India authorities arrest new suspect in 2008 Mumbai attacks

[JURIST] India's Foreign Minister SM Krishna [official profile] announced Monday that the New Delhi police have arrested a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Abu Hamza, an alleged member of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], is believed [Reuters report] to be a previously unidentified man who was talking on the phone from Pakistan to militants involved in the 2008 attacks. His voice was recorded when he was talking to the gunmen who attacked a Jewish center in south Mumbai during the attacks. The two men killed six of their hostages and were killed later by Indian authorities. Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], a Pakistani gunman who was captured, convicted and sentenced [JURIST reports] to death told investigators that an Indian man had taught the perpetrators Hindi and the layout of streets in Mumbai. Police and other officials did not further comment on how they will proceed against Hamza.

The perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks killed 166 people. In February a New Delhi court confirmed charges [JURIST report] against US citizens and a Canadian citizen who have been accused of being involved in the 2008 attacks. The Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) [official website] had accused the LeT and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) [SATP backgrounder] of using David Headley for gathering information on potential Indian terror attack sites. In March 2010 an Indian court heard final arguments in the trial of Kasab who had appealed [JURIST reports] his death sentences which was denied in October 2010. In 2009 a Pakistani court dismissed charges [JURIST report] against Islamic cleric Hafiz Muhammad Saeed [Global Jihad profile], the founder and leader of LeT, for lack of evidence.

 

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