Pakistan detains Lashkar-e-Taiba plotter of Mumbai attacks

Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.

Pakistani security forces detained one of the masterminds in the Nov. 26 Mumbai terror assault, according to reports from Pakistan. Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi was detained along with eight other members of Lashkar-e-Taiba were arrested during raids on a camp and offices operated by the terror group in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is also know as Chachaji, serves as the military commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terror group founded by Hafiz Saeed. The identity of the eight others detained in the operation has not been disclosed. A spokesman for the Lashkar-e-Taiba confirmed Lakhvi and several others were detained.

Security forces raided a Lashkar camp in Shwai Nullah in Muzaffarabad. A maddrassa and a school were also raided by Pakistani forces.

Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed the camp was run by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a purported charitable organization, and not the Lashkar-e-Taiba. But Jamaat-ud-Dawa is merely a front for the Lashkar. Hafiz Saeed renamed Lashkar-e-Taiba to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa after the organization was banned by the Pakistani government after the attacks on the Indian parliament building in December 2002.

Saeed has denied any involvement with Lashkar, Pakistan’s intelligence service, and al Qaeda in an interview published over the weekend. “They [the Indians] can say anything. I am not bothered about what they say,” Saeed said in an interview published at Middle East Transparent. “I will keep spreading the message of Allah Almighty despite all pressures, knowing fully well that the Indians will continue to mislead the world community by linking us with Lashkar-e-Taiba, with the ISI and even with al Qaeda.”

India has directly implicated Lakhvi and Yusuf Muzammil, a senior Lashkar operative, in directing the operation that killed more than 180 Indians in the financial capital of Mumbai. The operation was conducted by Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives trained inside Pakistan and launched from the Pakistani city of Karachi. The city of Mumbai was held captive for 62 hours.

Calls made from satellite phone on one of the boats used to transport the Mumbai assault teams has phone calls that have been directly traced to attack had calls to Lakhvi in Muzaffarabad. Indian police have also monitored calls between Yusuf Muzammil, a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander, and an operative named Yahya based out of Bangladesh. Yahya provided the Mumbai terrorists with fake identification and telephone SIM cards.

India has also demanded Pakistan turn over Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maulana Masood Azhar, and mafia and terror kingpin Dawood Ibrahim, as well as other senior leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, and Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami. These terror groups receive backing from elements within Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

The Pakistani government has refused to hand over Saeed, Azhar, and Ibrahim, according to reports. Pakistan has insisted the Indians provide evidence of their involvement in the Mumbai attacks so they could be put on trial in Pakistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Solomon2 says:

    We can’t be assured that the investigation is getting anywhere until not just LeT leaders but their ISI handlers are available for the Indians to interrogate.
    And yes, I expect Pakistan to balk at this, because that essentially means that the days of Pakistan running a terror wars against its neighbors will be over. Just why Pakistan won’t give that up is a disturbing question.

  • GME says:

    Pakistan’s hour of decision is at hand. The Pak authorities should show good faith by prosecuting a full investigation, capturing or killing those responsible, and handing over all remaining suspects to Indian officials as demanded.
    Otherwise, they will be squeezed by NATO to the west and by India to the east. And if a whisper escapes that their nuclear weapons are compromised or planned for use, the Islamic bomb may explode in their faces.
    The Paks are in a hard place, but their lease on credibility has run out.

  • KnightHawk says:

    I smell a do the minimum dog and pony show coming, but I would very much like to be proven wrong.

  • IK says:

    Expect the Pakis to hold onto whoever they “arrested” for a short amount of time, in very easy conditions (maybe McDonalds visits for lunch), and then you’ll see an interview from the arrested goons and think “Aren’t they supposed to be in jail?”
    This was just a pre-emptive roundup (think protective custody) to avoid an Indian strike. A few weeks from now, the moment will be gone, and India will have moved on to other things to think about. The Paki double game continues. And why not? They get money from the USA, IMF, and any other western group they can, and still get to dabble in the drug of jihad.

  • Tommy says:

    Pakistan will never change. Its sickening. They wont give up the killers India wants. They wont give up Omar and the Taliban leadership in Quetta. They wont arrest Haqqani and his son. They wont go after Hekmatyar and his men……
    And I doubt they’d give us solid info on Bin Laden and Zawahiri if they had it…
    It’s ridiculous. Pakistan is not an ally. I wish the US would smarten up.

  • rob says:

    I concur with IK, this sounds like a pre-emptive roundup possibly due to pressure exerted by the US and to negate the risk of an Indian strike.
    Given that Pakistan has reiterated today (12/9) that it will not hand over any of its citizens linked to the Mumbai terror attacks to India, it implies, status quo.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/09/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • juscruzn says:

    Sounds to me like another case of round up the usual suspects. Pakistan has done this many times in the past only to release them after a week or so. With the statement today that they will no hand over any of their citizens to India I think they have made their position clear.


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