Thursday, July 25, 2024
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ISI official among five 26/11 accused named

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New Delhi: Major Iqbal, a suspected officer of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, is among the five accused named in the second charge sheet filed in a US court against Tahawwur Rana, one of the orchestrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead in its trail, said Home Ministry officials.

The April 26 charge sheet has also named Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqbal and Lashkar member D. Among the Pakistani men, four are wanted by India in the Mumbai carnage.

All the accused were charged with one count of conspiracy to murder and maim in India, while Abu Qahafa, Mir and Mazhar Iqbal have been additionally charged with conspiracy to bomb public places in India. None of them is in US custody.

Home Ministry officials said 35-year-old Major Iqbal is suspected to be an officer of Pakistan’s ISI who was posted in Lahore during 2007 and 2008.

“Major Iqbal, on behalf of the ISI, was actively involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai terror attack. He is also an accused in the Indian charge sheet filed by NIA pertaining to conspiracy to target important locations in India,” the officials said.

“Iqbal was handling David Coleman Headley on behalf of the ISI for the Mumbai terror attack. He provided 25,000 dollars to Coleman for meeting his expenses during the surveillance operations in India,” they added.

Rana was an associate of Headley, the son of an American mother and a Pakistani father. Headley in March 2010 pleaded guilty to 12 criminal counts, including aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in Mumbai, and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in a plea bargain to escape the death penalty. Headley has admitted to have given all the surveillance videos shot for conducting the attack to Iqbal and then to the terror outfit, the official said. Iqbal is a resident of Pakistan and has been closely associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leaders, including Sajid Majeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. There is an Interpol red corner notice against him.

According to intelligence inputs, Majeed as most probably present in the Lashkar control room in Karachi during 26/11 and India has asked for his voice samples from Pakistan.

The terrorist had undergone plastic surgery in 2008 and carries a Pakistani passport issued in the name of Arshad Awan.

Besides, Lakhvi, he was closely associated with Abu Qahafa, Abu Anas and Muzzammill Butt of the LeT. (PTI)

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