MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) claim to have uncovered evidence that show Haroon Naik, accused in the July 13, 2011 serial bombings, received ‘rigorous and advanced training in Pakistan by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).’
Speaking of Haroon Naik as ‘very very important person in Indian Mujahideen (IM) ’ Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Mariasaid that Naik had undergone advanced levels of rigorous training with Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal in Pakistan. ATS was on Wednesday granted custody of jailed IM operative Naik in the blasts case as he was suspected of having participated in the conspiracy and provided financial aid to carry out blasts in July last year that claimed 27 lives.
“Haroon has been the member of the core committee of IM; he is very well trained and has undergone courses of Daura-e-aam and Daura-e-khaas in Bahawalpur, Pakistan in 2000-2001. He later went for a training course of Bait-e-rizwan and during 2005 he fought along with Al Qaeda in Kandhakar,” he said while speaking to reporters on Friday.
“In between 2001-05 Haroon Naik kept coming and going from India to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal using fake passports… We have evidence that shows that in 2005 he crossed over to Pakistan on a fake Nepal passport. In 2008 he was IM operative in Saudi Arabia and was coordinating money transactions from there,” Mr Maria added. He said that investigations were on to see if the same money trail had funded any other blasts.
Haroon Naik was apprehended on August 22 for allegedly possessing fake currency to the tune of Rs 80,000 from Mumbai international airport. According to ATS Naik arranged for Rs 10 lakh through Hawala from Saudi Arabia and sent to Kanwar Nain Wazeer Chand Patrija to be handed over to Yasin Bhatkal and was used in the 13/7 blast.
ATS also claimed to have recovered significant evidence from Patrija’s Ghaziabad residence, “We have recovered two diaries, two broken mobile phones and one sim card from Patrija’s house. The diaries have very important pieces of information about the dealing of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives and the Hawala money transactions,” Maharatra ATS chief Rakesh Maria said.
Patrija is a suspected Hawala operator who allegedly handed over Rs 10 lakh to fugitive IM top operative Yasin Bhatkal to execute the blasts that killed 27 people in July. Refusing to comment on the contents of the diary Mr Maria said that the information is very sensitive and can not be shared as the matter is currently under investigation as ATS is still working towards finding out the hideouts of fugitive IM top operative Yasin Bhatkal.