During his stay in Pakistan, Abdul Karim alias Tunda was in touch with members of almost all anti-India forces present there and his three key skills — bomb manufacturing abilities, motivating power and ability to leverage a well-spread network in India — catapulted him to become one of the most trusted ideologues of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Delhi Police said following his interrogation on Sunday, a day after securing his custody from a court.
The police, however, added that all claims made by the “most wanted” fugitive were being verified. So far, the police have not disclosed why and how he reached the Indo-Nepal border from where he was arrested two days ago.
“His value to the terror module as an expert bomb maker had dwindled with the passage of time and emergence of more such manufacturers but the other two traits were crucial in motivating young men to join a number of madrasas in Karachi that he runs under the name ofMehdud-Taleem-Islam-e-Dar-Al-Funoon.
Dawood was under constant ISI surveillance
In the ranks of LeT, it is believed that Tunda’s impeccable oratory can indoctrinate his disciples to go to any extent to carry forward the Jihadist movement. The funding of these madrasas is through donations but he has not revealed the name of any donor so far,” said a senior police officer.
As per Tunda’s purported confession, his network in India helped to push men and material ranging from explosives to fake Indian currency notes across the border and then further channelise them to different parts of the country. One of the more recent such instances was when, using Tunda’s network, Babbar Khalsa International smuggled explosives into India in 2010, said the police who added that the plan failed because some of Tunda’s men were arrested in Bangladesh before it could be executed. The list of those Tunda repeatedly met while he was in Pakistan include names such as underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, top Jamat-ud-Dawa figures Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, BKI leader Wadhawa Singh and some members of the Inter-Services Intelligence.
Among these, he had known Hafeez Saeed since 1991 and over a period of time some differences had cropped up between the two, said a police source.
“From what he has told us, his few meetings with Dawood Ibrahim (the most recent one took place over a year ago) were mostly incidental. According to Tunda, Dawood was living in Karachi the last time the two met at the latter’s palatial house, which was being guarded by ISI men. He purportedly disclosed that Dawood was under constant ISI surveillance,” said the officer. The 70-year-old is also learnt to have met the Bhatkal brothers of Indian Mujahideen a few times but did not give much importance to them given their “limited domain of activities.”
“According to Tunda, after 1998 this is the first time that he is in India but like all his other claims we are verifying this one too,” said the officer.