Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hameed Gul - Fareed Zakaria: The King is dead; Long live the King.

"... the elusive ISI - the infamous Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency ... may be a connection between elements in the ISI and the Mumbai terrorists ... rare chance to get an inside glimpse, an exclusive interview with General Hamid Gul ... I should warn you. Some of his views are shocking. On 9/11 in particular ... I thought it was important that you hear them ... General Gul, you know that the United States has given four names to the United Nations of ISI officers whom it would like to place on an international terrorist list. You are one of those four names."

"And to make sense of all this mess, David Kilcullen ... probably one of the smartest guys on the subject of counterinsurgency, an advisor to General Petraeus, and one of the authors of the so-called surge in Iraq."


"... a classical special forces or commando style raid ... AlQaeda has never mounted a maritime attack on a land-based target. They've mounted a number of attacks on sea targets, such as the USS Cole, on October 12, 2000. They've mounted a number of other attacks on, say, oil rigs in the Arabian Gulf, and so on. But no al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, and certainly never Lashkar-e-Taiba, has mounted a maritime raid of this type or this complexity - hijacking a fishing vessel, infiltrating via the sea, via an inflatable boat, but then also launching diversionary attacks designed to pull the first responders out of the way of the subsequent follow-on groups that then struck the Oberoi, the Taj Mahal and the Nariman Center. And then, when we did see these groups taking and holding these buildings, they were applying some pretty sophisticated methodology. ... if you look at the equipment that they carried and the way that they operated, this was very much in the vein of a special forces raid, rather than a traditional terrorist attack."


Err ... no Al Qaeda has indeed never mounted a maritime attack on a land-based target, but they're military aviation experts at wide-bodied passenger jet warfare against land-based targets. I would have guessed fishing trawlers should be a piece of cake for these supermen. But Mr.Kilcullen is the counter-terrorism expert.

"The guys had backpacks with about 20 pounds of explosives each. They had some pretty sophisticated weaponry, cryptographic communications, satellites, cell phones, credit cards, false ID. They were clean-shaven and dressed in Western clothes. You know, this was a clandestine operation or a covert operation style activity."

Sure. The only things they missed on were operating manuals of fishing trawlers translated into Punjabi, and copies of Qura'anic Verses.

Al-Qaida is dead; Long Live Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.
The new bogeyman. Al-Qaida was getting a bit frayed at the collar.