Are we safe? Recently the Prime Minister told in a rally that terrorists might disrupt the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Coming as it does from a Prime minister who must have said that he would thwart any design of the terrorist in disrupting the polls, this kind of announcement- like speech makes me think that he does have information on terror attacks and is just blinking his eyes as a response that he and his establishment did when Mumbai was attacked 5 years ago.
In these days of exposes of sorts, the revelation on America's complicity in allowing Headley to map and execute the Mumbai attack with Indian counterparts looking at the other way when informed of the plot, makes me think that another round of terror design is in the offing with the blessings of foreign Governments – not excluding the US - who do not want the BJP to come to power. One of Headley's confessions pertained to the role of Irshad Jahan as a human bomb to finish Modi. Is the Congress Govt still going to brush aside this revelation from Headley? What is the Congress Govt going to do for the revelations on Headley being a USA mole? Should the Congress Govt not be made to offer an explanation for not having taken action on USA's warnings? Now with the PM making an announcement on impending terror attack during the polls, what information has he got? What actions has his Govt taken to tackle? Let him not say that he cautioned the security forces - which is what he told in that rally- speech. How are we going to survive with his kind of people in power?
"This month sees the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, and the most complete survey to date of former and serving intelligence agents, diplomats, police, and survivors from 12 countries, reveals that the CIA repeatedly tipped off their counterparts in India to an imminent attack, using intelligence derived from their prize asset Headley. What they did not reveal was that their source, a public school educated Pakistani-American dilettante and entrepreneur, was allowed to remain in place even as the attack was realized. His continuing proximity to the terrorist outfit would eventually lead to a showdown between Washington and New Delhi.
Researching 'The Siege', we learned that Indian intelligence agents accused their US counterparts of protecting Headley and leaving him in the field, despite the imminent threat to Mumbai. Irate Indian officials claimed that Headley's Mumbai plot was allowed to run on by his US controllers, as to spool it in would have jeopardized his involvement in another critical US operation . Having infiltrated the LeT, Headley also won access to al-Qaida, making him the only US citizen in the field who might be able to reach Osama bin Laden. Three years before America's most wanted terrorist was finally run to ground in Abbottabad, this was an opportunity that some in the US intelligence community were not willing to give up." Read on...
26/11: 'America sacrificed Mumbai to keep Headley playing'
'What America could figure out is that this finally was an American with an American passport operating in Pakistan who had access to Al Qaeda. Now the prime objective of that time was the capture of bin Laden.'
'This is three years before Abbottabad, the only thing that the US intelligence agencies were thinking about was how do they decapitate him, how do they cut the head off of Al Qaeda and here was this tantalising, untrustworthy, difficult, hard to control, psychopathic individual, who was American.'
Adrian Levy, co-author of the book The Siege: The Attack on the Taj, speaks to Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt in an compelling interview.
This is one book that was dying to be written. The siege of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai which began on November 26, 2008 by Pakistani terrorists and ended three days later was one emotion-filled, historic event that caught the world's attention.
Not just Mumbai, but India was under siege as Pakistani jihadis went about killing 166 innocent people, largely Indians.
Those hours were filled with astonishment, anguish and anger. A few Indian authors published books soon after the terror attacks, but no Indian media or authors have brought out the depth of the event and spread of the operation that took place before the horrendous event and its implications for the future of India and the world.
The comprehensive version has now arrived in the form of The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel. The distinguished authors Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy are well-respected names in South Asia with remarkable books like Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Weapons Conspiracy to their credit.
Levy has written extensively on Burma, Russia, Cambodia, and Pakistan. He has worked with the British print media and is an acclaimed filmmaker who has directed some incisive films for various channels, including the BBC and The History Channel.
In an exclusive interview to Rediff.com, Levy narrates the hard work that went into the making of the book which highlights how America's compromise with David Coleman Headley, one of the masterminds of the attacks, affected India's national interest.
The book is worth reading because it is written after getting Pakistan's version of the genesis of the terror plot, America's dealing with Headley and its self-centered diplomacy and, most importantly, truly exhaustive details that have been obtained from the Indian system.
Scott-Clark and Levy travelled to 15 countries on four continents and interviewed hundreds of sources, witnesses and people, including the parents of Pakistani jihadis who landed in south Mumbai to attack the city.
The book re-creates the human tragedy inside the Taj Mahal hotel in those 68 hours, giving a virtual second-by-second account of what went on inside when the world was watching the horror unfolding on television.
Levy tells Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt that even five years after the terror attacks, the Indian establishment has not honestly approached the event and learnt the right lessons.
'People are not taking 26/11 seriously'