December 9, 2008
New Delhi has asked Jerusalem to assist in the operational and intelligence planning of Indian commando cross-border strikes against Islamist terrorist havens in Pakistan – including al Qaeda, Indian counter-terror sources report.
The Indian government’s decision to embark on these in-and-out incursions in reprisal for the Mumbai outrage of Nov. 26-29 was first revealed in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 375 published Dec. 4 (Indian Retaliatory Raids inside Pakistan Impending).
DEBKAfile adds: Israel is willing to help the Indians carry out punitive forays into Pakistan because it has its own scores to settle for the brutal murder of six Israelis in Mumbai’s Chabad Center by the Islamist terrorists and for the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency’s hand in the atrocity.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Security sources in New Delhi disclosed Saturday, Dec. 6, that ISI officers actively trained the terrorists on military lines and selected their targets, including two big hotels and the Jewish-Israeli center.
Indian sources told DEBKAfile that Israel was asked for assistance because its special undercover forces were long seasoned in plotting and executing reprisals for terrorist attacks; above all, they were expert in getting away after covert operations without leaving a trail. New Delhi wants its commando operations in Pakistan to be stealthy and focused, and does not propose to admit responsibility.
Four Pakistani locations are targeted:
1. Pakistani Kashmir where scores if not hundreds of extremist Muslim training facilities are situated – many of them ISI-run and funded;
2. Punjab in eastern Pakistan on the border of northern India. DEBKAfile’s counter terror sources report that Lahore and Multan have attracted a cluster of Islamist terrorist centers.
3. Pakistan’s southern coast – from Karachi north to Gwadar close to the Iranian border. Indian intelligence (RAW) has evidence that this strip was where the terrorists who besieged Mumbai ten days ago were trained for their assault.
Our New Delhi sources disclose that Indian leaders showed the outline of this plan to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice when she visited last week. She commented guardedly that the United States was strongly opposed to a full-scale war between India and Pakistan but not averse to limited counter-terror operations.