Investigators claimed the men were part of an Indian Mujahideen (IM) group which was involved in the serial blasts in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore, the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings, the blasts on Shramjeevi Express, at the Sankatmochan temple and railway station in Varanasi, at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chaat Bhandar in Hyderabad, in a Lucknow court and at Gorakhpur. "Practically all" blasts since 2005, according to investigators.
Bombers travelled to Pak via Iran: Cops, Arrested IM members have been identified as Afzal Mutalib Usmani (32), Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh (32), Mohammed Arif Sheikh (31), Mohammed Zakir Sheikh (28) and Sheikh Mohammed Ansar (31).
The Mumbai police named Amir Raza Khan, who is allegedly controlling the IM from Pakistan. Amir Raza Khan, according to the Intelligence Bureau, is a Muslim Mafia Don who used to operate from Bangladesh (and Dubai). An IB official told rediff.com that Khan shuttled between Bangladesh and Pakistan, and had linked with the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, which was responsible for the attacks at Hyderabad and Ajmer last year. His name first surfaced during the attack at the American Centre at Kolkata and since then he has been elusive.
It is further said that Muslim Mafia Don Amir Khan worked closely with two other HuJI operatives by the name Rasool Khan Party, a Mafia Don formerly based in Gujarat and Ahmed Patangiya who was also residing at the same state before fleeing to Pakistan. While Rasool Khan and Patangiya took care of operations and training, Khan was largely involved in funding the IM, according to the IB.
The arrest of Afzal Usman by the Mumbai police was the turning point in Wednesday's crackdown. Usman, according to the IB, was part of an organized crime gang and worked for Amir Raza Khan. Investigations by Mumbai Police had revealed that Usman played a key role in the Indian Mujhideen. He provided logistic support and also helped channelising the funds through hawala operations. Apart from this Usman also had stolen cars in Mumbai and supplied it to some Indian Mujahideen operatives. The police suspect that two of the cars stolen by him were used in Surat
The cops are now probing the links between the IM and HuJI. The IB says that Abdus Subhan aka Tauqueer, who has fled the country, had close links with Shahid Bilal, the commander of HuJI (South India operations). It is said that Subhan was in constant touch with Bilal (before he was killed) and this indicates the close links between IM and the HuJI.
NEW DELHI: Mumbai investigators have found evidence that organised crime groups could have provided logistics infrastructure for the Indian Mujahideen terror offensive. Based on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau, the Mumbai police have arrested Afzal Usman — a mid-level organised crime figure investigators believe arranged for the theft of four vehicles used as car bombs in the July 27 serial bombing in Gujarat.
Usman, investigators say, delivered two cars to Qayamuddin Kapadia, a Vadodara-based graphics artist who is alleged to have led the Indian Mujahideen cell which attempted to execute the bombings in Surat in July. Both cars were fitted with improvised explosive devices which failed to detonate because of the failure of the integrated circuit-based timing devices. Kapadia has so far evaded arrest. Ansari’s links with Islamist terror groups have long been known. His ideological radicalisation appears to have taken place while serving a prison sentence in New Delhi’s Tihar jail, where he met top Jaish-e-Mohammad operative Syed Omar Sheikh.
Funds raised from the kidnapping and extortion are thought to have helped build much of the infrastructure for post-2002 jihadism in India. Some believe that the proceeds from the kidnapping of Kolkata tycoon Partha Roy Burman, who was released after his family paid Rs. 3.75 crore ransom to Ansari through hawala channels, made their way through Syed Omar Sheikh to Mohammad Atta — the architect of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States.