December 3, 2008 -- Captured Mumbai Lashkar e Taiba terror commando Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab told police in a videotaped confession on the night of his arrest that he turned to violence in part because his impoverished family was promised almost $4000 US dollars if his attack succeeded.
"We were told that our big brother India is so rich and we are dying of poverty and hunger. My father sells dahi wada on a stall in Lahore and we did not even get enough food to eat from his earnings. I was promised that once they knew that I was successful in my operation, they would give Rs 1,50,000 [almost USD 4,000] to my family)," said Qasab.
He also naively begged police to not reveal he had survived since Lashkar e Taiba had sent him to die,and if it was revealed he had survived, he later would be killed by other members of his terrorist organization.
"Please do not tell anyone that I am caught alive otherwise they will kill me. They had told us that they would shoot us even if we returned to Pakistan," Asian Age reported.
According to Asian Age newspaper in Mumbai, Qasab also told authorities that he and the other nine members of his attack squad all carried student identification cards in an effort to hoodwink authorities should they have been stopped enroute to their targets in Mumbai. And he shocked police by his readiness to switch loyalities now that he was caught.
"If you give me regular meals and money I will do the same that I did for them," he said.
Intelligence and law enforcement sources in Mumbai tell ABC News that Qasab continues to be cooperative and is providing authorities with "new revelations" every day.
According to Asian Age, Qasab's original statement was written as well as video taped by police and took place very quickly following his arrest.
As has been publicly acknowledged by Indian authorities, Qasab told police that the group was trained to handle sophisticated weapons and to be at sea for up to a month, surviving on limited food and other resources. A student ID card of a college in Bangalore was also found on Qasab's person. "Qasab told us that all of them were carrying student identity cards to mislead the coastal guards in case they were questioned enroute," an officer present at the confession, who requested anonymity, said.
Terrorist Says Jihad "Is About Killing and Getting Killed and Becoming Famous"
According to the officer, Qasab spoke Pathani Hindi and told the police that he threw up the moment he saw all the blood and gore. "Qasab said that he could not bear the sight of dead bodies and after creating enough havoc wanted to go back to Pakistan," the officer said.
Qasab had but a limited understanding of jihad, based on the statements he made to authorities. He told interrogators "it is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous."
"Come, kill and die after a killing spree. By this one will become famous and will also make Allah proud," is what the suspect said when police asked him what he understood about jihad. He also said that initially the plan was to carry out the carnage in the month of Ramzan but their handlers could not arrange resources at that time," Asian Age reported.
Qasab told his interrogators that he could not pursue his education because of the meager income of his father and, hence, had to drop out of school after his fourth year.
"When we asked whether he knew any verses from the Quran that described jihad, Qasab said he did not," police said. "In fact he did not know much about Islam or its tenets," according to a police source.
Police said that the original plan was designed to cause even more chaos than the mass casualty attacks that have pushed India and Pakistan into a period of tension and heated rhetoric that threatens to spill over into violence.
According to Asian Age, this LeT module was going to carry out the carnage in the month of Ramzan (Ramadan). "He said that they were going to carry out a similar strike in mosques in the city which would spark communal riots causing more casualties making their operation far from accomplished. However he said that they could not come at that time as their handlers could not arrange or the resources," Asain Age's police sources said.
Contrary to a number of published accounts, according to Asian Age, Qasab in his statement also told the police that the group had come to India for the first time and that there was no advance reconnaisance done in the city. Instead, he said, the attack team was shown detailed "videos of the two hotels and CST railway stations during training. Videos of the lobbies and the lifts, the structure, entry and exit points of the hotels and detailed videos of Nariman house too were shown to them. Qasab said they knew everything about the adjacent roads as well but knew nothing about the rest of the city," the newspaper reported.
Prior to commiting himself to LeT, police said that Qasab was a laborer working for a daily wage of Rs. 50, or about 63 cents.