New Delhi: There is no remorse in Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal Hamza, the Indian national who has confessed to being in the control room in Karachi during the 2008 terror siege of Mumbai, say investigators, describing him as an intensely devout man who believes he did his "religious duty".
The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist from Beed in Maharashtra has confessed to being amongst those directing the 10 Pakistani terrorists who docked in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, 2008 and unleashed mayhem till Nov 28, sources in the investigation team said.
Jundal, who was arrested at the airport here on June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia, is being interrogated by several investigating teams, including the Intelligence Bureau, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad team and a special Delhi Police team.
He has shown no regret for the Nov 26-28, 2008, attacks, in which 166 people, including several foreigners, were killed and 238 injured.
"Jundal has no regret for the deaths of 166 people in the 26/11 attack. He explained the deaths, saying that in the way of god people have to sacrifice not only their life but also leave their homes, relatives and family too," an officer in the interrogation team told a news agency.
Jundal, who loves to expound on Islam and offers namaz five times a day during which he rubs his forehead against the floor as a true devout, told interrogators that the 2008 Mumbai carnage was "a part of his devotion for his religious duty called jihad".
He told interrogators that the word jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of god (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".
Asked why he had chosen India for jihad, Jundal is believed to have told interrogators, "It`s a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad.... especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims."
He has been forthcoming in his replies regarding the role played by the LeT in the attack, but "tends to mumble" when it comes to the role of Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, say investigators.
He has told them that he is only a member of LeT, and his bosses chose the specific targets for jihad. He also said there were other mujahideen - persons engaged in jihad - like him who were selected to execute plans.
The planning for 26/11 was done sometime in 2003, Jundal has said. He had been tasked to recruit Indian Muslims for jihad and those hailing from non-Hindi speaking areas were taught to speak Hindi by him.
During 2006, when investigators unearthed a major arms and explosives consignment in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Jundal, who was part of the team taking the deadly goods to Mumbai, managed to escape, said sleuths. Though police were on his trail, he managed to flee to Bangladesh.
"He crossed into Bangladesh and then travelled onwards to Pakistan, all with the help of Pakistani intelligence operatives," an investigator told a news agency.
"As he was well versed with Mumbai due to his native place being Beed in Maharashtra, Jundal was deputed to recruit and train the ten terrorists involved in 26/11 attack," the official said.
An unrepentant Jundal told investigators that if he gets another chance, he will repeat the terror attack as it would help him get a place in jannat (heaven) through jihad.
Investigators are trying join the dots in the entire 26/11 conspiracy and execution by connecting Jundal`s activities - from his early days as part of the LeT camp in Nepal, and later when he attended camps in Muridke and Thakot in Pakistan - to his directing the Mumbai attack from the Karachi control room along with LeT chief Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and some ISI officers.