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Google Earth Accused of Aiding Mumbai Terror Attacks

An Indian court has been called to ban Google Earth amid suggestions the online satellite-imaging service was used to help plan the terror attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month.

A petition entered at the Mumbai High Court alleges that the Google Earth service "aids terrorists in plotting attacks."

Advocate Amit Karkhanis has urged the court to direct Google to blur images of sensitive areas in the country until the case is decided.

There are indications that the gunmen who stormed Mumbai on Nov. 26, and the people who trained them, were technically skilled.

The group appears to have used complex GPS systems to navigate their way to Mumbai by sea. They communicated by satellite phone, used mobile phones with several different SIM cards and may have monitored events as the siege unfolded via BlackBerry Web browsers.

Police in Mumbai have said the terrorists familiarized themselves with the streets of Mumbai's financial capital using satellite images, according to the sole gunman to be captured alive.

The commandos who stormed the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai said the militants had made a beeline for the building's closed-circuit security-camera control room.

The legal petition also follows unconfirmed reports that Faheem Ahmed Ansari, a suspected militant who was arrested in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in February, said he was shown maps of Indian locations on Google Earth by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terrorist faction that Indian officials are convinced was behind the Mumbai attacks.

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