Indian authorities say they have arrested man accused of helping to plot Mumbai attacks in 2008

 

Delhi

The authorities in Delhi say they have arrested an Indian citizen accused of helping to plot the 2008 Mumbai attacks. It raises the prospect that investigators may finally be able to answer many outstanding questions about the militant attack that left more than 160 people dead.

Foreign minister SM Krishna confirmed that police were questioning Sayed Zabiuddin, also known as Abu Hamza. It is alleged that Hamza helped teach Hindi to the 10 Pakistani militants who carried out the attacks of November 2008 and helped guide them during the assault.

Indian media today played a recording made by the intelligence services of a telephone conversation between militants who laid deadly assault to a Jewish centre in the city and their handlers in Pakistan.

Part of the conversation is said to feature the voice of Hamza who tells the militants: “This is just the trailer, the film has yet to start rolling.”

The attacks by members of the Pakistan-based Lashhar-e-Taiba (LeT) group stunned India and set back the relationship with its neighbour by several years. The Indian authorities are still battling to persuade Pakistan to launch legal proceedings against several people it says were ring-leaders, among them Hafiz Saeed.

Mr Saeed was initially brought before a court but released for lack of evidence, say Pakistani officials who say India must provide more compelling information. Although Mr Saeed lives openly in Lahore and regularly delivers speeches denouncing both India and the US, in May US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a $10m reward for information leading to his capture.

Police said that Hamza, who was born in the central state of Maharashtra, was detained at Delhi’s international airport last Thursday but have released few other details. Home minister P Chidambaram refused to comment on reports that claimed that Hamza had been deported to India from Saudi Arabia. There was no comment last night from Saudi officials.

Vikram Sood, a commentator who formerly headed India foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), said if it was Hamza who had been detained it marked an important breakthrough.

“This would be a significant step forward because it would provide investigators with someone close to the heart of the operation,” he said. “There are so many questions about the 26/11 attacks. The main reason for that is the lack of co-operation from across the border.”

Mr Krishna was asked yesterday what approaches might now be made to Pakistan, following the arrest of Hamza. According to Reuters, he replied: “Let the Delhi police go through the investigation first, and then they will send a report to the government. And then we will certainly see what appropriate ... action can be taken.”

The attacks of 2008, in which the militants laid siege to luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish community centre, brought parts of India’s commercial capital for a standstill for three days.  Of the 10 LeT militants, just one, Ajmal Kasab, was captured alive. He has been found guilty of a series of charges including waging war against India and sentenced to death. It was apparently during questioning of Kasab, that police learned of the identity of Hamza.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific