Indian agencies, which negotiated with Saudi Arabia for Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal’s custody, will now press for the extradition or deportation of Jundal’s mentor Zulfiqar Fayyaz Kagzi. Blood samples for conducting DNA test to ascertain Kagzi’s identity have already been sent to Saudi Arabian authorities, said police sources.
Kagzi, who figures among the top Indian wanted terrorists, and whose presence in Saudi Arabia has been confirmed by Jundal, is crucial for counterterrorist agencies for his key role in at least four terror acts in India (see box).
His custody is important also because investigators believe that Kagzi played a crucial role in recruiting youth into the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ranks and training them, though he defected from the LeT around 2007-2008 after he contested LeT’s plan to conduct the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, said sources.
Saudi authorities had apprehended Kagzi, which had subsequently led to the arrest and deportation of Jundal, said police sources. Jundal had left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia after the top LeT commanders had started sidelining him.
LeT, which had also cut down on Jundal’s expenses, used to pay him around Rs3,000 to Rs4,000 per month while he was in Saudi Arabia, said police sources. This had prompted Jundal to hunt for a job in Saudi Arabia, and had called his friend and mentor Kagzi for support.
Kagzi, who was in Saudi custody, identified Jundal as one of the key perpetrators of 26/11 attack. The Saudi intelligence agency then mounted surveillance on Jundal. Jundal, who felt that he was being trailed in Saudi Arabia, had called key LeT commander Muzzamil Bhat to check on Kagzi.
It was then that Muzzamil told Jundal about Kagzi’s defection.