Keralite LeT coordinator in Dubai 19/11/2009 00:37:21 By M P Prashanth- www.expressbuzz.com
KOZHIKODE: A former leader of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is the coordinator for the activities of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in Kerala and in the Gulf countries. A student in a private college in Malappuram in 1980s, he is now operating from Dubai and was the one who introduced bomb-making expert E T Sainudheen to IM co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal. According to sources the SIMI leader had a major role in converting Sainudheen, a radio mechanic in Kondotty whom he helped financially on occasion, into a full-blown extremist.
In December 2007, he called Sainudheen from Dubai and asked him to meet a person at Kuttippuram. Sainudheen, along with Thadiyantavide Nazeer, the absconding IM leader, and Aftab alias Abdul Rahim, who was killed in an encounter in Kashmir, received one Rashid at the Kuttippuram railway station. It was only later that Sainudheen realised that 'Rashid' was actually Riyaz Bhatkal.
The two discussed the plight of Muslims in India and plans to carry out attacks in various parts of the country. The explosions in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore occurred after this meeting.
The SIMI leader's closeness to Bhatkal points to his stature in the IM hierarchy. He is suspected to be the right hand man of C A M Basheer, who was the all-India president of SIMI in the 1980s.
Basheer is believed to be stationed in Saudi Arabia now. The police have confided that the suspects in the Ernakulam Collectorate blast have taken shelter in Dubai. It may not be a coincidence that Headley, the LeT operative arrested by the FBI, came to Kochi from Dubai.