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'Mumbai attacks were planned for September'

Vicky Nanjappa and Krishnakumar P in Mumbai | December 07, 2008 21:33 IST

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Fahim Ansari is proving to be a vital link to the Mumbai terror attack and his interrogation has revealed that Mumbai was originally supposed to be struck in September 2008. Ansari who confirms that the entire Mumbai terror attack was planned and plotted by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba says that the operation was originally planned for September, but had to be postponed to November following his arrest.

Investigators and Intelligence Bureau officials told that several details regarding the Mumbai terror attack had come to light following the arrest of Fahim Ansari, one of the accused in the attack on a Central Reserve Police Force camp at Rampur. IB officials said that the LeT was forced to postpone the Mumbai operation following the arrest of Ansari as they realized that the man had let out information regarding the major attack on the financial capital.

Ansari said during his interrogation that the Mumbai attack was planned along with the CRPF Rampur attack. While one team was identified for the attack at Rampur, another team had trained along with them rigorously to carry out the attack on Mumbai. Ansari who was first interrogated by the Uttar Pradesh [Images] police in February had revealed that the LeT had planned an attack in Mumbai.

Ansari had made a specific mention about the Taj, Oberoi, and also the Bombay Stock Exchange at that time. He had said that the attack was planned for September. The IB says that the idea of hitting the Bombay Stock Exchange was dropped at the last minute as the LeT decided that it would be a night operation and there was no use in striking at the BSE by night. The LeT decided to penetrate into Mumbai in the night as they knew that security would be lax at that time.

Interrogators say that the LeT got wind of the fact that Ansari had revealed too much during his interrogation and hence was forced to postpone the operation. The police now have vital information regarding the Mumbai attack from Ansari which also includes a map showing details on how the terrorists had planned on entering Mumbai. The map which is in the possession of the Anti Terrorism [Images] Squad, Mumbai shows the path chalked out for the terrorists to enter into the CST station and also the Taj. Apart from this Ansari has also revealed key details on how the LeT operatives trained for the Mumbai operation.

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