Moshe Holtzberg, the 2-year-old orphan of the rabbi and his wife slain in the Mumbai Jewish center, cries during a memorial service at a synagogue in Mumbai, India, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo)
A police officer stands guard in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, one of several places where gunmen shot at people, in Mumbai, India, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP / Lefteris Pitarakis)
The sole Mumbai gunman to have been captured alive claims that his father introduced him to the terrorist faction suspected to be behind the terror attacks last week in exchange for cash.
Azam Amir Kasab, 21, believed to be from Pakistan, said that members of his family would be killed because he was ordered not to be taken alive. “Spread terror and your family will be looked after,” he was told, according to a leaked account of his interrogation.
Kasab said that his father introduced him to a commander of the Pakistan group Lashkar-e-Taiba about four years ago. The terrorist commander, known as chacha (uncle), paid the father for his son’s induction.
Kasab was one of at least ten gunmen who killed nearly 200 people in the financial capital of India. He said that he came from a poor family, had not finished primary school and had worked as a labourer.
Security experts said that payment was one of three main recruitment tools used by Islamist extremists, especially in the impoverished villages of south Punjab, from where Kasab claims to come. The others were the madrassas, or Islamic schools, and threats of violence, often made to the families of those being recruited.
Foreign security agencies – including US, Israeli and, possibly, British specialists – are poised to be given “informal, unofficial” access to Kasab, one official source said. In a press conference a Mumbai police officer said that all the evidence would be shown to Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State.
Ajit Doval, a former director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau, said it was unlikely that Kasab had yet been given “the third degree” – a term that covers all manner of coercive questioning tactics employed commonly by Indian police, including torture.
A senior Indian police official said that Yusuf Muzammil, a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba figure who has led operations against India, had been contacted using a satellite telephone found with the gunmen and was identified as the leader by Kasab.
The moon shines over the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. Soldiers removed the remaining bodies and diffused booby-traps left by the terrorists at the hotel. (AP / Rajanish Kakade)
Local residents light candles in front of the Taj Mahal hotel in memory of those who died in the attacks last week in Mumbai, India, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP / Saurabh Das)
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