Plan to Attack Consulates:Extradition Process of Lankan Begins

Published: 01st June 2014 01:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2014 01:09 PM   |  A+A-


The extradition process of a Sri Lankan national, arrested in Malaysia for alleged conspiracy to carry out terror strikes on the US and Israeli consulates in South India, has begun with India approaching Interpol for issuing an Red Corner notice against the accused.

Mohammad Hossaini, who was arrested by Malaysian police in Kepong near Kuala Lumpur a fortnight ago, is wanted in India for allegedly hatching a conspiracy for carrying out strikes on the US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bangalore.

Tamil Nadu Police had secured a non-bailable arrest warrant against Hossaini which was sent through diplomatic channels to France-based Interpol headquarters for issuance of Red Corner Notice, official sources said.

In the meantime, a provisional request has been sent to Malaysia for sharing the interrogation report of Hossaini so that other leads in the probe could be followed.

According to the sources, Hossaini told the Malaysian police that he had received instructions to assist two men in the attacks on the US and Israeli consulates in Chennai and Bangalore.

Malaysia had tipped Intelligence Bureau about an alleged conspiracy being hatched from Sri Lanka about carrying an attack on US and Israeli consulates in Chennai and Bangalore in which a Lankan national Sakir Hussain was identified.

The leads in the case surfaced when Malaysian authorities were probing money laundering and human trafficking cases.

Hussain was alleged to be talking to ISI officers and allegedly planning to carry out terror strikes on the two consulates.

The arrests by the Malaysian authorities was a follow up of nabbing of Hussain and his subsequent interrogation which was shared with agencies in Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.

Hussain told his interrogators that he had been hired allegedly by an official in Pakistani High Commission in Colombo to conduct reconnaissance of US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bangalore.

Hussain, who was arrested on April 29 in a coordinated operation involving various countries including Malaysia and Sri Lanka, reportedly told the interrogators that the Pakistan's spy agency ISI was planning to send two men from Maldives to Chennai and that he had to arrange for their travel documents and hideouts in Chennai and Bangalore.

Hussain travelled from Colombo to India and was arrested after prolonged monitoring by the central security agencies.

His sustained interrogation unravelled an alleged plan by the ISI to carry out terror strike on the two consulates and also named an official at the Pakistan High Commission based in Colombo as his handler.

The reason for ISI for picking up, according to Hussain, was that he was engaged in human trafficking, making of forged passports and smuggling of fake Indian currency.

Pictures of US and Israeli consulates showing various gates and roads leading to the two premises were recovered from his laptop, the sources said and claimed that these pictures had been mailed to his alleged handlers in Pakistan and its High Commission in Colombo.

Cyber signatures showed that the pictures were downloaded at a computer within the premises of Pakistan High Commission at Colombo and the same had been shared with Sri Lankan authorities, the sources claimed.

Hussain had allegedly sent sketches of the roads leading to the two consulates in Portable Document Format (PDF) to his handlers, the sources said.

The role of an Pakistani High Commission official in Colombo had figured earlier in 2012-13 also when central security agencies picked up one Tameem Ansari, a frequent flier from Trichy to Colombo. Ansari was arrested after six months of surveillance in 2012.

Ansari after allegedly being brainwashed by the official was roped in to take videos of the Nagapattinam port, the ships that berthed there, the topography and other dimensions, as well as Mallipattinam, traditionally a landing point.

The apparent strategy being followed by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was to rope in Muslims from Sri Lanka for executing their plans to give credibility to the deniability factor that it was not involved in any way.


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