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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Arrests in Mumbai train bombings -possible ties to Al Qaeda in Kashmir - Islamic students and Pakistanis held

Arrests in Mumbai train bombings -possible ties to Al Qaeda in Kashmir - Islamic students and Pakistanis held

July 13, 2006

Sayyad Zabiuddin, suspect in this week's train bombingsI

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/13/world/main1798752.shtml (CBS/AP) Authorities named two suspects Thursday in the Bombay commuter train bombings that killed at least 200 people.

The government's Anti-Terror Squad released photos of two young, bearded men it identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz. Their nationalities were not provided.

It also was not clear where the photos, headshots which appeared to have been taken for identification documents, originated.

Police earlier detained about 350 people for questioning amid suspicion that Kashmiri militants could be linked to Tuesday's bombings.

The detentions came as a man claiming to represent al Qaeda said the terror network had set up a wing in Kashmir and praised the attacks.

A senior intelligence official said the government was taking the claim seriously and authorities were trying to trace a call the man made to a Kashmiri news service.

"Our immediate effort is to locate the caller and ascertain the authenticity of the claim," the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. "The government is taking it very seriously."

There have been allegations that Islamic militants fighting to wrest predominantly Muslim Kashmir from India have ties to al Qaeda, but Thursday's statement would be the first time Osama bin Laden's network claimed to have spread to Indian territory.

CBS News' Ranjan Gupta says (audio) "to the average Indian it seems that these people are trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan, cross over the borders into Kashmir and from there it's very easy to move around in a highly populated country like India."

Police Inspector S. Goshal said most of the 350 detentions were made overnight in Malwani, a northeastern suburb of Bombay. They were rounded up only for questioning to help with the investigations, and none have been charged or formally arrested, he said.

Bombay police Commissioner A.N. Roy said those rounded up included known thugs, gangsters and troublemakers who might have information about the culprits.

Investigators were looking into a possible link with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, an Islamic militant group based in Kashmir, said P.S. Pasricha, police chief of Maharashtra state. Lashkar has in the past employed near-simultaneous explosions to attack Indian cities.


Pakistanis held for blasts
13/07/2006 22:36 - (SA)


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  • Kathmandu - Nepalese police have arrested four Pakistanis over their alleged involvement in Tuesday's Mumbai railway serial blasts that killed about 200 people and injured over 700, Nepalese evening newspapers reported on Thursday.

    The police declined to comment on the reports, which did not make clear when the arrests were made.

    According to the reports, including in Kathmandu Today and Kantipur online, all four arrested were Pakistani nationals.

    Two of them were reportedly arrested at a luxury hotel in the capital and the other two from the capital's tourist hub near the city centre.

    The newspapers said police sources were unwilling to divulge any information and it was made clear that the arrests were made on the basis of information provided by the Indian embassy in Nepal.

    The newspapers cited police sources as saying investigations were continuing.

    India claims that Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) uses Nepal for carrying out terrorist attacks in India. - Sapa-dpa


    Suspicion falls on Islamic students

    From Dilip Premachandran and Daniel McGrory in Bombay

    ANTI-TERRORIST detectives detained more than 350 people in arrests across Bombay yesterday, as police chiefs predicted that they would identify in the next 24 hours the bombers who killed nearly 200 people on the city's commuter trains.

    Detectives are showing some of the injured survivors photo-fit pictures of three men seen at Churchgate, Bombay's main commuter station, each carrying brightly wrapped gift boxes. They were overheard discussing leaving their packages on board as they split up to take different trains during Tuesday's rush hour.

    All three men were then seen leaving their trains at Mumbai Central empty-handed.

    The anti-terrorist unit last night released photographs of two key suspects, whom they named as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz, although they did not give the men's nationalities or details of their alleged role in the attacks.

    Senior officers revealed that they were also investigating overseas calls made from two of the stations within minutes of the explosions.

    One police official told The Times that he believed the terrorists may have had local lookouts posted at Borivali and Jogeshwari stations, who reportedly made calls to Pakistan within a minute of the bombs exploding.

    India's political leaders risked antagonising Pakistan last night. D. K. Shankaran, a senior figure in the Maharashtra state government, blamed Pakistan for allowing Kashmiri militants to orchestrate the plot.

    "There was substantial involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba with local support," he said, pointing the finger at the banned Students Islamic Movement of India for providing the manpower to carry the explosives on to seven trains. The Indian Cabinet was briefed by the national security adviser yesterday about possible cross-border links.

    Khurshid Kasuri, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, reacted to suggestions that his country could be to blame, saying that India should be careful about making such a public link. The arrests were seen by many in the city as an attempt by the anti-terrorist squad to deflect growing public criticism that they failed to act on a warning that Bombay's commuter network was to be a target for Lashkar and Indian- based supporters. An alleged key figure in Lashkar, Mushir Siddiqui, is reported to have told interrogators that ten sleeper cells were in Bombay awaiting orders to strike.

    He is also alleged to have confessed to sending a number of men from the city to Pakistan for training in handling explosives, who slipped back in to Bombay in June, according to the Mumbai Mirror.

    Police said that Mr Siddiqui, 37, is among suspects they are continuing to question.

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