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Sameer 'confesses' to plotting mosque blast

During narco-analysis test, the accused says plan to blow up masjid was hatched in Pak, reports Abhishek Sharan.
Hindustan Times | By Abhishek Sharan, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2007 04:23 PM IST

Sheikh Sameer, the prime accused in Hyderabad’s Mecca mosque blast case, has reportedly confessed that he masterminded the attack in connivance with Pakistan-based terrorists.

Sameer, an alleged operative of Pak-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and an accused in last year’s Aurangabad arms haul case in Maharashtra, reportedly confessed his role during a narco-analysis test at Bangalore’s Forensic Science Laboratory on July 3. In all, three narco-tests have been done on Sameer since his arrest from near the Indo-Bangladesh border on April 4.

Arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF), Sameer was in the custody of Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) till May, when the Hyderabad police took him in custody to probe his links in the blast case.

Sameer reportedly said during the narco tests that the blast was aimed at triggering Hindu-Muslim riots. “The plan to carry out the blast was hatched in Pakistan. Sameer was assigned the task to receive a team of two terror operatives who arrived from Pakistan via Bangladesh to carry out the blast,” a senior investigator, who refused to be named, told Hindustan Times from Hyderabad.

“According to Sameer, ‘ladke’ (the operatives) arrived in Bangladesh by a Pakistan International Airlines flight,” said the officer. Sameer then helped both the terrorists to sneak into West Bengal from where they took a train to Hyderabad. Investigators say that Sameer’s confessions point to his ‘commander-level’ status in the LeT.

In Mumbai, an ATS officer told Hindustan Times that Sameer had been in regular touch with his close friend and associate Zahibuddin Qazi, the alleged mastermind of the Aurangabad arms haul case. Sameer is believed to be close to Dhaka-based senior Lashkar ‘commander’, Raheel Sheikh, an associate of 11/7 blasts mastermind Faisal Sheikh.

Sameer’s interrogations so far have unraveled how the LeT and Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-Ul-Jihadi-Al-Islami (HuJI) came together to execute the Hyderabad blast. A HuJI operative, Mohammed Shahed alias Bilal, is also wanted for his role in the blast.

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