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Rediff.com  » News » Mumbai blasts: Pak-origin man quizzed in UK

Mumbai blasts: Pak-origin man quizzed in UK

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July 18, 2006 23:25 IST

A taxi driver of Pakistani-origin from Coventry in the UK has been questioned in connection with Mumbai train blasts that killed about 200 people last Tuesday, police said on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old taxi driver from east Midlands, Mohammed Ajmal Khan is currently in jail on a nine-year sentence for raising funds and buying weapons for terror group Lashker-e-Tayiba.

"Khan was a leading figure in LeT and money he raised would have been used to buy arms and explosives of the type used in the Indian attacks," Birmingham-based weekly Sunday Mercury reported quoting security services sources.

"There is no evidence to suggest that he was directly involved, but he will be of great intelligence value to the investigation because of his connections and influence," it said.

Earlier in 2006, Khan was described at Snaresbrook Crown Court as a "high-ranking" LeT operative who had travelled the globe to acquire sophisticated weaponry and surveillance equipment.

He was arrested in Coventry in March 2005.

The court had said Ajmal Khan was a "person of authority" in LeT. Besides being trained in Pakistan, he had "travelled widely in furtherance of terrorist aims but had made available funds for terror purposes from an unidentified but undeniably terrorist-related source."

Khan had duped a Sikh friend into allowing him to use his bank details, which he then used to buy thousands of metres of an armoured material.

He had also bought equipment to test an unmanned aerial drone, which could be used by terrorists to gather intelligence.

Police said he was also trying to purchase night-vision goggles and a raid on his house had unearthed an air pistol converted to fire live ammunition.

According to the weekly report, the FBI had bugged Ajmal Khan's premises and had been tracking his movements in Britain since 2002. He now faces extradition to the US to face further charges.

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