Days after the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, the high ranking Lashker-e-Taiba operative, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told a Delhi court that it needed to question the accused to avert another Mumbai-style terrorist attack in India. Jundal was one the key trainers who had closely worked with the 10 terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, who had carried out strikes in Mumbai in 2008 killing 166 people.
The Mumbai police, which was also present in the court hoping to get custody of the LeT mastermind wanted to question Ansari and Kasab together to get more information from the two terrorists, as Ansari was involved in teaching Hindi to Kasab and also had helped the 10 terrorists to identify places in Mumbai during training.
Senior officials of the home ministry claimed that during the course of questioning, Ansari has finally named Major Sameer Ali, suspected to be an officer of Pakistan’s intelligence agency who was also in regular touch with David Headley, the double agent who had helped LeT and ISI to identify places in Mumbai.
“Information gathered from Abu Jundal makes it clear who were the non-state actors and state actors behind the 26/11 terror attacks,” said P Chidambaram, home minister. Though Pakistan has flatly denied any role of state actors in Mumbai attacks, the Union government has provided a note to Pakistani authorities on the basis of the information gathered from Ansari.
The Indian government has already made it clear that it was no longer possible for Pakistan to deny that when 10 LeT terrorists were carrying out terrorist attacks in Mumbai, a safe house in Karachi was being used as a control room to give directions to terrorists and intensify their attacks on foreigners and Indians.
The arrest of Ansari is also important because he is the first terrorist who has been arrested on charges of being directly involved training of the 10 terrorists who had attacked Mumbai.
As a result of the arrest of Ansari, another wanted terrorist, Fasih Mohammed, has been arrested by the authorities of Saudi Arabia, and the Indian government is asking the Saudi government to extradite him to India so that he could provide information about his role in the blasts in Bangalore and the terrorist attack outside Jama Masjid in Delhi just before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.