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Azeez linked to many pan-Islamic terrorist groups

By Marri Ramu

HYDERABAD, AUG. 29. Hyderabad-based Abdul Azeez, whose name figures in the latest module of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is connected with not just the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) but to several such pan-Islamic terrorist outfits.

A resident of Petlaburj in the old city, Azeez went to Saudi Arabia in 1994. He came in contact with a fundamentalist group there and was assigned `Deeni' (religious) work to be carried out in India. He returned to India a couple of years later and visited Bosnia and Chechnya. On his return, he `cultivated' two youngsters and made a vain bid to take them to Chechnya.

Picked up in 2001

But, Azeez and his associates, were deported from Baku in Chechnya to New Delhi on charges of possessing fabricated documents. The police registered a criminal case against him in this regard. He again went to Dubai, developed contacts with some extremist groups and returned with funds.

Police sources say that Azeez subsequently developed contacts with Salim Junaid (a Pak national arrested by the Hyderabad police) and Azam Ghori (killed in an encounter) after his return. His alleged operations came to light when the Azam Ghori module was busted and he was picked up by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in September, 2001, on charges of possessing explosives and firearms.

However, he came out on bail and disappeared since then. The Hyderabad Police Commissioner, R.P. Singh, on Sunday claimed that they had clinching evidence connecting Azeez with terrorist organisations and his name had cropped once again in the fresh ISI module.

Funds from Osama

A militant wing of Markaz-e-Dawa-ul-Irshad organisation founded between 1989-90 at Muridke in Lahore of Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba had been luring youth like Azeez who arrive in Gulf countries in search of work. Markaz-e-Dawa-ul-Irshad was founded as a socio-religious organisation, consisting of a majority of Ahle Hadees (a hard core religious fundamentalist group which believes in Wahabi ideology).

Sources said this organisation was initially funded by Abullah Azam and Osama Bin Laden. A huge complex spread over 35 acres of land consisting of swimming pools, Deen-e- Madarasas and computer rooms, was built by the organisation at Muridke. The police learnt that most of the world's terrorist group leaders make it a point to visit Muridke and also attend the annual conferences of the organisation in Pakistan held during November and December.

Abdul Kareem alias Tunda, a native of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, is the important explosive trainer for the LeT. His right hand was severed in an accidental blast while manufacturing a bomb in India. He, along with Zaved Nasir, a retired Pak soldier, trained the LeT militants in manufacturing and operating the explosives.

Strategic choice

The low intensity explosives (similar to that blasted at Dilsukhnagar Saibaba temple), especially the pipe bombs manufactured with potassium chlorate, ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder, are said to be the brainchild of Abdul Kareem. It is learnt that the LeT had chosen Hyderabad as a base to expand its activities in South India. The organisation reportedly received considerable support from the communally sensitive Hyderabad.

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