Dawood Ibrahim, the second most wanted terrorist in India after Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Saeed, is hiding in Pakistan, according to the Indian administration. But Pakistan has denied reports about granting refuge to Dawood.
The Intelligence Bureau has now prepared a fresh dossier on the underworld don -- the mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai -- and handed it over to the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA is reportedly tracking the underworld don, who has 23 aliases.
According to IB sources, the Pakistan government is unlikely to give up the whereabouts of Dawood as he is a major source of funds for terrorist activities.
According to India's dossier, Dawood's address is 'White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, House No 37, 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority, Karachi, Pakistan'. This address has been confirmed during the interrogation of terrorists arrested in India.
They have told the intelligence agencies that Dawood's residence in Karachi is guarded like a fortress by members of the Pakistan army and the Inter Services Intelligence.
Getting hold of Dawood is not an easy task, say IB sources, as the ISI is likely to whisk him off to safe place whenever the pressure is on to track him.
In 2006, under immense pressure to find Dawood, ISI officials had moved him to Waziristan from Karachi. With the focus back on finding Dawood, the Pakistan government may be buying time to move him out, say IB sources.
Alerts have been sounded and Indian intelligence agencies are keeping a watch on Jeddah, where Dawood has a safe house, according to IB sources.
Dawood not only enjoys close ties with the ISI, he also has strong connections in Singapore, Bangkok and Malaysia. According to security agencies, it will not be difficult for Dawood to find shelter in any of these places.
Currently, Dawood's each and every move is being closely monitored by intelligence agencies across the world. IB sources say that he continues to hide in Pakistan, though the neighbouring nation has denied these charges.
IB officials claim that there is enough proof about Dawood's existence in Pakistan, pointing out that his current passport was issued by an office in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. According to the latest information, his passport details have not been updated, indicating that he is still in Pakistan.
The ISI and the Pakistani establishment have enough reasons to protect Dawood, believe Indian intelligence agencies. The underworld don brings in funds for covert terror operations through his drug trade and fake currency racket. The routes chalked out for his trade in Nepal, Bangkok, India, Malaysia, Kenya and Singapore are now used by terror groups to transport arms and ammunition.
A source in the Indian wing of Interpol says that catching Dawood Ibrahim alive is crucial as he would be an invaluable source of information on terror activities. He would be able to provide information on the ISI's covert operations and his links in India.
Information about Dawood's suspected ties with some Indian politicians and the local links through which he runs match fixing and extortion rackets will help India in fine-tuning its operations against terror, say sources.