|Sajid Mir||Sajid Mir||Jamiat Ahle Hadith||Afghanistan/South Asia||Pakistani||At Large||20050629|
|Sajid Mir||Jamiat Ahle Hadis||India-Pakistan||20020617|
|Sajid Mir||Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal||Afghanistan/South Asia||20050715|
|Sajid Mir||Jammiat Ahle Hadis||Afghanistan/South Asia||20040412||Link|
|Sajid Mir||Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith||India-Pakistan||20020301|
|Sajid Mir||Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal||India-Pakistan||20020610|
|Religious parties in disarray due to internal rifts|
|[Dawn] As elections are less than three weeks away, religious parties, which had swept the 2002 polls in Sajid Mir and Tehrik-e-Islami of Allama Sajid Naqvi, had secured 59 of the total 99 general seats of the provincial assembly in 2002.It bagged a total of 3,181,483 votes in the 2002 elections.In the 2008 elections, JUI-F used the MMA symbol 'book' but suffered major defeat.from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal platform, are in disarray due to internal rifts, which may benefit other political groups.MMA, which comprised , factions of and Maulana , Jamaat Ulema-e-Pakistain-Noorani, Jamaat Ahle Hadith of|
|Nuggets From The Urdu Press|
|These nuggets are culled from the Urdu press. They are summarised here without comment. Absurd or ridiculous, tft takes no responsibility for them|
Writing in Dunya famous columnist and intellectual Orya Maqbul Jan said that interest-based economy and democracy were two evils that looked pretty on surface but were ugly in essence. Their exterior was magical but their interior was blood-stained, savage and disgusting. They rode together and could not last without each other's help. The media, which is the bought slave of these two wolves, presents itself as a sheep to the nation but in fact it was a Dracula clad in fine attire. The people became ensnared in their magic and fell victim to their bloody fangs. Under democracy the evil of trickle-down effect spread by capitalism fills the coffers of the rich who are then supposed to throw some crumbs to the populace.
Quoted in Dunya Sajid Mir leader of Markazi Jamaat Ahle Hadith stated that Tahirul Qadri was put forward as a pawn by the US and UK while the military and the establishment were trying to damage the political base of in Punjab. His long marchers were propelled by bribe. He gave Rs 2,000 each to all women who attended his rally in Lahore. He added that MQM and PMLQ were also filling Qadri's treasury with their funds so that he can go on disrupting politics. After the death of 'Imran factor' Qadri was the new pawn placed in the field of politics.
Tahirul Qadri enemy of democracy
Quoted in Jang Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated that Qadri had entered Pakistain as an enemy of democracy. Fazlur Rehman of JUIF said that Qadri was a doctor who had come to cut up the belly of democracy but he (Fazl) will not allow him to do that.
Story of two Tahirs
Writing in Dunya Nazeer Naji stated that once adviser to governor Punjab under Musharraf, Allama Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi went to see his namesake Allama Tahirul Qadri to tell him that General Musharraf looked at Qadri with kindness after receiving a gracious letter of extreme unction from Allama Dr Qadri. The meeting was most propitious because when Ashrafi came to his car his drivers had received expensive cloth for their suits and large bundle of gifts for Ashrafi had already been placed in his car. After this, letters were exchanged between Musharraf and Qadri but after some time Musharraf turned his attention elsewhere, whereupon Qadri wrote to him saying he would not mind becoming head of the Council of Islamic Ideology. But Musharraf did not show any reaction.
Qazi Hussain Ahmad great man
Columnist and anchor Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that was the greatest Jamaat Islami leader after Maulana Maududi. His moderation was so touching that journalist Suhail Warraich, who was critical of Jamaat, got Qazi Hussain Ahmad to solemnize his marriage. After Musharraf fired Nawaz Sharif's government, he called on Qazi to join him but Qazi was not forthcoming with enthusiasm. In 2001 Hamid Mir went to Tehran with Qazi and met Hekmatyar who was then staying there. Qazi was critical of Hekmatyar who defended himself with deference. Qazi told him that it was wrong to start infighting among mujahideen and it was important to reach out to Northern Alliance. Qazi declined to become chief of the Jamaat for the fourth time in 2008.
What is Minhajul Koran?
Daily Jang published a profile of Tahirul Qadri's organization Minhajul Koran saying Tahirul Qadri and six of his family controlled it. Out of the Board of Directors three were approached but they were not aware they were members of the Board. Justice (Retd) Sheikh Riaz Hussain said he was a member a long time ago and Prof Humayun Ehsan said he did not know that he was on the Board. MNA Farooq Amjad Mir of Tehrik Insaf said he had resigned from the Board of Minhaj but did not know he was still a member. Qadri's two sons Hasan and Husain Muhiuddin hold important offices in Minhaj. Muhiuddin was the name of the famous mystic Abdul Qadir Jilani.
CM Hoti and fourth marriage
Reported in Dunya Chief Minister Amir Azam Hoti had married his fourth wife Humaira without the permission of his third wife Shamim who had demanded payment of Rs 11 crore. In one court Hoti had pledged to pay Rs 11 crore to Shamim Kayani and give her a house in Islamabad in six months while in another court he had denied that he was married to her. Meanwhile Shamim Kayani has told the court that she fears for her life.
Hameed Gul says India about to fall
Reported in Dunya an organization called Liberation Front was demonstrating in front of the Islamabad Press Club demanding liberation of from India and its revival as a sovereign state. During the demonstration retired ISI boss Hameed Gul passed by, at which the protesters raised slogans against Pakistain too. Hameed Gul went into the crowd and advised them to raise the slogan of joining Pakistain because India was about to fall.
Only relationship with India: enmity!
Daily Dunya reported that retired generals of Pakistain army said rude things about India. said if India was feeling indisposed then Pakistain had the right medicine for her cure (tabiyat theek kar dain gai). The generals said India had two sets of teeth, one for showing and one for eating and that it had not accepted Pakistain as a state. Mirza Aslam Beg said India was shooting our soldiers across the border while some Paks were doing japhian (embraces) of amn ki asha (hope for peace) with Indians. He said Pakistain could accept not India as a Most Favoured Nation because India still had to decide the issue of . Hameed Gul said the only rishta (relationship) with India was that of enmity.
PMLQ richest, PPP poorest!
Reported in Jang the Election Commission made public the funds notified by the political parties. PMLQ was the richest with 5 crore in the bank, the PPP poorest with only Rs 4 lakh. PMLN had Rs 3 crore, MQM and Insaf had one crore each.
Balochistan as two-nation province
Quoted in Dunya leader of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mehmood Khan Achakzai stated that Pakistain must accept the prior right of the Baloch over all natural resources of . He said the Balochistan issue would be resolved when the existence of two nations - Baloch and Pashtun - was accepted there through a constitutional arrangement. He said the chief minister's post should alternate between the two nations.
Leftist Pervaiz Rasheed and the Quaid
Writing in Dunya famous columnist Haroon Rasheed stated that Senator Pervaiz Rasheed of PMLN was an old leftist who had found a niche in Nawaz Sharif's party while forgetting that League is a party of Quaid-e-Azam whom he never quotes. He was pulling the PMLN in the direction of liberal-leftists while more loyal Leaguers like Raja Zafrul Haq had receded to the background. Now the latest lesson Pervaiz Rasheed had taught Nawaz Sharif was that he should get the old leftists on board to benefit from their strength. When the traditional voters of PMLN discover that the party has compromised on its fundamental values they will stop supporting it.
|'Outing' Elements Behind Mumbai Attacks|
|Intelligence officials told a court in Rawalpindi that Lashkar-e-Taiba used several training camps inside Pakistain for the attacks that killed 166 people|
After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Pakistain took steps to meet the Indian plaint about the participation of Pak elements in their planning and execution. It accepted that Paks were involved. It accepted that Pakistain-based was involved too and started a trial against one of its leaders, Ziaur Rehman Lakhvi, and several others at an anti-terrorism court inside Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. But it denied that the ISI was involved.
This month, Pakistain authorities decided to tell the Court that Al-Qaeda-linked LeT used several training camps inside Pakistain for the attacks. This is an advance on the trend of agreeing with the details revealed by India after the attacks. The trial has dragged on at Rawalpindi with rumours that the prison conditions for Lakhvi and others were made lax. The Court has recently acquitted deserter Major Haroon Ashiq, the target-killer operated by Al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri who was later himself killed by a drone. But the latest official admission of the terrorist camps tends to increase the possibility of linking personalities other than those in LeT to Mumbai attacks.
Daily Dawn (11 Nov 2012) reported the following: "Intelligence officials informed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi Adiala jail that suspects in the Mumbai attacks case got training at various centres of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) organization, including navigational training in
Does this mean that Pakistain has admitted the attacks were planned in Pakistain? No, because in 2009, Pakistain had already acknowledged the Mumbai attacks were partly plotted on its soil and announced criminal proceedings against eight suspects, including three alleged ringleaders, heeding US and Indian demands to punish those responsible for the deaths of 166 people. Pakistain was no longer in denial. Interior Minister announced he had uncovered some training grounds in .
The media war that began between India and Pakistain after 2008 should have ended after that, with the Pak media eating humble pie, but it did not happen. After the latest revelation at Adiala jail, the Pak media should have covered the event in great detail. But it did not. Some denial is still there, at least on the part of the media. But after Geo TV's Kamran Khan unveiled the news about the Adiala 'outing' of LeT, the media was too stunned by its defeat to comment on it.
In 2008, the only Pak terrorist captured in the Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, implicated the Pak Navy and the Dawood Ibrahim network based in for providing assistance and training for the Mumbai assault team.
But Pakistain was not willing to admit more than what it admitted in 2009. It was not willing to accept Ajmal Kasab's confessions relating to Pak state functionaries. Then something even more unexpected happened in June 2012. A key suspect in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, Syed Zabihuddin Ansari alias Abu Jandal, was in and turned over to Indian authorities.
Abu Jandal reportedly made significant admissions implicating members of the and ISI in the planning of the attack. The Mumbai siege, he is reported to have told Indian authorities, was orchestrated by LeT, which he described as a long-time proxy of Pakistain's military and intelligence establishment. According to the Indians, he also told them that LeT chieftain was present in the control room during the attack. The Indians say he also named two officers, Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal, as being directly involved in the terrorist attack. Another ex-Pak terrorist, David Headley, was also connected to the Mumbai attacks. He is now under arrest in the US. He was reportedly was paid off (425,000) by Major Iqbal for doing recce for the attacks. Headley admits to have reported to Ilyas Kashmiri in , the terrorist who preyed on and launched attacks on the Pakistain Army as well.
More damage was in store. In 2011, the Americans killed in . Documents captured by them in Osama bin Laden's compound show that Al Qaeda master was in regular, direct contact with the Let's top man. The files also suggest that bin Laden and Al Qaeda had played a significant role in planning the attack on Mumbai. The surveillance reports paid for by the ISI's man reportedly ended up in bin Laden's hands.
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA operative and advisor to on Afghanistan and Pakistain, based on his opinion on these documents, wrote that Osama bin Laden had been in close contact with Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the top LeT man, and helped plan the 2008 Mumbai attack. The revelation of Mr Saeed's alleged ties to bin Laden led the US to offer a $10 million bounty for information that could lead to the LeT chieftain's successful prosecution. The relationship is traced back to Abdullah Azzam the founder of both Al Qaeda and LeT, the latter born as Dawat wal Irshad in next Azzam's own office. A mentor of Osama bin Laden, Azzam was killed in Peshawar.
One Pak journalist who lost his life telling the truth about the Mumbai attack was Saleem Shahzad. In his book Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11(Pluto Press 2011), he wrote that it was Al Qaeda who planned the Mumbai attack 'through former Pakistain army officers with help from LeT without the knowledge of the ISI despite the fact that LeT was on ISI's leash'. He wrote further:
'The Mumbai operation was actually the revival of an old ISI plan. The idea was to deflect the Pakistain Army away from Waziristan and get it to fight India instead. This nearly succeeded: Pakistain's leaders and Baitullah Mehsud announced that they would fight alongside Pakistain's armed forces in an India-Pakistain war, and the director general of ISI, Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, confirmed this understanding in his briefing to national and foreign correspondents when he called Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud Pakistain's strategic assets' (p.95).
In the July 2005 issue of monthly Herald, Zulfiqar Ali described one of the terrorist camps in Mansehra where Al Qaeda had interface with our jihadi organizations, including LeT. The news in 2001 that the Mansehra camp had been disbanded was mere exaggeration. Before Osama bin Laden was finally made to live in Abbottabad, he thought he could be comfortable in Mansehra where Al Qaeda was lending a hand.
Abbas Nasir has noted (Dawn 17 Nov 2012) the sophistication of (JD), the successor of LeT headed by Mr Saeed, in dealing with the fallout of Mumbai attacks. He relates this image of JD as a welfare organization to Hafiz Muhammad Saeed's interface with the establishment. Nasir quotes:
'Earlier this week, Hindustan Times carried a story that Ziaur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key accused facing trial for the Mumbai carnage in Rawalpindi's Adiala prison, has fathered a child during his four-year incarceration. The child is said to be two years old. The report says this was disclosed to his Indian interrogators by another key suspect, Abu Jandal, who was extradited from Saudi Arabia. Abu Jandal is reported to have said this good news was given to him by Lakhvi himself in a phone conversation'.
Monthly Naya Zamana (Oct 2012) quoted the BBC as saying that federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the visiting Indian foreign minister SM Krishna that Pakistain was helpless to do anything against a popular leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa because the court had let him off the hook. Rehman Malik explained that after the government arrested him in the wake of Mumbai attacks and produced him before the Court the judge let him go because his lawyer had been a teacher of the said judge. The Court adjudged him as unconnected with LeT.
|Fazl announces revival of MMA without JI, JUI-S|
|[Dawn] chief on Thursday announced the revival of the defunct religious parties' alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) without inclusion of (JI) and JUI-S (Sami-ul-Haq group), DawnNews reported.|
Speaking during a , the JUI-F chief said the national security is facing dire threats and it was call of the hour to revive the coalition of religious parties in the country. "Even ideological values of the nation are being tried to be replaced," said Fazl.
Commenting on exclusion of the JI from the alliance, Rehman said, "They (JI) will be invited in the next meeting."
Fazlur Rehman said he had always opposed all military operations whether in Pakistain or in Afghanistan, adding that he neither belongs to Taliban nor to the government.
Owais Noorani, Qari Zawar Bahadur, Mufti Abrar, Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair, Professor Sajid Mir, Allama Sajid Naqvi and other prominent religious leaders belonging to different religious groups of the country also accompanied the JUI-F chief during the .
The MMA had won the second largest majority in the National Assembly with 58 out of 342 seats and a majority in the (the then NWFP) assembly in the 2002 election.
There has been growing concerns among workers of religio-political parties for the last six months or so as the JI had attached conditions for joining the MMA.
Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami, the founding party of MMA, also brushed aside its chances of joining the alliance.
JUI-S provincial chief Maulana Yousaf Shah said last month that Fazlur Rehman was politically isolated and made the announcement of reviving the MMA to mobilise his party workers.
"JUI-Sami has abandoned MMA and will never become its part," he said.
Shah said his party chief, Maulana , who was also the chairman of Defa-e-Pakistain Council (DPC), might form a new electoral alliance before next general elections.
|US slaps sanctions on 8 LeT leaders including 26/11 mastermind|
|[India Express] The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on Pakistain-based terror group Sajid Mir and its founder son. top eight commanders, including Mumbai terrorist attack |
Announcing the sanctions, the US said LeT, despite being designated as a foreign terrorist organization in January 2002, continues to "operate in Pakistain" and throughout the region and engage in terrorist activities worldwide.
"LeT has conducted numerous terrorist acts against Pak, Indian, Afghan and US interests and is responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans, and the July 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed more than 180 people," the Department of Treasury said.
Besides Mir, other LeT leaders slapped with sanctions are Abdullah Mujahid, Ahmed Yaqub, Hafiz Khalid Walid, Qari Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, Amir Hamza, Abdullah Muntazir, and Talha Saeed, the son of the LeT leader Saeed.
Individuals targeted today are based in Pakistain and involved in LeT's propaganda campaigns, financial networks, and logistic support networks.
"Today's targets also include military commanders directly responsible for the murderous 2008 Mumbai attacks as well as attacks on coalition and Afghan forces. Today's designations are designed to undermine LeT's leadership and support networks of LeT that have planned terrorist attacks around the world," the Treasury Department said.
"Today's action against LeT is Treasury's most comprehensive to date against this group and includes individuals participating in all aspects of LeT's operations - from commanders planning attacks to those managing LeT's relationships with other terrorist groups," Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen said.
|Nuggets From The Urdu Press|
|Secularists feared by Sajid Mir|
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported leader of Markazi Ahle Hadith as saying that if the religious parties went on quarrelling among themselves the secularists of Pakistain might come to power again.
How blasphemers are invented
|Nuggets from the Urdu press|
|Eight judges looted in Bahawalnagar|
Reported in Jinnah eight civil and district judges were looted by seven dacoits in a singUule attempt in Bahawalnagar in Bahawalpur. The brother in law of the local district and sessions had died and all the judges flocked to his house for condolences. The seven dacoits stopped them on the way back on gunpoint and looted all their belongings. One dacoit was killed after the police intercepted him while the rest got away. This was considered a record in the history of lower judiciary anywhere in the world.
Aitzaz Ahsan lost his honour
Daily Pakistain reported that a number of religious scholars including Sajid Mir were of the opinion that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had lost the honour he had won during the lawyers' movement to restore the judiciary when he undertook to defend the presidential immunity because in Islam there was no immunity to any head of the state.
|'Pakistan needs trained manpower in space sciences'|
|[Dawn] In Pakistain, there is a need to develop human resources and promote space sciences education, with a focus on the youth, to harness the many benefits that come from having a well-developed space programme.|
Prof Dr Muhammad Qaisar, vice chancellor of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, said this while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of World Space Week 2011, held at the headquarters of the Pakistain Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission here on Tuesday.
"In order to draw optimum benefit [from] space and related technologies, there is a strong need to develop human resources, create awareness, impart education and motivate the youth to conceive and develop space applications to serve humanity," he said.
It was "our good fortune" to be part of the WSW, which is observed by over 50 countries worldwide, said Dr Qaisar, adding that having the edge in science and technology determined a nation`s place in the world.
He said space offers immense opportunities in fields such as communications, astronomy, environmental monitoring as well as predicting natural disasters. He added that very few countries had established supremacy in space exploration and Pakistain needed to focus on this area.
He said seminars and workshops highlighting the space sciences should be held year-round and not be limited to Space Week. He suggested a seminar on space-related topics should be held at least once a month and offered to host the first such event on the Fuuast premises.
Acting chairman of Suparco Dr Sajid Mirza delivered the welcome address.
He said space had been a mystery as man has been gazing at the stars for thousands of years. with the launch of Sputnik I on Oct 4, 1957 the way for human exploration of space had opened up and now manned spaceflight had become routine.
He described the WSW as "the manifestation of the recognition and realisation of human efforts in the domain of space exploration and its impact on humanity". Dr Mirza said the Government of Pakistain had realised the importance of space exploration early and launched Rehbar I, the nation`s first rocket, in 1962 from Sonmiani. At the time Pakistain was the third country in Asia and the 10th in the world to launch such a craft. He added that Suparco planned to launch a remote-sensing satellite in the next few years.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by the departure of a `space education bus`, which is a custom-built vehicle that will tour the interior of Sindh for the next few days visiting schools to create awareness of space through using multi-media presentations and lectures. A seminar on `50 years of human spaceflight` was also organised, in which experts from Suparco spoke on different topics related to space sciences.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Conviction in Danish cartoon attack plot|
|[Al Jazeera] A US federal jury has convicted a Chicago businessman of helping plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.|
But the jury in the US state of Illinois cleared Tahawwur Rana of the most serious terrorism charge of co-operating in the deadly 2008 rampage in the Indian city of Mumbai.
The jury reached its split verdict after two days of deliberations on Thursday, finding Rana guilty of providing "material support to terrorism" in Denmark.
He was also found guilty of providing support to the Pakistain group that claimed responsible for the three-day siege in India's largest city that left more than 160 people dead, but he was found not guilty of taking part in the attack itself.
The jurors declined to talk to the media to explain their decision, which defence attorneys described as conflicting.
Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years, faces up to 30 years in prison on the two charges.
"We're extremely disappointed. We think they got it wrong," defence attorney Patrick Blegen told s.
Connecting the dots
At the centre of the trial was testimony by the government's star witness, David Coleman Headley, a longtime friend of Rana who previously pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and planning to attack the Danish paper in retaliation for printing the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, as is prohibited in Islam. That plot was never carried out.
Headley's testimony was closely watched worldwide because it provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Pak group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which took credit for the Mumbai attacks, and the alleged co-operation with Pakistain's top intelligence agency, known as the ISI.
Defence attorneys spent much of their time trying to discredit Headley, who they claimed duped his friend from a Pak boarding school.
They attacked Headley's character, saying he initially lied to the FBI, lied to a judge and even lied to his own family, claiming that he implicated Rana in the plot because he wanted to make a deal with prosecutors, something he had learned after he became an informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration after two heroin convictions.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, claimed that Rana, 50, knew exactly what he was doing when he helped Headley.
Rana, who did not testify, was on trial for allegedly allowing Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law services business in Mumbai as a cover story while Headley conducted surveillance before the attacks in November 2008.
He was also accused of letting Headley, whose co-operation means he avoids the death penalty and extradition, travel as a representative of the company in Copenhagen.
Prosecutors used a recorded phone call recorded between Rana and Headley on September 7, 2009, as the centrepiece of their evidence against Rana. In the call, the men discussed the Mumbai attacks and Headley talked about future targets, including the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told s after the verdict that he was gratified by the jury's decision and disagreed with defence attorneys who said the verdict was conflicting because he was convicted of supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba but acquitted of charges that he helped in the Mumbai attacks.
"There's lots of ways you could explain it, but I haven't spoken to the jury," Fitzgerald said. "There was clearly evidence that he knew he was working with Lashkar."
Six others were charged in absentia in the case, including an ISI member known only as "Major Iqbal'' and Headley's Lashkar handler Sajid Mir.
While much of Headley's testimony had been heard before in the context of the indictment in this case and a report released by the Indian government last year, he did reveal a few new details.
i's 'stronghold approach'
Among them was that another man, Ilyas i, who US officials believed to be al-Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistain, had plotted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.
i was reported killed on June 3 by inside Pakistain.
While US officials have not confirmed the death, Pak officials say they are sure i is dead.
Headley said he worked with i in the plot against the Danish paper, describing how the al-Qaeda leader wanted a "stronghold approach".
One plan included taking hostages in the building and killing them quickly by beheading them.
"He said we should throw out the heads of the hostages from the windows," Headley said of i, speaking in a monotone and seemingly detached voice. "He said shoot them first and then behead them later, so there wouldn't be a struggle.''
|Home Front: WoT|
|Mumbai terror trial defence done after two witnesses|
|[Dawn] Testimony in the trial of a Chicago businessman accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks wrapped up swiftly Monday as defence attorneys called only two witnesses before resting their case.|
Tahawwur Rana is accused of providing cover for longtime friend David Coleman Headley, who has admitted to laying groundwork for the rampage on India's largest city. Headley pleaded guilty and was the government's star witness, spending five days on the stand detailing how he worked with both Pak intelligence and a group as he scoped sites ahead of the attacks.
Attorneys put on only a brief defence Monday, calling a computer forensics expert and an immigration attorney -- but not Rana -- after federal prosecutors rested their case earlier in the day.
"I waive the right," Rana said when asked by US District Judge Harry Leinenweber whether he wanted to testify.
Jurors did hear Rana's words earlier Monday during testimony from the prosecution's final witness, an FBI agent who questioned him in October 2009. Prosecutors played short video clips of statements from Rana, who had agreed to speak with FBI for nearly six hours after his arrest.
Rana could be heard in the clips recounting names and affiliations of others charged in the case, including members of the Pak intelligence agency known as ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed in the attack.
But it was unclear from the statements whether Rana knew of the Mumbai plot ahead of time. Defence attorneys and prosecutors did not comment Monday.
Rana, a Pak-born Canadian, has
Rana owns several Chicago area businesses, including an immigration law services center with offices worldwide. Prosecutors allege Rana allowed Headley pose as a business representative and open a Mumbai office while doing his video surveillance.
Attempting to show that Rana sought to establish business in Mumbai long before Headley traveled there, defence attorneys called a Canadian immigration attorney who testified that he conducted seminars about Rana's business in Mumbai in 1997 and that Rana had placed ads in five Indian newspapers at the time.
Though Rana is on trial, much of the focus has been on Headley, an admitted terrorist who was born in the US and lived most of his life in Pakistain. Headley and Rana met as teens at a Pak boarding school.
Headley detailed through emails, phone conversations and testimony that he took orders from both the ISI and Lashkar ahead of the Mumbai attacks, and that everything was communicated with Rana.
He also testified about communications with Ilyas i, believed to be al Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistain and one of six others charged in the Mumbai case in absentia. i was reportedly killed Friday in a US missile strike, but US officials haven't confirmed the death.
Headley's testimony revealed that i, leader of a Pak terrorist group called Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, had wanted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin because he was angry about US drone attacks inside Pakistain.
i's name came up just briefly Monday as attorneys and the judge discussed jury instructions without jurors present. Leinenweber raised the possibility removing i's name from some court documents, but no action was taken.
"What the jury is looking at now is Dr. Rana," said defence attorney Charles Swift. "Much of the world is following this trial not because of Dr. Rana, but it's now time to focus on Dr. Rana, not on Ilyas i, not on all the other people."
Others charged in the case include an ISI member known only as 'Major Iqbal' and Headley's Lashkar handler Sajid Mir.
Defence attorneys have hammered on Headley's reliability, talking about how he initially lied to the FBI even as he said he was cooperating, lied to a judge and even to his own family. They claim he implicated Rana in the plot because he wanted to make a deal with prosecutors. Headley's cooperation means he avoids the death penalty and extradition.
Still, experts have said the US government clearly has confidence in his test.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Ilyas Kashmiri plotted to attack Lockheed Martin: Headley|
|[Dawn] An American admitted terrorist who is the US government's star witness in the trial of a Chicago businessman accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks said Tuesday that another with ties to al Qaeda had once plotted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.|
David Coleman Headley, who has pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork in the three-day massacre that left more than 160 dead in India's largest city, testified for five days in the trial of his longtime friend, Tahawwur Rana, in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and extradition.
Rana has to accusations that he provided Headley cover as the Pak-American conducted surveillance in India before the attacks. Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years and owns an immigration services business, has pleaded not guilty.
Though Rana is on trial, it was Headley's testimony that was closely watched for any clues in the fight against global terrorism, especially in the wake of the May 2 killing of by US forces outside Pakistain's capital city and amid suspicions that the country's government may have known or helped hide the former al Qaeda leader.
On Tuesday, Headley told jurors that in August 2009, he used one of Rana's work computers in Chicago to begin researching details about Lockheed Martin and its CEO for Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pak terrorist leader who has ties to al Qaeda.
"He had people who had conducted surveillance," Headley said of i.
Headley said i was angry over the US drone attacks inside Pakistain and wanted to target the defense contractor. i leads the group Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which has launched attacks in India and Pakistain, including a 2006 against the US consulate in that killed four people, according to the State Department.
Headley did not provide details about the plot, which was not carried out, but said Rana did not know about it.
Rana's defense attorneys have tried to discredit Headley, who spent days detailing for prosecutors how he took orders from the Pak intelligence agency, known as the ISI, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed in the Mumbai attacks. Headley also has pleaded guilty to plotting an attack against a Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which angered many s. Rana also is charged in that plot, which was never carried out.
The defense's main focus has been to portray Headley as a liar who has lived multiple lives. Attorneys have asked Headley to detail how he worked as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration after two heroin convictions while also first becoming involved with Lashkar.
Under defense questioning, Headley has admitted that he lied in his initial statements to law enforcement when he said Rana had no knowledge of his plans. On Tuesday he admitted that he had sought a psychiatrist for a "mixed personality disorder" diagnosis, but did not disclose that treatment when asked by the judge in the case. He also acknowledged that he omitted details about his second wife when he spoke to his first wife.
Defense attorneys showed clips of Headley's initial statement to , which showed a stark contrast to the man who has been speaking in a soft and nearly monotonous voice while appearing unaffected by days of questioning. In the video, a visibly agitated and fast-talking Headley keeps asking prosecutors if they had made any other arrests yet in the case.
Still, experts have said undermining Headley's credibility is a challenge for the defense. His testimony has involved numerous emails and transcripts of phone calls with others listed in the indictment.
"He's certainly an imperfect individual, but the fact that the US government put him up there and put him up there first, seems to suggest a reasonable level of confidence in what he has to say," said Stephen Tankel, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has written a book on Lashkar.
Besides Rana, six others are charged in absentia, including i, a man known only as 'Major Iqbal,' who Headley said was an ISI major, and Sajid Mir, Headley's Lashkar-e-Taiba handler.
Headley said he started working with Lashkar in 2000. He testified that the group and Pakistain's Inter-Services Intelligence agency operate under the same umbrella, though Pakistain has repeatedly denied the allegation. Headley said Lashkar and ISI coordinated in planning the attacks and that Rana was apprised of developments.
Rana and Headley, who are both 50, were schoolmates at a Pak military boarding school and have remained in touch.
|Headley alleges more Pakistan militants, ISI links|
|Big news on the Mumbai attack in, of all places, Chicago.|
CHICAGO — The federal government’s star witness at a Chicago terrorism trial revealed more potentially damaging details on Tuesday alleging close cooperation between a Pakistani militant group and the country’s top intelligence agency, telling jurors that he frequently exchanged emails and met with members of both groups a month before the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
David Coleman Headley returned to the witnesses stand for a second day in the terrorism trial of a Chicago businessman accused of collaborating in the three-day siege of India’s largest city — giving a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and how he was recruited by a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, known as ISI, to take part in the Mumbai plot.
Headley told jurors Tuesday that he met with both his handlers from Lashkar and ISI in Pakistan in October 2008 — one month before the Mumbai rampage that killed more than 160 people including six Americans — and his Lashkar contact, Sajid Mir, said militants had unsuccessfully tried to do the attack in September but crashed their boat leaving Pakistan. They also talked for the first time about a separate plot to attack a Danish newspaper that in 2005 had printed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, he said.
“I suggested we only focus on the cartoonist and the editor,” Headley testified of a later meeting with Mir. “He said, “‘All Danes are responsible for this.’”
As the government’s first and main witness in the trial of his longtime friend Tahawwur Rana, Headley’s testimony outlining links between the ISI and Lashkar could inflame tensions between Pakistan and India and place even more pressure on the already frayed US and Pakistani relations.
I'm guessing the Indians are taking notes...
It also could add to the questions about Pakistan’s commitment to catch terrorists and the ISI’s connections to Pakistan-based terror groups, especially after Osama bin Laden was found hiding out earlier this month in a military garrison town outside of Islamabad.
I don't think there are any questions at all...
Headley pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people including six Americans, and he agreed to testify against Rana to avoid the death penalty, making him one of the most valuable US government counterterrorism witnesses.
“Headley’s testimony is a nail in the coffin of US-Pakistani strategic cooperation,” said Bruce Riedel, a former White House adviser on Middle Eastern and South Asian issues. “Until now his commentary has gotten very little attention outside India, now it will finally get the attention it deserves here.”
The Pakistani government has denied the ISI orchestrated the Mumbai attacks, and a senior ISI official said Tuesday that the agency has no links to the terrorists behind the rampage. When asked about the testimony being heard in Chicago, the official said “it is nothing.”
"Lies! All lies!"
On Tuesday, Headley testified that details of planning for the attacks were known by an ISI officer known only by the alias “Major Iqbal” and Mir. Iqbal said a list would be provided to Headley of possible targets and later he would receive it from Mir. The three men met together in Pakistan in October 2008 where Mir told Headley about the failed attempt on Mumbai. The meetings continued.
“In a few weeks if everything went well, they were going to launch a second attempt,” Headley testified.
Prosecutors showed emails between the three men — some of them forwarded to Rana — detailing points on the Mumbai attacks and the aftermath. They wrote in code from ever-changing email addresses including some that came from transliterated Urdu words into English and others from seemingly innocuous phrases like the email handle “Get Me Some Books,” that Mir used at one time.
When the attacks happened, Headley, who was born Daood Gilani, testified that he got a text message from Mir asking him to turn on the television.
“I was pleased,” he told jurors, but later he started to worry. “I was concerned if our plan had been leaked out.”
At this time, Headley said, he was also in more frequent contact with Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, whom prosecutors identified as retired Pakistani military with links to Major Iqbal. Syed was referred to as “Pasha.”
Rana, who attended medical school in Pakistan, was only brought up periodically throughout testimony, with Headley saying that he debriefed all his plans with Rana. He said they discussed the Mumbai attacks afterward and what they considered a successful mission against Indians.
“Dr. Rana said, ‘They deserved it,’” Headley said.
Rana, a Canadian citizen who has lived in Chicago for years, is accused of giving Headley cover during his time in Mumbai by allowing him to set up a branch of his Chicago-based immigration services business. His name is the seventh one on the federal indictment, and the only defendant in custody. Among the six others charged in absentia are Mir, Iqbal and Pasha.
Rana, who has pleaded not guilty, is also accused of helping arrange travel and other help for Headley, who planned the separate attack that never happened on the Danish newspaper. Defense attorneys have told jurors their client was taken advantage of by his friend and did not know what was in store. But prosecutors have said Rana was not duped and knew of the plans, both in Mumbai and Denmark.
Defense attorneys were expected scrutinize Headley’s credibility as a witness, saying he has been motivated to change his story and that he was working for the US government even as he said he was working for Lashkar and ISI.