Abu Jundal, the 26/11 handler who is in jail in Mumbai, has recorded his confession of his role in India's worst-ever terror attacks, in which 166 people were killed. His statement was recorded before a magistrate in Mumbai, which means it can be treated as evidence in court.
Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia to India in June, could help connect the dots between the attacks in Mumbai and the men who planned them across the border in Pakistan.
That is one of the reasons why Jundal was taken for the second time in 24 hours to another jail where Ajmal Kasab is kept in a bulletproof cell with an underground tunnel that is used to transport him to court. As Kasab and nine other young Pakistani men shattered Mumbai over a period of 72 hours, they were guided in their murderous mission by Jundal and five others stationed at a control room in Karachi.
After the Maharashtra state government permitted the Mumbai Police on Thursday to question Kasab, the two men were brought together at the Arthur Road jail last evening. Press Trust of India says Deputy Police Commissioner (Crime Branch) Ambadas Pote asked the terrorists a series of questions who sat facing each other while security cameras recorded their session. The interrogation was reportedly stopped while the two offered evening prayers.
According to police sources, Kasab identified Jundal as a handler. Jundal has already told interrogators that in the days before Kasab and the others set sail for Mumbai, he coached them in Hindi and helped familiarise them with the landscape they would relentlessly plunder.
Jundal identified Kasab as one of the ten men who was deputed to execute the plan that had been engineered by Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Jamaat-ud-Dawa head Hafiz Saeed, and others. India has said Jundal's information, shared first with interrogators in Delhi, confirms its repeated allegations that the 26/11 attacks were facilitated by state support in Pakistan. Islamabad has steadfastly refuted the charges.
Sources had said the police wanted to study the differences and discrepancies in the accounts of Jundal and Kasab about the planning and execution of the 26/11 attacks.
Jundal, whose real name is Zabiuddin Ansari, belongs to Maharashtra. In 2006, he was wanted in India for alleged links to terrorists, but escaped to Bangladesh and then to Pakistan. After 26/11, he was asked by Lashkar commanders to move to Saudi Arabia and entered the country with a Pakistani passport. US intelligence officials intercepted phone calls and Facebook accounts he employed to identify funding and new recruits. The US alerted India, and the two countries lobbied hard to persuade Saudi Arabia to send him to Delhi.