Karela Fry

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Hindi instructor to Kasab arrested

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Late breaking news

IBN Live and other news sources got to this news 4 days late, and then only when someone in the IB tipped them off:

Abu Jindal, reportedly arrested on June 21, 2012.

The Delhi Police has arrested suspected key 26/11 Mumbai attacks plotter Abu Hamza at the Indira Gandhi International airport. Sources say Hamza was arrested at Delhi’s IGI airport on being deported from Saudi Arabia on India’s request. His arrest being called the most significant development in the case since Ajmal Kasab’s arrest.

Sources say Hamza had arrived in Delhi from the Gulf when he was arrested. Hamza was produced before a court which remanded him to 15-day police custody. The Mumbai Crime Branch will send a team to Delhi in the next few days to seek more information about Abu Hamza and to work on getting a transit remand for a detailed interrogation in Mumbai.

If our government is very good at keeping secrets, at least part of the reason is that the press does not work too hard. The rest of IBN Live’s report seems to be a direct quote from a briefing or press release, as can be seen by comparing it to the report by HT, which matches word for word:

After tracking him for more than three years, security agencies have arrested Sayed Zabiuddin alias Abu Hamza, alleged Lashker-e-Taiba ultra and the Hindi tutor of 10 terrorists who carried out the audacious attack in Mumbai in 2008. The 30-year-old Abu Hamza, who hails from Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, was arrested on June 21 when he arrived in India from a Gulf country, official sources said today.

India had also secured an Interpol Red Corner notice against him in which he was accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.

With his arrest, the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between 10 Lashkar terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan has been identified, the sources said.

In the intercepted tapes, Hamza was also heard using typical Hindi words like “prashasan” (government) and was directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and identify themselves from Deccan Mujahideen hailing from Toli Chowk in Hyderabad.

His presence was also stated by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, in his deposition before a special court. He told the court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.

Missing since 2005, Hamza, who had undergone training at Indian Technical Institute in Beed, had a sudden rise in the ranks of Lashker-e-Taiba after he was indoctrinate by banned SIMI post Gujarat riots in 2002.

The Central security agencies had quizzed many arrested terrorists to study the case of Hamza during which it came to light that he had been operating out of terror camps in Karachi and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and was a key figure in the terror group’s plan to carry out the strikes in the country’s hinterland.

Do IBN-Live’s lead paras imply an interesting change in international relations? In a later report, HT claims that it was policing and not diplomacy that worked:

The operation took nearly a year, and involved intense negotiations with an
otherwise indifferent Saudi Arabia. It also involved a DNA test, a senior intelligence official told HT requesting anonymity.

Pakistan apparently spent its last ounce of diplomatic sweat, trying to pressure Saudi authorities into releasing Abu Jundal.

Believed to be one of the handlers who directed the Mumbai carnage from a ‘control room’ in Karachi, Jundal is also suspected of having trained the 10 terrorists including Ajmal Kasab, who confessed to having learnt some Hindi from this handler.

Indian intelligence agencies had tracked Jundal to Saudi Arabia on a tip-off about a year ago. But early attempts to get his custody failed because although he is from Beed in Maharashtra, he had travelled to Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport.

In a diplomatic game that involved three countries, India, too, stepped up pressure and sent several documents to the Saudi authorities to establish that Jundal may be using a Pakistani passport, but was actually an Indian citizen.

The clincher was a DNA test. A sample — obtained from Ansari’s family — was sent to the Saudi authorities by India, the intelligence source said.

Once the test matched, the Pakistani game was up and the Saudi authorities were persuaded at last. Jundal was handed over to an Indian intelligence team which brought him back to Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport.

Since all the information is being given to the press by the intelligence agencies and police, one has to read carefully to distinguish the truth from self-promotion.

Abu Jindal = Abu Hamza?

The other great mystery is whether the arrested man is Abu Hamza or Abu Jindal/Jundal. IBN Live’s web report called him Abu Hamza, but the TV reports are calling him Abu Jindal. HT called him Hamza in one report and Jundal in another. IE tackles this question:

As investigators seek to confirm the various aliases of Zabiuddin Ansari, arrested in connection with the November 26, 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, they are also trying to find out if he is Abu Hamza who appears frequently in the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s interrogation report of Pakistani-American Lashkar operative David Headley.

Sources say Ansari, also known as Abu Jundal, could be Abu Hamza, although there is apparently no unanimity yet on either. The name Abu Jundal has been mentioned by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during 26/11, as the Indian Lashkar operative in Pakistan who trained Kasab and his nine accomplices to speak Hindi.

Abu Hamza, on the other hand, is mentioned at least six times in the NIA’s Headley interrogation report. The agency had questioned Headley for 34 hours over seven days in 2010.

Many news sources are now tracing Syed Zabiuddin Ansari’s move from an ITI student through SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) to the Lashkar-e-Taiba where he was deeply involved in the plotting and control of the Mumbai 26/11 attack. Inevitably, new insights into the terror net run out of Pakistan will come from his interrogation.

New information

News sources are calling this an important breakthrough. The argument is supplied by the Hindu:

The Mumbai Police on Monday obtained a production warrant from a local court to get the custody of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Abu Jindal (31) alias Sayyed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Jabi Ansari alias Abu Hamza, who was arrested in Delhi on Monday. He is suspected to have played a key role in the November 26, 2008 terror attacks here.

“We will ask for his custody after the Delhi Police exhaust his custody on July 5,” a senior officer of the Mumbai Police said.

Ujjwal Nikam, Public Prosecutor for the 26/11 case, told The Hindu that the court was informed that Ansari was a member of the inner circle of the LeT and that his interrogation was critical to the case.

The results of the interrogation which appear in the public domain will necessarily be censored, but make interesting reading anyway. PTI has a news release:

LeT terrorist Syed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal, who was arrested by Delhi Police, has admitted his active role in the 26/11 attack saying he had worked in close tandem with terror mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

During his interrogation, Jundal confessed his role in the country’s worst terror attack and admitted that he was present in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) control room in Karachi and was giving direction to the 10 terrorists who carried out the strike.

HT adds:

But besides providing the lowdown on 26/11 attack, Jundal’s interrogation also provided a big picture of the network.

After fleeing to Pakistan in 2006, Jundal was living in the Karachi cantonment with the aid of LeT commander Abdul Aziz, who was involved in the Bangalore blast and IISc attack.

He has confirmed the activities of Yaqoob, who heads the naval wing of the LeT and was involved in sending the gunmen to Mumbai. Yaqoob’s name was first mentioned by Headley.

He confirmed that anti-India terrorist operations are still being planned in Karachi, and gave details about Lashkar commander Salauddin, Himayat Baig, main accused in the German Bakery blast, and Shaikh Abdul Khaja, picked up by Indian agencies from Colombo in July 2010.

A politically important intelligence is given to IBN Live:

Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Abu Jindal, who is in Delhi Police’s custody, has confessed his active role in the Mumbai attacks, saying that Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was present in the Karachi control room when the 26/11 masterminds choreographed the carnage.

During the interrogation, Abu Jindal has admitted to handling the attack on Nariman House during 26/11, IB sources told CNN-IBN. He has admitted that he was in the Karachi control room under the guidance of Saeed.

NDTV adds:

Jundal has allegedly given interrogators details about his role as a Lashkar-e-Taiba handler during the 26/11, 2008 attacks in Mumbai describing the control room in Karachi and that he served as one of six handlers who instructed the ten terrorists in Mumbai on how to execute the attacks at different landmarks. The location of that control room is in an elite area of Karachi inhabited by Defence personnel, and Jundal has allegedly said that officers from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI were also in this control room.

2 Responses

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  1. […] are two sets of forces trying to destabilize India. One set is the shadowy structure behind the well-recognized set of Islamic terror cells. Investigations lead to these cells, with […]

  2. […] a year or so, three major terrorists have been arrested: Bhatkal, Tunda and Abu Jindal. Has the police woken up? Or do we have help from outside the intelligence […]

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