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Mumbai cops arrest 5 for Ahmedabad blasts

Last updated on: September 24, 2008 20:37 IST

The Mumbai police on Wednesday arrested five persons in connection with the serial blasts in Ahmedabad.

The five arrested have been identified as Afzal Mutahib Usmani, Mohammad Saddik Shaikh, Mohammad Aarif Shaikh, Ahmed Zakir Shaikh and Shaikh Mohammad Ansari.

"All the five arrested were involved in all the blasts across the country since 2005," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria told media-persons in Mumbai.

While Usmani had been arrested from Azamgad in Uttar Pradesh, Saddik had been arrested from Nehru Nagar, Aarif from Kurla, Ansar from Chembur and Zakir from Bhiwandi in the neighbouring Thane district.

All the five accused hail from Azamgad in Uttar Pradesh.

Ansar, a software engineer by profession, had been responsible for assembling the bombs.

Usmani had planted bombs at the Ahmedabad civil hospital and had stolen four vehicles from Navi Mumbai, which was used in the Ahmedabad blasts, Maria said.

Saddik is believed to be one of the founder members of Indian Mujahideen along with suspected mastermind of Delhi blasts, Atif.

"Saddik used to lure youths from his village Sanjarpur in Azamgad and was involved in the planning of Delhi and Ahmedabad blasts," Maria stated.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor claimed that the police had foiled a major terror attack in Mumbai, which was the next target of the terrorists.

The police claimed explosives came from Karnataka.  Stressing that all the arrested  involved in all blasts after 2005, the police said their next target was Mumbai.

The police recovered ten kilograms of ammonium nitrate, four electric circuits, submachine gun and revolvers from the arrested persons.

"Roshan Khan, founder member of Indian Mujahideen, is still at large and is suspected to be in Pakistan," Maria said.

 Khan, resident of Karnataka, has been active in Hyderabad, Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat, Maria said.

"Three of the accused had gone to Pakistan to undergo training, which was allegedly supported by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami," Maria said adding the money for weapons and explosives came through Hawala channels.

"The five have been booked for criminal conspiracy and under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act and  Arms Act," Maria said.

These five have also been cited as accused in the chargesheet of the 7/11 serial train blasts in Mumbai.

All the five had at some point of their career worked for SIMI members but later broke away to form more radical Indian Mujahideen, he said.

Maria said one Aamir Raza in Pakistan is the "controller" of Indian Mujaheedin.

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