Indian helped smuggle Pakistani gunmen
By SAM DOLNICK, Associated Press Writer
Sam Dolnick, Associated Press Writer – Wed Dec 10, 2:50 pm
The Pakistani-based militant group blamed for the
Mumbai attacks kept an Indian militant as a "point man"
to shepherd gunmen across India's porous borders to stage attacks,
police said Wednesday.
Sabauddin Ahmed, accused of managing militant safe houses in Nepal,
was being brought to Mumbai for questioning in last month's attacks
that left 171 dead. Ahmed was arrested in February following a deadly
raid on an Indian police station.
Ahmed's position in Nepal extends the reach of Lashkar-e-Taiba,
the group investigators blame for the Mumbai siege, and could represent
another blow to Indian officials who say Pakistan-based militants
were entirely responsible.
"He was their main point man in Katmandu, a very trusted man
by Lashkar," said Amitabh Yash, director of the police's Special
Task Force in Uttar Pradesh, which arrested him.
Police said it was too early to determine whether Ahmed was involved
in the Mumbai siege, but he was arrested along with another Indian
militant who was found with a map highlighting Mumbai targets. Police
say the operative, Faheem Ansari, had been preparing for the attacks
Ahmed told interrogators he had contacts with several officials
from Pakistan's spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services
Intelligence, Yash said.
"He named a lot of ISI officers," Yash said.
Islamabad's civilian government has denied its state agencies were
involved in the Mumbai attacks, but said it was possible that the
militants were Pakistanis. It has pledged to cooperate with India.
Rakesh Maria, Mumbai's chief police investigator, said Wednesday
that further evidence of links between the Pakistan-based Islamic
charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashkar has emerged. He said the head
of the charity Hafiz Mohammed Saeed gave a motivational speech to
the 10 gunmen who attacked Mumbai at the end of their training.
India's junior foreign minister demanded Tuesday that the U.N.
Security Council declare Jemaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist group, saying
it was a front for Lashkar, which was banned in 2002.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammed Sadiq, declined
Jamaat-ud-Dawa — which sprang up after Pakistan banned Lashkar
in 2002 following U.S. pressure — runs a chain of schools
and medical clinics throughout the country and has helped survivors
of two deadly earthquakes in recent years. It denies any links to
The 10 gunmen were trained principally by three senior Lashkar
leaders, including the mastermind of the siege, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,
Officials have said Lakhvi was arrested Sunday in a raid on a militant
camp close to the Indian border. Another senior leader, Zarar Shah,
was also in Pakistani custody, officials said.
In Russia, meanwhile, the head of that country's federal anti-narcotics
agency said a notorious Indian gangster, Dawood Ibrahim, helped
in the attack.
Ibrahim "provided his logistics network for the preparation
and implementation of the attacks," the government daily Rossiiskaya
Gazeta quoted Viktor Ivanov as saying.
India has said Ibrahim fled to Pakistan after staging Mumbai bombings
As is often the case when Russian law enforcement officials talk
about terrorism, Ivanov gave no details and provided no actual evidence.
Associated Press writers Ramola Talwar Badam, Ravi Nessman and
Muneeza Naqvi in Mumbai, Jeremiah Marquez in New Delhi and Stephen
Graham and Nahal Toosi in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this