While the lone captured terrorist’s confession and surrounding evidence clearly points to the Mumbai attacks being planned and executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba, experts who have watched the theatre of insurgency in Pakistan and Afghanistan do not rule out an al-Qaida hand.
Ahmed Rashid, author of several books on the region and an expert in Islamic terrorism, has argued that the emergence of a regrouped Taliban in Pakistan and the fact that fighters often go back and forth from one group to another are factors that make al-Qaida involvement likely.
Times of India
“Al-Qaida has established a new safe haven in the tribal agencies of Pakistan, where it is defended by a new organization, the Taliban Movement of Pakistan,” says Rashid in a co-authored article with New York University’s Barnett Rubin for next month’s issue of Foreign Affairs journal. In a separate comment for a British channel, Rashid said it was about time al-Qaida had to be seen doing something.
“Al-Qaida is looking for some relief and a diversion. What better way to do so than by provoking the two old enemies — India and Pakistan — with a terrorist attack that diverts attention away from the tribal areas?”