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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pakistan's Probe Finds Local Links To Attacks On Mumbai

Pakistani security officials say a top Lashkar commander, Zarar Shah, has admitted a role in the Mumbai attack during interrogation, according to the security official, who declined to be identified discussing the investigation. "He is singing," the security official said of Mr. Shah. The admission, the official said, is backed up by U.S. intercepts of a phone call between Mr. Shah and one of the attackers at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the site of a 60-hour confrontation with Indian security forces.

A second person familiar with the investigation said Mr. Shah told Pakistani interrogators that he was one of the key planners of the operation, and that he spoke with the attackers during the rampage to give them advice and keep them focused.

The person said Mr. Shah had implicated other Lashkar members, and had broadly confirmed the story told by the sole captured gunman to Indian investigators -- that the 10 assailants trained in Pakistan's part of Kashmir and then went by boat from Karachi to Mumbai. Mr. Shah said the attackers also spent at least a few weeks in Karachi, a crowded Arabian Sea port, training in urban combat to hone skills they would use in their assault.


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