Terrorists who stormed into the four Mumbai landmarks and held hostages were prepared for a long haul and hoped to survive on dry fruits, a senior Intelligence Bureau official said on Thursday evening.
The official said they had recovered bags of dry fruits from the terrorists killed at the Trident, enough to last them a few days, besides AK-47 and AK-56 assault rifles, hand grenades and several hundred rounds of ammunition.
This isn’t the first time that terrorists have been found with dry fruits. Terrorists who had stormed into Parliament on 13 December 2001 and made an abortive bid to enter the main building were also found to be carrying dry fruits in their survival kit.
Given the way in which the well-orchestrated attack has been executed, a senior home ministry official said they weren’t surprised.
“Our understanding is that the job of clearing out the terrorists from the four locations and rescuing the hostages would take longer than a few more hours,” a home ministry official said on Thursday evening.
It was uncertainty over how long the cleanup operation would take that kept the Prime Minister’s Office on tenterhooks, as they kept on revising the PM’s travel plans to Mumbai. Singh’s initial plans were spiked on security grounds. He later left late in the evening.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil had travelled to Mumbai in an Indian Air Force cargo aircraft along with the National Security Guard chief JK Dutt and the Black Cat commandos.