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'Terrorists wanted to attack Mumbai airport'

Vicky Nanjappa | December 21, 2008 15:55 IST

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Fahim Ansari, the prime accused in the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur, has told officials of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad that he had been trained in Pakistan and the deadly 26/11 attacks had been planned by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images].

Ansari revealed that apart from the Taj and Trident hotels, the terrorists had also planned to attack the airport. He said that the fidayeens had planned to seize partial control of the airport to target departing aircraft.
An ATS source told that Ansari had further revealed that the LeT had meticulously planned the attack on Mumbai for over a year. Ansari said that he met key LeT leaders Zaki-Ur-Rehman Laqvi and Yusuf Muzzamil for the first time in March, 2007. Ansari, a resident of Mumbai, had traveled to Dubai to look for a job.

"There, I came in contact with a LeT operative, who convinced me to join the outfit. I readily agreed, following which I was taken to Pakistan via Abu Dhabi. I was taken to the Mujahideen [Images] camp in Baitul, where I trained for 8 months.

"In December 2007, I left for Mumbai to conduct a recee of important locations. At the Mujahideen camp, I was asked to identify key locations in Mumbai on Google Earth. I initially identified the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus [Images], Taj Hotel [Images], Trident Hotel and Mantraalaya. I was also asked to go to the airport to study the feasibility of storming into the runway and attacking aircraft. But this plan was dropped later as it was not feasible.

"After conducting the recee, I shot videos of these locations and also prepared sketches. I handed these videos and sketches over to Sabahuddin, who in turn passed it on to the Lashkar," Ansari onfessed.

Ansari's confessions will help India build up its case against the terror elements operating on Pakistani soil. His co-conspirator Sabahuddin had also admitted that the 26/11 attacks were planned and launched from Pakistan.

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