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Mumbai terror duo were recruiting 'jihadis', claims ATS

March 16, 2010 09:07 IST

Two suspects held by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad for plotting terror strikes in Mumbai were entrusted with the task of facilitating the making of passports of a dozen odd people who were to be sent to Pakistan for training in terror.

According ATS sources, accused Abdul Latif alias Guddu and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan allegedly received telephonic instructions from their handler in Pakistan known only as 'Chacha'. The two accused besides identifying target locations for terror attacks were to recruit like-minded people to be sent to Pakistan for training in handling fire arms and explosives.

Ali and his brother-in-law Latif had rented a place in Behrampada and began on the documentation for the people to be trained in Pakistan. The ATS has information about a dozen passport applications that were routed through the duo. Ali's own application was among these dozen.

Some of the persons who were to be sent to Pakistan hail from Gujarat and the police suspect them to be victims of the post-Godhra riots. This ATS theory is further given credence by the fact that the duo had earmarked Thakkar Mall and Mangaldas Market in Mumbai, as terror targets, as both these locations have a large number of Gujarati visitors.

Ali's family claims he is innocent. "My brother is innocent and cannot be involved in such things. The cops have made him a terrorist." said Ali's brother Khurshid.
N Ganesh in Mumbai