26/11 Attack: Through a Terrorists Eyes. Why Did Ajmal Kasab Choose Terrorism?

 Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the infamous 26/11 terrorist, was captured in the early hours of 27th November at Marine Drive, South Bombay, India. He was the only one amongst 10 terrorists to be caught alive which made him the prime source of intelligence.

Kasab was a young 21 year old who used to commit petty crimes like theft and armed robberies during his boyhood days in his hometown. He was born in Faridkot, Pakistan on 13th July 1987 and left his home in 2005. In 2007, he made a decision backed by his father to join Lashkar-e-Taiba .

From 26th November 2008, 9:30 p.m to 29th November, 8:00 a.m, Mumbai was on high alert as 10 terrorists conducted 12 coordinated attacks across various important buildings on the coast of the city. In a span of 4 treacherous days, 175 people lost their lives and more than 300 were wounded.

While these attacks had already enraged the Indians, the inability of the Indian Government to hang the only surviving terrorist with immediate effect was sprouting more hostility among the youth. Eyebrows were raised when there was news that Kasab was served Biryani in Jail unlike the other prisoners.

Finally the cries of the innocent were heard just before the fourth anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Ajmal Amir Kasab was to be hanged but the citizens of India were oblivious to it until the job was done. He was hanged to death on 21st November 2012at 7:36 a.m in Pune’s Yerawada Jail.

Ajmal Kasab Confession Video  

On 30th November, while Kasab was being treated in the hospital for his wounds, he was investigated by the Mumbai Police whilst lying on the hospital bed. A confession video of several parts was released for the public on YouTube. The videos went viral in a matter of seconds.

In those alarming videos, he seems to be confused and whimpering while talking about his actions. He explains why he carried out the attacks and what he was promised in return. The ignorance of a young boy and his naïve nature is portrayed in the disturbing videos.

Only Earning Member

Salute to the Inspector for keeping his cool while the terrorist continued to try and prove his innocence.

Kasab mentioned that his father had introduced him to LeT and encouraged him to join the terror organisation with the hope of earning quick money. The young Pakistani boy of 20 had only studied till fourth grade and had been a labourer since. What was he to do?

When he was not being paid enough money to support his family, the solution was to join an organisation that promised him money. Since LeT provided him the financial help he needed, he began his training with them.

“Work of God”

How are terrorists recruited? What attracts them towards terrorism?

Ajmal Kasab says ‘Jihad’. They lure the minds of young men and make them believe that it is a job of great respect and dignity. “It is the work of God. You will please the lords and your hardships will disappear”. The manipulative and convincing nature of the message made them join the terror group without any hesitation.

He was promised ‘Jannat’ after completing the job assigned. The objective was to die and receive Jannat where he would be blessed with pretty skies, waterfalls and 72 virgins. He mentions that there were 25-30 boys in his ‘class’. The fact that he calls it a classroom, shows the level of illiteracy and ignorance of a common Pakistani boy.

26/11- Plan of Action

The story of the 2008 Mumbai Attacks have always been spoken about from the perspective of the public while the gruesome details of the terrorists plan of action is least spoken about. Kasab gives important details in this video about the weapons, the plan, the terrorists and their leader.

The 10 men were blindfolded from their main office till they boarded the boat for Mumbai. They were given their locations and their duties which were not to be discussed with anyone. Kasab was only aware about one other terrorist who was his partner for the job, Abu Ismail.

The plan was shared with the respective terrorists a month prior to the operation. They were shown a visual CD of the places they were to attack and the road to get there along with two maps of South Bombay that were given to them with the help of an Indian citizen whose name remained unknown.


Whose orders did they follow? Why did they follow the commands of a stranger who promised them ‘Jannat?’ What was their reward?

The man behind it all was Chacha, whose real name was never mentioned or known to any LeT men. Kasab described him as a man in his mid 40’s with a long beard who had been to Afghanistan to fight against Russia. He rarely visited the ‘office’ but when he did, he would conduct lectures about Jihad and injustice to Muslims by the rich countries.

Kasab was so gullible that he did not know the meaning of Jihaad nor did Chacha tell them the real meaning. He was only aware that it was a path to heaven and he had to earn his place. It would not only grant him heaven but also give financial help to his family which would relieve all of them.

Terrorism for the Poor

“Hatta-katta aadmi vaha kyu ayega?” Kasab asks rightly.

Although he is unable to recollect the number of people who were a part of Lashkar-e-Taiba, he mentions that there were mostly only poor people who were malnourished and earned little money. The leader of the terrorist group knew exactly where to pinch these helpless men to get his work done.

They held the rich nations/ people responsible for their poverty and chose religion to manipulate uneducated minds. Since Kasab was meant to die during his mission, his family was promised lakhs of money as compensation that was rewarded in cash to his father.

If they wanted to earn money and fame, Jihaad was the holy path which according to the LeT, meant killing the people who caused them misery. The target was common people and there was no one in particular.

A peculiar behaviour of Ajmal Kasab was how he kept asking the Inspector to repeat the question quite a few times. He even had his eyes shut during most of the interrogation and rarely kept them open while he lay on the hospital bed. According to some reports, all the terrorists were high on cocaine during their shooting spree in order to stay awake.

26/11- Never Forgotten

The City of Dreams had a nightmare that would keep the country up for weeks. The entire country mourned the loss of the innocent and the names of our heroes shall never be forgotten. From Ashok Kamte to Sandeep Unnikrishnan, may their families find the strength to live with the memories of the brave soldiers who shall remain immortal.


Written by Jerusha Patel

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