India Intelligence Report



   Next Terror Attack on U.S. From Pak

  As the first India-Pakistan Joint Mechanism on Terrorism (JMT) concluded its first meeting at Islamabad, the most anti-India organization, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) seems to be operating with impunity and continues to spew venom on the peace-process.



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As the first India-Pakistan Joint Mechanism on Terrorism (JMT) concluded its first meeting at Islamabad, the most anti-India organization, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) seems to be operating with impunity and continues to spew venom on the peace-process. LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed is a free man allowed addressing meetings, inciting violence, and preaching hatred.

In an editorial carried on Jamat-ul-Dawa website, Saeed was particularly critical of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's "innovating suggestions regarding Kashmir." Saeed says that Musharraf is "the sole supporter" of these plans and "no one else, whether in Pakistan, or in Kashmir, agrees with him on this issue" and called them "regurgitated theories" of American think tanks. Saeed says that only the "Kashmiri mujahideen" are the "real party" and only their opinion matter.

It is exactly this sort of freedom to espouse violence and operate with impunity that Musharraf gives jihadi forces that is causing concern in Washington. U.S. National Intelligence Director Admiral Mike McConnell told a Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill that the next attack on the U.S. will "most likely would be planned and come out of the leadership in Pakistan." McConnell says that Musharraf is "wrestling" with harsher action to curb al Qaeda camps given upcoming elections. According to him, the al Qaeda top leadership live in the North West Frontier Province trying to "re-establish and rebuild and to establish training camps" after suffering a "major blow" from the U.S. forces.

The most damaging part of this testimony is the U.S. admission that it does see Islamabad as having any authority over the region. McConnell says the region "has never been governed by any power". It is not clear if this is a setup for hot pursuit of terrorists from Afghanistan into Pakistan or just an admission that Islamabad has no control in this area. If it is the latter, Washington is basically saying that Musharraf has no competence to deal with the al Qaeda operating from this region. If it is a former, the U.S. will now have diplomatic cover to pursue terrorists from Afghanistan. Pakistan has already severely objected to a reported statement by a U.S. official that the coalition forces have right of hot pursuit. Islamabad has also sharply denied presence of terrorists camps within its borders-a denial that no one believes.

But White House politicians seem to be at odds with what its intelligence personnel are saying. They fear that isolation of Pakistan will drive that country into the hands of terrorists and would rather gloss over this detail for now. McConnell repeated earlier assertions by U.S. intelligence officials that Pakistan can "do more" and that "prospects for eliminating the Taliban threat appear dim so long as the sanctuary remains in Pakistan." He also observed that "there are no encouraging signs that Pakistan is eliminating" this threat.

Most of the blame is placed on a spurious deal that Islamabad entered with so-called tribal elders that effectively ceded control of the area to the terrorists. Defense Intelligence Agency Head Lt. General Michael Maples testified that the tribes have not honored most of the "peace deal" and that al Qaeda's training and related capabilities increased as a result of the deal. Many think tanks in the U.S. now openly admit that Musharraf's usefulness to Washington may have "run its course."

Analysts say that the presence of CIA Deputy Director of Operations Stephen Kappes during Vice President Dick Cheney's surprise visit to Islamabad as evidence of the U.S. privately confronting Musharraf over his role on the war on terror. Kappes is supposed to have shown Musharraf satellite photos of terror camps, electronic intercepts, and other circumstantial evidence to prove that the al Qaeda is operating inside Pakistan. The Cheney-Kappes entourage was preceded by a previous visit by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates who delivered a similar message to Musharraf which was belligerently rejected by the Pakistan establishment. At that time, the establishment said "No one knows where they (Osama bin Laden and his top leadership) are, but they are not in Pakistan."

However, the U.S. has publicly ruled out a direct role in areas of Northern Pakistan. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Appropriations Committee on War Funding that Pakistan had a "strong interest in not having extremism breed in that area." Policy makers in the U.S., on either side of the aisle are extremely apprehensive on the dubious role that Islamabad is playing. Republican Senator Sam Brownback even remarked that much of the trouble for coalition forces was "mostly coming from the Pakistan side." However, both Rice and co-presenter Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace ruled out any direct action by American forces in Northern Pakistan to wipe out terror camps or al Qaeda leadership.