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Mumbai Police Narrow In on India Terror Attack Mastermind


Dec. 2: People participate in a candlelit vigil held outside the Taj Mahal hotel, in background, to pay tribute to the victims of the Mumbai attacks. (AP)

Mumbai police believe a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba planner in Pakistan masterminded the Mumbai terrorist attacks last week and was among several leaders of the militant group who were in touch by satellite links with the 10 terrorists in the two days before they landed in India.

A senior police official said that, in all, the names and numbers of five members of the Pakistani group's leadership were contained in a satellite phone left behind by the terrorists on a fishing vessel they hijacked then abandoned before reaching Mumbai. Records from the phone show calls had been made from it to these five men.

Among them: Yusuf Muzammil, head of Lashkar-e-Taiba's terrorism operations against India. The senior Indian police official said he was identified as the mastermind of the attacks by the only terrorist captured alive, Ajmal Kasab, or Qasab. The police official said two of Mr. Muzammil's deputies orchestrated the strikes, according to Mr. Kasab's testimony.

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A senior Pakistani official confirmed that India has told Pakistan that the attack was planned by Mr. Muzammil. Mr. Muzammil's name appears on a list of 20 people given by India to Pakistan. India is demanding the names on the list be handed over.

India also has told Pakistan that the attacks were approved by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the head of Jamaat ud Dawa, the parent organization of Lashkar-e-Toiba. Mr. Saeed denied that the allegation that his group was involved in the Mumbai attacks. "India has always accused me without any evidence," Mr. Saeed said in an interview with GEO News, a private Pakistan Television channel.

Click here to read more on this story from the Wall Street Journal.

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