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       Wednesday, August 09, 2006

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India Pakistan Terrorism Amnesia - 7/11 Mumbai Blasts all but forgotten

OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion through Blogs and Podcasts.


Its a month since the serial commuter train blasts in Mumbai struck terror in the heart of its residents and took more than 200 lives. On the eve of this first monthly anniversary of this ghastly terrorist act it is imperative that Indians at large reflect on how New Yok, London and Madrid fared in the first 30 days following the serial terrorist strikes on those cities and contrast it with how we are faring on Mumbai. The stark reality of the facts says it all.

First New York, Sept11th to Oct 11th Offstumped relates the events across the first 30 days based on the 9/11 Commission's findings.
Sept 11 - 4 planes hijacked and used as terror weapons
Sept 12 - Hijackers passports found
Sept 13 - Bin Laden connection alleged
Sept 14 - 18 Hijackers were named and identified
Mid September - Credit Card transactions and multiple residences of hijackers identified
Sept 19 - U.S. Congress starts debate on Patriot Act to empower government
Sept 20 - Homeland security role created
Sept 24 - bank accounts frozen and financiers identified
Sept 28 - suicide notes of hijackers found
Oct - Evidence of Bin Laden's connection to 9/11 established

Next Madrid 11th March to April 2004, Offstumped relates across the first 30 days based on the BBC's coverage of the Madrid Train bombings.
11th March - 10 bombs explode on commuter trains
13 March: Five men are arrested in connection with a mobile phone found inside a bag of explosives which failed to go off.
14 March: A video claiming responsibility for the attack purporting to be from al-Qaeda's military spokesman in Europe is uncovered.
18 March: Five men are arrested over the Madrid attacks - four Moroccans and a Spaniard.
20-21 March: More suspects arrested in separate raids.
23 March: Four men arrested on 18 March are remanded in custody.
24 March: Syrian man arrested.
26 March: Another suspect, Moroccan Faisal Alluch is provisionally charged with collaborating with a terrorist group.
30 March: Spain names an Islamist extremist group, the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, as the main focus of the Madrid investigatio
31 March: Spain issues international arrest warrants for five Moroccans and a Tunisian
3 April: Four suspects wanted for the Madrid train bomb attacks die during a police raid on an apartment in Leganes,
5 April: Officials announce two more arrests - one in Madrid, the other in Ceuta.
7 April: Two Moroccans are detained and provisionally charged with terrorism offences.
12 April: Three more suspects arrested:
26 April: The interior ministry issues five new arrest warrants - and the pictures of the suspects wanted in connection with the attacks.

Now let us look at London, from July 7th to August 7th, 2005 based on Offstumped's analysis of Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London 7th July 2005.
7th July - Bomb blasts in London metro stations and 1 bus
12th July - Police narrow down suspicion to premises in West Yorkshire linked to 3 of the bombers. Police also identify CCTV images of the 4 bombers
14th July - Police confirm identity of 2 bombers public
16th July - Police confim identity of the other 2 bombers to public
21 July - British Cabinet reviews lessons learnt from the investigation of the July 7th bombings

Now contrast this with July 11th Mumbai 2006 to August 11th Mumbai 2006.
July 11th - Bomb blasts on Mumbai local trains first class compartments killing more than 200 people
July 11th - Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh says spirit of Mumbai will prevail.
July 12th - Maharashtra Deputy CM RR Patil says blasts a conspiracy of a foreign terrorist group
July 12th - Mumbai Commissioner AN Roy confirms a large number of arrests during overnight raids, with around 350 interrogations.
Maharashtra DGP PS Pasricha says -e-Taiba can be involved going by the style of attack
July 13th - Cops draw up sketches of 4 suspects
July 13th - Nepal police nab 2 in kathmandu with possible Mumbai link but later release them
July 13th - India puts off peace talks with Pakistan
July 14th - sketches of 3 suspects released to press
July 14th - India warns pakistan on terror
July 15th - Maharashtra BJP Leader Gopinath Munde moves privilege move in state assembly against DGP and Commissioner shooting their mouth off on who is responsible
July 16th - Anonymous report in media claims forensics analysis points to maybe Ammonium (Nitrate) was used. Police have interrogated over 1000 people
July 16th - Ex-HSBC worked was linked to LeT and media speculates on Mumbai connection
July 16th - More anonymous leaks to media that ATS has a list of 10 suspects and that IB has more intelligence on those who executed the plan
July 17th - More anonymous news stories on explosives used and timing devices used
July 18th - , ATS Chief K P Raghuvanshi the blasts were engineered by elements `beyond borders' and executed with the help of local anti-national elements.
July 19th - RR Patil Maharashtra is not adequately equipped to handle terror strikes of this magnitude.
July 20th - 3 men from Bihar with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal links and gunpowder arrested
July 22nd - More anonymous stories on ATS probing phone call records of suspects
July 25th - Engineer arrested
July 28th - 2 more arrests
July 28th - Senior Inspector J.K. Hargude, laid out his findings. Hargude and his police colleagues have refused to detail the role of the Shaikh brothers and other suspects in the July 11 bombings. But he described their arrest as a major turning point in the case and said that the men were naming more names. The chief of the Mumbai police antiterrorist squad, K.P. Raghuvanshi six of the eight men arrested in the past two weeks had confessed to going to Pakistan for arms and explosives training. Precisely how the eight men are linked to each other, and more important, to the July commuter train blasts that killed more than 180 people, remains unclear. No one has been charged in the attacks

July 31 - Journalist is arrested
1st Aug - India and Pakistan agree to pursue peace talks
2nd Aug - Pakistan refuses to arrest LeT chief
4th Aug - Alleged LeT Militant arrested in J&K linked to Mumbai
5th Aug - India and Pakistan expel diplomats in tit for tat action
8th August - Times of India reports of ATS stumbling

So there you have it folks. One month on when New York, Madrid and London not just identified the perpetrators and arrested them but even analysed what went wrong and filed charges, we in Mumbai have been fed with political chest thumping, inspired leaks and bunch of arrests leading to nowhere. 30 days on we dont know who executed the blasts, who planned the blasts and who supplied and sponsored the blasts and why.

In the meantime Manmohan Singh was busy reminding us why we dont need POTA, why we should maintain communal harmony, why Mumbai is resilient. Manmohan Singh also managed to display anger and offense at Jaswant Singh and expel Natwar Singh. Sonia Gandhi meanwhile displayed characteristic sphinx like silence breaking it to criticize the BJP and demand that Muslim interests not be harmed while dealing with Terrorism. Mr. LK Advani meanwhile reminded us that why POTA would have solved it all and why Somnath Chaterjee should quit as speaker and why Natwar was made scapegoat by the Congress. Prakash Karat has been busy demanding U.S. Nuke deal be abandoned, Reliance investigated and why Israel should be sanctioned.

Offstumped Bottomline: Shame on you Manmohan Singh for not displaying the seriousness expected of a Prime Minister in dealing with Terror while going out of your way to express offense on the Jaswant episode. Shame on you Sonia for perking up your conscience only when it comes to personal issues like the Office of Profit or Rajiv Gandhi and otherwise maintaining a sphinx like silence on terrorism while subverting the fight against terrorism with the muslim bogey. Shame on you LK Advani for spending more time scoring political points in parliament with Natwar rather than take the Government to task. Finally shame on you Prakast Karat for spending more time castigating Israel than on demanding policies to secure the nation.

Offstumped remembers the 200 odd victims with this poem by Tagore:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

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posted by Yossarin at 8:49 PM  


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