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Updated: April 6, 2010 14:27 IST

‘D-company provided logistic support for 26/11’

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A file photo of Karachi-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
The Hindu Archives A file photo of Karachi-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The Karachi-based D-company of the fugitive Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim possibly had an important role in 26/11 carnage by providing logistic support to the LeT-operatives to carry out the deadly operation, adding a new dimension to the Mumbai terror attacks.

The involvement of the D-company in the Mumbai attacks has come out in a report on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) released by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, Department of Defence, which says that the D-company is now closely tied with LeT activities in India.

According to the report, Dawood is believed to have resided in Pakistan since 1993 and now owns malls, luxury homes, and shipping and trucking lines that smuggle arms and heroin into India.

In exchange for his refuge in Pakistan, the report said a percentage of D-company’s profits were diverted to ISI-supported Islamic militant groups such as LeT.

“Evidence demonstrates that these links were formed in late 1993 or early 1994. Photographs of Tiger Memon posing with leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) at an ISI safe house in Muzaffarabad surfaced and served as the first proof of the involvement of mafia money in Kashmir,” the report said.

The report authored by Ryan Clarke says the D-company has now extended its base to Saudi Arabia too.

“LeT, which is estimated to be responsible for 60 per cent of terrorist killings in India, has been able to establish cells in several parts of the world as a result of assistance received from elements within ISI and Dawood’s network within India and in the Gulf,” the report said. “There have been arrests of LeT operatives all over the world, including seven arrests by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during then Pakistan President Musharraf’s June 2003 visit to the United States.”

Even though the information was repressed in order to avoid embarrassing Musharraf, the operatives from Washington and Philadelphia were eventually charged with “stockpiling weapons and conspiring to wage jihad against India in support of terrorists in Kashmir,” it said.

Further, U.S. authorities claim that there are still two wanted suspects related to these arrests that are residing in Saudi Arabia.

“D-company has shifted some of its assets to Saudi Arabia fearing a crackdown from UAE authorities, and if LeT operatives are indeed hiding in the Sunni kingdom they are possibly doing so with Ibrahim’s knowledge and assistance. Saudi money is also a primary financer of LeT’s activities in Pakistan and Kashmir,” it said.

The report points to Tanvir Ahmad Ansari, a practitioner of Unani medicine and LeT operative suspected of involvement in the 7/11 Bombay serial bombings, was tasked with strengthening relations between LeT and D-company.

The motivations for this cultivation were both tactical and strategic as LeT’s partner in the Islamic Front for Jihad, al-Qaeda, expressed a desire to expand its operations in East Africa and were willing to offer cash for D-company’s networks.

“Ibrahim accepted al-Qaeda’s offer, and Anees Ibrahim, Dawood’s younger brother, made sizeable investments in the shipping industries of East Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to underwrite D-company’s narcotics trafficking activities,” the report said.

The arrest of Syed Abdul Karim, a top LeT operative, in Mombassa, Kenya, is another demonstration of the link between LeT and D-company as Karim was utilising the well-established D-company infrastructure in East Africa to avoid arrest,” it added.

Observing that Dawood has strong relations with several wealthy traders in Mombassa, many of whom are of South Asian descent, the report said these occurrences have led some to believe that Ibrahim is the “point man” for al-Qaeda and that although Dawood is not an ISI agent, he is indeed an accomplice to their subversive activities.

As D-company has established infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and as Riyadh’s effort to stem the outward flow of terrorism from its territory have fallen short, traffic may increase as Saudi Arabia will continue to serve as a major transit point for money and fighters for conflicts in Middle Eastern hot spots and also for problem zones in the Indian subcontinent.

“Although it is important not to adopt an alarmist stance over the potential of Saudi Arabia’s enhanced role in Kashmir, it would be prudent for analysts and security personnel to monitor the situation closely,” the report cautioned.

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