Feb 23, 2009
Shoot Her, Said Mumbai Master
Newly released tapes of conversations between the masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks and their gunmen on the ground reveal callous, remote-control killers who controlled every move the terrorists made.
By Dean Nelson, Daily Telegraph
The tapes, which were broadcast on an Indian television news channel, relay a conversation between one of the controllers in Pakistan and a female Jewish hostage in which he reassured her despite having already decided to have her killed.
A caller from Pakistan called Wasi spoke to Nurma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, 50, and asked her to call the Israeli consulate in Mumbai to set up negotiations with a senior diplomat.
After she told him she had made the call, and the Israelis were getting in contact with the Indian authorities, Wasi said: "Then don't worry. Breathe easy. Wait for our next call. Don't worry, save your energy, save it for a better day. Maybe they'll speak to us soon and maybe you'll celebrate Sabbath with your family."
But in another conversation with one of the gunman, the Pakistani controller gave detailed instructions on how apparently Nurma and another woman should be killed: "Stand her up on this side of the door. Shoot her in such a way that the bullet goes right through her head and out the other side. The bullet should not get stuck in her body Do it, I'm listening," he hectored his gunman in Nariman House, where six, including the Rabbi of a Jewish charity and his wife were killed.
"One is done?" he demanded, and his gunman replied: "Both are finished."
Mrs Rabinovich had been staying at Mumbai's Chabad Lubavitch charity where she was planning to complete her emigration to Israel the following week.
At other points in the tapes, the Pakistan-based commanders asked detailed questions about the positions of Indian special commandos, what the terrorists had eaten for energy, how much ammunition they had remaining, and gave equally detailed instructions on when to throw grenades and where to position themselves in the building to stay out of Indian commando range.
When one of the Nariman House gunmen asked his controller if he could drink a bottle of Coke he had found, his handler replied: "Drink the mineral water. Drink the Coke. Coke has sugar. That will give you energy. If you find biscuits, eat them."
As the Indian special commandos closed in on them, the terrorists in Nariman House appeared to panic, and are heard saying to their handlers: "There's a helicopter above us, looks like an advance the curtains are shot away, please pray we get out of this room alive, please pray for us."
The Indian government had earlier detailed in their official dossier other conversations between the Pakistani handlers, who they suspect have special forces or intelligence training, and their terrorist gunmen in Mumbai, but these latest tapes appear to be a previously withheld section from the same set.