Are Pakistan based terror outfits planning Mumbai like terror attacks on India? According to reports, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guards have been put on high alert against attacks on ports, cargo ships and oil tankers by the Pakistani terror groups. In the report, Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has been developing its sea strike capabilities to attacks India via the sea route.
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Besides LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), another Pakistan-based terror group has also started a rigorous training mission which involves deep diving techniques (something used for Naval commandos) to attack India, according to HindustanTimes.
LeT’s naval ambitions aren’t new, even though they are closer to attainment now than they have ever been. According to the officials, it first came to light during the investigation of Mumbai attack accused David Headley by the National Investigation Agency in 2010. Headley also added that the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai terror attack were trained by Pakistan Navy deep sea divers.
Mumbai was attacked from the sea with the terrorists entering the Indian exclusive economic zone on the Al Hussaini, a trawler registered with the Baluchistan Fisheries Department. The LeT gunmen then seized Indian boat to bring them off the Mumbai coast, completing the final leg of their journey using inflatable boats. The Mumbai attack left 164 people dead and 304 injured.
Inputs available with the Navy and Coast Guard show that LeT’s front organisations including Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Al Dawa Water Rescue, Life Line Water Rescue and Rescue Mili Foundation have been providing training in deep water diving techniques to cadres at swimming pools and canals at various locations in Pakistan.
Based on the inputs, the officials said that India’s assessment is that LeT cadres could hijack cargo ships or oil tankers on high seas and then strike at Indian ports or infiltrate suicide attackers through sea and inland water channels.
The aquatic training includes down proofing, where the hands and feet of the swimmer are tied so that only a form of breast-stroke is used to keep afloat. Those selected using this rigorous regime are then trained for deep diving in inland estuaries and deep sea by specialised instructors.
Equipment used in training includes complete neoprene suit sets, weight belts, open-air circuit breathing apparatus, and Gemini or Zodiac dinghies with powerful outboard motor engines.
Although in a nascent stage as compared to Lashkar, the Pakistan deep state’s other hand, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, has also been preparing its cadre in Bhawalpur on using sea or water channels infiltration and strike purposes.