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Phone hacking racket funded terror in India: Investigators

December 02, 2011 17:14 IST

Investigations in to the recent AT&T network hacking incident in Philippines have revealed that the funds were indeed used for terror operations by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which in turn used it to fund the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

The National Investigating Agency is keeping a track of the investigation, which is currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Zamir, a Jemmah Islamiah operative was arrested in 2007, from Italy for running a call centre through which he used to purchase information on cell numbers from hackers. The money obtained from this was being passed on to terrorist outfits.

The JI and the Lashkar have a close bond. In fact, the JI is the regional branch of the al-Qaeda and often sends most of its operatives to the Lashkar in Pakistan to train its operatives.

In return, the JI raised funds for the Lashkar. The biggest fundraising the JI did for the Lashkar was for the latter's Kashmir battle.

Indian intelligence agencies say that Lashkar-JI tie-up was part of a global plan. Today, JI operatives are spread out across Europe and South East Asia, and apart from setting up modules and recruiting cadres for the al-Qaeda it also takes care of the funding for the Lashkar.

"The Inter-Services Intelligence has plans of making the Lashkar a global outfit, and hence it would continue to use the resources of the Al Qaeda modules, and the funds by the JI to achieve this goal," said a source.

The JI's primary target has been students across the globe. The recruits are sent into Pakistan for training at Lashkar camps.

Indian agencies point out that the JI has shown in the past that it is capable of picking up youth for terror activities, and this has only helped enhance the bond with the Lashkar.

Going by that logic, Indian agencies say that there is nothing surprising if the JI could have raised funds for the 26/11 attacks as well. Zamir's funds for the 26/11 operation could have been transferred before his arrest, but his operation continued.

Vicky Nanjappa