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India to ask US, Pak to extradite nine 26/11 accused

January 30, 2012 18:31 IST

India is all set to ask the United States and Pakistan to extradite nine persons involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that include Pakistani- American terrorist David Headley, Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Saeed and two Inter-Services Intelligence officers.

Government sources said the extradition requests to the US and Pakistan will be sent "very soon" as all the nine persons were directly involved in the conspiracy as well as executing the India's worst terror strike.

The move comes a month after the National Investigation Agency charge sheeted LeT operative Headley, Hafiz Saeed, Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Headley's accomplice and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana and Al Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri for plotting terror attacks in India including the 26/11 strikes.

Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, former Pakistani Army officer, were also named in the charge sheet besides two officers Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali who were believed to be working for Pakistan's spy agency.

The extradition requests will be sent to the US despite the fact that Headley had entered into a plea bargain with American authorities to escape harsh sentence. Both Headley and Rana are at present in custody of US authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley.

The seven others are believed to be in Pakistan and New Delhi does not have any extradition pact with Islamabad.

"We hope that American and Pakistani courts will take cognisance of our requests and give judgements in favour of their extradition as all the nine were involved in one of the gravest crime in the world in recent time," a source said.

NIA had registered a case against 50-year-old Headley and Rana on November 12, 2009, and later on added other names after investigation by central security agencies showed a large number of people involved in terror activities against the country.

50-year-old Rana was found guilty by the US court of terror activities in Denmark but absolved of his role in the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.

Barring Headley and Rana, NIA has secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against all the seven accused including Saeed and Lakhvi who is said to be in a Pakistani jail facing trial for conspiring the 26/11 attack.

The Interpol had on August 25 last year issued Red Corner notices to Saeed, Lakhvi and Abu Hamza. These were issued after a Mumbai court issued a non-bailable warrant against the two for their roles in the Mumbai attacks.

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