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Every LeT member undergoes maritime training: Jundal

Last updated on: June 29, 2012 13:32 IST

Image: Kuber, the boat used by the 10 terrorists to reach Mumbai
Vicky Nanjappa

Indian investigators doubt that the entire maritime wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba is handled by the elite Musa Company -- the special services group of the Pakistan Army, reports Vicky Nanjappa  

It has almost been a week since the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal. While on one hand the investigators look for more clues into the 26/11 Mumbai attack, on the other the National Investigating Agency is trying to find out the future plans of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba for India.

During investigations, Jundal told investigators about the maritime training that the terrorists received and said that a lot of importance was given to it. He said that there were professionals during the camp and even when he had landed for the first time in Karachi it was mandatory in the Lashkar that the recruits undergo maritime training.

He said that post 2005, it had become compulsory for every member in the outfit to take both maritime training and a course in elementary flying. Attacks launched from the land were becoming difficult and hence maritime training had been introduced so that sea borne attacks could be undertaken.

Although there were classes on elementary flying as well, the Lashkar has been cautious to use this form of an attack immediately, Jundal told investigators.



'Officers were present during maritime training'

Jundal has revealed to the investigators that there were many Inter-Services Intelligence officers around during the attack. However, he said that their identities were never revealed.

The police will have a lot more grilling to do before they can find out the role of the ISI and also pinpoint all those in this agency and the army who helped carry out the attack.

An investigator said that this is a very crucial part of the investigation since Jundal has revealed that there were officers who were present during the maritime training. "Indians have a doubt that the entire maritime wing of the Lashkar is handled by the elite Musa Company -- the special services group of the Pakistan Army," said the investigator.

"The maritime training was first conducted by members of the Lashkar at Thakot and Murdike, and the final training class was held at Karachi, which was directly under the Musa Company," he said.

Jundal will be questioned more on this and this could also be one of the many clinching evidences to show the involvement of Pakistan in the 26/11 attack, said the investigator.


Attack was preceded by at least ten mock drills

Image: A burning Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai during the 26/11 attacks
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/

A probe update with regard to the 26/11 attack states that Jundal was in the control room along with the other handlers who were commanded by Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the founding member of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. Jundal also told the police that the control room that was set up near the international airport for the attack was destroyed so that there was no evidence in the aftermath of the attack.

Jundal told investigators that for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba it was very important that the operations in the control room went about smoothly and hence there were many mock drills before the actual operation. He said that all the mock drills were conducted at the control room of the Lashkar and the Baitullah Mujahideen.

Apart from practising the manner in which they were to give commands, they also repeatedly checked phones and also the connectivity. There were at least ten mock drills and the last one was conducted two days before the attack. He also makes a mention of some officers of the ISI who oversaw the operations at the control room.


'Police yet to find out role of LeT operatives Kagazi, Sheikh'

The police still have another jigsaw puzzle to solve, which can be done only when they interrogate two major operatives- Fayyaz Kagazi from Beed and Rahil Sheikh from Thana.  Jundal, along with Kagazi and Sheikh were together during the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006. They had planned on stocking weapons in various locations and using them during the attack. However, Jundal does not say that the arms used by the ten terrorists during the 26/11 attack were stocked in advance in India and it had anything to do with the Aurangabad haul.

India in coordination with Saudi Arabia is trying to lay its hands on these two men. It is believed that the duo is holed up in Saudi Arabia and once again the United States of America has provided intercepts regarding these men. The three formed a deadly team and were recruited into the Lashkar almost at the same time. In fact, Kagazi and Jundal hail from the same village of Beed. It is said that he had introduced him to the Lashkar. They also got in touch with Rahil Shaikh from Thana, who too played a crucial role in the Aurangabad case.

Immediately after the arms haul case all three of them left for Karachi. They were said to have been given maritime training and were also taught intelligence gathering. The training took place in a Lashkar camp based in Karachi. However, the name of Kagazi remained a mystery all throughout, but Rahil Shaikh's name sprung up during the Mumbai train bombings.

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