New Delhi/Mumbai: Claiming a breakthrough in the 7/11 Mumbai blasts investigations, Mumbai police have traced a 9/11 link to the Mumbai blasts that claimed almost 200 lives and rattled India's business capital.
Officials claim the Mumbai train blasts were funded by terrorist outfit al-Qaeda and that some of the accused in the 7/11 case had trained with the prime accused of the World Trade Centre attacks.
The blasts were carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba, they claim. These revelations are based on hard evidence collected by the Anti-Terrorism Squad and investigators over the last two months.
The details, available exclusively with CNN-IBN, show that at least three of the accused in the Mumbai blasts had trained with the prime accused of the World Trade Centre attacks in New York on Septmeber 11, 2001 - the deadliest terror attack in world history that killed about 3,000 people.
Sources in the Maharashtra Government have also confirmed that:
- The leader of the al-Qaeda group that carried out the 9/11 operation, Mohammad Atta, had interacted and trained with at least three of the men who carried out 7/11 serial bombings in Mumbai. The interaction took place in a terror training camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in 2000.
- Officials claim there is evidence to prove that the funding came from al-Qaeda sources and was routed through Hawala channels from Dubai.
- They also claim to have fresh evidence about the 9/11 conspiracy.
- The Maharashtra government now says it is in a position to share this information with the FBI, and is seeking the Centre's permission on the matter.
Sources in the Maharashtra government claim 17 people were directly involved in the 7/11 serial bombings, and all of them are now in police custody. While a majority of them are from Kashmir, a few allegedly hailed from Bangladesh.
Next Page: The key pointers in the probe
All 17 accused had allegedly undergone training in camps across the border in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir. Three of the accused have confessed to training in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in 2000 alongside the attackers of the World Trade centre.
Some of the crucial leads in the probe have emerged out of the interrogation of suspects picked by the police after Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil's visit to Malegaon follwing the bombings.
The accused have revealed that both the Malegaon Bombings and the 7/11 serial blasts could have been carried out by the same group with the sole aim of creating communal trouble.
The crucial link between the mosque bombings in Malegaon and the Mumbai train blasts not only goes to show the extent of terrorists’ sinister plans, but also the entire conspiracy is part of the larger global design to spread terror coming from virtually one source - the al-Qaeda.
KEY POINTERS FROM MAHARASHTRA GOVT SOURCES TO CNN-IBN
7/11 accused had links with World Trade Center bombers
|50 operatives involved in carrying out train blasts|
|Azam Cheema believed to be the kingpin behind 7/11|
|7/11 funding and training came from al-Qaeda|
|Operational work in 7/11 done by Lashkar-e-Toiba|
|Three accused trained in PoK with WTC bomber Mohd Atta|
|Maharashtra Govt has new details about 9/11 from the accused in 7/11|
|Centre's clearance to be taken to speak to FBI|
|17 persons interrogated as prime accused|
|Two prime accused have escaped to Bangladesh|
|These two have family and property in Maharashtra|
|Faisal and Muzammil Sheikh confess to LeT involvement|
|Faisal and Muzammil Sheikh confess to training and planning in PoK|
|Ansari and Ahmed gave info about al-Qaeda funds|
|Ansari and Ahmed believed to have planted bomb and Mira Road-Bhayander|
|7/11 and Malegaon blasts may be connected|