File photo of the Taj hotel which was one of the targets of the 26/11 attacks
A Pakistani mole in the Indian security agencies code named 'Honey Bee' had helped his Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) handlers in identifying the landing site for 26/11 terrorists in Mumbai, claims a book by two British journalists.
The information on Badhwar Park, the landing site, was shared by ISI operatives with Pakistani-American Lashkar operative David Headley who had checked it out while conducting recce of the area, it says.
The book 'The Siege' by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark claims that Headley was subjected to undergo a two-year course on surveillance and counter-intelligence by Pakistan's espionage agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
His handler, Major Iqbal of ISI, gave him what he described as classified Indian files that he said had been obtained from within Indian police and army, which revealed their training and limitations.
"The Major boasted that they had a super-agent at work in New Delhi who was known as Honey Bee. The Major revealed while he would guide Headley, the Mumbai operation would be run by Lashkar," the book claimed.
The book claims, that before leaving Pakistan, Headley met up with Major Iqbal who gave him a bundle of counterfeit Indian currency.
"Honey Bee, the ISI double agent, who had provided the classified Indian training manuals had come up with a potential landing area, in Badhwar Park, a fishing colony in South Mumbai, reporting that it was only patchily patrolled and was shielded from the road."
"He should check it out," was the suggestion made out by Major Iqbal to Headley as per the book.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and the then Intelligence Bureau Chief P C Haldar refused to comment on the claims saying they were yet to read the book.
A group of 10 terrorists of LeT including Ajmal Kasab, who was captured by Mumbai Police and hanged, had landed at Badhwar Park on November 26, 2008 and launched an attack in the city in which 166 people including Mumbai police Anti-terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare died.
The book while concluding says till date the handler of Headley, Major Iqbal, Honey Bee and Abu Qahafa have not been identified.
Listing their sources, the authors, who write for British newspaper 'The Guardian', said they had gone through classified documents of Indian, the USA and the British security sources, thousands of unpublished court documents and confidential annexure submitted to the Pradhan Commission which went into the lapses on part of the Mumbai police.