Mohammad Omar Madani's links to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and also other terror strikes in the country are getting more and more evident. The Delhi police and the Intelligence Bureau have been grilling Madani after he revealed that he had links with Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief Hafiz Saeed, Abu Hamza, Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari all of whom have were involved in the Mumbai attacks.
Madani has also told the cops that he had states like Karnataka and Kerala on his radar and the Lashkar had plans to carry out deadly strikes in these states.
Madani gave details of his links in Kerala and Karnataka, the logistical infrastructure created in these states. Madani also explained how he managed the funds got from Pakistan to carry out terror strikes in India.
Anti-Terrorist Cell officials in Bengaluru told rediff.com that during Madani's interrogation in Delhi, he had claimed to know Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari, the arrested accused in the Mumbai attacks. His links to Sabahuddin make it clear that Madani had knowledge of the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. The Karnataka police say that they would also seek permission and probe Madani about the role played by him in the recent serial blasts and also see whether he had any links with Sarfaraz Nawaz, who was sneaked into India by the Reserch and Analysis Wing from Oman in connection with the IISc case.
According to sources, Madani said during his interrogation, that it was in 2003 that he felt for the first time that he was doing the right thing by joining the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. "I had attended one of the prayer meetings of the LeT in Pakistan and that is when I got to hear Hafiz Saeed for the first time. I was so enlightened by his preaching that I decided that I was doing the right thing by staying over there," Madani said.
Sabahuddin during his confession has also confirmed that he knew Madani. Sabahuddin who was the commander of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba's Nepal wing says that Madani had to take full control of the operations once he was arrested and the ground work had been laid for the same.
Meanwhile the a team of the Kerala police are also going to get in touch with the Delhi police and ask them to share information regarding Madani. The angle which the Kerala police are looking at is the role played by Madani in the recruitment of cadres from the state into the Lashkar.
The Kerala police say that Madani had recruited several youth from Kerala. They say that while recruiting youth, he had particularly looked for recruitments for Kashmir and ensured that at least 80 per cent of the youth selected were tech savvy.
Madani said that he had raised funds from Pakistan and India for terror operations. He says that in India he had met with several persons in Patna and collected funds. Madani said that some of the funds he had, were utilised to set up a training wing of the Lashkar in Bangladesh and the rest had been spent on recruitments in India. It was when he had come down to Delhi to hand over a part of the funds, that the Delhi police managed to nab him. He says that he had parked all the money in a bank at Kathmandu in Nepal and withdrew whenever needed.
Investigations revealed Madani was responsible for making Bangladesh a transit point for the Lashkar cadres waiting to crossover into India. Police sources said that he was in constant touch with Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi regarding recruitments in India. Madani was specifically directed to look for youth in the metros and coastal areas.
IB sources said that his statements made it clear that the Lashkar had big plans for the metros in India. The fact that he was asked to concentrate on the coastal belt and look for persons with knowledge of sailing is also an indication that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba planned more attacks in India using the sea route on the same lines as the Mumbai attack.