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Getting the accent right is key to Lashkar ops

Vicky Nanjappa | December 22, 2008 13:12 IST

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Coverage: Terror attacks in Mumbai
A course in accent training is something usually associated with Business Processing Outsourcing. However, investigations have now revealed that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images] has been imparting accent training too to potential terrorists.

Intelligence Bureau officials say the interrogation of Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin -- the two alleged Lashkar terrorists arrested for their role in the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh [Images], in January -- have revealed that the Mumbai attackers also underwent training in Indian accents. The idea behind imparting such training to the terrorists is to ensure that nobody doubted their origins when they spoke.

Investigators say terrorists coming in from Pakistan usually have pronounced Punjabi/Sindhi accents. Once they arrive in India they are required to take shelter for a couple of days before launching an attack. During this period it is necessary that they conceal their identities and not provoke suspicion.

Sabahuddin told Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad investigators -- in whose custody he is currently -- that a group of Indians impart accent training at the Lashkar terror camps. Ansari, who hails from Mumbai, also imparted accent training for several days, teaching likely terrorists how to speak Hindi the way it is spoken in Mumbai.

Sabahuddin says he imparted such training to several terrorists at the Lashkar camps.

Accent [Images] training lasts at least a fortnight. The terrorists are also taught how to behave after they arrive in India. Sabahuddin said there is a lot of difference in the way Pakistanis behave when compared to the Indian manner.

When terrorists like Ansari and Sabahuddin are required to stay undercover for a long period of time, they even take up employment.

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