In a major breakthrough, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police has arrested a key terror suspect involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The suspect – identified as 30-year-old Abu Hamza alias Sayed Zabiuddin alias Zabi Ansari alias Abu Jindal alias Riyasat Ali – was nabbed on June 21 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here while returning from a Gulf country.
Security agencies had been on the hunt for Hamza, who hails from Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, for more than three years. The alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist, who is also linked to the Indian Mujahideen, was the Hindi tutor of 10 terrorists who carried out the audacious attack in Mumbai in November 2008.
He was one of the Pakistani handlers who was giving instructions to the 26/11 terrorists.
Sources said Hamza was in Pakistan when the 26/11 attack took place.
Hamza reportedly identified targets for the 26/11 attacks and was also wanted in connection with some cases in Gujarat.
He was produced before a court which remanded him to 15 day police custody, sources said on Monday.
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.
With his arrest, the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan has been identified, sources said.
According to the officials associated with the probe, Hamza had told Lashkar terrorists carrying out attack in the Nariman House to convey to the media that the “attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come”.
The voice was that of Hamza and after this his activities were traced before he was finally nabbed in a Gulf country, according to officials.
In the intercepted tapes, Hamza was also heard using typical Hindi words like “prashasan” (government) and was directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and identify themselves from 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.
Missing since 2005, Hamza, who had undergone training at Indian Technical Institute in Beed, had a sudden rise in the ranks of LeT 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 Hamza 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.