Terror arrests: Police cite link to ‘financier’ of Akshardham attack
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In further indication that the 18 youths arrested three weeks ago on terrorism charges from Hubli, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Nanded may have been aligned to an old, Hyderabad-origin terror network based in the Gulf and Pakistan, the Bangalore police have named a 49-year-old man wanted by the Interpol as one of their contacts.
In the course of remand requests filed on September 13 for custody of one of the arrested youths, 27-year-old Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur, the police have stated that he met Mohammed Farhatullah Ghori in Karachi. A former Hyderabad resident, Ghori is on the Interpol's wanted list for terror offences, and arrest warrants against him are pending in India. He is believed to be the maternal uncle of Abdul Shahid alias Shahid Bilal, an operative of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI).
The Bangalore Police Crime Branch that is investigating the case believes the arrested youths were plugged into a Saudi Arabia- and Pakistan-based Lashkar and HuJI network containing several former Hyderabad elements.
Sources said Iqbal had identified Ghori from photographs shown to him as one of the persons he had met in Karachi during the course of a visit via Iran between December 2011 and January 2012.
Along with 25-year-old Abdul Hakeem Jamadar, Iqbal is being investigated for allegedly undergoing some kind of training in Pakistan during the secret trip that does not reflect on their passports.
Ghori is believed to have met Iqbal using the pseudonym Abdul Rahman and put the young doctor in touch with alleged ISI contacts. Police claim during the training, Iqbal and Hakeem were indoctrinated not just towards intelligence gathering for the LeT but also suicide missions.
Ghori's name has figured in investigations into the Akshardham temple attack case of September 2003 and the suicide bomb attack on a Special Task Force office in Hyderabad in October 2005, as a Saudi Arabia-based financier of the attacks. Nephew Shahid Bilal was mysteriously killed along with elder brother Abdul Samad in Karachi on August 30, 2007.
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