The name of Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal first surfaced in connection with an arms haul in Aurangabad in 2006. He is also believed to have had a hand in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, was allegedly one of six Lashkar-e-Taiba handlers of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and has played a role in many other terror attacks all over the country, including an alleged plot to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The man with many names had been on the run since 2006, reportedly escaping by the skin of his teeth in Aurangabad. His luck finally ran out - he was arrested by the Delhi police on June 21; there are reports that he might have been deported by Saudi Arabia, though Home Minister P Chidambaram refused to confirm or deny that. Sources said Ansari he had been under watch for the last three months.
"The person who goes by pseudonym Abu Jundal has been apprehended and is the custody of our investigative agencies," Mr Chidambaram confirmed today. He is believed to have been the link between the Indian Mujahideen and the Lashkar and his interrogation, security agencies believe, will yield key information.
Jundal was the name he used in 2008, when he instructed the ten terrorists who sailed into Mumbai from Karachi on November 26 that year. Indian intelligence sources said his arrest has solved the mystery of the very Indian voice heard on intercepts of conversations between the Lashkar men who struck Mumbai and their handlers back in Pakistan. The intelligence sources believe Ansari or Jundal had tutored the men in Hindi.
On the taped intercepts, the man now believed to be Ansari made the chilling statement, "Yeh to sirf trailer hai, asal film baaki hai
(this is just the trailer, the film has yet to start rolling)." The voice on tape told the terrorists who attacked Nariman House to convey this to the media. The use of other words like "prashasan
" (government) also led the intelligence agencies to believe there was an Indian there.
Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, has said in his deposition before a special court that a person by the name of Abu Jundal had tutored the 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.
Ansari is 30 years old. He belongs to the Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra and has trained at the Indian Technical Institute in Beed. He has an Interpol red corner notice against him, which lists him as speaking Hindi, Urdu and English.
He reportedly went underground in 2005, when he was 23 years old. He is believed to have been indoctrinated in extremist activities after the 2002 Gujarat riots and was initially a member of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI, before being recruited by the Indian Mujahideen and later by the deadly Lashkar.
Intelligence agencies note a sudden rise in the Lashkar ranks. In the Interpol Red Corner notice against him he is accused of using weapons, explosives and of indulging in terror activities.
Among other terror strikes in which Ansari is believed to have played important role is Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts case in 2010.