Intelligence agencies had information at least a year ago that the Pakistan-based jehadi outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) was planning to attack Mumbai’s five-star hotels after coming to the city via the sea.
Fahim Ahmad Ansari, a LeT operative arrested from Uttar Pradesh in February, disclosed this when he was being questioned, one of his interrogators told Hindustan Times.
The 62-hour-long terror attack on Mumbai, on the night of November 26, has claimed 183 lives.
Fahim, originally from Motilal Nagar slum in Goregaon, conducted an inspection of the Taj and Trident hotels, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Bombay Stock Exchange and the Mumbai police commissioner’s office before December 2007. Police sources said he stayed at Sunlight Guesthouse near Grant Road under the name Shahil Paskar between November 28 and December 10 last year.
“He had surveyed each floor of the Taj and Trident, and gave detailed plans to his chief, LeT’s operational commander Mohammed Muzzamil [alias Yusuf alias Abu Gurera],” an official who has interrogated Fahim said, requesting anonymity. “Fahim gave all the details to Muzzamil before he was arrested by the UP special task force.”
The terrorist arrested by the Mumbai police from Girgaum Chowpatty — Ajmal Amir Kasav — has named Muzzamil as the group’s “handler”, the man they were reporting to.