Mumbai plot partly hatched in Pakistan: Malik
The News, February 13, 2009
Says main operator arrested; FIR registered against nine suspects
By Mobarik A Virk
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that the Mumbai attacks were partly planned in Pakistan and that it has arrested six suspects, including the “main operator”.
In its first detailed response to the dossier provided by India, Pakistan said criminal cases had been registered against nine suspects on charges of “abetting, conspiracy and facilitation” of a terrorist act. However, it said more evidence is required from India, including DNA samples of Ajmal Kasab, to establish his identity.
Addressing a press conference at the interior ministry, Interior Adviser Rehman Malik told the media FIR No: 01/009 had been lodged with the Special Investigation Group (SIG) in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against nine suspects. The Pakistani investigators have identified Hammad Amin Sadiq as the alleged ‘mastermind’ of the whole conspiracy.
Malik said the cases against nine persons had been registered under the Anti-Terror Act (ATA) and the Cyber Crime Act and they would be tried under these two sets of laws. He said six of the nine accused named in the FIR have already been arrested and being interrogated, two have been identified but not arrested so far while investigations are still under way into the possible involvement of the ninth accused.
He identified those taken into custody as Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT) commander who was arrested from Muzaffarabad soon after the Indian government alleged that the LT was behind the Mumbai attacks, Javed Iqbal, who was arrested from Barcelona, Spain, Hammad Amin Sadiq, believed to be the main operator belonging to southern Punjab, Zarar Shah, Mohammad Ashfaq and Abu Hamza. The name of the lone surviving terrorist now in the custody of India, Ajmal Kasab, is not included in the FIR.
He also said some of those arrested by the security agencies of Pakistan for possible involvement in the Mumbai attacks belong to the LT. Malik said Javed Iqbal, who was based in Barcelona, Spain, was the person who paid $200 for the ‘Internet Domain’ that was also used for communication and planning for the Mumbai attacks. “Having ascertained the involvement of Javed Iqbal, we somehow lured him into coming to Pakistan and he was arrested on his arrival,” Malik said.
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