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Hamza in detention since last week

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 05:13 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
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THE CITY police are pinning their hopes on the extradition of Mohammad Sharifuddin alias Abu Hamza alias Abdul Bari, who was detained by Bangladesh police, and expect to have a few ‘vital clues’ from him regarding the twin blasts here.

However, the investigators, who are still groping in the dark and are yet to make a breakthrough in the August 25 twin blasts case and the Mecca Masjid blasts on May 18, have no evidence to link Hamza to either of the blasts that rocked the Andhra capital.

Police sources said Hamza could be the man who smuggled 10 kg of RDX into the country at the behest of Bilal, a HuJI commander and the alleged mastermind of the twin blasts.

“Though RDX was not used in the recent blasts forensic experts had confirmed traces of RDX at the site of the Mecca Masjid explosion early this year. The cause for concern is that the consignment of yet to be detected explosive could trigger a series of major blasts,” a police official said.

Though Hamza was detained a week back for overstaying in the neighbouring country, the Bangladeshi authorities passed on the information to India on Sunday.

With no major cases pending against Hamza, police have booked him for criminal conspiracy, waging war on the state and for smuggling RDX, along with Bilal and 13 other suspects to make a strong case for his extradition.

Hamza, a resident of Yakutpura in the old city, was first noticed by the police in 1999, when he formed the “Indian Muslim Mujahdeen” and was planning to trigger of blasts in the city. However, before he could be arrested, he allegedly went into hiding in Pakistan.

According to intelligence sources, Hamza was operating from Riyadh and Saudi Arabia for the following two years and was in-charge of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operations in India but Kashmir. Subsequently, his overseas mentors decided that he could be more useful to the Jihadi cause by becoming a part of Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) the terror group linked to the Hyderabad blasts.

Intelligence officials said that Abdul Sattar and Nafique-Ul, who were arrested for the Task Force office suicide bombing in 2005, had named Hamza.

“His name also cropped up during probes into the November 2002 blast at Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar here,” the police official added.