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7/11 blasts: Jailed man probed in UK

Mohammed Ajmal Khan, 31, is in jail on a nine-year sentence for raising funds and buying weapons for LeT.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 15:11 IST

Britain's anti-terrorism officers have questioned a man from Coventry in the east Midlands in connection with the trains blasts in Mumbai, that killed around 200 people on July 11.

The man being questioned is Mohammed Ajmal Khan, 31, who is currently in jail on a nine-year sentence for raising funds and buying weapons for the Lashker-e-Taiba, according to a report in the Birmingham-based weekly, Sunday Mercury.

The report quoted a security services source as saying: "Khan was a leading figure in LeT and money he raised would have been used to buy arms and explosives of the type used in the Indian attacks."

"There is no evidence to suggest that he was directly involved but he will be of great intelligence value to the investigation because of his connections and influence."

Earlier this year, Ajmal Khan, a taxi driver, was described at Snaresbrook Crown Court as a 'high-ranking' LeT operative who had travelled the globe to acquire sophisticated weaponry and surveillance equipment. He was arrested in Coventry in March 2005.

He had duped a Sikh friend into allowing him to use his bank details, which he then used to buy thousands of metres of armoured Kevlar material. He also bought equipment to test an un-manned aerial drone, which would be used by terrorists to gather intelligence.

British police said he was also trying to buy night-vision goggles, and that a raid on his house unearthed an air pistol converted to fire live ammunition.

The Sunday Mercury report states that the FBI had bugged Ajmal Khan and had been tracking his movements in Britain since 2002. He now faces extradition to the US to face further charges.

Justice Fulford had said Ajmal Khan was a 'person of authority' in Lashker-e-Taiba. He had not only trained in Pakistan and "travelled widely in furtherance of terrorist aims", but had available a 'significant' source of funds from an "unidentified but undeniably terrorist-related source".