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Madani's arrest may help crack Lashkar's financial code

By Vicky Nanjappa
June 05, 2009 16:16 IST
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The arrest of Abdullah Omar Madani in New Delhi will help the police crack the financial code of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, according sources in the Intelligence Bureau.

Madani is reportedly a close aide of the LeT Hafiz Saeed and apart from handling recruitments in Nepal, Madani was also in charge of financial transactions in India.

Off late, Madani had been raising funds and handling the same for India-based operations, say IB officials. When Madani was picked up, he had fake currency worth Rs 50,000 on him and this according to investigating officers was to be handed over to some of the sleeper cells set up in north India.

Madani has slipped into Delhi after traveling through Uttar Pradesh for at least 15 days. The Lashkar was looking to rebuild its cells in the country and since Madani was Saeed's trusted aide, he was handpicked for the job. His role was to ensure that the cells in north India, especially Uttar Pradesh, were reactivated. Madani traveled only by train and was distributing money to the LeT cadres, who were given the responsibility of starting up the cells again.

Investigating officials are trying to ascertain whether Madani had any direct link with the three suspected LeT men who had slipped into South India for a terror mission. There appears to be a strong link between these men and Madani, according to IB sources.

They say both Madani and the three men, Abdul, Shabir and Nasir Ahmed were in Uttar Pradesh for at least 15 days before embarking upon their respective missions. While Madani came into India from Nepal, the three persons slipped in from the Poonch sector.

They were specifically directed to carry out strikes in south India. The three managed to slip in Hyderabad and may target Tirupati and Warangal. The IB however alerted the Andhra Pradesh police following which a massive manhunt has been launched. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Prasad Rao said that these men were around 30 and did not know the local language. They may be conversing either in Punjabi or Urdu.

However following the manhunt, they could have slipped into neighbouring Karnataka. State Home Minister Dr V S Acharya said that the state had been placed under high alert.

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Vicky Nanjappa