FBI, Scotland Yard helping in cracking Mumbai conspiracy

December 2nd, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) India has decided to intensify cooperation with investigative agencies of other countries, a move that is likely to put extra pressure on Pakistan to come clean on its alleged involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, said a top intelligence official. At least nine officers from the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Britain’s famed Scotland Yard, camping in Mumbai, are helping central intelligence agencies in deciphering internet telephony signatures intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies.

It is learnt that the terrorists reportedly received calls from the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) from Pakistan.

Investigators were trying to break the code to see where these calls originated and were also carrying out forensic tests of samples of the explosive material and the timer used in the detonation of the improvised explosive devices, an official said.

On four occasions and even on Nov 26, the day that 10 terrorists laid siege to high-profile targets, including the Oberoi Trident and the Taj Mahal hotels in Mumbai, India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)reportedly tipped off authorities of the impending attack by sea and even gave information on the time.

The organisation had intercepted conversations between a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) asset and an unidentified person that an operation to target hotels was being planned and the sea route would be used.

Authorities have also granted permission to the FBI to examine the sites involved in the Mumbai terror attack since US nationals were also targeted. Six Americans were among the 22 foreigners killed in the terror strikes.

US president-elect Barack Obama has already assured New Delhi of his “steadfast support” in catching the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks, and has said that India had the sovereign right to go after terrorists to protect itself.

“Sovereign nations obviously have a right to protect themselves,” Obama, who takes over from President George W. Bush Jan 20, said at a news conference in Chicago after rolling out his national security team.

India also said it was not considering military action against Pakistan at this stage but was waiting for Islamabad to act strongly against terrorists based in its territory responsible for terror attacks in the country.

“Nobody is talking of military action,” said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee when asked to comment on media reports about a possible military action against the neighbouring country.

Mukherjee said India was waiting for a response from Pakistan over the extradition of 20 most wanted criminals who are said to be in that country.

“We issued a demarche (Monday). We are waiting for a response from Pakistan,” Mukherjee told reporters after talks with Arab League secretary Amar Musa.

At least 183 people, including 22 foreigners, were killed when a group of terrorists, allegedly from Pakistan, sneaked into Mumbai last week and struck at several prominent sites, including two luxury hotels.

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