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26/11 points to military-style training: Admiral

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | January 02, 2009 12:30 IST

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Retired Vice Admiral P S Das said the methodology of 26/11 clearly indicated that the terrorists had received months of professional training, most likely from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence.

Das, who retired as Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, disagreed with those who put the blame entirely on the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images]. 'They are the face of what has happened, but this operation would not have been possible unless people had been trained militarily by military instructors, whether in service or retired, over a long period of time,' he told a seminar hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, recently.
'If I were to be asked as a commander in the navy, please send 10 fellows in a dingy 10 miles away with this kind of equipment, I would have said my sailors cannot do it, I require Marine Commandos. And I think the US naval commander will say the same thing -- that his sailors cannot do this, it requires SEALs. So if anyone thinks the terrorists were picked up from a madarssa someplace and trained by a terrorist group, they are living in a world of a different kind.'

Das said 26/11 was far more complex than other high profile terrorist attacks, like the September attack on the Islamabad [Images] Mariott, or the December 12, 2000 attack on the USS Cole by Al Qaeda [Images] elements.

'What happened with the USS Cole? One little boat went and rammed into the destroyer, tearing apart a big hole. Whenever a ship comes into harbour, there are a dozen boats that come alongside. Why? Because every ship wants to spruce up; they want the bottom and sides of the ship painted, and that is the kind of thing sailors don't like to do. So these little boats come, and in exchange for a can of diesel or for a bagful of bread or whatever, they do this job.'

'Until the USS Cole was hit, this was standard practice of every ship. And one of these boats went and hit the USS Cole in a suicide attack. It was not a planned military operation. But this attack was a planned military operation; it has been planned, and the people were trained for it, by a military institution -- whether it is the ISI or part of the military is difficult to say.'

'If we recognise this, and recognize that the ISI is the principal organization, we would be on track.'

Earlier:
'India's patience is not infinite'
'What more evidence do we need to provide?'





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