Indian agencies hit a goldmine in Abu Jundal
What is common between Abu Hurera, Abu Qahafa, Abu Al Qama, Abu Usman and Abu Jundal except for the fact that they all have an Arab honorific Abu and belong to dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist group based in Pakistan? The fact is all of them were involved in 26/11 attacks in various need to know capacities with the pyramid reaching up to Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, chief patron of the proscribed global terrorist group.
The biggest advantage of having a catch like Zabiuddin Ansari aka Kashif aka Aashif aka Abu Jundal is that the faces behind these shadowy assassins will emerge as each of these jihadists carry multiple aliases which are specific to the terror mission.
Ansari was picked up by Intelligence Bureau through electronic intecepts after he arrived in Saudi Arabia from Pakistan last year. He was identified through DNA records and blood samples sent by IB to their Saudi Arabian counterparts and was deported to India with the help from Washington.
While the operational details of Zabi detention were closely held within a few in IB, his detention in Saudi Arabia was shared by Director, Intelligence Bureau, Nehchal Sandhu with home minister P Chidambaram, National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon and Home Secretary Raj Singh.
Zabi Ansari is the single biggest Indian catch after arrest of Lashkar gunman Amir Ajmal Kasab during 26/11 attacks and Indian Mujahideen co-founder Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh on September 24, 2008 after the Batla House encounter. While Zabi is still to be confronted and counter-questioned on the involvement of Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 attacks, he has provided an invaluable glimpse into the 26/11 control room with LeT Chief Operational Commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, India commander Yousuf aka Abu Hurera aka Muzammil, Abu Qahafa, Zarar Shah and dreaded Sajjid Mir, former Pak Army major and once secretary to Lashkar’s number Abdul Rehman Makki, directing the Mumbai massacre.
While Abu Jundal has been confused with Abu Hamza in Indian media, it was Ansari himself who told his Indian interrogators that Hamza died in Pakistan in 2009.
Thirty nine year old Abu Hamza aka Mohammed Ramadhan aka Mohammed Siddiqui was the lynchpin of the IISc terror attack on December 28, 2005 and was involved in the planning of the 26/11 attacks by training the gunmen in handling of explosives and arranging SIM cards for usage in the Mumbai attacks from Oman.
For the IISc attack, Hamza entered India through Nepal, executed the action and then escaped to Pakistan through the same porous route.
During his interrogation, Zabi lifted the veil over dreaded 50 year old LeT commander Muzammil, who was incharge of operations in Kashmir after holding the Valley to AK-47 for five years. He is responsible for arranging finances, travel documentation and logistics for terrorists infiltrating into India through Rashid Abdullah aka Wali aka Abdul Aziz aka Rehan.
It was Rehan who exfiltrated Zabi from India to Pakistan via Bangladesh in 2006 after Ansari was named in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. He organised the IISc attacks through Abu Hamza, planned the 7/11 train attacks in Mumbai and coordinated the September 24, 2002 terror attack on Akshardham Temple.
While Zabi Ansari is still to disclose the penetration of Lashkar in India, it will take not less than three months of relentless questioning to get the full picture of Pakistani terror operations in India.
To date, Zabi has not spoken about his links with banned Students Islamic Movement of India and how did he manage to reach the top of Lashkar hierarchy. He was the only Indian in the 26/11 control room with open access to hard core terror commanders like Zaki, Muzammil, Zarar Shah and Sajid Mir.
Zabi has disclosed that two of the 10 gunmen shortlisted for the 26/11 attack dropped out due to tough training and two more had to be inducted and taught about the Indian customs. Zabi taught the gunmen Hindi language, etiquettes, clothes Mumbaikars wear, how a cab is hailed, what kind of clothes should be worn to gain entry in Taj and Oberoi Hotels.
He has disclosed the role of LeT’s naval wing head Yaqoob in the 26/11 attacks and told his interrogators that boat Al Hussieni, which carried the attackers to Indian waters, was totally at his disposal.
He disclosed how he picked up 16 AK-47 rifles and 43 kilograms of RDX from one Ahmed in Nashik and brought them to Aurangabad before the arms seizure on May 9, 2006.
While Zabi describes himself as a hardcore Lashkar man, he is still to sing on how deep is Lashkar penetration in India. The game actually has just begun.