India demands Pakistan hand over terror suspects

India picked up intelligence in recent months that terrorists were plotting attacks against Mumbai targets, an official said today, as the government demanded that Islamabad hand over suspected terrorists believed living in Pakistan.

A list of about 20 people — including India's most-wanted man — was submitted to Pakistan's high commissioner to India on Monday night, said India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee.



India has already demanded Pakistan take "strong action" against those responsible for the attacks, and the US has pressured Islamabad to cooperate in the investigation. America's chief diplomat, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will visit India tomorrow.



The diplomatic wrangling comes as the government faces widespread accusations of security and intelligence failures after suspected Muslim militants carried out a three-day attack across India's financial capital, killing 172 people and wounding 239.



The only surviving attacker has told police that he and the other nine gunmen had trained for months in camps in Pakistan operated by the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.



India's foreign intelligence agency received information as recently as September that Pakistan-based terrorists were plotting attacks against Mumbai targets, according to a government intelligence official familiar with the matter.



The information was then relayed to domestic security authorities, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to talk publicly about the details. But it's unclear what, if anything, the government did with the intelligence after that.



The famous Taj Mahal hotel, scene of much of the bloodshed, had tightened its security with metal detectors and other measures in the weeks before the attacks, after being warned of a possible threat.



But the security precautions "could not have stopped what took place," Ratan Tata, chairman of the company that owns the hotel, told CNN. "They (the gunmen) didn't come through that entrance. They came from somewhere in the back."



A day after soldiers finishing removed the last bodies from the hotel, where the standoff finally ended Saturday morning, wood boards covered its marble latticework and seafront entrance as plain-clothed police searched for evidence.



The building was the last to be cleared, following the five-star Oberoi hotel, a Jewish center, and other sites struck in this city of 18 million.



On Monday, this kinetic financial and entertainment hub began returning to normal, as children returned to school, shopkeepers open their businesses and restaurants began serving again.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has promised to strengthen maritime and air security and look into creating a new federal investigative agency, met Tuesday with top security aides to review any government lapses.



Among the prisoners sought by India is Dawood Ibrahim — a powerful gangster, the alleged mastermind of 1993 Mumbai bombings, and India's most-wanted man.



Also included is Masood Azhar, a terror suspect freed from an Indian prison in exchange for the release of hostages aboard an Indian Airlines aircraft hijacked on Christmas Day 1999.



Pakistan would consider India's request and respond after receiving the list, said Pakistani Information Minister Sherry Rehman.



"We must try to dampen down the discourse of conflict and work toward regional peace," she said.



While the cross-border rhetoric between Pakistan and India has increased since the attacks, both countries — by their often-bellicose standards — carefully refrained from making statements that could quickly lead to a buildup of troops along their already militarized frontier.



In India, Pakistan's high commissioner met with foreign ministry officials late Monday and was told that "elements from Pakistan" had carried out the attacks.



The commissioner was told that India "expects that strong action would be taken against those elements," said foreign ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash.



Pakistan has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday the gunmen were "non-state actors," and the government has proposed a joint investigation.



With the investigation still under way, and FBI and Scotland Yard teams assisting, more details emerged about the suspects and the attacks.



The sole surviving attacker, Ajmal Qasab, told police his group trained over about six months in camps operated by Lashkar in Pakistan, learning close-combat techniques, hostage-taking, handling of explosives, satellite navigation, and high-seas survival skills, according to two Indian security officials familiar with the investigation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the details.



Lashkar was outlawed in Pakistan under pressure from the U.S. in 2002, a year after Washington and Britain listed it a terrorist group.



Qasab told investigators the militants hijacked an Indian vessel and killed three crew members, keeping the captain alive long enough to guide them into Mumbai, the two security officials said.



The men, ages 18-28, then came ashore in a dinghy at two different Mumbai areas before slipping into the city in two teams, officials said.



The gunmen hired two separate taxis after reaching Mumbai, planting bombs that later exploded in each vehicle, officials said. Two more unexploded bombs were found outside the Taj Mahal hotel.



The gunmen struck at several sites, including a train station, where they mowed down police and passers-by; the Jewish center; and the two luxury hotels, representing the city's wealth and tourism, reportedly seeking out Westerners.



The 19 foreigners killed were Americans, Germans, Canadians, Israelis and nationals from Britain, Italy, Mexico, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia, Singapore and Mexico.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Ashdown Group: PHP Developer - Buckinghamshire - £29,000

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior PHP Developer - Milton Keynes...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales & Marketing Assistant

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This UK based B2C and B2B multi...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003