Friday, April 06, 2012

Report: Osama bin Laden helped plan Mumbai attacks - The Long War Journal

Report: Osama bin Laden helped plan Mumbai attacks - The Long War Journal

Osama bin Laden was in close contact with Hafiz Saeed, the wanted chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and helped plan the 2008 Mumbai attack, according to a report in the Hindustan Times. Citing Bruce Riedel, a former advisor to President Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Hindustan Times says that documents recovered in bin Laden's Pakistani safe house prove the extensive relationship between al Qaeda's deceased emir and LeT.
"The documents and files found in Abbottabad showed a close connection between Bin Laden and Saeed, right up to May 2011," Riedel told the newspaper. Riedel added that the captured files "suggested a much larger direct al Qaeda role in the planning of the Mumbai attacks than many assumed" and bin Laden may have seen surveillance reports prepared by David Headley, the LeT operative who scouted out locations for the Mumbai siege.
The revelation of Hafiz Saeed's ties to bin Laden led the US to offer a $10 million bounty for the LeT chieftain, according to the report. [For more on the reward, see LWJ report, US offers $10 million bounty for capture of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed.]
Such collusion would hardly be surprising. Al Qaeda and LeT have had a strong relationship for more than two decades. Abdullah Azzam, a mentor to bin Laden and co-founder of Maktab al Khadamat, a forerunner to al Qaeda, also helped found the LeT organization. In more recent years, the LeT's network helped al Qaeda operatives flee Afghanistan in late 2001 and early 2002 after the fall of the Taliban. Al Qaeda terrorists have trained in LeT camps, and LeT members have fought alongside al Qaeda and the Taliban against Coalition forces in Afghanistan....

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