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Ansari mentor Kagazi fought with Sajid Mir, dropped from 26/11 plot

Author: Rahul Tripathi
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 8, 2012
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ansari-mentor-kagazi-fought-with-sajid-mir-dropped-from-26-11-plot/971663/0

Sayyad Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal’s terror aide and mentor Fayyaz Kagazi enjoyed a better position within the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) but was not made part of the 26/11 plot after he picked up fights with Lashkar commander and David Coleman Headley’s handler Sajid Mir, Ansari has told his interrogators in the Delhi Police.

Giving details on the Mumbai plot, Ansari claimed Kagazi, who is also from Beed in Aurangabad, was to first teach Hindi to the 10 attackers but he ended up picking fights with Mir during the planning of attacks after which Ansari was asked to replace him. Kagazi’s name also figures in 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.

Ansari also claimed that he was introduced into the Lashkar inner circle that was handling the attack plan on the instructions of Lashkar operational commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Investigators questioning Ansari said though he was introduced into the core team at a later stage, he was fully aware about the details of logistics, targets and plans of 26/11. “When Ansari was giving instructions to the 10 terrorists from the control room, he was asked by Lakhvi to convey to the attackers to kill the children and women at Chabad house. The attackers were initially hesitant to open fire at women and children but after the command from the Karachi control room, they were forced to carry out the orders,” said a top police official.

Ansari told interrogators that the Lashkar plan was to blow up MV Kuber on which the 10 terrorists reached Mumbai so that no evidence could be found.

He also came up with details regarding his visit to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia in 2008. Soon after the attacks when the international pressure started mounting in Pakistan, Ansari proceeded for Haj to Saudi Arabia. It was one of his first visits to Saudi Arabia when he also met his one of his sisters who is reportedly settled there.

Sleuths are investigating the claims made by Ansari regarding the money he reportedly transferred to Aurangabad from Saudi Arabia. The money reportedly did not reach to his family and was taken away by the middlemen, claimed Ansari.

After his return to Pakistan, Ansari claimed it was difficult for Lashkar to operate through its over ground workers. Many of the businesses of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the Lashkar’s charitable arm, were shut as the Pakistan government was forced to act. It was during this time that Ansari decided to get married to a Pakistani woman, Mariam. They have a child.

Mairam’s father Shahbaz Ismail used to drive JCBs for JuD at Rawalpindi and Ansari used to meet him regularly for collection of money for JuD. Ansari decided to marry his daughter and also bought one of the JCBs being used by JuD. In 2009, JuD had to close its operations of excavation and construction and sold many of its machines, claimed Ansari.

He also started a business of sale and purchase of second-hand cars in Rawalpindi in partnership with his father-in-law. Last year, Lashkar sent Ansari to Saudi Arabia to recruit Indian youths and send them for training at Lashkar’s camp. Ansari claimed that Lashkar also helped him secure a teaching job in Saudi Arabia.

In all, Ansari used nine e-mail ids to communicate with various Lashkar operatives. He also gave the e-mail id of Muzammil alias Yusuf , a top Lashkar commander. Ansari also claimed that ISI Major Sameer Ali used to visit the camps where the 26/11 attackers were trained. Ali was also named by the NIA in their probe.
 
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