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Saudi-based Fayaz key to clipping IM's wings

February 25, 2013 11:54 IST

Following the recent Hyderabad blasts that claimed 17 lives, authorities have stepped up efforts to get hold of a suspect named Fayaz Kagzi from Saudi Arabia.

Kagzi, who is wanted by the Indian agencies in connection with the Aurangabad arms haul case of 2006, is reportedly an important player in the overseas operations of the Indian Mujahideen.

Kagzi’s name figures in the interrogation report of Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative Abu Jundal and in the various call records attributed to IM operative Yasin Bhatkal.

The Indian Mujahideen has been juggling its operations and has often found bases in different parts of the world.

According to the Intelligence Bureau, while the outfit’s operational modules remain in India, the financial modules have been traced to Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Kagzi who fled India after the Aurangabad arms haul first took shelter in Pakistan and then in Saudi Arabia. He has been instrumental in handling the Indian Mujahideen from Saudi Arabia. In fact Abu Jundal, one of the controllers of the 26/11 attack, was sent from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia to assist Kagzi in the operations of the Indian Mujahideen.

Saudi Arabia has been demanding more information and proof from India where Kagzi is concerned. It was said at that after the extradition of Jundal and Fasih Mahmood, Kagzi would be next in line.

The call records of Yasin Bhatkal is being scrutinised by the Indian intelligence agencies today. There are nearly 480 calls that were made by Yasin to Saudi Arabia and Dubai since 2010. Most of these calls mention Kagzi and the manner in which they need to coordinate to send across operatives and funds for their operations.

Apart from arranging funds for their operations, Yasin is also seen discussing recruitments and providing a safe hideout for operatives on the radar of the Indian agencies.

Yasin, who used the number 9990985606, was in touch with an Kagzi’s close aide Muzzafar Kola, who raised funds in Saudi Arabia and Dubai to be sent to India through hawala networks.

Even the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad in the 13/7 blasts case makes a mention of the same.

Kagzi’s custody is key to unravelling the IM’s operations, Indian agencies say.

He is reported to have mentored Abu Jundal and another fugitive named Mirza Himayat, who is an accused in the German Bakery blasts case.
Saudi Arabia-based Kagzi controlled two other bases of the IM. Himayat was trained in Colombo, Sri Lanka, while another operative called Aslam Kashmiri who is also part of the Lashkar-IM group was trained in Nepal.

Indian agencies are hopeful that he would be deported to India soon. There are still some formalities left which need to be completed. The interrogation of Abu Jundal and call records of Yasin Bhatkal will be sent to Saudi Arabia as part of the proof to seek his extradition, an official said.

Vicky Nanjappa