India demands Pakistan hand over two jihadists
The lobby area of the Taj Mahal Hotel is seen in Mumbai, India.
At least five terrorist gunmen have evaded capture in Mumbai and could make a secondary strike on India’s financial capital, police feared Monday morning.
Indian security forces are officially claiming that ten militants â€“ nine of whom were killed and one caught alive â€“ were behind a coordinated terror attack that claimed 172 lives.
However, the hijacked Indian fishing boat used by the gunmen to approach Mumbai, the crew of which were also slaughtered, had equipment for 15 men on board when it was discovered adrift off the city shore â€“ suggesting that several gunmen could still be at large.
“Fifteen jackets were found, 15 toothbrushes even,” one police source said. “That more men were involved, is possible.”
German man of Pakistani heritage” charged with recruiting, raising money for al-Qaeda
The news came as Shakeel Ahmad, India’s Deputy Home Minister, said that all the gunmen found so far were from Pakistan, an allegation that threatened to place further stress on the troubled relationship between the two nuclear powers.
The Indian government has raised the country’s security to a “war level”, claiming proof of a Pakistani link to the Mumbai strikes.
In response, Pakistan threatened to end military operations against Islamist militants – including the Taliban and Al Qaeda â€“ on its border with Afghan border if it is forced into an “unwanted conflict” with Delhi.
Mumbai residents suspect that perhaps two dozen gunmen had stormed the city â€“ an impression supported by early police and media reports on Wednesday night when a wave of attacks at at least eight locations rocked Mumbai. Angry at the Government’s response to the crisis, they are reluctant to accept the assurances that all the terrorists are all accounted for.
Yesterday Shivraj Patil, India’s Home Minister, resigned after a public backlash at the handling of the attack on Mumbai. People are furious that it took an elite group of commandos at least seven hours to reach the two luxury hotels that were attacked, by which time the gunmen had consolidated their positions and trapped hundreds of people.
It has also emerged that Rata Tata, the head of the Indian conglomerate that owns the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, had been warned of a possible attack on the hotel. He claimed, however, that no security arrangements could have prevented the highly-trained and organised militants.
“They did not go through the front entrance. All our security arrangements are in the front,” he said. “They planned everything. I believe the first thing they did, they shot a sniffer dog and his handler.”
The sole Mumbai gunman captured alive has already told police he was trained in Pakistan and ordered to “kill until the last breath”, according to a leaked account of his interrogation.
Azam Amir Kasab, 21, a Pakistani national, claimed the terror strikes, which left 172 dead, were intended to kill as many as 5,000 people and that he and his fellow militants were ordered to target whites â€“ especially Britons and Americans. The claims were made in what a police source said was a transcript of his questioning.
With thanks to Atlas Shrugs
Horror scene: Blood spatters the walls inside the Jewish centre where Moshe was trapped as Islamic gunmen killed his parents during last week’s attacks
Tears of the two-year-old boy trapped in Mumbai Jewish centre as his parents were murderedÂ Daily mail (hat tip wolf)
Clutching a toy basketball, his face contorted by tears, this is Moshe Holtzberg at today’s memorial service for his parents. The two-year-old orphan’s rabbi father and mother were murdered in Mumbai’s Jewish centre
The family of Rabbi & Rebbetzen Gavriel Holtzberg haveÂ set up this fund for poor little Moshie and his sibling.
UPDATE: Watch theÂ video here: the cries of emah (mama)Â (hat tip Judith)
The video was filmed yesterday during a memorial service in the rather impressive Mumbai synagogue. The maternal grandparents of the boy also attended the ceremony before they returned to Israel for the funeral . The Israel TV video is in Hebrew, but you can get the gist as the emotions are raw from the images. Especially potent, aside from Moshe crying ‘Emah” (mother), is when the tearful grandfather prays “G-d gives, G-d takes, Blessed be the name of the bestower of blessings, Hashem.for now & forever” He continues in broken English, “.G-d give me two kids, Rivki & Gabi, my kids” (The Indian man holding Moishe during the memorial service is apparently Sandra the cook’s boyfriend. Sandra, who saved the child, will accompany the grandparents to Israel. The woman sitting next to them is Moishe’s grandmother.) Near the end of the video you see ZAKA investigators praying in the destroyed Synagogue inside the Chabad Nairima House. The entire house was riddled w/ bullets & blood & there was no means of escaping alive, according to the commentator & visuals. A bullet whole penetrated the Torah, torn in the portion of the Torah “after the death of the holy (‘acharei mot kedoshim”] . Last shot in the video shows the Grandparents, Moishie, holding a balloon, & Sandra at the airport bound for Tel-Aviv.
Massacre in Mumbai: Under doctors’ care, the gunman who carried out the hospital attack
- Fears five more terrorists on the loose after their toothbrushes are found on attack boat
- Zardari: Militants may drag India and Pakistan into war
- Third Indian minister offers resignation
- Intelligence warning of attacks was ‘lost in system’
- Terror group threatens new atrocities in Delhi
- Defiant Cafe Leopold reopens after horrific attacks
This is the face of the only gunman captured alive in the Mumbai terror attacks.
Azam Amir Kasab has been pictured lying on a bed beside medical equipment in an undisclosed location in the city in this undated photograph released by police today.
Kasab, 21, and an accomplice took part in a lethal killing spree in the busy Chhatrapati Shivagji Terminus rail station and are also believed to have attacked a police vehicle at Cama Hospital, killing anti-terror squad chief Hemant Karkare.
He was captured alive on Wednesday night, after being shot in the hand during a stand-off with security forces.Â
Left, Azam Amir Kasab during the attacks, and right, pictured in hospital receiving treatment after the atrocity
Under interrogation he is understood to have said the terrorists intended to kill up to 5,000 people, and that he was told to ‘kill until his last breath’.
The picture emerged amid fears five more terrorists may be on the loose in Mumbai and could be planning a second wave of attacks.
Police sources were quoted today revealing the hijacked Indian fishing boat used by the gunmen to approach Mumbai had equipment for 15 men on board â€“ suggesting that several gunmen could still be at large.
‘Fifteen jackets were found, 15 toothbrushes even,’ one police source was quoted as saying in The Times. ‘That more men were involved is possible.’
Destroyed: The burned interior of the Taj Mahal Hotel after the terrorists were finally stopped
Haul: Weapons recovered from the terrorists involved in the Taj Mahal hotel siege
The toothbrushes were found as terror group Deccan Mujahideen, which claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks, reportedly threatened new attacks in Delhi in an email sent to intelligence sources.
The attack would target Delhi’s main international airport and three railway stations.Â Police are also checking rickshaws after receiving intelligence the three-wheeled vehicles could be used in a bombing campaign.
The fears came as Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appealed to India not to punish his country for last week’s attacks, saying militants could precipitate a regional war.
Mr Zardari, whose wife, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated by Islamist militants last year, warned that provocation by rogue ‘non-state actors’ posed the danger of a return to war between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
‘Even if the militants are linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, who do you think we are fighting?’ asked Mr Zardari in an interview with the Financial Times today.
In total, 188 people, including a British millionaire, died in last week’s attacks. Almost 400 were injured.
Analysts say last week’s Mumbai assaults by Islamist militants bore the hallmarks of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based group blamed for attacks in India including a 2001 parliament blast that almost plunged the two countries into a fourth war.
In memory: A candlelight vigil takes place at Leopold Cafe in Mumbai, the scene of one of the Mumbai terrorist attacks
Mourners: Mustafa Ali Asgar Kotari, aged 5, at a candlelight vigil at Cafe Leopold
‘We live in troubled times where non-state actors have taken us to war before, whether it is the case of those who perpetrated [the] 9/11 [attacks on the United States] or contributed to the escalation of the situation in Iraq,’ said Mr Zardari.
‘Now, events in Mumbai tell us that there are ongoing efforts to carry out copycat attacks by militants. We must all stand together to fight out this menace.’
Indian officials have said the 10 attackers who held Mumbai hostage came from Pakistan, a Muslim nation carved out of Hindu-majority India in 1947.Â
Yesterday India said it had proof linking its nuclear rival Pakistan to the massacre â€“ and warned it would raise security to a ‘war level’.
Flashpoint: Pakistan president Ali Zardari has warned militants could push nuclear neighbours Pakistan and India into war
In an effort to ease tension between the two states, The White House said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to India on Wednesday.
Pakistan is already struggling to contain Islamic militants within its borders. Earlier today eight people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the country, with both Al Qaeda and Taliban militants stepping up their attacks against Pakistani security forces.
Pakistan’s position as Afghanistan’s neighbour has made it a key flashpoint, with Osama bin Laden fleeing there in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and militants training in camps there before fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mumbai residents returned to schools and offices today for the first time since the attacks.Â
Address: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari speaks via video link to a leadership conference in India just four days before the Mumbai terror attacks
Yesterday candlelight vigils were held in New Delhi and at various spots in Mumbai, with people holding hands, singing songs and holding posters, some in remembrance of victims, others protesting over what they saw as government inaction.
On Sunday it was revealed that intelligence warnings of an Islamic terror attack on Mumbai were ‘lost in the system’.
Nine days before terrorists arrived by boat to launch a three day assault on the Indian city, security services received information that it was to be targeted. The intelligence even warned that the strike would come from the sea.Â
The authorities have acknowledged that a warning was received. Intelligence officials say it was passed to the navy, coastguard and police. But the agencies say it did not reach them.Â
‘It appears to have been lost in the system,’ one official said yesterday.
However, intelligence sources said Mumbai authorities were also told in writing of a possible attack, naming the Taj Mahal hotel, which became the scene of shootings, as a target.
Keeping the faith: People gather at a funeral ceremony for those who died in the terrorist attack
While Mumbai grieves, recriminations have also begun. Today Maharashtra state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, a member of the ruling Congress party, said he had offered to resign over the attacks that locked India’s financial capital in a three-day siege.
Party leaders will now make a final decision over his resignation which follows those of Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil and national security adviser MK Narayanan.
Yesterday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s announced a wide-ranging overhaul of the nation’s counter-terrorism capabilities.
Yesterday candles, flowers and pictures were also strewn at the bullet-scarred Cafe Leopold and at the barricades in front of the Taj and Trident hotels, where the gunmen holed themselves up during a 60-hour siege.Â
The cafe, where seven people were killed, reopened today. ‘I want them [the attackers] to feel we have won, they have lost,’ said manager Farzad Jehani.
More vigils and remembrances were planned in the city, with messages going out as mass texts, e-mails and Facebook messages.
Hundreds of demonstrators also marched past the shell of the Taj hotel demanding explanations.
There is anger at the intelligence failure, and at the delayed response to the assaults on two of the best known luxury hotels and other landmarks in India’s financial capital.
Carnage: The bullet-scarred interior of Nariman House, the Mumbai headquarters of Jewish ultra-Orthodox movement the Lubavitch
Newspapers condemned politicians for failing to prevent the attacks. The Sunday Times declared: ‘Our Politicians Fiddle As Innocents Die.’Â
India has pointed the finger at Pakistan. Most of the attackers are said to be from the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba, an extremist Pakistani group based in Kashmir.
It accuses senior elements within Pakistan’s intelligence and security body, of supporting Lashkar â€“ and of providing them with training.
The tension raised the prospect of a breakdown of peace efforts going on since 2004. Delhi was reported to be considering whether to suspend air and rail links and to send more troops to the so-called Line of Control in Kashmir.
‘We will increase security and strengthen it to a war level like we have never done it before,’ said India’s minister of state for home affairs. Islamabad demanded evidence of the militants’ links to Pakistan. It warned that if tension escalated, it would move troops to the Indian border, from its border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan has denied involvement by state agencies. Indian anti-terror investigators are said to have the satellite telephone used by the militants with details of calls to Pakistan and to Lashkar leaders.
A group calling itself the Deccan Muhijadeen claimed responsibility for the attacks in an email. This too is said to have been traced to Pakistan.Â
Charred: The Taj Mahal Hotel after the operations to dislodge terrorists ended
Ministers in London and Delhi say no evidence has yet been uncovered to support suggestions of a UK link.
Some of the Britons injured in the attack were flown home yesterday.
And Scotland Yard detectives visited the Taj Mahal hotel to take fingerprints from the dead militants, which will be checked against their records.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the attacks would cause Britain to review its security. ‘We need to revise the very important work that we do on protecting our crowded places.