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LeT headhunter has close ties with Saeed
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Lashkar-e-Toiba’s (LeT) key operative Mohammad Umer Madani (50), who was arrested by Delhi Police last evening, had a close association with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who was recently released from a Pakistani prison. According to sources, Madani had met Hafeez Mohammad Saeed quite a few times on his Pakistan visits from 1998 to 2008. “Although he took training in LeT camps, during his visits to Pakistan he was often called by the top leaders of JuD. In the year 2000, he was specifically called from Nepal by JuD leadership and was given the task to pump terror funds into India via Nepal,” revealed PN Aggarwal, Joint Commissioner (special cell).

According to police officials, Madani has also confessed to sharing a meal with Hafeez Saeed during one of his visits to Lahore. Meanwhile, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the arrest of Madani is a big breakthrough. “The arrested man had close links with Hafiz Saeed and his outfit JuD. His arrest is the result of good intelligence and excellent investigative work done by our police and intelligence agencies,” said Chidambaram.

Giving further details, Joint Commissioner Aggarwal revealed that Madani had come to the country after instructions from LeT and JuD leadership to recruit at least 2 persons each in the four Metropolitan cities Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The focus was to hire persons with computer knowledge. “He was also assigned the task to develop contacts with the fishermen in Konkan and Malabar coastal regions. Jharkhand was another area where he was asked to do ‘talent hunting’ for militant activities. The idea was to involve people working in fireworks factories and train them in IED handling,” said Aggarwal.

Accordingly, Madani came to India with $30, 000 and had given $12, 000 to one Ahmed in Patna and another $10, 000 to one Salim in Aligarh before he was arrested by the special cell last evening from Delhi. He also distributed fake Indian currency notes to them and other LeT modules operating in country. According to police, the accused in the past has also recruited over 30 militants, including one Kamal Ansari, arrested in connection with Mumbai train blasts.

Originally from Madhubani district of Bihar, Madani’s father shifted to Nepal about 25 years ago and he was presently residing in district Saptari of Nepal. He used to receive terrorist funding through a well-known money transfer agency in Kathmandu and was running a travel agency as well other businesses to hide his illegal activities.

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