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India Hands Over Attacks Dossier To Pakistan

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Those phone exchanges were intercepted and recorded by Indian authorities. Siddharth Varadarajan of the newspaper the Hindu has read the full dossier of evidence. He joins us from New Delhi. And explain for us, please, how India was able to intercept and then trace these calls.

BLOCK: I suspect that they probably had the assistance of the United States, perhaps the National Security Agency, because the kind of capabilities involved in monitoring calls of such a huge scale would require enormous amount of computing power, which perhaps the Indian side would not have had by itself.

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BLOCK: And they were recording these calls, obviously, too.

BLOCK: Absolutely, the calls were being recorded. And I think once they were able to latch onto numbers, they were, I think, actively listening to some of these calls even as they were being placed.

BLOCK: What's the evidence that the handlers on the other end of these phone calls were actually in Pakistan?

BLOCK: So that's one element of why the government is saying that the handlers were in Pakistan. And in addition, I think, they have evidence - there was a satellite phone recovered from the trawler that these guys used to get to Bombay, which had numbers that more directly were traced to Pakistan.

BLOCK: There is a telling moment in these transcripts where one of the attackers admits on the phone to his handler, we made a big mistake. What was that mistake?

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BLOCK: So they seem to have left the trawler in a great hurry, and they didn't open the lock. I don't know what exactly that means, I presume some way to sink the boat. And they told the handlers that this was a big mistake they did. We forgot the satellite phone of one Ishmael(ph) on the boat, and that seems to have been quite a big blunder for them.

BLOCK: Now that this dossier of evidence has been given to Pakistan, what do you expect to happen now?

BLOCK: You know, the signals are a bit confused. I think, you know, we've had a rather unfortunate exchange of angry statements by the foreign ministries on both sides. So I don't know what's going to happen. I mean, it's possible that the Pakistani authorities might begin to investigate some of the leads that the Indian side has come up with, but I think a lot will depend on the kind of international pressure that the United States and other, you know, friends of Pakistan are able to bring to bear on Islamabad.

BLOCK: Mr. Varadarajan, thanks very much for talking with us.

BLOCK: Thank you.

BLOCK: That's Siddharth Varadarajan with the Indian newspaper the Hindu, speaking with us from New Delhi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.