By Arif qoreshi
Islamabad: Indian and international media quoted Indian official that they have arrested a prime suspect of 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.
Jamaatud Dawa, led by Hafiz Saeed and blamed to be an offshoot of LeT, was quick to deny any links with Abu Hamza.
“India says he (Abu Hamza) belongs to the lashkar taiba but we do not recognize the lashkar taiba and we have no relations with the group, We are jamat Dawa and busy in charity involved social welfare work in Pakistan and not terrorists,” said Yahya Mujahid, a spokesperson for Hafiz Saeed.
Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan avoid to comment officially saying that,
“We are in touch with our mission in New Delhi and trying to figure out the situation, I will not comment officially unless the information is shared with us by Indian authorities.”
A man having several identities
A man who has several identities known as Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza alias Abu Jandal alias Riasat Ali was deported by Saudi Arabia on 21st June and was arrested by Delhi police from Indra Gandi International Airport.
Family back ground
Zabiuddin ansari was in a middle class family and his fatter is an insurance salesman. Having a family of six, with five sisters and lone brother according to first post newspaper, Zabiuddin was first sent to a local Urdu medium school. Followed by a diploma at the Indian Technical Institute in Beed district and even reportedly began studying at the Navgan Shikshan Sanstha college even as he attempted to hold on to odd jobs.
Arrested in saudi arabia
He was reportedly deported from Saudi Arabia after authorities identified his voice on the tapes and tracked his movements to the country. According to some reports he may have been in jail in Saudi Arabia for travelling using a fake passport according to the Press Trust of India (PTI); it is also said that the ansari has been deported from Saudi Arabia after Indian home and foreign ministries formerly approached to the Saudi Arabian authorities. Saudi Arabia first reject the request to hand over from its soil and deported to India. The other reason ansari had not been hand over to Indian authority because he travelled to Saudi Arabia not on Indian passport. When he was arrested he had a fake Pakistani passport according to Indian media.
Diplomatic game between India and Pakistan
Indian intelligence agencies had tracked zabbudin ansari 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 district in Maharashtra but he travelled to Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport.
For months, Pakistan’s ISI exerted immense pressure on Saudi Arabia not to hand over ansari to indian at any cost. He was too prized a catch: A Lashkar-e-Taiba insider who could expose the role of ‘state actors’ in the Mumbai attack.
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.
Finally DNA test obtained from Ansari’s family and was sent to the Saudi authorities by Indians.
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.
Trainer of 2008 Mumbai attackers
Syed Zabiuddin ansari is accused of motivating and training hindi language the gunmen involved in the 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai in locations like hotel Taj and Oberoi, Cafe Leopold, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Chabad House in which over 166 persons were killed.
Ansari allegedly trained the gunmen in Hindi language which also confirmed by amir ajal qasab the lone survival of Mumbai attacks.
He was reportedly among the handlers who spoke to the gunmen while they were battling security forces and motivated them to continue the battle. Zabiuddin was allegedly present in the ‘control room’ in Karachi in Pakistan from where instructions were being constantly relayed to the gunmen in the attacks.
In the intercepted calls, he 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.
According to the officials associated with the probe, Ansari had told the gunmen carrying out attack in Chabad House to convey to the media that the “attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come”.
Confessed his role in Mumbai attacks
According to leading Indian news paper Hindustan Times Syed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal, who was arrested by Delhi Police, has admitted his active role in the 26/11 attack saying that he had worked in close 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.
United States welcomed the arrest
United states welcomed the arrest of Abu Jundal, a key planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the United States has vowed to continue to support India’s efforts to bring its perpetrators to justice. “We are aware of these reports that one of the suspected planners of the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai has been arrested,” state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday when asked to comment on Hamza’s arrest in Delhi.
Pakistan offered its cooperation
Quoted by the Hindu daily Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Tuesday offered its cooperation to Indian in the backdrop of the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari, a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist and key handler of attackers who struck Mumbai in 2008.
“As agreed at the highest level between Pakistan and India, terrorism is a common concern and counter-terrorism cooperation is in the mutual interest of both countries.
“Pakistan has renewed its offer of cooperation in this domain,” the High Commission said in a statement
A man wanted in 2006 Aurangabad arms haul
Syed Zabiuddin ansari was reportedly in one of the vehicles that managed to escape when the police managed to nab a cache of arms that were reportedly meant for use by Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives.
The police had seized 13 kg of RDX and six AK-47s and 50 grenades and has filed its charge sheet against 21 accused persons in the case. Zabiudin is accused of fleeing the country to Pakistan through Bangladesh.
21 persons are currently facing trial for their alleged involvement in the case.
2006 serial train blasts in Mumbai’s
He is also suspected to have known about the 2006 serial train blasts in Mumbai’s suburban rail network and is also alleged to have helped transport youth from India to Pakistan for indoctrination and training in the use of weapons to carry out terror strikes.
Involvement in 2005 Indian Institute of Science attack
Police say that one Abu Hamza was involved in the attack on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on 28 December, 2005. A professor from Delhi was killed in the attack and four persons were injured when a gunman opened fire in the campus.Six persons have been convicted by a court for their alleged involvement in the case.
Linked with Indian mujahideen:
Ansari who educated at the Indian Technical Institute at Beed, is believed to have become a jihadi after the Gujarat riots. Among the many terror plots that security agencies believe he played a role in the plot to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He is alleged to have first joined the banned group SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), then the Indian Mujahideen and later, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Intelligence sources believe he has been a vital link between the Indian Mujahideen and the Lashkar.
The writer is an editor of “thefortress.com.pk”