Over a year after he was detained in Saudi Arabia and released by the authorities there — because Indians failed to produce sufficient documentation for his deportation, renewed efforts have started to obtain the custody of Dr Usman Ghani Khan alias Abu Anas MD, 37, a key accused in an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba conspiracy to carry out attacks on right-wing Hindu leaders.
Sources said an Interpol red corner notice had been issued against Ghani on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by a court in Bangalore. A medical doctor by profession, Ghani was identified as a SIMI recruiter in a 2008 investigation in Karnataka and was named in 2012 as a key person recruiting Muslim youths from Hubli, Bangalore, Nanded and Hyderabad for an alleged LeT plot to carry out attacks on right-wing Hindu leaders in the four cities.
He was detained by Saudi authorities on October 8, 2012, but released around October 28 after Indian authorities failed to provide enough documentation to facilitate his deportation. Authorities obtained an arrest warrant and an Interpol red corner notice for his arrest shortly after Ghani was released in Riyadh.
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The custody of Ghani, who is alleged to have played a key role in indoctrinating 15 youths arrested in the case, is seen as being vital to the progress of investigations being carried out by the NIA.
The NIA, in November 2013, took into custody Imran Ahmed, a Saudi Arabia-based Indian dentist who had arrived in Bangalore. A cousin of the 2007 Glasgow airport suicide bombing perpetrator Kafeel Ahmed, he is also alleged to have been a part of the LeT conspiracy and has been named in an NIA charge sheet in the case with Ghani.
The alleged LeT plot to recruit youths in India and carry out attacks on right-wing leaders was uncovered by the Bangalore police with the assistance of the Andhra Pradesh counter-intelligence in 2012. Two of the youths arrested from Hubli in the investigation that began at the end of August 2012 are alleged to have been sent to Pakistan in 2011 to join Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Ghani is among seven wanted persons in the Bangalore LeT conspiracy case who are suspected to be living in Saudi Arabia. The others are Mohammed Shahed Faisal alias Ustad, 32, Abdul Majeed, 24, Mohammed Bhai alias Abdul Bari alias Abu Hamza, 45, Furkhan Bhai, 43, Osman bin Siddiqui alias Abu Hanzala, 44, and Asad Khan alias Abu Sufiyan, 48. Interpol red corner notices have been issued against all of them on the basis of arrest warrants issued by Indian courts.