Monday, June 25, 2012




26/ 11 handler or namesake?
  • India

  • Jun 26, 2012
Questions abound: If he was in detention in Pakistan and facing a trial, what was he doing in Saudi Arabia?

Within hours of Delhi Police claiming arrest of Abu Hamza alias Abu Jindal — a key 26/ 11 handler and the biggest catch after Mohammed Kasab — questions are being raised whether he is the wanted offender or just a namesake.

The Delhi police officially maintain that he was picked up from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on June 21 on arrival from Saudi Arabia and taken on police remand for questioning. But the police has not bothered to explain why Hamza would risk travelling to India, or how he boarded a plane given that theres an Interpol red corner notice ( the equivalent of an international arrest warrant) for him.

The police have refused to put out more details on the plea that it would impact its investigations. A native of Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, the 30- yearold Hamza need not have walked into a police trap.

Or, did he fly in to surrender? Pakistan had disclosed some time back that Abu Hamza had been arrested.

Only Islamabad can explain what this man was allegedly doing in Saudi Arabia and other countries in recent months.

Is he different from the person detained in Pakistan or did the Pakistan authorities quietly release Hamza along with six other Lashkar- e- Toiba terrorists whom they claim to have arrested in February 2009? Former Research and Analysis Wing chief B Raman was quick to point out on Twitter: 'Till now, presumption was he was in Pakistani custody awaiting trial. How did he manage to go to Saudi Arabia if he was undergoing trial in Pakistan?'He points out that on February 12, 2009, Pakistans Internal Minister had announced the arrest of Abu Hamza and six others in connection with 26/ 11 and said that they would be tried.

He tweeted further: 'Has ISI quietly released 7 LET terrorists, including Abu Hamza, whom it had claimed to have arrested in February 2009 for 26/ 11?'He has asked the Delhi Police to interrogate Hamza about Pakistan- based LET conspirators named by Headley and fix their identity.

Ramans another Twitter says: 'Name of Abu Hamza had also figured in interrogation reports of Muslim Defence Force in 2002.

MDF guys had told TN Police that Abu Hamza, whom they had met in Saudi Arabia, had asked them to come to Sri Lanka. They went but he did not turn up.'Delhi Police refused to comment on reports that the arrest was not a breakthrough of its special cell, but a simple case of deportation from Saudi Arabia to Delhi in compliance of an Interpol notice against Hamza.

Police believe Hamza is the voice of a previously unidentified man who was taped speaking on phone from Pakistan with the militants involved in the Mumbai attacks. He is also said to have coached the attackers in speaking Hindi. A question remains as to why he did not coach them to speak in Marathi, despite hailing from Maharashtra?

Cops wary, after recent gaffes

The Maharashtra ATS wants to make sure that the man in custody is indeed Abu Hamza, who they have been looking for since the past six years.

The Police will conduct various identification tests to determine if the man they have arrested is indeed the main architect of the 26/ 11 attacks. He will undergo photographic tests, a voice test and a DNA test. The Police have in their possession audio records, wherein he is talking to the gunmen of the horrific attacks. The ATS said that Hamza hails from a lowermiddle class family from Beed and is the son of an insurance agent. He completed his schooling in the Georai village of the district and had attended the Indian Technical Institute, Beed, for a training course, which he may not have finished.

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