7/11 blasts suspect held in Kashmir

Friday, August 4, 2006

An alleged member of the Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba has been arrested by Indian police in connection with the July 11 train bombings in Mumbai which killed 200 commuters on the city's commuter rail network.

The arrest followed a raid on a hideout in the Sanai Potha area of Surankote in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) state. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Mumbai police aided by the Counter-Intelligence Wing of the J&K State Police apprehended the militant, identified as Abdul Hameed. Hamed has been taken to the Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC) in Poonch for interrogation by the Mumbai and Kashmir police forces.

Hameed was traced through an identity card provided to him by a private security agency in Mumbai he worked for, which was recovered from one of the blast sites at Matunga.

Officials say Hameed had been been deployed in Mumbai by the Lashkar-e-Toiba to establish a network in the city. Hameed had been close to Abu Usama, the "Divisional Commander" of the LeT in Poonch and is believed to have received direct instructions from the organisation's top leaders across the border in Pakistan to carry out the bombings.

After seeking a remand from the local court in Poonch, authorities will fly Hameed to Mumbai for further interrogation. Hameed has already revealed some vital information about the bombings and more arrests are likely to take place in the Baramulla and Poonch districts of the state, police say.

Pakistan and the LeT have have denied any role in the attacks, but Indian officials have said that LeT remains a prime suspect and that links between the blasts and the Kashmiri insurgency were emerging.