The sole Mumbai gunman to be taken alive has said he was paid 150,000 Pakistani rupees – about £1,300 or $1,900 – for his part in the attacks that killed nearly 200 people, according to police.

“He has said the payment was 1.5 lakhs (150,000) of Pakistani rupees,” Rakesh Maria, the joint commissioner of Mumbai police, who is one of the interrogators questioning Azam Amir Kasab, told The Times.

Police are also investigating a possible link to the United States

A mobile SIM card found with the terrorists which possibly came from New Jersey. “Nothing is confirmed, but we are looking at this and have made enquiries with mobile operators,” Mr Maria said.

Kasab was one of two gunmen who killed 56 people at Bombay’s main train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, on Wednesday. Pictures of the casually dressed, boyish gunman brandishing an AK47 have become a definitive image of the worst terror attack in India in 15 years. Nine other terrorists were killed.

A dispute over the origin of Kasab is placing a strain on India’s rapidly deteriorating relationship with Pakistan.  Mumbai police say the “baby-faced gunman” is a poor 24-year-old primary school drop out from a village called Faridkot in Pakistan’s south Punjab region. They say he has confessed to being recruited by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a notoriously brutal Pakistan-based terrorist faction created to fight Indian rule in Kashmir, to carry out the Mumbai strikes.

That – or a similar account of events – is thought to be cautiously being given credence by Western intelligence officials.

Mumbai police say that Kasab was trained in camps in Pakistan for up to 18 months by ex-army officers. American intelligence officials suspect that for former officers from Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) gave training, according to today’s New York Times.

In response, however, Pakistan’s government has denied any knowledge of Kasab and has said it can not find any trace of him in three villages named Faridkot in south Punjab.

Police interrogators have told The Times that they are poised to settle the matter of Kasab’s background through the use of “narcoanalysis” – a controversial technique, banned in most democracies, where the subject is injected with a “truth serum”.

The method was widely used by western intelligence agencies during the Cold War before it emerged that the drugs used – typically sodium pentothal – may induce hallucinations, delusions and psychotic behaviour.

Deven Bharti, a deputy police commissioner in Mumbai and one of the interrogators, said that there was “no doubt” that Kasab will be subjected to “narcoanalysis”. The drug – probably sodium pentothal – will be administered through a drip and will lull Kasab into a trance-like state. Usually, a forensic psychologist then questions the prisoner. Such methods are banned in the UK and the US, though some security officials suggest they should be adopted in terrorist cases in the West — and some experts believe they already are.

Meanwhile, Indian officials remain under pressure to account for the lax handling of the Mumbai terror attacks. The deployment of India’s elite troops to the two luxury hotels that were stormed by terrorist gunmen may have been delayed for hours by red tape that calls for a written request to be made to the Indian Navy before they are dispatched, it emerged today.

An Indian defence spokesman based in Mumbai told The Times that standing orders demand that a letter be sent to the Indian Navy before its Marine Commandos – or “Marcos” — troops are ordered from their barracks.

He said that the paperwork was eventually sidestepped, but not until it became apparent to millions of television viewers across the world that India’s commercial capital was under a massive, co-ordinated terror attack.

Despite the Marcos – regarded as the “best of the best” of India’s military – being based in Mumbai they did not reach the Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi hotels until 1.30am – about four hours after the terrorist gunmen had stormed the buildings. By that stage the militants had consolidated their positions and trapped hundreds of staff and guests.

The defence spokesman said that the troops were eventually dispatched after the chief secretary of Mumbai made a request by telephone to the chief of staff of Western Naval Command in Mumbai. “We do not deploy troops unless we are told to,” he said.

It was also reported that a private firm has withdrawn its explosives sniffer dogs from Bombay’s railway system after failing to be paid.

It is becoming increasingly a hard sell to pin the blame for the Mumbai attacks on Pakistan and thus set the stage for an attack on Pakistan after Barack Obama enters the White House in a few weeks. It now appears Indian intelligence played a large part in the terrorist attacks. On Dec 6, the Associated Press reported that a “counterinsurgency police officer who may have been on an undercover mission” was arrested for illegally buying mobile phone cards used by the gunmen.

The counterinsurgency operative, Mukhtar Ahmed, worked for the police in Indian Kashmir. “The implications of Ahmed’s involvement — that Indian agents may have been in touch with the militants and perhaps supplied the SIM cards used in the attacks — added to the growing list of questions over India’s ill-trained security forces, which are widely blamed for not thwarting the attacks,” reports the Associated Press.

In other words, Indian intelligence had penetrated Lashkar-e-Taiba and were running a false flag operation through the terrorist group, putatively connected to Pakistan’s ISI.

Indian police in the Kashmir city of Srinagar told Calcutta police that Ahmed is “our man and it’s now up to them how to facilitate his release,” said one senior officer speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Other police officials in Kashmir supported his account, reports the Associated Press.

Indian intelligence staging false flag terror attacks and blaming them on Muslims is nothing new. On November 23, Andrew Buncombe, writing for the Independent, reported: “India is in something of a state of shock after learning from official sources that its first Hindu terror cell may have carried out a series of deadly bombings that were initially blamed on militant Muslims.” In addition to bombing attacks in the Muslim town of Malegaon in the western state of Maharashtra in September, the Hindu terror cells are allegedly responsible for last year’s bombing of a cross-border train en route to Pakistan, which killed 68 people, according to Buncombe.

It should be noted that the head of the Maharastrian Anti-Terrorist Squad making the allegations about Hindu false flag terrorism, Hemant Karkare, was assassinated as he led his team into the Hotel Taj Kahal during the Mumbai attacks. “Killed in the line of duty, Hemant Karare was targeted as the man who was an immense problem for the BJP [the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party] because his forthright investigation revealed Hindutva terrorism and he was not about to stop. Clearly this invalidated the BJP campaign rhetoric against Muslim terrorism, but the BJP will still use the emotional fervor of Hindutva to win against the Congress party,” writes Allen Heart for OpEdNews.

An exposé carried in a national daily published in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh alleges that Indian intelligence supported extremist Hindutvadis in their murderous Malegaon campaign with the cooperation of Israel’s Mossad. “The newspaper writes that relations between Mossad and CIA are world known,” notes the Pak Alert Press blog. “The national daily… has exposed that the officials of the national intelligence agencies have categorically stated that American secret service agency, CIA together with Israel’s secret organization Mossad, has carried out several secret operation all over Asia,” Pak Alert Press reports, translating from the original Urdu.

Indian intelligence, however, is no minor player and its foreign policy objectives currently parallel those of the CIA and Mossad in regard to covert destabilization in South Asia and elsewhere. “RAW [the Research and Analysis Wing, the Indian version of the CIA] , ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus,” writes Isha Khan.

Since its creation in 1968, RAW has been “given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. RAW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian Government.”

Specifically, RAW “considers Sindh as Pakistan’s soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. RAW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh.” Sindh includes Urdu-speaking Muslim refugees who migrated to Pakistan from India upon independence.

It now appears obvious that India’s RAW with the help of the CIA and Israel’s Mossad created the current situation and have set-up Pakistan’s ISI to take the blame for the Mumbai attacks. Senator McCain, flanked by senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham, told Ejaz Haider, a senior editor with the Daily Times group, that it could be a “matter of days” before India carried out surgical air strikes if Pakistan did not act on the evidence provided to it on elements linked to the attacks, according to the Daily Star. “If the terrorists succeed in confounding relations between these two great countries, they will achieve their aim. We cannot let that happen,” McCain declared.

A conflict between the two nuclear armed nations may very well be the “international crisis, a generated crisis” Joe Biden mentioned in October that will “test” president Barack Obama.

In August, 2007, Obama said “the United States must be willing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan,” a comment that has led more than a few commentators to conclude that the U.S. will attack Pakistan in the coming months. It now appears the false flag Mumbai attacks, described as India’s “9/11,” will serve as a pretext to get the ball rolling on “surgical strikes” against Pakistan.