The 26/11 terror attacks that killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war were scripted by ISI officers and approved before execution by al-Qaida commanders, according to a book just written by slain Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad .
The 40-year-old reporter in his book titled ‘Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taleban – beyond bin Laden and 9/11’ describes the Mumbai plan as one pushed through by Ilyas Kashmiri , a key al-Qaida ally with wide links with the Pakistan defence establishment . Shahzad, who was an authority on terrorism in Afghanistan and the neighbourhood, says in the book that the plan was authored by Inter-Services Intelligence officers and executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba .
” With Ilyas Kashmiri’s immense expertise on Indian operations, he stunned the al-Qaeda leaders with the suggestion that expanding the war theatre was the only way to overcome the present impasse. He presented the suggestion of conducting such a massive operation in India as would bring India and Pakistan to war and with that all proposed operations against al-Qaeda would be brought to a grinding halt.
Al-Qaeda excitedly approved the attack-India proposal,” Shahzad wrote in the book, excerpts of which were published in The Dawn newspaper.
Shahzad’s friends and family believe the ISI had a hand in his death, but an official statement from the spy agency denied any involvement. TOI