In a dramatic twist, the Kenyan police on Saturday night said that the man who had been arrested in Mombasa on Friday was a West African national and not Syed Abdul Karim alias Tunda, one of India's most wanted terrorists.
The news of Tunda's arrest had been received with great satisfaction by security agencies in New Delhi. However, Kenyan police spokesman M Kibunja told PTI that the arrested person was not an Indian but a West African national. "He has nothing to do with the Mumbai blasts," Kibunja said.
The Kenya Times newspaper had reported that a man suspected to be linked to a series of terrorist attacks in East Africa and India was arrested on Thursday and deported to an unknown country. The suspect, arrested on the Kenya-Tanzania border, was linked to the attacks on Mumbai's commuter trains that killed 200 people, the newspaper said, quoting police sources.
Security agencies in New Delhi are baffled by the sudden turn of events and are extremely unsatisfied with the version given by Kenyan police. Efforts will be made on Monday, the first working day after the weekend, to officially ask the Kenyan authorities about the matter, official sources said.
The Kenya Times said that the arrested man was carrying eight fake passports, each bearing different names but the same photograph. It said he was arrested by police in Taitataveta district along the country's border.
The newspaper claimed he was wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with over 30 bomb blasts that killed many people in various parts of the world. The suspect classified as a 'most wanted terrorist' is linked to the Kikambala bombing in which at least 17 people were killed in November 2002, it said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Tunda after he fled from the country in the mid-1990s. He carries a cash reward of Rs three lakh on his head.