India: Mumbai Attack Suspect Confirms ‘State Support’

Posted June 27th, 2012 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Indian officials say a man arrested last week on suspicion of helping plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks has confirmed there was “state support” in the deadly assault.

While he did not name any country, India's Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters Wednesday that the interrogation of Indian-born Sayed Zabiuddin, who goes by the name Abu Hamza, invalidates the argument that non-state actors were behind the attack. India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of backing in some way the Mumbai attack, which killed 166 people and paralyzed the country's financial capital.

Responding Wednesday, Pakistan's advisor on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik dismissed any Pakistani connection as Indian “propaganda” and encouraged New Delhi to share any information it has about Hamza so Islamabad can take action.

Indian authorities detained Hamza on June 21 after he arrived in India from the Middle East. Hamza is an alleged member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant group blamed for the attacks in India's financial hub.

Officials say he was based in Pakistan at the time of the attack on Mumbai and issued instructions by telephone to the 10 gunmen who conducted the assault on luxury hotels, a Jewish center, and a busy train station in Mumbai in November of 2008.

Nine of the attackers were killed. A Mumbai court sentenced the lone surviving gunman to death for crimes including murder, waging war against India and terrorism.

India has resumed the peace process with Pakistan after suspending the dialogue following the attacks.

The Press Trust of India describes Hamza as a 30-year-old Indian, originally from Maharashtra state.

The news agency says Indian security agencies had interrogated detained terrorists about Hamza and learned he operated out of “terror camps” in Karachi and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.