The terror attack on Mumbai last month was the first time that terrorists had used the sea route to strike at the heart of the city.
Intelligence Bureau reports suggest that the terrorists received special maritime training from the Musa Company of the special services group of the Pakistan Army [Images].
Following the training imparted at the Murdike and Thakot camps of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the terrorists were shifted to Karachi, where they received maritime training from the Musa Company.
An Intelligence Bureau official told rediff.com that the Musa Company, formed on the lines of Indian Navy's MARCOS, specialiases in maritime operations. IB reports suggest that at the training programme of the Musa Company, which was supervised personally by the Inter Services Intelligence, the terrorists received lessons in navigation, rough weather sailing and naval maneuvering.
The terrorists were told to use boats similar to Indian fishing boats to avoid suspicion and detection. During the training programme, these men were informed that the Coast Guard and Navy vessels don't navigate too close to the coastline, as it is crowded with fishing boats.
The terrorists were aware that the fishing boats sail in groups, with as many as 50 to 100 boats in each group, and joining any such fleet would help the terrorists dodge the Navy.
Statistics reveal that over 10,000 fishing boats travel across the Arabian Sea from Karachi everyday.
Encouraged by reports of the police and Customs officials accepting bribes, the Musa Company zeroed in on the Gujarat coastline, a route frequently used by smugglers. The coastline is manned by police and Customs officials, who do not have proper equipment to detect and apprehend terrorists.