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Probe focus on map-maker Fahim

The key local link to the 26/11 attacks, Fahim Ansari, will be questioned in Lucknow by a Mumbai police team and, if needed, be brought to the city for further investigations. Presley Thomas reports. Full CoverageSee map

india Updated: Dec 06, 2008 01:18 IST
Presley Thomas

The key local link to the 26/11 attacks, Fahim Ansari, will be questioned in Lucknow by a Mumbai police team and, if needed, be brought to the city for further investigations.

As reported by Hindustan Times on Friday, Ansari, originally a Goregaon resident, had visited most of the attack sites a year ago and drawn maps indicating how to reach them from Backbay Reclamation and Cuffe Parade. The November 26 attackers landed near these two sites before splitting up into teams to attack Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Taj and Oberoi hotels and Nariman House at Colaba.

<b1>Ansari had been arrested with the maps on February 10 in Uttar Pradesh in connection with an attack on a military camp in Rampur. A chargesheet later mentioned these maps and Ansari was also brought to Mumbai, where he was questioned. He had, at the time, pointed out the spots he had surveyed. But no action was taken and the Anti-Terrorism Squad said on Thursday that they weren’t pursuing the Ansari angle.

An interrogator told HT: “Ansari had surveyed each floor of the Taj and Oberoi, and supplied detailed plans to his Lashkar-e-Tayyeba commander, identified as Mohammed Muzzamil.”

Fahim had also told interrogators that the Lashkar planned to use the sea route for a strike on Mumbai, in which it would target hotels.

The Mumbai police move to question Ansari comes a day after the HT report.

Sources said a team of the Mumbai Crime Branch is already in Lucknow to question Ansari, who has been moved out of Lucknow jail to an undisclosed location. Asked whether the Mumbai police would seek his custody, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said: “We have kept that option open.”

Maria said police would try to ascertain from Ansari whether there was any local support for the November 26 attack.