Interpol likely to join probe into Mumbai attacks

Written by Swaraj Thapa | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 5 2008, 05:39am hrs
Interpol, the international police organisation, is expected to join investigations in the Mumbai terror attacks as the probe has begun acquiring an international dimension.

Government managers on Thursday asserted that Interpols assistance was actively under consideration with the international agency already making a formal offer to despatch a small team of investigators to India to help with the terror attack probe. Interpol had first deployed an incident response team (IRT) in the Bali bombings in 2002 and since then it has provided on-site assistance in over 40 instances in different countries.

Interpol has already found some level of engagement in the probe with countries like Malaysia approaching them in obtaining official information on reports that some of the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks had used Malaysian addresses and identities to rent a flat in Nariman Building in south Mumbai.

Ongoing probe in the attacks have also revealed that the terrorists had used satellite phones purchased in Karachi besides using international SIM cards purchased in Vienna and New Jersey for their mobile handsets.

Government sources said Interpol had provided assistance to New Delhi in tracking e-mails including tracking and identifying the latest Deccan Mujahideen mail threatening to blow up airports in India between December 3 and 7, to a server in Lahore.

The international law enforcement agency also has an extensive database of fingerprints and specific information relating to known terrorists and terror organisations, which sources admitted, would help in making comparisons.

Similar offers of assistance have also been made by countries like the US, Israel, the UK as well as Australia, some of whom have also sent small teams to Mumbai.

On its part, New Delhi has played host to the investigating teams from the FBI as well as the Australian Federal police. Although they are assisting the probe officially, the FBI is conducting its own investigations given that a number of US citizens were victims in the attack.