I had one of those ‘whaaaaaat?’ moments reading the coverage of the latest arrests in the Mumbai 7/11 blasts investigation. Faisal and Muzamil Shaikh are brothers; Faisal is thought to have arranged for several others accused of conspiracy in the bombings to go to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) training camps across the border in Pakistan. It seems unclear exactly what Muzamil’s role was, though this paragraph in the Times article does contain a surprising detail:
Faisal Shaikh, the police said, appeared to have organized the passage of the others to Pakistan for military training. Muzamil Shaikh, on the other hand, while eager to follow his brother into a radical Islamist group, seems to have had second thoughts after being offered a position at Oracle. He had been employed on a contract basis, said a police officer who was part of the interrogations, pending the completion of company training. (link)
This is the first time I’ve heard of someone not in a movie choosing between life as a murderer, driven by a distorted kind of religious ideology, and life as a highly-paid employee in a blue-ribbon multinational corporation.
I’m also trying to parse Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s statements on Friday regarding the arrests so far:
Notwithstanding IndiaÂ’s assertions about the Lashker-e-TaibaÂ’s (LeT) involvement in major terrorist strikes like the July 11 blasts in Mumbai, Pakistan has said it has no Â“prejudicialÂ” evidence against the group.
Pointing out that the LeT was banned in his country, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said, Â“We donÂ’t see any evidence of their activity thatÂ’s prejudicial.” (link)
What does he mean exactly by “prejudicial evidence”? Since the suspects have confessed to training in Pakistani territory, you would think that would be “dispositive” — at least on the question of whether Pakistan is doing enough to clamp down on the LeT. Perhaps he’s specifically referring to the 7/11 blasts? Even if so, this is a frustrating response: a more responsible thing to do would be to send troops to Muzaffarabad and surrounding areas, and destroy any camps that are still operating. A more responsible thing to say would be, “sorry.”