Holzberg lawsuit thrown out, Pakistani intelligence granted immunity from prosecution for MumbaiOn Wednesday, a New York Federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the families of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivki Holzberg against Pakistani intelligence officers, after being told that two former heads of ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency (equivalent to the CIA) were granted immunity from prosecution, and could not be prosecuted for the Mumbai terror attacks in the United States. The CIA and the US military cut the deal.
The US summons had deeply upset the Pakistani military establishment, which was of the view that the spy chief of a friendly country should not have been treated like this. On December 16, 2010, shortly after the issuance of the summons, the Islamabad Police had moved to register a murder case against the then CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Banks, who was supervising the deadly drone campaign in the tribal areas. The complainant was a resident of North Waziristan, who wanted a murder case to be registered against Jonathan for the killings of his son and brother in a drone attack in December 2009.
The standoff had pushed the CIA and ISI into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation, compelling the military leadership of the two countries to hold a secret moot in a third country to resolve the crisis. The Pakistani side made it clear that any understanding to improve the ties, including the release of Davis, would include the withdrawal of the summons against the ISI chief. Subsequent to the clandestine deal, Raymond Davis was set free on March 16, 2011 by a Pakistani court after the families of the two killed men were paid $2.4 million as blood money. The CIA agent was immediately taken out of Pakistan.
Almost a year later, the US State Department has informed a New York court that the defendants in the Mumbai attacks case — Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj — are immune from the law suit. The State Department also pointed out that its determination was not subject to judicial review. The US court had issued summons in November 2010 to Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Lt Gen Nadeem Taj, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and five serving and retired Majors of the Pakistan Army for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks, asking them to appear before it. The court was hearing a law suit filed by the relatives of Gavriel Noah Holtzberg, an American Jew and his wife Rivka who were shot dead at the Chhabad House in Mumbai during the 2008 terror strikes. Their son, Moshe, was saved by his Indian nanny.
Filed on November 19, 2012, the 26-page lawsuit stated: “The ISI has long nurtured and used international terrorist groups, including the LeT, to accomplish its goals and has provided material support to the LeT and other international terrorist groups.Read the whole thing. For those who have forgotten what happened in Mumbai, here's a 50-minute long Indian television special from 2011 that recaps the investigation results.
The Mumbai attacks were planned, trained for and carried out by members of defendant, the LeT. Defendant ISI provided critical planning, material support, control and coordination of the 26/11 attacks,” the lawsuit alleged.
As the US State Department has extended amnesty to two former ISI chiefs in the 26/11 case, India has reacted sharply, saying the American decision was a matter of deep and abiding concern as it contradicted Washington’s public commitment to bringing those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks to justice. Six Americans were among the 166 killed in the Mumbai attacks. India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has already secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against five officers of Pakistan Army for their alleged role in the Mumbai terror strikes.
They include Major Sajid Majid (named by David Headley, an American terror accused being tried in the US), Major Mohammad Iqbal (an ISI official and Headley’s alleged handler who faces terrorism charges in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks), Major Sameer Ali (an ISI official accused of having worked with Headley), Major Syed Abdul Rehman alias Pasha (accused of carrying out recruitments for the Lashkar-e-Taiba) and Major Abu Hamza (one of the alleged handlers of the Mumbai attackers who was on phone with the terrorists who carried out Mumbai attack). The warrants were issued on the basis of claim made by Headley that these people had worked in close coordination with him in executing the Lashkar-e-Taiba plans for carrying out the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.
It took two days of persuasion for Headley to waive his right to silence under the US law and detail every meeting he had with his LeT handlers, including Hafiz Saeed and the ISI officials in Muzzaffarabad and Lahore before the 26/11 attacks. He told the NIA team in Chicago in the presence of US prosecutors, FBI agents and his lawyers, that his reconnaissance missions and its results were closely and jointly monitored by the LeT and ISI before he received fresh instructions. The 11th dossier, which India had handed over to Pakistan on June 18, 2010, contained every statement by Headley, which shows the ISI as a central player. “An ISI brigadier served as handler for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi who is also close to DG ISI. The ISI funds LeT and shields Hafiz Saeed from interference,” so said the 11th dossier while quoting Headley.
Let's go to the videotape.
The decision not to prosecute the Pakistanis is nothing short of disgraceful, but unfortunately very typical of the Obama-Clinton State Department. Will we see similar decisions relating to 'Palestinian' terror groups in Obama's second term?