Archive for May, 2010

Saved Situation in Times Square :: Pak Taliban Design unearthed.

May 9, 2010

Faisal Shahzad was arrested at a New York airport on charges that he drove a bomb-laden SUV meant to cause a fireball in Times Square, federal authorities said. -AP Photo

Pakistani Taliban behind failed New York attack: US

Sun, 09 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 24, 1431

WASHINGTON: US Sunday said it has evidence that the Pakistani Taliban was behind last week’s failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at Times Square in New York and that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad was “working at their direction”, US Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday.

“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder said on ABC television’s Sunday current affairs talk show “This Week.”

“We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it, and that he was working at their direction,” he said.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani born US citizen, was pulled off a plane to Dubai and arrested Monday for allegedly leaving a sport utility vehicle rigged to explode in New York’s Times Square just over a week ago.

Holder’s comments came as the New York Times reported that the United States warned Pakistan it must crack down on Islamic extremists or face severe consequences.

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, urged Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Islamabad on Friday to quickly begin a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda in North Waziristan. ^^AFP/Getty Images/File – Police in New York’s Times Square on May 7.

John Brennan, the White House deputy national security adviser, echoed Holder’s charges, pointing the finger at the Pakistani Taliban in an interview with CNN.

“It looks like he was working on behalf of the TTP, the Pakistani Taliban,” Brennan said. “This group is closely allied with Al Qaeda. This is something that we’re taking very seriously.” -AFP

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP, AP and Agencies.

Pakistani Friends of Jihadi Fire.

May 8, 2010

As in Pakistan, terror groups have turned against the state that nurtured them in Egypt, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia.

Of friends and fire

by Nadeem F. Paracha on 05 6th, 2010||blog.dawn.com

On April 19, a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) rally in Peshawar was attacked by a suicide bomber. The gruesome attack was allegedly engineered and undertaken by members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The irony is that the JI are one of the few mainstream political parties in the country that actually sympathise with the TTP, claiming that the terror group is fighting a war against “American imperialism” and against the Pakistani state’s “aggression” in the north-west of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

But the irony in this respect wasn’t a one-off. In early April, former ISI sleuth, Khalid Khawaja, was kidnapped along with another ex-ISI man by a group of terrorists labeled (by the media) as the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ (or Punjabi extremists having links and sympathies with the Pushtun Taliban).

On April 29, Khawaja’s murdered body was found in the turbulent tribal area of North Waziristan. He had been shot twice. A faction of the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ calling itself Asian Tigers claimed responsibility. Khawaja was an open supporter and sympathiser of the TTP, and was known to have had deep links with various Sunni sectarian organisations, and within both the Pushtun and Punjabi Taliban groups.

The attack on the JI rally and the murder of Khawaja by these groups have highlighted a bitter truth; a truth that has for long been stated loudly by the current government and various ‘liberal’ media personnel and ‘moderate’ Islamic scholars. They are right to suggest that as far as terror outfits such as the TTP and their sectarian foot soldiers are concerned, a majority of Pakistani Muslims (or for that matter, Muslims around the world) are either ‘false Muslims’ or outright infidels.

Read full article in blog.dawn.com here.

Islamic Militants killed Four cops in an attack on Mansehra police check-post in Pakistan.

May 8, 2010

Police inspect a security checkpost after an attack by gunmen in Mansehra. Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in northwest Pakistan, killing four policemen before speeding away in a getaway vehicle, police said. The attackers sprayed bullets at policemen sheltering from rain inside a checkpost building in Ghazi Kot town in the mountainous Mansehra district. –AFP Photo

Four killed in attack on Mansehra police post

By Nisar Ahmad Khan, The Dawn News ||Saturday, 08 May, 2010

MANSEHRA: Terrorists attacked a police check-post on Friday on the outskirts of Ghazi Kot town, killing four personnel.

The gunmen arrived in a vehicle and fled after the attack. The deceased policemen were identified as head constable Mushtaq and constables Mohammad Naseem, Mohammad Zahid and Mohamad Naeem.

The bodies were taken to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Funeral prayers for the slain personnel were held at the police ground.

Provincial ministers Nimroz Khan and Shuja Salim Khan, former district nazim Sardar Mohammad Yousaf, and the commissioner and DIG Hazara attended the funeral.

Officials said that militants had sneaked into the tribal area of Kala Dhaka from Malakand and Swat and were carrying out terrorist attacks in the area.

Sources said two key militants who were arrested last month had provided important information to security forces about the presence of terrorists in the area.

SP (Investigation) Naseem Afzal said that important evidence had been collected from the scene of the attack.

On March 10, terrorists stormed the offices of a US charity, World Vision, in Mansehra.

Seven employees, including two women, were killed in that attack.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP and Agencies.

Pak Jihadi Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab sentenced to death in Indian Court for 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

May 6, 2010

Ajmal Kasab sentenced to death for Mumbai attacks

Thu, 06 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 21, 1431

MUMBAI: An Indian judge on Thursday condemned to death the sole surviving gunman involved in the 2008 Mumbai siege after a year-long trial over the bloody attacks that traumatised the nation.

Judge M.L. Tahaliyani imposed the death penalty against Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab on four counts of murder, waging war against India and conspiracy and terrorism offences.

“He should be hanged by the neck until he is dead,” he said. “I don’t find any case for a lesser punishment than death in the case of waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts.”

Kasab, 22, dressed in a traditional white tunic, sat with his head in his hands staring at the floor of the dock as the judge issued the sentence, three days after the Pakistani’s conviction on Monday.

Tahaliyani said the evidence showed “previous, meticulous and systematic planning” of the atrocity, which left 166 people dead and hundreds injured and led India to halt peace talks with its arch-rival Pakistan.

“Brutality was writ large,” he added, and the offences were “of exceptional depravity.”

Branded a “killing machine” and “cruelty incarnate” by the prosecution, Kasab was the only gunman caught alive in the 60-hour assault by 10 militants on hotels, a railway station, a restaurant and Jewish centre.

Observers say the death penalty is likely to trigger a lengthy, possibly open-ended, appeal through the Indian courts.

The government officially supports capital punishment for what the Supreme Court in New Delhi has called the “rarest of rare” cases but no execution has been carried out since 2004 and only two since 1998.

Many pleas for clemency to the president are still pending, including ones from the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991, and a Kashmiri separatist who attacked India’s parliament in 2001.

Outside the court, crowds chanted “Victory to Hindustan” while public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam brandished a poster showing Kasab behind a noose and flashing victory signs to the media.

“Today’s sentencing sends the message that keeping Kasab alive would be a crime in itself,” Nikam said. “Terrorism and terrorists like Kasab cannot be tolerated. The death penalty is the only option.”

Families of some of the victims have long called for Kasab’s execution, and the clamour for him to be sent to the gallows grew louder after Monday’s widely expected guilty verdict by the court in India’s most populous city.

“I am happy, a chapter has closed for me,” said a tearful Sevanti Parekh, who lost his son and daughter-in-law in the attacks in India’s commercial capital. “But I fear for our generation and the next generation.”

Defence lawyer K.P. Pawar had argued against capital punishment, suggesting his client was brainwashed into committing the offences while under the influence of Pakistan-based extremists.

New Delhi, which suspended peace talks with Islamabad after the attacks, wants Pakistan to convict the alleged masterminds, namely the founder of the Lashkar-i-Taiba (LT) militant group, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and key operative Zarar Shah.
Hafiz Saeed, head of the Jamaatud Dawa charity, which is seen as a front for the LT, is the third figure blamed by India.

Since the beginning of Kasab’s trial, new evidence has come to light about the planning of the atrocity after the arrest of Pakistani-American David Headley in Chicago last year.

The 49-year-old, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, admitted to spending two years eluding security forces as he cased out Mumbai for the LT.

Commentators doubt that Kasab’s case will have any effect on either curbing extremism or improving relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

“If he’s convicted and hanged, it’s still going to be years given our legal system,” the executive director of the Institute of Conflict Management in New Delhi, Ajai Sahni, told AFP.

“The fundamentals of the conflict between India and Pakistan and the trajectory of terrorism are not going to be radically affected by this (case).”

Courtesy : DawnNews and Agencies.

The Rule of Islam in Pakistan. The Greatness of Sharia to cut off hands. Talibani punishment of theft. Allah ho Akbar ! Allah ho Akbar !!

May 5, 2010

A Taliban court ordered the cutting off of the hands of the men after having found them guilty of theft, a police official said. -File Photo

Taliban cut off hands of three tribesmen

Wed, 05 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 20, 1431

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants Wednesday cut off the hands of three alleged thieves in a troubled Pakistani tribal region, police and hospital officials said.

The incident took place in the remote Ghaljo village of Orakzai, which is controlled by the Taliban. “A Taliban court ordered the cutting off of the right hands of three local tribesmen in Orakzai tribal region after finding them guilty of theft,” a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said that the three men were later taken to the northwestern town of Kohat for medical treatment.

Hospital official Musa Khan confirmed the incident and said that doctors were trying to save the three men’s lives.

Orakzai is the latest district in northwest Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal area to have witnessed an anti-Taliban operation by the military, following US pressure to eradicate extremism.

Washington calls Pakistan’s tribal belt the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous region in the world. Militants in the area are believed to be fuelling the nearly nine-year insurgency in Afghanistan. -AFP

Courtsey : DawnNews and Agencies.

Kasab, the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist will be hanged soon by India. Pak Jihadi connections established.

May 4, 2010

Special Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam shows a copy of the verdict to the media outside the Arthur Road Jail, where the trial of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the Mumbai attacks, was held, in Mumbai. An Indian court found Kasab guilty of charges including waging war on India and murder. Sentencing will be on Tuesday and he could now face the gallows. –Reuters Photo/Arko Datta

Ajmal Kasab convicted in Mumbai case

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Tue, 04 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 19, 1431
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AFP reports from Mumbai : A Pakistani man who was the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks was convicted on Monday of murder and waging war against India for his role in the deadly siege that left 166 people dead.
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Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, 22, was found guilty on almost all of the 86 charges he faced over the 10-man assault on three luxury hotels, a restaurant, Jewish centre and the main Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station.

“You have been found guilty of waging war against India and killing people at CST, killing government officials and abetting the other nine terrorists,” judge M.L. Tahaliyani told Kasab in Hindi.

The judge said Kasab had been trained in Pakistan to fight a ‘war’ against India and had been directly or jointly responsible for the deaths of 52 people in the train station — the bloodiest episode of the onslaught.

Kasab, in a long white kurta, stood impassively in the dock as the judge took nearly three hours to go through a summary of the 1,522-page verdict in English.

A hearing to decide on sentence is set for Tuesday, with Kasab facing the death penalty for the murder and waging war convictions.

Indian nationals Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, accused of providing logistical support to the gunmen by supplying them with handmade maps of the city, were found not guilty in a major rebuff to the prosecution.

Ahmed’s lawyer, Ejaz Naqvi, said outside the court that they had been ‘framed’ by police and blamed a US-Pakistani national, David Coleman Headley, for scouting out targets for the attacks.

Headley admitted identifying targets and providing intelligence to the gunmen earlier this year.

He is in US custody but Mr Tahaliyani rejected an application for him to give evidence at the trial.

Kasab, a school dropout, was captured in a photograph walking through Mumbai’s train station wearing a backpack and carrying an AK-47 in what has become one of the defining images of the attacks.

The former labourer from Pakistan’s Punjab province initially denied the charges, then pleaded guilty, before reverting to his original stance and claiming that he was set up by the police.

“You got training in Pakistan,” the judge told Kasab on Monday. “All of this has been proven against you.”

The case was also ‘proven’ against LeT founder Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, key operative Zarar Shah and Hafiz Saeed, whose Jamaatud Dawa charity is widely seen as a front for LeT.

Lakhvi and Shah are among seven suspects currently on trial in Rawalpindi.

“The judgment itself is a message to Pakistan that they should not export terror to India,” Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the conviction, adding that the process had been a triumph for the country’s legal system.

“If they do, and we apprehend the terrorists, we will be able to bring them to justice and give them exemplary punishment.” —AFP

Villagers pass by the assumed house of Ajmal Kasab in the remote town of Faridkot.—AFP

Kasab: from school drop-out to Mumbai murderer

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Tue, 04 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 19, 1431
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Dawn Reports from Mumbai: Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was a school drop-out who now faces the death penalty for taking part in the bloodiest episode of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
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The 22-year-old Pakistani national was one of two heavily armed gunmen who opened fire and threw hand grenades at the city’s main railway station on November 26, 2008, killing 52 people and wounding more than 100.

Biographical details are sketchy but those that have come to light show that Kasab was born and brought up in Faridkot, in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

His father, Mohammed Amir Iman, ran a food stall in the village and his mother was called Noor, according to the local electoral roll.

Kasab dropped out of school in 2000 and worked as a labourer in the eastern city of Lahore until 2005, according to his initial confession to police, which was widely published in India.

Kasab has reportedly said he joined the LeT to get weapons training after deciding to embark on a life of crime but there have also been claims that his father duped him into doing it for money.

The prosecution characterised Kasab as a shrewd and calculating operative while security experts said his poor, rural background and lack of education made him more susceptible to grooming by extremists.

His former lawyer suggested he may even have been brainwashed into carrying out the attacks.

One Faridkot farmer reportedly said that Kasab used to return to the village and talk of “freeing Kashmir”.

Pakistan home village slams Mumbai conviction

May 3rd, 2010||AFP

FARIDKOT, Pakistan : Residents of the home town of the surviving gunman of the Mumbai massacre on Monday angrily denounced his conviction as a travesty of justice.

The remote town of Faridkot in the Pakistani farming belt of Punjab province has become notorious as the home of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted of taking part in the bloodbath in November 2008 that killed 166 people in Mumbai.

On Monday, as the 22-year-old Pakistani was pronounced guilty of murder and waging war against India, people in his home town about 26 kilometres (16 miles) from the Indian border sat glued to the breaking news on TV.

“Why was there no equal sentence for all the culprits and why has only Ajmal been declared a criminal,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a farmer in his late 50s who reacted with anger after two Indian suspects were acquitted.

“This is all against Pakistan. Ajmal is a child and he cannot commit this incident,” he told AFP.  Read more in Khaleej Times ……

Pak likely to help Kasab: Malik

May 4th, 2010 ||PTI

Islamabad : Pakistan has said that it will examine the issue of providing assistance to Ajmal Kasab, convicted by an Indian court for involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, only if he seeks its help.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday told reporters that the Pakistan government will react to the conviction of Kasab only after the Indian court’s detailed judgment is made public.

He made the remarks hours after a special court in Mumbai found Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the attacks, guilty of murder and waging war against India. Kasab was convicted on most of the 86 charges against him and faces the death penalty.

Asked by reporters if the Pakistan government will provide aid to Kasab, Malik said authorities would act within the provisions of law.

“If someone wants or applies (for assistance), we will examine it. If he doesn’t apply, then we will not examine it,” he said. “Help is given to those who ask for it. If you ask (me), a terrorist is a terrorist,” Malik added. Read more here in Deccan Chronicle……….

Courtesy : DawnNews, Reuters, AFP, Khaleej Times, Deccan Chronicle  & Agencies.

Suicide bomber kills again five in Swat :: Swat is no safe to the tourists anyway.

May 1, 2010

Scenic Swat Valley, once a tourist hub, has witnessed a spate of killings of tribal elders in the past few weeks. — Photo by AFP

Suicide bomber kills five in Swat

Sat, 01 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 17, 1431

MINGORA: Suicide bomber killed five people in Swat Valley on Saturday, police said, fuelling fears of a Taliban comeback in the area a year after a major army offensive routed the group.

Pakistan says a series of security crackdowns that began in Swat hurt militants fighting to topple the government.

Renewed violence in Swat over the last few weeks has raised concerns that militants are regrouping in the area while the army tries to consolidate gains in other parts of the northwest and return displaced people to their homes.

Saturday’s attacker blew himself up in a hostel after being surrounded by government forces near Sohrab Khan market in the town of Mingora, 130 km (80 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad, Swat police chief Qazi Ghulam Farooq told Reuters.

He said the bomber killed himself, three civilians and two militants who had been apprehended and lead government forces to the location. Another militant was shot dead by security forces in a raid at the site.

“The Taliban may be trying to come back. But there is no way we will allow it. We will catch them everywhere,” Farooq said.—Reuters

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP and Reuters.