Lashkar-e-Taiba Commander Lakhvi Under Damocles’ Sword
With Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist caught alive during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, naming Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi for masterminding the operation, the noose has tightened around the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander who is currently in custody in Pakistan.
India has from the beginning asserted that Lakhvi was the architect of the 26/11 attacks in which 180 people were killed.
Lakhvi, 48, also known as "Chacha", has been on the Indian intelligence radar since the early '90s and fled to Pakistan-administered Kashmir after security agencies managed to foil a series of bomb attacks in the capital in July 1998.
Since then he has been heading operations from Pakistan, say intelligence sleuths, before being made head of all LeT operations in India. He serves as supreme commander of operations in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and is a member of the outfit's general council.
According to intelligence agencies, Lakhvi was also involved in the serial bombings in Mumbai's commuter trains in July 2006 that killed over 200 people while the ringleader was his deputy, Azam Cheema.
In its 36-page dossier that was handed over to India, Pakistan has detailed activities of five terrorists, including Lakhvi, who have been arrested.
Besides Lakhvi, the arrested Pakistanis have been identified as Hammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu Al Qama, Abdul Wajid alias Zarrar Shah and Shahid Jamil Riaz.
The suspects provided transport, boats, financial aid, accommodation and a computer network to attackers, said sources. Nine were killed during the gunfights with security personnel while Kasab was the only one captured alive.
Pakistani armed forces arrested Lakhvi in December last year during a raid on an LeT training camp near Muzafarabad. He was among 12 people detained.
Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister stated that Lakhvi was still in custody and under investigation as the foremost mastermind behind the attacks.