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We can now nail 26/11 suspects: Pak

July 21, 2009 13:52 IST

The confession by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured for the Mumbai attacks, will help Pakistani authorities to 'nail down' his collaborators and handlers, including Lashkar-e-Tayiba operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, currently undergoing trial in connection with 26/11 strikes.

The surprising confession by Kasab on Monday had 'dashed all hopes of the under-trial LeT terrorists in Pakistan who had been in high spirits following Kasab's earlier statement in which he had said he was not guilty, sources in the interior ministry told The News daily.

Kasab's decision to give details of the conspiracy behind the Mumbai attacks would make it easy for Pakistani authorities to "nail down" the five LeT operatives undergoing trial in an anti-terrorism court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the sources said.

On May 6, Kasab had told the special court in Mumbai that he was not guilty. He had also retracted an earlier confessional statement, claiming it was extracted through torture.

His dramatic confession came two days after the Special Investigation Group of the Federal Investigation Agency submitted a second chargesheet in the anti-terrorism court against the five LeT operatives, including Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Shahid Jamil Riaz and Hamad Amin Sadiq.

The interior ministry sources said the FIA would present Kasab's confession in the Indian court to the Pakistani anti-terrorism court to press charges against the five LeT operatives who have pleaded not guilty and claimed they had nothing to do with the Mumbai attacks.

The next hearing in the case against the five LeT members is scheduled for July 25.

In a dossier handed over to India recently, Pakistan acknowledged that besides Kasab, two more of the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai – Imran Babar and Abdur Rehman -- were Pakistani nationals.

Their identity was confirmed through DNA tests conducted on their kin, diplomatic sources told PTI.

The dossier also states that the attacks were carried out by the LeT and Lakhvi was the mastermind behind the assault.

However, the five LeT operatives facing trial in Pakistan have so far refused to provide voice samples, which could be compared to voices that feature in intercepts of conversations between the Mumbai attackers and their Pakistan-based handlers, the diplomatic sources said.
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