|At least one of the attackers was Bangladeshi, says Dawn|
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s investigation into the material provided by India on the Mumbai terror strikes suggests that the attacks were planned by a banned militant group in Bangladesh, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen-al Islami, according to a report in the Dawn.
The newspaper did not say if the Federal Investigation Agency probe rejected the Indian position that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba planned and carried out the attacks on November 26, 2008 that claimed 180 lives.
Nor did the report say how the FIA plans to explain the telephone transcripts of the Urdu conversations between the Mumbai attackers and their handlers, or if it was the position of the Pakistan government that this evidence was fabricated, as the country’s envoy to the United Kingdom claimed last week.
It is also not clear why and how a Bangladesh-based outfit had hired Pakistanis to carry out the attacks, although the newspaper said that the FIA investigators believed that at least one of the attackers was Bangladeshi.
There has been no official comment on the newspaper report, which said investigators were “closing in” on the involvement of the HuJI in planning the attack and training the attackers.
In line with Pakistan’s position since the Mumbai attacks that terrorism was a common problem across South Asia which required a “regional strategy,” the newspaper said the FIA investigation was likely to indicate that the attacks were the handiwork of an international network of Islamic fundamentalists, whose spread extended from South Asia to the Middle East.
It said a Western diplomat also confirmed that “there was a strong possibility” that one of the attackers was a Bangladeshi national.
Some of the planning for the attack might have been done in Dubai, the newspaper said, and the FIA report would also raise the issue of local Indian support. Pakistani investigators are apparently of the view that their Indian counterparts are “shying away” from exploring local involvement, without which, they say, it would have been “impossible” to execute the attack of such magnitude and sophistication.