November 29, 2013 8:59:27 am
Two alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who escaped from a Lucknow court in February 2007 and remain wanted by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force were reportedly among the instructors who trained the 10 terrorists who targeted Mumbai on November 26,2008. This was reportedly revealed by Ajmal Kasab,the lone terrorist captured during the 26/11 attacks,to his interrogators.
According to sources,Kasab told officials that the two Pakistani LeT operatives had lectured them on how to plan and execute an escape if they were captured. He positively identified the photographs of the two fugitives Maqsood Ahmed and Mohammed Saeed as being among his instructors at a training camp.
Maqsood and Saaed were held near Faizabad on March 26,2002 under POTA. They reportedly told the Uttar Pradesh Police that they were instructed to activate the LeTs sleeper modules in the state,and planned to engineer blasts at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
In 2004,Maqsood was also convicted and sentenced to death by a Delhi court for killing a constable named Nitin Puttewar during an attack on a CRPF camp at Jharoda Kalan,Delhi on October 18,2001.
On February 27,2007, the duo escaped when they were taken to the Lucknow district court for a hearing. They reportedly asked their police escorts to let them go to the toilet,and were allowed to do so. They emerged a few minutes later,with one of them brandishing a pistol and firing in the air. The duo managed to flee from the court premises. A Sub-Inspector and two constables who were escorting the duo were suspended.
While Kasab was in police custody,photographs of Maqsood and Saaed were shown to him by intelligence officers,and he immediately identified them as two of his instructors at a terror training camp in Muzaffarabad. Kasab told us that as part of their training for the Mumbai attack,the two LeT terrorists gave the ten chosen gunmen lessons on escape strategies if they were caught, said a source.
The two escaped terrorists gave clear instructions to Kasab and the others that they should not attempt any escape if they were in police custody,as security is tight in such situations. They advised them to attempt to escape while in judicial custody. Maqsood and Saeed told them to befriend their police escorts by telling them sad stories of their poor conditions back home,and to capitalise on any moment of weakness during trips outside the jail, the source added.
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