Jundal reveals role of Pak agencies in 26/11 attack

Presley Thomas

Mumbai, Oct. 22 -- Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal revealed to investigators the involvement of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Jundal claimed that the ISI played a key role in executing the Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack, and also ensured that none of the key LeT operatives involved in the carnage were arrested.

In one of the interrogation reports, which Hindustan Times has accessed, Jundal detailed how ISI officer Major Sameer Ali had a long conversation with Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, chief operational commander of LeT, a few hours before the attack.

Jundal said LeT commander Muzzamil alias Yusuf had an extremely close connection with an ISI officer, Colonel Hamza. This is the reason Muzzamil knew of possible raids that would be conducted either by the FIA and the Pakistan Army on any LeT office or camp.

According to Jundal, on December 1, 2008, a team of FIA officials had turned up outside LeT's Bait-ul-Mujahideen camp and had taken key LeT leaders Lakhvi, Muzzamil. alias Abu Al-Qama and Masood alias Abu Zarar in their custody. But after four days, Muzzamil was released. He returned to the camp and instructed everybody to vacate it immediately.

A day later, Pakistani armed forces launched a major air offensive using helicopters, and destroyed it. A search operation around the camp was carried out, but the armed forces did not find anything, Jundal told investigators.

Jundal said when he feared arrest in February 2009, Muzzamil took him to a matchbox factory near Muzaffarabad city to meet Colonel Hamza, who assured him that he had nothing to fear.

He said the Colonel was about 5 feet 9 inches tall, had an attractive personality and had has a close resemblance to Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.

On Colonel Hamza's suggestion, the names of LeT operatives had been changed. Accordingly, Jundal's was called Abu Ikrama, Sajid Mir alias Wasi became Khalid, and Abu Kahafa was renamed Abu Azim.

FIA's involvement can be ascertained in the manner in which they let off Wasi, the brain behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, and Abu Kahafa after two days of questioning in January 2009, said Jundal.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.