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Suspected 9/11 plotter’s Karnataka link under scanner: What have the agencies found

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Bengaluru, Oct 6: Investigators in India are ascertaining the antecedents of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected 9/11 plotter. The interest regarding this man currently lodged in the Guantanamo Bay jail cropped up after it was learnt that he studied at Mysore, Karnataka.

Abu Zubaydah

One of the masterminds of the 9/11 attack and considered Osama Bin Laden's number 3 man, he studied at the Sarada Vilas College in the year 1989. He pursued a course in computer science, but failed to complete his undergraduation as he had failed in his exams.

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He used to live in the Udaygiri area of Mysore. In the year 1990, he left Mysore and reportedly travelled to Afghanistan. Indian investigators tell OneIndia that no concrete Indian link has emerged as yet. There were no complaints regarding him while he stayed at Mysore.

However agencies are trying to track if he was in touch with some Al-Qaeda related elements during his stay. It is clear that the radicalisation process may have started in India itself. This the investigators believe could be possible since he left India and travelled directly to Afghanistan. He stayed in Mysore only for a year.

The agencies are now gathering further details regarding his stay. Details from his college have been collected and the sleuths are now trying to get in touch with a lady, who he was reportedly close to while he stayed at Mysore.

The administrator of the college, Parthasarathi said that the investigative agencies had visited the college to look into the matter. He also said that Abu was in the college for a year. He failed in the first year itself and then left.

The 9/11 files:

Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian national and is currently being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002. Reports say that he was extensively interrogated and water-boarded 83 times.

According to his younger brother Hesham, they had eight siblings. Hesham remembers his older brother "as a happy-go-lucky guy, and something of a womanizer." Born in Saudi Arabia, Zubaydah moved to the West Bank as a teenager, where he joined in Palestinian demonstrations against the Israelis.

17 years on: The 9/11 attacks and the Indian connection

Zubaydah is reported to have studied computer science in Mysore, India prior to his travel to Afghanistan/Pakistan at the age of 20 in 1991.

He joined the mujahideen in the Afghan civil war. In 1992, Zubaydah was injured in a mortar shell blast, which left shrapnel in his head and caused severe memory loss, as well as the loss of the ability to speak for over one year.

On March 28, 2002, CIA and FBI agents, in conjunction with Pakistani intelligence services, raided several safe houses in Pakistan searching for Zubaydah. His pocket litter supposedly contained two bank cards which showed that he had access to Saudi and Kuwaiti bank accounts; most al-Qaeda members used the preferred, untraceable hawala banking.

In a speech in 2006, President Bush claimed that Zubaydah revealed useful intelligence when enhanced interrogation was used, including identification of two important suspects and information that allegedly helped foil a terrorist attack on American soil.

After accusing him of being "No. 3 in al Qaeda" and subjecting him to various forms of torture, the CIA subsequently conceded that Abu Zubaydah was never part of the terror group founded by Osama bin Laden.

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