06/25/2012, 00.00
INDIA

2008 Mumbai terrorists’ trainer arrested

Zabi Ansari taught the Hindi language to the 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), the group responsible for the attacks of November 26, 2008. Intelligence agencies were on his trail for three years. 166 people died in the attacks.

Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Indian intelligence services have arrested Zabi Ansari, a member of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) who trained the 10 terrorist behind the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. After a hunt lasting three years, he was captured on June 21 last, but the news was only made public today. The officers stopped the man at the international airport of New Delhi, as he returned to India from the Gulf countries.

A native of the Georai area (Beed district, Maharashtra), Ansari, 30, is also known as Abu Hamza, Ali Sayeed Zabiuddin and Riyasat. According to Indian intelligence and Interpol, he had the task of teaching the Hindi language to LET members, to hide their origins in Pakistan. Moreover, investigators say he was the mysterious voice in a conversation intercepted between 10 bombers and their "instructors" in Pakistan. In the recording, Ansari said he would report back to the Indian media that "the attack was just a trailer the entire film is yet to come."

On 26 November 2008, a series of bloody bombings in Mumbai targeted very important and crowded places: railway stations, airports, local hospitals, and two of the most luxurious hotels of the metropolis: the Oberoi and the Taj Palace. According to Indian intelligence, the attacks were planned by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) terrorist organization for the liberation of Kashmir linked to the Pakistani intelligence (ISI). However, the government in Islamabad has always denied any involvement and refused in 2010 as evidence the testimony of Mohammad Amir Qasab Ajmak, the only surviving attacker who is detained in India, demanding his extradition.

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