Rice Backtracks on Qaeda Link to Mumbai Attacks

The threat from the terrorists who attacked Mumbai lingers as a a bomb planted by the Islamic militants was discovered today in the city's main train station.

The large bomb was defused, making it the seventh device found since the last of the terrorists was shot dead four days ago. Two bombs exploded in taxis and four have been defused.

The lethal luggage was discovered today among the bags and suitcases that were strewn around the station by terrified travelers when the shooting began last Wednesday. The luggage was collected and the station was searched for additional explosives before it was declared safe and reopened last Thursday.

Sub Inspector Sachin Gawade of Mumbai's bomb squad told ABC News that the bags that were never claimed were then searched, revealing one packed with a 8 kilogram device fitted with a sophisticated timer.

The bomb was very similar to bombs found at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel when fighting subsided there over the weekend, Gawade said. It was not immediately determined when the timer was set to go off, the officer said. The timers can be programmed to go off hours or even weeks later.

The device was uncovered as growing anger in India boiled over into street protests, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested that al Qaeda may have had a role in the attacks that killed at least 171 people and wounded hundreds more.

Speaking in New Delhi, India, Rice tried to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan by telling Pakistan it has a "special responsibility" to cooperate in the investigation in an "urgent" manner.

The lone gunman captured alive in Mumbai has told interrogators they were trained in Pakistan. U.S. officials say the captured gunman's account corroborates other intelligence that points to the role of the Pakistani-based Lashkare Taiba, a group affiliated with al Qaeda that opposes Indian rule over the disputed state of Kashmir.

Rice said it was too early to say who was responsible for the attack, but added, "Whether there is a direct al Qaeda hand or not, this is clearly the kind of terror in which al Qaeda participates."

She later clarified her remarks, saying, "Let me be very clear: We are not saying al Qaeda is the perpetrator here. There are elements of this -- the sophistication of it -- that remind us that these extremists ... that they are perhaps learning from each other, they move in the same circles. But clearly the sophistication of the attack was what I was addressing."

The lone survivor has told investigators that the 10 militants who terrorized Mumbai were from a group of 24 who were rigorously trained for a year in Pakistan. That leaves 14 others still at large and officials fear a second attack on the same scale of Mumbai, law enforcement and security sources tell ABCNews.com.

Indian Anger Grows

Security officials say they have been warned by Indian and U.S. officials that a second attack on the Indian capital city New Delhi is possible.

Rice was to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other top officials.

Indian officials, facing public fury for failing to intercept the attack or end it quickly, have called on Pakistan to hand over a list of 20 suspected terrorists.

Pakistani President Asif Zardari said any of the 20 suspects wanted by India would be tried in Pakistan if there is evidence of wrongdoing.

Pakistan and India, which both have nuclear arsenals, have a history of enmity and have fought two wars.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...