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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Gunmen In Mumbai Attack Identified

Gunmen In Mumbai Attack Identified

December 9, 2008

India police 'name Mumbai gunmen'

Named militants. Mumbai police website Released photos (from left): Bada Abdul Rehaman (Taj Palace); Abdul Rehaman Chota (Oberoi); Ismal Khan (CST station); Babar Imaran (Nariman House)

Indian authorities have released the names or aliases of the nine suspected militants killed during last month's attacks in the city of Mumbai (Bombay).

Photographs of eight of the men were released - the body of the ninth was said to have been too badly burned.

Police said all were from Pakistan. They did not say how this was known but one gunman, named as Azam Amir Qasab, survived and has been interrogated.

The attacks began on 26 November and left at least 170 people dead.

India has blamed Pakistani-based militants Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.

Earlier Pakistan said it had arrested two leading militants but that it would not hand them over to India.

Sole survivor

Mumbai's chief police investigator Rakesh Maria showed photographs of the men taken from their bodies or from the ID he said they were carrying.

He said all were aged between 20 and 28. Some of the militants had just one name and had used aliases during training.

TEN NAMED MEN Nasir, alias Abu Umar Nasir, alias Abu Umar (above, Nariman House) Abu Ali (Taj Palace) Soheb (Taj Palace) Fahad Ullah (Oberoi) Azam Amir Qasab (survived) Bada Abdul Rehaman (Taj Palace) Abdul Rehaman Chota (Oberoi) Ismal Khan (CST station) Babar Imaran (Nariman House) Nazir, alias Abu Omer (Taj Palace)

The youngest was identified as 20-year-old Shoaib, alias Soheb, who was said to be from Punjab province.

Three attackers were said to have come from the central Pakistani city of Multan, Mr Maria said.

He said the group leader was a Lashkar "veteran", Ismal Khan, 25, from North West Frontier Province.

The photographs taken from dead bodies are too graphic to show.

Indian investigators have said survivor Azam Amir Qasab was indoctrinated by Lashkar-e-Taiba (Soldiers of the Pure) and trained at a camp run by the group.

Some media reports have suggested that truth serum may be used as part of his interrogation.

Earlier Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi had been held.

Mr Lakhvi is the Lashkar commander India suspects of planning the Mumbai attacks.

"Lakhvi was picked up yesterday. Azhar has also been picked up," Mr Mukhtar told India's CNN-IBN channel.

He also repeated Islamabad's request for evidence to be shared with Pakistan.

Raid suggests policy shift Profile: Lashkar-e-Taiba Anger at 'blown' arrests

"Both US and India say they have ample proof but why is it hidden from us?" Mr Mukhtar asked.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, meanwhile, repeated that Pakistan would not hand over to India any of its citizens arrested in connection with last month's attack.

He said that about 16 people had been detained for questioning so far in a crackdown against banned Islamist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Reports say Pakistani police have also ordered the sealing of some offices used by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Islamic charity seen as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Mr Qureshi added: "We do not want to impose war, but we are fully prepared in case war is imposed on us. We are not oblivious to our responsibilities to defend our homeland."

Delhi's list

Meanwhile, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said peace talks with India must proceed to "foil the designs of the terrorists".

"Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks," he wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday.

On Monday, the US praised what it said were "positive steps" after Pakistani forces raided a camp in Pakistani-administered Kashmir used by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India links to the attacks.

But state department spokesman Sean McCormack also said it was "incumbent upon the Pakistani government to act to prevent any future terrorist attacks, to break up those networks that may be responsible for perpetrating acts of violent extremism".

Delhi has not commented on the operation.

Masood Azhar is one of the most wanted men in India. The group he founded, Jaish-e-Mohammad, is accused along with Lashkar-e-Taiba of taking part in the attack on India's parliament in 2001 which led the two countries to the brink of war.

Mr Azhar is reportedly on a list of people Delhi has demanded Pakistan hand over.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says Mr Azhar has been in and out of Pakistani custody over the past five years.

Our correspondent says he is no longer considered to be in day-to-day charge of Jaish-e-Mohammad and detaining him will make little difference to militant activity.

The group is thought to behind a string of attacks inside Pakistan as well.

Although the authorities in Pakistan formally banned Lashkar six years ago and curbed its activities, its camps were never closed.



Mumbai terrorists 'part of a larger group'

Abdul Rehaman Chota, Babar Imaran, Isamal Khan, Nasir and Baba Abdul Rahaman

(India Police/AP)

The 10 men behind the Mumbai attacks were part of a large group

Rhys Blakely, Mumbai
From Times Online (London) December 10, 2008

Terrorists 'used web phones' to thwart police

The 10 men known to have carried out the Mumbai terror attacks were part of a larger cadre of 30 who were given military training on how to conduct a suicide mission, according to police.

"Another 20 were trained in the same way," Deven Bharti, Mumbai Police Deputy Commissioner, told The Times. "We suspect they were being trained for similar missions. This is a worry for all parts of the world, these men could strike in any one of several countries," he said.

The whereabouts of the 20 other men are unknown.

The news came after the Indian government demanded that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity linked to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which Indian officials say was responsible for the Mumbai strike, be added to a UN terrorism blacklist.

"We have requested the Security Council to proscribe the Pakistani group Jamaat-ud-Dawa since it is a terrorist outfit," E. Ahamed, Indian minister of state for external affairs, told a special meeting of the UN Security Council on terrorism.

Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told the council Islamabad was ready to support such a measure.

There have been fears that more militants were on the loose since the terror attacks on India's commercial capital on November 26, which killed at least 170 people.

Police sources had earlier said that 24 terrorists received the same training which included weapons handling and marine warfare drills as the Mumbai gunmen in camps in Pakistan. They have now increased the number.

Indian officials allege that the camps were run by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was founded to fight Indian rule in Kashmir.

The new information on the number of terrorist trainees came from the sole gunman to be taken alive, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, who is being interrogated by police in Mumbai.

Leaders from Lashkar-e-Taiba picked out Kasab and the nine other Mumbai gunmen some months before the attacks. The chosen militants were then divided into five two-man teams, each of which was assigned a target in Mumbai. Each team was forbidden from sharing the information about their target with the others and never saw the other 20 trainees again, according to police.

Each of the 10 gunmen was armed with about a dozen grenades, a 9 mm pistol with two magazines, one AK-47 assault rifle with about seven magazines and 100-150 rounds of ammunition, police said.

Police in Mumbai have also named a fifth suspect in their investigation into the attacks. The man, identified only as Sabauddin, was arrested in February with the Indian-born Fahim Ansari, who was caught carrying maps that pinpointed several of the city landmarks that were hit in the raid on Mumbai.

Sabauddin has been held in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with Ansari since they were arrested for an attack on a reserve police camp.

Two others have been arrested for helping the gunmen get mobile phone cards, along with Kasab.

Mukhtar Ahmed, 35, originally from Indian-controlled Kashmir, was detained on Friday in Delhi. He is being held with another man, Tauseef Rehman, 26, who was arrested in his home city of Calcutta on the same day.

The detention of the two men, both now being held in Calcutta, had been hailed as a potentially key breakthrough in the Mumbai investigation.

The operation turned sour, however, after police in Srinagar, Indian Kashmir's summer capital, said that Ahmed worked for them, raising the possibility that an Indian agent aided the militants that committed India's worse terror attack in 15 years.

Mumbai police yesterday identified the nine gunmen that were killed and released pictures of eight of them. One was burned too badly, so his picture was withheld, he said.

All the men were Pakistani, the police said, raising pressure on India's neighbour to take action.

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