Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

The Faces Of Terror

All the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26 carried fake student identity cards of different Indian colleges which helped the city police identify them despite bodies of many of them being damaged beyond recognition

All the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26 carried fake student identity cards of different Indian colleges which helped the city police identify them despite bodies of many of them being damaged beyond recognition, according to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria

The police also recovered their photographs from the fake ID cards and has released eight of them. "Most of the photographs were recovered from the fake college identity cards that were recovered from the bodies of the terrorists," Rakesh Maria said.

However, the ID cards of three terrorists were damaged and their photos could not be recovered from them. So, the police had to release the photographs of their dead bodies, he said. 

The police has also released the names of the ten individuals on the basis of Mohammad Ajmal Amir 's interrogation. Incidentally, the Mumbai police claims about the residence and citizenship of Ajmal have been corroborated by The Observer and the BBC Urdu Service. The Observer had found Ajmal Amir's parents in the electoral record for "Faridkot, near Depalpur" containing 478 registered voters, and described comments from villagers about Ajmal Amir and about the village being "an active recruiting ground" for Lashkar-e-Toiba. The BBC also reported confirmation from local villagers and the presence of numerous intelligence officials at Ajmal Amir's family's house.

The two persons who attacked the Chhatrapati Shivjai Terminus and Cama Hospital:

  • Mohammed Ajmal Amir (aka Qasab) alias Abu Mujahid from Okara (the only terrorist caught live)
  • Ismail Khan alias Abu Ismail from Dera Ismail Khan (middle row, RHS)

Those who attacked Taj Hotel in south Mumbai: 

  • Hafeez Arshad alias Bada Abdul Rehman from Multan (top row, LHS)
  • Javed alias Abu Ali from Okara (top row, middle)
  • Shoaib alias Abu Soheb from Sialkot (top row, RHS)
  • Nazeer alias Abu Umer from Faisalabad 

Nazeer's body was badly charred and his photo could not be released. Nazeer was killed by NSG commandos at the Taj Hotel.

Those who attacked the Jewish community centre in Nariman house in the Colaba area:

  • Nasir alias Abu Umar from Faisalabad (bottom row, LHS)
  • Babar Imran alias Abu Akasha from Multan (bottom row, middle)

The duo who attacked the Trident Oberoi hotel:

  • Abdul Rehman alias Abdul Rehman Chhota from Multan (middle row, LHS)
  • Fahadullah alias Abu Fahad from Okara (middle row, middle)

Shoaib, who was 20-years-old was the youngest of the group while Nasir was the oldest at 28," Maria said.

Nasir is suspected to have been married and his wife either died or divorced him, he said, adding that the average age of the members of the group was between 23 to 25 years.

Nasir, Nazeer and Ismail Khan, allegedly the leader of the group, had participated in terror missions earlier, Maria said. But he refused to specify any details of their previous missions.

"All of them were given the aliases during training to prevent them from knowing each others original names," Maria said. The terrorists are suspected to have been trained for over a year at four locations in Pakistan.

While sailing for three days into Indian waters on board the Gujarat-based fishing vessel 'Kuber', which the terrorists allegedly hijacked, the members of the group spoke with each other and Ajmal learnt of the others' names and where they lived, he said.

Some members of the group, like Ajmal, also underwent indoctrination at the training camps for about three weeks before undergoing training in arms and explosives for close to a year, Maria said.

Hello Left, Meet The Right Hand

Maria also said that Mumbai police is still examining the contents of the four Global Positioning System (GPS) devices recovered from the terrorists. "We are examining the contents of the GPS, one satellite phone and nine mobile phones that have been recovered," he said, but refused to comment on whether the SIM cards found in the mobile phones were of Indian origin.

"One of the SIM cards bought in Kolkata was used by the terrorists in Mumbai," is all he would say. 

Earlier, Kolkata police had arrested one Mukhtar Ahmed Sheikh, a Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police constable, who was charged with supplying 23 sim cards -- one of which was used in the operations at Mumbai -- to Lashkar-e-Toiba

But far from helping the case, it turned out that his arrest abruptly ended a covert counter-insurgency operation launched by the J&K police an year ago.

All the 23 sim cards sourced by him were under surveillance of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). And now the IB says, "Not only he (Sheikh) has been compromised, the contacts which he had made (in LeT) will also be identified and weeded out."

Maria said that Mumbai police will also be applying for the custody of suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sabauddin, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police earlier this year.

The police will also seek the custody of Faheem Ansari, who was arrested with Sabauddin by the UP police, for his association with the LeT and carrying out reconnaissance missions for the terror group in the city.

The duo were arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack on a police camp in Rampur in January 1, 2008 and are also suspected to have knowledge of the attack on Mumbai in advance, Maria concluded.

with inputs from agencies