Washington, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist of the group of ten sent by the Pakistan based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba to attack Mumbai, says his father essentially sold him into the group.
Kasab, who was part of the pair that killed 50 and wounded more than 100 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the city’s main railway station, makes the suggestion in tapes included in a new documentary, “Terror in Mumbai” airing on HBO Thursday.
Snatches of cellphone conversations – many never heard before – between the gunmen and their controllers in Pakistan, as well as video footage of the police with Kasab were aired Sunday in a preview of the documentary by narrator Fareed Zakaria in his GPS programme on CNN.
One of the tapes of Kasab’s interrogation points to how he got involved with the LeT terror group:
Kasab: He said, “These people make loads of money and so will you. (Inaudible) We’ll have money, we won’t be poor any more. Your brothers and sisters can get married. Look at these guys living the good life. You can be like them,” he said.
Unidentified Male: Your dad said this?
Kasab: Yes. So, I said, “Fine, whatever.”
Unidentified Male: What does he do for a living?
Kasab: He used to sell yogurt and potato snacks in the street.
Unidentified Male: How much did they give you? Did they put it in your account?
Kasab: There is no account. They gave it to my dad.
Unidentified Male: How much did they give him?
Kasab: I don’t know. Maybe (ph) a few hundred thousand.
In another tape, Kasab recalls how the terrorist group was trained.
Police: How long were you in training?
Kasab: Three months. There were 24 or 25 in our class.
Police: Where were the people from?
Kasab: They don’t tell you. I only knew about one. He said he was from Lahore. He became my friend.
Police: Didn’t they allow you to speak to each other?
Kasab: We were forbidden to speak to each other. It was very strict. The proper training where they say, “This boy is ready now” – that only takes three months. That’s it.
Police: Did you ever ask, “Won’t I feel pity for the people I’m killing?”
Kasab: I did, but he said you have to do these things if you’re going to be a big man and get rewarded in heaven.
Police: So you came here for jihad? Is that right?
Kasab: (crying) What jihad?
Police: It’s no use crying. Tell me the truth. Is that right or no?
Kasab: You wouldn’t understand.
Locked in a bathroom at Mumbai’s Trident Oberoi hotel, another young Pakistani terrorist named Fahadullah knew the end was near. He was out of food, water, energy and ammunition, and could hear the steady stream of police gunshots getting closer.
He and nine other terrorists were winding down from a gruesome, 36-hour killing spree through the city, and he was talking on the phone to a handler far away in Pakistan.
“You mustn’t let them arrest you, remember that,” the controller insisted.
“Fahadullah, my brother, can’t you just get out there and fight?”
Fahadullah could not. “I am out of grenades,” he weakly offered.
“Be brave, brother. Don’t panic. For your mission to end successfully, you must be killed. God is waiting for you in heaven.”