Rice urges Pakistan to ‘act quickly’ in Mumbai terror investigation
During a visit to India Wednesday, the US secretary of State said Pakistan’s cooperation could help smooth fragile India-Pakistan relations.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in India today, as accusations mounted that the Mumbai (formerly Bombay) attackers were part of a Pakistani-based militant group. Her trip came alongside the arrival to Pakistan of the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen.Skip to next paragraph
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On Wednesday, "India ... accused a senior leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of orchestrating last week's terror attacks that killed at least 172 people here, and demanded the Pakistani government turn him over and take action against the group," The Wall Street Journal reports, adding:
Just two days before hitting the city, the group of 10 terrorists who ravaged India's financial capital communicated with Yusuf Muzammil and four other Lashkar leaders via a satellite phone that they left behind on a fishing trawler they hijacked to get to Mumbai, a senior Mumbai police official told The Wall Street Journal. The entire group also underwent rigorous training in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the official said.
"We have to act with urgency, we have to act with resolve," Rice said.
"I have said that Pakistan needs to act with resolve and urgency and cooperate fully and transparently. That message has been delivered and will be delivered to Pakistan," Rice said.
Ms. Rice said it was premature to comment on whether any particular organization was responsible for the attacks on India's financial and entertainment capital. She described the assault last week as distinct from others that had struck India since it targeted high-profile targets, including those frequented by foreigners, and appeared to be designed to "send a message."
"Whether there is a direct Al Qaeda hand or not, this is clearly the kind of terror in which Al Qaeda participates," she said.
The same group that carried out last week's attack is believed to be behind the 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed more than 200, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said Tuesday during a speech at Harvard University.
McConnell did not identify the group by name. However, the Indian government has attributed the 2006 attack to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist group based in Kashmir, and the Students Islamic Movement of India.
McConnell is the first U.S. official to publicly identify Lashkar as the likely perpetrator. Earlier Tuesday, a senior State Department official told reporters only that evidence suggests that the brutal, prolonged attack had some roots in Pakistan. Privately, U.S. and foreign counterterrorism officials fingered Lashkar last week.