US court summons ISI chief in Mumbai terror caseBy Arun Kumar, IANS
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
WASHINGTON - A US court has summoned top officials of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as also the alleged masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in response to a case filed by relatives of two American victims.
Summons were issued by a New York court to ISI’s powerful chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other officials, as also Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged masterminds of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
The 26-page lawsuit was filed before a Brooklyn court last week by family members of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his pregnant wife, Rivka, who were among the 166 people killed during the attack. Their son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny in the tragedy.
The suit alleges that ISI “provided critical planning, material support, control and coordination for the attacks” to the Pakistan-based militant group LeT, which has been blamed for the 26/11 siege. The LeT is also named in the suit.
Besides Pasha, who has been director general of the ISI since September 2008, the court has also summoned his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj and ISI officials Major Samir Ali, Azam Cheema and Major Iqbal.
“The ISI has long nurtured and used international terrorist groups, including the LeT, to accomplish its goals and has provided material support to LeT and other international terrorist groups,” said the lawsuit.
“The Mumbai terrorist attack was planned, trained for and carried out by members of defendant LeT. Defendant ISI provided critical planning, material support, control and coordination of the attacks,” it alleged.
It accuses ISI officers Pasha, Taj, Iqbal and Ali of being purposefully engaged in the direct provision of material support or resources including weapons and explosives.
“On and prior to November 26, 2008, ISI, Pasha, Taj, Iqbal and Ali (as well as other officials, agents and employees of ISI) directed, engaged and/or relied upon the efforts of US-based individuals, including but not limited to (David) Headley and (Tahawwur Hussain) Rana, for raising funds, building a network of connections, recruiting participants and planning the operation of the Mumbai terror attack,” the lawsuit alleges.
Noting that the LeT still operates training camps in Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan, the petition said the group has openly advocated violence against India, Israel and the US. It names Muridke, Manshera and Muzaffarabad as centres of training camps operated by the LeT.
The 10 LeT members who undertook the on-the-ground Mumbai terrorist attack underwent extensive training in the LeT camps in Pakistan, the lawsuit alleged.
It also says that Pakistani American Lashkar operative David Headley, who has already pleaded guilty for his role in the plotting of the attack, built a network of connections from Chicago to Pakistan, undertaking these efforts at the direction and with the material support of both LeT and the ISI.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)