Islamabad: Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur
Rehman Lakhvi, the main accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror
attacks case, has been clandestinely communicating from prison
with members of his group, according to intercepts by Western
Lakhvi, currently lodged in Rawalpindi`s high-security
Adiala Jail, has been using mobile phones to contact other
members of the banned LeT, Western diplomatic sources said.
The contacts have been intercepted by many intelligence
agencies, including those of the US, the sources told agency.
These contacts had been going on for "many months", said
a source familiar with the tracking of Lakhvi`s clandestine
communications by intelligence agencies.
US officials alerted their Pakistani counterparts about
the intercepts and asked them to "shut down" the contacts but
no action had been taken so far by officials at Adiala Jail or
other authorities, two officials of two different countries,
who did not want to be named, told agency.
"These intercepts show Lakhvi remains a key player in the
affairs of the LeT despite being in custody for over two
years," said an official.
US intelligence agencies have extensive capabilities for
tracking and intercepting communications across Pakistan.
CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Lahore
earlier this year after he gunned down two men believed to be
linked to Pakistani intelligence agencies, was part of a cell
that was tracking the LeT and its front organisation, the
Lakhvi is currently being held in Adiala Jail along with
six other suspects charged with planning, financing and
facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
The trial of the seven Pakistani suspects by a
Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court has virtually stalled
for a variety of technical reasons.
Pakistani prosecutors have accused the lawyers defending
the accused of filing a string of petitions in the Lahore High
Court and other courts to delay or impede the proceedings in
the anti-terrorism court.
Officials told agency that the case against the seven
Pakistani suspects was largely based on evidence provided by
India and prosecutors and investigators had done little to
collect material against the accused.
Lakhvi and several other LeT activists were arrested
during an operation conducted by the Pakistan Army on December
7, 2009 at Shawai Nullah near Muzaffarabad, the capital of
LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and other JuD leaders
were put under house arrest after the UN Security Council
declared the JuD a front for the LeT.
However, Saeed was freed on the orders of the Lahore High
Court about six months later.