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Indian Mujahideen gave hawala for 13/7 attacks

February 10, 2012

In a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about the money trail behind the 13/7 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian anti-terrorism police have uncovered an additional link in the financial pipeline behind the jihadist carnage that left 26 dead.

We had already learned that 13/7 mastermind Yasin Bhatkal received funding for the attack from Kanwar Nain Patrija (also spelled Pathreja), a hawala dealer.

Hawala is simply a transfer, so somebody had to give Patrija the money in the first place.  Now we know who:  Indian Mujahideen members Riyaz Bhatkal and Haroon Rashid, who was arrested last year on separate but not altogether unrelated charges of counterfeiting, have been named in the investigation.  Indian television reports that Haroon Rashid also has ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al Qaeda.  Roll tape:

More from DNA on Feb. 3, including information on the Dubai origins of the illicit cash:

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), the investigating agency for the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai, has learnt that Indian Mujahideen co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal had decided to send cash via a Mumbai-based hawala operator to Yasin Bhatkal to execute the blasts.

Sources said during a conspiratorial meeting in a Dubai hotel attended by Riyaz Bhatkal, a Pakistani national, and Haroon Rashid Naik, it was decided that money would be paid to Yasin Bhatkal in Mumbai.

The entire funding was to be done through Naik by using his hawala contacts, sources said.

“Accordingly, the Mumbai-based hawala operator, on the instructions of Naik, got in touch with Yasin, who was in Delhi, and told him to come down to the city and collect the money. Yasin however, refused to visit Mumbai and insisted that the money be delivered to him in Delhi itself,” said an ATS officer, requesting anonymity.

He added that this operator then instructed Delhi-based Kanwarnain Pathreja to deliver the money. Pathreja runs a jewellery shop known as Jyoti Jewellers in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, as well as alleged hawala operations. “The Mumbai-based hawala operator is in our radar,” the officer said.

Rakesh Maria, the additional director general of police, ATS, had recently said that four to five persons were a part of the financial trail behind the 13/7 blasts.

Two of the suspects arrested earlier were produced before the Mazgaon court on Thursday, and their custody was extended till February 10.

Hawala is a money transfer system based in Islamic law that has fueled terrorist attacks across the world.

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