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Terrorists had fake IDs from Karnataka college
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December 10, 2008 13:24 IST
Last Updated: December 10, 2008 14:06 IST

On Tuesday, the Mumbai police gave terror a face by releasing the photographs of nine terrorists involved in the horrific Mumbai attacks. Their photographs, names and other details show not only the extent of the terror network, but also puts the spotlight back on India's Silicon Valley, Bengaluru [Images].

All the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attack tried to pass off as students, and carried fake identity cards of a college near Bengaluru. The ID cards were recovered after the terrorists were eliminated on November 29. An Intelligence Bureau official who is part of the investigations told that the terrorists used the ID cards on entering Mumbai. The IB says since the terrorists planned to kill as many people as possible and die in the attacks, the ID cards were cleverly designed to throw the security forces on the wrong track.

What ruined this plan was the capture of Ajmal Kasab by the Mumbai police. Kasab in his interrogation has given out all the details about his accomplices, and even identified them.

The ID cards were in the name of a college located in Kengeri, a small town around 40 km from Bengaluru. But the terrorists erred by mentioning that they were post-graduate students. When the Bengaluru police verified the ID cards with the college the management pointed out that one, they did not run a PG course and, two, the address was wrongly printed on the ID cards.

Once the ID cards were shown to Ajmal Kasab, he in turn matched the names with faces. Kasab was also aware of where the terrorists came from and gave the investigators their background and other details as well.

However, not all the photographs released by the Mumbai police were obtained from the ID cards. The ID cards of Abu Ali and Abu Sohaib (terrorists at the Taj Mahal hotel [Images]) and Fahadullah (the terrorist at Oberoi-Trident [Images] hotel) were soaked in blood and unrecognisable. Instead, their dead body was photographed and shown to Kasab for identification. Even this was not possible in the case of Nazeer alias Abu Ummer, one of the terrorists who was killed at the Taj Mahal hotel, since his face was destroyed in the bloody battle. His name, however, was given out by Kasab during interrogation.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru police has picked up one Shafiullah for making the fake ID cards. He runs a photo studio at Channapattana, 60 km from Bengaluru. A police officer told that Shafiullah ran two studios in Channapattana, and was into forging certificates etc. He is believed to have made the fake ID cards which were used by the terrorists in Mumbai.

His studio is around 20 km from where the Kengeri college is situated.

The police stumbled on to Shafiullah while verifying the ID cards with the college authorities. He is now in the custody of the Bengaluru police who are probing his links with the Mumbai terrorists.

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