India says Mumbai attacks suspect confirms Pakistan role


Flames and smoke gush out of the historic historic Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on November 27, 2008, one of the sites of attacks by alleged militant gunmen. The Indian home minister claimed that one of the alleged Mumbai attack plotters confirmed Pakistan's involvement in the attacks.



India's home minister said on Wednesday that a key suspect held in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks confirmed Pakistani "state support" for the the attacks, according to Agence France Presse.

Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, who also goes by the name Abu Hamza, was arrested on suspicion of being a key organizer for the Lashkar-e-Taiba gunmen who launched an attack in Mumbai that claimed the lives of 166 people, according to the Associated Press.

Zabiuddin, an Indian-born member of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was arrested last Thursday at the Delhi airport after being deported from Saudi Arabia at India's request, said the BBC.

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that Zabiuddin was the "handler" for the 10 gunmen who carried out the attacks, guiding them from a militant "control room," according to the BBC.

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"So that confirms our suspicion that it was an organized effort which had some kind of state support. The argument that it was non-state actors who were behind the 26/11 massacre is no longer valid. We've always said that some state support was there for these people," he said, according to Reuters.

Chidambaram also said, "I’m not pin-pointing to any particular agency, but there was state support," according to Indian newspaper, The Hindu.

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Pakistani adviser to the prime minister on interior affairs Rehman Malik said there was no record of Zabiuddin entering the country legally. He told a news conference in Islamabad, "At that point in time (the Mumbai attacks), Pakistan was blamed, that perhaps the state was involved. But we proved, not only to India, but to the world, that non-state actors were involved, not the state," according to Reuters.

Nine of the 10 gunmen were killed during the attacks, and the surviving one Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, was convicted of murder and waging war on India and sentenced to death.

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