A Pakistani claiming to be a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative has “confessed” to his role in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, saying four other leaders of the terror group were also involved.
Quoting sources in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), The News said that Shahid Jamil Riaz who belongs to the LeT had confessed that he and four others had provided transportation facilities, accommodation, Internet and other facilities to the terrorists who had attacked Mumbai.
The four men Riaz has named are LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, its communications specialist Zarar Shah, Hamad Ameen Sadiq and Hamza alias Abu Alqa.
All for are in custody but have not been formally charged with involvement in the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed the lives of over 170 people, including 26 foreigners.
They had been picked up in a crackdown by Pakistani security forces in December 2008 after the UN, acting on US and Indian pressure, proscribed the Jamaat-ud Daawa that the LeT had morphed into after being banned in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi blamed on the terror group.
Riaz, who was arrested from Europe last month, is not among the eight men the FIA has charged with their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Of the eight, six are in custody and the seventh is at large. The eight is Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the Mumbai carnage and whose trial has now begun.
Riaz recorded his confession before special judicial magistrate Ahmed Masood Janjua, who sent him to Adiala Jail in the adjacent garrison town of Rawalpindi on 14-day judicial remand.
He was brought to court amidst tight security, with two officials of the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) accompanying him to the magistrate's chamber, from which the media was banned, for recording his statement.
A junior officer of the interior ministry, meanwhile, rejected Riaz's confession, saying he had made a statement in court but this could not be termed a confession.