It was not just 10 terrorists who sneaked into Mumbai on Nov 26, 2008, but 12 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) men who had been trained to carry out the audacious strike, Abu Jindal, handler of the attackers, has told investigators. This has put sleuths into a tizzy, trying to figure out who are the other two terrorists, who failed to turn up for the dastardly attack that killed 166 people, including some foreigners, and injured over 230.
Jindal is currently singing to the interrogators and has been providing new information on the 26/11 attacks that had shocked, not just the nation, but the world. He had been caught in Saudi Arabia and deported to India on June 21, and arrested upon his arrival at the Delhi airport. He was produced before a Delhi court the same day and remanded in custody of the Delhi Police Special Cell till July 5.
“A total of 12 terrorists from the LeT stable had been trained to carry out the Mumbai attack, which included the surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab, arrested in the megalopolis on November 28, 2008,” an investigator said. “This information was given by Jindal, who had personally trained the 12 persons in speaking Hindi and the culture of Mumbaikars,” he said.
However, the LeT did not send all of the 12 men to Mumbai to carry out the attacks due to last minute changes in their operational plans, according to Jindal. Of the 10 terrorists who entered Mumbai, nine were killed in the counter-terrorism operations carried out by the National Security Guard (NSG), navy and army commandos.
The terror suspect also informed the Indian investigators that he had met the 12 men selected for training to carry out the Mumbai carnage at the LeT training camp in Muridke and Thakot in Pakistan in 2007. Jindal had, after his involvement in the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006 and the Ahmedabad railway station blast that year, fled India and went to Pakistan through the Bangladesh. He told investigators that he was assisted in his flight by another LeT member, identified as Saukat.
“Saukat took Jindal to Nepal, Bangladesh and then Pakistan, where all kind of facilities, from accommodation to food, were availed by him,” the investigator said. Jindal had also met LeT chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi for the first time in 2006. “The Jindal-Lakhvi meeting was also organised by Saukat. Lakhvi liked Jindal’s role in arms and ammunition smuggling. Since then Jindal became a loyal member of LeT and was selected to train the 26/11 terrorists,” the officer said. According to Jindal, he and the 12 selected terrorists were in constant touch with LeT figurehead Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi, both of whom used to meet them along with two officers of the Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.