And in a shocker, it was Pakistan that nabbed him.
Good news — for a change — from Pakistan: The suspected mastermind of the Mumbai Terror has been arrested in a raid, the Guardian (U.K.) and others report. And this happened inside Pakistan.
Here’s how the Guardian tells it:
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, named by sole surviving attacker as ringleader, held in raid on militant camp in Pakistani Kashmir
The suspected planner of last month’s Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in a raid on a militant group in Pakistan, an official close to the extremist organisation said today.
The official from Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the charity and education arm of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, told Reuters that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was among four men taken into custody after a raid yesterday on a camp outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir.
Lakhvi, one of Lashkar’s operations chiefs, was named as a ringleader in the Mumbai plot by Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunmen captured after the attacks, according to Indian officials.
If these reports are true, then the arrest inside dangerously unstable Pakistan comes less than two weeks after the deadly November 26 attacks throughout India’s version of New York City.
Compare that with 9/11. We’re seven-plus years and counting and still no Osama bin Laden, who also was believed in hiding in either Afghanistan or Pakistan or both.
The best news about the arrest, if it’s true and if Lakhvi really was the mastermind, is that Pakistan itself did the capturing. Maybe this will help ease the bitter fight between India and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons.
Former strongman Pervez Musharraf and the scary Inter-Services Intelligence (Pakistan’s CIA) long dragged their heels in the search for bin Laden.
Not so, apparently, regarding the Mumbai Terror ringleader. Of course, it wasn’t ISI that did the capturing of the alleged Mumbai Terror ringleader. It was another Pakistan agency.
Only four days ago, the New York Times reported, in “Pakistan’s Spies Aided Group Tied to Mumbai Siege,” that the ISI shared intelligence with Lashkar and even provided protection for it.
The ISI did the same for bin Laden’s crew. And in fact, ISI official Mahmoud Ahmad — who later turned out to have been Mohammed Atta’s bagman — was having breakfast in D.C. on the morning of 9/11 with Porter Goss and Bob Graham, the chairs of Intelligence committees of the House and Senate. (See my August 10, 2004, item “Food for Thought.”)
After 9/11, the two Floridians headed the formal congressional inquiry. Their breakfast with the Pakistan security official who was a bagman for one of the hijackers didn’t make it into their 858-page report.
With that background, Goss was perfect for the job of CIA director, and three years after 9/11, George W. Bush gave him that job.
But this morning, at least, the news concerning Pakistan is good. If true, then the longtime undeclared war between Pakistan and India could be somewhat lessened.
On the other hand, Kashmir has always been the flash point between India and Pakistan, and it remains so.