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Time & again, Mumbai cops had been warned: IB

Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai | December 04, 2008 01:39 IST

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The Mumbai Police has, on several instances, denied that it had prior warning regarding the Mumbai terror attack. Even the city Police Commissioner on Tuesday confirmed the same.

However, Intelligence Bureau officials say that the agency as well as the RAW had given information to the Mumbai Police regarding a terror attack.

IB sources told rediff.com that they have been warning the Mumbai Police since February 2008.

The first alert was sounded in February 2008 following the interrogation of a terrorist arrested in connection with the fidayeen (suicide) attack at the Central Reserve Police Force camp at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh [Images].

During the interrogation, the arrested terrorist had confessed that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba had planned on attacking Mumbai. He had specifically mentioned the Taj Mahal hotel [Images] during his interrogation.

Then came the various intercepts by both the IB and RAW, which both agencies claim had passed on to the Mumbai police. The first intercept of a satellite phone conversation was three months before the Mumbai attack.

The conversation suggested that the next attack would be a hotel at Mumbai. The conversation also suggested that it would be better to take the sea route as it was safer. The final intercept was made on November 18, which was eight days before the attack.

The conversation states that men would be entering into Mumbai through sea. It also stated that the operation could commence anytime between 9 and 11 PM. The IB says that all this had been passed on to the police.

The Mumbai Police also had two more warnings regarding the attack. Defence minister, A K Antony had made a public statement that there would be an attack from the seas. The next indication that Mumbai would be attacked was when the Indian Mujahideen [Images] sent out an email after the Bangalore, Ahmedabad [Images] and Delhi [Images] blasts. In the mail it was clearly mentioned that the outfit would target Mumbai next.

IB officials say that, at times, information cannot be specific in nature and they just pick up pieces of information and pass it on to the police. When an advisory is issued, it is the duty of the police to beef up security.






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