Investigation into the Mumbai terror attack have moved a step forward with intelligence agencies confirming that the Pakistani “handlers” whom the terrorists telephoned several times during the siege in the Taj Mahal Hotel and Nariman House were indeed top operatives of the Lashkar-e-Toiba Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Yusuf Muzammil.
As first reported by The Indian Express, Indian intelligence agencies as well as the Maharashtra Police had intercepted the terrorists’ mobile phones throughout the siege and the voices were being matched with those in a data bank.
Voice experts dealing with the Pakistan desk in New Delhi for years were sent to Mumbai and given access to the intercepted telephone tapes. Sources said the data bank has been prepared after years of intelligence gathering from Pakistan and Bangladesh. While none of the voices of the Mumbai terrorists matched with any in the data bank, the voices of Lakhvi and Muzammil matched “perfectly.”
This input has subsequently been shared by intelligence agencies and with top officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Home Ministry. Lakhvi is among the Lashkar operatives detained by Pakistan following the attacks. Also, Ajmal Kasab is said to have identified him and Muzammil as the key “handlers.”