Captured terrorist to be taken to Mumbai court Thursday

December 10th, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 10 (IANS) Terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Nov 26 attack in Mumbai, will be presented before a court here Thursday, a high-ranking police official said.Amir will be brought before a magistrate in a south Mumbai court for remand, the official, who declined to be identified, told IANS Wednesday evening.

Amir’s nine associates - Bada Abdul Rehaman, Abu Ali, Abu Soheb, Umar, Abdul Rehaman Chhota, Fahad Ullah, Ismail Khan, Nasir alias Abu Umer and Babar Imaran alias Abu Akasha - were killed at different locations during the 60-hour commando operation against the terrorists.

The terror attack that began the Nov 26 night left 173 people, including police officials and foreign nationals, dead.

Based on the sustained questioning of Amir, under detention for the past two weeks, and with intelligence inputs from various quarters, the police have learnt that the 10-strong group had reached off the Gujarat coast in the merchant vessel Al-Husseini.

The vessel is reportedly owned by Zaki-Ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a top-ranking operative of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who is now emerging as the chief planner of the Mumbai terror operation. He is also said to have been present when the group sailed off from Karachi.

The group underwent intensive training under the supervision of the LeT’s chief trainer Khafa, the source said.

The others who played a key role in the Mumbai strike are Hafiz Sayyed and Abu Hamza - who was involved in the firing at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bangalore in 2005 and managed to escape to Pakistan.

The group selected for the Mumbai attack left in merchent vessel Al-Husseini Nov 22 and later hijacked a fishing vessel, Kuber, in the Arabian Sea waters. Overpowering the fishermen in Kuber, which was equipped with sophisticated communication and navigation aids, they reached up to four nautical miles off south Mumbai, according to the official.

There they got into a rubber dinghy and sailed to the small fishing port at Colaba on the morning of Nov 26. From there, they divided into five separate groups and took taxis to reach out various spots and execute the operation without attracting much attention.

Hamza’s role in the operation involved giving the terrorists advance training in weapons handling, including hand grenades and bombs, and operating in a marine environment, considered crucial for the success of the Mumbai attacks, the source said.

Hamza also showed the group the maps of Mumbai, the layout of the target areas in south Mumbai, entry-exit and possible escape routes and other details of the actual targets - the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Nariman House and Leopold Café.

Several months before the operation, top LeT functionaries, including its founder-chief Hafiz Saeed, “indoctrinated and motivated the terrorists” for the operation, the source said.

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