The Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Tuesday arrested dreaded Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Zain-ul-Abedin, from Mumbai airport. Abedin has been wanted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in relation with the July 13, 2011 blast at three locations in Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar between 6.52 pm and 7.05 pm. Though a fourth bomb was planted at the Dadar Phool Market under a police van, it did not go off.
This comes as an important development in the case, in which the last arrest was made in July 2014, when Abdul Mateen Fakki- another accused in the blasts case- was arrested by the Mumbai ATS.
ATS sources said the accused, Zain-ul-Abedin, was picked up from the Mumbai airport. The twelfth person to be arrested in the case, he was earlier detained in Saudi Arabia in 2015.
The accused was allegedly involved in supplying the explosives used in the Mumbai triple blasts. The bombings were executed by Yasin Bhatkal, who also planted one of the explosives.
Abedin, who had close links with Indian Mujahideen’s founder leader Riyaz Bhatkal, was also wanted in connection with blasts in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Bangalore and he is also belongs to Bhatkal village in Karnataka.
“We had received information that Abedin would be coming to India to visit his native Bhatkal, and that he would be going there via Mumbai. Accordingly, we laid a trap and arrested him,” an ATS officer said.
In 2014, 50-year-old Fakki, who was also believed to a Mujahideen activist, was nabbed in relation with the serial blasts case, from the Goa airport, when he had arrived from a Dubai flight. Fakki had played a key role in the triple blasts conspiracy and had also transferred huge amounts of money from Dubai to India which was used towards financing the terror operation. Fakki was also believed to have financed the operation by passing money through “hawala” sources to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.