It was his knowledge of computers and fluency in four languages — English, Hindi, Marathi and Arabic — that helped him rise in LeT and he was given the key task of organising the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the 30-year-old Ansari told his interrogators. Investigators said Ansari is not very forthcoming when it comes to his area of operation in Saudi Arabia but is quite boastful of his rise in LeT.
“He likes to talk a a lot about the 26/11 attacks and how he was the only Indian present in the control room from where the gunmen were being given directions. He is boastful about the entire attack but draws a silence whenever asked about his stay in Saudi Arabia,” said an investigator. “He told us that he also married a woman in Pakistan and could move along freely anywhere in the country and to the various training camps.”
At the time of his detention in Saudi Arabia, Ansari had a Pakistani passport on him.
“He told us that it is the agenda of every organistion in Pakistan to execute terror attacks in India to avenge the atrocities committed on the Indian Muslims,” said the officer.
Special Cell officers said they would not record the voice sample of Ansari as it is not required for their investigations and the Mumbai Police who are investigating the 26/11 terror attack case would be taking it.
“As he holds a technical degree, he was also good in assembling IEDs and his knowledge about Internet and other communication skills gave him an edge. He has a fair knowledge of English and is fluent in Hindi and Marathi. He also picked up Arabic and was sent to Saudi Arabia for talent spotting,” said the officer.
Investigators said at the LeT camps, a number of Indian Mujahideen recruits were also trained. “Ansari left India in 2005 and he was picked up by a Kashmiri origin man from Maharashtra who helped him cross over to Pakistan where he met his handler,” said the officer.
Special Cell sources said they would try to conduct a joint interrogation of Ansari with Mohammed Adil, arrested in connection with the Jama Masjid firing case. “Adil had first named him during his interrogation. A joint interrogation will help us verify his statements,” said a source.
Inputs from Prawesh Lama