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FBI wants to question Fahim Ansari for 26/11 terror strikes

Sumir Kaul in New Delhi | February 01, 2009 21:11 IST

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Coverage: Terror strikes Mumbai

Officials of Federal Bureau of Investigation have made a request to interrogate two militants arrested earlier by the Uttar Pradesh [Images] Police and questioned by Mumbai [Images] Police in connection with the 26/11 terror strikes.

The FBI made the request through proper channels for questioning Fahim Arshad Ansari and Sabbauddin, members of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, who were brought to Mumbai in December last year as a follow up to the probe into the 26/11 attack, official sources said.

35-year-old Ansari had told his interrogators that he was asked by Pakistan's ISI to identify all the terror-hit places on "Googlemap.com" and is believed to share the extreme mindset of Osama bin Laden [Images], the al Qaeda chief.

He claimed to be an ardent follower of Laden and had grown a beard like the global terrorist. "After joining my job in Dubai, I also used to discuss about Jehadi activities and appreciate the actions of Osama. My co-workers called me as Osama as I was keeping a beard like him," the militant is said to have told in his interrogation.

The FBI now wants to know whether the Mumbai terror strikes was a deep-rooted conspiracy for which planning had been done from earlier last year.

Ansari and another Lashkar militant, Sabbauddin, were arrested by central security agencies in February and April last year respectively. The FBI has already questioned Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab [Images], the lone Lashker-e-Taiba militant involved in November 26 terror strikes, for over nine hours recently to ascertain about his role and handlers in Pakistan.     

Fahim was arrested on February 12 last year in connection with the New Year eve attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Five militants of Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images] were arrested along with him.
     
Originally a resident of Goregaon in Mumbai, Fahim had reportedly made arrangement for all the Lashkar militants to
stay in the metropolis.
     
Fahim told the interrogators that at Baitul Mujahideen [Images] camp, located near Shivai Nallah in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir,
he was shown Mumbai in the Google earth map and was asked to point out important places in Mumbai.
     
He marked places like offices of Mumbai Police Commissioner, Director General of Police, Gateway of India [Images], Colaba, Taj Mahal hotel [Images], Churchgate railway station, Reliance energy [Get Quote] and Aksa beach.
   
Besides this, Fahim said the Baitul Mujahideen camp commander, identified as Kahafa, was keen to know about the
availability of taxis near the DGP's office.
  
The camp commander was also interested in finding out height of the airport wall, wire fencing and the location of
aircraft runway from the nearest building, Fahim told his interrogators.




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