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India arrests a suspected plotter of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks

NEW DELHI — Police in New Delhi have arrested a man suspected of being one of the planners of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people, the government said Monday.

The police did not provide the suspect’s name, referring to him only by the alias Abu Jindal. Indian news media reports have identified him as Sayeed Zabiudeeni.

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The man, thought to be a member of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, is accused of delivering instructions by telephone to 10 heavily armed Pakistanis as they were carrying out the two-day siege that terrorized Mumbai with attacks on a railroad station, a major hotel, restaurants, and a Jewish center.

The authorities were able to intercept and record some of the telephone communications. In one conversation, a man the attackers addressed as Jindal told the two at the Jewish center, ‘‘This is just a trailer. The real film is yet to come.’’

Those attackers eventually killed six of their hostages, and were killed themselves by Indian commandos. Ajmal Qasab, the sole surviving attacker, told the Indian authorities that the man issuing instructions over the phone had helped train him and his nine fellow attackers in Pakistan, teaching them Hindi, according to news reports. Qasab was tried and sentenced to death for his role.

Zabiudeeni was arrested Thursday at the New Delhi airport as he arrived from an unspecified Middle Eastern country, police said.

With his capture, authorities may for the first time have someone in custody who has intimate knowledge about how the attack was organized.

An Interpol notice was issued in 2009 against Ansari, who also uses the names Abu Hamza and Abu Jindal. He is from the western state of Maharashtra, and is also suspected of aiding terrorists who placed bombs in a Mumbai train in 2006.

New York Times

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