Pakistan's terror net gets exposed again as documentary traces journey of Paris attacker linked to 26/11
A new documentary has shed light on the involvement of Paris attack conspirator Muhammad Ghani Usman, a Pakistan national and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, in the planning and execution of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Usman is in a French jail after being arrested in connection with the 2015 attack on the French capital.
The documentary has been aired by German broadcaster DW. It aims to find out financing, planning and commissioning of terror attacks in Europe. The makers of the film follow the leads which reveal the terrorists' connection to Pakistan intelligence service ISI.
"This man was a key member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. It is believed that he was a part of the operations planning for the attacks in Mumbai in 2008. Yet, nothing was done," the film quotes London-based security analyst Sajjan Gohel as saying.
Watch the documentary here:
Usman was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was probing the Mumbai attacks cases, in 2019. According to NIA, Usman was in touch with David Coleman Headley, the Pakistan-origin US terrorist who plotted the 2008 Mumbai terror strike.
The film then talks about the major conspiracies being hatched by indoctrinated terrorists, and reveals the name of Sajid Mir, a shadowy figure. "Suspects in the US confirm the existence of Sajid Mir and his role in recruiting and indoctrinating westerners with an aim of sending them back to Europe or the US to carry out attacks in the name of LeT," the documentary quoted Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a former French investigative judge, anti-terrorism.
Hindustan Times reported last year about the whereabouts of Sajid Mir, who was the handler of Headley. The terrorist carries $5 million on his head.
India has blamed LeT, which is allegedly linked to Al Qaeda, for the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The documentary makers also claimed to have found evidence that showed that the ISI increased its cooperation with the terror organisations, especially Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"The documentary shows that Pakistan continues to be the terror factory of the world. This is quite evident when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan calls the 9/11 Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a martyr and foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in an interview to Tolo News, gives it a pass. Pakistani political leadership continues to deny the presence of Taliban leadership, including Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, and Sirajuddin Haqqani in the country. What makes it worse is that Sajid Mir is still living in Rawalpindi and David Coleman Headley was a relation of former Pakistan prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. Till date, the American intelligence has not shared the financial transactions of Headley with India. With the American forces leaving Afghanistan next month, the terror factory in Pakistan will be running full steam with impact on the entire world," said Shishir Gupta, the author of best selling book 'Indian Mujahideen: the enemy within' and an expert on terrorism.
French investigators suspect that Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks and the suicide bombings in Brussels, sent Usman and Haddadi to Europe to carry out attacks.
Usman, the 34-year-old bomb-maker, was arrested in October 2015 along with his Algerian aide and suspected Islamic State fighter Adel Haddadi soon after they arrived on the Greek island of Leros along with 200 other refugees for carrying forged passport. Investigators believe there were two other men in the boat who later blew themselves up outside Stade de France stadium, one of a series of brazen assaults by around 10 people around the French capital.
Haddadi and Usman were detained by Greek authorities for 25 days because they had fake Syrian passports. Once let go, they followed the main migrant trail and made it to Salzburg in western Austria at the end of November - after the Paris attacks. They applied for asylum at a refugee shelter in Salzburg.
The two were arrested again in December 2015 when a fingerprint search linked them to the passports stolen by the Islamic State. An Austrian court later approved their transfer to France for trial.