New Delhi: Proving India’s oft repeated contention that Pakistan’s ISI was behind the Mumbai terror attacks, the US government, Monday, named five terrorists including one officer of the spy agency as being involved in the 26/11 attacks.
The agency’s involvement in terrorism was made public days before the start of the Mumbai attacks trial in a Chicago court for the murder of six Americans, who were amongst the 166 killed.
The second chargesheet filed in the court in the Tahawwur Rana case has named Said Mir, Abu Qhafa, Mazhar Iqbal, Lashkar member D and Major Iqbal.
All accused were charged with one count of conspiracy to murder and maim in India, while Abu Qahafa, Mir and Mazhar Iqbal have been additionally charged with conspiracy to bomb public places in India. None of them is in US custody.
India has consistently maintained that Major Iqbal worked on behalf of the ISI to plan and execute the 26/11 terror attacks. Major Iqbal is also said to be Headley’s handler and had allegedly introduced him to a Lt Col Shah, gave him months of training before sending him to India.
Said Mir was thought to have manned the Lashkar control room during the 26/11 attacks, while Abu Qahfa was the one who imparted GPS-handling and map-reading techniques to the attackers.
Mir is also accused of working with Headley to plan a terrorist attack on a Danish newspaper, which in 2005 published cartoons on Prophet Mohammed.
The new indictment says that "during the course of attacks in Mumbai, the attackers were in telephonic contact with defendants Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa and Mazhar Iqbal, all of whom were then located in Pakistan".
The indictment comes before the scheduled May 16 trial of Rana, a Canadian citizen who is accused of using his immigration services business to provide cover to Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, to scout targets for the Mumbai attack.
Headley, the son of an American mother and Pakistani father, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to 12 criminal counts, including aiding and abetting the murder of Americans in Mumbai, and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in a plea deal to escape the death penalty.
In the first chargesheet, Harkat ul Jihad al Islami leader Ilyas Kashmiri and retired Pakistani military man Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed were indictment but they remain untraceable.