Beed, Maharashtra: The mother of Abu Jundal or Zabiuddin Ansari - who was deported from Saudi Arabia after India furnished a DNA test as proof of his identity - has said no DNA samples were taken from his family.
Rehana Begum of Beed says neither Ansari's father nor she has been administered a DNA test. Her son, known to use 10 aliases, is believed to be India's highest-ranked member of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of six handlers of the terrorists who struck Mumbai on 26/11, 2008.
Jundal is believed to have tutored the terrorists in Hindi, briefed them about Mumbai and allegedly gave them instructions from a control room in Karachi during the attack. He was arrested by Delhi Police on June 21, after he was deported from Saudi Arabia on India's request. The deportation was a complicated process and India finally convinced Saudi Arabia after showing DNA tests to prove his identity.
Rehana Begum claims her son is innocent, a "simple hardworking boy". "He is not involved in any terrorist activity," she said, adding that if a thorough probe found him guilty, her son should be punished. "If given a chance, we will meet him. We have great faith in the judiciary," she said.
But when asked why the family did not try to trace him when he went missing in 2006 after his name surfaced in connection with a huge arms haul in Aurangabad, Rehana Begum only said tersely, "Where would we have searched for him?"
She pointed to what she says are differences in earlier photographs of Jundal and those released now and said she could not believe that those were her son's photos.
Thirty-one-year-old Jundal is being interrogated in custody and has allegedly confessed to being a 26/11 handler. He has allegedly told interrogators that he operated from a control room near the international airport in Karachi when the attacks on Mumbai began. He has reportedly also said that ISI officers and Lashkar commanders including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi supervised the operation there. Sources say he was the one who trained the 10 terrorists who tore into Mumbai on 26/11 on what to wear, what to say etc.
Jundal or Ansari, studied at the Indian Technical Institute and worked for a while as an insurance agent. Then the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 turned him into a jihadi. He is believed to have originally been a member of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and was later recruited by the banned Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI. A few years after this, he was in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir when he entered the ranks of the LeT.