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D-gang-Lashkar plan havoc in India

February 24, 2010 15:21 IST

It is a well known fact that Dawood Ibrahim plays a key role for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and its finances are largely managed by him. Indian intelligence agencies say that there has been a lot of activity concerning Dawood and the Lashkar in the past couple of months, which also includes sending in huge consignments of arms and ammunition into India.

It is clear that Dawood has been roped in to send the equipment required for a fidayeen attack, IB souces say.

"We have sounded an alert since D-gang cadres are looking to smuggle in AK-47 rifles and bullet-proof jackets through the coast. Dawood is trying to use his old drug smuggling route," the IB source points out.

IB sources told that two new names have cropped connecting Dawood and the Lashkar. It was at the behest of Lashkar chief Hafiz Sayed that two men, Mohamad and Arif Qasmani were roped in for this operation.

Mohammad has been asked to handle safe passage of the material, while Qasmani will overlook the entire operation, sources say.

"We are trying to ascertain whether the material that they are trying to send in is related to the Karachi plot, which the Lashkar and the ISI are planning to launch terror strikes in Indian cities," the IB official says.

"We had pointed out earlier that they will be looking to store the consignment in India so that the men they send in from Pakistan will not have any trouble while crossing over into the country. We have alerted the Coast Guards, especially along the coasts of Maharashtra, since this is the route that they are most likely to take," IB sources say.

Sources also reveal that Mohammad is a local operative and a trusted aide of Dawood. He has been managing the smuggling activities of the D-gang for over ten years now.

Mohammad has several operatives working under him and he largely operates out of Maharashtra. He has been on the run for several years now pertaining to Foreign Exchange Regulation Act violations. However, thanks to his expertise, he was chosen by Dawood for this operation, which was later approved by Sayed.

On the other hand, Qasmani, who is also a Dawood aide, has been asked to stay put in Pakistan and oversee the operation. Qasamani had helped Dawood set up a network in Kenya and he has earned the trust of the Lashkar over the years. He has been associated with the Lashkar ever since the train bombings in Mumbai in 2006.

Meanwhile, the IB says that they are trying to extract more information from an aide of Dawood, by the name Hamza, who was nabbed by the Mumbai crime branch.

"We are interrogating about the latest plot of the D-gang and the Lashkar. Hamza has said so far that Dawood is the major sponsor for the Lashkar. He also goes on to add that Tiger Memon is very much in Pakistan, and along with the D-gang he also works in tandem with the Lashkar.

Vicky Nanjappa