'Pakistan kept 26/11 accused in luxury'

Aug 04, 2012, 07:18 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Deported terror suspect Abu Jundal tells Crime Branch that LeT operatives were kept in luxurious guesthouses after being captured by Pakistani authorities

While many citizens resent 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Qasab still relishing the hospitality of Arthur Road Jail nearly four years after the dastardly attacks, his higher-ups apparently had a more enviable time in the custody of Pakistani authorities.

Abu Jundal,LeT operative,26/11 conspirator
Startling revelations: Abu Jundal, the 26/11 handler, told the police that the arrests of LeT operatives responsible for the terror attacks including that at the Taj was just an eyewash. File pics

The arrests of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) members by Islamabad in the aftermath of the carnage was just an eyewash, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has told Mumbai Crime Branch.

Jundal has revealed during interrogation that all those captured were kept in plush accommodations instead of jail cells. He has also given names of various Pakistani army officials who played key roles in the 26/11 operation.

Immediately after the terror attack, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan made arrests and carried out raids at several places in Muridke, Rawalpindi and Baitul to fend off international pressure, Jundal has said.

FIA had detained top LeT operatives Zaki-Ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Abu Al-Qama and Zarrar Shah.

“Jundal has told Mumbai Crime Branch that it was all grandstanding. The LeT top bosses were not kept in prisons, but in luxurious guesthouses as Islamabad was afraid that US might carry out raids over training camps on Pakistani soil. Yusuf Muzammil, second in command of LeT was informed in December 2008 to wind up all camps,” said an officer from Mumbai crime branch.

Show and tell
This revelation may prove major embarrassment for Islamabad, which has been denying its role in the Mumbai carnage despite Qasab and 26/11 conspirator David Headley spilling the beans on the involvement of Pakistan's state actors.

Jundal himself has named Pakistani army officials like Major Iqbal, Colonel Shah, and also Indians who are in Pakistan like Faiyyaz Kagzi, Raheel Shaikh, Tauqeer Subhan Qureshi, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Yasin Sadibaba, and his mentor Aslam Kashmiri.

He has also divulged that the initial plan was to carry out the attack in September 2008 when Ramzan was going on and most of the Muslims were at homes or mosques.

However, the plan was postponed because the sea was choppy, and was finally implemented in November. 

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