Some of what has emerged from suspects' statements seems liberally laced with fantasy. For example, key suspect Faisal Sheikh told interrogators that one member of his cell received instructions from the "ISI chief" to assassinate the former Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani. To anyone even remotely familiar with the workings of covert services, it seems unlikely that the then Director-General of the ISI, Lieutenant-General Ehsan-ul-Haq, would have met with a low-level agent to discuss such plans. Another suspect, CNN-IBN television recently reported, claimed to have seen top Al-Qaeda operative Mohammad Atta while training in Pakistan — a disclosure that would have been sensational were it not for the fact that the terrorist died during the New York terror bombings of 2001.
Several points of detail also need clarification. Suspects, for example, have told the Mumbai Police that a Pakistani national fabricated the devices used in the bombing — a somewhat mystifying act, since the suspects themselves are stated to have received training in Pakistan. Finally, why so many Pakistani nationals were despatched to carry out the strikes when local Lashkar cadre were available needs to be explained.
Watching the steady stream of high-profile shady criminals and glamorous molls coming into Bangalore to have their lies called, I was proud for my city. Now some party-pooper comes along and tells me that all that may have happened was that these assorted liars got a free high, while the police got a heady mix of fact and fantasy:
My personal favourite is the Mohammad Atta sighting. Maybe these guys were always a bit delusional and in the clouds.