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ISI facilitated attacks on India: Guantanamo detenus

The Pakistan spy agency helped militants cross the border to attack targets chosen by the Army

WASHINGTON: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) facilitated militants to cross the border to carry out strikes on Indian targets chosen by the Pakistan Army, several detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility told U.S. interrogators, according to a fresh set of American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

The interrogation reports quoted a detainee as saying that the ISI “allowed” militants to travel to India where they conducted bombings, kidnappings and killing of Kashmiri people.

The revelations add to Pakistan's embarrassment after al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was found living in a million-dollar mansion in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

The U.S. was long aware of the presence of anti-India terror training camps in Pakistan with several inmates telling investigators how the ISI allowed militants to carry out attacks in India.

The disclosures are part of 779 interrogation reports from the facility of detainees from all over the world and show how a number of them were linked to the anti-Indian Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and had received terror training in Pakistan.

The reports quote detainees from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Pakistan as telling interrogators about their recruitment and subsequent travelling to Pakistan for terror training before their actual deployment for launching attacks against India and Afghanistan.

An Algerian detainee Abdul Azia admitted he was a member of the LeT for which he noted that “their mission [was] to kill Indians in India,” says a detailed report of his interrogation, released by the whistleblower website.

“Detainee is assessed to have been recruited in Saudi Arabia and received training from the LeT in Pakistan. The detainee is further assessed to have participated in a combat in Kashmir, and then travelled to Afghanistan where he was injured,” says a note about Azia.

Records of a Pakistani prisoner named Mohammad Anwer showed that he travelled to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir where he attended a LeT training camp for 21 days in 1998 and later served in Afghanistan.

“Detainee has been identified through sensitive reporting as a Pakistani ISI Directorate agent,” the document says.

One of the reports quotes Chaman Gul, an Afghan militant, as telling investigators about Mast Gul, a former Major of the Pakistani Army, who was “a notorious terrorist who fought in Kashmir and planned terror attacks against a number of targets in Kabul.”

The detainee claimed that Mast Gul controlled all guerilla activities in Kashmir from his home base in Muzaffarabad. Chaman said militants were deployed for three to four months and then asked to return.

He said that as member of Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, he was part of a plan to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the U.S. Ambassador.

One detainee Yacoub claimed that he had got a security job in the Afghan government, and another said he was an informant for the British intelligence service.

India as platform

In another such assessment report, a senior al-Qaeda operative was said to be planning to use Indians for terror attacks because of the low-level of scrutiny Indians are subjected to in the western nations.

“Detainee admitted that he had considered using India as a platform to send operatives to the U.S. or the U.K. because of the large Muslim population there and the low level of scrutiny given to travellers of Indian nationality,” the document on Abu al-Libbi says. — PTI

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