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Transcript: Attackers vow 'fire' on Mumbai's Taj hotel

By Sara Sidner, CNN
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Preparing for terror in Mumbai
  • Authorities glean details of Mumbai assaults from phone conversations
  • Police say men talking are a handler in Pakistan and gunman in Taj Mahal Hotel
  • Siege of the hotel lasts 60 hours

Mumbai, India (CNN) -- Police initially thought the attacks were a shootout between gangs, but as the number of places besieged grew, they quickly changed their minds.

Details of the terrorist assaults came within hours, when authorities managed to tap into chilling cell phone conversations coming out of the area.

They turned out to be key piece of evidence linking the attacks to Pakistan.

Below is a portion of the taped conversation India police say is between a handler in Pakistan and one of the gunmen inside the five-star Taj Mahal Hotel -- the last active crime scene. The attack there, which included fire, grenade blasts and bullets flying, lasted some 60 hours.

Gunman: Hello.

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Handler: Hello, Salaam Alaikum.

Handler: Wa Alaikum Salaam.

Handler: How media are reporting you are in 360, 361 room numbers?

Gunman: (Laughs) Oh.

Handler: You were told there were cameras fixed there, and you should put off the lights and all electric switches and (unclear) cameras when you see them. You should be careful. All these things will expose your position.

Gunman: We just don't understand what all is there? We just don't understand where the cameras are.

Handler: Why can't you see the cameras? There are so many lights, right? What else is there?

Gunman: For example, there are lights ... there are big computers all over, 22 and 30 inches big.

Handler: Oh.

Gunman: Those computers must be revealing (information).

Handler: Why didn't you set them on fire?

Gunman: We are going to set them on fire now, God willing. You will be seeing it soon.

Handler: We should be seeing the flames coming out?

Gunman: God willing.

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Handler: Media are reporting Taj operation is on. One of you should now keep a watch on the stairs. Take a careful position there, ducking down and stop any kind of entry there. Take liquor, pull out the cushion from the mattresses in the room you have opened and take carpet and set them on fire. Set ablaze two-three floors. And then duck down.

Gunman: Okay

The two men are conversing in polite, calm and cool tones.

The handler continues.

Gunman: Let the other brothers come, and we will do it.

Handler: It would be too late, my brother. Why haven't you hurled the grenades down? There are so many people down there at the seaside. It doesn't take much time to throw grenades.

Gunman: I've been telling those two (fellows) repeatedly to throw grenades from the seaside. They say they'll throw them, but come back without doing it. I don't know what they are doing.

Handler: What does it take to throw grenades? Just throw two, three grenades down ....

Gunman: God willing, there will be fire soon.