Monday, February 22, 2010

The India-Saudi treaty will help fight against terrorism

India will become one of the first countries to ink an extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia, when Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his delegation meets Saudi leaders later this week.

Security experts dealing with terrorism say that this is one of the best things to have happened to India in its terror tackling efforts.

On interrogating Sarfaraz Nawaz, an operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was brought down from the Gulf to Bangaluru by the Research and Analysis Wing in truly 'filmy' style, it was for the first time that the police realised that there was a very strong network of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba breeding in that region.

Saudi Arabia, which was only a source of funds for the Lashkar, has gradually become a hub to house their terrorists. At first every person indoctrinated into the terror network was either flown down directly into Pakistan or Bangladesh.

However, since the past two years, the Lashkar insists that their men be moved into the Gulf first, and only after spending a considerable amount of time there are they shifted to Pakistan.

Intelligence Bureau sources say that several key elements of the Lashkar, who are very dangerous for India, stay in Saudi Arabia. Muslim Basheer, Haroon and Wali are three extremely important operatives who run the Lashkar operations from Saudi.

Apart from getting these terrorists, the extradition treaty would also ensure that terrorists especially from the Kerala region will stop using Saudi as a safe route to get into Pakistan.

In the past one year, there have been over 40 suspicious persons who have moved into Saudi. Some of them have even managed to get into Pakistan using this route, IB sources say.

Indian agencies have tried their best in the past to lay their hands on the likes of Haroon, Wali and Basheer.

Wali in particular is a dangerous operative and he is the one who controls the operations in the Gulf. The interrogation of the accused in the Delhi blasts case coupled with IB intercepts show that he is an improtant fundraiser for the LeT.

Basheer and Haroon also play a key role in ensuring that operatives find a smooth passage from India into the Gulf and then to Pakistan.

Basheer handles recruitments while Haroon, who runs a travel agency, helps with fake passports and identification cards.

Experts point out the need to ink similar treaties with Oman since the IB has pointed out that there is a growing Lashkar base in Muscat too. These men are likely to slip into Oman and continue operations, if such a deal is inked only with Saudi Arabia.

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