What exactly was India’s role in the 9/11 attacks?

Published: November 20, 2015
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Neeraj Kumar has mentioned that part of the funding for 9/11 attacks in the US came from India. PHOTO: REUTERS

The world witnessed with utter disbelief, when live footage of two passenger planes flying directly into the Twin Towers was telecasted by all major channels of the world. Within minutes, the two towers were razed to the ground, with nearly 3,000 innocent people buried under.

The investigations revealed that four passenger planes were hijacked by al Qaeda operatives from the East Coast. The entire operation was meticulously planned and executed by Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian, along with 18 other members, who were all linked to al Qaeda. All 19 hijackers perished in the crash. And for the first time, we saw terrorists launch attacks in a country, all the way across the globe, boasting the highest level of security. Moreover, the incident laid bare the highly touted US intelligence.

The world has not been the same since the 9/11 attacks.

In a shocking revelation made in his upcoming book Dial D for Don, Neeraj Kumar mentioned that part of the funding for the 9/11 attacks in the US came from India. Kumar has worked for India’s premier law enforcement agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and retired as a Delhi Police commissioner in 2013. According to him, the funds were raised through the kidnapping of Partha Pratim Roy Burman and were handed over to the 9/11 attackers by, Omar Sheikh, a terrorist who was released by India in exchange of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999. Kumar claims that he obtained this information from Asif Raza Khan, a member of the banned outfit Harkatul Mujahideen.

The book gives an account of 11 investigations Kumar had conducted during his nine-year long stint in the CBI. The most riveting of those accounts is Kumar’s conversations with Dawood Ibrahim. Kumar, in his book, claims that the American intelligence agencies were aware of this fact and that it was mentioned in John S Pistol’s testimony – the deputy assistant director of the counterterrorism division of the FBI – before the Senate Committee on Terrorist Financing in July 2003 at Washington.

It has become a growing trend in India that bureaucrats, once they hang up their shoes, share all sorts of important information in books they author. Their reasons for not informing the government, or the intelligence agencies, have always been questioned. It is, therefore, not surprising that Kumar had to wait for his retirement to share the revelation in his book. It will not be far-fetched to assume that this information will have serious ramifications, especially for the US intelligence investigating the money trail. The US may put pressure on India to investigate the direct involvement of certain operators in India in the 9/11 attack.

Before he is conveniently dismissed, it must be noted that Kumar is not an ordinary cop; during his illustrious career, he had conducted several counter terror operations, many of which led to the neutralisation of notorious Pakistani terrorists. He is also said to have exposed the spot-fixing issue during the IPL league. Kumar received the President’s Police Medal in 1992 and the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999; he has also been felicitated by the Luton Cricket Club in the United Kingdom for “making cricket a better arena to play in” in 2013.

It is for these reasons that his revelations should not be taken lightly.

Now the onus lies upon the Indian government to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter with a view to ascertain the role of Indian operators in 9/11. This will help the FBI bring finality to one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks. Kumar’s revelations will also change the very narrative of blaming Pakistan for everything that is wrong in India, and if that is proven correct then we may have to rethink our foreign policy with our neighbour.

The role of Indian operators in 26/11 terror attack shows that we can’t just wish away the band of people in India supporting both domestic and global terror. Nor can we blame Pakistan for everything.

K S Venkatachalam

K S Venkatachalam

The author is an independent journalist and political commentator. He specialises in writing on political, social and economic issues. His articles have appeared in many Indian and International newspapers like Huffington Post, Global Times, South China Morning Post, The Hindu. He tweets as @Venkat48 (twitter.com/venkat48)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Gaurav C

    US should also find its citizen David Haedley’s role in Mumbai Attacks and how ISI training by US during Afghan War helped terrorists all over worldRecommend

  • Parvez

    ……..now a days if you buy a local box of matches to light a fire, the first match has no sulfur on the head, the second is so weak that it snaps in the middle, the third lights and immediately splutters shut and then you realize the phosphorus on the side of the match box is rubbed off and useless……even if there is substance to this it will take much more than ‘ someone said ‘ in a book by an ex-police man to be taken seriously.Recommend

  • Dr who not happy

    Government of India should file a charge against this ex CBI cop for divulging internal operational matters…If ordinary people working in a corporate leave the employer, they will be required to keep the operational processes, any trade secrets, client names etc confidential and if you write a book and try to make money by divulging any information you had in good faith while working it is illegal…I hope the government of India files charges and run a case against this man to teach lesson to also others who might be even thinking about this…I am sure every other government will do the same…You can’t write publish a book and make money by revealing KFC’s secrets, how then this guy is spared??Recommend

  • mimi sur

    Exactly. Now it is an open secret who are that band of people who support domestic and global terrorism . The Indians who supported 26/11 attack on India, they also support global terrorism.Recommend

  • Ajay Sharma
  • Ajay Sharma

    Pakistani terrorists role highlighted. Sorry for the disappointment.Recommend

  • Headstrong

    Whatever be the outcome of an investigation into the alleged “partly Indian funded” 9/11, one thing is for certain – the Indian State had no role to play. In fact the associated militants, such as Omar Sheikh, are known more for their association with Pakistan. What is also certain is that terrorist organisations such as LeT, JuD, Haqqani Network et al are indeed funded and supported by Pakistani.

    Therein lies the difference.Recommend

  • Vectra

    For one statement of neeraj kumar though that too not yet proved this author came out with a whole article and also didn’t forget to gave a advice to GOI at the end and he probably think FBI is fool that they missed this tiny funding part.Of course they knew it.Funny article nothing new.Recommend

  • Headstrong

    David Headley will be testifying soon in the 26/11 case. Expect more revelations on the Pakistani State’s role….Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    We blame Pakistan for every thing wrong in India? Really? Do we blame Pakistan for North East insurgency and Maos? We blame Pakistan for Kashmir insurgency and supporting terrorist acts in India. They must have local support in India and its just a matter of logical reasoning. You are trying to re-invent the wheel here. Waste of my 2 minutes.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    Even Pakistani conspiracy theory experts do not take Mr Neeraj Kumar seriously.Recommend

  • Appan

    Please read the article carefully and understand. It is the ransom money which was used and not that some one paid willinglyRecommend

  • Anshika

    I salute Tribune for this article despite knowing that HuM is based in Pakistan headed by Syed Salahuddin. What India could do when ISI is collecting funds by kidnapping around the world, this time it was India. Recommend

  • John B

    I guess the author has not read the book and what it says. The kidnappers demanded money form the local business man. It does not mean the business man funded the operation. It is the same MO that TTP used to raise funds for domestic terrorism in PAK and now ISIS is using.

    Has common sense gone out of the window in this blog? Recommend

  • bigsaf

    “According to him, the funds were raised through the kidnapping of Partha Pratim Roy Burman and were handed over to the 9/11 attackers by, Omar Sheikh, a terrorist who was released by India in exchange of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999. Kumar claims that he obtained this information from Asif Raza Khan, a member of the banned outfit Harkatul Mujahideen”

    Omar Sheikh, the Daniel Pearl killer, with former links to Pak intelligence and was captured on Pakistani soil later due to the high profile murder only, is like the lynchpin to everything…
    Don’t disagree with the need for India’s foreign policy shift or recognizing local and global terror, but not sure how the author concludes India as being culpable and Pakistan as being blameless. Maybe I missed something or missed the point…Recommend

  • Nero

    Neeraj Kumar just managed to find a way of selling few thousand copies of his book in Pakistan. Congratulations!Recommend

  • Nana

    As usual the Indians will go into denial because they are devtas, devian and dasian, perfect angels. When day the world will see their real face, I’m sure because no one, I repeat, no one can be so perfect.Recommend

  • Anshika

    This ‘open secret’ is exclusively used by Pakistanis. They must improve their skills. Recommend

  • Gullu

    True. Hindustan simply does not have the gravitas. Bharat, after loosing
    3 wars with a country i/3 it’s size,you simply find it hard to believe.
    No, don’t think Bharatis are capable of much more than sword rattling.
    They only function in a 10 to 1 superiority scale.Recommend

  • Gullu,Guddu and Gomnath.

    Of course you know the latest. David Headley is your brother in law.Recommend

  • Someone

    Lol. Hmm lets see. Who lost Bangladesh? Who had 90000 of it soldiers captured as PoWs? Who rushed to US for saving during Kargill? Well it was not India for sure. Recommend

  • Sid

    Is that what your tr t books taught youRecommend

  • asad

    9/11 was staged periodRecommend

  • charles

    Indian connection to 911 is limited to paying thugs ransom money …. and even that is tenuous. They never supported the Afghan Taliban, never supported Al Qaeda, and their territory was never used by either as sanctuary. End of story.Recommend