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ATS finds terrorist who trained with Kasab

Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai | December 03, 2008 15:36 IST
Last Updated: December 03, 2008 15:56 IST

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Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad and Intelligence Bureau sleuths have found their Indian link to the Mumbai terror attack. Investigations conducted by the Mumbai ATS and the IB have revealed that the arrested militant, Ajmal Kasab and Mohammad Ghouse, a Hyderabad resident, had attended the same training school and had even trained together.

Inputs picked up investigating agencies have revealed Ghouse, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative who was arrested in Karnataka, and who planned to target foreign nationals in Goa [Images] was in the same school as Kasab in Pakistan. The two men had trained in Muzafarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Karachi. The brief given to the two men was similar and both were asked to target foreign nationals.

However Ghouse completed his training earlier than Kasab as the latter was to specialise in fidayeen attacks which required longer training. Ghouse was directed to plant bombs in Goa and carry out a series of attacks on the beaches of Goa, which is frequented by foreigners. However Kasab was specifically trained for combat. Ghouse had told his interrogators that fidayeen are as good as any commandos in the world.

ATS sources told that the link is evident but that they need to dig deeper. "Our team has already contacted our counterparts in Karnataka who have Ghouse in their custody," an ATS source said.

Although the Mumbai police denies that terrorists had done a recce of Mumbai before carrying out the attack, IB sources say that the pattern of the LeT suggests that no attack is carried out unless and until a recce is carried out. Ghouse too in his confession says that he had done a recce and it was during this process that he was caught. Ghouse had done a recce of several hotels in both Goa and Bangalore and while he was about to launch the final assault he was nabbed.

The IB says that there is no doubt that there is a Pakistan link to this attack. Ghouse during interrogation had said that he was expecting a huge consignment of arms and ammunition from Pakistan and also said that in such attacks, his commander sends a back up team of trained men.

At the moment the IB and the investigating agencies are trying to link both Ghouse and Kasab. An ATS officer says that although both persons are involved in different operations, it would still help them get more insight into the Lashkar network.

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