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Indian Police Arrest 2 Suspects Linked to Mumbai Attack

  • Raymond Thibodeaux

Indian police have arrested two suspects in connection with last week's Mumbai attack.

The suspects were arrested late Friday for allegedly supplying mobile phone cards to Pakistani militants who carried out the deadly three-day siege in Mumbai.

Police investigators have said that the suspects - arrested in Kolkata - purchased at least 22 phone cards under false names and sent them to Pakistan.

So far, Mumbai investigators have traced at least five SIM cards allegedly used by the gunmen during the Mumbai attack to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. That's according to Jawed Shamim, Kolkata's police commissioner.

"Our unconfirmed reports from sister agencies tell us that one of the SIM cards has been found in Mumbai. But this is a proper investigation and if there is any link [to the attacks] or not will be looked into by the Mumbai police and other agencies," he said.

The cards enabled the gunmen to communicate with each other and with their handlers in Pakistan without giving away their identities or their geographic origins, police said.

Another suspect in the attacks, 25-year-old Faheem Ansari, is being brought to Mumbai from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for Mumbai police. Ansari, arrested in Uttar Pradesh for carrying out a 2007 grenade attack on a police camp, allegedly provided operatives of the Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, details of key sites in Mumbai, including the city's international airport.

As the investigation widens within India, a team of Mumbai detectives has been sent a team to India's northwest coast, to a territory in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Rakesh Maria is Mumbai's police chief.

"The fishing vessel, the MV Kuber, on which they were supposed to have hijacked and ferried a ride here. That boat is from Porbunder on the western coast of India. The killed captain of the [MV] Kuber, he is from Diu and that is why are team is there," explained Rakesh Maria.

Rakesh said at least three GPS units were found on the boat, as well as a satellite phone. The attackers had killed the boat's captain, along with four of its crew, as they neared Mumbai's coast.

Rakesh also said that investigators have found a ship's log on the MV Kuber that further suggests that only 10 gunmen were on board, countering persistent reports in the local media that more than 10 gunmen carried out the Mumbai attacks that killed more than 170 people and wounded nearly 300 others.

Meanwhile, the people of Mumbai are struggling back to normal amid beefed up security at hotels, restaurants and some markets. Indian security officials renewed their alerts of fresh attacks against the country's main airports.


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