Intelligence Bureau inputs suggest that the fidayeen who stormed Mumbai had conducted a thorough recce of both the Taj Mahal hotel [Images] and Trident (formerly Oberoi) hotel.
IB sources told rediff.com that two teams had checked into the hotels four days before the attack, and used the time to stash away ammunition there. During their stay as guests in the hotel they also thoroughly studied its layout. On the day of the attack, an unspecified number of attackers joined them. The IB says in all there were 20 fidayeen who took part in the terror attack that terrorised Mumbai.
It is also said that while a certain number of the terrorists had already entered Mumbai and taken shelter in the two hotels, 12 more persons came into Mumbai through the sea-route. While initially it was suggested that the attackers came in from Karachi, investigators are also probing claims made by fishermen in Kerala [Images] that a ship unknown to their parts was sighted. The IB is now probing whether this was the mother ship that brought in the attackers.
Incidentally, newspapers in Kerala had reported a while ago on an unknown ship in Indian waters. The IB says if this was the same ship, then they had evidence that it may have come in from the Persian Gulf.
Intelligence agencies are now probing as to at which point the attackers switched to the boat in which they reached Mumbai. They, however, confirm that there was a second boat which was on standby, and this boat was laden with extra ammunition as they were sure it would be a long-drawn battle.
While some of the terrorists who came by sea joined the respective groups at the two hotels, one team from the remaining group stormed Nariman House. Sources say this attack was planned keeping in mind two things: one, it housed Jews from Israel, and second, it fell within the vicinity of both the Taj Mahal and Trident hotels, making the operation easy.