Mumbai terror attacks suspect arrested by Indian police
From The Guardian
A man believed to have acted as a "handler" in the Mumbai terror attacks which left 166 dead in 2008 has been arrested by Indian police.
Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari is suspected of helping to co-ordinate the atrocities from a base in Pakistan. Detectives think he was the sole Indian among a faction of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group which gave orders to the 10 gunmen from a control room in Karachi. New Delhi blames the group for the attacks, which stunned India and further damaged fragile relations with its nuclear-armed neighbour Pakistan.
Authorities think his was the voice of a previously unidentified man who was taped speaking by phone from Pakistan to the militants involved in the attacks in November 2008. He is suspected of tutoring the terrorists in Hindi and using his local knowledge to direct them around Mumbai during the attacks. According to Indian media reports, he told the attackers to tell journalists that the "attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come".
Ansari was reportedly arrested on arrival at Delhi airport on 21 June after being deported from Saudi Arabia at India's request. He is thought to have been travelling on a Pakistani passport under the name Riyasat Ali. Police say he had up to 10 aliases, including Abu Hamza and Abu Jundal.
Detectives say Ansari instructed the gunmen that, if they survived, they were to tell investigators the attacks were revenge for the Indian government's atrocities against Muslims and the plight of Kashmiri Muslims. According to India's Mail Today, he also told the terrorists to claim they were Muslims from Hyderabad's Tolichowki area in an attempt to present the atrocities as homegrown.
Only one of the 10 gunmen emerged from the atrocity alive. There was much confusion over Mohammad Ajmal Kasab's nationality after his arrest, but he turned out to be Pakistani and eventually gave Ansari's name to prosecutors as the terror group's "handler".
Ansari is also wanted in connection with other terrorist acts. The Mumbai joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy told local reporters on Monday that Ansari was suspected of involvement in a case from 2006, when a huge haul of arms and explosives was found in a car in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in western India. He is also wanted for attacks on Mumbai trains in 2006 in which 180 people were killed, the television channel NDTV reported.
Posted on 06/26/2012 1:46 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax