New Delhi(PTI): In a major breakthrough in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, Delhi Police has arrested Syed Zabiuddin, alleged LeT operative who is believed to be one of the key handlers of terrorists involved in the carnage, after he was deported from Saudi Arabia on India’s request.
30-year-old Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal and Riyasat Ali, was arrested on his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport by Delhi Police on June 21, police said.
He was remanded to police custody for 15 days by a Delhi court on the same day.
Zabiuddin had taught Hindi to 10 Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists that carried out the Mumbai attacks in 2008. A resident of Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, he had managed to give a slip to the Mumbai Police when an arms consignment in Aurungabad was seized in 2006 and left for Pakistan.
Along with five others, he was was present in the ‘control room’ set up in Pakistan and was heard instructing terrorists who were engaged in a fight with NSG commandos at Nariman house, officials associated with the probe said.
They added that Zabiuddin had told Lashker terrorists 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” (administration) and directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and to identify themselves as Deccan Mujahideen hailing from Toli Chowk in Hyderabad.
During interrogation, Zabiuddin gave a deep insight into the situation at ‘Karachi control room’ monitoring the Mumbai attack.
His presence was also stated by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, in his deposition before a special court in Mumbai. He told the court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.
India had also secured an Interpol Red Corner notice against him in which he was accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “Sayed Zabiuddin, we believe is a person who goes by the pseudonym Abu Jindal. He has been apprehended and has been remanded to the custody of law enforcing agencies.”
Zabiuddin had been living in Saudi Arabia with a Pakistani passport identifying himself as Riyasat Ali for many months and was conducting recruitment for LeT, he is alleged to have told the police.
Missing since 2005, Zabiuddin, who had undergone training at Indian Technical Institute in Beed, had a sudden rise in the ranks of the terror outfit after he was indoctrinated by the banned SIMI following the Gujarat riots in 2002.
The Central security agencies had quizzed many previously 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 that he was a key figure in the terror group’s plan to carry out the strikes in the country’s hinterland, sources said.
166 people including foreigners were killed in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that also left 9 terrorists dead.
Kasab was the lone survivor and sources said with the arrest of Zabiuddin, a much clearer picture of the conspiracy is expected to come out.