Incredible if true,that we had in our hands from February,the Indian co-conspirator who had details,drawings,etc. oof the entire plot!
<Ansari "told us about a planned Lashkar attack on Bombay, on southern Bombay," said Mr Yash, referring to Mumbai by its previous name. "He gave us eight or nine specific locations where the attack would be carried out," he said, adding that Ansari had detailed sketches of the places and escape routes from the sites. >http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... india.html
Mumbai attacks: Indian operative 'helped Pakistani militants'
A Pakistani militant group used an Indian operative as far back as 2007 to scout targets for the elaborate plot against India's financial capital, authorities have said.
By Damien McElroy in Mumbai
Last Updated: 6:58AM GMT 05 Dec 2008
Indian 'connection': Investigators now suspect the attack on Mumbai could have received inside help from an Indian national Photo: GETTY
The discovery is a blow to Indian officials who have blamed the deadly attacks entirely on Pakistani extremists.
As investigators sought to unravel the attack on Mumbai, stepping up questioning of the lone captured gunman, airports across India were put on high alert amid fresh warnings that terrorists planned to hijack an aircraft.
Also Thursday, police said there were signs that some of the six victims of the attack on a Jewish center may have been tortured. "The victims were strangled," said Rakesh Maria, a senior Mumbai police official. "There were injuries noticed on the bodies that were not from firing."
Members of an Israeli rescue group which had a team in Mumbai said it was impossible to tell if the bodies had been abused, however, because no autopsies were conducted in accordance with Jewish tradition.
The surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab, 21, told interrogators he had been sent by the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and identified two of the plot's masterminds, according to two Indian government officials familiar with the inquiry. Laskar, outlawed by Pakistan in 2002, has been deemed by the US to be a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaida.
Kasab told police that one of them, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Lashkar's operations chief, recruited him for the attack, and the assailants called another senior leader, Yusuf Muzammil, on a satellite phone after hijacking an Indian vessel en route to Mumbai.
The information sent investigators back to another reputed Lashkar operative, Faheem Ansari, who they hope could be key in pulling together different strands of the investigation.
Ansari, an Indian national, was arrested in February in north India carrying hand-drawn sketches of hotels, the train terminal and other sites that were later attacked in Mumbai, said Amitabh Yash, director of the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police.
During his interrogation, Ansari also named Muzammil as his handler in Pakistan, adding that he trained in a Lashkar camp in Muzaffarabad — the same area where Kasab said he was trained, a senior police officer involved in the investigation said.
Ansari "told us about a planned Lashkar attack on Bombay, on southern Bombay," said Mr Yash, referring to Mumbai by its previous name. "He gave us eight or nine specific locations where the attack would be carried out," he said, adding that Ansari had detailed sketches of the places and escape routes from the sites.
Ansari said he carried out the reconnaissance in the fall of 2007, and that it also included the U.S. consulate, the Bombay stock exchange and other Mumbai sites that were not attacked.
Ansari is now in Indian custody, according to Mr Yash.
The develoment comes after India triggered a massive security alert at its main airports after officials warned al-Qaeda was planning a 9/11 style attack using hijacked aircraft just days after the Mumbai atrocity.
Airports in New Delhi, Madras, Bangalore and Mumbai were put on "red alert" a week after 10 terrorists launched a devastating series of attacks on the commercial capital in which 171 people were killed.
The inclusion of Madras on the list threw renewed doubt on the England cricket team's winter tour, which had been due to resume in the city next week.
A decision on whether to return to India is due to be made after security experts report on security arrangements in the southern city.
Ram Gopal, Madras airport's general manager, said that special security measures, including the positioning of quick response unit, had been put in place. "This is due to certain intelligence inputs we have received," he said. "The entire perimeter of the airport will be guarded."
Defence Minister AK Antony ordered the mobilisation after intercepted emails and telephone calls indicated that Afghan and Pakistani terrorists had arrived in India with plans to hijack a civilian plane.
"A red alert has been sounded," said Digvijay Singh, commandant of Central Industrial Security Force, which protects key facilities "This is due to some intelligence inputs suggesting there will be attacks on the airport."
Fighter jets were placed on alert to protect the capital. The elite antiterrorist commando unit, the National Security Guard was placed on standby. Additional air marshals were placed on internal flights in "sensitive sectors." Armed plainclothes officers were posted outside the affected airports. Blockades were established at airports and bags of passengers were being checked for explosives.
"More aircraft have been sent to sectors where we were thin on the ground and so now we are adequately ready to respond to any militant attempt to use hijacked aircraft as flying missiles," an air force official said. "Any unidentified aircraft will be challenged from the ground and from the air."
Officials said that by modelling the attacks on the 2001 assault on America, al Qaeda hoped to gain a propaganda victory to coincide with Saturday's anniversary of the 1992 destruction of the 475-year-old Babri mosque in India's northeastern city of Ayodhya by Hindu extremists.
Under new guidelines from India's Civil Aviation Bureau, passengers have been advised to arrive up to four hours before flights to clear at least five rounds of security checks before boarding the aircraft.
India's vulnerability to further acts of Islamic terrorism was underlined yesterday by reports that the terrorists that attacked Mumbai last week had been equipped with mobile phone cards that had been bought in New Delhi and Calcutta in the last month.
India has blamed elements within Pakistan of carrying out the attacks. New Delhi has said the Kashmiri terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which operates from bases near Lahore, had planned and executed the attack.
But the organisational network behind the incident yesterday appeared to stretch far beyond Pakistan and was reliant on help from within India and its eastern neighbour, Bangladesh.
All the recovered cards were registered in the name of Hussain Ur Rehman, a resident of a district on the border with Bangladesh.
Dmitri Medvedev, Russia's president, declared the Kremlin was prepared to offer antiterrorist help to New Delhi as he prepared for a visit to India in which Moscow expects to secure valuable contracts to supply the Indian Navy. He said: "We are prepared for co-operation on all fronts with the aim of preventing such terrorist attacks, in the investigation of the recent terrorist attack and the creation of a global defence system against terrorism in the world."