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SciTech 26/11 Italian Police Explain How VOIP Was Used To Crack Terrorist Cell


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Italian police explain how VOIP was used on 26/11 Vaiju Naravane PowerPoint presentation spells out modus operandi of terrorists

A slide from a PowerPoint presentation made by the Italian police shows the residence of the father-and-son duo, Mohammad Yaqub Janjua and Aamer Yaqub Janjua. A veritable phone centre with routers and modems was discovered there. These bypassed all norms of international telephone traffic and pricing and allowed the duo to defraud telephone companies of thousands of Euros.

PARIS: In an internal PowerPoint presentation, of which The Hindu has obtained a copy, the Italian police and its top anti-terrorist unit, the DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali Antiterrorismo, spell out exactly how Pakistani operatives, using a series of false identities, activated a U.S.-based Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) which was used by handlers in Pakistan to give orders to Pakistani terrorists during the Mumbai attacks that began on November 26 last year.

The Italian investigations, which began in December 2008, culminated in the arrest of a father-and-son duo in the northern Italian city of Brescia on Saturday on charges of aiding and abetting terrorists, illegal money transfers and the smuggling of people. The presentation also states that on November 25, the eve of the attack, a request went out from a certain Kharak Singh to the telephone company to activate 5 Austrian DID lines for the VOIP account in the name of Mohammed Ashfaq from Pakistan. The request bore the number 88647675.

Slide No 6 of the presentation states that: “On November 25, 2008 [underlined] from Brescia, a person of Pakistani origin used Western Union to make a second payment for the VOIP account again using the phantom name of Kharak Singh. This payment was communicated to the Callphonex user by the so-called Kharak Singh via email and gave details about the person making the payment. This email, obtained by the FBI from Callphonex, confirms the payment and identifies the sender as Javaid Iqbal, born on 31 December 1962, and whose address is given as No. 125 Via Milano in Brescia.”

The presentation made by the Italain police and anti-terrorism unit and obtained by The Hindu further states:
“Investigations carried by DIGOS of Brescia in coordination with the Public Prosecutor’s office revealed that:

•Iqbal Javaid (sic) had never transited through Italian territory and that he was residing legally in the Barcelona region of Spain;

•The persons running the Western Union agency via Madina Trading in Brescia had used Iqbal Javaid’s identity and details and those of other subjects, without their knowledge, to carry out money transfer operations with the specific intention of hiding the identity of the real senders of the money because they could not or did not wish to be identified.

•From 2006 to 2008 Madina Trading used the identity of Iqbal Javaid over 300 times to send money to various countries totalling over 400,000 Euros.”

When questioned, the Janujas unhesitatingly described Iqbal Javaid from Brescia as a regular customer who often sent cash out of the country, the report says. The order for the payment made on 25 November in fact came illegally using the havala/hundi method and was given by two individuals in Pakistan. Their details have been communicated to investigation agencies.

Madina Trading also defrauded telephone companies by using an alternative and illegal dialling system using a CD called Premium.
Slide three of the internal presentation made by the Italian police and their top anti-terrorism unit, the DIGOS, gives the following details:

“During the attacks of November 26 the terrorists used the U.S. based number 201-253-1824 to communicate amongst themselves. The number is the property of the Belgian company Voxbone and was leased to the American telecommunications company Callphonex which has its headquarters in New Jersey, USA. Even during the attack phase of their operation, the terrorists’ commander continued to receive instructions and information by telephone from his handlers using the number 201-253-1824 for all calls routed to India,” the power-point presentation states.

Slide no 4 of the presentation states: “This type of numbering in fact consists of the use of a ‘telephone exchange’ or ‘server’ which furnishes a VOIP service which acts as a telephone service provider via the internet. In this case the VOIP service was activated by a certain Kharak Singh through an initial transfer of money through ‘Moneygram’ in the name of Mohammed Ashfaq in Pakistan.”
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