Mumbai: What Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handler Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal said about a possible 26/11-like terror attack on the Nashik police academy was something the Maharashtra cops knew since September 2010, when they arrested a key Indian Mujahideen suspect, Bilal Baba Hussain Shaikh alias Bada Bilal (27).
Jundal told the Delhi police that after the 26/11 attacks, the LeT shortlisted the Nashik academy—a state-level training institution for Maharashtra Police personnel—as a terror target. The plan was to emulate the 2009 attack on a police training academy in Lahore.
“What Jundal told the Delhi police about the plan to attack the Nashik academy was already known to us. Necessary instructions for the academy’s security were issued after that. Shaikh was arrested in September 2010 along with German Bakery blast suspect, Mirza Himayat Baig,” said a source in the state police. The ATS had arrested Shaikh, a college dropout, for allegedly planning terror attacks on the Nashik police commissionerate, the academy and the cantonment there.
“During interrogation, Shaikh admitted to having visited the Nashik police academy and surveyed the entire location. He had even told his mentors that the main gate should not be used to launch the attack as there was
a lot of security there. He had suggested that another gate with relatively less security should be used. He had even given a description of the academy to his bosses,” said a source in the security establishment.
Baig’s name had cropped up during interrogation. “Baig has visited Nashik several times. Shaikh conducted a recce of the sites in Nashik and told Baig about them. Baig was aware of this conspiracy,” the police said, claiming to have seized 700gm of RDX from Shaikh.
The Times of India, July 20, 2012