US intelligence warned India of Mumbai attack in mid-October – Report

debkafile‘s intelligence sources report that the Indian spy agency RAW (the Research and Analysis Wing) caught wind of a terrorist threat for Mumbai in late August, three months before the event. More information was collected by RAW during September and October about the shape of the attack and its targets and passed to the American NSA.
The American ABC TV reported on Dec. 1 that Indian intelligence also intercepted a satellite phone call to a number in Pakistan known to be used by a leader of the Kashmiri Lashkar e-Taiba, which is accused of staging the Mumbai attack. This group is known for its ties to al Qaeda and Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence. This enabled the American NSA to monitor the calls terrorists made by Thuraya mobile communications system satellite phones. That is how they were able to warn their Indian counterparts in mid-October of a potential attack “from the sea against hotels and business centers in Mumbai,” as ABC reported. The Taj Palace Hotel was mentioned.
debkafile‘s sources add that the Thuraya 3 satellite system serves a population of 2.3 billion in the Middle East and Asia. Owned by Abu Dhabi, many of its clients are Muslim.
The warning was relayed by US government agencies to the Manmohan Singh government which passed it on to political officials in Mumbai, India’s financial capital.
There it stopped. The warning never reached the city’s security or marine authorities which might have intercepted the terrorists’ boats as they landed. Indian’s special counter-terror units were taken completely by surprise when the Islamists struck the city Wednesday, Nov. 26.
These revelations raise two troubling questions: Why did the Indian government fail to act to pre-empt the terrorist attack? And why did the Bush administration, when it was clear that the Indians were doing nothing, not issue a public warning about a terrorist attack in the making as it has done in former cases?
At all events, the disclosure about the communications between US and Indian intelligence refutes the comment from US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in London that Washington had no information linking the Mumbai attack to Pakistan.

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