Mumbai, Nov.30 : Captured terrorist A. A. Qasab has told his interrogators that he had no regrets about carrying out his mission of mayhem in Mumbai this week, in which the death toll so far is 195 and the injury toll 295.
On Saturday evening, he told Mumbai Police that the terrorist group that reportedly came out of Karachi via the sea route undertook the terrorist mission to avenge the death of Palestinians, and therefore, one of the main targets identified by them was Nariman House, which housed a Jewish synagogue visited by Israelis.
The landmark Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was also targeted by the Faridkot resident and his fellow terrorists with the objective of attracting the maximum global attention, as the venue had frequent foreign visitors and guests. The terrorists also had plans to enter the Times of India building, but changed it after Qasab was fired upon by the police.
Qasab, the lone terrorist in police custody till the second week of December, said: "We wanted to blow up the Taj," and added that the terror mission was planned at least four months ago.
He said that a detailed recce was undertaken four months ago by another group, which included taking satellite pictures of the hotels and various locations and preparation of detailed maps.
The terrorists, he told his interrogators, booked rooms in the Taj where they kept their ammunition. They booked room 630 for four days using fake identity cards from Mauritius. Posing as Malaysian students, they had many visitors.
The police are now trying to locate these visitors.
He has also said that he and his associate Ismail Khan were the ones who shot Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare, and top cops Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamthe.
Salaskar was the first to be killed followed by Kamthe and Karkare.
Qasab also revealed names and addresses of at least five locals in the city who helped in facilitating the terror operation.
These people are said to have provided shelter, escorted them around and passed information on police stations and check posts, besides prominent landmarks.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said: "We suspect there could be local assistants, but it is subject to verification. It will be very premature to comment on this at this stage as our investigations are going on.
"All the (identity) cards are in different names and of different banks. Now, we are at least trying to figure out how they procured credit cards from various banks.''''
Meanwhile, the Internet Protocol address of the Deccan Mujahideen, the group that sent an e-mail claiming responsibility, has been traced to outside India and police are now saying that the involvement of Dawood Ibrahim, the mastermind of the 1993 serial attacks in the city cannot be ruled out.
Maria also told reporters here last evening that the police believe there could be another two or more terrorists still in the city.