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Dawood moved back to Pak days before 1993 blasts verdict

Last updated on: March 22, 2013 13:06 IST

Dawood moved back to Pak days before 1993 blasts verdict

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Vicky Nanjappa

Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who was named by the Supreme Court as one of the main conspirators in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, moved back into his pad in Lahore a few days before the verdict, sources in the intelligence agencies tell Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa.

The net assessment of the intelligence data that was pieced together by the Research and Analysis Wing shows that Dawood, who was out of Pakistan, was brought back to his safe house ahead of the verdict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts on Thursday.

Dawood, who is one of the masterminds behind the dreaded attack in 1993 in which over 250 people were killed and 700 injured -- has business interests in several third world countries.

He has been networking and creating newer routes for his drug trade which has one major base in Kenya's Nairobi. The intelligence in India is constantly gathering information regarding Dawood Ibrahim and it has been found that he has stopped visiting his base in Dubai and other Gulf countries since the past two years.

This has been done on the advice of his Inter Service Intelligence handlers as the route had become too obvious, and since some of the Gulf nations were tilting towards India in the recent past there was a good chance of him being arrested and extradited.

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Image: Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim

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'Dawood moves in and out of Pakistan very frequently'

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An officer who is part of the Dawood Ibrahim intelligence assessment team says he has been moving a lot into third world countries. Those which do not have a major American reach have been his preferred destinations.

"It would be wrong to say that he is holed up in Pakistan. He moves in and out of Pakistan very frequently. He is a state guest in Pakistan and that makes it even easier to create a passport," the officer says.

"Intelligence has been pouring in from various quarters regarding Dawood. While assessing the information, it was found that he lives in Defence Colony in Karachi, Pakistan. He has also been provided a palatial home in Lahore and his family too is with him. His movements largely depend on his business needs and the ISI helps him with such movements. However, the ISI manages to pull him back to Pakistan each time there is pressure on him," the officer points out.

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Image: It would be wrong to say that Dawood Ibrahim is holed up in Pakistan, experts point out.

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'Dawood's network in India makes him ISI's preferred asset'

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C D Sahay, former R&AW chief who was part of the team which did an intelligence assessment on Dawood after the 1993 attacks, says that he lives in an ISI safe house and continues to be a major asset to the agency.

"With ease Dawood can invest money in any part of the world. However, Pakistan will continue to deny his presence since he is not their national. Accepting his presence would mean they are sheltering a fugitive," Sahay points out.

"Even if you get Dawood in Pakistan, they would still deny it is him," he adds.

The intelligence on him is not flimsy, an Intelligence Bureau officer says.

"There are very specific details on him. It is his network which still exists in India which makes him such a preferred asset for the ISI. He can easily move money, arms and ammunition into India thanks to this network. Even a more dangerous (Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief) Hafiz Saeed cannot boast of such a network in India," the officer says.



Image: Dawood continues to live in a safe house provided by Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence

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