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FBI hands over proof to Pakistan: report

world Updated: Jan 05, 2009 01:45 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the American agency, has given to Pakistan evidence amassed by it on involvement of elements based in that country in the Mumbai terror strikes, including on the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) handlers’ warning to the attackers about the arrival of Indian commandos while watching the mayhem live on TV, The Sunday Times reported.

<b1>Stating that evidence is growing to prove that the Mumbai strikes were orchestrated by militants based in Pakistan, it said that Zarar Shah, a communications specialist of LeT, has admitted under interrogation in Pakistan that he advised the terrorists by phone as the attacks unfolded.

Controllers in Pakistan watched live television and warned the gunmen of the arrival of Indian commandos, the report said, citing evidence amassed by the FBI and handed over to the Pakistani government.

The FBI had decoded Skype calls over the internet that were made between the gunmen in two five-star hotels and a Jewish centre in Mumbai with their LeT controllers in Pakistan, identified as Shah, Abu Hamza and Abu Qafa, it said.

Talking in colloquial Punjabi, the controllers repeatedly told the attackers to Aag lagao (Light the fire), which has been interpreted in India as a way of maximising casualties.

During the conversation, the men were also instructed to kill all the Israelis who were held captive in the Jewish hostel, but to spare all the Muslims.

But Islamabad rejected the alleged FBI evidence.

Abdullah Ghaznavi, Lashkar’s spokesman, was quoted saying, “India has failed to furnish any evidence of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks and America is now trying to help it out.”