India has released a new dossier Tuesday linking five Mumbai terror plotters to Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI. The plotters include an active ISI officer who has been charged in the U.S. along with four other Pakistani nationals in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans. The Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), is believed to be behind the attacks.
The dossier seeks to intensify the pressure on Pakistan just a week ahead of a high-profile terrorism trial in Chicago tied to the Mumbai attacks. The move also comes in the wake of rising allegations of ISI complicity in the hiding of bin Laden in the years following the 9/11 attacks after the al-Qaida leader was killed by U.S. assault forces in the Pakistani garrison town of Abottabad, just 35 miles north of the capital Islamabad.
The dossier identifies the ISI officer as "Major Iqbal" and claims he "on behalf of the ISI, was actively involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai terror attacks." Major Iqbal is described as a handler for American Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley who helped scout targets for the Mumbai terror attacks.
According to the dossier, Major Iqbal, who was posted in Lahore in 2007 and 2008, provided $25,000 to Headley to conduct his surveillance operations for the attacks. Headley handed the surveillance videos to Major Iqbal before sharing them with Lashkar, the dossier said.
Headley, who admits to conducting surveillance for the Mumbai attacks, is slated to be a key witness at the Chicago trial of co-conspirator Tahawwur Hussain Rana.
In addition to Major Iqbal, the dossier describes senior LeT commander Sajid Majeed, better known as Sajid Mir, as a "key planner of Mumbai terror attacks." LeT trainer and explosives expert, Abu Qahafa, is alleged to have been present in the "LeT control room in Pakistan" during the attacks. Also mentioned in the dossier are high-level Lashkar operative Abu Alqama and an unnamed "Lashkar Member D," who is reported to have been Headley's handler before Major Iqbal assumed that position.
Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian is accused of using the Mumbai office of his immigration company, First World Immigration Services, as a cover for Headley while he scouted targets in the city. Rana has claimed immunity from prosecution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act arguing he was working under orders from the ISI to protect Pakistan's national interest.
Indian authorities have expressed frustration with the slow pace of the trial of Lashkar extremists in Pakistan charged in connection with the Mumbai attacks. Indian aggravation has been further compounded with recent cables released by Wikileaks that claim that several detainees of the Guantanamo Bay facility told U.S. interrogators that ISI supports militants to wage jihadi attacks against India from across the border in Pakistan.
Pakistan has denied the role of ISI in the Mumbai attacks and said it cannot be held accountable for the actions of former military officers.