59-hour Mumbai terror siege comes to end
The gang of Islamic terrorists who wreaked mayhem in Mumbai for three daysÂ set off on November 21 from an isolated creek near Karachi without the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition they were to use against the innocents in Mumbai. The group received arms and ammunition on board a large Pakistani vessel which picked them up the following day.Â A day later, they came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which was promptly commandeered on the seas. Four of the fishermen who were on the trawler were killed, but its skipper, or tandel in fishermen lingo, Amarjit Singh, was forced to proceed towards India. Amarjit was killed the next day..
Captured jihadist: Lashkar-e-Taiba trained us in marine warfare
Ajmal’s claim that all of the jihadists were Pakistani citizens does not fit other accounts (except in possible cases of dual citizenship), but he also describes a smaller number of jihadists. Time will tell if the rest of his story holds up. “Arrested terrorist says gang hoped to get away,” from theÂ Times of India, November 29:
NEW DELHI: The gang of terrorists who wreaked mayhem in Mumbai for three days were made to believe by their Lashkar bosses that they were not being sent on a suicide mission and that they would be coming back alive.
In a sensational disclosure made by Ajmal, the jihadi nabbed alive by Mumbai cops, the group had planned to sail out on Thursday. Their recruiters had even charted out the return route for them and stored it on the GPS device which they had used to navigate their way to the Mumbai shoreline.
This suggests that the terrorists were willing to undertake a mission which they knew would be very risky, but not necessarily suicidal.
Sources said that the bait of safe return must have been used by the recruiters to convince the wavering among the group to join the audacious plot against Mumbai.
Ajmal made another important disclosure: that all terrorists were trained in marine warfare along with the special course Daura-e-Shifa conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in what at once transforms the nature of the planning from a routine terror strike and into a specialized raid by commandos.
Battle-hardened ATS officials are surprised by the details of the training the terrorists were put through before being despatched for the macabre mission. This was very different from a terrorist attack, and amounted to an offensive from the seam, said a source.
Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens as Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).
The account of Ajmal also strengthens the doubt of the complicity of powerful elements in the Pakistani establishment. According to him, the group set off on November 21 from an isolated creek near Karachi without the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition they were to use against the innocents in Mumbai. The group received arms and ammunition on board a large Pakistani vessel which picked them up the following day. The vessel, whose ownership is now the subject of an international probe, had four Pakistanis apart from the crew.
A day later, they came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which was promptly commandeered on the seas. Four of the fishermen who were on the trawler were killed, but its skipper, or tandel in fishermen lingo, Amarjit Singh, was forced to proceed towards India. Amarjit was killed the next day, and Ismail the terrorist who was killed at Girgaum Chowpaty took the wheel.
A trained sailor, Ismail used the GPS to reach Mumbai coast on November 26. The group, however, slowed down its advance as they had reached during the day time while the landing was planned after dusk. The group shifted to inflatable boats, before disembarking at Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade.
From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare MuslimsÂ split up into five batches. Two of them Ismail and Ajmal took a taxi to Victoria Terminus. Three other batches of two each headed for Oberoi Hotel, Cafe Leopold and Nariman House. The remaining four went to Taj Hotel. […]
Kasab told the police that he and 9 others got off a vessel about 10 nautical miles from Mumbai and shifted to two boats hijacked from fishermen.
One source in ATS familiar with the details of the interrogation quoted him saying that in all 16 fidayeens came to Mumbai on Wednesday. A native of Faridkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), 21-year-old Kasab told police they had done a reccee of Mumbai few months ago. He said he had come along with eight of the operatives to Mumbai as students and lived in a rented room at Colaba market, a stone’s throw away from Nariman House.
How the attack on Mumbai was planned
Vicky Nanjappa and Krishnakumar in Mumbai |Â November 29, 2008 |Â
Investigators working on the Mumbai terror attack have unearthed vital information about how the terrorists managed to enter Mumbai.
The interrogations of the two arrested terrorists, Abu Ismail and Ajmal Kamal, have revealed that 20 men were involved in the terror attack. While eight terrorists set up base in Hotel Trident and Taj Mahal Hotel, 12 others came to Mumbai in a boat.
Intelligence Bureau officials are trying to verify if the terrorists came in through the Persian Gulf.
The arrested terrorists have revealed that they hijacked two fishing boats and used them to come to Mumbai, armed with guns and ammunition.
He further stated that while one of the boats landed at Cuffe Parade near the fishermen’s colony, the other landed at Sassoon dock.
The terrorists had initially planned to send in only one team to carry out the attacks and the other team was to be kept on stand-by.
However, the plan changed at the last minute, and the terrorists decided to execute the terror attacks together, Ismail reportedly told the police.
According to the officials of the Intelligence Bureau, the attacks had been planned inï¿½ February, and this fact was confirmed by an arrested accused in the CRPF camp attack case. The accused had revealed that a Fidayeen attack had been ordered by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the target was Mumbai.
The accused had told the police that the LeT planned to attack the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Bombay Stock Exchange.
During his interrogation, Ismail admitted that he and his associates had undergone rigourous training for this operation, which had been planned meticulously.
Investigating officials are not ruling out the possibility of local elements providing logistical support to the terrorists.
Ismail further told the investigators that the terrorists had undergone extensive training in using AK-47 and grenades at a camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
During the training programme, they were shown the detailed layout of the Taj Mahal Hotel, in order to acquaint them with the topography of the places they would have to attack. After the training at PoK was complete, the entire team was shifted to Karachi, where they received training in sailing as their plan included entering India through the sea route.
Mumbai police: Last Taj hotel jihadists killed
Not all news organizations are ready to declare the siege over at this point. “Taj operation over with all militants dead, police say,” fromÂ France 24, November 29:
Indian commandos on Saturday killed the last Islamic militants holed up inside Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel, ending the more than two-day assault on India’s financial capital, the city’s police chief said.
“All (combat) operations are over. All the terrorists have been killed,” Mumbai police commissioner Hassan Gafoor said, 59 hours after the attacks began.
Extremely heavy gunfire had been heard from inside the hotel at dawn Saturday, with a major blaze also breaking out as Indian commandos fought to clear the building of Islamic militants, an AFP correspondent said.
Massive flames in the ground floor and first floor of the hotel appeared to be spreading rapidly though the building, the last area in Mumbai where gunmen were still holed up more than 58 hours after coordinated attacks rocked the city.
Firefighters rushed to the historic hotel, a large part of which was obscured by a huge cloud of smoke.
Military sources had earlier said that commandos were fighting up to three heavily armed militants left inside the hotel.
On Friday, Indian security forces launched massive assaults on Mumbai’s Chabab Jewish centre as well as the Taj and Oberoi hotels on Friday to hunt down the remaining terrorists responsible for a deadly two-day hostage drama in India’s economic capital.
At least 155 people â€“ including two French nationals and two US citizens â€“ were killed and about 370 others wounded in a series of coordinated attacks across the city.
At the city’s landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel, FRANCE 24’s Lise Thomas-Richard said the fighting had been intense during the peak of the operation. “We are reaching the final stages of the operation on the Taj Mahal hotel,” said Thomas-Richard. “I hear explosions or shooting every two minutes.”
Earlier, police found explosives capable of causing “major damage” after regaining control most of the Taj Mahal hotel from armed militants, a senior police official said Friday.
Commandos exited the luxury hotel shortly after the assault and were greeted by a cheering crowd, but fighting soon resumed inside the building.