M A I N   N E W S

After Jundal, India nets another big fish Fasih
Deported from Saudi Arabia, key terror suspect held at Delhi airport
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, October 22
Fasih Mahmood, a suspected Indian Mujahideen operator and a key accused in the Delhi and Bangalore blasts, was on Monday arrested after he was deported from Saudi Arabia.

The 28-year-old was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police early Monday morning after a team of the Intelligence Bureau brought him from Saudi Arabia on a commercial flight.

India had sought Fasih’s deportation and also got an Interpol Red Corner notice issued against him.

He is the third terror suspect to be deported from Saudi Arabia following a request from New Delhi. On October 8, Indian security agencies were handed over the custody of a terror suspect A Raees. The operation was kept under wraps by agencies as a result it went unnoticed in the media.

Raees, believed to be a part of Mumbai module of the IM, is now lodged in Kannur jail in Kerala. Earlier, in June, Abu Jundal, one of the masterminds of the 26/11 attack, was deported from Saudi Arabia.

Top sources in the government, however, confirmed that attempts to nab the fourth suspect, Fayaz Kagzi, have failed. He has reportedly escaped to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia.

Bihar-born Fasih, a qualified engineer, is alleged to have been involved in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore and the shooting near Jama Masjid (Delhi), both in 2010, and is wanted by the Delhi and Karnataka Police.

His name cropped up during the interrogation of suspected IM terrorists arrested in the last nine months. Fasih was the ‘key facilitator’ for 13 IM terrorists who were arrested from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and a few other places between August 2011 and February 2012. This network was known as ‘Darbhanga module’ in police circles.

Sources said Fasih has, so far, no evident links to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba. Fasih managed to hoodwink the police for several years as his operations were silent. He had a pattern of sending messages to his contact men in India and avoided the phone, the Internet and even voice over internet protocol.

“He used human couriers who passed on messages personally,” said a senior functionary. Being an engineer, he could sustain himself financially without looking for funds elsewhere. On the other hand, Abu Jundal was dependent on his handlers for funds.

Fasih was arrested in Saudi Arabia in May. His wife Nikhat Parveen had lodged a complaint in the Supreme Court that Saudi Arabian agencies had picked him up at India’s behest.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh described Fasih as “a very important” catch. He said India had submitted "material evidence" against Fasih to Saudi Arabia to press its demand for deportation for his involvement in various terror acts in the country.

"He (Fasih) was deported after he had served a sentence there. Saudi Arabia cooperated with us," he said. Singh said Indian officials were coordinating with Saudi Arabia for quite some time by providing documents to prove his Indian citizenship.

"Our officers were in touch with Saudi Arabia. That is how it happened," he said. The Home Secretary said Saudi Arabia had never stated that Fasih would not be deported, but it took some time.

The Bangalore Police on Monday said it would seek Fasih’s custody from its Delhi counterpart. "We will also seek Fasih’s custody as he is involved in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) B Dayanand.





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