Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Mumbai blasts

Guess what? The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad has nabbed another man, who luckily happens to be a mastermind of the July 11 attacks. If you're counting, that's three masterminds we've documented on fiverupees alone.

I made my skepticism of the evidence presented so far to the media by the Indian authorities fairly clear in an earlier post. Now, two days later, I'm still not convinced. I've been following this pretty closely, and things just don't add up. For example, the foreign secretaries of the two countries are due to talk in a few weeks. Now, this could be an indicator of two things: (a) the Indians don't actually believe we did it, and see no reason to stall the talks for political gain or (b) the Indians believe we did it, but think that the joint mechanism established was for this very reason, and want to continue with talks regardless. Which seems the more likely to you? No contest, right? I mean, if they really thought we did it, wouldn't Manmohan say something stronger than, "In our joint statement there is an explicit condemnation of the Mumbai blasts, following that there is also mention of cooperation that our two countries will undertake to control this menace. We will share that information with Pakistan and ascertain how sincere they are in carrying forward the commitment that I and President Musharraf have underlined in our joint statement"? I know Manmohan's a pretty chilled out dude, but this is ridiculous.

Like I said earlier, I'm no intelligence expert. But the lack of media coverage in the Indian press, the paucity of statements beyond the usual "We'll provide evidence to you/Ok, send us the evidence and then we'll see", and the fact that their case involves someone with the email address smellofflower@yahoo.com tells me it's not a slam dunk, as George Tenet would say. Let's see what happens when they actually send the evidence over to us.

8 comments:

NB said...

by the way the smellofflowers thing might relate to the popular notion that the body of a martyr is supposed to smell of flowers.

Ahsan said...

oh. well in that case, i feel pretty dumb now.

Ahsan said...

actually, that makes it even more unlikely in my mind, using the same reasoning as the jannat password. why would they be so goddamn obvious? it would be like one of capone's men driving around in a car with "btlegger" plates.

Anonymous said...

I still say Herschelle Gibbs did it.

NB said...

dunno about gibbs, nor can i really say if the flower thing makes it more or less plausible. I think gauging plausibility at this stage is tricky, because the information (pointing either way actually) is pretty circumstantial. Like the hindu bartender thing, apparently Ramzi Yousef was a playboy too (as i remember reading was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed). Things will get more interesting if india decides to make the info/memo they submit to Pakistan public (which I doubt they will).

NB said...

so what i mean to say is that plausibility will depend less upon whether the circumstantial evidence fits a generic profile of a terrorist (coz there isnt one), but whether its consistant with their individual profiles and backgrounds.

Ahsan said...

i agree but thats the difference between blogging and being a respectable journalist. you can go with hunches and guesses in one but must go with hard facts with the other. i would obviously never doubt the indian police claim based on an email address, a password and a sexual affair if i was writing for dawn or something like that.

NB said...

nai yaar i wasnt critisizing, i was adding that i think the question of plausibilty will really get interesting when they release more information about backgrounds etc, ie to see if all that info about their bachis and so on is consistant with the suspects individual profiles.