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'Uncovered two camps used by LeT for 26/11 training'

September 28, 2012 20:20 IST

A former head of Pakistan's main investigation agency on Friday offered a peek into the probe of the 2008 Mumbai attack, saying sleuths had uncovered two LeT training camps in Sindh province that were used by militants involved in the assault on India's financial hub.

Tariq Khosa, who supervised the probe of the Mumbai incident while heading the Federal Investigation Agency, said investigators had found the Lashkar-e-Tayiba camps at Thatta and Karachi, the capital of Sindh province.

These camps were used by those involved in the attacks, he said.

The investigators also found the Pakistani boat that was used by the team of 10 terrorists to travel from Karachi to Indian waters, Khosa said.

The boat had been repainted when it was traced but the original colours were found underneath, he said while speaking at the first public hearing organised by a parliamentary panel.

The number on the boat's engine had been tampered with by the militants.

Investigators used forensic techniques to ascertain the engine number and then found out that the engine had been imported into Pakistan, Khosa said.

By following up these leads, investigators were able to find the shop in Lahore which had sold the engine, he said.

Khosa said he was aware of more details of the investigation into the Mumbai attacks but it would not be proper to disclose them at a public forum.

He spoke at length on sectarian and extremist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and efforts to counter their activities.

He revealed that there was an estimated 25,000 youths in Punjab who had either trained or fought in Afghanistan.

Khosa said he had suggested that these youths should be put under surveillance and that special programmes should be organised to deradicalise them.

However, no action was taken by authorities, he added.

The public hearing was the first such event organised by the Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production of the Senate or upper house of parliament.

The panel, chaired by PML-Q leader Mushahid Hussain Sayed, invited several experts to speak on issues of national security.

Indian officials told PTI in the past that Khosa had played a key role in guiding the investigation of the Mumbai attacks before he was removed as head of the FIA in December 2009 for his role in probing several other high-profile crimes.

Several key breakthroughs against the Pakistani suspects liked to the Mumbai incident were made during Khosa's tenure.

Pakistan has arrested seven suspects, including LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for planning, financing and facilitating the Mumbai attacks that resulted in the death of 166 people in November 2008.

The trial of these suspects has stalled since last year due to various technical reasons.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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