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Meet Abu Jundal, the Indian link in 26/11

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
July 21, 2009 16:21 IST
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Abu Jundal -- who captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab identified in his confession to the court on Monday as the man who taught him how to speak like an Indian -- is believed to be another Indian link to the November 26 attacks in Mumbai, in addition to Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed, who are also on trial in the city.

Intelligence agencies believe Jundal -- it is not known if that is his original name -- hails from Hyderabad and has played a key role in training Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists.

Jundal, intelligence sources say, was picked up by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence directorate and assigned to the Lashkar. His initial role was to recruit youth from across India, especially Hyderabad.

The sources told that he was part of the team which imparted accent training to the Mumbai attackers.

When terrorists are sent into India from Pakistan, they are expected to speak the Indian way so that nobody doubts their origin. The interrogation of Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed confirmed that Lashkar terrorists spend some time getting trained in Indian accents.

Accent training by the Lashkar is either provided in Pakistan or on the terrorists's arrival in India.

In the case of the Mumbai attacks, Jundal is said to have trained the killers for over a fortnight at a Lashkar camp in Pakistan.

Besides this, Intelligence Bureau sources believe Jundal provided the Lashkar with Indian contacts during the planning stages of the murderous operation.

Jundal went missing from Indian intelligence agencies's radar about 15 years ago. Sources believe he is currently located at a Lashkar camp in either Murdike or Muzzafarabad.

Intelligence sources believe he could have played a role in the creation of the Indian Mujahideen which carried out terror attacks in India last year.

Jundal is said to be close to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhwi, the Lashkar's operational head and prime accused in the 26/11 attacks case.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru