Abdul Karim Tunda, one of India's most wanted terrorists who has been arrested, has told his interrogators he was in constant touch with Pakistan's ISI and worked closely with it and also met leaders of several anti- India outfits during his stay in that country.
A top Delhi police official while stating this today said that 70-year-old Tundla claimed during his interrogation that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim whom he met in Karachi several times stays in a safe house in Pakistan's port city and is guarded by Pakistan's intelligency agency ISI.
"He(Tunda) claims that Dawood first called him to meet in 2010. He says that the underworld don stays in a safe house in Karachi and is guarded by ISI. His movements is restricted and monitored by the intelligence agency," the official said.
During his stay in Pakistan, Tunda told the police he had been in touch with organisations like ISI, LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Indian Mujahiddin and Babbar Khalsa and had been meeting people like Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim and several others wanted by India.
Calling the scope of his interrogation a 'vast canvas', the official said that Tunda, an expert bomb maker, is a bigger catch then Abu Jundal, a key Mumbai attack handler, for security agencies because of his intensive networks across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
"He has met the leaders of almost all anti-India organizations and even their small operatives. Tunda was constantly in touch with ISI and has worked with them closely," the official said.
Tunda had an excellent network of operatives through which he sent men and material into India, the official said, adding he has been sending explosives and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in India.
Tunda, a close aide of Dawood, was arrested on Friday after being on the run in several countries.
According to the police official, Tunda is running a number of madarsas in Karachi under the name of Mehdud-Taleem-Islam-e-Dar-Al-Funoon for which he gets a lot of donations for individuals and organizations. Here he indoctrinates youth to join jehad and gives them training to use arms and ammunition.
There is a batch of around 200 youth of all age groups in every batch, the official said.
The penetration level of his network and structure can be gauged by the fact that that in September-October 2010 when Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) leader Wadhawa Singh wanted to push explosives in India through Bangladesh he contacted Tunda for it, it was stated.
"The explosives which were assembled outside Pakistan were to be sent somewhere in Delhi or Punjab. However, the plan failed as Tunda's operatives were arrested in Bangladesh before they could execute the plan," the official said.
"Tunda has got great oratory skills through which he influences people, especially youth. He is a sort of 'motivational speaker' who encourages his disciples to join Jehad. Due to his ability to 'motivate' people he remains in great demand by terrorist organizations to give a 'pep talk' to their men," the official said.
To carry out a terror attack, you need a man, motivation and a bomb. Tunda provides all of this and that is why he is so popular among all terror outfits. His job is recruiting, motivating and providing explosives, he said.
According to police sources, Tunda, who was born in India in 1943, became radicalized and joined Jehadi forces in 1985 after some of his relatives were killed in communal riots in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra.
In Mumbai, Tunda met and befriended one Jalees Ansari. Both of them constituted their own Tanzeem namely 'Tanzeem Islah-ul-Muslimeen (Islamic Armed Organisation for Improvement of Muslims).
In 1993, Tunda and Ansari had set off a series of explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate bomb blasts on trains. After Ansari's arrest in January 1994, Tunda fled to Dhaka, police said.
Sources said that, it was Tunda who taught Ansari to make bomb who later earned the dubious distinction of being 'Dr Bomb'.
He returned from Dhaka to India to mastermind the deadly 1996-1998 blasts. In almost all the blasts in Delhi during 1996-98, Tunda's men, who were from Pakistan and Bangladesh, had detonated bombs.
Tunda claims that after 1998, it is the first time that he has returned to India, but investigating agencies are verifying this.
Sources said that the investigation is revolving around what Tunda has been doing during the last 15 years. Why was he coming to India this time and how Pakistan based various terrorist outfits and ISI carry out and control terror modules in India.
His journey and who all did he met in all those years will be probed, the source said.
During interrogation, Tunda told police sleuths that almost all those who are wanted in India, from Hafiz Saeed to Maulana Masood Azhar and from Dawood Ibrahim to the Bhatkal brothers of Indian Mujahideen are in touch with each other in Pakistan.
"Tunda, who was in direct touch with ISI was introduced to Hafeez Sayeed by the Pakistani intelligence agencies," the official said.