Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jundal’s co-accused was LeT’s western India commander

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handler Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal’s co-accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, Faisal Shaikh, was the western India commander of the terror outfit, said the police.
    Faisal, now 36 years old, was arrested on July 27, 2006, for his alleged role in the 11/7 train blasts in Mumbai. Originally belonging to Nagpada, he had allegedly planted a bomb on a local train along with a Pakistani national, the blasts chargesheet stated. His younger brother, Muzammil, a software engineer, was also arrested for the train blasts.
    “While Jundal headed the arms haul operations and acted as a handler during the 26/11 attacks, Faisal was operations chief during the train blasts,” said a police officer. Faisal had also allegedly sent at least six people to Pakistan for terror training.
    Questions had been raised over detection of the train blasts case by the ATS as the crime branch had in 2008 said that those arrested for the explosions were not involved in the terror strike, and a group of Indian Mujahideen operatives had executed the bombings.
    “It was Faisal who provided money to a wanted accused, Raheel Shaikh, to flee the country after the arms haul case. Faisal had arranged visa documents for SIMI member Fayyaz Kagzi and five others for going to Pakistan,” the chargesheet said.
    Sources in the security establishment said after the arms haul case, wherein Jundal was suspected to have brought firearms and ammunition into Maharashtra, Faisal helped other accused evade arrest. Faisal was trained in Pakistan’s Bahawalpur camp under Azam Cheema, a LeT trainer and wanted accused in the 11/7 and the 26/11 cases.
    Faisal reportedly had an “export-import’’ business. However, crime branch officers who picked him up said the “small business’’ was only a front for routing hawala money for terror purposes. “We have come to know that he got hawalarouted money that was used to recruit youths for terror activities,’’ a crime branch officer had said. 

    Faisal visited Pakistan twice in 2004 and 2005 for weapons training and stayed there for six months each time. Muzammil, who used to stay on Temkar Street in Nagpada, sold his house in 1996 and shifted to Mira Road. He joined the Bangalore unit of an MNC on a salary of Rs 40,000 a month.

• LeT handler Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal headed 2006 arms haul and 26/11 terror cases while Faisal Sheikh was operations chief during 11/7 train blasts

• Police had seized 43kg of RDX, 16 rifles, 3,200 bullets, 50 grenades, two swords etc while probing arms haul case in which both Jundal and Faisal are accused

• ATS is probing Aurangabad arms haul and 11/7 train blasts cases

The Times of India, July 18, 2012

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