Further technical details emerge on Mumbai attacks

Mumbai attacker

Mumbai attacker

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
On December 9, we reported that the Pakistani militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, used voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) software to communicate with the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks on the ground and direct the operation on a real-time basis. We further noted that VOIP signals pose severe barriers to communications interception, as well as to the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to locate the source of target calls. The Mumbai attacks were a typical example of this. Thus, even though Indian intelligence services know that the handlers of the Mumbai attackers were located in Pakistan, their VOIP communications data pointed to companies in New Jersey and Austria. Further details have now emerged of a virtual number, 1-201-253-1824, which the handlers of the Mumbai attackers actually generated via a California-based VOIP provider. The provider, Callphonex, activated the VOIP account in the name of a Kharak Singh from India, after it received a money transfer from a Mohammed Ashfaq, via a Western Union office in Pakistan. The money had in fact been sent by one Javaid Iqbal, who presented Western Union clerks with a Pakistani passport by way of identification. Callphonex representatives were reportedly intrigued as to why the money was coming in from Pakistan, while the customer was allegedly in India. Yet they went ahead and set up the account anyway, and then proceeded to facilitate Singh’s request that they assign to it several Austrian Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers. It was these Austrian telephone numbers that were first traced by Indian intelligence agents trying to locate the callers’ whereabouts. This new information comes from a dossier that has been put together by the Indian government, containing technical, intercept and interrogation information from the ongoing investigation into the attacks. Some of its contents have been leaked to The Hindu, and are available here in scanned form.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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