ATS reveals that Haroon Naik accused of funding the 13/7 blasts got special training in LeT camps in Pakistan to fight US troops in Afghanistan
In a startling revelation made by the Anti-terrorist squad (ATS) yesterday, its officials revealed that Haroon Rashid Abdul Hamid Naik, an Indian Mujahideen (IM) and a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative, who was arrested in connection with the 13/7 serial blasts had met several terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. Naik even met Omar Saeed Shaikh, notorious for his role in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Charred remains: The bus stop near Kabutarkhana in Dadar, after it
was blown up by the terrorists, on July 13 last year. file pic
Moreover, Naik (35) was also in touch with Aftab Ansari, accused of the 2002 American Centre attacks in Kolkata that claimed the lives of five policemen, and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, supreme commander of operations for the LeT in Kashmir valley.
"Shaikh, Ansari and Lakhvi were in touch with Naik as he was affiliated to LeT and al-Qaeda since 2000. Naik met Osama in 2001 at a LeT training camp in Bahawalpur in Pakistan, where he underwent special training courses -- Daure-e-Aam and Daura-e-Khaas -- as he was supposed to fight against the Northern Alliance and the US forces in Afghanistan. He underwent an advanced training course called Bait-ur-Rizwan," said a senior ATS official.
Post the 9/11 attacks, Haroon was one of the several jihadis, who were sent to Afghanistan to fight the Northern Alliance, a military-political organisation that united all the ethnic groups of Afghanistan to fight against the Afghan Taliban, backed by the al-Qaeda.
"He had left for Saudi Arabia in 2005 to operate from there by posing as a businessman. Naik who is in the 'upper echelons' of the home-grown terror outfit IM, was nabbed from the Mumbai International Airport on charges of possessing fake currency notes, on August 22 last year," said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.
The circuit diagrams that Naik drew during interrogation, revealed his skills as an expert bomb maker, said the police sources. Naik, who used the border of Bangladesh and Nepal to enter India from Pakistan, had visited several states in the country.
Naik, who holds a higher position in IM hierarchy than Yasin Bhatkal -- another accused in the blasts case -- is wanted in several blast cases and is the main organiser of funds for the IM and has allegedly funded around Rs 10 lakh for 13/7 serial blasts.
Haroon Naik had met terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, Omar Saeed Shaikh, Aftab Ansari, and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Naik met Osama in 2001 at a LeT training camp in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, where he underwent special training courses to join the battle against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan