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26/11 attacks: Lakhvi, Shah 'confessed'?

July 29, 2009 21:32 IST

Key Lashker-e-Tayiba operatives Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are 'believed to have confessed' to their involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks but Pakistani authorities are yet to make it public, a leading daily in Islamabad reported on Wednesday.

Pakistani investigators have found 'substantial evidence' directly connecting LeT to the November 26, 2008 attacks and proving 'beyond any reasonable doubt' that it planned and financed the terror strikes, the Dawn newspaper said.

An updated dossier on Pakistani investigation handed over to India on July 11 said the material recovered from LeT camps in Karachi and the coastal town of Thatta indicated that the terrorists were provided training and weapons by the outfit.

'The investigation has established beyond any reasonable doubt that the defunct LeT activists conspired, abetted, planned, financed and established communication network to carry out terror attacks in Mumbai,' said the dossier.

The findings provided the basis for the trial, which started last week of five arrested LeT operatives by an anti-terrorism court inside Rawalpindi's Adiala jail.

'Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are believed to have confessed to their involvement in the attacks. But Pakistani authorities have never confirmed that publicly,' the Dawn said.

Pakistan has already charged Lakhvi, the mastermind of the attack, Zarar Shah and three other LeT men -- Hammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal alias Al Qama and Shahid Jamil Riaz.

'There are sufficient oral, direct documentary, circumstantial and scientific evidence which directly connect the accused with the commission of the offence,' said the chargesheet.

Lakhvi, Zarar Shah and Mazhar Iqbal have also been charged with planning, preparation and execution of the attacks and operational handling of the 10 terrorists.

Zarar Shah was in charge of communication while Iqbal (al Qama) was the main handler, the report said. Investigators here said they had recovered handwritten diaries, training manuals, Indian maps and operational instructions from the LeT camps.

'The accused were running training camps for terrorists, providing sea and navigational training, conducting intelligence courses and directions for terrorist attack,' the dossier said.

According to the new details, training sessions, codenamed 'Azizabad', were held in an LeT camp in Karachi from where the investigators seized militant literature, inflatable lifeboats, detailed maps of the Indian coastline, handwritten literature on navigational training and manual of an intelligence course.

Another training camp in Thatta was housed in five thatched rooms about two kilometres from a creek from where small boats sail to the sea. The terrorists also received training in this camp.

The investigators seized pocket diaries containing names of the accused and other persons and details of expenditure of the camp.

The Dawn report said that Pakistan has asked Indian authorities to provide more information about Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, the Indian nationals suspected to be involved in facilitating the attack.

Both are in custody and the Indian authorities had earlier denied that any of their nationals was involved in the attacks.

During investigations, the two had confessed to visiting Lahore, Rawalpindi, Muridke, Karachi and Muzaffarabad. They were also believed to be in contact with the five accused.
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