According to ABCNews.com, U.S. intelligence agencies shared information gained from an intercepted satellite phone call with Indian officials. The telephone number was known to be used by the leader of the terror group claiming responsibility for last week’s attacks in Mumbai.
In the warning, the U.S. specifically listed the Taj hotel as one of the targets. A month later in November, Indian intelligence intercepted another satellite phone call to the terror group Lashkbr e Taiba, the group claiming responsibility last week’s attack. During the intercept, a possible sea-borne attack was revealed. Read: Twitter and the Web Prove Themselves in Mumbai Tragedy
However, Ratan Tata, the company that owns the hotel told CNN that security had been increased temporarily once they got wind of the warning. Later the increased security was eased and the chairman of the company believes that no matter what it “could not have stopped what took place.”
One of the satellite phones used by the Mumbai terrorists was recovered by Indian authorities and since Friday, U.S. intelligence agencies have been tracking it. These phones have SIM cards in them and several leads have been identified as having possible connections to the United States officials report. Officials are also saying that one of the cell phone SIM cards might have been purchased in the United States.
The Indian spy agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) also runs an advanced electronic intercept operation and in November they intercepted the same type of Thuraya satellite phones. Now it is being reported that one of the phones recovered from a captured terrorists was a Thuraya satellite phone.
One model of the Thuraya satellite phone is billed as a Smartphone and has GSM/satellite/tri-band/and GPS capability. Witnesses reported that the terrorists were using blackberry type phones.
This type of technology is easily tracked by the NSA (National Security Agency). The NSA has the technical ability to retrieve all calls made from satellite and cell phones in the South Asia region.
"Once we have the number we will be able to know everyone who was called and where the calls were made from," one former intelligence office says.
The group taking credit for the Mumbai attacks, Lashkar e Taiba or LeT as it is referred to in the Indian press, has boasted about its role in previous terror attacks on India. LeT is claiming responsibility for attacks on the Mumbai commuter rail system and the Indian Parliament building.
A US counter-terrorism official says all intelligence leads continue to point Lashkar e Taiba, a Kashmir separatist group with strong ties to al Qaeda.
In last weekend’s attack, 172 people were killed and 239 wounded in the three-day attack at India’s financial capital. The only surviving gunman from the deadly attacks said he was trained at a military camp in Pakistan.