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'Pakistani authorities knew about terrorists traveling to Mumbai'

Vicky Nanjappa | December 07, 2008 00:30 IST

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As investigations into the Mumbai terror attack are picking up pace, the links between the terrorists and Pakistan are becoming also becoming clearer. Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist who was nabbed alive during the terror attack, has revealed that Pakistan authorities had deliberately turned a blind eye when he, along with his 10 associates, traveled to Mumbai.

An Anti-Terrorist Squad official told that according to Kasab, Pakistani authorities were aware of their boat crossing Pakistan waters and entering the Indian sea, but they were not checked or questioned even once by the maritime officials. Kasab further told his interrogators that the fishing boat Kuber was boarded in Pakistani waters, contrary to earlier reports, which suggested that they had hijacked the boat in Indian waters.

Kasab says that the terrorists reached Mumbai via Gujarat, and the last leg of their journey was covered in a dinghy. On reaching Mumbai, they split up into different groups and went about their operations.

Investigators have learnt that the guns used by the terrorists were brought in from Pakistan. Investigations have suggested that the guns were supplied from Peshawar, and the ATS is now trying to find out if the Pakistan Army [Images] procures its arms from the same place.

A day after the chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba denied any links with the Mumbai terror attack in an interview, Kasab told the investigators that he and the other terrorists were trained by LeT operatives and ex-army personnel from Pakistan.

He said that the entire plot was hatched by the LeT a year ago and all the terrorists underwent rigourous training under the supervision of LeT commanders and former Pakistan army officials.

ATS officials believe that Fahim Ansari, who was arrested in connection with the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur, played a vital role in planning the Mumbai terror attack. "We are examining his statements and will question him in detail as we believe that he will help us join the dots in this investigation," said an ATS official.

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