Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

ramana
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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 09 Jul 2008 21:37

Some of the points that Sri Bhadra Kumar makes are against some of the suggestions in this very thread for more direct intervention. He wants to dissuade the view that it should not be confused as secy to US role and draw their fire.

Also on an aside his views on Taliban show that Paul was essentially right that its an Islamised expression of Pashtun rights. If that is right then Durand line is a way to get strategic space.
But at the core Indian elite have to decide if they want to act for India or play second fiddle.
Nehru created new cards which the scientific didnt deliver leading to this deal.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby John Snow » 09 Jul 2008 22:41

Narayanan said
Sending "boots on the ground" into Afghanistan would be even more stupid than sending troops into Iraq. But a few building-demolition exercises in downtown Islamabad using Su-30MKIs would be a very good "message".

Absolut truth.

"War should never be waged; war should only be stoked between others"
Spinster Uvacha

"Peace should be preached, but only practice when you can dictate"
Spinster Uvacha

" War costs money, Make money from others then plan war for others to fight"
Spinster Uvacha

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 09 Jul 2008 22:46

ramana,

I was kidding about the DLine. The point I wa strying to make is that we Indians theorise and discuss too much. And act too little.

On the BK article:

This will require certain fundamental shifts in strategic thinking both internally and on the world stage.


Does India have "strategic thinking"? Outside of TSP? There is none. MMS was the first PM to assemble such a group!! Dunno what they have done so far ..... perhaps nothing.

The old chai-biscut mentality will always be reactive, even reactive to reactive.

GD,

Even that needs activity that India is not capable of. Kargil is the only time we have acted or is it reacted.

These things have to be prevented seed up.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby zulu » 09 Jul 2008 23:00

And then there is India. An attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001; hijacking of Indian Airlines 814 to Afghanistan in 1999, which was released only after the exchange of three terrorists, including one who was later responsible for the execution of US journalist Daniel Pearl; terrorist attacks in Jaipur in May 2008, Hyderabad in August 2007, Mumbai in July 2006, Varanasi in March 2006, Bangalore in December 2005, Delhi in October 2005 and Ayodhya in July 2005; a recent surge in infiltration across the Line of Control in Kashmir; and this week's attack on the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul. India's reaction:


Are we not running out of precious time and an once in the life time opportunity to attack terrorist camps in pok.
Consider the following scenario:- India attacks terrorist camps in pok.Pakistan may retaliate in kashmir or elsewhere.India decides to go ahead with nuclear deal.Left pulls out.Taking this of attack on our sovereignity and with a caretaker government in place(like that of vajpayee in 1999) India can convince Bush that theres no majority in the house and deal is in danger.Since bush wants this deal badly to revive his failed forign policy we tell bush that dont meddle in this affair and we will make the deal happen.
But we will have to prove the pak hand behind this blast.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 09 Jul 2008 23:03

Who is going to bell the US cat?

There are too many sensetive people and parties around. Inside and outside India!!

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby zulu » 09 Jul 2008 23:14

But an act like this has a huge psycological impact on average learned indians(meaning people believing in institution of army and taking pride in it).Where israel ,china etc can act tough and even pakistan talks tough regarding kashmir(its different thing that theres nothing to support this tough talking),i feel quite sad that indian government may just issue some statements and we will forget this loss just like mumbai train bombings,parliament bombings,etc

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby John Snow » 09 Jul 2008 23:21

NRao garu

This is what I tell Business leaders in meetings.

'Where is Vision?'
Lost in business
Where is business?
Lost in strategy
where is strategy?
Lost in information.
Where is information?
Lost in meta data
where is meta data?
Lost in data
where is data?
Data is everywhere!

The point is there is no culture of vision or thinking long term strategy in the leadership of India. No common consensus across the political spectrum either.
What is the role of India in its vicinity? What is the role of India in world at large?
How can we shape our strategy to move towards our vision? How can we project our true strengths?
The vision was never an avocation to the parties.
All they think is “how can I make money while this ministry lasts?”
Each CM is raking in billions of dollars. Every central minister siphons money to Swiss banks.
I wonder how much they want to amass!
In Swiss we trust, and must we make money! is the Vision.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 00:36

One more last report of the two victims.

From Hindu, 8 July 2008

Brig. and Diplomat cremated

This one tugs the heart.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby KLNMurthy » 10 Jul 2008 01:32

Acharya wrote:
Philip wrote:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JG09Df02.html

Now it's war against India in Afghanistan
By Sudha Ramachandran

A military presence in Afghanistan might increase India's profile and add to its stature as a growing power in the region. But it will end up being bracketed with the Americans in Afghanistan, an image it would do well to avoid. It would work against the country's long-term interests in the region, jeopardizing the enormous goodwill it has earned to date.

Troops in Afghanistan would push India into the Afghan quagmire. This might be what the ISI was gunning for when they attacked the Indian embassy on Monday.


Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.

The author deliberately fails to mention that an air force base could be built for Indian air force in Afghanistan which could in future help in war against Pakistan. This should be the aim of the Indian govt and not just troops inside Afghanistan.
If really ISI was gunning for India to enter Afghanistan then may as well create another front in Afghanistan Pakistan border.


There is also an implicit assumption that Indian military operations in Afghanistan will be carried out in the same manner as NATO / US operations--transferring the risk from the soldiers to the civilians. It is this approach, rather than NATO's military operations in themselves, that cause the degradation of goodwill etc.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby putnanja » 10 Jul 2008 02:04

Staff put Embassy back on track, their symbol: a half-burnt pigeon fighting back

Staff put Embassy back on track, their symbol: a half-burnt pigeon fighting back
Manu Pubby
Posted online: Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 2350 hrs Print Email

Kabul, July 9: They haven’t given it a name yet, but a survivor of Monday’s suicide attack is fast becoming a symbol of hope and recovery at the Indian Embassy here. A half-burnt, tailless pigeon — one of some 200 “resident birds” that ITBP jawans used to feed every morning at the embassy — is being keenly watched for signs of recovery as it limps around the premises. While the bird may never fly again, the Indian Embassy in Kabul is fast getting back to shape and is scheduled to resume normal operations, including issuing visas, by Saturday.

Mangled pieces of metals, a stray shoe, shattered furniture, half-burnt visa forms are reminders of the massive blast that claimed four Indian lives but the Indian mission is keen to start work at the earliest. The Ambassador’s office is functional, the embassy’s direct satellite link with New Delhi has been made operational and even the campus Wi-Fi is back on line. With work on clearing debris in full swing, the Indian envoy is confident about resuming operations by the end of the week.

“We should start work, including issuing visas, by Saturday. The staff’s morale, under the circumstances, could not be better. They are showing remarkable dedication (to get the embassy functional),” Ambassador Jayant Prasad told The Indian Express.

A reason for the fast recovery and lack of structural damage to the mission building was a new security barrier put up by India last week after intelligence inputs indicated a major attack. The hexa-barrier, a thick wire mesh-and-mud barrier covering the embassy on all sides, absorbed the major impact of the blast and saved the building from serious damage.

Prasad said that though the bomber blew the car at the embassy gates, the shockwaves could have brought down the building roof had the barrier not been there.

More than 40 Afghan citizens who had lined outside the embassy to seek visas had a miraculous escape as they were standing behind the hexa-barrier. But those outside the embassy were not so lucky and most casualties took place on the main road.

Eight of the 11 Afghan policemen stationed outside the embassy died on the spot. Eyewitnesses told The Indian Express that 10 women, including five from one family, died even as they were entering the embassy. According to Prasad, several children, who were walking to a school nearby, were also killed in the attack.

While the Indian toll has remained steady at four, the casualty figures of Afghan citizens has been rising sharply in the past three days. While the initial toll was 37 dead, Prasad said that as of Wednesday evening, at least 54 had been confirmed killed. The toll could rise — of the 139 admitted in various hospitals in the city, 61 were said to be in critical condition.

A major tragedy was averted as a busy shopping complex right next to the embassy escaped maximum impact, the hexa-barrier being the deflector.

“I was looking out at the embassy when the blast took place. I was blown into my shop by the impact. When I regained senses, there were body parts strewn all around. People were running around in panic but I was not badly injured,” said 18-year-old Ajmal Nasiri who works at a printing press next to the embassy.

But shops on the other side of the embassy, not protected by the barrier, were totally shattered. A popular travel agency, which booked tickets for Air India, was completely gutted, killing owner Sayed Aninull Slashen and his two young sons.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Singha » 10 Jul 2008 12:12

IBNLIVE

New Delhi: Three days after a suicide car bomb attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, another attack on Indian consulate in Afghanistan has been reported by a private TV channel in Pakistan.

The channel said on Thursday that Taliban claimed to have killed two Indians and four others in an attack on the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad.

Daily Times website reports, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Geo News over the telephone that his men attacked the Indian consulate with bombs killing six men, including two Indian nationals, and injuring eight.

However, Indian intelligence sources have denied there were any attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad.

There was a threat of attack by Taliban but it was prevented, they added.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 10 Jul 2008 12:28

Stratfor: Deadly Precedents in Kabul
A July 7 attack on the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul that killed two high-level diplomats has all the signs of a targeted assassination versus a strike aimed at the building itself with the goal of incurring a high body count.

The morning of July 7, 2008, began normally enough at the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Afghan citizens began to queue up on the dusty street outside the fortified compound in hopes of obtaining a visa, while shopkeepers nearby offered refreshments, visa photos and other administrative services to the aspiring visa applicants. One by one, the Indian employees of the embassy began to arrive at work and pass through security checks at the gate.

At around 8:30 a.m, as two embassy vehicles were in the process of entering the compound, the stillness of the morning was shattered when a suicide operative rammed his Toyota Corolla into the second of the two embassy vehicles and then activated the powerful improvised explosive device (IED) concealed in his car. The powerful blast destroyed the two embassy vehicles and blew the gates off the embassy’s outer perimeter. The blast killed at least 58 people and injured more than 140. Among those killed in the attack were two high-level diplomats: Indian Defense Attache Brig. Gen. Ravi Dutt Mehta and the embassy’s Political and Information Counselor, Vadapalli Venkateswara Rao. The blast also killed two Indo-Tibetan Border Police security officers, a local Afghan employee of the embassy and some 10 local police officers assigned to guard the facility. Several other Indian employees were injured in the attack, as were two foreign diplomats and several security personnel as signed to the adjacent Indonesian Embassy. Among those hit the hardest were the people standing in the visa line.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, denied that the group was involved in the attack. However, it is not uncommon for the Taliban to deny responsibility for attacks that kill a large number of civilians, as they did in the Feb. 17, 2008, suicide attack in Kandahar that killed more than 100 people. The use of a suicide operative in the attack is a clear indication that it was conducted by the Taliban or their al Qaeda brethren, and the fact that the attack was conducted in Kabul — where a non-Afghan would stand out — would make the Taliban the most likely suspects, though it is quite possible they had assistance from al Qaeda or Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI).

The explosive device was powerful, but it was not the type of very large device one would use in an earnest attempt to destroy a building. Due to the size of the device and the identity of the victims, it is quite possible that this attack was a targeted assassination attempt and not an effort to destroy the embassy itself. The attack was well-executed and effective, and there are several lessons that can be drawn from it.

Target Selection

The Indian Embassy is a logical target for the Taliban to strike for variety of reasons. Perhaps the most significant reason is the history of India’s involvement in Afghanistan. New Delhi has long sought close relationships with the government of Afghanistan as a way to encircle and pressure India’s rival Pakistan. To this end, India has been one of the largest international supporters of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government. The government of India was also heavily involved in supporting the Northern Alliance as it fought against the government of the Taliban — which was very much a creature of the Pakistani ISI. The Indian government saw support of the Northern Alliance as a way to keep a check on Pakistani influence in the region.

While a number of Taliban attacks in recent years have killed or injured Indian engineers and workers involved in Indian-financed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, this is the first time an Indian diplomatic post has been the target of a large-scale attack, even though India maintains consulates inside Afghanistan in locations such as Jalalabad, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif and even Kandahar.

While Monday’s attack was the first attack of this scale against an Indian diplomatic target in Afghanistan, small-scale attacks have occurred before. In December 2007, the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad was targeted by a small-scale attack when two small explosive devices were hurled at the building during the night. The consulate in Kandahar was targeted by a similar attack in October 2006, when a man threw two hand grenades at the building from a motorbike.

Another reason for the Taliban to target the Indians is the Kashmir issue. The Pakistani ISI has long been supportive of Kashmiri militant groups, groups which have demonstrated links to al Qaeda and the global jihadist network. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was also supportive of Kashmiri militant groups. This support was clearly reflected in events such as the 1999 hijacking of Air India flight 814, in which Kashmiri militants landed the aircraft in Kandahar and held the passengers until the Indian government agreed to release a group of the militants’ imprisoned colleagues. The prisoners included a Pakistani cleric named Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), who had been arrested in Kashmir and imprisoned in India, and JeM operative Omar Saeed Sheik, who has been convicted in Pakistan and sentenced to death for his involvement in the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. The Indian government claims that Taliban fighters have fought alongside Kashmiri militant groups, and this long history means that there is absolutely no love lost between the Taliban and the Indian government. Of course, the ISI, al Qaeda, and Kashmiri militant groups also have strong motives for attacking Indian interests in Afghanistan, and it is possible they were somehow involved.

In any event, the targeting of Indian interests appears to be part of a concerted effort. On July 8, a remotely detonated IED was discovered on a bus carrying a group of Indian construction workers to a road construction site in Afghanistan’s Nimroz province. There have been several Taliban attacks on Indian construction crews working to build roads in Nimroz province since the efforts began in 2004. These attacks include two suicide attacks this year, one in April the other in June, that resulted in the deaths of three Indians.

Soft Target?

One final reason that might help explain the targeting of the Indian Embassy is that, by nature of its location and construction, it is more vulnerable to an attack than the embassies of high-profile coalition countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The embassy had very little standoff separating the building from the outer perimeter wall, and as we have previously discussed, the critical element in keeping a facility like an embassy safe from large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) is standoff — keeping the device far from the building.

Of course, the Indians realized the vulnerability of their facility and were concerned about recent intelligence indicating a possible attack. On May 27, the Indian Embassy sent out a security advisory to Indian citizens warning of suicide attacks and compound invasions directed against high-profile facilities in Kabul. Ironically, the advisory was signed by Brig. Gen. R.D. Mehta, the defense attache killed in the attack. In June, the U.S. Embassy also issued a Warden Message noting a threat to Afghan officials and coalition personnel in the greater Kabul area, but it was not as specific as the Indian warning.

Within the last month, security at the Indian Embassy had been augmented with the addition of a substantial sand-filled outer layer to its perimeter fence. Judging from the photos of the scene, the augmented wall performed fairly well, with most of the damage occurring to the gate — which was literally blown away — and the portion of the building adjacent to the gate. This is where more than a few feet of standoff distance would have been very helpful.{But, it would still not have saved Brig. Mehta & Shri VV Rao}

Since the days of castles and knights, gates have always been the most vulnerable area of a wall and a natural place to target an attack. In more recent years, we have seen attacks directed at the gates of hardened diplomatic facilities, such as the VBIED attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998, and the armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in December 2004.

Targeted Assassination?

In addition to being a target itself, the gate at a secure facility also serves as a choke point. Security procedures can also leave potential targets vulnerable to attack as the targets enter the facility, or as they wait outside for security to screen their vehicle prior to entry. Many larger facilities will have a secure sally port area inside the gate where vehicles are screened for explosive devices, but in a facility with very little standoff there is often not room for such an area, and vehicles are checked on the street prior to entering the gate.

During this time, the vehicles are vulnerable to attack. Because of this, motorcades transporting high-profile persons normally contact the facility by radio and ask to have the gate cleared so that they can enter quickly and avoid having to sit on the street where they are vulnerable. Such motorcades normally use vehicles that have been checked for explosive devices and then continuously watched to ensure no such device has been placed on or in the vehicle. This means that they do not need to stop to have their vehicles checked by security at the gate. That said, the gate is still a choke point along the route of the motorcade, and the vehicle is vulnerable to attack as it slows down to make the turn into the gate. This window of opportunity can be amplified if the gate personnel are not particularly on the ball and it takes them a bit of time to open the gate.

That the bombing occurred as a vehicle was entering the facility raises the possibility that the attack at the Indian Embassy was not directed at the facility in general, but was a specifically targeted assassination. Another factor that points in that direction is that the attack was conducted at 8:30 a.m. local time, when some of the first diplomats were arriving at the embassy, rather than later in the day when more of the embassy staff (including the ambassador) would have been present. Also, although the device was quite powerful, it was not really large enough to have taken down the embassy building. If the attackers were attempting to destroy the embassy, they would likely have planned to use a larger device like those used in VBIED attacks against similar targets in places like Iraq. And make no mistake, the Taliban has been consistently moving toward the al Qaeda in Iraq modus operandi over the past few years.

The possibility of a targeted attack is also raised when one considers that the individuals killed in the attack were two senior embassy officers — the defense attache, who by his very job is an intelligence officer, and the political counselor — a position often used as cover for a senior intelligence officer. Even if the political counselor in this case was not an intelligence officer, he might have been mistaken for one by the attackers. If the two regularly rode together to work on a predictable schedule (for a 9 a.m. Monday staff meeting, for example), they could have posed a very tempting target for a potential attacker.

Of course this could all be coincidence. The two senior diplomats killed could simply have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. The timing of the attack could have been because the morning rush hour provided the attackers an opportunity to get their VBIED past the roadblocks and to the target site. Also, the attackers could have chosen to attack a building with a smaller rather than a larger device to ensure they made it to the particular target since they were more concerned about symbolism than destruction. However, that seems to be a lot of chance, and an intentional assassination would seem to be more probable at this point.

Disturbing precedent

If the attack was a targeted assassination and not a series of coincidental events (or erroneous reports), it sets a dangerous precedent. First, the attack was very well-orchestrated. The plotters conducted their preoperational surveillance and planned their attack without detection (though the warning issued by the Indian Embassy last month could be evidence of an operational security leak). However, in spite of the warning, the attack team was able to gain the element of tactical surprise. They were also able to amass explosives, construct the VBIED and deliver it to the attack site on time and without detection. The device also functioned as intended, and the operative did not get cold feet and bail out on the operation. These steps are not as easy to successfully execute as they might seem, especially when one considers that the Indian Embassy is located in the heart of Kabul just down the street from, and in sight of, the Afghan Interior Ministry. Operating in the hea rt of Kabul is a far cry from pulling off an attack in a location such as Kandahar, where the population is either sympathetic to or afraid of the Taliban.

But by its very nature, the Indian Embassy would be an easy site to conduct surveillance on. In addition to the aforementioned merchants in the vicinity (a perennial favorite cover for surveillance operatives), there was also the visa line itself. Standing in a visa line provides a wonderful opportunity to loiter in front of an embassy for a prolonged period of time — perhaps hours — in order to observe security, monitor the arrivals of VIPs and generally watch what happens there.

Unfortunately, in spite of the warning of a potential attack and the increased physical security at the embassy, it is unlikely that the Indian government employed countersurveillance teams around their embassy.

While physical security upgrades are important and necessary, they can result in a false sense of security. The bottom line is that if potential attackers are permitted to conduct surveillance, they will be able to find vulnerabilities in security measures and procedures. With the Taliban demonstrating the ability to conduct sophisticated attacks in Kabul, perhaps with al Qaeda or ISI assistance in this case, other potential targets would be well advised to implement robust countersurveillance programs and deny the Taliban operatives carte blanche to conduct surveillance.


Attribution: http://www.stratfor.com/

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby kshirin » 10 Jul 2008 13:54

Has Jalalabad just been attacked? I am not getting any news, does anyone know?

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Philip » 10 Jul 2008 14:27

The diplomatic/military human resources are more valuable than any building.The Stratfor article also indicates that it was the intention to eliminate the two most important members of the mission,with any collateral damage to the building an added bonus.The late Venkat Rao from the details available to us now,appears to have been one of our most experienced diplomats ,a specialist of the region,with a good knowledge of the local lingo too.There's little point specualting now whether he was more than a diplomat,not every high profile diplomat is working for intelligence agencies,who are generally grossly understaffed,"humint" being superseded by "sigint" more thse days (look at the current travails of British intel.).There are many brilliant diplomats who have served us well without being part of R&AW or whatever.As I said earlier,Mr.Rao could've been another J.N.Dixit,more's the tragedy.Of famous diplomats worlwide,one recalls Gen.Vernon Walters,Reagan's chief troubleshooter who was reputed to know 17 or more langauges!
Coming back to the approach road to the embassy,part of the entire road should've been cordoned off by Afghan authorities,well before the gate to the mission,by barriers at two sides allowing vehicles to enter the sensitive stretch only after being checked.This is another common feature in many countries where there are many buildings,properties that house diplomatic missions,residences of key politicos/military/diplomatic/civil servants .Allowing sundry traffic to whizz past the gates is to invite such suicide attacks.

The almost simultaneous attack in Turkey indicates that this was not mere coincidence.It is a combined attack of the Islamist terrorist forces of AlQ,the Taliban and the ISI,who have had enough time to consolidate and coordinate their forces in Afghanistan.One fact has emerged from this outrage/tragedy,that India's efforts in Afghanistan are working well with the locals,otherwise there would've been no need for the ungodly to have perpetrated such an act.It also underscores the fact that we must "dig in",with a variety of methods,not giving any ground to our enemies.It also calls for a whole new thinking by the GOI about the region and India's interests and security.The challenges are increasing each day and we have to find a way in which we can protect our interests while eliminating the threats ,existing and potential in advance before they strike us.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Johann » 10 Jul 2008 16:22

KV Rao wrote:The author deliberately fails to mention that an air force base could be built for Indian air force in Afghanistan which could in future help in war against Pakistan. This should be the aim of the Indian govt and not just troops inside Afghanistan.
If really ISI was gunning for India to enter Afghanistan then may as well create another front in Afghanistan Pakistan border.


There is also an implicit assumption that Indian military operations in Afghanistan will be carried out in the same manner as NATO / US operations--transferring the risk from the soldiers to the civilians. It is this approach, rather than NATO's military operations in themselves, that cause the degradation of goodwill etc.[/quote]

KVR,

Commonwealth components of NATO started out with soft hats instead of kevlar pots on their heads, rifles slung away, smiling, coming round for tea with the village elders, passing out sweets to the kids.

That was fine until the Taliban started coming over the Durand line in real numbers, usually at night, or whenever Coalition forces werent around, which given their thin numbers was most of the time.

The bottom line is that there is a lack of strong *anti-Taliban* leadership among Pashtuns of the kind seen in Northern Alliance areas.

Pashtun village leaders in Afghanistan will generally go with whomever has the offers the winning combination of carrots and sticks. Thats how they learned to survive in periods of chaos, particularly the warlord era.

To keep them on your side you must either be strong enough to keep your enemies out, or outspend your enemies in buying goodwill.

NATO has neither put in the manpower needed, nor the sheer volume of money needed to make a difference in each and every one of the Pashtun villages in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

The ratio of money to manpower to macadam (classic COIN inputs) needed isnt fixed, but the combined effect has to be achieved.

What we have in right now is enough to hold the provincial centres, and maybe a secondary provincial centre, and the roads between them. The villages are wide open. Afghanistan has been kept on hold while the Americans desperately try to calm down Iraq, and the French and Germans refuse to get their hands dirty in Afghanistan.

But more than all that, what is needed is to work with progressive pashtun nationalism in the form of the Awami National Party in NWFP, FATA and the Pasthun districts of northern Baluchistan (Quetta, Zhob, etc). That is where there is still active Pashtun anti-Taliban leadership. The Taliban has been killing of any tribal leadership that opposes them in FATA for the last 3-4 years, but Pashtun areas outside FATA are still capable of moving in healthier directions. I think the last elections are proof of that.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Skanda » 10 Jul 2008 17:11

Image
Suicide Car Blast Kills 41 in Afghan Capital
Pakistani intelligence has long supported militant groups fighting in Kashmir and Afghanistan as a means to influence regions on its borders and, according to some Western diplomats and military officials, it maintains those links today, including with some elements of the Taliban. While Pakistani militants with links to the Taliban have bolstered their strength in the border areas, the Taliban in Afghanistan have clashed with international troops in the worst summer fighting since the Taliban fell seven years ago. The Taliban have resurfaced strongly in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Karzai said the "enemies of peace in Afghanistan" wanted to hurt Kabul's international relationships, "particularly with India."

"Such attacks will not hamper Afghanistan's relations with other nations," he said.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby anupmisra » 10 Jul 2008 17:25

kshirin wrote:Has Jalalabad just been attacked? I am not getting any news, does anyone know?


Porki disinformation....most likely. :evil:

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby anupmisra » 10 Jul 2008 17:44

Points for Indian intelligence agencies and the foreign office to note, and lessons learned:

SSridhar wrote:Stratfor: Deadly Precedents in Kabul

...the Indian Embassy .... is more vulnerable to an attack than the embassies of high-profile coalition countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The embassy had very little standoff separating the building from the outer perimeter wall, and as we have previously discussed, the critical element in keeping a facility like an embassy safe from large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) is standoff — keeping the device far from the building.


....the gate at a secure facility also serves as a choke point. Security procedures can also leave potential targets vulnerable to attack as the targets enter the facility, or as they wait outside for security to screen their vehicle prior to entry. Many larger facilities will have a secure sally port area inside the gate where vehicles are screened for explosive devices, but in a facility with very little standoff there is often not room for such an area, and vehicles are checked on the street prior to entering the gate.


....targeted attack — the defense attache and the political counselor — ...if the two regularly rode together to work on a predictable schedule (for a 9 a.m. Monday staff meeting, for example), they could have posed a very tempting target for a potential attacker.


The plotters conducted their preoperational surveillance and planned their attack without detection.....the Indian Embassy would be an easy site to conduct surveillance on. ....the aforementioned merchants in the vicinity (a perennial favorite cover for surveillance operatives). Standing in a visa line provides a wonderful opportunity to loiter in front of an embassy for a prolonged period of time — perhaps hours — in order to observe security, monitor the arrivals of VIPs and generally watch what happens there....it is unlikely that the Indian government employed countersurveillance teams around their embassy



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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Philip » 10 Jul 2008 18:46

The Pak PM has said that we should not play the "blame game" as to who is responsible for the blast and quotes the US that "Pak had nothing to do with the attack"!First,which US expert said that and how on earth within 24 hrs. of the attack could the US know so definitely that Pak had nothing to do with it,unless they were involved?! It clearly shows if true,that the US is NOT India's firend at all but is conspiring with the ungodly to destroy India's interests in the region.

The US is trying to hunt with the hounds and hide with the hare.It wants a client state in Pak,available to do its dirty work and is trying right now to find a new ruler for Pak to replace Gen.Bandicoot who is out of favour with the masses and cannot any longer rubber-stamp its dirty work in the region.That is why is continues to absolve pak of blue murdre dspite all the evdience of the ISI's chicanery against India especially over the last few years.While the politicos in pak and other sober minds have realised that peace with India is in their very own interests,a strong core group and those representing US interests are holding Pak and the region to ransom.The agreement between Pak and the Taliban (opposed by the US) is proof enough of the Pak/Talib links.How can the US then give the ISI and Pak a clear chit?

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 10 Jul 2008 19:06

A large part of the US support for Pakistan has been acceptance at the political level of such a support system. Outside of BD and Kargil, little has been done to see that such support does not cross a certain line.

With the presense of NATO in teh region I suspect India cannot do too much at this point in time. However, it would be a great move to get a "base" - within A'stan - some place up north ........ even if it remains empty ....... to make a statement.

From a strategic PoV, I doubt NATO or the US can do too much. The problem, as we all know it, is on the other side of the border. And, if the US can get her shadowy people into Iran, why not into western paksitan in some 5+ years?

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 19:18

Glimmer of good news. I always wondered why cant Indian MP take over diplomatic missions security? Atleast in troubled countries. This ie ven better SF to augment the ITBP would be ideal. ITBP for normal and SF squad for alert periods. And SF totally for troubled areas. No matter a squad of 8 SF in all embassies as premise protection group.

India to increase security to missions abroad: Army chief
10 Jul, 2008, 1706 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: India today said it was deliberating on additional security measures for its missions abroad in the wake of the suicide attack on its embassy in Kabul.

"We are deliberating on certain additional measures to be taken to ensure security of (embassy) personnel not only in Kabul, but also else where," Army chief General Deepak Kapoor said here.

He did not rule out possibility of deploying Army's Special Forces, on the lines of the US' Marine Commandos, for providing security at the embassies abroad. "If the need arises, we can certainly think of deploying Special Forces in addition to the ITBP men already there."

Pointing out that the ITBP was doing a good job (of providing security to embassies), Kapoor said India would see how best to secure its missions, if there was greater threat to its buildings and personnel.

"We will see if there is a requirement to review (the security). If there is heightened requirement and if the ITBP requires assistance, the Army will provide it. We will also look at deploying special forces," he said on the sidelines of an event to distribute welfare measures to disabled ex-servicemen and widows of Army men killed in action.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 10 Jul 2008 19:23

Embassy bombing may be mischief

An attack where a suicide attacker kills 58 people and injures over 200 is a mere mischief ?

It could be also Pakistani misinformation to deflect blame and portray themselves as victims as they always do. However, if it were true, I will have no sympathy for suffering masses of NATO countries in future Islamist jihadi visitations.
Nato commanders in Afghanistan believe India and Pakistan were indirectly playing into the hands of the Taliban or some other “third force” by blaming one another for terrorist activities against each other.

Highly-placed diplomatic sources in Islamabad and Kabul have said Nato commanders and some important Western diplomats were trying their best to remove misunderstandings between the two neighbours.

Misunderstandings were created after a suicide attack on the Indian Embassy on Monday in which Indian military attache Brigadier Mehta and political councillor Venket Rao were killed along with 41 others.

Nato commanders were of the view that both Kabul and Islamabad were target of terrorists as the Islamabad police was targeted just one day before the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Nato officials appreciated that Pakistan never blamed India for the Islamabad bombing but the Indian media was quick to blame Pakistan by quoting “Afghan sources”. {This is most outrageous and ridiculous statement I have heard recently.}

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 10 Jul 2008 19:39

Nato commanders were of the view that both Kabul and Islamabad were target of terrorists as the Islamabad police was targeted just one day before the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Nato officials appreciated that Pakistan never blamed India for the Islamabad bombing but the Indian media was quick to blame Pakistan by quoting “Afghan sources”.


NATO is a total failure, to say the very least.

They do not understand the internal dynamics of Pakistan. And this statement proves it.

"Handing out sweets" is all they can do.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Anindya » 10 Jul 2008 19:43

Nato officials appreciated that Pakistan never blamed India for the Islamabad bombing but the Indian media was quick to blame Pakistan by quoting “Afghan sources”


The above statement sounds too much like a Pakistani statement - I cannot believe that a non-Pakistani made that statement. All Pakistani sources, when they do not use specific names and references are suspect.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 19:47

NRao thats a propoganda article from TSP. NATO might not have said anything like that. Its the DDM Paki writing that to cover their complicity in the Kabul Embassy attack. Islamabad bombings are due to internal civil war between islamists and the authorities. Kabul Embassy bombing is due to TSP controlled terrorists. As shiv says they are darpok and afraid of Indian retaliation and used those terrorists.

BTW I think its the embassy is the target despite Stratfor's speculating about the two officials.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby kancha » 10 Jul 2008 19:58

What better opportunity than this to bring to the fore that India actually has a land access to Afghanistan through Gilgit / Baltistan. If NATO presence in the region does not allow us much leeway to do something directly, atleast the issue of Northern Areas can once again be brought into focus and given the immense discontent in the region due to Paki policies and the issue of Bhasha Dam and the proposed Katzarah Dam.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Sumeet » 10 Jul 2008 20:39

Philip wrote:The Pak PM has said that we should not play the "blame game" as to who is responsible for the blast and quotes the US that "Pak had nothing to do with the attack"!First,which US expert said that and how on earth within 24 hrs. of the attack could the US know so definitely that Pak had nothing to do with it,unless they were involved?! It clearly shows if true,that the US is NOT India's firend at all but is conspiring with the ungodly to destroy India's interests in the region.



No foreign hand seen in Indian Embassy attack: Gates


Thursday, July 10, 2008 (Washington)
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on July 9 that he had seen no evidence that foreign agents were involved in the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul.

His comments at a news conference contradicted claims by Afghan officials that a foreign intelligence agency was behind a suicide attack on Monday that killed 41 people outside the Indian embassy.

''I haven't seen any evidence or proof that foreign agents were involved,'' Gates said when asked about the Afghan claims
.


We should just quietly double or triple our forces across our interests in Afghanistan and slowly progress towards making a military base. Don't worry about US, NATO or Pukes let them give out statements in media report, lets do the actual action.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 20:55

Sherlock, you dont expect the downhill sking experts to use their own citizens in a one way mission do you? And what did you major in? No wonder Adm. Jeremiah had to an audit on your home agency.

Poor guy he thinks the TSPA will go after the jihadis in FATA/WANA when they are the same and have the same motto!

Encyclopedia Brittanica lists intelligence under these headings - animal, human and military. Says all that needs to be said about the Gates statement.

Raju

Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Raju » 10 Jul 2008 20:59

Sumeet wrote:No foreign hand seen in Indian Embassy attack: Gates


Thursday, July 10, 2008 (Washington)
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on July 9 that he had seen no evidence that foreign agents were involved in the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul.

His comments at a news conference contradicted claims by Afghan officials that a foreign intelligence agency was behind a suicide attack on Monday that killed 41 people outside the Indian embassy.

''I haven't seen any evidence or proof that foreign agents were involved,'' Gates said when asked about the Afghan claims
.


We should just quietly double or triple our forces across our interests in Afghanistan and slowly progress towards making a military base. Don't worry about US, NATO or Pukes let them give out statements in media report, lets do the actual action.


& relations could not have been closer if you heed to certain opinions.

with friends like these we shall keep getting bombed every day with not even a pipsqueak in our favor.
It was keeping in mind activities and interests of such external players in the region that PVN Rao had said
what he had said wrt our neighbours.

If there is an errant neighbour who is pandering to external interests then they have to be eliminated at any cost
and any pretext.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Rangudu » 10 Jul 2008 21:17

Ramana

Do you not remember who Robert Gates is? He is the same guy who visited India and TSP in 1990 as CIA chief when we had a near war like situation after the first escalation by TSP in J&K, post JKLF. He is a Cold Warrior through and through and as CIA chief he knows how ISI operates and he also knows what ISI knows about CIA's skeletons. Also, I think he was still CIA director post Mumbai-1993 when Americans conveniently "lost" the ISI bomb timers we gave them.

Leopards never change their spots.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 21:18

I made refs to Adm J and the Brittanica for those reasons onlee!

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Arun_S » 10 Jul 2008 21:25

RaviBg wrote:
Karan Dixit wrote:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4295422.ece


From the above link...

...
The role of the ISI in supporting the Taliban insurgency is a highly sensitive issue, which Western officials decline to discuss openly. The British and US governments have both avoided directly accusing Pakistan of aiding insurgent groups. Britain in particular is reliant on the ISI for information connected to domestic terror plots planned in Pakistan.

However, privately there is acknowledgement that a level of complicity is a reality.

“There is an acceptance that elements of the ISI are engaged with the insurgents,” said one source serving in the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) for Afghanistan yesterday. “The issue that remains unresolved is the degree of higher level acceptance of this, and how much they (the ISI) can actually be controlled.”

British officers confirmed to The Times an incident last summer in which a Taliban corpse found on the battlefield in Helmand turned out to be carrying papers identifying the body as that of a serving ISI colonel.

When British officials challenged the Islamabad government on the issue, they received an explanation that the man was ’on leave’ at the time of his death.


A US Department of Defence funded study undertaken by the RAND Corporation and published last month also stated that elements of the ISI were aiding the Taleban.

“Right now, the Taleban and other groups are getting help from individuals within Pakistan’s government, and until that ends, the region’s long-term security is in jeopardy,” concluded the report’s author Seth Jones.

He said support included medical care for wounded fighters, logistical and financial support. He also said ISI trainers were instructing insurgents in camps at Quetta, Mansehra, Shamshattu and Parachinar and other areas of Pakistan.
...
Dr Barnett Rubin, an Afghan expert in New York, told The Times: “People tend to depict Afghanistan as a fight between the United States and Islamic radicals, but it is also a theatre for other conflicts and one of those is between India and Pakistan.”

Perl of wisdom to the wise British and the wise British knows it must accept this wisdom in the interest of higher and wider national interest of Britain.

Did one not hear the same argument when Pakistani Army men and officers raped and pillaged Kashmir Northern Area, Baltistan and Kashmir Valley in 1947?
All the while the Pure Pukis claimed it was local Islamic tribals (ahh.... . local to Kashmir tribals from Peshwar and Waziristan of Pakistni NWFP {North West Frontier Province}) who have invaded Kashmir.

May Allah give the ISI Colonel who was on personal leave to be a dead Taliban on the battlefield in Helmand eternal place in Dozak. In fact Dozak for all Puki army men.

Oh BTW the same Pakistani Army men and officers of Pakistani Nuclear command that own and control Pakistani Nukes will one day take annual leave and blow a Nuke in downtown London and possibly New York, and who will be to blame that except their own British and American Army and intelligence now operating n Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 21:46

it was a practcse in British Indian Army to let the Musilm sepoys from NWFP/Punjab area to go on leave and participate in the Wahabi jihad against Maharaja Ranjit Singh. So its the continuation of the old practice.

Raju

Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Raju » 10 Jul 2008 21:48

Rangudu wrote:Also, I think he was still CIA director post Mumbai-1993 when Americans conveniently "lost" the ISI bomb timers we gave them.


I was going to say 93' redux, but then felt it would be lost on everybody.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 10 Jul 2008 21:51

Rangudu wrote:Ramana

Do you not remember who Robert Gates is? He is the same guy who visited India and TSP in 1990 as CIA chief when we had a near war like situation after the first escalation by TSP in J&K, post JKLF. He is a Cold Warrior through and through and as CIA chief he knows how ISI operates and he also knows what ISI knows about CIA's skeletons. Also, I think he was still CIA director post Mumbai-1993 when Americans conveniently "lost" the ISI bomb timers we gave them.

Leopards never change their spots.


My take is as follows: Reports suggest that both the military intelligence officer (Mehta) and the diplomat (Rao) were exceptionally brilliant guys who understood both US and TSP very well. They were probably pursuing India's interests in Afganisthan outside of the purview of both, and doing it well to the endearment of Afghans but much to the annoyance of US/TSP. TSP wanted them eliminate them, and US too (through don't ask, don't tell). Green signal was given to ISI with intelligence, surviellance and other covert support from CIA, and eventually to Taliban foot soldiers. State terrorism by another name by states that claim to fight GOAT.

Raju

Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Raju » 10 Jul 2008 21:57

CIA has a personal stake in the instability of Afghanistan due to it's links with the drug trade.
they do not want stabilization in Afghanistan beyond a point.
So they are playing a proxy game with ISI in front.

India's natural tendency is towards the establishment of order, stabilization and self-governance.
We still have past memory of having achieved these goals.
And our officers spread these ideals where they are posted.
this goes fundamentally against CIA-ISI interests in Afghanistan.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby pradeepe » 10 Jul 2008 22:10

Since we are speculating. Thing to note is that TSP has been under quite a bit of pressure on a lot of fronts.
It was noted on BRF that sooner or later Mushy and Co/ISI will be planning things either along the border or through increased terror activities in India.

The flip side for Mushy is that if India reacted strongly it would mean increased mobilization on his eastern front.
A big no-no for Uncle who wants them on the border with Afghanistan. So uncle winks while CIA's side arm the ISI lets off some steam and does what it does best-murder. Uncle's there to take care of the fall out. And viola Gates gives ISI a clean chit.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby pradeepe » 10 Jul 2008 22:15

Report in a newspaper -
Bomb defused on a bus carrying 12 Indian personel in Afghanistan.

Here's the actual report in DC:
Herat: A bomb was found on a bus carrying 12 Indian workers in Afghanistan, a governor said, a day after a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul killed 41 people. The workers noticed a "suspicious package" on Tuesday as they were travelling, provincial governor G. D. Azad said.
Last edited by pradeepe on 10 Jul 2008 22:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2008 22:16

X-Posted...
narayana wrote:Hi,

Question to gurus,How much of lapse was there from Indian side on not expecting attack on indian Embassy in Afghanistan?can this be termed as Intelliegence failure on such a high value target which was always on Taliban Cross Hair.and are there any Inputs on ISI involvement?


I guess it has to be asked eventually.

What we know from press reports is the following:

- There was this advisory on expected attacks on high value targets signed by the defence attache Brig. Mehta who was killed in the attack.
- There is the report of the temporary blast wall that saved the emabssy per-se but not the gate and those travelling in the vicinity
Other measures could have been taken some by the embassy and others with cooperation from Afghans
- Not have more than one high value person in a car
- have entrance street cordoned off. Needs Afghan help. But the downside is gives a bad hoity-toity image in third world countries.
- Have Army/commandoes man the gates in trouble prone regions.
- Need better info from locals due to any number of things- inducements, goodwill whatever.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby putnanja » 11 Jul 2008 02:05

June 26 RAW alert helped mitigate loss of lives in Kabu

June 26 RAW alert helped mitigate loss of lives in Kabul

Praveen Swami

NEW DELHI: Warnings issued by the Research and Analysis Wing helped mitigate the loss of lives in Monday’s terrorist attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, highly-placed government sources have told The Hindu.

In an alert issued on June 26, RAW’s Afghanistan desk warned that an attack on the embassy was imminent. The alert said the attack would most likely be executed in the first week of July, using a white Toyota sports utility vehicle. RAW also said terrorists were considering strikes on Indian assets elsewhere in Afghanistan, including the consulate in Mazhar-e-Sharif.

Government sources in New Delhi said RAW’s alerts were based on communications intelligence and source reports on the activities of a Pakistan-based jihadist cell with close links to the Lahore-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, the sources declined to give further details on the affiliation, composition or objectives of the cell.


RAW’s warnings were passed on to the Ministry of External Affairs, as well as the Intelligence Bureau, which liaises with foreign police forces to ensure the security of Indian missions overseas. As a result, blast-protection dirt walls were built around the Embassy to guard it from attack. Crash-proof barriers were also installed at main gate of the mission, which is located on an arterial road open to traffic.

Investigators believe scouts for the terrorist assault team would have learned that all vehicles, bar that of Ambassador Jayant Prasad who travels in a heavily-guarded convoy, were halted by Indo-Tibetan Border Police guards at the Embassy’s crash barrier. After establishing the identity of the passengers and searching the vehicle for explosives, the guards signalled for the gate to be opened and the barriers inside lifted.

On the morning of the attack, though, ITBP guards Ajai Pathania and Roop Singh delayed opening the gate for counsellor Venkateswara Rao and defence attaché Brigadier RD Mehta after noticing that their cars were being trailed by a white Toyota car they had already been told to watch out for.

While the terrorist attack claimed the lives of four Indian nationals and at least 37 Afghans, a police source linked to the investigation said the loss of lives would have been a large multiple of this number had the car penetrated the embassy compound.

Pakistan links

Indian intelligence claims that a Pakistan-based terror group could have provided logistics support for the Kabul attack reinforce allegations made by the Afghanistan government that the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate was involved in the bombing.

United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates has rebutted the Afghan government’s charges. I haven’t seen any evidence or proof that foreign agents were involved, he told reporters in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

However, evidence of the ISI’s role in the resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan has been mounting. According to a recent RAND Corporation report, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials uncovered instances in which ISI operatives provided intelligence to Taliban insurgents at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

This included tipping off Taliban forces about the location and movement of Afghan and coalition forces, which undermined several U.S. and NATO anti-Taliban military operations.

RAND’s report asserts that active and former Pakistan government officials from organisations such as the ISI and Frontier Corps provided logistics support to the Taliban and helped secure medical care for wounded insurgents in cities such as Quetta. They also helped train Taliban and other insurgents destined for Afghanistan and Kashmir in Quetta, Mansehra, Shamshattu, Parachinar and other areas in Pakistan.

Linkages like these are not new. On Wednesday, the London-based The Times reported that a Taliban terrorist killed in Helmand last summer had turned out be carrying ISI identification papers. When British officials confronted the Pakistan government on the issue, The Times reported, they were told the man was on leave at the time of his death.

Islamist terror groups based in Pakistan — many with close links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban — have been intensely critical of India’s presence. As first reported in this newspaper on Wednesday, organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba have said that India’s presence in Afghanistan poses an existential threat to Afghanistan.


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