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26/11 case: Abu Jundal could be more crucial than Ajmal Kasab


Shoaib Ahmed, Parikshit Luthra, CNN-IBN
Jun 28, 2012 at 11:29am IST

Mumbai/New Delhi: After the arrest of key 26/11 suspect and alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Abu Jundal, India on Tuesday asked Pakistan to act against Hafiz Saeed. However, back home investigators are hoping to get crucial leads from Jundal on several terror strikes in India.

Saeed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal, a key planner and director of the deadly 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, who is in the custody of Delhi Police after being deported from Saudi Arabia, has told interrogators he was sent there by LeT to recruit Indians living in the kingdom and raise finances. He also said he had used a Pakistani passport with the active help of the ISI.

Sources told CNN-IBN that the US intelligence intercepts tipped India about his having shifted base. The Saudi authorities then provided close cooperation. Prosecutors believe Jundal's arrest is perhaps more significant than that of even Amir Ajmal Kasab.

"Jundal will provide more details as he was part of the inner circle. He will give information on other state actors from Pakistan," said Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor, Mumbai Police.

Jundal's questioning also revealed he was first arrested by Saudi authorities a year ago and remained jailed for several months before being deported. Sources said the fact he is an Indian made his deportation easier, a key development which was played down by the government.

"We don't want to shout from rooftops. This is a significant breakthrough for us," said Akbaruddin, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

Sources said Jundal was more critical as unlike Kasab, who was a foot soldier, Jundal was in the control room and a key part of planning.

The Mumbai Crime Branch will now want to confront Jundal with Kasab, the foot soldier who carried out the attacks, and corroborate evidence provided by the latter with those of Jundal, with his voice samples being the key.

Jundal's arrest has now set in motion a flurry of activity. Several state police forces and the national investigative agency are lining up to interrogate him. According to sources, Jundal could be linked to the massive 2006 arms haul in Aurangabad, the German Bakery blast in Pune, and the Ahmedabad railway station blast.

On Tuesday morning, the Mumbai Police arrived in the national capital seeking Jundal's custody, even as interrogators of Delhi Police and central agency sources telling CNN-IBN that Jundal had confirmed Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah were among those present in the ISI run control room overseeing the Mumbai attacks.

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