- "...what's more likely is that this is part of a larger outfit India Mujahadeen which has been on the militant scene for a while now...."
- "...already there are some indications when they're bringing up the boats where the militants supposedly came by, um, some hints of Pakistani links..."
- "...so far it looks like there's seem to be some reports of them being Pakistani, more Kashmiri...so were looking most likely at Islamic militants."
The only explanation given by Morning Edition for spending several minutes with Bhalla was that "she is director of geopolitical analysis at Stratfor, which is a private intelligence company in Austin Texas." The striking thing about Stratfor, is how little you can find out about it. Barron's ran an interesting article about Stratfor back in October of 2001. You can also find Stratfor produced and purchased information featured by several right-wing sites such as Bill O'Reilly, Right Side News and Right Bias. A critic, Al Giordano of NarcoNews has pointed out how in line with the US State Department policy Stratfor's information and analyses are (which coincidentally makes it a perfect fit with NPR News.) Some information on Stratfor can be found at Sourcewatch and almost nothing from their own corporate site.
As far as information on Ms. Bhalla, I similarly could find almost nothing, except her byline on Statfor published articles. However I did find that she has a profile on Facebook which notes that she is a Texas alum '04 (UT Austin I presume) and a Georgetown grad student.
Wondering how NPR justifies using such a "source" I sent an email to the Ombudsman noting the inaccessibility of information on Bhalla and Statfor and asking "why NPR uses Stratfor as a news source when it is not open to any kind of public scrutiny. Does NPR pay Stratfor, and if so how much?"
I'll add an update to this if I hear anything back.