Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) trained 26/11 accused Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari to fly planes, Delhi Police officials interrogating him have claimed.
Lashkar had planned to use him and two others in 9/11-style kamikaze attacks on Indian highrise buildings and big dams, said his interrogators on Wednesday, requesting anonymity. They said Jundal’s interrogation revealed that LeT had revived its ‘naval wing’ and added flight training to its ‘curriculum’.
Ansari was among the six men directing the attack on Mumbai from a Karachi control room. The LeT commander has been in Delhi Police custody since he was sent back by Saudi Arabia on June 21. He will be questioned till his remand expires on July 5.
“Jundal was among two other men from Maharashtra — Fayyaz Kagzi from Beed and Mohammad Rahil Sheikh from Thane — who had been recruited together and received maritime and aviation training in Karachi. The elementary flying and seafaring classes took place when they went to Pakistan after the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006, in which Jundal played a key role,” said an officer.
The trio’s names, sources claimed, had even figured in an Intelligence Bureau terror alert issued in late June 2011, stating that Indian installations such as dams and high-rise commercial centres could be targeted in aerial kamikaze assaults.
“Both kinds of training had been imparted in the Malir Cantonment area in Karachi. While naval training had been essential to ensure that the men would reach Indian shores safely, the air training would have come in handy later,” the officer said.
Sources claimed that the aerial assault, which was being planned for years, was the operation for which Jundal was arranging financial assistance while in ‘exile’ at Saudi Arabia after 26/11.
Jundal has apparently claimed that a ‘maulvi’ whom Kagzi and he had been introduced to by Sheikh while they were members of the Students Islamic Movement of India had led them to a Lashkar recruiter in Kashmir. Police sources say Kagzi, who was with Jundal in Saudi Arabia, is next in line to be sent back and arrested.