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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Were Mumbai Terror Attacks Postponed Because of This?

Kasab, the lone terrorist of Mumbai terror attacks caught alive has apparently said that the terror attacks were initially planned for 27 Sep this year, but were postponed for some reason. What was the reason?

On 24 Sep the Mumbai Police busted an Indian Mujahiddin cell and arrested five people, amogst them notably Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh, the founder member of the Indian Mujahideen. The Mumbai Police also claimed to have pre-empted a possible terror attack on the city. Mumbai police also stated that the arrested people had confessed to their roles in the blasts in Ahmedabad and in the local trains in Mumbai on Jul 11 2006. It was also stated that the terror module took instructions from Pak based LeT operative Roshan Khan alias Bhatkal, who in turn took orders from Amir Reza, a senior LeT man.

The Times of India, on 26 Sep had reported Police officials stating that "Officials said a dozen-odd members of the module were still at large and could wreak mayhem if Mumbai dropped its guard." Joint CP (crime) Rakesh Maria had also said, “We are still to arrest many from Mumbai and its outskirts who gave these people logistical support in making." In the same report TOI had reported ,"Police officials on Thursday said what they had learned about the Indian Mujahideen module’s plans for Mumbai had them worried. “These terrorists were planning to target a large business centre in south Mumbai as well as the upcoming festivities,’’ a senior police officer said. “A dozen or so members of the same module are still to be picked up and we cannot therefore say with certainty that Mumbai is out of danger,’’ he added."

TOI also reported that, "During interrogation, the five men revealed that they had decided to strike at crowded places in Mumbai, where large number of people assemble. The appropriate time was yet to be chosen."

Was the arrest of these people the reason why the terror attacks in Mumbai were postponed? Were these same people supposed to provide support to the 10 terrorists who eventually carried out the attack? Did the Mumbai Police give up too soon on the interrogations or did the arrested people succeed in misleading or evading the interrogation of Mumbai Police. Was the Large Business centre meant to be the Taj or the Oberoi? Did the crowded places mean Mumbai CST? Were the other members of the module ever arrested? Did they finally regroup and assist in the Mumbai attacks? Are the Police even working on this theory, that they probably patted themselves too soon on arresting the five members of the IM and that their failure to follow up the arrests could have eventually led to the Mumbai attacks? That they did pre-empt the attack on Mumbai but could not prevent it?

Finally did the Mumbai Police know of the targets but did not know the dates and that's why the advisory to the five star hotels (especially Taj) to step up the security?

The statements reflected in the article have been sourced from Times of India, Mumbai Edition.

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