New Delhi: The Delhi Police have arrested suspected key 26/11 Mumbai attacks plotter Abu Jundal at the Indira Gandhi International airport. Sources say Jundal was arrested at Delhi's IGI airport on being deported from Saudi Arabia on India's request. His arrest being called the most significant development in the case since Ajmal Kasab's arrest.
Sources say Jundal had arrived in Delhi from the Gulf when he was arrested. Jundal was produced before a court which remanded him to 15-day police custody. The Mumbai Crime Branch will send a team to Delhi in the next few days to seek more information about Abu Jundal and to work on getting a transit remand for a detailed interrogation in Mumbai.
Home Minister P Chidambaram in a statement said, "Abu Jundal has been apprehended and has been remanded to custody of law enforcement agencies." External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, "We are awaiting the investigation report from Delhi Police and will take an appropriate action following the report."
According to reports, Jundal alias Sayeed Zabiuddin alias Zabi Ansari alias Riyasat Ali is a suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist. He is an Indian national who went to Pakistan for allegedly training people for the 26/11 attacks. Sources in the Delhi Police's special cell say that Abu Jundal not only trained those who carried out the 26/11 attacks, but was also one of the key conspirators.
His arrest is being seen as a crucial breakthrough and is likely to strengthen the 26/11 case. The 30-year-old who hails from Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, was arrested on June 21 when he arrived in India from a Gulf country, official sources.
With his arrest, the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between 10 Lashker terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan has been identified, the sources said. Sources say he was in the Karachi control room at the time of attacks in Mumbai. According to the officials associated with the probe, Ansari had told the Lashkar terrorists carrying out attack in Nariman House to convey to the media that the "attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come".
In the intercepted tapes, Ansari was also heard using typical Hindi words like "prashasan" (government) and was directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and identify themselves as Deccan Mujahideen hailing from Toli Chowk in Hyderabad.
His presence was also stated by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, in his deposition before a special court. He told the court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.
Jundal was named in the dossier to Pakistan as India's most wanted. There was also an Interpol notice against him in 2009. Jundal is also alleged to have a hand in the IISC Bangalore attack in 2005.
Lashkar-e-Toiba operative David Coleman Headley also named Jundal as the Lashkar's India expert.
Missing since 2005, Ansari, who had undergone training at Indian Technical Institute in Beed, had a sudden rise in the ranks of Lashker-e-Taiba after he was indoctrinate by banned SIMI post Gujarat riots in 2002.
The Central security agencies had quizzed many arrested terrorists to study the case of Ansari during which it came to light that he had been operating out of terror camps in Karachi and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and was a key figure in the terror group's plan to carry out the strikes in the country's hinterland.
Some unanswered questions:
- How did Jundal come to India?
- Will Pakistan now give India the voice samples of the other 26/11 accused?
- Will US give India further access to David Headley and Rana?
(With additional information from PTI)