NEW YORK — Indian intelligence believes the attacks on Mumbai’s commuter train network on Tuesday, killing scores during the evening rush hour, might be the work of Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian Muslim with ties to al-Qaida.
Ibrahim is believed to have been responsible for the 1993 attacks that killed 260 in Mumbai, India’s commercial hub formerly known as Bombay.
Two years ago, the U.S. Treasury Department designated Ibrahim as a terrorist as part of its international sanctions program — effectively forbidding U.S. financial entities from working with him and permitting seizure of any assets believed to be in his control.
U.S. officials believe he moves between Dubai and Pakistan.
Ibrahim also has financed operations of Lashkar e Taiba, the Kashmir separatist group, according to one U.S. official.
"They have targeted trains before and are the leading suspect," said the counter-terrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They have gone after trains and train platforms in 2002 and 2003. It is more likely than not the work of Lashkar. In fact you can say it is very likely their work."
Meantime, here is the U.S. Treasury fact sheet on Ibrahim:
"Dawood Ibrahim ("IBRAHIM"), the son of a police constable, has reigned as one of the pre-eminent criminals in the Indian underworld for most of the past two decades.
"IBRAHIM'S syndicate is involved in large-scale shipments of narcotics in the U.K. and Western Europe.
"The syndicate's smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shared with Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.
"Successful routes established over recent years by IBRAHIM'S syndicate have been subsequently utilized by bin Laden. A financial arrangement was reportedly brokered to facilitate the latter's usage of these routes.
"In the late 1990's, IBRAHIM traveled in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban.
"IBRAHIM'S syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilize the Indian government through inciting riots, acts of terrorism, and civil disobedience. He is currently wanted by India for the March 12, 1993 Bombay Exchange bombings, which killed hundreds of Indians and injured over a thousand more.
"Information, from as recent as Fall 2002, indicates that IBRAHIM has financially supported Islamic militant groups working against India, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT).
"For example, this information indicates that IBRAHIM has been helping finance increasing attacks in Gujarat by LeT. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of the Righteous) is the armed wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irsha (MDI) - a Sunni anti-U.S. missionary organization formed in 1989.
"The United States added LeT to the list of designated terrorists in October 2001. The group was banned by the Pakistani government, and its assets frozen, in January 2002."