MUMBAI, India – India picked up intelligence in recent months that Pakistan-based terrorists were plotting attacks against Mumbai targets, an official said today, as the government demanded that Pakistan take “strong action” against those behind the deadly rampage.
Meanwhile, India has demanded that Islamabad hand over dozens of suspected terrorists believed to be living in Pakistan. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee says the names of about 50 people were given to Pakistan’s high commissioner to India during a meeting Monday night.
The list includes Dawood Ibrahim, the alleged mastermind of 1993 Mumbai bombings and India’s most-wanted man. He is thought to be living in Pakistan, though Islamabad denies that.
The only known surviving attacker told police that his group trained for months in camps operated by a banned Pakistani militant group, learning close-combat techniques, explosives training and other tactics for their three-day siege.
India’s foreign intelligence agency received information as recently as September that Pakistan-based terrorists were plotting attacks against Mumbai targets, according to a government intelligence official familiar with the matter.
The information was then relayed to domestic security officials, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to talk publicly about the details.
The revelation comes as the government faces widespread accusations of security and intelligence failures in the Mumbai terrorist attacks that left 172 people dead and 239 injured.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has promised to strengthen maritime and air security and look into creating a new federal investigative agency, was expected to meet today with top security aides.
On Monday, soldiers removed the remaining bodies from the shattered Taj Mahal hotel, where the standoff finally ended Saturday morning.
India’s financial hub returned to normal Monday to some degree, with parents dropping their children off at school and shopkeepers opening for the first time since the attacks, which Indian authorities blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.