EVIDENCE: Among images included in the dossier on Pakistani links to the Mumbai blasts are those of (clockwise from top left) GPS equipment recovered from the Taj Mahal Palace; a 9-mm pistol with Peshawar markings found at one of the scenes of crime; and a packet of Pakistan-made milk powder found on the vessel Kuber.
New Delhi: The evidentiary dossier India handed over to Pakistan on Monday identifies for the first time the names of six “Pakistan-based handlers” who were constantly in touch with the gunmen during the November 26-29 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The 79-page document, a copy of which is with The Hindu, lists the handlers as ‘Wassi,’ Zarar,’ ‘Jundal,’ ‘Buzurg,’ ‘Major General’ and ‘Kafa.’ Though the dossier does not identify any of the six as a functionary or operative of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Indian officials say the links and affiliations of some of the aliases used by the handlers in their taped phone conversations with the terrorists has left New Delhi in no doubt about the involvement of the ISI in the attacks.
The government has prepared two versions of the dossier, one for the 14 countries which lost citizens in the attacks and another for Pakistan and the rest of the world. On Tuesday, senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs briefed the heads of mission of European, Latin American and West Asian countries.
Though the dossier contains a lot of information that has been in the public domain for some time now, it represents the first systematic presentation of evidence by the government since the Mumbai terror strike.
In addition, the document provides eight partial transcripts of selected intercepted conversations between the terrorists and their handlers, data from the GPS equipment recovered from the fishing trawler, Kuber, and, most crucially, an account of the money trail linking Pakistan-based operatives to the purchase of the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling platform used by the handlers to try and mask their physical location.
According to the dossier, “shortly after the attack on the Taj Mahal hotel, Indian agencies were able to intercept mobile telephone calls made from and to the hotel. The controllers/handlers used the virtual number [generated by the VOIP service] to contact a mobile telephone with one of the terrorists. This conversation was intercepted and, thereafter, all calls made through the virtual number were also intercepted and recorded.”
Providing the first-ever details of the investigations into the VOIP account, the dossier says the virtual number (+12012531824) was initially set up with a U.S. company, Callphonex, by an individual who identified himself as Kharak Singh from India. The account was activated by a moneygram transferred in the name of Mohammed Ashfaq.
The dossier adds: “Investigations have revealed that Callphonex asked Kharak Singh if he was from India why the Western Union Transfer was coming from Pakistan. Apparently, Callphonex received no reply.”
Well, India, perhaps it was only Pakistan, but others, it seems to me, profit much more than Pakistan when tensions rise and especially when weapons are purchased.