Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind Arrested Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was among a dozen militants arrested at an alleged terrorist training camp in Kashmir. The Washington Post's India bureau chief discusses the ongoing investigation.
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Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind Arrested

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Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind Arrested

Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind Arrested

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

This is Day to Day. I'm Madeleine Brand.

ALEX COHEN, host:

And I'm Alex Cohen. Workers at a factory in Chicago won't leave until they get their jobs back or at least the money they say they're owed. That's coming up.

BRAND: But first, in Pakistan today, security forces arrested the suspected ringleader of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. It was a massive raid on a camp outside Kashmir. Candace Rondeaux has been covering the story for the Washington Post, and she joins us now from Pakistan. And tell us about this. Who is this leader?

Ms. CANDACE RONDEAUX (Staff Writer, Washington Post): Actually, he is a commander in an organization known as Jamaat-ud-Dawah that has long been linked to a larger organization of terrorists called Lashkar-e-Toiba. When this attack happened in Mumbai, Indian officials immediately accused Lashkar-e-Toiba commandos of planning and plotting this raid from Pakistan, and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was one of the first who was named that Indian officials asked Pakistan to hand over.

BRAND: Now, there are some allegations that the Pakistani security or Pakistani intelligence services may have been involved with this. Tells us about that.

Ms. RONDEAUX: Right. I mean, most of these accusations right now seem to be coming from India. As you probably know, India and Pakistan have a long history of recriminations and conflict. They fought three wars, you know, and come very close to the brink of nuclear war as recently as 1998 and 2002.

But, you know, the ISI, which is the Pakistan intelligence agency, has also figured very prominently in a lot of this conflicts. In the early '90s, the ISI was largely seen as responsible for designing a proxy war in the defeated territory of Kashmir, which is a Himalayan territory between India and Pakistan that's been in dispute for some time now.

After the Mumbai attacks, Indian officials, particularly police officials seem to keep pointing again and again to ISI involvement in training those who were responsible for the Mumbai attacks. In fact, possibly even financing and funding some of this.

BRAND: What role did the U.S. play in today's raid? Were they at all behind the scenes urging Pakistan to raid this group?

Ms. RONDEAUX: Yeah. The U.S. role here is really unclear. Certainly, the diplomatic pressure has been intense since the attacks. You know, Condi Rice was here. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was here last week urging Pakistan to cooperate with the investigation, give up whatever information they had. You know, we also understand, of course, that the FBI has a team of investigators working in Mumbai on the case, in part because there were six Americans who were killed in the attack.

But here in Pakistan, certainly, I think there are things going on behind the scenes, diplomatically perhaps, even between the two intelligence agencies, certainly between the two militaries, between U.S. and Pakistan. But, you know, so far, in terms of today's raid, we don't see a U.S. hand here.

BRAND: So the alleged ring leader of Lashkar-e-Toiba is arrested today. 22 other people are as well. And so, what does this mean for the group Lashkar-e-Toiba? Does it mean it is, in effect, over? Finished? Disbanded? Or does it live to fight another day?

Ms. RONDEAUX: We spoke with a number of Lashkar-e-Toiba members last week after the attacks happened, and they said that they had been ordered to go underground. It seems that they've done that.

You know, so far, the actual founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hafiz Saeed, remains, you know, basically, in the open. The other day, on Friday, he gave a sermon in a mosque in Lahore, which is a city in Pakistan - here. He's out there. He is making statements today. In fact, he condemned the raid on the Muzaffarabad camp.

So, you know, it's really unclear whether these arrests, that is of Lakhvi and the others were accused of directing the Mumbai attacks, really will add up to anything for the Indians who have called for the chiefs of Lashkar-e-Toiba like Saeed and others to be arrested.

BRAND: So this is not going to satisfy India?

Ms. RONDEAUX: Well, it doesn't seem like it's the entire ballgame. There are others on that lists that India has named, including a figure here who has been very well-known in Karachi as sort of a mob boss. His name is Dawood Ibrahim, and he has, you know, long-standing ties with Lashkar-e-Toiba. India has wanted him in custody since 2001, since Lashkar-e-Toiba mounted an attack on the parliament there.

So, yes, I think some, you know, some measures have been taken. It's just the question of whether or not Pakistan can move fast enough to really show its good intention, its good will toward India by actually going for the big guys.

BRAND: Well, thank you very much.

Ms. RONDEAUX: My pleasure. Thank you.

BRAND: That's Candace Rondeaux. She's a Washington Post reporter reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan on the investigation into the Mumbai attacks.

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