The officials of Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] grilled Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab, the lone Lashker-e-Taiba militant involved in the November 26 terror strikes, for over nine hours recently to ascertain about his role and handlers in Pakistan.
The FBI sleuths, who have now been camping in the metropolis for over three weeks, questioned Kasab, who is in the custody of Mumbai Police, official sources said.
During the questioning session that lasted at a stretch for nine hours, the FBI sleuths asked the arrested Lashkar terrorist minor details about his native places even including the lanes and by-lanes of the area. Kasab hails from Ukkad area of Faridkot district in Pakistan.
Kasab was also asked to explain the area were his training took place besides the people who had trained him in arms as well as the people who brainwashed him, the sources said.
The 21-year-old Iman told his interrogators that he had started his career as a petty thief in Lahore, where he was staying with his brother after dropping out of school in 2000.
Thereafter, he shuttled between his brothers home and his parent’s house till 2005.
He had a fight with his family members and left home to start work as a daily wager but later joined a small-time criminal gang. Here, he and one of his friends came across some Jamaat-ul-Dawa members while they were purchasing arms from a market in Rawalpindi.
The FBI team came to India on December 1, after registering the case. As per the US laws, the FBI has to probe the death or torture of any American citizen outside the US and later submit a chargesheet. Six US nationals and at least one British national were killed by terrorists in this case.
The FBI has already taken DNA samples of all the nine Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed during the infamous Mumbai shootout case and also found that the integrated circuits used in the explosive devices were quite similar to those used in Afghanistan.
Sources associated with the investigation into the November 26 terror strikes in Mumbai said the DNA samples had been preserved by the western investigators and were ascertaining whether it matched with anyone in their data bank or has any relations with persons killed during its operations in Afghanistan
Kasab is a Pakistani national, confirms FBI
American investigators who questioned Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai attack, are convinced he is a Pakistani national and that the terrorist strike was planned and executed by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.
Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were given access to Kasab for nine hours and after questioning him, they came to the conclusion that he was a Pakistani national as contended by Indian authorities, the sources told PTI.
The sources, familiar with the probe being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s team dispatched to Mumbai, said American investigators were also convinced that the Mumbai attacks were intricately planned and directed by LeT leaders based in Pakistan.
“The investigators believe the attacks were planned, coordinated and directed from Pakistan by LeT leaders,” a source said.
These findings fit in with comments by top American leaders like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Admiral Mike Mullen, the senior-most US military official, who have asked Pakistan to take quick action against ‘non-state actors’ based on Pakistani soil who were linked to the Mumbai attacks.
Though Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has ruled out allowing the British police to quiz the suspects Pakistan had detained in connection with the Mumbai attacks, the diplomatic sources said it would be hard pressed to take such a stance if the FBI made a similar request, as India had already given American investigators access to Kasab.
The diplomatic sources also provided other details of the FBI investigation that had convinced the US of the complicity of the LeT in the terrorist strike.
American investigators were able to extract details of calls made by the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks to their LeT handlers in Pakistan by using sophisticated Technology, to examine the burnt and damaged mobile phones of the attackers, the sources said.
These phones, which were damaged in gun battles between the terrorists and security forces, were provided to the FBI team by Indian law enforcement agencies, they said.
The US dispatched an investigating team to Mumbai as six Americans were among the 183 people killed in the attacks.
Kasab was captured shortly after he and another terrorist struck at a major railway terminus in India’s financial hub.
Indian officials said he was a member of the LeT and belonged to Faridkot village in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Kasab’s father subsequently admitted to a Pakistani newspaper that the gunman whose pictures were beamed around the world by the media was his son.
Other residents of Faridkot have said that Kasab last visited the village about five to six months ago, when he told his mother he was going away for ‘jehad’.
The Pakistan government has said it is awaiting information and evidence from India to confirm the identity and nationality of Ajmal.
The sources also said the FBI investigators had found no evidence of linkages between the 26/11 attacks and the Inter Services Intelligence.