‘Jundal was planning another 26/11-type strike’
New Delhi: Abu Jundal Hamza, one of the handlers of the 26/11 attackers, was planning a similar strike with an Indian Mujahideen (IM) module that he was setting up when he was nabbed in Saudi Arabia, it has now been revealed.
During Jundal`s 15-day questioning, he reportedly told Indian investigators that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to which he belonged had close links with the IM. With the LeT`s help, new IM modules were being created in several parts of India.
"Jundal was deputed by the LeT to help the IM in assembling arms and ammunition to carry out another 26/11-type terror attack in India. But the place was not yet decided," an officer who questioned Jindal told a news agency.
This has led investigators to believe that the LeT-IM combine may still be planning and working towards executing the terror strike.
Jundal was involved in the planning of the 26/11-style attack when he was caught in Saudi Arabia and deported to India on June 21. He was initially remanded to the custody of the Delhi Police Special Cell for 15 days and this was extended for another 15 days on Thursday.
Jundal told the police that the LeT-IM plan to carry out a terror strike at the Nasik police academy in Maharashtra on the lines of the Lahore police academy attack by the Taliban on March 30, 2009, had been busted following the arrest of two key plotters.
The terror groups had watched a video of the Lahore academy attack several times to study the modus operandi of the Taliban and had decided to stage a similar attack in Nasik, Jundal told his interrogators.
"Wearing police uniforms, the LeT-IM module was planning to strike at the Nasik academy. But the arrest of Mirza Himayat Beg and Bilal, two key members, in the German Bakery blast case in Pune in February 2010 led to the postponement of their plans," the police officer said.
This, the officer said, was cited by Jundal as proof of LeT-IM ties stretching back several years.
"Jundal is the highest ranking Indian in the LeT. He also revealed a great deal about the terror group and its links with the Pakistani state players, particularly Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI -spy agency)," the officer said.
Jundal, who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Explosives Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code, was also clued in about the German Bakery blasts, the blast at Bangalore`s Chinnaswamy Stadium and the blast-cum-shoot-out at Delhi`s Jama Masjid.
The LeT activist, with 26 aliases, has also confessed to his association with Mohammad Adil, a Pakistani IM operative arrested in November 2011 with six others, the officer said.
Adil is said to be a close associate of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested by Delhi Police for his role in multiple terror plots. Adil had also reportedly told investigators that he was in touch with Jindal.
On his graduation to an LeT activist, Jundal reportedly told investigators that he was initially a Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activist. He joined the LeT after SIMI was banned in India. He later played a key role in creating and supporting the IM.
"Once SIMI was banned, all its members joined other terror groups, but adopted the same modus operandi and ideological beliefs. IM is one such grouping. It is not surprising that a former SIMI member is part of IM," an investigator said.
After the 26/11 attacks, Jundal tried to become a Pakistani national and erase all his roots in India. For that, he even married a Karachi girl in 2009.
Later, he obtained a Pakistani passport in one of his aliases, Riyasat Ali.
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