'Dad was paid by terrorists to hand over me'

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Mumbai, Dec 3: Azam Amir Kasav, the sole surviving terrorist that attacked Mumbai last week, killing about 195 people and injuring 295 others, has revealed that his father was paid by a Pakistan-based militant group to hand him over.

Kasav, 21, a Pakistani national from Faridkot in Punjab province, said that his father, Amir, introduced him to a Lashker-e-Toiba commander. The commander, known as 'chacha' (uncle), paid his father. Experts are of the opinion that payment is one of three main recruitment tools used by Islamist extremists. The other two are the madrassas, or Islamic seminaries, scattered across Pakistan, and threats of violence, often made to the families of those being recruited.

Sources suggest that as many as 15 Indian officials are sitting in on the militant's interrogation and many are leaking their interpretations of his responses to the media. The fact that Kasav speaking fluent English indicates that he probably belong to a wealthy middle class family in Pakistan. Experts also believe it is unlikely that a recruit who had been coerced would be sent on an attack of the scale of Mumbai.

Dr Lakshman, of the Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management said, "They would not send somebody who would compromise the mission."

Indian officials remain convinced that the attack on Mumbai bears the hallmark of Lashker-e-Toiba, which was believed to be behind a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

They also believe that Lashker-e-Toiba does not act without the sanction of some part of the Pakistan government. Officials are also concerned that five terrorist gunmen that have escaped after the carnage and could strike again.

The prospect of more killers has added to public anger at the Indian Government's lax handling of the worst terror strike to hit the country in 15 years.


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