Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dossier Gives Details of Mumbai Attacks

Published: January 6, 2009

NEW DELHI — The exchanges are chilling.


Times Topics: Terrorism in India

Document: Copy of the Dossier(External link)

“The hostages are of use only as long as you do not come under fire,” a supervisor instructed gunmen by phone during the Mumbai attacks in November. He added: “If you are still threatened, then don’t saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them.”

A gunman replied, “Yes, we shall do accordingly, God willing.”

These are some of the grim details of the Mumbai attacks compiled by the Indian authorities and officially shared with the Pakistani government on Monday.

The compilation seems intended to achieve at least two objectives for India: demonstrate that the attackers were sent from Pakistan, and rally international support for India’s efforts to press Pakistan on its handling of terrorism suspects.

To that end, the dossier, a copy of which was shown to The New York Times, includes previously undisclosed transcripts of telephone conversations, intercepted by Indian authorities, that the 10 gunmen had during their killing spree. They left 163 dead, all the while receiving instructions and pep talks from their handlers across the border.

The dossier also includes photographs of materials found on the fishing trawler the gunmen took to Mumbai: a bottle of Mountain Dew soda packaged in Karachi, pistols bearing the markings of a gun manufacturer in Peshawar, Pakistani-made items like a matchbox, detergent powder and shaving cream.

Beyond that, the dossier chronicles India’s efforts in recent years to persuade Pakistan to investigate suspects involved in terrorist attacks in India and to close terrorist training camps inside Pakistani territory. In the final pages, India demands that Pakistan hand over “conspirators” to face trial in India and comply with its promise to stop terrorist groups from functioning inside its territory.

The dossier was shown this week to diplomats from friendly nations; one described it as “comprehensive,” another as “convincing.”

Although the dossier takes pains not to blame current or former officials in Pakistan’s army or spy agency, Indian officials have consistently hinted at their complicity, at least in training the commando-style fighters who carried out the attack.

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