Behind the Mumbai Attacks

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a man named Yusuf Muzammil of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was the mastermind behind the attacks in Mumbai last week. From the story:

India has 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.

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.

Needless to say, Pakistan should act swiftly to arrest this asshole and crush this group. The problem is, of course, in the murk of the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus, this group probably has supporters, as they undoubtedly have some popular support.

The article notes that moving against Laskar-e-Taiba could have negative politic consequences for the fragile Zardari government:

Any move by the shaky civilian government of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari against Lashkar-e-Taiba could create a huge backlash, however, particularly from Islamic groups, said a senior official in Pakistan.

For reasons that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, perhaps purposefully, this kind of geopolitical mess fascinates me; particularly the unending tensions between India and Pakistan. Maybe because the nuclear weapons they both possess makes the stakes seem very high.

In any case, it seems clear what should be done.

But here’s a thought experiment. If you’re Asif Ali Zardari, what would you do?

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