MUMBAI: Captured terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Mohammad Amir Kasab has told the police that his father asked him to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba so that he could use the money they gave him to run the family.
The 21-year-old has told the police that his father, Amir, introduced him to an LeT commander two years ago. "Kasab used to call the man chacha (uncle). Chacha was the handler of a group of 25 youths, including Kasab, who were provided special terror training. In return, chacha used to pay his father," said an officer who is part of the investigations into the attack on Mumbai.
A resident of Faridkot in Chipaalpura taluka of Ukhad zilla in Punjab (Pakistan), Kasab hails from a poor family and himself worked as a labourer before joining the LeT. His two younger sisters and parents stay in Pakistan, the police said.
According to Kasab, his father was aware of chacha's links with LeT. He says they were indoctrinated by chacha (see box) to create mayhem in India.
Out of the group of 25 trained LeT terrorists, 10 were handpicked for the Mumbai operation. "Around 45 days before the terror strike, chacha called the 10 youths and briefed them about the mission," said the official.
The militant training, Kasab told interrogators, began a year ago and camps were held in the jungles of Afghanistan and Pakistan. "In their training camps, the role of each module was specified. They were not allowed to interact with each other," said the officer.
Kasab told investigators they were given blueprints of all the four targets - Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel, Trident Hotel and Nariman House. They also received training in swimming and sailing, besides the use of high-end weapons and explosives.
Now that Kasab has been captured alive, he fears the worst for his family as chacha had given strict instructions that they should not return alive at any cost.
Kasab has told the police that he didn't know driving. His associate Abu Ismail Dera Ismail Khan, 25, drove the Skoda car they used for the get-away after the police vehicle they seized after killing ATS chief Hemant Karkare broke down.
When their Skoda neared Girgaum chowpatty, they ran into a police barricade. Ismail Khan succumbed in the ensuing exchange of fire and Kasab got injured in the hand. He was taken to Nair Hospital where he has been kept under heavy police protection.
During training, the suspected terrorists were told that Mohammed Afzal alias Afzal Guru, convicted for his involvement in the December 2001 Parliament attack, had been hanged to death in India. Afzal Guru, an LeT operative, was sentenced to death in 2004, but his execution has been stayed pending a clemency plea. He is currently in Tihar jail. The indoctrination also used the controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper.