The ten terrorists from the Punjab province of Pakistan were all trained together, mostly in Karachi, Pakistan.
But they were then split into five groups of two each, and briefed about their task differently. Two terrorists attacked CST station, two Cama Hospital, two went to Leopold’s. Two held fort at the Taj and two more at the Oberoi, while another pair were at Nariman House. All ten had student identity cards of different colleges in India and were all in the age group of 19-28.
According to Rakesh Maria, Joint Commissioner of Police, none of these were in touch with each other while the operation was on. The police have been able to create profiles of the terrorists from the only one captured alive, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab (21), held at Girgaum Chowpatty.
Maria said the group entered Mumbai through sea on November 26 around 8 pm.
They had come to Gujarat through a boat from Pakistan. Later they hijacked the Kuber boat at Porbander. The three fishermen were killed and later thrown into the sea, while one sailor Sarang took them in the Kuber boat till the Mumbai coastline. They killed him and kept his body in the Kuber boat, then sailed to the coast on a dinghy (rubber float boat) to Sassoon Dock. They then caught five taxies and went to the assigned places.
Police have recovered 10 AK 56 guns, 10 hand grenades, two packs of eight kg explosives. All carried one bag with them an AK rifle, grenades and bullets with them.
Cops have found a satellite phone from one Ismail Khan who was killed at Chowpatty, and a Global Positioning System that helped them navigate.
They may have come prepared for raining death and havoc on innocents, but the sole terrorist arrested in the audacious terror strike on Mumbai is not so sure he himself wanted to die, says the tabloid Mumbai Mirror. His photograph was the one that was flashed by all the media on Thursday, of a young man clad in a Versace t-shirt and cargo pants, a haversack on his back, holding an Ak-56 rifle and walking across Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, firing indiscriminately.
Mumbai Mirror quotes the Anti Terrorist Squad confirming that this is the terrorist who is currently in custody.
On Wednesday night, this terrorist spewed bullets in CST station and killing a large number of innocents, before moving to Metro cinema junction nearby, and from there towards Girgaum Chowpatty where in an encounter he shot dead inspector Tukaram Umbale from the Gamdevi police station.
Another Mumbai tabloid, Mid-Day, says this terrorist was the one who shot ATS chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte outside CST station, and quotes Mumbai Commissioner Hasan Gafoor to confirm this.
From here the terrorist escaped in Salaskar’s own vehicle towards Metro cinema and finally towards Girgaum Chowpatty in a stolen Skoda car where, while his co-terrorist was shot down, he was captured.
Mumbai Mirror describes the terrorist in custody as being around 21 years old, speaking fluent English, and hailing from Gipalpura in Faridkot in Pakistan.
The newspaper says this terrorist, after being shot in the hand, pretended to be dead but was found out on the way to hospital and was promptly arrested.
He was initially tight-lipped but cracked up on seeing the mutilated body of the other terrorist and cried out, ‘I do not want to die, please put me on saline.’
Ammunition, a satellite phone and a layout plan of CST station were recovered from the terrorist, who is said to be singing like a canary in custody.
According to the tabloid, the chief of the terrorist operation had come to Mumbai a month ago, took photographs of the various sites, filmed strategic locations apart from training the group to ‘kill till the last breath’. Each terrorist was given 6-7 magazines with 50 bullets, eight hand grenades an AK-57, automatic loading revolver and a supply of dry fruits.
The terrorist told his interrogators that the group had left Karachi in one boat and on reaching Gujarat hoisted a white flag. On interception by the Coast Guard near Porbandar and being questioned by its two officers, they managed to kill one of them and overpowering the other, forcing him to take them till Mumbai. A few nautical miles away, there were three speedboats waiting for them, which they took to reach the Colaba coast after killing the other Coast Guard officer as well.
On landing the 10 men broke up into groups. Four went to the Taj Mahal hotel, two to Trident, two towards Nariman House, and two towards CST station — one of them being the captured terrorist.
He is currently kept in an undisclosed location where the police interrogation has been so intense that he went back on what he told the hospital authorities. ‘Now I don’t want to live,’ the newspaper reports him as saying.
The Indian Navy has launched a major offensive at high seas to track the mysterious vessel used by the militants to spread terror in Mumbai. Dozens of warships have sailed out of various ports along the west coast of the country and are scanning the seas for the wanted vessel, believed to be a freighter (name withheld for security reasons). Captain Manoharan Nambiar of the Indian Navy confirmed that the ships are out at sea. “We are checking all suspicious vessels,” added Nambiar.
The search has been launched after Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive after the three-day ordeal, told Mumbai police that they were dropped off the Mumbai coast in a freighter, which they boarded a little distance off Karachi. The information has been passed on to the navy and the Coast Guard.
Major security lapse
However, shockingly, that mysterious vessel slipped past a major naval exercise codenamed ‘Defence of Gujarat’. A large number of naval and Coast Guard ships had taken part in the exercise. Even all the port trusts and gram panchayats were included in the exercise, which lasted between November 17-22. Their task was to track all vessels and check their identities.
In fact, it was a mock exercise to track down al Qaeda and Pakistani vessels. The threat to offshore installations was also part of the drill.
It is exactly during this period that the mysterious vessel sailed close to Mumbai harbour and dropped the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition, as well as the band of terrorists. It points to a major security lapse on the part of the various agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau.
Ships port security violated
Rules under the International Ships Port Security code (ISPSC) have also been violated. Special security checks have been made mandatory by the International Maritime Organisation in the aftermath of 9/11. It is mandatory for all ports across the country to ensure that no ships or cargo land without checking, particularly from countries with dubious backgrounds.
But the rules of the ISPSC were not followed which is why the mysterious vessel was allowed to come close to Mumbai without being checked.
Fishermen records rarely checked
Various security agencies were aware of intelligence reports indicating that around 90 fishing boats were impounded by Pakistani officials. These vessels could infiltrate Indian waters after the monsoon spell was over and the sea was near normal.
What is worrisome is that most Pakistani fishermen can speak Gujarati. Also there are not many checks along the route once the vessel enters the Indian waters.
Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti’s president Damodar Tandel told Sunday MiD DAY that more than 1,000 fishing boats from as far as Pakistan sail into the Mumbai harbour. Most of the men on board don’t have proper records.
Tandel said the background of the fishermen, many of whom are from Pakistan, are rarely checked. They don’t carry fishermen’s cooperatives cards or ration cards to prove their bona fide status in the country.
Seaborne warning in Sunday MiD DAY story
These startling facts come at a time when the Mumbai police has claimed that they allegedly have evidence that the Pakistan Navy, in association with the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is training Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists to target the city.
Interrogation of some arrested militants has revealed that the ISI, in co-operation with the Navy, are imparting navigational training, particularly to LeT terrorists, along with selected cadre from other ‘tanzeems’ like Hizbul Mujadeen, Jamait-e-Musalman and others.
The police have got detailed plans that the Pakistan Navy is imparting 12-18 month navigation courses, completed in three phases. In the first phase, the terrorists are taught to swim. The second phase includes handling large boats, laying down of mines in coastal zones and planting bombs under dams, bridges and ships.
The final phase relates to training in navigational techniques, rescue operations, surveillance methods, concealment of explosives and underwater attacks on enemy targets and coastal vessels.
This intelligence report was published in Sunday MiD DAY two weeks ago, but was ignored by various agencies. Last evening, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil confirmed this sea route at a media briefing.
After all this, someone asked, after seeing one terrorist Photo,as blame is on ISLAMIST, then why this terrorist wearing ORANGE BAND,Which is common with saffron brigade members like BajarangDal, VHP, RSS.