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Pak colonel in 26/11 chargesheet mans telecom network

Pak colonel in 26/11 chargesheet mans telecom network

Author: Our Political Bureau
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: February 27, 2009

Pakistan army's Colonel R Saadat Ullah, who has been named as one of the accused in the 26/11 chargesheet, is working with Special Communications Organisation, a unit of the Pakistani army that looks after telephone networks in PoK and northern areas.

The colonel along with another accused were shown as wanted as they facilitated the communication between the 10 marine jihadis terrorists, who massacred over 150 people in Mumbai attacks. According to the chargesheet running into over 11,000 pages, the colonel was in constant touch with the accused, all members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Mumbai police and the Central security agencies have alleged that Ullah had also provided training to militants in handling telephone conversation through voice over internet protocol (VoIP). During investigation, it was found that VoIP account was accessed through an email account Kharak_telco@yahoo.com. This email was accessed from 10 internet protocol addresses, which included that of Col Ullah's (118.107.140.138). This address was registered in the name of Col Saadat Ullah, SCO, Qasim Road, Rawalpindi. Headed by a major general, the SCO was raised in July 1976 on the directive of Pakistan prime minister to operate telecommunications in PoK and northern areas.

Meanwhile, documents consisting details and maps of targets prepared by alleged LeT operative Fahim Ansari reached conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack via Nepal, said the chargesheet filed by Mumbai police. "The accused Fahim Ansari after reconnaissance and preparation of detailed maps of the target locations, handed over the same to arrested coaccused Sabauddin Ahmed at Kathmandu in Nepal sometime in January 2008," said the chargesheet, which was filed on Wednesday.

Fahim and Sabauddin were arrested in January last year by the Uttar Pradesh police in connection with the Rampur CRPF camp attacks. "The LeT co-conspirators then made arrangements for fetching the maps from Sabauddin Ahmed at Kathmandu," the chargesheet said. The custody of the duo, who are in judicial custody till March 9, was taken by the Mumbai police in December last year for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks. "Both the accused, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, were in constant touch with each other through e-mail during the operation," crime branch officials maintained.

Credible trial: With reports indicating that Pakistan would hold the trial of the Mumbai terror suspects away from the public gaze, senator John Kerry has asked Pakistan to conduct credible trials of suspects and said that the crucial test for Islamabad starts now.

Mr Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, said that the Mumbai terror attacks were a reminder that extremism is a common threat to global stability and asked Pakistan to ``redouble its effort'' to dismantle terror infrastructure operating from its soil. "Will these arrests be followed up by credible trials? And sentences to commensurate with the crimes," Mr Kerry was quoted as asking.

Pakistan has arrested suspects in the Mumbai terror attacks but there has been little clarity on the status of the case since Islamabad agreed that attacks were partially planned in Pakistan. This has raised doubts about the trial where uncomfortable truths are expected to come out. This is one reason that Islamabad is suspected to be thinking about an in-camera trial.

Both the US and India have made it known to Pakistan that admission of Pakistani links is just the beginning of the process and the real test for Pakistan will be in the steps that it takes now. Mr Kerry reiterated the same point of view saying that that though it was encouraging that Pakistan had arrested suspects in the case and clamped down on the Lashkare-Toiba, it needed to "redouble its effort" to crush the terror groups. "Pakistan's government should redouble its ongoing efforts to eliminate terrorist organisations operating on its soil," he said.


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