Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sea Will Continue To Be Lashkar’s Main Terror Route

Shahzad, the man the alleged Indian Mujahideen operative who was arrested in Azamgarh, spilt the beans regarding the IM and Lashkar-e-Tayiba's plans to wreak havoc using air and water-based terror attacks.

Officials interrogating Shahzad told rediff.com said he spoke of the Lashkar's plan on setting up hi-tech modules across north India. The LeT wanted to ensure that Indian terror outfits possessed the capability to carry out attacks by homegrown terrorists. Since the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the Lashkar has focused heavily on making the Indian terror organisations as capable as their Pakistani counterparts.

During the interrogation, Shahzad spoke of how the Lashkar along with the IM had been working closely on setting up more sea-routes into India. The Lashkar is interested setting up more sea routes since the navy has upped security along with the Indian coast.

During the interrogation, Shahzad says The LeT planned on air strikes and a team, which he had constituted were training for this. Shahzad is believed to have trained in a flying school at Bengaluru . Shahzad was also mobilising men to join similar programmes.

Shahzad told the cops that the sea route was being strengthened with a specific purpose. The groups in Pakistan were finding it extremely hard to transport men and ammunition through the over land route and hence they had decided to use the sea.

A team was being prepared so that arms and ammunition could be sent to India for further use. Even if fidayeen manage to enter the country, they would not have to carry arms and ammunition, along with them since it would slow down their progress.

The Lashkar had used a similar strategy for the Mumbai attacks. The terrorists who had attacked the Central Reserve Police Force camp in Uttar Pradesh were specifically ordered to carry additional arms and ammunition and dump it so that it would be picked up later and used by the Mumbai attackers. However that plan flopped since the terrorists were apprehended and during the interrogation they revealed details about the weapons.

IB sources said that the LeT would continue to target the sea route since they are aware of the vulnerable situation. There are over 200 minor ports in the country which do have an X-ray scanner which can scrutinise cargo and LeT is likely to target these.

The mystery surrounding the MLA who is alleged to have sheltered Shahzad still continues. Shahzad had told his interrogators that he was sheltered by a former MLA from Azamgarh who is currently living in Noida. He had said that he had been given shelter after the Batla House encounter, from which he managed to escape. Shahzad and the rest of his gang were hiding at Batla House after the Dehi blasts. However the residents of Azamgarh claim that there is no former MLA who lives in Noida.

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