Captured Sajjad Met Hafiz Twice; Trained At Muridke

28 August 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Captured Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Sajjad, alias Abu Obaidullah, has claimed that he met 26-11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed twice and that he underwent training at LeT camps in Muridke - headquarters of Saeed's banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa - and Manshera in Pakistan. The 22-year-old Pakistan terrorist, who was brought here from Rafiabad after being captured by security forces on Thursday, told interrogators that a five-member group headed by Abu Talha sneaked into the Valley on the night of August 17 through the Uri sector in north Kashmir. The group was directed by LeT handlers to set up a base in the Rafiabad area in Baramulla district, where it did not have a presence. Sources privy to his questioning said Sajjad told interrogators that he met Saeed once at Gujrat in Pakistan and again during training at one of the Lashkar camps. Sajjad, a resident of Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province, claimed Lashkar's base was intact in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, also wanted for the Mumbai attacks, was one of the outfit commanders. Talha, the 'ameer' (head) of the group, was killed in firefight in Uri on August 26, the militant said. His three other accomplices - Abu Usman, Abu Kital and Abu Shoaib - were shot dead during a 20-hour gunfight on Thursday. 'Before entering the Valley from Chamb in PoK, he was given training at a Lashkar camp in Muridke and Manshera. After joining the LeT in 2012, he attended three short training courses,' a source said. 'One of the courses dealt with survival without food. Sajjad was launched by the LeT this year and joined outfit's launching detachment at Chamb during Ramdan,' the source said. After infiltrating into the Valley, the group remained in regular touch with its handlers from across the border. The security forces are looking for a local over-ground worker whom the militants had to contact after reaching Rafiabad, the source said. Sajjad told interrogators that the group sneaked through Lachipora sector in Uri and was intercepted by troops in Mayan in Uri, but they escaped. On August 22, two villagers spotted them and informed the police. The Army and police later launched a combing operation and established contact with the group on August 26, when Abu Talha was shot dead. The four fled the area but were again engaged by the security forces the next day leading to the death of three and arrest of Sajjad. A Sopore court has, meanwhile, remanded Sajjad in seven-day police custody.