was emerging. No one knew it was Mumbai.
But as soon as some details were clear — for example, it
would be a fidayeen operation — people rang up uncles
and brothers, people who had good families, and they
said, ‘I am scared, this is not why I joined. I joined to fight
in a military conflict, I didn’t join for this and I didn’t join
to kill myself.’
And people knocked on the gates of Le T and they said
we want our sons back. They paid fines and they took
their children away.
Every week people dropped out and a lot of the people
who were left behind were from families that were heavily
fractured, where the mother and father were split or
where the father was absent. Where there was no one
home, where there was no money, where there was no
They are the people the Le T picked.
So they start off there, they have religious indoctrination, they move them up beyond Muzaffarabad in
Pakistan occupied Kashmir, to the Chella Bandi hills, and
there is a base up there which was actually created initially for the first big push for training in the Kashmir valley.
A section of that base, in a place which they call House
of the Warriors, which is just the mujahid house, was
turned over to the group of 32.
When they arrived, their names were removed, they
were given numbers, they were split up into canvas tents,
and they were put through the military mill.
So they have gone from spiritual to military.
And the group gets smaller until there are 20 and then
they go back to Muridke and they are involved in more
spiritual training, physical training, they begin to introduce swimming because the marine element has come to
The Lashkar built a bit of a white elephant, a very rare
folly, something really stupid. They built an Olympic size
swimming pool in Muridke in the university. But there is
no filter system. So it is basically a tank, you fill it with
water and the water turns black and no one wants to
swim in it.
So they built this really massive pool which after a
while was treacle thick. So they used to swim in the canal
outside, the canal was really clean.
And these guys begin to learn swimming and went back
to Muridke where they received much more intense
Things were very interesting in the camp. Some things
stand out. The first thing that stands out is the kind of
training that was offered. They were offered training in
room clearance using, what I would describe as, Western
methodology. A method of moving in close spaces in
rooms using hand signals so there is no speaking.
They created mock-ups with buildings so they would
learn to take doors down, shield behind mattresses, to
use each other as human shields, to communicate nonverbally so that the group would move together.
And they did this at night, low vision, under light fire,
with no food. There was a process culminating in awards
to reward the people who were most successful. It was
very sophisticated, not involving lots of money.
So when and how did they know this training is for
Mumbai and the Taj Hotel?
They didn’t know it was the Taj initially. They didn’t
know until they were given a final briefing in
Muzaffarabad where the targets were identified and in
this camp in the hills in the House of the Warriors, they
were shown for the first time the material gathered by
That material was the videos shots inside the Taj when
he joined a tourist group on one of the Friday afternoon
tours. He was there with his mother-in-law’s tourist camera, shooting everything.
All the still pictures, the GPS, way-markings for the
whole city were shown to the boys.
And then they mapped that over Google Earth. They
‘AMERICA CONCEALED ITS KNOWLEDGE, ITS TRUE
(the terrorists’ trainers) could sit these country boys down
before the computer. They had never seen one before, let
alone the Internet. They showed them Google Earth and a
GPS system, and said you are going here. And the teams
are broken up.
So, they begin to get the idea that there will be teams
and that Mumbai will be the target, but in fact even then
it is not the finished job.
Because another operation occurs in Kashmir and a
quarter of the team are moved off for a specific hit-and-
run operation and more recruits are brought in to top up
And then they all get together down in Karachi where
the control room has been set up, pretty near to the air-
port, in a military controlled area, which was an obvious
place for them to be.
They had two centers, a control room there and two
places for the team. One is effectively a bunking room,
where there was lots of equipment, maps.
The other room is on a creek to the east of the city and
on that creek you could get out to the sea eventually
which meant that they could practice on the still waters of
An interesting thing happened here. The intelligence
people who were hanging around the Lashkar — remem-
ber the Lashkar is full of soldiers; it is full of spies, and
you never know who is retired and who isn’t.
It is a ball of wool. So many of them are military, it is
very difficult to say whether they are military serving on
deputation or whether they have left. They all claim to be
Headley asked one of the army majors, who claimed to
be a retired officer, from where a lot of the information
was coming from and he was told the military have
become particularly proud of a series of sources they have
They had one in New Delhi. And they have these names
for their sources. The prime source in Delhi was chris-
tened Honeybee. Honeybee had access to material which
allowed Lashkar and the ISI to know how Indian Special
Forces would react if the attack took place.
So what is the security plan on the floor? How will
Indian counter-insurgency happen? On the basis of the
Indian material, the training manuals were prepared
which included training manuals for room clearance, for
top to bottom hostage-taking clearance, they had all sorts
of marine charts and they had a schematic of Mumbai
that showed a potential number of landing places, some-
thing like four spots were identified.
How did they get this Honeybee?
They claimed this was a name they used to disguise an
Indian source that they recruited who was passing infor-
mation for money.
Who is he?
If we knew, we would have written that.
He or she?
He. As far as we know. Based in Delhi.
From the military?
I cannot say because I don’t know. It is ambiguous
whether Honeybee is military or whether it is someone in
a ministry who has access to the same information.
It has to be a person connected to national security. It is
someone within this orbit. It has to be.
I am less inclined to believe that it is someone in the
‘YOU COULD GO TO OKARA NOW, WHAT IT
SAYS ON THE WALLS IS NOT BOLLYWOOD, NOT
CRICKET, BUT JIHAD. THERE ARE
NEWSPAPERS WITH CARTOONS AND IN THE
CARTOONS ARE THE FIDAYEEN. YOU KNOW
THEY JOKE THAT THERE IS A
CHARACTER CALLED JIHAD-JOE FOR SCHOOL
BOYS. AND THE LASHKAR KNOWS THIS. THEY
DESCRIBE CHILDREN AS BLANK
BLACKBOARDS. THEY FILL THEM
WITH THESE IDEAS.’
KNOWLEDGE OF THE GROWING RISK ON MUMBAI’
Remains of the taxi in which the terrorists planted a bomb, near the Mumbai domestic airport. The idea, authors of The Siege say, was
to make it look like an army had attacked the city on multiple fronts.