New Delhi:  The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take the custody of LeT terrorist Syed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal, who was arrested by Delhi Police, for further investigation.

30-year-old Zabiuddin with another alias Riyasat Ali admitted his active role in the 26/11 attack saying he had worked in close tandem with terror mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. Zabiuddin, who is an Indian national, said to have been issuing directions from a 'control room' in Pakistan to 10 terrorists who went on a rampage in Mumbai in November, 2008 killing 166 persons.
       
His presence was also stated by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, in his deposition before a special court in Mumbai. He told the court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.

Jundal took a particular name and his specific task in executing the 26/11 attack. The interrogators suspect that this person was an ISI officer who was closely involved in executing the terror strike.
   
Jundal: An Indian national with ten aliases

Jundal, a native of Beed district in Maharashtra, has at least ten aliases.

After November 26, 2008, he stayed in Pakistan for sometime before leaving to Saudi Arabia where he was working as a teacher. The first tip-off about his presence in Saudia Arabia was given by a terrorist who was arrested in connection with the Jama Masjid blast. Jundal also stayed for sometime in Bangladesh.

Zabiuddin, who was deported from Saudi Arabia on India's request, was arrested on his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport by Delhi Police on June 21, police said.
   
He was remanded to police custody for 15 days by a Delhi court the same day.
   
Jundal directed terrorists in Hindi 

Zabiuddin had taught Hindi to the 10 Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists that carried out the Mumbai attacks. A resident of Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, he had given a slip to the Mumbai Police when an arms consignment in Aurungabad was seized in 2006 and left for Pakistan.
           
In the intercepted tapes, Ansari was also heard using typical Hindi words like "prashasan" (administration) and directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and to identify themselves as Deccan Mujahideen hailing from Toli Chowk in Hyderabad. Sources said Jundal's voice sample is being sent for matching with those which were intercepted by the security agencies during the attack.

India had also secured an Interpol Red Corner notice against him in which he was accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.
   
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said, "Syed Zabiuddin, we believe is a person who goes by the pseudonym Abu Jundal. He has been apprehended and has been remanded to the custody of law enforcing agencies."

The sources said foreign intelligence agencies have helped to track down Jundal, who was wanted in several terror cases in Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
   
Pak offers India counter-terror coop

New Pakistan on Tuesday offered India counter-terrorism cooperation in the backdrop of the arrest of Abu Jundal.

Maintaining that Pakistan has been at the forefront in the campaign against terror, the Pakistan High Commission here said terrorism is a common concern.

"As agreed at the highest level between Pakistan and India, terrorism is a common concern and counter-terrorism cooperation is in the mutual interest of both countries.

US backs India 
   
The United States said that it is playing its part in the Indian effort to bring to justice all those who were responsible for terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008.
   
"We have been doing what we can to share information and support the Indian efforts to bring folks to justice," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
   
Responding to a question, Nuland said the US is aware of the reports that one of the suspected planners of the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai has been arrested.
   
"We have a strong interest, as we've said since the day of the attack, in the arrests, prosecution and conviction of all those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack, because our own citizens were among the victims. So we want to see all of them brought to justice," she said.
   
The spokesperson said the US would continue to make the Mumbai attacks accused -- David Headley and Tahawwur Rana – available to India as appropriate.
   
"We have routinely provided access to David Headley when asked. And we will continue to make him available as appropriate," she said when asked about the request in this regard from External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who was in Washington early this month for the third India-US Strategic Dialogue.

Delhi Police likely to see extension of Jundal's remand

Delhi Police is likely to seek an extension of remand of Jundal, which may put a spanner in Mumbai Police's efforts to question him soon.

Sources in Delhi Police said Jundal's role was being examined in the larger conspiracy behind the Jama Masjid attack in 2010, a fortnight ahead of the Commonwealth Games to "avenge" the Batla House encounter in which suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives were killed.

Sources said they are likely to seek extension of police remand when Jundal will be produced before a court when his custody ends on July five.

However, if Delhi Police manages to get extension of Jundal's custody, then Mumbai Police will have to wait for some more time till he is sent to judicial custody.

JPN/Agencies

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