London/Mumbai, Dec.7 (ANI): Sources close to Indian intelligence have claimed that another terror attack before the 2009 general election would almost certainly make war between India and Pakistan inevitable.
America and Britain are keen that the present friction between Islamabad and New Delhi does not distract Pakistan, and make it take a decision to end their offensive against Al-Qaeda and Taliban "safe havens" in tribal areas close to the Afghan border.
According to The Sunday Times, an Indian intelligence report claims the Mumbai gunmen were among a large group of volunteer "fedayeen" trained in commando tactics by Pakistan army and navy instructors over 18 months from December 2006.
"The training of these 500 men was in three phases. The first was basic physical fitness and firearms training. The second was marine navigation and swimming. The third involved training to sabotage underwater installations such as oil rigs, ships and submarines," said one official.
"They were trained to a level of US Seals or Pakistani marine commandos. They were elite. Ten of these men were the ones who attacked Mumbai," the report claims.
Senior US officials believe "rogue and retired" ISI officials have helped Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists carry out a number of attacks, including last July's bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, which killed 58.
"It's pretty clear that the LeT was behind the attacks. There is nothing that would point at the moment to direct links between the attacks and the ISI, but the ISI has a long association with the LeT and helped to create it," the Sunday Times quoted a western diplomat, as saying.
"The Indians don't believe it is rogue and retired elements. In the Kabul embassy attack in July, the link [to the ISI] was more direct. But this is how they work, through retired officers," he added. (ANI)