NEW DELHI: Abdul Karim Tunda, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim and one of India's most wanted terrorists who was arrested on Friday, has told interrogators that he was in constant touch with Pakistan's ISI and worked closely with it and also met leaders of several anti-India outfits during his stay in that country.
A top Delhi police official while stating this on Sunday said that 70-year-old Tunda claimed during his interrogation that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, whom he met in Karachi several times, stays in a safe house in Pakistan's port city and is guarded by Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.
"He (Tunda) claims that Dawood first called him to meet in 2010. He says that the underworld don stays in a safe house in Karachi and is guarded by ISI. His movements are restricted and monitored by the intelligence agency," the official said.
During his stay in Pakistan, Tunda told the police he had been in touch with organisations like ISI, LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Indian Mujahideen and Babbar Khalsa and had been meeting people like Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim and several others wanted by India.
Calling the scope of his interrogation a 'vast canvas', the official said that Tunda, an expert bomb-maker, is a bigger catch then Abu Jundal, a key Mumbai attack handler, for security agencies because of his intensive networks across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
"He has met the leaders of almost all anti-India organizations and even their small operatives. Tunda was constantly in touch with ISI and has worked with them closely," the official said.
Tunda had an excellent network of operatives through which he sent men and material into India, the official said, adding he has been sending explosives and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in India.
According to the police official, Tunda is running a number of madarsas in Karachi under the name of Mehdud-Taleem-Islam-e-Dar-Al-Funoon for which he gets a lot of donations for individuals and organizations. Here he indoctrinates youth to join jihad and gives them training to use arms and ammunition.
There is a batch of around 200 youth of all age groups in every batch, the official said.
The penetration level of his network and structure can be gauged by the fact that that in September-October 2010 when Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) leader Wadhawa Singh wanted to push explosives in India through Bangladesh he contacted Tunda for it, it was stated.
"The explosives which were assembled outside Pakistan were to be sent somewhere in Delhi or Punjab. However, the plan failed as Tunda's operatives were arrested in Bangladesh before they could execute the plan," the official said.
"Tunda has got great oratory skills through which he influences people, especially youth. He is a sort of 'motivational speaker' who encourages his disciples to join jihad. Due to his ability to 'motivate' people he remains in great demand by terrorist organizations to give a 'pep talk' to their men," the official said.
"To carry out a terror attack, you need a man, motivation and a bomb. Tunda provides all of this and that is why he is so popular among all terror outfits. His job is recruiting, motivating and providing explosives," he said.
According to police sources, Tunda, who was born in India in 1943, became radicalized and joined jihadi forces in 1985 after some of his relatives were killed in communal riots in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra.
'26/11 mastermind Lakhvi calls the shots in LeT'
Tunda also claimed that top LeT commander and Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi calls the shots in the terror outfit.
A composed 70-year-old Tunda, whom the security agencies term as a walking encyclopedia of LeT pan-India operations, spoke about his differences with Lakhvi during police investigations and gave instances how this cropped up in several discussions, official sources said.
While his interrogation continues by a joint team of police and central security agencies, sources said that he would be grilled about his meeting with Aamir Reza, founder of Indian Mujahideen and other Lashker operatives who had met him while he was in Muridkee.