'26/11 accused continue to control terrorist activity from behind bars'

New York: Pakistan-based terror group LeT's technology chief Zarrar Shah and his fellow militants continue to direct terrorist activity from behind bars under ISI's watch, setting up in jail a control room like the one in Karachi to oversee the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, a report said.

A report in Frontline titled 'The Hidden Intelligence Breakdowns Behind the Mumbai Attacks' says six years after the 26/11 attacks that brought Mumbai and India to a standstill, the masterminds are still "at large in Pakistan protected by the ISI, an intelligence service that is nominally a US ally."

While Pakistan had arrested a few Lashkar bosses, their trial remains stalled and in the 'latest display of impunity', two weeks ago Pakistani authorities released on bail Zaki ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the military chief of Lashkar. "Even the defendants behind bars are still a threat.

Shah, Lashkar's technology and communications chief, and his fellow militants continue to direct terrorist activity from the prison," the report quoted current and former Western and Indian counterterror officials as saying.

"They're able to continue operating unfettered there," former State Department intelligence analyst Tricia Bacon said in the report.

"The control room that they once had in Karachi to oversee the Mumbai attacks they essentially now have in the prison in the middle of the military capital in Pakistan (Rawalpindi)," Bacon said.

The report is an update of the documentary 'American Terrorist' on LeT operative David Coleman Headley, who had scouted targets across Mumbai that were then attacked by 10 Pakistani terrorists during the three-day siege on Mumbai. The new report details the story of Headley's eventual capture as well as the secret surveillance of Mumbai plotters that took place before and during the attack.

"That's another reason why Headley's story is still relevant. Justice has not been done," the report said.

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