LeT trained 13/7 blasts accused in Pak: ATS



LeT trained 13/7 blasts accused in Pak: ATS Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Friday claimed that Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, who were behind the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai, were trained in Pakistan by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

According to reports, Haroon Naik, who was arrested in connection with the Mumbai serial blasts, told ATS that he had undergone rigorous terror training with IM founder Yasin Bhatkal in Pakistan.

Terming the arrested Naik as "a very, very important member of Indian Mujahideen", Maharashtra ATS said he had fought alongside al Qaeda in Afghanistan against "enemies" in the name of jihad.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad was on Wednesday granted custody of jailed IM operative Naik in the blasts case as he was suspected of having participated in the conspiracy and provided financial aid to carry out the terror strikes last year that claimed 27 lives.

The 35-year-old Naik, who is in the "upper ranks" of the home-grown terror outfit, had been earlier nabbed from the Mumbai international airport on charges of possessing fake currency notes on August 22 last year and since then was lodged in jail, ATS chief Rakesh Maria said.

Naik had undergone trainings called "Daura-E-Aam" and "Daura-E-Khas" in 2001 at terror camps of Lashkar-e-Toiba at Bahawalpur in Pakistan. Naik had sneaked into Pakistan in the late 2000, Maria said.

As he volunteered to fight for jihad along with al Qaeda, Naik was imparted additional 15 days advanced training called "Bait-E-Rizan" in Pakistan and fought against "enemies" including Northern Alliance in Kandhahar in 2001, he said.

The Northern Alliance, was a military-political organisation that united all ethnic groups of Afghanistan fighting against the Afghan Taliban backed by al Qaeda.

Naik further informed ATS officials that Bhatkal had even sent Rs 10 lakh to him in March last year to carry out the bombings, in which at least 25 people were killed.

Meanwhile, the investigating agency has also arrested two hawala operators from Ghaziabad for their role in channelizing the hawala money used to engineer the triple explosions.

The ATS further claims that amount was used by Bhatkal to carry out the blasts on July 13, 2011 at three locations - Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House in south Mumbai and at Dadar in central Mumbai.

Seeking extension, ATS told the court that it wanted to investigate the source of the explosives and various other materials that were used in triggering the triple explosions.

Naik was arrested for his role in the Opera House blast.

With Agency Inputs