Arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has told interrogators that at least two officers of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were present in the control room set up in Karachi to direct the 10 gunmen in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
His confession strengthens India's claim that Pakistani state actors were involved in the attacks in Mumbai in 2008.Jundal, who was among those directing the attackers, including lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab, told interrogators that though he could not identify the ISI officers by name and rank, their appearance and authoritative conduct clearly indicated that they were from the intelligence agency, sources told HT.
Jundal told interrogators that in all about 10 persons kept coming in and going out of the control room during the three-day carnage in Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed and 238 injured.
"Jundal's interrogation is continuing. We hope to get more information from him on this aspect. The possibility of involvement of more ISI officials cannot be ruled out," an investigator told HT.
Newly appointed Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, an expert in terror investigations, also questioned Jundal for at least 40 minutes on Sunday.
He visited the office of the Special Cell of the police's Anti-Terrorism Squad and took stock of Jundal's interrogation.
The police commissioner was there for three hours.
Kumar's visit came days after Intelligence Bureau director Nehchal Sandhu grilled Jundal a few days ago about the involvement of state actors in the Mumbai attacks.
"Jundal has clearly implicated state actors in the 26/11 operations. We will seek extension of Jundal's police remand to get to the bottom of the matter," said a senior police official.
Sources said two ISI majors — Iqbal and Samir Ali — may have been present in the Karachi control room. ISI-Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley had named them to Indian investigators as the two ISI officers directing the 26/11 attacks.
Besides Jundal, investigators have so far identified six Lashkar operatives in the control room. They include the terror outfit's then military chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, now in a Pakistani jail and facing trial and its present military chief Muzammil alias Yusuf – to whom Jundal was reporting.
There is also mention of ‘Major General Sahib' in the recorded conversations between the attackers and their handlers in the control room. Investigators are yet to ascertain the identity of ‘Major General Sahib'.