December 4, 2008
Mumbai gunman says he was paid $1,900 for attack - as new CCTV emerges
The sole Mumbai gunman to be taken alive has said he was paid 150,000 Pakistani rupees – about £1,300 or $1,900 – for his part in the attacks that killed nearly 200 people, according to police.
"He has said the payment was 1.5 lakhs (150,000) of Pakistani rupees," Rakesh Maria, the joint commissioner of Mumbai police, who is one of the interrogators questioning Azam Amir Kasab, told The Times.
Police are also investigating a possible link to the United States – a mobile SIM card found with the terrorists which possibly came from New Jersey. "Nothing is confirmed, but we are looking at this and have made enquiries with mobile operators," Mr Maria said.
Kasab was one of two gunmen who killed 56 people at Bombay's main train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, on Wednesday. Pictures of the casually dressed, boyish gunman brandishing an AK47 have become a definitive image of the worst terror attack in India in 15 years. Nine other terrorists were killed.
A dispute over the origin of Kasab is placing a strain on India's rapidly deteriorating relationship with Pakistan.
Mumbai police say the "baby-faced gunman" is a poor 24-year-old primary school drop out from a village called Faridkot in Pakistan's south Punjab region. They say he has confessed to being recruited by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a notoriously brutal Pakistan-based terrorist faction created to fight Indian rule in Kashmir, to carry out the Mumbai strikes.
That – or a similar account of events – is thought to be cautiously being given credence by Western intelligence officials.
Mumbai police say that Kasab was trained in camps in Pakistan for up to 18 months by ex-army officers. American intelligence officials suspect that for former officers from Pakistan's powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) gave training, according to today's New York Times.
In response, however, Pakistan's government has denied any knowledge of Kasab and has said it can not find any trace of him in three villages named Faridkot in south Punjab.
Today, Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, from Delhi, to diffuse tensions between the two nuclear-powered neighbours. Yesterday she said: "We believe Pakistan has a central role to play in this [the investigation], to make certain that these terrorists cannot continue to operate and operate in this fashion,"
Police interrogators have told The Times that they are poised to settle the matter of Kasab's background through the use of "narcoanalysis" – a controversial technique, banned in most democracies, where the subject is injected with a "truth serum".
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