CIA was prepared for India after Rajiv, 5 years before his assassination

CIA was prepared for India after Rajiv, 5 years before his assassination

Five years before Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991, the US Central Intelligence Agency had prepared a very detailed and thorough “brief” on what would happen if he is assassinated or makes an “abrupt departure” from the Indian political scene.
A 23-page report, titled “India After Rajiv ...” was put out as early as in March 1986 for comments from other senior CIA officials. The “sanitised” report was declassified recently by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The report, whose complete title is not entirely available as it is part deleted, was prepared on the basis of inputs available to the CIA till January 1986.
The very first sentence of the report’s available (undeleted) page reads: “Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi faces at least an even chance of assassination before his tenure in office ends in 1989.” It, however, later clearly said that “assassination is the major near-term threat” to him.
Over five years later, Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
The first section titled “Key Judgments” analyses and deliberates upon what likely scenario would emerge in the domestic and international political situation if there is a sudden change in leadership minus Rajiv Gandhi and the likely impact on India’s relations with the US, the then USSR and the region.
It also dealt with the threats posed to Gandhi’s life by various extremist groups at that time and the likely fallout of his murder.
“If Gandhi fell to a Sikh or Kashmiri Muslim assassin, widespread communal violence probably would erupt even if strong preventive security measures — including deployment of Army and paramilitary troops across northern India — were taken by the Indian President ...... (deleted),” it said.
Interestingly, it also names P.V. Narasimha Rao and V.P. Singh, who could be the “interim successor” and “likely candidates” in case of sudden exit by Rajiv. Rao took over as the Prime Minister in 1991.
In a section, titled ‘The Threat of Assassination: Stability in Jeopardy’, the report says “In our view, there is at least an even chance in the next several years of an assassination, most likely by extremist Sikhs or disgruntled Kashmiri Muslims who have targeted Rajiv,” besides “a fanatical Hindu”.
Since a significant portion of this section is deleted, it is not clear whether Sri Lankan Tamil extremists were also dealt with in the analysis. However, another section deals in-depth with Rajiv’s mediation efforts to resolve “the conflict between militant Sri Lankan Tamils and the Sinhalese-dominated government in Colombo...”
Gandhi's departure
Besides Gandhi’s possible assassination, the report also analysed various scenarios of his “abrupt departure” from the political scene before 1989.
“Although we believe assassination is the major near-term threat to Rajiv’s tenure, any of several other events could cause his abrupt departure from the political scene before 1989,” it said while listing out several other possibilities including “his death from natural causes or by accident“.
It ruled out the possibility of a decision by him “to resign out of frustration”, saying “we see no signs of this and believe it would be out of character“.
The CIA report also noted: “We suspect, however, that Rajiv would calculate — as we do — that he and his kin would be targets for extremist violence even if he left public office.”
In a section called “Implications for the United States”, the report says “We believe (Rajiv) Gandhi’s death would represent a significant blow to US interests, regardless of the circumstances of the succession.”
”...We believe Indo-US relations could also suffer as a result of domestic political changes following Rajiv’s assassination.”
The report assessed Rajiv’s policies ranging from dealing with extremists, foreign relations (including Sri Lankan Tamil issue) to promoting acquisition of selected foreign technology” among others, and their outcome.
“Although some of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s policies will continue to encounter serious resistance over the next several years, we believe his dominance of the Indian political scene is secure until at least the end of his present term of office in December 1989, barring his incapacitation or death,” it said.
The report also dealt with the possibility of a “national government” taking over in case of a sudden exit by Rajiv, while discounting the possibility of a military coup in such a scenario.
Several portions of the 23-page report were deleted before the CIA decided to release it under the Freedom of Information Act.
 CIA had detailed brief on Rajiv Gandhi assassination ... - Times of India › India News
1 day ago - US Central Intelligence Agency had prepared a very detailed and thorough "brief" on what would happen if Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated or ...

Finally All Fingers Point To A  Foreign Hand

The Jain Commission's final report focuses on a larger international conspiracy, and the CIA-Mossad-LTTE link, in the Rajiv killing
FOR seven rambling years, the Jain Commission of Inquiry—set up to unravel the larger conspiracy behind Rajiv Gandhi's May 21, 1991, assassination—has stumbled from one controversy to another. The Commission's interim report, tabled in Parliament last year, led to the fall of the United Front government—it had pointed fingers at its coalition partner, the DMK, for harbouring the LTTE, thus creating conditions which facilitated the assassination. It had also come down heavily on the V.P. Singh government for ignoring the security threat to Rajiv.

The final report charts a markedly different course. Volume II, covering chapters I to VI, widens the ambit beyond the immediate circumstances to emphasise a larger, international plot. Foreign intelligence agencies like the CIA and Mossad, and leaders of some Sikh extremist organisations step in as the new dramatis personae. The report says they actively collaborated with the LTTE and key Indian individuals in the period immediately preceding the assassination. The eight-volume set, 14 chapters in all—accessed by Outlook—was submitted to the home ministry on March 7 this year.

Curiously, even as he lambasts the work of the CBI's Special Investigation Team—devoting an entire volume to its investigational lapses—Jain appears to have considerably toned down his earlier stand on the complicity of the DMK and has instead concentrated on the 'foreign' angle. But there are specific recommendations for the prosecution of certain members of the DMK, PMK, and DK, who were earlier chargesheeted in the assassination of EPRLF chief K. Padmanabha in Chennai in 1990.

The report is not without its Indian angle. Startling depositions and intelligence intercepts included in the report indicate that Dr Subramanian Swamy and former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, in different ways, may have had prior knowledge of a threat to Rajiv but did not react in a "timely manner". At the same time, Jain appears to have pulled his punches in recommending any further probe into the charges against these two politicians.

What emerges finally is a picture of a well-networked international plot and certain key Indians, cast in varying degrees of complicity, who had 'knowledge' of the plan. Whether Home Ministry officials, who are studying the report, will be able to take any action on these findings for presenting the Action Taken Report in Parliament during this session remains in the realm of speculation. For now, the report, with its explosive annexures and wild-card theories, has the potential of stirring up yet another political maelstrom.
THE FOREIGN HAND: What is the foreign hand referred to in the final report? The depositions and intelligence inputs from RAW and IB have led Justice Jain to infer that the Tamil Tigers couldn't have operated in isolation. In fact, he barely stops short of concluding that it was just the hired executor—a point Jain had touched upon in his interim report. Notes Jain: "The LTTE may be having its own financial resources but to acquire such high-tech weaponry, financial help and help in the form of shipment of arms, which are referred to in IB reports, cannot be ruled out. The possibility of a foreign hand behind the LTTE in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi can't be ruled out, rather it is strengthened." The wireless intercepts (see box) clinches the fact that LTTE operatives like K. Padmanabha had links with the CIA and that the US intelligence agency assisted the Tigers in arms procurement and other operations. The LTTE was networked with international agencies and these could have helped them in the plot to kill Rajiv.

To establish the foreign link, the report quotes telegram No. 24 (CCB)/20537 of September 11, 1991—sent to the Ministry of External Affairs by the Indian Ambassador in Tunis, containing a key tipoff he got from PLO president Yasser Arafat. It was conveyed that "Yasser Arafat had information that Rajiv's enemies would use the election period to get rid of him. He got this information from inside Israel and his European sources. These sources mentioned that the LTTE and Sikh extremists would try to harm Rajiv Gandhi. Besides the above three, hostile forces from outside India may also make an attempt."

A recorded note on the talk between the then foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey and the Palestinian ambassador in India, dated June 6, 1991, included in the final report reads: "The Palestinian ambassador told me that they had seen the movement of Mos-sad agents in India, including towards Madras. He said that if one was looking for a link, it was the CIA/Mossad/LTTE link. He further stated that the culprit could have been one of the women related or associated with the five LTTE leaders who had killed themselves after taking cyanide soon after the commencement of the IPKF operation."

 Justice Jain gives considerable import to the Arafat input. "I find the information furnished by Yasser Arafat genuine and there is no reason to disbelieve it.... From the note of Shri Muchkund Dubey and the CCB telegram, it is amply borne out that there was an international plot to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi and that it was a Mossad/LTTE/CIA link."
Statements from Dubey's successor J.N. Dixit, Sonia Gandhi as well as details gleaned from RAW and IB have been woven into the report to shore up the information the PLO chief had passed on to Indian authorities. Dixit's deposition finds prominence in the report: "Arafat is right in stating that he had sources within Israel and well-established sources in Europe. This information conveyed in the telegram must have been cross-checked by the field units of RAW under directives of their headquarters."

"There must have been operatives of the CIA and Mossad in India during 1990-91.... The likelihood of Rajiv coming back to power might have been viewed with some reservations, not so much by the US government itself but by segments of the US defence and Intelligence establishment in the context of Rajiv Gandhi's opposition regarding refuelling facilities provided by India for US Air Force planes during the Gulf War," adds the ex-foreign secretary.

Similarly, in her statement to the Commission, Sonia Gandhi confirms that "it is a fact that Arafat sent my husband messages through the Palestinian mission in India saying that they had learnt of the threats to his life. This was reconfirmed to me and my children personally by Arafat when he met us soon after my husband's funeral. There were several other occasions when he received similar information."
RAW too provided the Commission with inputs, which it had shared with IB, on the activities of Mossad and CIA in India in the year immediately preceding the assassination. The final report mentions Amos Radia and Giorce Betchar as agents operating for the Israelis in India. As regards CIA activities in India, RAW had informed the IB that two suspected US intelligence officers were in India in the months preceding the killing.

A study of the post-Gulf war scenario in West Asia conducted by RAW, which was communicated to the PMO, then cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra, then foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey, IB, the Naval Headquarters and then Air Force chief S.K. Mehra, clearly stated: "International terrorism will get a fillip and we can expect terrorist strikes against soft targets in India. Considerable vigil will have to be exercised."

 While Jain has gone to great lengths to establish the foreign hand, he has also indicted intelligence agencies like RAW for not taking a serious view of information that came its way. The report says: "RAW's conclusion on Arafat's information requires deeper examination. Nothing has been said about the possible involvement of the CIA which may operate through Mossad in the light of Rajiv Gandhi's utterances during the Gulf War opposing refuelling facilities to the US."

 Further, Jain writes, "the CIA seems to have a track-record of covert operations for desta-bilising governments while indulging in assassination plots or otherwise as reported in the print media.... It is in this background of the CIA's alleged track-record that Arafat's utterances have to be evaluated."

THE report notes that, "Kumaran Padmanabha's (KP) account in BCCI, Bombay branch, prima facie establishes links of the LTTE with the bank. Unless material from the Senate subcommittee is gathered, it will not be proper to conclude that the BCCI funds were not made available in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.... The material which has come before the Commission raises a very strong possibility of such help from some individuals and agencies since it is well established that KP was the LTTE's international arms procurer."

Despite all the information pieced together, the report is short on specifics and does little to flesh out the precise manner in which the foreign hand purportedly worked. The veil of mystery that shrouds the Rajiv killing remains. Jain indicates how the LTTE conspired with foreign agents/agencies to carry out the assassination, but provides only a vague delineation of possible motives. As things stand, it is doubtful whether the MEA (which has been given charge of investigating the international link) will be able to come up with anything.
THE INDIAN CONNECTION: Justice Jain has devoted separate chapters to three key Indian players who are suspected, one way or the other, to have had prior knowledge of the assassination. Nothing definitive or conclusive here, but Jain has woven in intriguing loops of circumstantial evidence—quoted and contained in the annexures—around godman Chandraswami, Janata Party leader Dr Subramanian Swamy and former PM Chandra Shekhar. The three are bracketed, prima facie, as either having a link with those who allegedly conspired with the assassins or at least having been privy to the fact of a plot.

The link between Chandra Shekhar and Subramanian Swamy has been taken seriously by Jain in the light of Chandra-swami's deposition: "I know Chandra Shekhar and Subramanian Swamy have been very thick for the last 7-8 years. Dr Swamy told me that I (Chandraswami) may persuade Rajiv Gandhi to make Chandra Shekhar the PM." Working within this framework, the Commission has read much into the independent testimonies of a host of witnesses—wherever they overlap—and arrived at certain conclusions.
For instance, Justice Jain concludes that Akali leader Mahant Sewa Dass's deposition stands corroborated by evidence provided by RAW. Dass was sent as Chandra Shekhar's emissary to meet Khalistan proponent Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan in London. He had deposed that at the meeting a plot to eliminate Rajiv was being hatched jointly by Babbar Khalsa militants and a representative of the LTTE (R.M. Pradi)—and that the project was to be financed by Chandraswami. Jain says: "It is fully established that Mahant Sewa Dass went to London, met Dr Chohan in the presence of some persons, conveyed the message of Chandra Shekhar and brought back a letter from Dr Chohan addressed to Shri Chandra Shekhar."

 The letter also finds a place in government records and reads:
"Dear Mr Chandra Shekharji,
Mahantji discussed quite a few but very important things with me. I very much appreciate your initiative in Punjab. I am sure it will help to pacify the violence in Punjab. Mahantji will give you the details of our discussion on various aspects. Talks are the only way to resolve the problems.
More on hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan"
According to the report, "RAW confirms the meeting and that almost all the active pro-Khalistan groups were represented in the meeting. It also says that the main purpose of Mahant Sewa Dass's sojourn was to find out the pro-Khalistani elements on a possible peace package acceptable to them which could then be projected as an achievement of the Government of India as a successful attempt to bring back the Sikhs abroad into the national mainstream.... However, a contemporary inquiry should have been made and the report should have been sent to the PM."

The Commission also has on record a communication UO.No 3/5/88-VS, dated July 21, 1988, in which RAW mentioned reports indicating that Dr Chohan was trying to establish contact with the LTTE in the UK. Also, "government records show that Mahant Sewa Dass was sent by the government as an emissary of Chandra Shekhar to meet Dr Chohan. His arrangements for travel were made by the government."

According to Jain, "From the perusal of various statements, it is evident that the relations of Chandraswami did exist, not only with Rao but also with Chandra Shekhar, Subrama-nian Swamy and O.P. Chautala. However, no inference of complicity can be drawn, although the surveillance at 10, Janpath and the statement of Saifullah may give rise to some doubts."

As for Chandraswami, the circle of suspicion is wider. His links with the LTTE as well as international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (see box) have been established. Notes Jain: "The evidence and material does point an accusing finger at Chandraswami and circumstances which have come before the Commission raise a doubt regarding his involvement in the assassination. Taking the entire evidence, material and circumstantial, brought on record, a serious doubt arises regarding Chandraswami's complicity and involvement. So the matter requires a further probe.... There is a plethora of evidence on record in the form of testimony of Buta Singh, S.S. Mahapatra, B.G. Deshmukh and others which proves that there were moves to remove Rajiv Gandhi and the hand of Chandraswami in these moves has been clearly established."
Many witnesses have attested to the godman's dubious links with international agencies. Ramesh Dalal, BJP activist, deposed that he knew "Shri Chandraswami has relations with the CIA, Mossad and the LTTE. He took the help of these agencies in assassinating Rajiv Gandhi.... In the core group of Chandraswami, Rajendra Jain, Babloo Srivastava, K.N. Aggarwal, Subramanian Swamy, Chandra Shekhar, O.P. Chautala and Pinaki Misra were there. The people of this core group used to meet Chandraswami in his bedroom. Chandraswami told me he had been financing the LTTE..."

The report says: "It is noteworthy that when he (Ramesh Dalal) had expressed his doubts regarding the involvement of Chandraswami as early as August 1991, investigations should have been conducted. Outrightly rejecting his testimony would not be a proper course and a thorough investigation is required to be made about the truth or otherwise of his testimony. Some support is available...from the deposition of Mahant Sewa Dass Singh."

As for Swamy, the Commission interweaves various independent depositions and pieces of evidence to flesh out his links with the god-man and international agencies as well as his role as an intermediary. The report notes that Swamy had made a trip to London in 1995 with Chandraswami—they both stayed at Halkin Hotel and the bill was picked up by the godman.

Going back to the period before the killing, Jain cites the then cabinet secretary Zafar Saifullah's statement that "there were some intercepts emanating from Israel for information to Chandraswami and Swamy for Jaffna. These intercepts have not come before the Commission. If Saifullah's statement is correct, then the intercepts would have thrown much more light on the question of complicity."

THE report adds: "A serious doubt has also been cast by E. Velusami who has filed an affidavit before the Commission..." Velusami, then general secretary of the Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, had deposed that his party president had arrived "in the morning at Madras airport by a flight from Delhi on Sunday, May 19, 1991." Elections in the state were set for May 26. "Swamy's whereabouts became unknown on May 21 morning. He subsequently learnt he had spent May 21 morning in a hotel called Trident near the airport and that he had met some persons there....
It is not clear why he made this secret stay in Madras on May 21, 1991, that too, after suddenly cancelling his pre-settled programme of going to Delhi from Madras and without any information to his colleagues..." Swamy's itinerary was confirmed by the personal secretary to the ex-minister, writes Jain. He gives credence to the testimony of Aziz Haniffa, Washington bureau chief of India Abroad, in which he states that "during an interview with Swamy, the latter claimed it was he who was instrumental in introducing the LTTE to the Israelis, which led to their training by Mossad."
Similarly, former Rajya Sabha MP Rajani Ranjan Sahu deposed that in 1994 Dr Swamy told him and two others at the Tamil Nadu governor's house that the LTTE was hired for the job. He claimed Prabhakaran ordered the assassination after entering into a Rs 100-crore deal. He also revealed that "one W. Anderson, first secretary in the American Embassy, was anti-Rajiv" and that intelligence officials had got wind of the plot. Jain, at the same time, seems to suspend judgement on the episode: "From the statements of Sahu, Jitendra Prasada and Rajiv Shukla, it is borne out that they happened to meet Dr Swamy in the drawing room of the Governor's house and that... Dr Swamy spoke of the possibility of V. Prabhakaran having been financed for the job which might have motivated him for the assassination.

Who are the real killers behind Rajiv Gandhi murder? - Quora
The only correction to be made in the above writeup is replace LTTE with Tamil militants. 1. ... The Jain Commission's final report focuses on a larger international conspiracy, and the CIA-Mossad-LTTE link, in the Rajiv killing. A Global Strategic ... 
"the British Special Air Services and Israeli Mossad are known to have been involved in training both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war, which has claimed 128,000 lives since 1983."............ 
"The Jain Commission’s final report focuses on a larger international conspiracy, and the CIA-Mossad-LTTE link, in the Rajiv killing"............
The Jain Commission’s final report focuses on a larger international conspiracy, and the CIA-Mossad-LTTE link, in the Rajiv killing
A Global Strategic Impact of Rajiv’s Death:
Non-Alignment movement smoothly taken over with assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
The government of India’s present disposition towards NAM does not appear to be too favourably placed. Contrary to the explicit declaration of Nehru in 1947 that “We do not intend to be the play things of others”, there are apparently quite a few at the helm of affairs in India today, who are not averse to India playing second fiddle to the United States. Some groundwork was undertaken for realising Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a “One World” in the form of the “Action Plan for a Nuclear Weapon Free and Non-violent World”, which prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had placed before the UN General Assembly in 1988. However, after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, the government of India chose to tread in a different direction.
A country like India, one of the 3 prominent leaders of the Non-Alignment movement was smoothly taken over with the assassination of Indian Congress leaders, Rajiv Gandhi. Tito’s Yugoslavia was disintegrated and dismantled. Sukarno’s Indonesia was smoothly taken over.
As Indian Home Minister S.B. Chavan stated on July 26, 1991: “Rajiv Gandhi could emerge as leader of Third World countries, and the newly independent nations were looking forward to India’s leadership in the world. This was an irritant in the eyes of some countries, and the probe [of his murder] would have to look into this aspect, whether certain forces abroad could accept Mr. Gandhi as the new leader of the Third World or whether they wanted him to be finished. This issue has got to be gone into in depth, to find out who were behind the killing of the former prime minister.” For example, Gandhi had undertaken a series of diplomatic initiatives to avert the full-scale war against Iraq, which Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had led.
Second, the removal of Gandhi turned India’s ruling Congress Party into an increasingly fractured, leaderless group, eroding India’s political institutions and paralyzing India on the international scene.
In this context, Gladstone’s involvement in circles that overlap LTTE orbits—the LTTE’s Mossad trainers and local drug dealers—becomes even more suspect.
Chavan’s advisory was not acted upon, by either the Indian or Sri Lankan governments—even though the British Special Air Services and Israeli Mossad are known to have been involved in training both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war, which has claimed 128,000 lives since 1983.

LTTE was a monster created by Indian government and feed by International agencies for their benefits and they had it served for them.

The Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: The Investigation
D.R. kaarthikeyan - 2015 - ‎History
The photograph of the suspected assassin published in local newspapers could ... and skilled group of experts, and brought to India specifically to kill Rajiv Gandhi”. ... But the juiciest story was titled “CIA hand behind dastardly assassination”.
 India has become a part of the CIA’s new global resurrection
By Syed Nazakat in Delhi
Copenhagen. December 7, 2009. United Nations Climate Change Conference. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh were hammering out India’s climate policy for the summit. Leader of the bloc of developing nations, India was not seeing eye-to-eye with the US. A worried White House quietly alerted CIA Director Leon E. Panetta to get cracking.
A former US Army intelligence officer and former chief of staff of president Bill Clinton, Panetta hustled top US scientists and spies to interpret all the intelligence gathered on India’s negotiating position and about individuals who were spearheading India’s climate change policy. Declassified CIA documents show that the agency had started gathering intelligence at least seven months before Copenhagen. Ahead of the summit, the CIA’s Office of the Chief Scientist ìsupported and fundedî an extensive study on  “India -The impact of climate change to 2030: Geopolitical implications.”
The study suggested that the US pre-negotiate with India about the climate change issues and find a common ground outside the public and international eye. The CIA also shared its massive archives of classified environmental data with scientists. WikiLeaks confirmed America’s covert campaign to target India at Copenhagen.
All these plans are part of CIA-2015, Panetta’s grand blueprint for the CIA’s resurrection. Panetta wants the agency to recruit, train and retain a diverse workforce for more innovative deployments abroad. The immediate focus of Panetta’s shadow warriors is the Af-Pak region where they run secret facilities to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda.
But India’s growing clout has persuaded the CIA to turn the spyglass on New Delhi. The spooks in the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, are tracking virtually everything from Parliament proceedings to political parties to arms deals to internal security issues. For example, WikiLeaks leaked the cables on the cash-for-votes issue in Tamil Nadu. The sources quoted in the cable were highly-placedóKarti Chidambaram, son of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, and M. Patturajan, former mayor of Madurai and right-hand man of Union Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagiri.
A senior Indian intelligence officer who has been closely watching CIA-2015 confirmed the agency’s unprecedented interest in India. He said some of the CIA’s best men are secretly travelling through different states and are setting up networks to watch political developments and separatist movements. These networks will seek information about India’s nuclear arsenal and military modernisation. They will also keep their eyes peeled for terrorists who might prove dangerous to the US. Based on all this information, Langley will predict India’s strategy viz-a-viz Pakistan and China.
“The CIA is expanding its operations in India. The CIA is sending Indian-origin and south Asian-origin officers to India so that they can merge better,” said Jayadeva Ranade, former additional secretary, Research & Analysis Wing. “The basic approach [of the CIA] will be to befriend senior bureaucrats, senior military officials, politicians to find what our intentions are and what we are planning to do.” An intelligence field operative with 35 years experience, Ranade also did a stint in Washington.
The home ministry confirmed that more than 3,500 Americans are illegally overstaying in India since 2006. Neither the ministry nor the security agencies know their whereabouts. Home ministry spokesman,  Onkar Kedia told THE WEEK that his office did not have details about how many illegal aliens from the US had been arrested and deported.
A senior serving intelligence officer said that the ‘missing Americans’ could be part of a ‘deep penetration itinerary’. “For example, an undercover CIA agent might be tasked to locate himself for a specific period somewhere near Mumbai or Kochi to collect some information about the movement of warships,” said the official. “Once the job is done, the agent is withdrawn.
There are instances of cooperation, too. In 1965, a covert CIA-Intelligence Bureau mission placed nuclear-powered sensors on Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot peaks to monitor China’s nuclear facilities. Captain M.S. Kohli of the Indian Navy was part of the team, thanks to his formidable mountaineering skills. He said he was never approached by the CIA after the joint mission.
Kohli said that even in the mid-sixties, the CIA was capable of deploying a team quickly and inconspicuously. “And they [CIA operatives] are unremarkable in their daily activities, such as walking to buy a newspaper in a drizzle,î said Kohli. “They know their organisation is always around them with a support and rescue plan.”
But, of course, there are instances when the CIA could not protect its own. The Memorial Wall at Langley, flanked by the CIA flag and the US flag, has 102 stars in memory of slain operatives. The CIA’s Book of Honor, a ìblack book bound with Moroccan goatskinî, lists the years of death and names of the operatives. But 40 stars are unnamed. Even the dead keep their secrets.
As the Americans pay dearly for collecting classified information, they use it primarily to defend their interests. For example, within 48 hours of the 26/11 attacks, then CIA director Michael V. Hayden contacted Hussain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to the US, to possibly update him regarding information from India. The next day Hayden summoned ISI chief Lt-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha for a briefing.
After these two meetings, Washington started arm-twisting New Delhi to share information with Islamabad. According to a cable leaked by WikiLeaks (185722: confidential), New Delhi refused to share information with Islamabad. Washington continued arm-twisting and soon the US embassy in Delhi cabled Washington that India had agreed to share ìsome restricted information’ with Pakistan. THE CIA fixed a meeting between top intellegence officials of India and Pakistan on 26/11 in the US on July 6, 2009. It is not known for certain if the meeting was held.
The CIA has also been snooping about India’s nuclear and military facilities. India regularly figures in the CIA’s annual report on ballistic missile threats. The CIA had detected a shipment of beryllium bound for India from West Germany. As beryllium shells are used to house plutonium cores of thermonuclear devices, it was quite clear as to what India was up to.
Chief of the Army Staff General V.K. Singh told THE WEEK that adequate safety measures were taken in light of the increased activity of the western intelligence agencies. A senior Army officer said that retired officers who work for foreign defence and security companies were being closely watched as part of a counter-intelligence programme.
But the focus of the CIA is not limited to nuclear and military assets. Two chromite mines in Orissa and Karnataka and a pharmaceutical factory in Gujarat were listed among critical global infrastructure sites whose loss could ìcritically impactî the public health or security of the US. The factory manufactures chemotherapy drugs for a US firm; the list was compiled by the US State Department. Surprisingly, India’s output is only 18 per cent of the world’s annual chromite production.
The CIA has also dedicated resources in India to gather and analyse data that is freely available, like research articles, religious books and web sites. As part of this programme, the CIA allegedly commissioned a 20-state survey on Indian Muslims. Reportedly, US-based Princeton Survey Research Associates International were the main contractors. Allegedly, they sub-contracted it to TNS, a Delhi-based market research agency.
In Kerala’s capital of Thiruvananthapuram, TNS staff visited Karimadom colony, a predominantly Muslim area. The questionnaire was bizarre: Do you consider yourselves Indians first or Muslims first? Your views on imposing Islamic law in India? Do you like Osama bin Laden? Will you give him refuge if he comes to Kerala? Police nabbed four TNS staff after Karimadom residents complained.
The Kerala Muslim Jamaat Council (KMJC), the apex body of mahallu (parish) committees in southern Kerala, took strong exception to the survey. KMJC general secretary A. Pookunj said: ìMany people speak of a growing radicalisation among Kerala Muslims. But how can a foreign agency come and ask us whether we will give shelter to Osama? What do we have to do with Osama? I wonder why the state has not taken any action against them [surveyors].î TNS representative Pradeep Saxena declined to comment on the issue as it is sub judice.
Lisa Curtis, a former CIA analyst and diplomat, said that while the US shares a strategic partnership with India, the CIA’s covert operations in India have fuelled unease and mistrust within Indian intelligence agencies. Said Curtis: “The defection of a senior Indian intelligence official to the US in 2004 and revelations of unauthorised meetings between a senior Indian intelligence official and an American intelligence official in New Delhi in 1997 have raised red flags in India. [There is] concern that the US will exploit these links for its own purposes.” Curtis was referring to the defection of Rabinder Singh, joint director of RAW.
The strategic partnership between Indian agencies and the CIA is mostly restricted to counter-terrorism initiatives. “The CIA has certainly not closed its eyes to the activities of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other such groups,” said Robert Grenier, former director of counter-terrorism at Langley. “Since 9/11, however, there has been a clear trend toward closer cooperation and coordination between al Qaeda and other extremist groups.”
Not surprisingly, the CIA was the first to alert India about the LeT’s plot to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. LeT cadre Shafiq Khafa and his two Indian accomplices, Hussain and Sameer, were behind the plot. The CIA also provided prior information about the attack on Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008, and about 26/11 as well.
More recently, according to a senior home ministry official, the CIA tipped off Indian agencies about Bangladeshi citizen Mohammad Shah Jalal, a forger who sneaked people into various countries. Jalal’s cell phone, 9540288157, was put on surveillance, leading to his arrest on August 23, 2010 from north Delhi. The police recovered fake ID cards of Nepal, Bangladesh and India, and two Indian passportsóG6904616 in the name of Nirmal Singh and G6542237 in the name of Harjeet Singh.
For all the bonhomie between agencies, mention the name Omar Sheikh and everyone clams up and you will be shown the door. On January 22, 2002, two motorcycle-borne terrorists attacked the American Centre in Kolkata, a favourite base of the CIA. The attack was masterminded by Omar Sheikh, a UK-born militant of Pakistani descent, who had links to al Qaeda. He was one of the militants released in 1999 to save the lives of the passengers on board the hijacked IC-814 flight.
But no one really knows who Omar Sheikh is. And those in the know will not speak. An FIR, No 658/94, at Connaught Place police station is still open and he is now is prison in Pakistan. In his memoirs, former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf called him an MI6 agent. Many in Afghanistan believe Omar was a CIA agent.
A  tribal leader in Kandahar told THE WEEK that Omar visited Kandahar and Paktia provinces in mid-1990s where Kashmiris, Afghans and Arabs were trained together by the ISI. “We always believed that he is close to the CIA,” said the tribal leader. The CIA and the FBI nabbed Fahim Ansari, another suspect in the Kolkata attack, from Dubai. Ansari was eventually handed over to India, but the agency stills remains mum on Omar.
Every relationship has its ups and downs. If India has benefited from its partnership with the CIA, what are we complaining about? M.K. Dhar, former joint director, Intelligence Bureau, puts it crisply: “The CIA has legitimate interests in India. But our problem with the CIA has been that it has targeted the sensitive segments of Indian panorama.”
He recalled how the CIA had developed a mole inside prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s office in 1993. “The plot was exposed when we noticed a peon from the PMO frequently visiting a photostat shop in Khan Market in Delhi. He was smuggling files from the PMO.” The peon was arrested and his American handler was asked to leave the country. The court closed the case last year.
Many within India’s intelligence establishment say that the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has prompted the CIA to look closely at India. In 2010, a suicide bomber killed eight CIA officers in Khost, eastern Afghanistan. The worsening situation is making it difficult for the agency to freely move around and meet its agents in Pakistan and Afghanistan. So, New Delhi could be the new debriefing centre.
Robert Grenier insists that the CIA’s covert operations are subject to layers of oversight. He said that before an agency paramilitary team can be launched, the President must sign an intelligence finding that broadly outlines the operation to be performed. “That finding, along with a more detailed description of the mission, is sent to the congressional intelligence committees. If they object to an operation, they can cut off its funds the next time the agency’s budget comes up,” said Robert Grenier. After approving a covert operation, President Obama leaves the details of when and how to Leon Panetta. After all, according to the US Constitution, he is the real boss of the agency. In theory, the CIA Director’s mission is to tell the president the truth, so as to provide the president with a basis for making important decisions.
Leon Panetta, amiable and widely respected within the Obama administration, who choose India as his first foreign destination after he took over as the director of the CIA in 2009, knows that India is a strategic ally, a relationship President Osama cherishes. That makes his job more challenging to confirm his country’s hopes and fears about an emerging and in many ways an unpredictable power like India. “In the spying business you don’t operative just to harm other. You want to confirm and establishment things to help your political establishment to make better decisions,” explain Jayadeva Ranade, as he ran his hand across his hair. “But one thing is clear if the President tells the CIA to take care of a mission or of a country. They wouldn’t care less about the consequences.
Eagle eye
The CIA has run covert operations in India for a long time. The agency is focused on:
The government
The government’s function and decision-making have been on constant watch of the CIA. There was allegedly one CIA mole in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet, and 15 officials in the PMO were arrested in 1985 for allegedly working for the CIA. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children are the new centre of attraction.
India’s intelligence agencies
Both RAW and the Intelligence Bureau were penetrated by the CIA. The IB’s senior officer K.V. Unnikrishnan and its special director Rattan Sehgal were sacked after they were found working for the CIA.
The agency describes Kashmir as “a disputed region”, and it is reported that many CIA officers travel to Kashmir as US diplomats to meet the separatist leaders.
Nuclear and military facilities
India’s nuclear and military facilities and arsenal have remained the main CIA targets. India continuously figures in the annual report of the CIA titled Ballistic Missile Threat Through 2015.
Public opinion
The agency has dedicated resources in India to gather and analyse various forms of data like research articles, religious books, websites and even phone books. It also monitors the public opinion and beliefs, particularly of Muslims.
As a terrorist outfit, LeT has become a growing preoccupation of the US. The CIA has provided India prior intelligence about some of the terrorist attacks like 26/11.
Critical national assets
The CIA is also focused on assets like two little known chromite mines in Orissa and Karnataka, besides a factory, which manufactures chemotherapy drugs in Gujarat.
Tibetan refugees
CIA supplied weapons and money and trained Tibetans in guerrilla warfare in Colorado to fight China’s occupation. In his autobiography, the Dalai Lama wrote that the CIA agreed to help Tibetans, “as part of their worldwide efforts to destabilise all Communist governments”.
Owing to the security risks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Delhi in neighbouring India has become a new meeting place for the CIA agents and operatives.
(March 27 2011, THE WEEK)


10 Dirty Secret CIA Operations

Mike Floorwalker

We’ve always loved to discuss some of the shadier dealings of the government and the military—and no organization provides more fodder for these discussions than the American Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA has a way of very publicly blowing their cover—seeming to pop up wherever turmoil, strife, and political unrest materialize. Despite being almost synonymous with dirty tricks, the Agency has essentially been given free rein, permitted to use whatever tactics they see fit to deal with any (real or perceived) threat to American interests.
If there’s one thing we know about absolute power, it’s that it corrupts absolutely; and if there’s one thing we know about the CIA, it’s that the astoundingly unethical and criminal projects highlighted in this list are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

PBSUCCESS was the code name for a CIA-backed coup led against the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz, the President of Guatemala, in 1954. It’s one of the first in a long line of suspected or acknowledged CIA interventions in the governments of foreign countries, and it was indeed a tremendous success from the Agency’s point of view.—the first indication that such a feat could be accomplished relatively smoothly.
Elected in 1950, Arbenz set about instituting reforms aimed at making his country self-sufficient, by giving huge chunks of government land back to citizens. This rubbed the US Government the wrong way, as much of this land was “owned” by the United Fruit Company, a truly evil corporation with which the Eisenhower administration was snugly in bed at the time (CIA director Allen Dulles and his brother John, the Secretary of State, both had strong ties to the company).
The Agency snidely referred to Arbenz policies in internal memoranda as “an intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the ‘Banana Republic.’ ” In other words, non-dependence on the US and its allies was not to be tolerated.
Four hundred and eighty CIA-trained mercenary soldiers, led by exiled Guatemalan military officer Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, forcibly wrested Guatemala from Arbenz’ control. While he and his aides were able to flee the country, CIA documents show that “the option of assassination was still being considered” right up until the day he resigned on June 27, 1954.

Operation Mongoose
Fidel Castro 01
After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the Agency’s public image was worse than ever. President Kennedy famously proclaimed that he would “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” (shortly before getting shot, but we digress). But to deal with Cuba, he turned to the only person he knew he could trust: his brother, Robert, who organized Operation Mongoose. This operation was conducted by the Department of Defense in conjunction with the CIA, under Robert Kennedy’s supervision. He told his team at its first briefing that deposing Castro was “the top priority of the US government—all else is secondary—no time, money, effort, or manpower is to be spared.”
Among the dozens of extremely silly methods of assassination proposed: infecting Castro’s scuba gear with tuberculosis; planting exploding seashells at a favorite diving site; slipping him a poisoned fountain pen; and even even poisoning or slipping a bomb into one of his cigars. Castro’s bodyguard asserted that there were hundreds of CIA schemes on Castro’s life—and they all ended in failure, a gigantic waste of time and money. Castro was Cuba’s dictator for forty-nine years, stepping down in 2008 due to failing health, and appointing his younger brother as his replacement.

CIA-Produced Pornography
President Sukarno ruled Indonesia from 1959 until 1966, when he was deposed by Suharto, one of his generals. Sukarno had been deemed pro-Communist by the CIA, which meant there would inevitably be an attempt to oust him or at least make him look bad—but the plot they actually came up with was truly laughable.
The CIA produced a porno film starring a Sukarno look-alike, titled “Happy Days”, for distribution in Indonesia. Not that the culture generally frowns upon such things, but as the CIA understood it, “being tricked, deceived, or otherwise outsmarted by one of the creatures God has provided for man’s pleasure cannot be condoned” in Indonesian culture, and “what we were saying was that a woman had gotten the better of Sukarno.” The film went as far as production, and stills were made, but for some reason (perhaps common-sense) it was never deployed.
Bizarrely enough, this idea resurfaced shortly before the Second Gulf War, when the CIA suggested that a fake gay porno featuring Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden be produced in order to discredit these men in the eyes of their followers. This went nowhere—at least one official claiming that nobody would care. “Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target. We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.”

Pakistani Vaccine/DNA Collecting Drive
Vaccinate 87126793
The May 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden was the result of an insane amount of intelligence collecting and planning; regardless of his crimes, conducting a US military operation to kill a foreign national on Pakistani soil was bound to have myriad consequences. A courier had been tracked to an Abbottabad compound, where it was pretty damn certain Bin Laden was hiding. But before conducting the raid, they had to be absolutely sure—and one method of collecting this proof was shady in the extreme.
The CIA recruited a respected Pakistani doctor to organize a fake vaccination drive in the town, and in the process collected thousands of blood samples from children in the area children—among them, as it turned out, Bin Laden’s children. Since theirs was a fairly upscale section of town, the campaign began in a poorer area to make it look more authentic, then moved on to the neighborhood housing the Bin Laden compound a month later—without even following up with the required second or third doses in the poor area. The whole thing worked—with consequences.
For one thing, Dr. Shakil Afridi—the doctor involved—has been convicted of treason by the Pakistani government and given a thirty-three-year prison sentence (“Wouldn’t any country detain people for working for a foreign spy service?” one Iranian official helpfully pointed out). For another, the campaign has caused irreparable damage to organizations that carry out legitimate vaccinations. There are deep-seated suspicions in many Middle Eastern regions about those who provide vaccinations, and this gambit to assist in finding Bin Laden has only bolstered those suspicions—particularly in Nigeria, India and of course Pakistan, where efforts to eradicate polio are ongoing.

Muammar al-Qaddafi
February 2011 saw the beginning of the Libyan Revolution, which would culminate in the August ousting of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi, followed by his capture and killing in October. There was little mention at the time of any potential involvement by foreign interests—but about one year later, an incident occurred which shed a curious light on the entire Revolution.
On September 11, 2012, an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi came under attack by armed militants. The response came not from within the mission itself, but from half a dozen CIA agents deployed from a hidden base within the city. More reinforcements arrived from Tripoli, and diplomatic personnel where whisked by convoy to chartered aircraft which carried them out of the country.
This betrayed a CIA presence in the city, which had hitherto been unknown. The Agency was forced to admit that it had maintained a fairly strong presence in Libya since about February 2011—right around the time the Libyan Revolution began. The annex which had housed the secret base was scrubbed clean and abandoned after the incident at the mission.

Operation Mockingbird
Tumblr Lxuvhc1Xto1Qa64A4O1 500
Operation Mockingbird was a bit of a two-pronged approach to dealing with the media: on the one hand, journalists were routinely employed by the CIA to develop intelligence and gather information, or to report on certain events in a way that portrayed the US favorably. On the other, there were actual plants within the media—paid off with bribes or even directly employed by the CIA—to feed propaganda to the American public.
Mostly, this program was meant to convince the public of how incredibly scary Communism was, and to make sure that public opinion favored taking out the Red Menace at any expense. Even scarier was the fact that having major newspaper publishers and the heads of TV stations bought and paid for meant that significant overseas events could be excluded from coverage in the media—events like the aforementioned coup in Guatemala, which didn’t see the light of the day in the American press at the time.
Congressional hearings in 1976 (the “Church Committee”) revealed that the CIA had been bribing journalists and editors for years. Following the Church hearings, newly minted CIA director and future President George H.W. Bush announced: “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” Yet he added that the CIA would continue to welcome unpaid, voluntary support of said journalists.

Operation CHAOS
00 - Intro - Vietnam War Protests 2
Protests against US involvement in Vietnam were proving to be a giant pain in the backside for the government’s plans in the mid 1960s. While Mockingbird was busily using the mainstream to try to shove the necessity of the war down the throat of the public, the “counter-culture” couldn’t be controlled so easily. Ever-mindful of the KGB’s propensity for their own style of dirty tricks, the CIA attempted to weed out any foreign influence on the American anti-war movement by launching Operation CHAOS—and they didn’t even bother to come up with an innocuous-sounding code name.
Since the FBI’s COINTELPRO program of domestic surveillance wasn’t quite producing the desired results, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the CIA to undertake its own program of spying on US citizens. Their main task was to infiltrate student organizations—both radical and otherwise—in order to gather intelligence on potential foreign influences, and to subvert such groups from within. Famous groups such as “Students For a Democratic Society” and the Black Panthers were targeted; eventually, the program for some reason expanded to include women’s liberation and certain Jewish groups.
There is strong evidence that this type of activity has never ceased, though CHAOS itself was shuttered after the Watergate scandal. In 2011, the Agency came under fire for allegedly working with the New York Police Department to conduct surveillance of Muslim groups in the area, who had not done anything wrong and who are now suing in Federal court.

Phoenix Program
Phoenix was a program headed by the CIA, in conjunction with US Special Forces and Australian and South Vietnamese commandos, during the Vietnam War. Its purpose was simple: assassination. And although this was a military unit, their targets weren’t military, but civilian.
From 1965 to 1972, Phoenix was involved in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of thousands upon thousands of citizens. People deemed critical to the infrastructure of the Viet Cong, or thought to have knowledge of VC activities, were rounded up and taken to regional interrogation centers, were they were subjected to: “rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electric shock . . . rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body, like the tongue; the ‘water treatment’; the ‘airplane’ in which the prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back, and the rope looped over a hook on the ceiling, suspending the prisoner in midair, after which he or she was beaten; beatings with rubber hoses and whips; the use of police dogs to maul prisoners…”
Phoenix was the subject of 1971 Congressional hearings on abuse. Former members described it as a “sterile depersonalized murder program”, and it was phased out after negative publicity, though the replacement program F-6 was quietly phased in to take its place.

Operation Ajax
The success of Operation Ajax paved the way for all future CIA operations of a similar nature. It resulted in the return to power of the Shah in 1953, after a military coup planned by American and British intelligence.
The first democratically-elected leader of Iran, Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, was seen as a potential liability because of his plans to nationalize the oil industry. Fearful of having to compete with the Soviet Union for Iranian oil, the decision was made to install a leader who was partial to US interests. You can probably see a theme developing here.
CIA agents Donald Wilber and Kermit Roosevelt Jr. (the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt) carried out the campaign by bribing everybody who could be bribed in Iran: government officials, business leaders, and even street criminals. These recruits were asked to support the Shah, in various ways, and to oppose Mossadegh.
It worked: an uprising was instigated, Mosaddegh was jailed, and pro-Western Iranian Army General Fazlollah Zahedi was installed in his place. Zahedi had been arrested by the British during World War Two for attempting to establish a Nazi government, and he lived up to that legacy by appointing Bahram Shahrokh—a protege of Joseph Goebbels—as his director of propaganda.

The Mujahideen
Chechen Mujahideen By Chewolf-D36M170
In 1978, Afghanistan became mired in civil war as two Communist parties seized control of the country. When it began to look like anti-Communist rebels were gaining a foothold, the Soviet Union invaded the country to lend support. And that’s when the US, of course, decided to get involved.
The CIA set up camps to train the rebels, known as Mujahideen, in the necessary tactics for beating back the Soviets. Advanced weaponry was also part of the deal, including—importantly—Stinger surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles. Soviet airstrikes had driven hundreds of guerrillas out of the cities and into the surrounding hills, and mitigating the effectiveness of those strikes proved to be essential in prolonging the conflict, placing a great strain on Soviet resources.
The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan almost until its collapse in the early 1990s, but the legacy of the Mujahideen lives on. The CIA are finding their own tactics and training turned against them by Mujahideen veterans who have begun their own training programs, producing highly trained and skilled terrorists who now make up the backbone of Al-Qaeda and other radical groups. The US discovered these ramifications the hard way after invading Afghanistan in 2001. The invasion led to a quagmire of an occupation, which—as of this writing—has dragged on for just as long as that of the Soviets.

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Why the CIA does not want Dawood in Indian hands

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December 22, 2008 14:50 IST
The role Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld kingpin who heads the D-Company and has known ties to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and even the Central Intelligence Agency, is apparently being whitewashed. His capture and handover to India might prove inconvenient for either the ISI or the CIA, or both. It was Ibrahim who was initially characterised by press reports as being the mastermind behind the attacks. Now, that title is being given to Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi by numerous media accounts reporting that Pakistan security forces have raided a training camp of the group Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which evidence has indicated was behind the attacks. Lakhvi was reportedly captured in the raid and is now in custody.
At the same time Ibrahim's role is being downplayed, Lakhvi's known role is being exaggerated. Initial reports described him as the training specialist for LeT, but the major media outlets like the New York Times and the London Times, citing government sources, have since promoted his status to that of commander of operations for the group.
The only terrorist from the Mumbai attacks to be captured alive, Ajmal Amir Kasab, characterised Ibrahim, not Lakhvi, as the mastermind of those attacks, according to earlier press accounts.
Kasab reportedly told his interrogators that he and his fellow terrorists were trained under Lakhvi, also known as Chacha (uncle), at a camp in Pakistan. Indian officials also traced calls from a satellite phone used by the terrorists to Lakhvi.
But the phone had also been used to call Yusuf Muzammil, also known as Abu Yusuf, Abu Hurrera, and "Yahah". And it has been Muzammil, not Lakhvi, who has previously been described as the military commander of the LeT. It was an intercepted call to Muzammil on November 18 that put the Indian Navy and Coast Guard on high alert to be on the lookout for any foreign vessels from Pakistan entering Indian waters.
Kasab told his interrogators that his team had set out from Karachi, Pakistan, on a ship belonging to Dawood Ibrahim, the MV Alpha. They then hijacked an Indian fishing trawler, the Kuber, to pass through Indian territorial waters to elude the Navy and Coast Guard that were boarding and searching suspect ships.
Although the MV Alpha was subsequently found and seized by the Indian Navy, there have been few, if any, developments about this aspect of the investigation in press accounts, such as whether it has been confirmed or not that the ship was owned by Ibrahim.
Upon arriving off the coast near the city, they were received by inflatable rubber dinghies that had been arranged by an associate of Ibrahim's in Mumbai.
The planning and execution of the attacks are indicative of the mastermind role not of either Lakhvi or Muzammil, but of Ibrahim, an Indian who is intimately familiar with the city. It was in Mumbai that Ibrahim rose through the ranks of the underworld to become a major organised crime boss.
At least two other Indians were also connected to the attacks, Mukhtar Ahmed and Tausef Rahman. They were arrested for their role in obtaining SIM cards used in the cell phones of the terrorists. Ahmed, according to Indian officials, had in fact been recruited by a special counter-insurgency police task force as an undercover operative. His exact role is still being investigated.
One of the SIM cards used was possibly purchased from New Jersey. Investigators are looking into this potential link to the US, as well.
Dawood Ibrahim went from underworld kingpin to terrorist in 1993, when he was connected to a series of bombings in Mumbai that resulted in 250 deaths. He is wanted by Interpol and was designated by the US as a global terrorist in 2003.
It Is believed Ibrahim has been residing in Karachi, and Indian officials have accused Pakistan's ISI of protecting him.
Ibrahim is known to be a major drug trafficker responsible for shipping narcotics into the United Kingdom and Western Europe.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, most Afghan opium (or its derivative, heroin, which is increasingly being produced in the country before export) is smuggled through Iran and Turkey en route by land to Europe; but the percentage that goes to Pakistan seems to mostly find its way directly to the UK, either by plane or by ship.
Afghanistan is the world's leading producer of opium, a trend that developed during the CIA-backed mujahedeen effort to oust the Soviet Union from the country, with the drug trade serving to help finance the war.
A known drug trafficker, Dawood Ibrahim is naturally also involved in money laundering, which is perhaps where the role of gambling operations in Nepal comes into the picture.
Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, wrote last month after the Mumbai attacks that Ibrahim had worked with the US to help finance the mujahedeen during the 1980s and that because he knows too much about the US's 'darker secrets' in the region, he could never be allowed to be turned over to India.
The recent promotion of Lakhvi to 'mastermind' of the attacks while Ibrahim's name disappears from media reports would seem to lend credence to Shimatsu's assertion.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen similarly reported that according to intelligence sources, Ibrahim is a CIA asset, both as a veteran of the mujahedeen war and in a continuing connection with his casino and drug trade operations in Kathmandu, Nepal. A deal had been made earlier this year to have Pakistan hand Ibrahim over to India, but the CIA was fearful that this would lead to too many of its dirty secrets coming to light, including the criminal activities of high level personnel within the agency.
One theory on the Mumbai attacks is that it was backlash for this double-cross that was among other things intended to serve as a warning that any such arrangement could have further serious consequences.
Although designated as a major international terrorist by the US, media reports in India have characterised the US's past interest in seeing Ibrahim handed over as less than enthusiastic. Former Indian deputy prime minister L K Advani wrote in his memoir, My Country, My Life, that he made a great effort to get Pakistan to hand over Ibrahim, and met with then US secretary of state Colin Powell and then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice (now secretary of state) to pressure Pakistan to do so. But he was informed by Powell that Pakistan would hand over Ibrahim only "with some strings attached" and that then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would need more time before doing so.
The handover, needless to say, never occurred. The Pakistan government has also publicly denied that Ibrahim is even in the country; a denial that was repeated following the recent Mumbai attacks.
Others suspected of involvement in the attacks and named among the 20 individuals India wants Pakistan to turn over also have possible connections to the CIA, including Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of LeT, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maulana Masood Azhar, both veterans of the CIA-backed mujahedeen effort.
Azhar had been captured in 1994 and imprisoned in India for his role as leader of the Pakistani-based terrorist group Harkut-ul-Mujahideen. He was released, however, in 1999 in exchange for hostages from the takeover of Indian Airlines Flight 814, which was hijacked during its flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India and redirected to Afghanistan. After Azhar's release, he formed JeM, which was responsible for an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 that led Pakistan and India to the brink of war. LeT was also blamed for the attack alongside JeM.
Both LeT and JeM have links to the ISI, which has used the groups as proxies in the conflict with India over the territory of Kashmir.
Saeed travelled to Peshawar to join the mujahedeen cause during the Soviet-Afghan war. Peshawar served as the base of operations for the CIA, which worked closely with the ISI to finance, arm, and train the mujahedeen. It was in Peshawar that Saeed became the protege of Abdullah Azzam, who founded an organization called Maktab al-Khidamat along with a Saudi individual named Osama bin Laden.
MaK worked alongside the CIA-ISI operations to recruit Arabs to the ranks of the mujahedeen. The ISI, acting as proxy for the CIA, chose mainly to channel its support to Afghans, such as warlord Gulbaddin Hekmatyar. The US claims the CIA had no relationship with MaK, but bin Laden's operation, which later evolved into Al Qaeda, must certainly have been known to, and approved by, the CIA.
But there are indications that the CIA's relationship with MaK and Al Qaeda go well beyond having shared a common enemy and mutual interests in the Soviet-Afghan war. A number of Al Qaeda associates appear to have been protected individuals.
Another former head of the ISI is now being privately accused by the US of involvement with the group responsible for the Mumbai attacks, according to reports citing a document listing former ISI chief Lieutenant General Hamid Gul and four other former heads of Pakistan's intelligence agency as being involved in supporting terrorist networks. The individuals named have been recommended to the UN Security Council to be named as international terrorists, according to Pakistan's The News.
The document has been provided to the Pakistan government and also accuses Gul, who was head of the ISI from 1987 to 1989, of providing assistance to criminal groups in Kabul, as well as to groups responsible for recruiting and training militants to attack US-led forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban.
Hamid Gul responded to the reports by calling the allegations hilarious. The US denied that it had made any such recommendations to the UN.
But the US has similarly accused the ISI of involvement in the bombing of India's embassy in Kabul last July. This was unusual not because of the allegation of an ISI connection to terrorism but because it was in such stark contrast with US attempts to publicly portray Pakistan as a staunch ally in its 'war on terrorism' when the country was under the dictatorship of Musharraf.
The US attitude toward Pakistan shifted once an elected government came to power that has been more willing to side with the overwhelming belief among the public that it is the 'war on terrorism' itself that has exacerbated the problem of extremist militant groups and led to further terrorist attacks within the country, such as the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last year or the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in September. While the world's attention has been focused on the attacks in Mumbai, a bomb blast in Peshawar killed 21 and injured 90.
While the purported US document names Gul and others as terrorist supporters, another report, from Indian intelligence, indicates that the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Mumbai were among 500 trained by instructors from the Pakistan military, according to The Times. This training of the 10 known Mumbai terrorists would have taken place prior to their recent preparation for these specific attacks by the LeT training specialist Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
But while Lakhvi, Muzammil, and Hafiz Saeed have continued to be named in connection with last month's attacks in Mumbai, the name of Dawood Ibrahim seems to be either disappearing altogether or his originally designated role as the accused mastermind of the attacks being credited now instead to Lakhvi in media accounts.
Whether this is a deliberate effort to downplay Ibrahim's role in the attacks so as not to have to force Pakistan to turn him over because of embarrassing revelations pertaining to the CIA's involvement with known terrorists and drug traffickers that development could possibly produce isn't certain.
But what is certain is that the CIA has had a long history of involvement with such characters and that the US has a track record of attempting to keep information about the nature of such involvement in the dark or to cover it up once it reaches the light of public scrutiny.
Jeremy R Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal. Reproduced with kind courtesy of Foreign Policy Journal.
Jeremy R Hammond

  1. CIA activities in India

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India's foreign intelligence organization, while the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is responsible for domestic intelligence handling. The military has a separate Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). India prides itself as having a history of skilled intelligence going back to antiquity.[1]
    CIA activities in India need to be seen in the context that India and its neighbours involve a complex interplay among their intelligence services, as well as interested services from the US, UK, Russia, Israel and China.


    India 1955

    A chartered Indian airliner, Kashmir Princess, was bombed. There is substantial evidence that the Kuomintang (Taiwan) service may have planted it, attempting to assassinate Zhou Enlai, who had been expected on it. CIA involvement is much less clear, although some general claims are made in the linked article.
    In a 1971 face-to-face meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Zhou directly asked Henry Kissinger about US involvement, whose response included the line "As I told the Prime Minister the last time, he vastly overestimates the competence of the CIA."[2] Kissinger denied any US policy to kill him, and the two discussed the CIA at some length, in a manner unusual to find in US records.

    India 1958

    India's nuclear programs were assessed.[3]

    India 1965

    SNIE 31-1-65 examined India's nuclear weapons policy for the remainder of the 1960s. In doing so, it examines India's technical capabilities, the pressures for a weapons program, and the opposition to a weapons program. A final section, "The Indian Decision," tries to assess India's decision calculus and notes that India might try to represent any underground test as being for peaceful purposes.[4]

    India 1968

    When India's intelligence community was built around RAW in 1968, RAW's first director, R.N. Kao, held meetings with his CIA counterparts in the U.S., as well as the United Kingdom's SIS and the Soviet Union KGB. Much of the liaison was essentially political in character — what is today known as `back channel diplomacy' — but RAW's special operations and SIGINT/IMINT unit, the Aviation Research Centre, received technical assistance from the U.S. in return for information on China.[5]

    India 1969-1974

    India 1974

    India's first nuclear test, on India's May 18, 1974, was a surprise to the Intelligence Community, although the overall nuclear program and incentives to build a bomb had been discussed.[6]
    "India conducted an underground nuclear test at a site in the desert at Pokhran - making it the world's seventh nuclear power and the sixth to test (Israel having achieved nuclear status in 1966 without testing). India claimed as CIA analysts had previously suggested it might that the test was for peaceful purposes. This Top Secret Codeword item in the Central Intelligence Bulletin relays press reporting and public statements by officials of other governments, including Pakistan, and contains analysts assessments of the implications for China.[7] As predicted in the 1965 SNIE 31-1-65, the test was described as being for peaceful purposes.[4]

    India 1984

    Sheel Bhadra Yagee claimed that the CIA orchestrated the Sikh uprising which later led to Indira Gandhi assassination by her Sikh body guards.[8][clarification needed]

    India 1985

    In 1985, according to Frontline magazine, RAW counter-intelligence obtained a confession, from a field officer in Chennai to admit that he had passed on sensitive information to the CIA and Sri Lankan intelligence. RAW confronted him with footage showing him making contact with a U.S. national on a beach in Chennai and at a resort in Kerala. RAW had sought to tighten in-house security after the public fracas that broke out in the wake of the scandal. The Chennai case was a particular embarrassment because it came hot on the heels of another spy scandal involving French and Polish intelligence.[9]

    India 1987

    In 1987, when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was in Sri Lanka, Paranthan Rajan came into contact with RAW officials.[10] He came to Indian intelligence officials’ attention when he formed a political group, Tamileela Iykkia Viduthalai Munnani. Given his background, observers feel Rajan’s alliance with Karuna might be RAW’s handiwork.

    India 1992

    In 1992, the US State Department threatened to impose economic sanctions on India after it refused permission for US sleuths to go on an aerial-photography mission along the Sino-Indian border.[5]

    India 2001

    India's ballistic missile capabilities were addressed in a National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that New Delhi believes that a nuclear-capable missile delivery option is necessary to deter Pakistani first use of nuclear weapons and thereby preserve the option to wage limited conventional war in response to Pakistani provocations in Kashmir or elsewhere. Nuclear weapons also serve as a hedge against a confrontation with China. New Delhi views the development, not just the possession, of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles as the symbols of a world power and an important component of self-reliance.[11]

    India 2002

    Until recently, only RAW was authorised to have contacts with foreign intelligence agencies — and the job was restricted to a select few within its ranks. Under the National Democratic Alliance coalition government, RAW, IB, and DIA could interact with counterpart organizations in other countries. Former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, for example, met the heads of the CIA and Israel's Mossad along with Intelligence Bureau staff.[12][citation needed] Brajesh Mishra, former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is known to have had direct contact with the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence as well. While meetings in themselves are not inappropriate, they can lead to the breakdown of protocols - for example, that intelligence officers will meet a foreign contact only in teams of two - and eventual penetration.[13] There is little oversight of this process, which has had the unexpected consequence that "hundreds of Indian agents have been exposed, the term professionals use to describe individuals whose real jobs are known to foreign intelligence organisations.
    Rabinder Singh has been described, in Indian media, as a CIA asset inside the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the national intelligence service. It is not clear if he is a member of a larger clandestine HUMINT network. The suggestion has already been made by a number of well-placed observers that he had acted as a conduit or cutout for a number of highly placed US 'assets' operating deep within the Indian intelligence community, the military and scientific centres working on nuclear and missile development, and others inside the political establishment.
    The issue also involved problems with the Intelligence Bureau, the domestic security agency, and an overall concern with trust of security officers.
    In 2002, Singh visited the US under a liaison initiative based on counter-terror, teaching skills for hostage negotiation and dealing with hijackers. Singh, however, is a Southeast Asia analyst not working on terror issues.[14]
    In 2002, the last year for which figures are available, the U.S. hosted 80 courses for officers from India, along with 17 other countries in Asia and Africa. "Intelligence cooperation and liaison have always been chaotic," says former RAW officer and analyst B. Raman, "but we cannot afford complacency any more."

    India 2004

    Singh disappeared from India in May 2004, and applied for asylum in the US.[15] Frontline, an Indian newsmagazine, described him as "Joint Secretary handling South-East Asia" for RAW.[16] He came to RAW as an Indian Army major, who had "served with distinction in Amritsar during Operation Bluestar, the counter-terrorist assault on the Golden Temple in 1984. At some point after this, he again attracted the attention of his superiors, this time by procuring classified U.S. government documentation.
    "Rabinder Singh's source seems to have been one of his relatives, a U.S. citizen who has worked for over two decades with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Rabinder Singh's relative is alleged to have visited India regularly on official work, sometimes staying at his residence. This relationship, RAW investigators claim, enabled Rabinder Singh to pass on documents with only a minimal risk of exposure.
    "In the early 1980s, the son of then RAW chief N. Narasimhan left the U.S. after efforts were made to approach the spy chief through him. Narasimhan's son had been denied a visa extension, and was offered its renewal in return for his cooperation with the U.S.' intelligence services. "Not all," says a senior RAW officer, "would respond with such probity."[17]

    India 2006

    Charges against Singh were filed in 2006. The RAW charges said that they had located Singh in New Jersey and the process should start to seek his extradition.“Now, we will be moving to extradite Singh from the US,” stated the complaint. The Home Ministry had earlier invoked the National Security Act and issued orders to attach Singh’s property.[18]
    After losing a first petition for asylum in the US, Singh won on appeal.[19]
    Singh is not the only person in international controversy. Sri Lanka’s Army-backed Tamil paramilitary group, the ENDLF, is seeking recruits amongst Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, offering hefty salaries. The recruitment is being conducted with the knowledge of India’s external intelligence agency, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), the report added. The ENDLF, reportedly headed by Paranthan Rajan, has been recruiting cadres for the Karuna Group (named after the renegade LTTE commander who heads it) from refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.[20]
    “Rajan’s unusually lengthy stay in India — he first arrived in India in 1990 — and his unrestricted movement here, coupled with his anti-LTTE activities on Indian soil, are seen as concrete proof that he is a RAW agent,” the website said. The recently defeated Jayalalithaa government had arrested Rajan in 2004 – observers feel that he misread signals following Jayalalithaa’s crackdown on pro-LTTE groups in Tamil Nadu and felt he could have a free run with his anti-LTTE propaganda. But he was released at the behest of RAW, the report said.
    The ENDLF is being used by RAW to as a rallying point of anti-LTTE groups, the report said. Rajan’s actions could have had RAW’s blessings as it might have had an interest in promoting Karuna and neutralising LTTE leader Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s appeal in Tamil Nadu, the report said.


  2. Hali, SM (February–March 1999), "Raw at War-Genesis of Secret Agencies in Ancient India", Defence Journal (Pakistan)

  3. Memorandum of conversation (Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, and staff), Foreign, Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Volume E-13, Documents on China, 1969-1972, United States Department of State, October 21, 1971

  4. Office of Scientific Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, (February 18, 1958), Indian Nuclear Energy Program (PDF)

  5. Central Intelligence Agency (October 21, 1965), SNIE 31-1-65: India's Nuclear Weapons Policy (PDF)

  6. Chaulia, Sreeram (August 18, 2007), Book review: India's silent warriors,The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane by B Raman

  7. Richelson, Jeffrey, ed. (April 13, 2006), U.S. Intelligence and the Indian Bomb: Documents Show U.S. Intelligence Failed to Warn of India's Nuclear Tests Despite Tracking Nuclear Weapons Potential Since 1950s, National, Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 187

  8. Central Intelligence Agency (May 20, 1974), India [Redacted] (PDF), Central, Intelligence Bulletin

  9. Yajee, Sheel Bhadra (1985), CIA Operations Against the Third World, Criterion Publications, pp. 120–39

  10. Swami, Praveen (June 19, 2004), "Our Man in New Delhi", Frontline, The Hindu, 21 (13)

  11. "India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam: RAW aiding paramilitary recruitment in India", TamilNet, June 25, 2006[dead link]

  12. Central Intelligence Agency (December 2001), Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat Through 2015; Unclassified Summary of a National Intelligence Estimate

  13. Bennett, Richard M (September 7, 2004), "For the US: India's untrustworthy", Rediff India Abroad

  14. Swami, Praveen (June 19, 2004), "Our Man in New Delhi", Frontline, The Hindu, 21 (13)

  15. Swami, Praveen (June 14, 2004), "Open doors for mole recruitment", The Hindu

  16. Rediff2004-09-07

  17. Hindu2004-06-14

  18. Frontline2004-06-19

  19. Tripathi, Rahul (November 2, 2006), "Rabinder in US, we want him back: RAW in court",, archived from the original on March 7, 2008

  20. Surender Jeet Singh vs. John Ashcroft (United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit November 1, 2004). Text

  21. TamilNet2006-06-25

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