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US prosecutors to seek indictment of 5 Pak men

26/11 attack * Indian government has shared with US authorities role played by each of these operatives.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | Mumbai | Published: May 10, 2011 12:26:27 am

On May 16,when the trial of 26/11 Mumbai attack accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana begins in a Chicago court,the Federal prosecutors will seek indictment of five Pakistan-based persons,including a serving officer of the Pakistan Army,for their role in the crime.

Rana,a Canadian citizen of Pakistani-origin,an operative of the Lashkar-e-Toiba,as well as another accused,David Coleman Headley,whom Rana is accused of having helped set up an office in Mumbai to provide the cover for Headley’s regular visits to India to identify possible targets,are both learnt to have provided details about the five who are expected to be arraigned for indictment in the Chicago court.

Last month,Rana had told his interrogators that his actions “were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and ISI,not the Lashkar terrorist organisation”. Among those likely to be named by US prosecutors is serving ISI officer Major Iqbal,who was Headley’s handler.

Sources in the government said apart from Major Iqbal,the other four to be indicted for the 26/11 attack are Sajid Majeed alias Sajid Mir alias Wasi,Abu Qahafa,Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu Alqama,Lashkar Member D and Major Iqbal.

The Government of India has already shared with the US authorities the role played by each of these operatives in the attack.

Sajid Majeed alias Sajid Mir alias Wasi: He is a senior LeT commander and heads the LeT’s India set-up. He was a key planner of the Mumbai attack and also LeT’s main handler of Headley. Apart from providing financial and logistic support to Headley,Wasi was personally involved in the training and briefing of the 10 terrorists who carried out the attack.

In its requests made to the Pakistan government,India has been seeking his voice samples as he was probably present in the Lashkar control room in Karachi during 26/11.

Abu Qahafa: A senior LeT trainer,he was one of the main conspirators of the Mumbai attack. He was closely involved in providing training to the 10 terrorists,including training in GPS handling and map reading. While the conspiracy was being hatched,he acted as a secretary to Sajid Majeed. His voice samples have also been sought by India.

Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu Alqama: A senior LeT commander,who was in charge of the Kashmir set-up till 2008,Alqama was a key conspirator of the Mumbai attack. He was involved in training and briefing the 10 terrorists and was also present in Karachi when the attackers left for Mumbai via sea. He has been arrested and chargesheeted by Pakistani authorities in the case registered by them in connection with the Mumbai attack. His voice samples have also been sought by India.

LeT Member ‘D’: Said to be the operational commander of LeT since the arrest of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,he was involved in the planning of the attack. He handled Headley till early 2007 and also provided logistic and material support to the attackers.

Major Iqbal: A serving ISI officer,who was posted in Lahore during 2007 and 2008,Major Iqbal was handling Headley. He provided funds ($25,000) and fake Indian currency to Headley for meeting his expenses during the surveillance operations in India.

On his part,Headley used to give all surveillance videos first to Major Iqbal and then to LeT. Incidentally,in his confession to the National Investigation Agency (NIA),Headley has named Major Iqbal along with other ISI officers such as Major Sameer Ali,Col Shah and Lt Col Hamza.

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