Mumbai, July 20 : Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, in his dramatic confession before a special court Monday, said that he was a decorator by profession but since his income was little, he was attracted to ‘jehad’ (holy war).
Through some contacts, he came in touch with the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and later underwent training under Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Hamza, Abu Kafa and Abu Jhundal, the masterminds of the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attacks, at a place called Battal in Pakistan.
Recounting how he joined terrorism, Kasab said he worked with Haji Sultan as a small-time decorator in Jhelum in Punjab province. It was a month before the Bakr-Eid festival, that co-worker Muzaffar and he spoke of how they were not making enough money from the work. Muzaffar suggested that they could indulge in thefts or dacoity to make more money.
While on a visit to Rawalpindi, Kasab had approached some LeT activists whom they located in the Raja market. “I told them that I wanted to become a ‘jehadi.’ One of them enquired about where we stayed and asked us to bring our belongings there.
Another accompanied us with a piece of paper on which Markaz Taiba Murqui was written and gave us some money,” he said.
There they met more boys and joined them. After 21 days, Kasab was sent to Mansera, and then to Mankheda Aksa. Later, all the boys were taken to a hilly place called Battal where they were trained to operate pistols, guns, AK-47s and other weapons for 21 days. Later, they were sent to Daura Khaas for three months.
Kasab said three people trained them – Abu Ansa, Abu Basheer and Abu Abdul Rehman. From Battal, he travelled to “Azad Kashmir“, the Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where he met Sayeed.
All the boys were taken to another camp and trained for three months by Abu Maviya, Abu Saiful Rehman, Abu Talaah and Abu Sariya. Here they learnt to operate rocket launchers, grenades and other deadly weapons.
Later, Kasab said, he was given a week’s break to go home. Upon return, Sayeed, Abu Hamza and Abu Kafa selected some of the boys to go to Kashmir. They also learnt swimming from Abu Imran and were for a month taken to Karachi, where they were trained to get acclimatised to the sea. They returned to Muzaffarabad in PoK, were given identity cards and clothes which they wore on the day of the Mumbai terror attacks.
Kasab and Abu Ismail were the first to get out after landing at Colaba in south Mumbai that evening. They hailed a cab to go to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), as instructed by Hamza and left one bomb in the taxi and another at CST. After entering the CST, they opened fire as instructed by Hamza; Ismail lobbed grenades inside the station premises and opened fire from his AK-47.
The duo continued firing and throwing grenades at regular intervals and continued moving ahead even as the security forces started confronting them and later surrounded them.
Seeing little or no retaliation from the stunned police forces that night, the duo decided to take the CST subway, but Ismail beckoned him to go to Platform No. 1 where a train was waiting. They continued moving ahead in the direction of the bridge at the end of the station.
They tried to force open some vehicles parked outside in a small lane. They saw a person coming from the opposite direction and Kasab killed him. Ismail started firing ahead and the duo jumped a short wall there and entered one of the wards of Cama Hospital.
Ismail asked Kasab to wait at the hospital gate and he went inside, firing and later led him in. As they went inside, Kasab held a person as a shield after the police forces confronted them. They started firing and throwing grenades, outside the main gate they fired at a car and encountered firing from a jeep nearby. They hid behind a bush and later dragged out the limp bodies of three policemen and hijacked the jeep to go towards the Metro cinema junction.
It was in Cama Hospital that Kasab and Ismail gunned down Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare and his associate Vijay Salaskar. They also killed another senior police official, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, before hijacking the police jeep.
However, they kept moving in circles and by then, the jeep had developed a flat tyre. Kasab was also injured on his right elbow and left wrist and pleaded that he could not do anything more.
Ismail urged him on and said that even he had sustained a bullet on his knee. Then they saw a Skoda car, they ordered the passengers – a couple, to stop, forcibly took the keys from them and took the vehicle, blindly following another car as they did not know where to proceed.
At a point on the road (Girgaum Chowpatty), they saw a police barricade, and when they were ordered to stop, Ismail
attempted to take a u-turn on the road, but failed. The police rushed towards them and dragged out Kasab and hammered him with a baton, snatched his gun and attacked him in the tummy with the butt.
Kasab claimed that he did not fire at anyone at that juncture and had lost consciousness. When he revived, he found himself at Nair Hospital, under arrest by the Mumbai Police
How, where, when – Kasab tells all in confessional statement
Mumbai, Jul 20: Mumbai, July 20 Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the main accused in the Mumbai terror attacks, Monday confessed to his role, admitted he was a Pakistani and narrated in chilling detail the events leading to the killing spree that left 180 people dead in the boldest terror assault India has seen.
In a dramatic twist to the 26/11 case, Kasab also recounted how he and his associates undertook the sea voyage from Karachi to Mumbai to strike at 13 locations here on the night of Nov 26, 2008.
His sudden and unexpected confession took Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani and others by surprise. Kasab started by addressing Tahilyani in Urdu: “Sir, I want to make a confession in the court. I plead guilty to the crimes for which I have been charged.”
The confession, which comes as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in India for a five-day visit, could prove to be a boost for India’s stand vis-is Pakistan on the issue of terror.
Kasab’s confession included minute details of his role in the attacks on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Cama Hospital nearby.
He revealed in the court names of his Pakistani handlers, including Abu Hamza, Abu Jindal, Abu Kafa and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who saw them off when they boarded a ship at Karachi.
Hamza, who Indian intelligence agencies believe was behind the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in December 2005, advised them on how to go about the terror attacks, said Kasab. He also described how he placed a bomb in a taxi that later exploded at Mazagaon, a south Mumbai area.
Naming Lakhvi of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as “the mastermind” behind the Mumbai mayhem, Kasab recounted how he and his associate Abu Ismail (who was shot by the police) went to a CST public toilet and assembled one of the bombs by installing a timer on it for use later.
He stunned the courtroom by giving details of his encounters with then Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare and his associate Vijay Salaskar inside Cama Hospital and how he finally killed him.
It was in the same firefight that the terror duo killed another senior police official, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, before hijacking a police jeep and escaping toward Girgaum Chowpatty.
Kasab was arrested by a group of police who had set up a road block there on the morning of Nov 27. The siege of the city that began Nov 26 night finally ended on the morning of Nov 29.
Kasab described how the entire journey from Karachi to Mumbai was completed in four different boats at various locations in the Arabian Sea and how they finally landed in South Mumbai’s Colaba in an inflatable rubber dingy, opposite Badhwar Park, the residence of top railway officials.
Finally, they hailed public taxis to go to different locations that night (Nov 26) to carry out the biggest terror strikes on the country.
Kasab interspersed his shocking confessional with the statements given by several of the 124 witnesses already examined by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to prove his point.
All through his confession, he kept naming his handlers and his associate Abu Ismail, who gave detailed instructions, maps, weapons and other equipment to the 10-member group for the terror attacks.
According to Nikam, Kasab’s confession came after he discussed the entire issue with his government-appointed lawyer S.G.Abbas Kazmi.
“This is a victory of truth, and a victory for the prosecution. His confession came all of a sudden and he has admitted to all the crimes against him,” Nikam said.