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ISI still working on 'Karachi Project' to attack India

Last updated on: December 2, 2011 21:24 IST

ISI still working on 'Karachi Project' to attack India

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Vicky Nanjappa

Ever since Headley was arrested in US, there has been a lot of talk regarding the Karachi Project, considered to be one of the most ambitious projects staged by the ISI where it plans to combine Pakistani forces and home-grown terrorists to launch a spate of terror attacks on India, reports Vicky Nanjappa.

The National Investigating Agency says that it would soon have the much awaited chargesheet against Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Headley, accused of doing a reccee of 26/11 sites, and Pakistani-Canadian co-accused Tahawwur Rana.

While most of the points mentioned in the chargesheet would in tandem with the investigation conducted by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation and also the testimony of Headley, the more important feature that would figure is regarding the ambitious 'Karachi Project'.

Ever since Headley was arrested in US, there has been a lot of talk regarding the Karachi Project, considered to be one of the most ambitious projects staged by the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence where it plans on combining Pakistani forces and home-grown terrorists to launch a spate of terror attacks on India.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau who have been keeping a track of this project say that the information gathered so far indicates that there is still work going on regarding this project and the ISI plans on involving several Indian cadres from all parts of the country.

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Image: Explosions seen at the Taj Mahal Hotel during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai
Photographs: Reuters
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'Pakistan has every intention of carrying out a battle with India'

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"One should not be under the misconception that this is a one off attack. Instead it would be a series of attacks and would classify as a full fledged war against India. The 26/11 attacks was just a reminder that Pakistan has every intention of carrying out a battle with India by targeting innocents," a source said.

"They do realise that their war along the border has not yielded any success, and hence for them it would be a better option to launch terror strikes at regular intervals so that there is chaos in the nation," added the source.

"The re-grouping of the Indian Mujahideen is just a pre-cursor to the Karachi attack. If one notices the recent arrests, it becomes clear that the cadres were arrested from different parts of the country only show that their operations were spread out. The IM is looking to tweak its strong pockets in the country and would make use of existing resources to re-group," the source also pointed out.

Moreover, they have been getting ample help from Pakistan-based outfits such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad and also the LeT to set up their modules. The attacks could be small or big in nature, but the main idea would be to continue causing havoc and keep investigators on their toes.


Image: NSG commandos look down after explosion on fourth floor of Nariman House in Mumbai during the 26/11 attacks
Photographs: Reuters
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'Precursor attacks laid the path for 26/11'

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Sources in the IB also said that the bigger attack would however be launched by a dedicated outfit from Pakistan.

There is a need to be on the look out as the ISI plans a repeat of 26/11. Take a look at the incidents leading up to 26/11.

There was absolute chaos in the country in the form of a series of blasts which started off at Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh.

Then there were a series of attacks in a span of a month which occurred at Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi. What these attacks ideally did was throw the police off guard and kept them on the trail of the Indian Mujahideen cadres.

In the bargain the bigger issue was completely ignored which unfortunately led up to the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

This is something that they would want to repeat. Despite there being a lot of world pressure on Pakistan there is no way in which they can keep their forces on hold and would want such attacks to be repeated on Indian soil. It is a monster they have created and they will not be able to rein it in, an IB official pointed out.

"However, the second part of the Karachi project is no big secret today. India could say that the pattern is well known and unlike the 26/11 days we are not entirely in the dark today."


Image: Onlookers stand at the site of one of the five bomb blasts that rocked New Delhi on September 13, 2008
Photographs: Reuters
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'Bigger need to watch what is happening across the border'

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"Headley spoke at length about this project and even takes the name of Ilyas Kashmiri to be involved in this. When one takes the name of Kashmiri, it becomes clear that it is not some attack involving a bomb blast, but would be a full fledged fidayeen strike. This also gives the impression that all terror outfits in Pakistan are standing together and there is no confusion what so ever between the Al Qaeda and also the Lashkar," the official added.

Former Home Secretary G K Pillai too had once said that the worry is that Headley during his India trip had prepared much more than just sketches for the 26/11 attack sites. He had visited Delhi among other places and prepared sketches and these have fallen into the hands of Pakistan-based terror groups.

Intelligence Bureau officials also point out that Pakistan is well prepared for such an attack and it is important that 'we do not get carried away by smaller operations'.

"Although it is important to keep a constant check on home grown activities, there is a bigger need to watch what is happening across the border," the official added.

NIA sources say that there is a lot of proof regarding this project and Headley too has provided documented details regarding the same.


Image: File image of a terror training camp in Pakistan

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