Two Indians held for link to Mumbai case: Evidence of home-grown terrorism?
rumana husain | December 6, 2008 at 09:43 pmby
200 views | 32 Recommendations | 5 comments
There will perhaps be many new developments in the Mumbai attacks story, but this is the latest.
KOLKATA, Dec 6: Police arrested two Indian men accused of illegally buying mobile phone cards, allegedly used by militants in the Mumbai attacks, in the first known arrests since the bloody siege ended last week, officials said on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear whether the two had prior knowledge of the attacks. If they did, the arrests could represent evidence of home-grown ties to the attacks and be a blow to Indian officials who have blamed the massacre entirely on Pakistani extremists.
Police said another Indian citizen who was arrested in February in northern India carrying hand-drawn sketches of hotels, the train terminal and other sites that were later attacked was being brought to Mumbai for renewed questioning.
One of the arrested men, Tauseef Rahman, allegedly bought SIM cards by providing fake documents, including identification cards of dead people, senior police official Rajeev Kumar said in Kolkata.
Rahman of West Bengal state later sold them to Mukhtar Ahmed, Kumar said. Both men were arrested on Friday and charged with fraud and criminal conspiracy. The SIM cards were allegedly used by the gunmen later.
Police said they were still investigating how the 10 gunmen obtained the SIM cards, and declined to offer more details.
Most large Indian cities, including Kolkata, where the SIM cards were purchased, have thriving black markets for mobile phone cards and cheap phones.
Also on Saturday, Mumbai police said they were transporting Faheem Ansari, the man arrested in February, from custody in northern India to Mumbai to answer more questions, hoping he could shed more light on the attacks.
Rakesh Maria, a senior Mumbai police officer, said he believed there was a definite connection between Ansari and the Mumbai attacks. “Ansari was trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba and sent to do reconnaissance,” Maria said.
The interrogation of the lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks revealed that the gunmen had detailed pictures of the locations, Maria said.
“They were pretty elaborate photographs,” he said, adding that they had also used maps from Google to study the targets.
News of the February arrest has added to a torrent of criticism about missed warnings and botched intelligence.
Meanwhile, explosives were found at a private nursing home in the western Indian city of Nagpur, prompting the evacuation of dozens of people, local media reported on Saturday.
A sniffer dog located what the police bomb detection and disposal squad called “a live bomb” wrapped in a plastic bag at the facility, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
Officials say one of the two Indians arrested for illegally buying mobile phone cards used by the gunmen in the Mumbai attacks is a counter-insurgency police officer who may have been on an undercover mission.
A senior police official in occupied Kashmir says the man, identified as Mukhtar Ahmed, is part of a semi-official counter-insurgency network whose members are usually drawn from among former militants.
The official says Kolkata police, who are holding Ahmed, have been told he is “our man and its now up to them how to facilitate his release.” The officer spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.—Agencies
Most Recommended Comment
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Rhonda J MangusThese members have powered this story: