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The investigation into an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) plot to attack right-wing Hindu elements that led to the framing of charges against 12 Muslim youths from Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has reached a dead end as eight more wanted persons,including several with links to an older generation of terrorist incidents in India,are based abroad.
The authorities have issued Interpol Red Corner Notices for the arrest of the eight. An Interpol notice is also likely to be issued against a ninth missing person,identified only as Motu Doctor,when the National Investigating Agency identifies him in the course of a supplementary chargesheet to be filed in a couple of months.
Among the eight persons wanted in the Bangalore case is a man referred to by some of the accused as Professor who has been identified in the NIA chargesheet as Farhatullah Ghori,47,an accused in the 2003 attack on the Akshardham Temple. Sources said he was in Pakistan and was a key link to extremist outfits there.
Another wanted person is Mohammed Bhai alias Abdul Bari alias Abu Hamza,45,who is the main accused in a blast outside the Dilsukhnagar Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad in 2002 that killed two. He is in Saudi Arabia and is linked to the creation of the Muslim Defence Force in Tamil Nadu,a precursor to the emergence of the Al Ummah.
Baris brother Furkhan Bhai,43,Osman bin Siddiqui alias Abu Hanzala,44,an alleged financier of LeT networks in India,and Asad Khan alias Abu Sufiyan,48,who has a terrorist case record in Hyderabad,are the other wanted persons. They are from an older generation of alleged terrorists.
These five aged above 40 hail from Hyderabad and have cases in Andhra Pradesh as well.
The three others against whom Red Corner Notices have been issued are much younger Abdul Majed,24,the youngest brother of Abdul Shahed,an LeT linked terrorist killed in Karachi in 2007,Usmane Ghane,37,a doctor,and Mohammed Shahed Faisal,28,an engineer.
Sources said dentist Imran Ahmed,who was arrested recently in the conspiracy case following his return from Saudi Arabia,had confirmed that the persons against whom Interpol notices have been issued were part of a group that frequently met in Saudi to discuss developments in India with regard to Muslims,among other issues.
Earlier,Mohammed Akram,27,of Nanded who is considered a key figure in the alleged LeT plot,had told investigators that the conspiracy was hatched in the course of meetings held with the Gulf-based individuals.
Sources said further progress in the case would depend on the availability of the Gulf- and Pakistan-based men.