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Bombers travelled to Pak via Iran: Cops
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September 24, 2008 21:33 IST
Last Updated: September 24, 2008 23:22 IST

Four of the five alleged members of the terror group Indian Mujahideen [Images], who were arrested by the Mumbai Police had gone to Pakistan via Iran for training in arms and use of explosives around 2004, police said on Wednesday.

Five alleged members of the IM were arrested recently by Mumbai Police in connection with the Delhi [Images] serial blast.

"All four went to Pakistan for training in arms and explosives. They went to Iran and then to Dubai to enter Pakistan," Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharti said.

Founder members of the IM, Mohammad Saddik Shaikh, Mohammad Arif Shaikh, Ahmed Zakir Shaikh and Mohammad Shaikh Ansari had travelled to Pakistan.

Saddik, a programme engineer by profession and living in the Cheetah camp area of Trombay in north east Mumbai, had reportedly travelled to Pakistan at least twice. On one occasion, he visited the country for nine months and on the next, for 45 days, police said.

Arif, allegedly the bomb-circuit maker for explosives used by the group since 2005, had also travelled to Pakistan for training. Two other accused Ansari and Zakir had also travelled to the country for training in 2004, they said.

"The group was provided training by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and were also supported by them," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.

Saddik also had a mentor in Pakistan, identified as Amir Reza, with whom he was regularly in touch, Maria said, adding that they had evidence of the communication between the two.

Reza, alleged to have fled to Pakistan from Dubai, is the brother of one Asif Reza who was involved in the 2002 attack on the US centre in Kolkata.

The police have also alleged that the group was receiving funding from abroad, including Pakistan through hawala channels.

Indian agencies have claimed that many absconding accused in terror cases here, including gangster Dawood Ibrahim [Images] wanted for his involvement in the 1993 serial blasts, key accused in the July 11 blasts, Azam Cheema, and others are being harboured in Pakistan, which has been denied by authorities there.

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