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LeT commander had planned attack on INS Virat

By Vicky Nanjappa
December 31, 2008 17:45 IST
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The confession of Zarar Shah, a key Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative, about his involvement in the Mumbai terror attack has further strengthened India's case against terror elements operating inside Pakistan territory.

Shah, according to Intelligence Bureau officials, is a key operative in the LeT network and headed the technology wing of the terror organisation.

The IB has also picked up intercepts of the emails sent out by Shah, which indicate that the LeT was planning an attack on INS Virat. He had planned to launch suicide attacks on the warship by using choppers.

While LeT's second-in-command Muzzamil recruited men to carry out the terror attack and trained them, Shah made arrangements for the SIM cards, satellite phones and the VOIP connections. IB officials believe that Shah had sent out the mails under the pseudonym Deccan Mujahideen, which had claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks.

Shah had ensured that the mail was in Hindi, so that investigators would presume that the attacks were planned in India. He reportedly used a Hindi voice recognition software to type the mail. IB sources say that Shah operated out of Lahore, and the mails were sent from there.

Shah's emails also reveal that he had studied the layout and logistics of the Taj Hotel and other targets in South Mumbai.

Shah was also in constant touch with IM operatives working on the tech side, according to sources. The LeT had financially assisted the Indian Mujahideen in setting up a technological network, which was used to launch terror strikes on the Indian soil.

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Vicky Nanjappa