Islamabad’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the army weren’t the only state actors that helped in executeing the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative David Headley has confirmed the role of Pakistan’s Navy as well, confirming that it had trained the ten terrorists.
Headley’s statement to sleuths of the National Investigation Agency has corroborated the statement of the lone captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab that they had received training of swimming and underwater driving from the Pakistan Navy’s Frogmen. A frogman is someone who is trained to dive, swim and combat.
“The role of frogmen was confirmed by Headley when the Indian investigators interrogated him last month,” a home ministry official said.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who took over as the home minster soon after the 26/11 attacks, had spoken of
suspicions that the Pakistani establishment could be involved, since the Mumbai attacks could not have been executed without help from state actors.
Kasab’s interrogation gave Indian investigators a picture of the planning that the 26/11 attack had necessitated.
Headley’s interrogation has filled in the gaps in that sequence. Moreover, Headley was clued into the big picture and could help link the dots.
It was in this context that Home Secretary G.K. Pillai recently asserted that the ISI was “literally controlling and coordinating the (Mumbai) attack from beginning to end”.
Government officials said there were no immediate plans to question Headley’s accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani origin Canadian citizen, at this stage since his involvement was limited to providing finance. “If necessary we may interrogate Rana later, though we have no immediate plan to do so,” an official said.
Headley also spoke of the ISI paying Rs 25 lakh to LeT to purchase a boat, which was used by the terrorists to travel to the Pakistani maritime boundary, where they hijacked an Indian boat ‘Kuber’ to reach Mumbai.
He also identified, through voice sample test, two ISI officers believed to be constant contact with the terrorists who carried out the attack.
Officials believe ISI chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha had even met one of the handlers of the attack, Sajjid Mir, currently in a Pakistani jail.
“All this data have been shared by India with Pakistan through the multiple dossiers given to it,” the official said.