Arrests in Mumbai train bombings -possible ties to Al Qaeda in Kashmir - Islamic students and Pakistanis held
July 13, 2006
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
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