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).
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.
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.