Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
Sign in to follow this  
Your-Best-Friend

Karachi Naval Base Attack

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

BBC Website

24 May 2011 Last updated at 23:58 GMT

'New kind of militant' behind Pakistan Karachi attack

By Syed Shoaib Hasan BBC News, Karachi

_52898324_012047949-1.jpg

Officials say the attack was too professional to be the handiwork of the Taliban

The deadly 15-hour siege on Pakistan's Mehran naval airbase in Karachi on Monday was carried out by attackers with military-level training, raising suspicions they had inside help.Questions are being asked about the security of Pakistan's vital military installations after a well-organised group of gunmen held off Pakistan's equivalent of the US Navy Seals - the Special Services Group - Navy (SSG-N) - for 15 hours. This SSG-N is said to be the most formidable fighting force in Pakistan, but - for a few hours at least - they appeared to be at the mercy of a brazen group of fighters. "They weren't any ordinary militants - certainly not the Taliban," said one security official, who wished to remain unnamed. "The aim of all Taliban attacks is maximum death and destruction - these men were very focused on what they were after."Speed and organisation From the beginning it was clear the attackers had an intricate knowledge of the base and its vulnerable areas. They were tactically assured and the operation had clearly been long in the planning."They came over the wall cutting the wire on the eastern side of the base," one official told the BBC, adding that it was one of the weak points. The militants knew and exploited this - just one piece of inside knowledge they had. "That side is just next to the runway - and the guard tower is at a distance because planes land regularly."The first time the militants were seen was when they appeared on the runway, weapons at the ready. "The [navy] men couldn't believe their eyes," says an official.A number of officials listed to me their observations, which reinforced the conviction that they were being confronted with a totally different kind of militant, possibly hitherto unseen:

  • Military formation: One injured sailor told an official that the attackers "moved and dressed like us". The militants moved in tactical military formation and spoke in military parlance. They spoke between themselves in Urdu, as well as a foreign language.
  • Clothing and equipment: The militants wore combat fatigues, according to officials - and had night vision goggles, carrying rocket propelled grenades [RPGs]. "It takes months of training for ease with the goggles, and years to be expert," one official told me.
  • Tactics and a plan: One witness said that even though the militants had clear sight of them, "they ignored us... Instead, they just aimed RPGs at the two Orions [planes] parked on the tarmac." They were clearly under instructions to destroy military hardware. They also changed tactics easily and broke away in groups, which clearly had different aims.
  • Crack shots: "They were excellent shots - as good as any we have," said one security official involved in the operation. They used their night vision goggles to maximum effect, witnesses say - and that was an advantage they had until the SSG-N team arrived at the scene. When the gun battle began, one security official said, it was clear that these men could "hold their own" in a firefight. The fact that they had M16 carbines and sniper rifles also set them apart.

Officials says all of this is in strong contrast to the Taliban, who adopt an equally brutal but more chaotic mode of attack. "Their best weapon is the suicide bomber - they are notoriously poor shots," one official told me. "They were the exception to every rule of Pakistan militant tactics.""They were also not about killing people," one official said. "It was clear they were interested in the destruction of equipment, a much more 'military' aim." Shock and disbeliefIt was only the sheer numbers of the naval personnel that prevented further damage to the aircraft in the base, one naval spokesman said.. Even so, the ferocity, speed and organisation of the onslaught still came as a shock. The planes were in flames and a gun battle was in full force within minutes.

The incident has drawn comparisons with the 2008 Mumbai (Bombay) attacks But one of the attackers in particular caught the attention of those who were watching and bearing the brunt of the attack. "A small young man with a light beard who later dropped his M16 for two Uzi submachine guns. He was particularly deadly - he killed one soldier with a single shot at over 600 yards."Another clue as to the level of their training and ability was their ability to change tactics. One witness recounted how in the midst of the firefight the attackers appeared to change tactics and back off.They appeared to be going for the barracks housing the Chinese engineers. Another firefight broke out until another detachment of naval marines got to the Chinese barracks. The militants, when they realised what was happening, opened fire on the armoured vehicles the Chinese engineers were being taken away in. Inside help Everything about the attack pointed to a detailed knowledge of the barracks. After the Chinese engineers were taken away, they broke up into groups and one group took refuge in a nearby barracks.

_52903537_karachi_pak_304.gif

"They used the building to maximum effect - they knew it and the surrounding area inside out," one official said."We later discovered plans to the whole compound on them."The SSG-N finally got into the barracks and killed the remaining militants. The attackers had clearly come prepared for a long siege, bringing bags of dried fruit as rations.Officials dismiss the explanation that the attack was in retaliation for Osama Bin Laden's death. "This took months of planning - the only parallel I can think of is Mumbai (Bombay)," one said.Gunmen killed 165 people in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and India has repeatedly accused Pakistan and its ISI intelligence agency of involvement in them."This maybe the first attack of its kind [in Pakistan]," the security official said. "But it's definitely not the last."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Stefan

No surprise there. Its obviously been done with inside help like so many other attacks.

Inside help from whom ?! Covert Talibans in Pakistan's army ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty crazy. It seems they have some sort of special forces training to take on the SSG's like that. Could the Indians be behind this? Or perhaps some extremist group well trained by rouge ISI/Army elements?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt it was India. It was probably aided by elements within the Pakistani military and I suspect there is much more sympathy with Islamic militants in that army than with India. India also has no real motive I can see. Sure, they are rivals of Pakistan, but there aren't any particular tensions at the moment and I have a hard time seeing what they would gain by destroying some Pakistani planes. It isn't like a war is imminent. I think it is much more likely to be Taliban trained by elements within the ISI and/or Pakistani military. It wouldn't take more than a few people with knowledge of such training to make a squad like that and turn Kalashnikov toting tribesmen into real soldiers. They are tough and brave as it is, they just need disciple and planning to make then dangerous foes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to former ISI head, Hamid Gul,this operation was in part aided by U.S.

Who knows. But there's definitely more to this story.

I doubt it was India. It was probably aided by elements within the Pakistani military and I suspect there is much more sympathy with Islamic militants in that army than with India. India also has no real motive I can see. Sure, they are rivals of Pakistan, but there aren't any particular tensions at the moment and I have a hard time seeing what they would gain by destroying some Pakistani planes. It isn't like a war is imminent. I think it is much more likely to be Taliban trained by elements within the ISI and/or Pakistani military. It wouldn't take more than a few people with knowledge of such training to make a squad like that and turn Kalashnikov toting tribesmen into real soldiers. They are tough and brave as it is, they just need disciple and planning to make then dangerous foes.

What purpose would a self inflicted wound serve? I can't think of any at all.

If shady play is indeed the case, then the first suspects are obviously the Americans and/or Indians.

Edited by Fiasco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wouldn't serve any point if the attack was directed by the military, but that wasn't my theory. My theory was that elements in the military but sympathetic to the Taliban aided it, thus the wound would not be inflicted on the people planning it. The Taliban obvious do not see the Islamabad government as 'themselves'. An intelligence breach of that magnitude would require a fair number of Pakistani officers ready to cooperate. I think Taliban supporters in the Pakistani army are more numerous than Indian sympathizers. I can't see any reason whatever the US would have to blow up government planes in Pakistan. Even in the unlikely event it wanted to, US commandos don't speak Urdu. India has fairly weak but plausible motives so I don't rule it out though I think it the less likely theory.

EDIT:

And I can't see how this could have happened with the help of current or former members of the Pakistani military. These people obviously knew what was in the base, where it was and had laid out a plan in advance to destroy what they thought most important. You don't get that kind of knowledge of a military base without somebody telling you, and these things aren't public information. Even satellites won't tell you what is in the base at any given time.

Edited by Akritas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inside help from whom ?! Covert Talibans in Pakistan's army ?

No i dont think its only the taliban sympathizers. People living outside of Pakistan have this wrong impression that somehow all these people(in the army, mullahs etc.) are sincere in their Islamic intentions. All that matters to these people is money and glory. If someone supports the taliban, its not because of religion, its mostly due to some personal agenda. Maybe the ignorant that these mullahs etc. brainwash are genuine in their religious duties but in no way can the same be said for the people at the top. Therefore saying that the attack was based on issues related to religion or some kinda revenge attack for OBL is extremely absurd.

I am sure many people(or cross that out more like 99%) in Pakistan are sold out and help external forces in carrying out their agendas in Pakistan. Right now Pakistan is one of the countries that provide access to Iran and China and can be used as an effective base to launch any kind of overt or covert operations. It is in the interest of western powers to show Pakistan as a destabilized country and therefore base themselves here. Lately a lot has been said about Pakistan losing control of its nuclear assets and attack on a highly secured base can be evidence enough for many that Pakistan doesnt have effective control on its own installations.

Attack by some militants on their own seems far fetched to me due to the following reasons:

  1. People underestimate the Pakistani army but it has enough efficiency and power to eliminate the threats it wants to. If they would have been so weak India would have attacked Pakistan many years ago. So it makes me wonder that they can deter a whole country but cannot control terrorists on their own soil?
  2. Pakistani intelligence is quite strong. They can actually keep a track of people sending dumb messages about zardari but cant intercept terrorist planning? Just walk around the Islambad area and talk to people, you will find out just how strong the spy/intelligence network of Pakistan is. when they want to gather information, they even know what an ant might be doing.
  3. There is enough evidence to show that ksa has direct links in Pakistan and supports the whabbi/jihadist network in Pakistan with the help of governmental elements.

Edited by -SeeKeR-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What purpose would a self inflicted wound serve? I can't think of any at all.

Better think of it through the corrupt mentality of your politicians who for the sake of their own profit have in past inflicted far greater wounds to Pakistanis than this naval base attack. When it comes to Pakistani politics- take common sense out of the equation.

If shady play is indeed the case, then the first suspects are obviously the Americans and/or Indians.

Has India ever been part of a terrorist attack? Terrorism is the signature of the govt of Pakistan and not India.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. My theory was that elements in the military but sympathetic to the Taliban aided it, thus the wound would not be inflicted on the people planning it.

Here's the thing. There are probably many Taliban sympathizers in the military. In fact, support for militants is a well known trend in Pakistan's history. But just as you find these people sympathize with militants, these same people are feverishly nationalist. Their support for Islamic militants runs so far as they carry out their agendas, but the idea that somehow people in the military are willing to put aside the well being of Pakistan itself, and that their support for militancy trumps their nationalism, i find that highly unlikely and a historical aberration.

An intelligence breach of that magnitude would require a fair number of Pakistani officers ready to cooperate.

Given the fact that the CIA and ISI share are so closely interlinked, and given the fact that CIA agents are running around Pakistan with impunity, it's not necessary that that intelligence for this attack can only come from someone within the Pakistani military, although the possibility of moles does exist.

I can't see any reason whatever the US would have to blow up government planes in Pakistan. Even in the unlikely event it wanted to, US commandos don't speak Urdu. India has fairly weak but plausible motives so I don't rule it out though I think it the less likely theory.

There's plenty of reason for the U.S to do this. It's long been said that control of Pakistan's nuclear assets has been in the plans, and incidents such as these portray Pakistan's military as being unable to secure its military compounds from militant attacks, thus reinforcing the idea that Pakistan's nuclear assets can be attacked and/or seized by militants, and hence the need for U.S control over said assets.

i can bet that Hamid Gul is involved. If intelligence can interrogate him a lot of dirty taliban al qaida secrets will be relieved.

Or, you can look closer to home....

Location: Washington DC USA

Better think of it through the corrupt mentality of your politicians

I live in queens, ny, genius.

who for the sake of their own profit have in past inflicted far greater wounds to Pakistanis than this naval base attack. When it comes to Pakistani politics- take common sense out of the equation.

The betterment of Pakistan, or at least their perverted interpretation of it, has always been the motive of the Pakistani military. This attacks only serves to humiliate and further reinforce the many claims of the U.S. The Pakistani military has nothing to gain from this.

Has India ever been part of a terrorist attack? Terrorism is the signature of the govt of Pakistan and not India.

Every country will support terrorism as long as it serves their purposes. India is supporting separatist movements in Pakistan, just as the latter does in India. It's how the world works. There are no good guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the thing. There are probably many Taliban sympathizers in the military. In fact, support for militants is a well known trend in Pakistan's history. But just as you find these people sympathize with militants, these same people are feverishly nationalist. Their support for Islamic militants runs so far as they carry out their agendas, but the idea that somehow people in the military are willing to put aside the well being of Pakistan itself, and that their support for militancy trumps their nationalism, i find that highly unlikely and a historical aberration.

Considering the Taliban have been fighting on and off with the Pakistani military for a long time, I am not sure how you can support the militants without at least indirectly opposing the government. That's doesn't mean they aren't nationalistic, just that they don't regard the government as the 'true expression' of Pakistan.

Given the fact that the CIA and ISI share are so closely interlinked, and given the fact that CIA agents are running around Pakistan with impunity, it's not necessary that that intelligence for this attack can only come from someone within the Pakistani military, although the possibility of moles does exist.

CIA agents, or more likely their proxies, probably can move around Pakistan but there is a big difference between being able to move around the streets and find out about the inside of a military base. The notion that white, English speaking strangers could snoop around a military base and figure out everything about it without anyone inside noticing isn't credible. Whoever was behind it must have had inside help, and the people who could most easily get that are the Taliban. It is much easier for me to imagine at least a few Pakistani officers helping them than either the US or India. I'm not saying this has to be true or is proof positive, but it is the most likely theory to my mind.

There's plenty of reason for the U.S to do this. It's long been said that control of Pakistan's nuclear assets has been in the plans, and incidents such as these portray Pakistan's military as being unable to secure its military compounds from militant attacks, thus reinforcing the idea that Pakistan's nuclear assets can be attacked and/or seized by militants, and hence the need for U.S control over said assets.

Said by whom? Maybe by Pakistanis bitter and suspicious over US policies , but I've not heard it suggested seriously in US policy circles. I doubt that would be done unless it was obvious that Pakistan was really falling apart. I can't think of anything more likely to cause Pakistani atomics to be used against the US than a failed attempt to seize them. In any case, US commandos don't speak Urdu and don't carry around dried fruit as rations. Neither do they normally use Uzis. These people were obviously not Americans, and I'm not sure where the US would find well-trained, Urdu speaking fighters, presumably Pakistani or Indian nationals.

The betterment of Pakistan, or at least their perverted interpretation of it, has always been the motive of the Pakistani military. This attacks only serves to humiliate and further reinforce the many claims of the U.S. The Pakistani military has nothing to gain from this.

There may be elements within the Pakistani military convinced that the government is hopelessly corrupt and/or dominated by the US and think that an Islamist victory is what is really best for their country. It wouldn't have to be all that many, a few score people in the right place could easily provide the training and intelligence. I'm not sure what claims of the US it would prove. It shows Pakistan as weak and corrupt, sure, but that's not exactly news. The enemy of the US is the Taliban, and while it may run over everyone else to get them, it would be counter to US interests to destabilize the government of Pakistan. Pakistan is bigger, tougher and meaner than Iraq and Afghanistan combined and I am pretty sure Washington has no desire to get sucked into a war there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wel i hav a slightly different opinion than u defence analysts out there. Lol. Sarcasism. *. Any ways the taliban hav been targeting the pak army or any law enforcement agency dat was fighting against them. Now the taliban are not threatened by pc 3 orions. It is quite obvious who can be behind it. And answering to husein the world knows dat the so called world's largest democracy is the world!'7 largest exporter of terrorism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...