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Plot to target consulates: India seeks Malaysian help

August 17, 2014 13:18 IST

India has requested Malaysian authorities to hand over evidence against an arrested accused who was part of a conspiracy to plan and carry out terror strikes allegedly at the behest of ISI on the US and Israeli consulates in the southern part of this country.

Official sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the request under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, signed by the two countries in 2012, urged Kuala Lumpur to share the evidence against Mohamed Hussain Mohamed Sulaiman, a Sri Lankan national.

India has already secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Sulaiman and moved Kuala Lumpur with an application for a provisional arrest till all requirements for extradition are completed, the sources said.

47-year-old Sulaiman is wanted in India for alleged hatching of "criminal conspiracy, acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention, possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes, terrorist act and raising funds for terrorist act".

Sulaiman has reportedly told the investigators in Malaysia that he had been tasked to ferry two terrorists from Maldives to a South Indian coast to carry out terror strike at US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bangalore.

Under the MLAT, either country can approach the other for collecting evidence against an accused.

A senior NIA official had also recently visited Malaysia and held talks with the anti-terror body there.

The terror plot was foiled by an effective coordination of Intelligence Bureau with foreign countries as Malaysia tipped the central agency about an alleged conspiracy being hatched from Sri Lanka about carrying the attack on US and Israeli consulates in Chennai and Bangalore, the sources said.

Malaysia had stumbled upon the case when its Special Unit was probing money laundering and human trafficking cases. Hussain was alleged to be talking to ISI officers and planning to carry out terror strikes on the two consulates.

The probe was handed over to NIA by the Tamil Nadu Police so that the conspiracy hatched overseas including in Sri Lanka and Malaysia could be unravelled, the sources said.

Besides these two countries, a probe would also be carried out in Maldives from where the suicide attackers were supposed to take a boat ride to reach a coast in Kerala, the sources said.

The case was cracked with the arrest of Sri Lankan national Sakir Hussain on April 29.

Hussain named Colombo-based Pakistan High Commission's Visa Consular Amir Zubair Siddiqui as his handler, a charge denied by Pakistan. However, facing heat from India, Siddiqui has been shifted out of Colombo.

According to the plan, Hussain told interrogators that the ISI planned to carry out terror strikes on the two consulates, the sources claimed.

The reason for ISI to pick him up, according to Hussain, was that he had expertise in human trafficking, making of forged passports and smuggling of fake Indian currency.

Pictures of US and Israeli consulates showing various gates and roads leading to the two premises were recovered from his laptop, the sources said, and claimed that these pictures had been mailed to his alleged handlers in Pakistan and its High Commission in Colombo. 

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