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Motorcycle thief could help expose HuJI network
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | January 30, 2008 11:51 IST
Last Updated: January 30, 2008 14:07 IST
Mohammed Raziuddin Nasir, a resident of Hyderabad, arrested in Karnataka for his alleged terror links, has turned out to be a prize catch for the police and Intelligence Bureau.
Nasir, also known as Mohammad Ghouse, was arrested in Honnali, a village in Karnataka, on charges of motorcycle theft. He was arrested along with his accomplice Assadullah Abbubukar.
Nasir is being interrogated by the Karnataka, Hyderabad and Delhi police. The Intelligence Bureau believes that Nasir is aware of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) network in the country. The HuJI has been held responsible for the Hyderabad, Ajmer and Uttar Pradesh blasts.
The police grew suspicious of Nasir when he refused to reveal information easily. The police suspect that the vehicles were stolen for use in terror attacks. Authorities believe that Nasir and Abbubukar had planned an attack on the Hubli airport, among other operations in Karnataka.
The IB says Nasir could throw more light on several cases, including the Haren Pandya muder case. Nasir's father, Mohammad Nasiruddin, who was backed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba, is currently in prison for his alleged role in the murder.
Nasir's elder brother Yaser, however, says that their father was not arrested in connection with the Haren Pandya murder, but in the Border Conspiracy Case. He says that his father used to fight the injustice meted out during the Godhra riots and when was held by the police.
Yaser also claims that Nasir is innocent and says that they would fight legally to ensure that he is released.
Although 24-year-old Nasir is a small fry in the entire operation, he could provide vital information regarding his father.
The investigators also hope to get information regarding India's most wanted terrorist, Shahid Bilal, who is the commander of the HuJI.
Information gathered from Nasir could play a vital role in tracking down Bilal. The police, however, have reason to believe that Bilal may be camping in Bidar in Karnataka as he is familiar with the terrain. Bilal was in Bidar in 2005, from where he masterminded several operations.
"I am no ordinary cycle chor," Nasir said during a police interrogation.
Nasir also revealed that he had been to Jeddah in March 2005, where he met Shahid Bilal's brother Abdul Samad. It was during this meeting that he was allegedly influenced to become a Fidayeen and serve in Afghanistan against United States forces.
Following his meeting with Samad, he was introduced to man by name Fazal, who helped him get a Pakistani visa. Nasir said he had visited Karachi in October 2005.
He said a man named Abu Rafey took his passport away and he was then escorted to a place called Gulsha-e-Iqbal in Karachi.
Initially, Nasir worked as a volunteer and took up relief work in Muzaffarabad, which had been rocked by an earthquake, he told the police. He was then taken to Jamat-ul-Dawa, a training base of the LeT, where he trained along with 20 other recruits. There he was taught to handle an AK-47, other firearms and was also taught how to make explosives, he told investigators.
During the interrogation, he explained the harsh conditions during training. He said that they had to trek miles through the jungles without proper food. He said trainees mainly survived on fruits, which they got in the jungles.
Divulging the details of his training, Nasir said that each trainee was asked to master a particular profession as 'safe cover'. He took up cooking so that he could pose as a cook. He also trained in the Daur-Lashkar, a course on wireless communication and intelligence gathering. The training lasted 60 days, he said.
He was also trained to use explosives such as C3, C4 and RDX. He said that they were taught how to make IEDs in thermal flasks, shoes and TVs [Get Quote].
He said that he could not attend commando training, which was imparted by retired officers of the Special Surveillance Group, as he suffered from Asthma.
Nasir met Shahid Bilal for the first time in January 2007. He said that he wanted to go to Iraq on a Fidayeen mission, but could not do so as the borders were sealed and security was tight.