Cops probe ‘official’ hand behind 26/11
After establishing the hand of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in the 26/11 attack, the Mumbai police Crime Branch are now tracking down the ‘official’ hands behind the terrorist strike, reports Debasish Panigrahi.Updated: Feb 27, 2009 00:51 IST
After establishing the hand of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in the 26/11 attack, the Mumbai police Crime Branch are now tracking down the ‘official’ hands behind the terrorist strike.
The needle of suspicion points to Col R Saadat Ullah of the Special Communication Organisation (SCO) that functions under the Ministry of Information and Technology of the Pakistan Government.
The SCO is a wireless communication service provider in the PoK and the northern areas of Pakistan — both lawless territories.
The cyber crime cell had traced the origin of the callphonex Voice Over Internet Protocol account firstname.lastname@example.org to Ullah’s office PC at Quasim Road in Rawalpindi where the SCO is headquartered.
The same IP address had also been used to send the threat mail (on behalf of Deccan Mujahideen) to media houses during the attack.
The conversation between the Mumbai attackers had been made using this e-mail ID which was accessed by at least 10 IP addresses. One of those belonged to Ullah’s office IP address.
Crime Branch sources said on Thursday that the rest nine IP addresses had been hacked into through proxy servers. The hacking was done using Saadat Ullah’s official e-mail ID — email@example.com. The same ID is also shared by Khurram Shezad, who the police are trying to identify.
Sources said the Col rank officer was suspected to be a senior ISI operative who had been given a fictitious posting to mask his identity. “He seems to be a covert operative for the ISI which has long been lenient towards the anti-India terror groups for Pakistan’s proxy war against India,” said a source, requesting anonymity.
The police believe that Ullah was the communication in-chief for the entire Mumbai attack project of the Lashkar.
“He was controlling every thing from his Rawalpindi office while the Lashkar ground operation veterans were issuing instructions to the attackers from a command centre, possibly located in the PoK,” sources added.
One of the instructors had been identified as Major General Saheb from the references made by the terrorists at Taj and Oberoi hotels during their conversation with the handlers. Efforts are on to identify the major general.
Meanwhile, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said efforts were on to identify Ullah.
Interestingly the IMIE numbers of the five mobile handsets used by the terrorists for communicating from their handlers have been traced to a shop in Pakistan.
The Nokia handsets, manufactured at Dong Guan in China were shipped to Pakistan. The shop from where they were procured is at Clifton in Karachi. It is a coincidence that India’s most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim has a bungalow in the same area.
First Published: Feb 27, 2009 00:50 IST