Mumbai: In what is being viewed as a significant breakthrough, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) today arrested alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Zainul Abedin in connection with the 2011 Mumbai blasts.
The arrest of Abedin (26) is the twelfth in the connection with the atacks that rocked Mumbai through a series of blasts. According to ATS sources, Abedin, who was earlier detained in Saudi Arabia, was picked up from the Sahar airport in Mumbai at 5 am today where he was scheduled to travel to Bhatkal in Karnataka.
There was a Red Corner issued against Zainul in 2015. ATS had information at the time that Zainul had fled the country, leading to the issue of the Red Corner notice against him.
Authorities are now trying to ascertain where he was since the attacks in 2011. ATS will also investigate where he came from and why he was going to Bhatkal. The luggage seized from his possession is also being examined.
The accused was allegedly involved in supplying the explosives used in the Mumbai triple blasts that left 27 people dead and another 127 injured. The bombings were executed by Yasin Bhatkal, who also planted one of the explosives.
Abedin, hailing from Bhatkal, is allegedly close to IM operative Riyaz Bhatkal – who operates from Pakistan. Sources said his name came up during the questioning of an accused from Karnataka, who was arrested by the ATS last year.
A mixture of trinitrotoluene, ammonium nitrate and petroleum carbon oil was used to prepare four bombs that were set off at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar between 6.52 pm and 7.05 pm.
The bombs were assembled in a rented room at Habib Mansion in Byculla.
Seven more accused in the Zaveri blasts case are still wanted in the case.