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‘Gujarat riots made me a terrorist’

An alleged HuJI front man arrested last month has disclosed that he was trained to make IED by two Lashkar-e-Tayyeba men in Bangladesh, after the 2002 Gujarat riots. Vijaita Singh reports.
Hindustan Times | By Vijaita Singh
UPDATED ON JUN 19, 2008 12:37 AM IST

In yet another instance showing that various terrorist organisations are working in closely with each other to spread militancy in the country, an alleged Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami (HuJI) front man arrested last month has disclosed that he was trained to make intelligence explosive devices (IED) by two Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) men in Bangladesh.

The special cell of Delhi Police had arrested Mohammad Iqbal (31) alias Abdur Rehman last month. He was allegedly part of a plan to bomb busy marketplaces in Delhi. The police claimed this statement was made by the accused who was in their custody for more than 20 days.

“Abdur Rehman has told us that in 2002, he went to Kolkata and from there he sneaked into Bangladesh through Jessore Road border. After reaching Dhaka, he was made to stay in a flat with four persons. Two LeT men came to the flat everyday and taught them to make explosives,” said a senior police officer. The LeT men were addressed as “ustad”. The police said Abdur Rehman had been trained to make “toy bombs” and other explosive devices.

The police said he is specially trained in handling AK-47, Chinese LMG, TT Pistols, rocket launcher, grenade, sniper rifles, SLR, and usage of TNT, RDX for making Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He also underwent training in Pakistan.

The accused had reportedly told his interrogators that he took to terrorism after the Gujarat riots of 2002. “When the riots occurred, he was a maulvi at a mosque in Muzaffarnagar. It was during this time that he met Babu Bhai alias Hamid who was arrested last year for the serial blasts in UP. Babu Bhai arranged for his training in Bangladesh and Pakistan,” said the officer.

In another development, Delhi Police had sought the remand of Babu Bhai who is presently lodged in a UP jail.

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