Mumbai terrorists were part of a large group
December 10, 2008
Mumbai terrorists 'part of a larger group'
The 10 men behind the Mumbai attacks were part of a large groupRhys Blakely, Mumbai
From Times Online (London) December 10, 2008
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.