INDIA: Mumbai Terror Probe Leads to Pakistan's "Epicenter of Terrorism"
By Animesh Roul
Originaly Published as "Mumbai Terror Investigation Leads to Pakistan’s “Epicenter of Terrorism” in Terrorism Focus (Jamestown Foundation), Vol. 5 (42), December 12, 2008.
………The probe so far has pointed to four LeT operatives. The “masterminds” are identified as Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who was seized by Pakistani police after a raid on a LeT camp in Kashmir, and Yusuf Muzammil, whose current whereabouts are unknown. Based on the results of police interrogations, two individuals identified as Abu Hamza and Khafa have been named as trainers who provided maritime lessons and training in the handling of explosives and weapons (Times of India, December 6; Daily Times [Lahore], December 12). According to Rakesh Maria, the Joint Commissioner of Police and a lead investigator in the Mumbai attacks, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD, a charity and front organization for LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was also involved with Lakhvi, Hamza and Kahfa in the Mumbai plot, from planning to execution (Press Trust of India, December 10). Earlier, government sources claimed that the investigators had “incontrovertible proof” of the names of the ISI handlers and trainers and the locations in Pakistan where the terrorist training was carried out. Police also claimed to have recovered some of terrorists’ communications through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (The Hindu, December 5). With the help of foreign investigating agencies, especially the FBI, Mumbai police tracked the VoIP number brought from Orlando, Florida, which was used by the terrorists to talk to Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is currently under detention in Pakistan along with 20 other LeT and Jaysh-e-Mohammed operatives (Indian Express, December 10).
The fishing trawler in which the terrorists reached the Mumbai coast, the MV Kuber, had an inventory of items that established a Pakistani hand in the attacks, including wheat flour, dental gel and shaving cream all bearing “Made in Pakistan” tags. The Thuraya satellite phone recovered from the abandoned trawler contained records of a conversation between LeT chief Yusuf Muzammil, based in the Kashmiri city of Muzafarabad, and an individual known as Yahya, believed to be a point man for the LeT and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) in Bangladesh. Yahya reportedly arranged SIM (subscriber identity module) cards and fake ID cards, primarily from countries like Mauritius, the UK, the United States and Australia. The satellite phone also has records of calls traced to Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in Jalalabad in Afghanistan (Times of India, November 30).
Interrogation of the lone surviving terrorist has revealed details of LeT training camps in Danna, Abdul-Bin-Masud, Mangla Dam, Akas, Um-Al-Qura, Badli and Muzafarabad in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir. Mumbai’s Crime Branch denied the involvement of more than ten terrorists in these multiple attacks, adding that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks were trained at four places inside Pakistan: Manshera, Muridke, Muzafarabad and Karachi (Daily News and Analysis [Mumbai], December 7).
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