‘Jundal questioned face-to-face with mentor may help unravel LeT set-up’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Jundal questioned face-to-face with mentor may help unravel LeT set-up’

A face-off between Lashkar-e-Taiba lieutenant Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari and his one time mentor, a Maulana from Aurangabad, could help unravel the bigger LeT network not only in Maharashtra, but in adjoining Hyderabad, too, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) feels.

mumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2012 02:27 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

A face-off between Lashkar-e-Taiba lieutenant Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari and his one time mentor, a Maulana from Aurangabad, could help unravel the bigger LeT network not only in Maharashtra, but in adjoining Hyderabad, too, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) feels. It has already obtained a production warrant for Ansari’s custody. The Maulana is presently in judicial custody after his arrest in the May 9, 2006, Aurangabad arms haul case.

Highly placed sources in the ATS told HT on Thursday that Maulana Amir Shakeel Ahmed, who used to teach in a Madrassa in Aurangabad and call prayers at a mosque in there, was instrumental in radicalising Ansari. Ahmed had in the early 2000 taken Ansari, a wireman hailing from neighbouring Beed, and around 20 Muslim boys into the fold of the banned outfit, the Student’s Islamic Movement of India (Simi). “Ansari, like the other members of his group swore by Ahmed,” a senior ATS official said.

In 2001, in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots, Ahmed visited a Madrassa in Gujarat, where he met an Islamic preacher from Kashmir, Aslam Kashmiri. “It was Kashmiri, who radicalised Ahmed by underlining the plight of Muslims during the riots,” the official said adding, “in actuality, Kashmiri was an LeT operative who had been sent with a specific mission to radicalise young Muslim boys for the terror group’s anti-India activities.”

Ahmed was motivated by Kashmiri whom he brought with him to Aurangabad the next year and Ahmed introduced Kashmiri to Ansari and his Simi comrades who the Maulana had prepared over the years. “Kashmiri then completely brainwashed the group,” the official said.