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Pakistan shows global links to Mumbai terror attacks

Last updated on: February 12, 2009 18:20 IST

From Italy, Spain and an unnamed Middle Eastern country to US and Russia, the plotters of the Mumbai terror attack tapped local resources including dollar payment transfers and registering internet domain names in a sinister global plan to numb India's financial capital that left 183 persons dead.
    
As Pakistan gave the first readout on its probe into 26/11 which saw the cyber link coming to the fore, its Interior
Minister Rehman Malik said leads also pointed to Europe and the United States for which he said Federeal Bureau of Investigation's help and international cooperation will be sought to crack the case.
    
"It is not only Pakistan, but the system of the other countries has also been used," Malik said.
     
Malik named other countries, where he said the plotters had made payment transfers or where equipment used in the attacks was registered. For example, he said, 238 dollars was transferred from Spain to acquire a domain name -- used for communication over the Internet -- that was registered in Houston, Texas in the US.
     
A Pakistani man  Javed Iqbal who was living in Barcelona was repatriated and arrested in connection with the payment, Malik said.
     
Another domain name used by the attackers was registered in Russia, and a satellite phone registered in a Middle
Eastern country, which he declined to name.
     
Malik said "money was paid in Italy," but it was not immediately clear how much he was referring to or what the
money was used for.

Giving details of internet domains used by the Mumbai plotters, Malik said they were traced to Houston in the US andRussia.

Suspects used a digital teleconferencing system whose service provider is based in Houston while a Thuraya phone was issued in a "Middle Eastern country" Malik said. He did not identify the Middle East nation.

It was also revealed that the money for the attackers was paid in Italy and the amount came from Islamabad.

Voice Over Internet Protocol was purchased from Barcelona by Javed Iqbal, who also operated three e-mail accounts from the Spanish city, Malik said. Payments for use of VOIP made in Spain and Italy, it was stated.

With cyber technology being tapped by the terror suspects to execute the plan, Malik also said that e-mail sent purportedly by Indian Mujahideen was traced to LeY operativeZahir Shah.

The Mumbai gunmen's handlers in Pakistan had kept in touch with them by phone during the three-day assault, according to Indian investigators, who also monitored the worldwide traffic of VOIP flow to find out that nearly 5,000 calls were made across the globe at the time of the Mumbai siege.

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