Is dreaded Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] terrorist Abu Hamza dead or alive?
Hamza, wanted for his role in the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru [ Images ] and who was among those present in the control room in Karachi, Pakistan when the 26/11 attacks were being carried out in Mumbai [ Images ], has been off the radar for a while now.
Investigators who have been grilling fellow Lashkar accomplice Abu Jundal in New Delhi [ Images ] are refusing to buy his statement that Hamza died in 2009. They feel that it is a ploy to divert attention.
After the 26/11 operation, Hamza, reportedly, had been assigned to build up operations in Kashmir [ Images ].
Police in Maharashtra [ Images ], Karnataka [ Images ] and Uttar Pradesh [ Images ], who have been looking to nab Hamza, that Jundal may be lying about his accomplice as had the latter really been dead the Interpol and other agencies would not put out a red corner alert against his name.
Moreover, Lashkar operative Ahetesham, who was arrested a couple of months ago in New Delhi, had confessed that Hamza had recruited him in Kashmir and that he was setting up a major force to counter Indian forces in the Valley.
Why is Hamza the most wanted terrorist?
Although his Lashkar bosses were upset with him over the failure of the IISC attack, Hamza made amends and was quick to learn.
According to intelligence sources, Hamza has an eye for new recruits and manages to convince them easily to join the force.
Sabahuddin Ahmed, one of the accused in the IISC attack, told interrogators that Hamza is a deadly operative and planned things with precision.
Hamza is, today, part of a very important project in Kashmir. The Lashkar has been trying to get back into the Kashmir battle. Over the years, the number of recruits has come down.
In the past year or so, he had recruited many cadres and has also managed to study the Valley well, thus providing the Lashkar with the necessary logistic support.