Mumbai Attack’s Link Found By Pakistan

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NEW YORK: Pakistani investigators have unearthed substantive links between the gunmen who attacked Mumbai in November and a banned militant group, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.The newspaper said that at least one top LeT leader, Zarar Shah, captured in a raid early this month in Azad Kashmir, had confessed to the group’s involvement in the attack.
“He is singing,” an unidentified Pakistani security official told the Journal, referring to Shah.
“The disclosure could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks, which left 171 dead in India, originated within its borders and to prosecute or extradite the suspects,” the newspaper said in a dispatch from Islamabad.
“That raises difficult and potentially destabilising issues for the country’s new civilian government, its military and the spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence - which is conducting interrogations of militants it once cultivated as partners”.
India’s accusation of a Pakistani link to the assault on Mumbai has revived old hostilities between the nuclear-armed rivals and raised fears of conflict.
Pakistan has condemned the Mumbai attacks and has denied any state role, blaming ‘non-state actors’.
Shah’s admission was backed up by US intercepts of a telephone call between Shah and one of the attackers during the assault, the Pakistani security official told the newspaper.
Shah told interrogators that he was one of the main planners of the assault and he had spoken to the attackers during the rampage to give them advice and keep them focused, the newspaper cited a second person familiar with the investigation as saying.Shah had implicated other LeT members, and had broadly confirmed the account the sole captured gunman told Indian investigators, the second person told the newspaper.
According to Indian reports, the captured gunman told Indian interrogators the 10 attackers trained in Azad Kashmir and later went by boat from Karachi to Mumbai. Pakistan has repeatedly said India has not provided evidence.Shah was picked up with another LeT commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, during Pakistani raids on militants launched in response to the Mumbai attack, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told reporters on December 10.


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