Sabahuddin Ahmed — the arrested Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) commander behind the December 2005 terror strike on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the supposed arranger of arms and men to conduct the Mumbai attacks — has turned out to be the key contact used by Fahim Ahmed Ansari to communicate with LeT chiefs in Pakistan.
Also, Fahim had handed over the entire details of his reconnaissance to Sabahuddin, who then got the vital information transferred to LeT’s operational commander Mohammed Muzzamil in Pakistan.
Fahim, the Mumbai-born LeT operative whose custody the Mumbai crime branch will seek from a court in UP on Tuesday, had sought the phone number of Sabahuddin from a person, Mark Hiley. Rakesh Maria, joint commissioner of police, said, "We will seek his custody because there is apprehension that he knows the conspiracy to the case."
The e-mail conversations Fahim had with Mark Hiley, which Hindustan Times accessed, reveals that Fahim had extensive conversation over telephone as he awaited for orders to carry out the reconnaissance mission in Mumbai and procurement of arms from a person referred to as "bade bhai" (elder brother).
Fahim told the interrogators after conducting the reconnaissance mission in Mumbai that he was supposed to wait till Sabahuddin arranged for the weapons. “According to the plan, Fahim was to get a call from a Mumbai mobile for procurement of weapons. He was supposed to get three Ak-47 assault rifles, 15 magazines and 15 hand grenades," said an interrogator.
Fahim was supposed to keep this at the safe house that he had identified at Falkland road near Grant Road, added police sources. But the delivery of weapons, which was to happen in a Maruti vehicle, got delayed and was postponed.
But Fahim got jittery and left Mumbai after a team of police officials visited the Grant Road building premises on January 8, 2008, to inquire about a Buddhist monk who was killed at Govandi. Fahim got scared and intimated a point person in Dubai, added sources.
He later received a call on January 9, 2008, which instructed him to leave for Nepal and meet Sabahuddin, who was staying in Kathmandu under the alias of Ashok. Fahim stayed at some guesthouses in Kathmandu before he got a call from Sabahuddin to handover the vital information and documents. Sabahuddin made Fahim talk to Mohammed Muzzamil who asked Fahim to hand over the photographs, video and maps to Sabahuddin.