait-e-Islami Hind). It was only in the late ’90s that the JeI officially snapped the umbilical cord that organically linked it to SIMI.” But Javed Anand wrote this not in the 1980s, not in the 1990s, not even till August 15, 2008, but only on August 16, after SIMI was seen as the culprit in the Gujarat blasts.

How did SIMI grow to these menacing proportions? The plain answer is that it was receiving open and clandestine political patronage from the seculars. The NDA government first banned SIMI in September 2001 and extended the ban in 2003,which continued till September 2005. The UPA government, which came to power in 2004, did not extend the ban when it expired in September 2005, helping to revive a disintegrating SIMI. This, according to Wikipedia, was the state of SIMI after the second ban: “It was unable to function in any manner because all its members were demoralised or had crossed the age of 30 years which automatically disentitled them to continue as a member of SIMI ... and due to lack of offices and as all its accounts were frozen, some of the erstwhile members also had to fight criminal cases foisted against them by the state.”

But why did the UPA not continue the ban? Because Sonia Gandhi and her party opposed the first ban on SIMI in 2001. They were not only admirers of SIMI, but also its advocates – yes, really, advocates as Salman Khurshid, president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress committee, was the counsel defending SIMI in the high court and in the Supreme Court against the ban.

See how these secular admirers of SIMI defended a terror outfit that was anti-secular, anti-democracy, anti-India according to Javed Anand, when the NDA government first outlawed it in 2001. While speaking against the introduction of POTA in the special Parliament session in 2002 Sonia censured the government for banning the SIMI, which was not involved in terrorist activities!

Sirprakash Jaiswal, UPCC president in 2001, said the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was a greater threat to the nation than SIMI.”

The government of the same party had to re-impose ban in 2006 after its own Maharashtra government found SIMI involved in the Mumbai train blasts in 2006. Later, the very same Jaiswal, as junior minister for home affairs in this government told the Rajya Sabha on April 23, 2007 and the Lok Sabha earlier, that SIMI was linked to LeT and was anti-national and that huge caches of arms and ammunition were seized from its cadre! But this was after SIMI had grown to gigantic proportions and struck at India some 10 times between 2004 and 2008 before it struck again in Gujarat on August 26. Even now, Sonia has not uttered one word against SIMI. Does it mean that she admires it still? Or she is so saintly that, like one of the three noble monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi, she sees no evil whether it is SIMI or LTTE or Nalini or Afzal — the RSS and its allies being the only exceptions!

comment@gurumurthy. net

About the author: S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.

NJ Court judgement transcript: Sonia Gandhi will have to come to NJ

http://dharma1. blogspot. com/2008/ 08/nj-court- transcript- sonia-gandhi- will.html

It is wonderful to see what the New Jersey Court said. It provides enough justification to have a Commission of Inquiry to investigate Sonia Gandhi (aka Antonia Maino). A remarkable part of the judgement is that Indian Overseas Congress clearly recognized as wholly-owned subsidiary of Sonia's party Indian National Congress Party (of which Antronia Maino is the Chairwoman).

I am sure the Indian justice system -- taking the path of justice shown by the New Jersey Court -- will take up the issues further to unravel and punish for the illegalities perpetrated by this Chairwoman.


Excerpts from the NJ Court transcript: Sonia Gandhi will have to come to NJ.

http://www.scribd. com/doc/4913884/ njjudgement Full transcript.

Marc Haefner is the attorney for the defendants. Andrew Miller is the attorney for the plaintiff Indian National Overseas Congress Inc.

Mr. Haefner: I query, am I going to be back in this Court when the caterer for the Indian National Overseas Congress Party says oh well, Indian National Overseas Congress, they cancelled all the events that they have scheduled and I had,, I was going to be the one to cater those events, now I can't because of this ad that ran.

That's not a crazy hypothetical that I h've offered Your Honor, that's just one more step removed from the claim of defamation that's being offered here. And it's not a valid claim of defamation…

Mr. Miller:…What we said in our complaint and what we said in our opposing papers is that we intend to prove something very specific here. We intend to answer the question why was this advertisement published in the New York Times. Why in America…

The Court: You still haven't answered my question. Why are, why should I allow this case to go on? This is not, you don't have the right parties here. I don't think so…

Mr. Miller: Well we do, Your Honor, because we intend to prove, we believe unquestionably that the reason for this advertisement was published was not to attack an entity in India per se but to attack specifically the Indian National Congress Party of America here. It's operations here, because it was published here. If you want to attack the aspect of the party that's operating in India you publish there, you know publish there.

Their purpose was to attack the arm of the party, that operates here in the United States and specifically our affidavit from our clients specifically says they achieved that. And they cost them at least $200,000 in lost donations and support to his party because of this. And this is why they did it. They were very successful in doing it, they used the prestige and the power of the New York Times, specifically to go after the parties attempt to generate support in the United States and they achieved there. We intend to prove that. We agree that if at the end of discovery there's insufficient evidence to prove that that's what they were doing, some other party should be here. But we are very comfortable and confident that this can and will be done.

The Court: Thank you.

Now this matter comes before the Court on motion by the defendants to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 4:6-2. The plaintiff the Indian National Overseas Congress, hereinafter INOC has filed an action alleging that an advertisement placed in the New York Times on October 6th, 2007 was defamatory and seeks damages.

The plaintiff alleges that the advertisement defames Sonia Gandhi and her son. Now Sonia Gandhi is the Chairwoman of the Indian National Congress Party which appears – and that's the INCP, which appears to be a political party situated in India, which to me is a separate and distinct entity, different than the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is not mentioned in the advertisement which is alleged to be defamatory. The plaintiff contends that it is a New York domestic not for profit corporation which is wholly owned subsidiary of Mrs. Gandhi's party, the Indian National Congress Party.

Rule 4:26-1 requires every action instituted in New Jersey to be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. Generally speaking the litigant must have a sufficient stake in the matter with a substantial case. See In Re: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities 200 New Jersey Super 544, (App Div 1985).

An examination of the contents of the alleged libelous statement fails to disclose any reference to the plaintiff. The advertisement attacks Ms. Gandhi personally. There were references to her political party, but that political party is not the plaintiff. It is clear to the Court that the plaintiff has no real interest in the outcome of the case since it is not the one who is being libeled. It is impossible for the Court to determine how references to Ms. Gandhi relate to the plaintiff.

So since the Court has determined that the plaintiff is not the real party of interest, no further analysis is necessary and the complaint will be dismissed…

Mr. Miller: You Honor, I assume that's without prejudice so that Sonia Gandhi may be brought in as…

The Court: Of course.

Mr. Miller: …a party.

Mr. Haefner: Your Honor, I would think that that dismissal would be with prejudice because now there is no pending plaintiff. Ms. Gandhi is still within the statute of limitations.

The Court: They can bring another action with somebody else. Can't they bring another action with somebody else. Can't they bring another -- they can bring another action if they have the right party.

Mr. Haefner: That's my point, she is still within the statute of limitations. If Ms. Gandhi wants to come to New Jersey to…

The Court: Then she'll have to.

Mr. Haefner: … she can do that, but there's no reason to keep this case open.

The Court: No, this case isn't open. Okay, thank you.

India: Arrests, Revelations and Implications

August 20, 2008

Source: Stratfor

By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

On Aug. 17, an Indian court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, remanded nine suspects to police custody for 14 days. The nine were accused by the police criminal branch in Ahmedabad of involvement in a string of 17 explosions that rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, leaving more than 50 people dead. Among those arrested was Mufti Abu Bashir, who Indian authorities claim masterminded the attacks and who reportedly admitted his involvement during interrogation.

On Aug. 19, police in Rajasthan announced that they have detained 13 people in connection with the May 13 attacks in which seven improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were used to strike soft targets in Jaipur that killed 68.

Both the Ahmedabad and Jaipur attacks, as well as attacks involving eight IEDs that occurred July 25 in Bangalore, have been claimed by an organization calling itself the Indian Mujahideen. In a series of e-mails sent to the Indian press, the organization stated that the operations were intended to demolish the faith of the “infidels in India.” They also claimed that the attacks were in retaliation for the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat in which more than 1,000 (mostly Muslim) people were killed. The e-mail claiming responsibility for the Ahmedabad attacks was sent to news outlets just minutes prior to the attacks — underscoring the claim’s veracity.

Indian authorities believe that the Indian Mujahideen is really a pseudonym used by the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), although some reports suggest that it is in fact a militant faction that broke away from the more moderate wing of the SIMI organization. Other sources have suggested that the Indian Mujahideen is actually a cooperative effort between Kashmiri militant groups, SIMI and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (HUJI).

Any of these three explanations could be the truth. Kashmiri groups have traditionally used a number of names in an attempt to sow confusion — confusion further aided by the fact that the Kashmiri militants tend to be a fractious bunch. Furthermore, in general, people arrested by the police for violent undertakings who are part of a particular organization will commonly deny membership in an effort to protect their fellow members from government action. This murky milieu makes it very difficult to sort out the true identity of the group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen.

What we do know, however, is that some people who were at some point affiliated with SIMI do appear to be connected with these attacks and that the attacks were claimed by the Indian Mujahideen. We also know that some SIMI members have been closely linked to other Kashmiri militant groups such as LeT and HUJI.

Indian authorities have made a number of arrests of high-ranking SIMI members over the past several months that appear to be connected to the Indian Mujahideen and this string of related bombing attacks. Information provided by these men during interrogations suggests that there are a number of operational cells scattered throughout the country including trained bombmakers.

The recent arrests in Ahmedabad and Jaipur are a step in the right direction, but the Indian authorities have a long way to go before they will be able to defang the indigenous threat posed by the SIMI/Indian Mujahideen.

Operational Similarities
In addition to the claims of responsibility, there are a number of operational similarities that tie the Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bangalore incidents together. These attacks also share a number of characteristics with a failed July 29 attempt to attack the city of Surat, Gujarat, with more than 20 IEDs.

First, the attacks all involved a number of small devices that were concealed in small boxes or bags and directed against soft targets such as crowded markets and bazaars — busy locations with lots of people and lots of places to stash the devices. The devices were all hidden and left in place to detonate by timer and not by command. Furthermore, the devices all contained shrapnel such as nuts, bolt and ball bearings. This is a clear indication that although they were small, they were intended to kill and not merely attract attention. Some of the devices were hidden in containers and attached to auto rickshaws or bicycles that were left in public places; others were placed inside automobiles that had been stolen and then parked on the street. The attacks also involved improvised explosive mixtures or commercial explosives rather than the military-grade RDX usually associated with past Kashmiri militant attacks in India.

However, in spite of the similarities, there were some differences in the construction of the unexploded devices recovered in Ahmedabad and Surat, indicating that there may have been a different bombmaker involved in those two cases. For example, a few of the devices recovered in Surat had small gas canisters affixed to them, an element not seen in the other attacks. Additionally, the timers employed in the Surat devices were reportedly stand-alone integrated circuit timers, whereas the Ahmedabad devices used simple mechanical timers. Judging from the total failure of the Surat devices, either the timers had a critical flaw or the bombmaker responsible for them made a critical error while assembling the devices. Normally, a bombmaker will test his components prior to assembly — so either a test of the timers was not conducted, or the problem lay in the assembly of the devices’ components and not the timers themselves.

Some have suggested that the Surat devices were dummies intentionally constructed not to explode, but we do not buy that theory. If a group really wanted to achieve that result, it could have done so with one or two hoax devices. The group would not have taken the effort and risk of constructing and planting more than 20 devices. Adding shrapnel to such hoax devices or attempts to enhance their effectiveness by adding fuel canisters also would not have been necessary. From the number and design of the Surat devices, it is clear their designers clearly wanted them to function and ultimately cause casualties.

This modus operandi of using multiple, small devices hidden in bags or boxes, placed in congested areas and activated by timers has also been seen in several other attacks in India in the recent past, such as the May 2007 and November 2007 attacks in the Uttar Pradesh cities of Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow, and an August 2007 attack in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

This operational profile is very different from the attacks we are seeing in Pakistan or Afghanistan, where militants tend to use much larger devices activated by suicide operatives. It is, however, similar to tactics we have seen previously employed in Bangladesh, where one militant attack in August 2005 involved more than 400 small IEDs. This similarity may not be mere coincidence. As security along the Indian-Pakistani border has tightened in recent years, militants have increased their use of the porous border with Bangladesh to move in and out of India.

Interrogations Shedding Light on SIMI
In November 2007, Indian police caught a break when they arrested a man named Riazuddin Nasir, alias Mohammed Ghouse, in India’s southern Karnataka state. Nasir was initially collared for vehicle theft, but authorities later learned that he was stealing vehicles for use in terrorist attacks. According to Nasir’s interrogation, he was a SIMI activist who helped recruit and train activists at a remote camp in Hubballi, Karnakata. Nasir further relayed that 40 militants had gathered for training there and that at least 15 of them were trained to construct IEDs. After training ended, the militants were sent out to different parts of the country to conduct operations. Based on Nasir’s information, Indian Intelligence Bureau officials increased their focus on SIMI. As a result, their efforts enabled Indian officials to track down some, but not all, of the men who were allegedly trained militants.

One of the alleged militants swept up by the authorities in March 2008 was Safdar Nagori, the general secretary of SIMI, who Nasir identified as participating in the training. Nagori led police to a second training camp in Choral, Madhya Pradesh, where they uncovered a cache of explosives. According to Nagori’s interrogations, the camp in Choral was used to train classes of 20 militants at a time and had graduated five such classes in 2006 and 2007.

The Aug. 17 arrest of Mufti Abu Bashir was a further blow to the organization. Bashir was a madrassa teacher in Hyderabad who claims to have been recruited into SIMI by Nagori. Bashir has admitted to masterminding the Ahmedabad attacks and, during interrogation, reportedly told Indian authorities that he assumed a leadership role in the organization following the arrest of Nagori.

Another IT connection
Indian authorities say that their interrogations of Bashir revealed the identity of the man who sent the e-mail from the Indian Mujahideen to the Indian press just prior to the Ahmedabad attack. They claim that Taufique Bilal, also known as Abdul Subhan Qureshi, a Mumbai-based militant, was tasked by Bashir with sending the message. The authorities say they now believe that Bilal hacked into the wireless Internet connection of an American living in Mumbai to send the message.

Bilal apparently came to the attention of the authorities after the July 11, 2006, Mumbai train bombings, but, at the time, they reportedly did not have enough evidence to charge him. That has since changed, and police in Gujarat have obtained a warrant for his arrest in connection with the Ahmedabad attack. Indian police also claim that, In addition to sending the e-mail claiming responsibility for the attack, Bilal obtained the explosives and timers used in the incident and that he met on several occasions with Bashir to plan it.

The American whose system was hacked by Bilal is an employee of the Navi Mumbai-based IT firm Campbell White. He does not appear to have been involved in the case and has since left the country, although controversy did arise over his leaving because he has not yet been officially cleared by Indian authorities.

Bilal was also connected to the IT industry, and apparently earned a degree in electronic engineering. Bilal reportedly worked in the IT hubs of Bangalore and Hyderabad before moving to Mumbai. He appears to have worked for the IT firm Wipro from 1996 to 1998. The Times of India is reporting that Bilal may have worked for as many as three IT companies.

Using an American expatriate’s computer to send the note was not only a handy way to disguise the identity of the author, and a display of operational flair, but it also underscores an awareness on the militants’ behalf of the importance of the IT sector to the Indian economy and the significant role that international companies play. It is clearly a shot across the bow.

Other Implications
The operational similarities in the attacks we have seen in 2007 and 2008, and the involvement of SIMI members such as Bashir, make it highly likely that these attacks were conducted by the network that was trained at the camps identified by Nasir and Nagori. While the Indian authorities have arrested many of these people, there are still others, perhaps hundreds of them, still on the loose. The arrests of senior SIMI officials do not appear to have affected the network’s operational ability; in fact, the tempo of militant activity seems to have increased following the arrests of Nasir, Nagori and others late 2007 and early 2008.

The SIMI/Indian Mujahideen militants may be encouraged and inspired by al Qaeda (as materials recovered from their training facilities have shown), but they appear to be a uniquely Indian phenomenon. So far, their operations appear to have been planned and conducted by Indian citizens who were trained and directed by other Indian citizens using materials procured inside their own country. According to the interrogations of captured leaders, the group has been able to recruit and train hundreds of militants inside India.

It will be very hard for the Indian government to pin these connected attacks on the Pakistani Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its extensive network inside India. While all leads in Indian counterterrorism investigations normally point to Islamabad, that does not seem to be the case this time. In fact, even if the ISI were to somehow drop its support for Kashmiri militants — something we do not see happening — this particular organization would not seem to be affected. This group’s operations have been small scale and relatively inexpensive to conduct. Such attacks are sustainable and do not require extensive outside funding. If the ISI is backing this group, it has done a very thorough job of hiding its hand.

Indeed, the Indian press recently reported that, according to the interrogations of Nagori, SIMI was experimenting with peroxide-based improvised explosives at its training camps inside India. The group was apparently concerned that the Indian government would clamp down on its ability to obtain commercial explosives and ammonium nitrate fertilizer. This is a clear indication that the militants are not anticipating future shipments of high-explosives from a sponsor such as the Pakistani ISI. Peroxide-based explosives are notoriously fickle, unstable and downright dangerous. Palestinian bombmakers gave peroxide-based explosives such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP) the nickname “mother of Satan” for good reason. Militants would certainly not bother with such unreliable and dangerous improvised mixtures if they had any hope of receiving military-grade explosives from a state sponsor.

Some Indian media outlets have claimed that the presence of electronic components from Southeast Asia in the timers used in the Surat devices indicates that there is a connection to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Indonesian-based al Qaeda franchise. However, electronic components such as integrated circuits manufactured in Southeast Asia can be found in nearly every part of the world, including India. It is, therefore, very tenuous to try to draw a link to JI based on that fact. Plans for integrated circuit timers are widely available in jihadist literature and are not difficult to assemble — though, as previously noted, the timers fabricated for the attacks in Surat appear to have somehow been botched.

The strategic objective of these attacks has been twofold. The first objective was to incite communal riots between Hindus and Muslims and to inflame political tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi. Meeting this objective would allow these groups to highlight any grievances Indian Muslims have with the Indian government and expand their support base within the country by radicalizing Muslims — and Muslim youth specifically. The second objective was to damage the Indian economy. Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat are important commercial centers, and Jaipur is a popular tourist city.

To date, these attacks have not been successful in achieving these objectives, though the ease with which the network was able to recruit and train young militants may be a sign that the militants are making progress in their efforts to radicalize Muslim youth. However, with elections coming up and Hindu nationalist political parties stepping up their activity, the network has a prime window of opportunity in which to incite communal violence. Recently, protests by members of Hindu national party Shiv Sena in Gujarat and Maharashtra have included marches through Muslim neighborhoods, with protestors demanding that all madrassas be closed — partly in response to the recent attacks.

While there have been a number of significant arrests, it will be difficult for the Indian government to stamp out this domestic, self-replicating network. As an indigenous organization, however, the operational abilities of the network will be limited. Without outside assistance it will likely continue to conduct simple attacks against soft targets. This militant network has not yet begun to conduct large al Qaeda-type attacks or to use suicide operatives, but this could change should the network fall further under the sway of the international al Qaeda movement.

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Space espionage: a high priority

12:38 | 20/ 08/ 2008

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Kislyakov) - Replacements are expected to take place soon in the "space spy community". Yet another American GPS (Global Positioning System) Navstar satellite will be launched into the low earth orbit in autumn.

It might seem an ordinary event, had it not been for this satellite being equipped with a platform for intelligence equipment. A purely navigational GPS has turned into an advanced intelligence system, appropriate for a variety of special tasks.

Military experts expect the world's major powers to spend as much as $30.6 billion for intelligence satellite programs in the next decade. By that time, around one hundred military satellites of various types will be orbiting earth.

Intelligence satellite constellations, including imagery intelligence (optic and electronic, and radar intelligence), electronic surveillance, military communications, and space navigation satellites are packed with the following capabilities:

- early warning of a nuclear missile attack;

- timely detection of preparations for and start of hostilities,

- sustained communication and combat control in the interest of the state leadership, strategic nuclear forces, and other branches and services;

- navigational, hydro-meteorological support, cartographic survey support, time and frequency support for the armed forces.

The U.S. possesses the most powerful space intelligence network, having launched over 500 satellites by now. The Key Hole imagery intelligence satellites, also codenamed Big Bird, are the heart of the U.S. space intelligence system.

The first of the series, the KH-9, was deployed in 1971. Now these "birds", weighing up to 15 tons, provide coverage of nearly all the Earth's surface. One of these satellites was given a special assignment in 2001 to track down Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, the further operation of "Big Birds" is at risk. The Misty program, launched by Boeing and Lockheed Martin and aimed at the creation of advanced imagery intelligence satellites, has already consumed $7.6 billion with no significant results.

In late winter last year, a U.S. Navy cruiser fired a missile and shot down the malfunctioning satellite USA-193, which, military experts believe, could be the latest KH-14. In September 2007, a transitional model of Key Hole, the KH-12-4, which was a prototype of the KH-13 series, fell to earth in Peru.

In Russia, the fate of the intelligence satellite program is inseparable from the fate of the national space program. There was a great decline between the late 1990's and early 2000's. By 2005, only one Russian electronic reconnaissance satellite was in orbit, compared to 12 American satellites, surveying Russia's territory.

Currently Russia has almost nothing to match the Big Bird. In November 2006 and August 2007, optical reconnaissance satellites ceased operation.

Still, there's no need to panic.

In late July this year, a Persona optical reconnaissance satellite was placed into orbit. It is a modern intelligence space vehicle, able to transmit images via a radio channel. Russia's Defense Ministry plans to launch two Persona satellites a year, starting with 2009.

Moreover, in late January, Vladimir Popovkin, who was in charge of Russia's Space Force at that time, said a new domestic-made satellite will be launched next year to retransmit signals from Russian intelligence space vehicles to ground centers. It will have a lifetime of 12 years, while the satellites currently in service operate a maximum of three years.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Biased letter sent to UN against Hindus by Angana Chatterji :Challenge to discuss in a Public Forum

Biased letter sent to UN against Hindus by Dr. Chatterji; Challenge to discuss in a Public Forum anywhere about the issues raised

Dear Friends:

One should perform his deeds for the benefit of mankind with an unbiased approach because bias gives birth to evil, which creates thousands of obstacles in our path." Rig Veda

I am writing this letter to inform that Dr. Angana Chatterji's letter to United Nations is totally biased, outrageous, irrational and blind to the history. If she wants to be rational, objective, logical as an academician, she should look at the history of India since the advent of Islam on the face of this earth. Does she know how Hindus were massacred, how Hindu Temples were destroyed, how Hindu women were raped, how many were forced to conversion, how Sanatana dharma was almost wiped out in all the present 55 Muslim countries, how Pakistani infiltrators have destabilized Jammu and Kashmir, how the government is appeasing the minorities with reservations based on religion, how the governments are eager to provide subsidy for Muslims and Christians to go to Mecca and Bethelham, how the militants are planting and exploding bombs in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Hyderabad. Mumbai, and Jaipur, how the Amarnath pilgrims are denied basic amenities by the terrorists and pacifist governments, how Lord Shiva Temple was converted to the so called Taj Mahal, how many Hindu Temples were converted to Mosques and how many lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus have been displaced from their state for the last 18 years? And the list goes on.
Where is the concern, ire, agony, anguish, pain, wrath, frustration and rage of these academicians for all the Hindus who have been persecuted over the centuries and denied their basic human rights? Why can't they show the same concern to Hindus as they showed to Muslims in their letter addressed to UN.
I was a sociologist for more than 36 years and served as a Chairman of the Department of Sociology before I retired. Objectivity is the hall mark of any academician. I wish and urge Dr. Chatterji to present unbiased history of how Hindus have been mistreated and abused by Muslims, Christians, Communists, Mass media, secular government and the so called academicians over the centuries.
It is even more surprising to know that one of the contact persons is a visiting historian who could not even temper the irrationality of the letter and shed historical light of the atrocities of Muslims and Christians committed repeatedly over 13 or more centuries on Hindus in India and abroad.
I would travel to any place to discuss and dialogue with all the academicians who sent a letter to United Nations to show that the letter is totally biased, one sided, and irrational, and it is a disgrace to the profession they belong.
I request all of you to do two things:
1) Read the letter written by Dr. Chatterji on behalf of Dr. Duschinski and Dr. Mathur and others; decide for yourself if it is balanced and unbiased. Also find out how independent these academicians and others are toward the subject.
2) A Sample letter is enclosed for you to send it to United Nations protesting the letter written by these three academicians and give a realistic picture of Kashmiri Hindus. Please modify your liking. E-mail address of UN is:
3) Also send your own views to all the three distinguished professors.,
If you have any questions I will be glad to respond.

V. V. Prakasa Rao PhD
601-918-7111/ 601-856-4783
Remember the quotation from Albert Einstein and do what is right to preserve human dignity and honor irrespective of religion, cast or creed:
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it"

1) Following is the letter written by Dr. Angana Chatterji and others.


Justice Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner
Dr. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner
Ms. Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Subject: Humanitarian Crisis in Jammu and Kashmir

August 12, 2008

Dear Justice Pillay, Dr. Kang, Ms. McDougall:

We write to bring to your attention the profound humanitarian crisis continuing in the Kashmir Valley due to the ongoing blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu highway by religious nationalist groups from India. This has resulted in severe shortages in the Kashmir Valley of food and other vital provisions. We are reliably informed that petrol and essential medical rations, including blood, are in critically short supply, as well as newsprint, and that communication services and infrastructure are severely disrupted.

The situation in Jammu, where the Muslim minority is facing violence on a scale that can be described as ethnic cleansing, is alarming. The Government of India and the military and paramilitary forces have shown themselves unable and/or unwilling to take any effective action, either to end the blockade or to stop the violence against Muslims in Jammu. Meanwhile, military and paramilitary forces have opened fire on counter-demonstrators in Kashmir, using live bullets and mortar. A communiqué from the Kashmir Valley states that:

"The situation here on ground is that essential commodities have started getting dried up, diesel is already out of stock and petrol at its verge of end. The people here are very much concerned as if the same continues for next few days there will be nothing left to eat with the people of Kashmir. And on the other side the Army is supporting the mobs who have allegedly beaten up the drivers stranded on the national highway. The drivers who were beaten up reported that they asked Army to help them but all went in despair and the Army people in return handed them over to the mobs. The target is only the Kashmiri Muslims and some sources from Jammu say that it is the outsiders who have come to Jammu and are doing such attacks on the Muslims and it is quite evident that the Hindu fundamentalist groups viz. BJP, RSS VHP, etc., are all sponsoring the planned attacks onto the Kashmiris like it was done in Gujarat. Here in Kashmir we feel the history seems to be being repeated by the Hindu fundamentalists who had earlier in 1947 killed about 250,000 Muslims in Jammu."

On August 11, 2008, approximately 100,000 Kashmiris, including fruit growers and others gravely affected by the blockade, marched toward the Line of Control toward Pakistan markets in protest. They were met with gunfire and tear gas from the military and paramilitary forces, and Sheik Abdul Aziz, an All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader, was shot dead, intensifying the situation. Police reports stated that three others were killed and over 200 injured, enervating health systems already low on supplies. Other sources we contacted stated that as many as 18 others may have been killed in Kashmir on August 11. By early evening of August 12, as we write you, reports stated that as many as twelve persons were killed in Kashmir on that day as armed forces fired on demonstrators. Other reports stated that civil society groups, students, and labor unions participating in non-violent civil disobedience and peaceful protests are being targeted by the forces, as curfew conditions prevail.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway is the only land route linking the Kashmir Valley to India and the sole conduit for essential supplies as well as for exporting horticultural goods, which are among the Valley's chief products. News updates on the state of the blockade and situation can be found from leading Kashmiri newspapers, which are online at;;;

About 95-97 percent of the population of the Valley is Muslim, while Muslims are a minority in India. This has made Kashmir the target of increasingly aggressive campaigns by Hindu nationalist groups since 1947, despite guarantees of autonomy written into the Indian Constitution. The Government of India has failed to take measures to prevent these campaigns, consisting of marches and demonstrations, and culminating in the current blockade. Since 1989 there has been an armed pro-independence struggle in Kashmir, together with other and non-violent movements for self-determination. Indian counterinsurgency operations have resulted in grave abuses of human rights with social, economic, psychological, political, and environmental consequences, which meet the definition under international law of crimes against humanity. To a population suffering the effects of nineteen years of armed conflict, the economic crisis caused by the blockade comes as the last straw.

We urge that you respond expeditiously to this situation in accordance with the mandate to uphold human rights as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.

1. The Government of India should immediately end the economic blockade and ensure that goods and services, including emergency medical and food supplies, can move in both directions along the Srinagar-Jammu border.
2. The Government of India should open the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, a promise repeatedly reiterated by successive governments of India and Pakistan, though never implemented. This would ensure that the current crisis situation is not repeated as well as mark a concrete step forward in addressing injustices and the peace process.
3. Take immediate action to stop the violence against the Muslim minority in Jammu and bring those responsible to justice.
4. Put an end to ongoing human rights abuses by Indian forces and pro-India militias as repeatedly promised by the Indian Prime Minister and expected of democratic governments.
5. Take steps for a long-term resolution of the conflict by beginning talks with all sections of the Kashmiri leadership and civil society.
6. Take steps to hold the Indian state accountable under the provisions established by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Laws and Conventions.

We, the undersigned, are academics, social activists, writers, filmmakers, artists, lawyers, and concerned citizens. Our work and conscience connects us to Kashmir and its people. We hold no political affiliations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of further use.

Contact persons:
Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, Office: 001-415.575.6119, Mobile: 001-415.640.4013, E-mail:
Dr. Haley Duschinski, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, Office: 001-740.593.0823, E-mail:
Dr. Shubh Mathur, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Office: 001-347.404.2238, E-mail:

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco

2) Sample Letter you may want use with your own views to United Nations
To: Justice Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner
Dr. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner
Ms. Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Dear Sir/Madam
I am an activist working to bring attention to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who are living as refugees in their own country for last 18 years in sub-human homes. I read the letter below submitted to international body such as United Nations with concern. My concern is not with raising the issue of hardships to Kashmiris due to agitation, but not putting this whole thing into perspective. In my brief discussion with Angana Chatterji, she mentioned that we need to look at the current issue but I doubt we can solve any issue without looking into the whole picture.

Also Angana mentioned something about RSS and their activities. But, this is not about RSS, it is about half million Kashmiri Pandits who are thrown away at the point of the Gun and the simmering frustration accumulated over long period. It is frustration over not allowing a small piece of land for few weeks in an year in their own country, adding insult to injury. From what I understand, it is only 1% of Kashmiris who are trying to speak for all Kashmiris. Should we not raise issue about those who are perpertrating this? RSS may be playing a role in expressing and directing it.

However, this release looks like there is an agenda other than the welfare of all of Kashmiris, an agenda against RSS. I request you to look at the welfare of all Kashmiris, Hindus and Muslims and ask the question why has not United Nations has not done anything about Kashmiri refugees for 18 years. It is the most shameful in any country and a blot on our nation. If we can dare, challenge the separatists who cannot spare a small piece of land after driving away half million people. Who is sponsoring them?

Please take little time to talk to refugees talk about how they never could go to their home, how those lucky lived in a small place under charity of relatives, but for most, it is a shackled tent for 18 years. If our hearts feel so strong for those who are affected by Jammu agitation, how may times more should we feel for the Kashmiri refugees. Have you taken any action about that during last 18 years at United Nations. Speak to your conscience.

Only if we focus on overall picture can we have any hope to solve the problem. As Indian Americans we can play a role in that. I think all we are interested in is a strong India.

Your name



Use what you can procure easily without attracting suspicion. Avoid fancy things that will attract attention to you.

2. That is the instruction imparted by Al Qaeda and other Pakistan-based terrorist organisations to their trainees. Even before Al Qaeda started imparting this instruction, Palestinian terrorists had been following this on their own.

3.Till the early 1980s, Palestinian and ideological terrorist groups had a fascination for sophisticated explosives such as the RDX and other military-grade explosives and SEMTEX, an explosive made by a factory in the then Communist Czechoslovakia, which had a very weak vapour density, thereby making it difficult for dogs to detect its presence.

4. The action taken by the security agencies of the world to make it difficult for the terrorists to get them made the terrorists turn to nitrogenous fertilisers, which were easy to procure without creating suspicion. The first major instance of the use of fertilisers was the unsuccessful attempt made by Ramzi Yousef of Pakistan and some of his associates to blow up the New York World Centre in February,1993.They drove into the garage of the Trade Centre a truck loaded with about 1,500 pounds of urea nitrate and hydrogen-gas cylinders and tried to cause an explosion. The explosion was not very successful. It killed six persons and caused some damage. The investigation revealed that Ramzi and his associates had learnt this modus operandi in Pakistan.

5. In 1994, an unidentified group of Palestinians had planned to blow up the Israeli diplomatic mission in Bangkok by using a truck filled with nitrogenous fertilisers. The truck broke down near a traffic signal. They abandoned it there and ran away.

6.In 1995, Timothy J. McVeigh, an American national not belonging to any terrorist organisation, blew up the Federal office building in Oklahoma City with a truck bomb carrying a mix of 5,000 pounds of fuel oil and fertilizer, killing 168 people.

7.Following this,the security agencies in many countries started closely monitoring the purchase of nitrogenous fertilisers in large quantities by persons who are not known to be farmers. Some countries also laid down that a permit issued by the police would be required for the purchase of large quantities of fertilisers. All sellers of fertilisers were advised to look out for suspicious transactions and immediately alert the police.

8.In 2003, a suspected sleeper cell of Al Qaeda in the UK reportedly purchased 1200 pounds of fertilisers from a shop. The seller did not alert the police. However, the owner of a warehouse where the cell had kept the fertiliser got suspicious and alerted the police, who arrested the members of the cell. Since then, fertiliser manufacturers in the Western countries have reduced the percentage of ammonium nitrate, which is used for bomb-making, in the fertilisers manufactured by them. In May,2006, the Canadian police arrested a group of Pakistanis and others, who were planning to cause an explosion by using nitrogenous fertilisers. (Please see )

9. Since then, instances of the use of nitrogenous fertilisers by terrorist groups has come down in the Western countries, but have increased in India. In many of the explosions caused by jihadi terrorists in different parts of India since 2004, the explosive material consisted of a mix of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. It was this mix, which was reportedly used in the explosions in the suburban trains in Mumbai in July,2006, and in the subsequent serial blasts in UP, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.

10. After the police and security agencies in the West started monitoring the sale and purchase of nitrogenous fertilisers, Al Qaeda and other jihadi organisations in Pakistan started advising the trainees in their camps to use incendiary devices instead of explosive devices.These incendiary devices consisted of gas cylinders and other inflammable material such as gasoline. On August 3,2004, the British Police arrested Dhiren Barot also known as Bilal al-Hindi on a charge of helping Al Qaeda. He has since been convicted by a British court and jailed for 30 years.He is a Gujarati Hindu migrant from East Africa, who had embraced Islam.Lecture notes recovered from his possession reportedly said inter alia: " Make use of that which is available at your disposal and bend it to suit your needs" He claimed to have learnt this in a training camp in Pakistan. He advocated the use of incendiary devices, instead of explosive devices. Such incendiary devices were used in the terrorist attack on the Samjota Express near Delhi on February 18, 2007. A car with gas cylinders was also sought to be used by Kafeel Ahmed also known as Khalid Ahmed , an Indian Muslim from Karnataka, when he along with an Arab accomplice tried to blow up the Glasgow airport in the UK on June 30,2007. The attempt failed, but he died of burns.

11. For causing explosions, terrorists have now been increasingly using peroxide-based liquids which could be converted into an explosive material. Many articles of common use such as certain items of cosmetics and cleaning solutions have a peroxide component. It is easy to procure them in any super-market or drug store without causing suspicion. It is difficult to detect them. They could be easily carried into aircraft and other modes of transport. They are light and easy to carry on a person. They are cheap and affordable for terrorists who do not have much funds at their disposal. Whereas an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil IED may cost around US $ 60 or more, a peroxide-based one could cost around US $ 25 only or even less.

12. The peroxide-based improvised explosive devices (IED) used by the four suicide bombers ---three of them of Pakistani origin trained in a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's tribal belt--- for their attack on the London transportation system on July 7,2005, attracted much attention and comment, but that was not the first time it was used. Palestinian terrorists were the first to have used a peroxide-based IED in Israel in 1980. It was used for the first time outside Israel in London by Palestinian terrorists in 1994 in an attempted attack on the local Israeli Embassy. In 1995, Ramzi Yousef, then living secretly in Manila after his involvement in the explosion in the New York World Trade Centre in February ,1993, had planned to use it for blowing up a number of flights originating from South-East Asia. An accidental fire in his appartment, where he had kept some liquid, alerted the Manila Police, and he ran away to Pakistan, where he was subsequently arrested and handed over to the US. Peroxide-based explosives were reported to have been used by Al Qaeda in some of its post-9/11 terrorist strikes in Bali, Casablanca and Istanbul.

13. While the use of the peroxide-based IED by the suicide bombers on July 7,2005, was devastatingly successful, a similar use attempted by another group in London on July 21,2005, was not successful. The bombers of July 7,2005, had prepared the peroxide-based explosive in the bath-tub of a flat used by them. Some quantity had remained unused after the successful strikes of July 7. This quantity was sought to be used by the bombers of July 21, but the IEDs failed because the explosive material had disintegrated. The use of peroxide-based liquids for fabricating an explosive material has two draw-backs. First,they can accidentally cause an explosion or a fire while the explosive material is being prepared from the peroxide-based liquid, thereby killing the bomber or alerting the police. Second, they quickly disintegrate if not used immediately after fabrication. Whereas ammonium nitrate -based explosives can be kept stored for days and even months without any disintegration, one cannot similarly store peroxide-based explosive material.

14. In August 2006, the London Police discovered a plot by a group of terrorists, many of them Pakistanis, to blow up a number of US-bound planes by taking liquids capable of being converted into explosives into the aircraft and fabricating the explosive inside the aircraft. The Pakistani authorities arrested Rashid Rauf, a British resident of Pakistani (Mirpuri) origin, on suspicion and found in his possession some bottles of hydrogen peroxide liquid. He claimed that he had bought them in a drug store for use as an injury disinfectant. Investigation revealed that he was related by marriage to Maulana Masood Azhar, the Amir of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM). His interrogation also allegedly gave the tip-off regarding the London plot. He managed to escape from custody while being tried before a Pakistani Anti-Terrorism court. He is absconding.

15. Peroxide-based liquid explosives lend themselves to easy use for acts of suicide terrorism. Peroxide-based explosives were reported to have been used in many of the suicide attacks in Pakistan last year after the commando action in the Lal Masjid.

16. In its issue of August 19,2008, Paul John of the "Times of India" based in Ahmedabad, has reported as follows: "The Students Islamic Movement of India has been experimenting with a new concotion using hydrogen peroxide to make liquid bombs. Prototypes of liquid bombs were first experimented in Vagamon hill resort in Kerala where a SIMI camp was held in December,2007, to impart terror training to its cadres. The camp was organised by Kerala SIMI Secretary P.A.Shivli. Experiments with hydrogen peroxide were revealed in the statement of SIMI General Secretary Safdar Nagori during interrogation after his arrest by the Indore Police on March 26 this year."

17. The SIMI terrorists arrested by the Gujarat Police had planted over 10 IEDs with ammonium nitrate and mechanical timers in Ahmedabad which exploded on July 26 causing death and destruction. They had also planted 25 IEDs with integrated circuits in Surat all of which failed to explode. A question was raised whether a 100 per cent failure of 25 IEDs was possible. The Gujarat Police have not given any reasons for this failure so far. While they have revealed that the Ahmedabad IEDs had ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, they have not said what was the explosive material in the Surat IEDs. If the terrorists had experimented with a peroxide-based explosive in Surat, a 100 per cent failure is possible due to the disintegration of the explosive material if it had been fabricated much in advance and kept in storage. That is what happened in London on July 21,2005. (21-8-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd),Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

Infom@gic on Cutting Edge of Info Analysis Technology

Source: IntelligenceOnline

Figuring among the French technology clusters winning the best marks from the Boston Consulting Group (its report was published on June 18), Cap Digital is going to be fleshed out. Its leading project, Infom@gic, develops information analysis applications

Coordinated by Thales Land & Joint Systems, 25 big corporations, SMIs and laboratories in the Paris region involved in the Infom@gic project are putting the final touches to their prototypes of multimedia and information analysis research software (see graph below).

Among the projects developed by Infom@gic figure the Risk Detection demonstrator which focuses on anticipating political and economic crises and is designed for governments and corporate war rooms; Call Surf, which exploits the contents of millions of telephone conservations emanating from call centers, interests the marketing department of big corporations and government services that carry out large-scale interception. Technology developed by Infom@gic has already found concrete applications. Some are used by the Athena intelligence processing system that Thales sold to the French Gendarmerie in late 2007.

Financed by the government through its Fonds de Competitivite des Entreprises and with a budget of EUR 65 million over a four year period, Infom@gic is the biggest of 100 projects carried out by Cap Digital. Thales also takes part in 11 of the 28 "security and defense" projects conducted by Systematic, the second technology cluster in the Paris region that works on complex digital systems. The president of the cluster, Dominique Vernay, is also the research and technology director at Thales.

Baloch leader Urged the US Government and world leaders to support Balochistan's case at ICJ

August 15, 2008

WASHINGTON DC: Dr. Wahid Baloch, President of Baloch Society of North America urged the US Government and world leaders to support the Balochistan's case against the Pakistan's illegal occupation of Balochistan and exploitation of its resources. Speaking at the National Press club in
Washington, DC, he said, Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan, but was forcefully annexed in to Pakistan in 1948 by Pakistani army. Since then the Baloch people are up in arms against the Pakistani illegal occupation and exploitation of their natural resources.

Here is the full text of his speech:

Respected Journalists, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a honor for me to be here with you all this afternoon. Thank you for your time and attention and thanks for being here with us to listen the story of Balochistan which is rarely mentioned in the western media, except Dan Rather , who did an excellent reportage on Balochistan.

For those who don't know, Balochistan is a Texas sized region, divided among Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. The Iranian portion was given to Iran by British rulers in 1928 as part of the British forward policy to serve as a buffer between its imperial possessions in India with the Russian communist empire. The Pakistani portion that remained in British hands was granted freedom separately from India and Pakistan. Balochistan emerged on the map of the world as a sovereign state for more than seven-and-half months until March 1948, when Pakistani army attacked Balochistan and forcefully annexed it into Pakistan. Just as a matter of record, the issue of Balochistan's independence was taken up before the bicameral Baloch parliament, Diwan-i-A'am, or the House of Commons, and Diwan-i-Kha'as, or House of Lords, both of which unanimously opted for independence. The second option for the Baloch was acceding to India, which they thought made better political sense. And still do.

Since March 1948, Balochistan, a land rich in oil, gas and minerals, with a 900 miles of strategically located warm water coastline on the Straits of Hormuz has been under the Pakistani occupation. The Baloch people never accepted to this day the illegal occupation of their homeland and the loot
and plunder of their natural resources that is being done at the gun point by Pakistan. On July 19, 2008 a 12-year old boy named Jani Baloch was among nearly 100 civilians killed in Dera Bugti area by the Pakistan army.

Thousands Baloch have lost their lives in this war and tens of thousands of Bugti and Marri tribesmen have been forced to leave their homes and thrown into destitution because of the Pakistan army operation that began in 2005. According to a UN survey report there are more than 80, 0000
displaced homeless Balochs and 59,000 of those suffering are women and children. Quote I would say, this qualifies as 'crimes against humanity', unquote, said a UN official who visited the affected area.

For those who don’t know about Pakistan army, it is a Jihadi army. To be more precise, they are in fact Taliban in uniform holding U.S. arms in their hands. For those who still think that Pakistan is a an ally in the war in terror, they need to re-check the facts. Pakistan has never been an ally in the war
on terror, because Pakistan itself is the terror. Pakistan, its military and ISI, are the main sources of terrorism.

We have no doubt Islamabad played a crucial role in the 9/11 attacks against America. If the Taliba'an and Al Qaeda had a hand, how come their main sponsors can be innocent.

The killing of Balochs is continuing on both side of the artificial border of Balochisan as I speak before you.

In Iran, extremist Mullahs and Iranian revolutionary guards arrest and kill Baloch at will, on flimsy pretexts. The case of Yaqub Mehrnihad, a journalist and civil rights activist, who was hanged on August 4, 2008 in Zahedan in Iranian occupied Balochistan is a case in point. Thousands of young Baloch activists are victims of torture and languishing in Pakistani and Iranian Jails. Their only crime was attending peaceful demonstrations and protest

I Pakistann, many hundred Baloch have been made to disappear and their loved ones don't know where they are. In Iran the Mullahs hang the Baloch in public, without a fair trial on mere charges of being 'mufssid fil arz' (miscreant on earth). Each time they hang a Baloch in public the mullahs Chants slogans like "Allahu Akbar, Margbar Amreeka, Margbar Israel", Which mean, "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel." They think killing innocent Balochs is their religious duty as they consider the Baloch agents of Israel and U.S.A.

Similar slogans are raised by the Pakistan army soldiers when they attack Baloch villages.

The Pakistanis use the label Indian and Afghan agents to kill and torture the Baloch. More recently they have started suspecting the Baloch nationalists and their allies of pushing the U.S. agenda. One case is that of activist Dr. Safdar Sarki, who was tortured for 20 months in Pakistan military intelligence dungeons on suspicion he has links with the Baloch resistance and was working for CIA and pushing a U.S. agenda.

Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, former governor and chief minister, president of the Jamhoori Watan party and chief of the Bugti tribe, was killed extra
judicially by the Pakistan army, who began suspecting him in the late 1980s when he befriended the then U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Robert Oakley.
Balach Marri, a member of Balochistan assembly, was also killed by Pakistan army.

All of this must stop.

The Iranian and Pakistani jihadi armies can not fight the Indian and Israeli armies, but with impunity, they are carrying on their shameful terror campaign against the defenseless innocent Baloch civilians, which is going on for many decades.

Since August 2006, after the extra judicial killing of Nawab Bugti by Pakistani army, Pakistan has increased its terror campaign against the Baloch people. The genocide of Baloch nation is continuing on both side of the border. The US F-16 jets and Cobra gunship helicopters given to Pakistan to
hunt down Taliban terrorists are being used in Balochistan against the innocent secular Baloch people. Last week Pakistani jihadi terrorist army attacked a village in Dera Bugti Balochistan, killed 48 people and arrested several hundred innocent Bugti Baloch who were then taken to nearby
military camp, where they were summarily executed in Nazi style and their bodies were dumped in mass graves t cover up their crimes. This is not the first time Pakistani army has committed such crimes against humanity. The genocide of three million innocent people in Bengal and rape of half
million Bengali Muslim women is now part of the world's history books.

1n 2006, a key Pakistani organization, the Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), in their fact finding mission report, reported gross human right violations, scores cases of arbitrary arrests, detentions, tortures, disappearances and summary extra judicial execution by Pakistan army in
Balochistan. Appeals and urgent actions have been issued many times by Amnesty International, Asian Human Right Commission and other human right organizations to highlight the Pakistani and Iranian military atrocities against Baloch people.

Soon after Nawab Bugti's assassination,the dejure ruler of Balochistan the Khan of Kalat, Suleman Dawood Ahmedzai, called upon the Balochistan’s representative assembly, the Grand Balochi Jirga, which was

attended by almost all Baloch tribal leaders, political activists, and students--nearly 100 tribal chiefs and 400 notables. The historic Grand Balochi Jirga denounced the Pakistani military operation in Balochistan and extra judicial killing of Nawab Bugti and they unanimously made a declaration to
challenge the illegal occupation of Balochistan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.

Let it be crystal clear that Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan. Trying to Pakistanize Balochistan at the gun point and through the slogan of Allahu Akbar has not worked for the last six decades and will not work in the future. Simply because the state of Pakistan in itself is not a very legitimate State
by herslf. Just because the majority of Baloch are born Muslim, does not give the jihadi armies of Pakistan and Iran a license to continue to occupy our lands, conduct genocide of our people, loot and plunder our resources, and test their nuclear weapons in Balochistan. The world community must not
close their eyes over the crimes against secular Baloch people. I urge the U.S. Government, in particular the Pentagon, and international community, in particular the N.A.T.O., to immediately intervene and initiate dialogue with De Jure ruler of Balochistan Mir Suleman Daud Ahmedzai, who is seeking asylum in the UK. I ask the other international leaders, particularly the leaders of India, Afghanistan, Israel, Russia and European Union and His Royal Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the leaders of Gulf States to support the Balochistan's case at the ICJ against Pakistan's illegal, unjust and immoral occupation of Balochistan.

Baloch people, just like the Kurds, are secular and great ally in the war on terror. We support and defend the International Security Assistance Force and the democratic government of Afghanistan's right to pursue the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists right into the sanctuaries provided to them by the
Pakistan army and the Inter Services Intelligence. A Balochistan ruled by secular forces is in the interest of the peoples of the world, including the
United States.

We urge our friends on the Capitol Hill to not support Pakistan, a terrorist State, but extend a helping hand to the Baloch people who are their best and natural ally in the war on terror in the region. Small baby steps can make a sea of difference. One of these steps is an embargo on all military supplies
and equipment until Pakistan ends its illegal and immoral occupation of Balochistan, hands over terrorists like A.Q. Khan, Osama bin Laden, Ayman Alzwahiri, Daud Ebrahim and Rashid Rauf and rolls back its nuclear weapons program.

We urge the U.S. Department of State to set up the Voice of America Balochi service as soon as possible. We also urge immediate resumption of USAID for Balochistan to bring in more Baluch youths into the U.S. by an enabling visa waiver program and political asylum for Baloch activists who are facing Pakistani and Iranian persecution.

Thank you.