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Why Lashkar trained Ajmal Kasab as a fisherman first

By Simran Kashyap
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Mumbai, Nov 26: Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) gave "sea training" to 26/11 terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab in the high seas of "Karachi", revealed a new book "Fragile Frontiers: The Secret History of Mumbai Terror Attacks".

Why Lashkar trained Ajmal Kasab as a fisherman first

The sea training, as per the book written by historian Saroj Kumar Rath, also included "how to fish", something that made Kasab think that "he had got a job and he could earn a respectable living".

26/11: Cops were afraid, let Kasab and accomplice flee from railway station

"He (Kasab) was not informed by the LeT why he was being prepared as a mariner and as a fishermen," quoted the book from what Kasab told during his interrogation.

According to the book, fearing a leak, the sea route assault plan was kept secret by the top LeT commanders -- Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Hamza and others -- until November 2008.

It also said that before the D-day, the LeT tried to send attackers to Mumbai twice, but "failed on both occasions".

"In September 2008, the boat carrying terrorists hit a rock in the sea and the attackers almost drowned before their handlers rescued them. The other failed attempt was on 7 November 2008, when an alarmed captain of an Indian boat refused to surrender to the LeT and fled," it added.

26/11 mumbai attacks: The night India will never forget

The book, in one of its essay titled 'Ajmal Kasab: The LeT side of the story', recorded that the 2-year training of the recruits for the 26/11 attacks was a "joint responsibility of the LeT and the ISI".

"Each terrorist had to undergo a series of training and indoctrination sessions organized by the LeT. All the 10 terrorists recruited for the Mumbai attacks had received four stages of training and after that, received sea training as well," read the book.

As part of the sea training the recruits were taught how to read maps, how to measure the depth of the sea, how to use GPS for the sea route, how to use the nets of fishermen and how to operate a ship.

"They were also trained on how to use a fisherman's net just to mislead the Indian navy personnel in case of an enquiry."

Also, other than the sea training, the four stage training received by the ten terrorists under the LeT command was: Daura-e-Sufa (20 Days' Preliminary Training), Daura-e-Ama (21 Days' Combat Course), Daura-e-Khaas (75 Days' Advanced Combat Course), Daura-e-Ribat (30 Days' Training on Intelligence Agencies).

"Kasab received (Daura-e-Khaas) training during May-July 2008. Skills like how to open and close Kalashnikovs, firing of a gun... and how to survive 60 hours without food and still climb a mountain with a heavy load were taught.

26/11: With no last wish, Kasab struggled as he was hanged

"The Mumbai attacks continued for 62 hours and crossing the LoC in Kashmir would take 60 hours as well," it said.

Besides delving into the interrogation and confession report of Kasab, the book, also tried to answer significant questions like "Why do young boys like Kasab become terrorists in Pakistan? What is the root cause of terrorism? Or what motivates them to follow a violent lifestyle?".

Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was hanged at Yerawada jail in Pune on November 21, 2012 after the then-president Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition.

Published by Routledge India, "Fragile Frontiers: The Secret History of Mumbai Terror Attacks", priced at Rs 995, other than offering a lucid and graphic account of the ill-fated day also traces the changing dynamics of terror in South Asia.

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