17 years on: The 9/11 attacks and the Indian connection
New Delhi, Sep 11: It has been 17 years since 9/11. The attack is probably one of the worst in history and till date workers continue to identify nearly 1,100 victims of the hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Centre.
During the investigations on several occasions, an Indian link to the deadly attack had cropped up. Officials say that the main link was regarding the funding.
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The spotlight on the Indian link to the attack came back when an Aftab Ansari, who was part of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen was brought back to India for his role in the abduction of a businessman and the attack on the American Centre in Kolkata.
Investigations show that Ansari was one of the persons who was in the know of the 9/11 plot and it was further alleged that he had contributed the money he had received as ransom following the abduction of the businessman.
The intelligence bureau had intercepted a call from the Alipore jail to Karachi. The conversation recorded between Jawed Baluchi from Karachi and Ansari was relating to an abduction plot in India which was fortunately foiled by the police.
The Indian connection:
Roy Burman the vice chairman of Khadim shoes was abducted by a gang of five headed by Aftab Ansari. It was alleged that a part of the Rs 3.65 crore ransom that they had got was pumped into New York to help with the planning of the 9/11 attack. Ansari had to be deported from the UAE at the behest of the US after this link had come up.
Ansari after the abduction had stayed on in India for a year before he executed the American Centre bombing in 2002 at Kolkata. After this, he fled to the UAE before being deported to India.
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Ansari however continued with his activities despite being lodged in jail. The 2014 intercept suggests that they were planning an abduction and also an attack in Delhi.
An officer with the intelligence bureau informed that the ransom amount that they were planning on demanding was around Rs 4 crore. While a part of the money was to be used for the Delhi strike, they had planned on moving some money to Pakistan.
According to a CIA dossier was partly funded by Ansari and his men. Some of the men who reported to Ansari had managed to slip out and they carried the funds to Pakistan which was used to float the Indian Mujahideen.