9/11 suspects to be questioned jointly

9/11 suspects to be questioned jointly

New Delhi: Indian investigators plan to jointly question Syed Zabiuddin Jabi, alias Abu Jundal, deported to India from Saudi Arabia last week, and Ajmal Amir Kasab, sentenced to death in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case.

Jundal is alleged to be one of the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who carried out the attacks. Kasab is the only attacker captured alive.

“As of now, he is being questioned by the Delhi Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The Mumbai Police has already approached a city court to seek his police custody. We believe once Abu Jundal’s questioning is over in New Delhi, he will be sent to Mumbai where he would be jointly questioned with Kasab," said a senior official in the home ministry who did not wish to be identified.

Jundal faces several terror and arms cases in India and was reportedly in LeT’s Karachi control room during the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. The home ministry official said Jundal was in touch with LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and had taught Hindi to the 10 gunmen who killed 166 people over three days. “Jundal also informed the terrorists about the topography of Mumbai."

India investigators said two more terrorists involved in the attacks are hiding in Saudi Arabia.

“Jundal was detained in Saudi Arabia for nearly an year. The Saudi authorities faced pressure from Pakistan not to release him as he could spill the beans against some state actors in Pakistan. But we managed to convince Saudi authorities with hard evidence," said the first official.

A spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry said India has always enjoyed a good relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“I take your point that issues of this nature are rather new in the relationship between the two countries. I would like to share with you that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is expanding in a variety of ways," said ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

sahil.m@livemint.com

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