Mumbai attack resembles plot by Chicago men

July 13, 2011 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: The latest Mumbai assault appears to have been carried out by associates of two Chicago terrorists convicted last month.

A series of bomb blasts occurred during the evening rush hour. While no group has claimed responsibility, and the Indian government has not blamed anyone, Wednesday's attack has all the markings of Lashkar-e-Taiba, radical Pakistani terrorists who employed a pair of Chicago men as scouts and planners.

Wednesday's coordinated explosions in the jewelry and financial districts of Mumbai are precisely the kinds of attacks that David Coleman Headley helped to plot for Pakistani terrorists. The blasts were the worst to hit India since the 2008 siege that Headley helped to design. One-hundred-seventy-five were killed by Islamist gunmen from Pakistan during that multi-day attack.

This latest assault was shorter, smaller and more precise, but no less unnerving.

"The entire city of Mumbai has been put on high alert. I would appeal to the people of Mumbai and people all over the country to remain calm and maintain peace," said Palaniappan Chidambaram, India's Home Minister.

In interviews with Chicago FBI agents, David Headley described continuing plots by Pakistani terrorists in Europe and India. He said that agents of Pakistan's official state spy agency were involved in planning attacks.

Wednesday, terror investigators have returned to the calendar and note that the 13th and the 26th have been the chosen days for attacks against India. Since 2009 there have been six such attacks, always occurring on either the 13th or the 26th days of the month, all deadly, culminating with the Wednesday's July 13 in Mumbai.

Terrorism experts in the U.S. and overseas have not been able to crack the date code of 13 and 26. David Headley and other terror subjects have been questioned about why attacks occur on those dates and either they don't know or won't say.

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