13/7: MoH seeks report on militant meeting Laden

The Home Ministry sought a report from the Maharashtra Police on the claim that an arrested accused of the 13/7 Mumbai blasts case had met al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Thursday sought a
report from the Maharashtra Police on the claim that an
arrested accused of the 13/7 Mumbai blasts case had met
al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2001.

"We have taken serious note of the claim. We have sought
a report from Maharashtra as we want to know details of the
case," a Home Ministry official said.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS)
sources claimed that Haroon Naik, an arrested accused in the
Mumbai triple blasts, met Osama bin Laden in Pakistan just a
month before the 9/11 attack on US and was sent to Kandahar in
Afghanistan for additional training of 40 days.

The claim by the ATS establishes a possible link for the
first time by a terrorist from India with the slain al Qaeda
leader.

Besides being present at an "inspirational" lecture by
bin Laden, Rashid had also met Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
operations chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the sources had said.

35-year-old Naik, who is in ATS custody since February 1
in connection with the blast case, was nabbed from the Mumbai
international airport on August 22 last year on the charge of
possessing fake currency notes and has been lodged in a jail
since then.

PTI

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