India names Pakistani colonel in connection with Mumbai terror attacks

Colonel Sadatullah is the highest-ranked Pakistani national to be implicated in 
the three-day siege which left 164 people dead

    * Mark Tran
    *, Thursday 26 February 2009 08.58 GMT
    * larger | smaller
    * Article history

The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on fire after terror attacks

The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on fire after terror attacks. Photograph: 
Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty

Indian police have named a Pakistani colonel who they say was connected to 
November's Mumbai terror attacks which left 164 people dead.

An 11,509-page charge sheet filed by the Mumbai police yesterday named the 
officer as Colonel Sadatullah, the highest-ranked Pakistani to be implicated in 
the three-day siege of two luxury hotels and other sites that strained tensions 
between the two neighbours.

Sadatullah is a colonel in the special communications organisation (SCO), a 
telecommunications agency of the Pakistani government run by officers from the 
army's signal corps. The SCO operates only in the Pakistani side of the divided 
province of Kashmir and Pakistan's restive northern region.

According to the Times of India, a total of 284 calls totalling 995 minutes 
were made to Pakistani handlers by the terrorists using mobile phones from the 
Taj Mahal hotel, Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House, a Jewish centre.

Indian investigators say the calls were made using voice over internet 
protocol, or VoIP, a cheap way of making international calls. They were traced 
to an IP address created with CallPhonex, a VoIP service provider based in New 
Jersey, in the US. Payments for the calls were made by opening an account in 
the name of Kharak Singh, from India.

However, payments to the account were made by wire transfer through MoneyGram 
and Western Union Money Transfer by two Pakistani nationals, Javed Iqbal and 
Mohammed Ishtiaq. The two used the email address ID to 
communicate with CallPhonex. Indian investigators say there was contact between 
this email address and Sadatullah's official email,, which 
police say is the email service for all SCO officers.

Indian officials have charged a Pakistani national, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, 
who was captured in the early hours of the attacks. The sole surviving attacker 
faces 12 criminal charges, including murder and waging war against India. He 
could face the death penalty if convicted.

The other nine attackers were killed. India's special public prosecutor, Ujjwal 
Nikam, said he expected the trial to begin in the coming weeks and conclude 
within six months, but the legal process could drag on for decades. The trial 
for the country's deadliest terror attack, the 1993 Mumbai bombings which 
killed 257 people, lasted 14 years.

The Kasab trial could further inflame tensions with Pakistan as it sets out the 
role of Pakistani groups in the assault.

India blames the attack on Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist militant group widely 
believed to have been created by Pakistani intelligence agencies in the 1980s 
to fight Indian rule in Kashmir. But the charges do not mention Pakistan's 
powerful intelligence agency.

India says all 10 attackers were from Pakistan. Pakistani officials have 
acknowledged that the attacks were partly plotted on Pakistani soil and 
announced criminal proceedings against eight suspects. The case against Kasab 
includes his confession, accounts from more than 2,000 witnesses and closed 
circuit television footage that shows him and an accomplice walking into 
Mumbai's crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji train station and opening fire.

    * © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

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