Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reports that Indian Intelligence performed 'Special Rendition' of terrorist suspect from Muscat

Breaking News: It's being reported today that the Indian equivilent of the CIA, the Research and Analysis Wing [RAW], performed an extraordinary rendition from Muscat of a suspect behind the Bangalore bombings. [thanks for the tip-off, 'People of India'] news
RAW nabs Bangalore blasts suspect in top-secret mission

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | March 04, 2009 00:25 IST

In a top secret mission, a team of the Research and Analysis Wing tracked down an absconding accused in the Bangalore serial blasts case in Muscat, and sneaked him out of Oman, since India doesn't have an extradition treaty with that country.

Sarfaraz Nawaz, 32, who allegedly played a major role in financing the Bangalore blasts, had sought refuge in Muscat.

Investigating officials told that a RAW team managed to track down Nawaz in Muscat. They added that Nawaz was 'smuggled into' Bangalore on a chartered aircraft.

The entire operation was so secretive that even the Air Traffic Control was taken aback when they received a message to help the chartered aircraft land at the Bengaluru [Images] International Airport.

After landing at the airport, officials of the RAW and the Intelligence Bureau called top Central Industrial Security Force officials and directed them to escort the passengers in the aircraft.

The officials handed over Nawaz to the Bangalore police, who are currently questioning him.

Abdul Sattar, the prime accused in the case, had revealed Nawaz's role in the serial blasts during his interrogation.

Nawaz was reportedly close to Riyaz Bhatkal, a key Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative, who later took over the charge of the Indian Mujahideen.

With Nawaz's arrest, the Bangalore police are hopeful of tracking down the remaining suspects, who might have fled the country after the Bangalore blasts.

Naturally, such a mission would involve cooperation from Oman's Internal Security and Military Intelligence.

Well done team! Mr. Nawaz will now be 'assisting with inquiries'.

Background on RAW.
Wikipedia: Research and Analysis Wing
Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW)[1] is India's external intelligence agency. Formed in September 1968 after the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, its primary function is collection of external intelligence, counter-terrorism and covert operations. In addition, it is also responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and persons in order to advise Indian foreign policymakers.


  1. Nawaz should be a Pakistani National of course can not be Omani??????

    The RAW team are excellent .... Mabrook.

  2. UD, Any inside scoop on the matter?

    Mabrook to all involved.

  3. More Details:

    RAW officials smuggle terrorist out of Muscat
    By: MiD DAY Correspondent Date: 2009-03-04

    The operation was top secret and even airport officials were kept in the dark till about 15 minutes before the flight landed in Bangalore

    RAW officials abducted a 32-year-old terror suspect from his hideout in Muscat and brought him to Bangalore in a private plane. The abduction was necessary since there is no extradition treaty between India and Muscat, a senior officer from the investigating agency said.

    Sarfaraz Nawaz, a native of Kerala, is said to have financed the Bangalore serial blasts. He later fled to Muscat to take refuge with his relatives. His name cropped up during the interrogation of Abdul Sattar, a radio mechanic from Kerala who devised timers for the bombs.

    Armed with the information, a team of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officials tracked down Sarfaraz. They smuggled him into a private plane from Muscat to Bengaluru International Airport at around 12 am on Friday.

    The operation was kept secret and even the Air Traffic Control (ATC) was taken by surprise when at 11.45 pm, they got a message to facilitate and "clear a non-civil aircraft," which was about to land in the next 15 minutes at the airport. They were further instructed to waive off the landing and taking off fee because it was a government aircraft.

    Similar messages were flashed to the customs and immigration officials, who were asked to "give permission to passengers of the special aircraft without asking any questions".

    Sarfaraz was later handed over to Bangalore police who are questioning him about his local contacts. Sarfaraz is closely connected to Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal and Naseer, all accused in the serial blast cases. Through his arrest we will be able to track down the others who have fled to other countries, a senior police officer said.

    More arrested

    The Anti-Terrorist Cell in Bangalore which is investigating the case has arrested six people in connection with the blasts so far.

    "However, the kingpin is still at large. We have got vital information from Sarfaraz and we are questioning him for more," police added.

  4. Was this guy proven guilty before extradition? Did he admit to crimes to ROP?

  5. UD

    I doubt that our ISS were even aware of the rendition, let alone participating in it, if they were involved, it will not be extraordinary rendition, will it?

  6. This isn't the first time something of this sort has happened, Something similar happened in the 80's in Dubai. After an Indian airlines flight was hijacked and taken there. Dubai authorities told hijackers that they are being taken to america. Indians leased an american jet and parked on tarmac with windows shut. The hijackers fell for it and were flown to India. (I may have mixed up some bits, I am saying this from memory) But the story is similar. If I am not mistaken, Talmiz Ahmed (Current Indian ambassador to UAE) was involved in this episode. All this occured due to the co-operation extended by the Dubai authorities and specifically the King at the time.

  7. Go RAW. It's at times like these that I'm really proud to be Indian.

    Hopefully, they might even begin abducting a few Dawood Ibrahim men from the U.A.E, but that's wishful thinking.

    UD - I'm curious to know why you think that Oman's IS and MI would have to be involved. I doubt they'd be able to help much as far as intelligence is concerned?

  8. Daniel, India and Oman are allies and face the same/similar threats. India wouldn't want to upset a key ally by kidnapping the person from Muscat without omani approval. What about immigration in Seeb airport? Of course Omani authorities would have been in the know.

  9. True, Indo-Omani ties go back a long way, and India wouldn't want to upset them, but would Oman actually approve an abduction like this on its soil, in the absence of an extradition treaty? Would be great if anyone could shed some light on this.

    If it was an Omani or any other nationality, I can see why India would need to keep this operation under wraps - cos there's no way Oman would allow an abduction like that.

    But we know it was an Indian terrorist, which makes it plausable that Omani security wouldn't stand in the way. Or would they? Because of no extradition treaty? If India suspected so, they certainly would have worked alone out of fear of having the mission jeopardised.

    If India did work alone, airport immigration could be bypassed. Mossad did it when they abducted Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960.

    Which makes me wonder if Omani forces were in the know at all. Of course, I could be wrong. India, wary of straining ties with Oman, would be fearful of going solo on this abduction, while Oman, keen on maintaining good relations with India, would perhaps not let the lack of an extradition treaty come in the way of a common fight against terrorism.


  10. They probably would have been in the know if you ask me. The guy in question is probably an Indian national, and if he was involved in the bangalore attacks, then Oman will send him to India to face their authorities. If he is cleared in India, he is welcome back in Oman. Doubt Oman would be happy to allow Indian intel a free run in Oman anyway, so ROP would probably been involved. I am sure HM himself would have cleared this operation.

    UD, any comments?

    -H in Muscat-

  11. Info about an Omani national who is involved. Hope ROP get on the case.
    B’lore blasts financier flown in from Oman

    Bangalore: The Bangalore police on Saturday announced the arrest of a 31-year-old former SIMI activist based in Oman for financing the July 25 serial blasts in Bangalore carried out by a module from Kerala. They say he is linked to the Lashkar-e-Toiba as well.

    The police claimed to have arrested Sarfaraz Nawaz, a native of Kerala, while he was attempting to board a bus in the Kalasipalyam area of Bangalore on February 27. However, sources say he was picked up in Muscat by central agencies and secretly brought to Bangalore.

    Apart from financing the Bangalore blasts to the tune of Rs 3.25 lakh, Nawaz is a part of a LeT module that was plotting attacks on key scientists in India, Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said. “In December 2008, Nawaz along with Jasim and Ali (both members of LeT) discussed some plan to attack some prominent scientists of India and some other important personalities,” he said.

    Sources said Jasim and Ali, an Omani national, were together responsible for funding the the journey of 26/11 Mumbai attack accused Fahim Ansari to Pakistan for Terror training.

    Nawaz has also been linked during his stay in Oman since 2001 to one of the founding presidents of SIMI, C A M Basheer, who is believed to be in exile in the Middle-east.

    The Bangalore police said Nawaz had been linked to the SIMI since 1995 and was an office secretary at the outfit’s Delhi office in 2000 before he left for Muscat in 2001. He allegedly became part of the conspiracy to carry out blasts in Bangalore on the instructions of LeT leaders based in the Gulf region such as Wali alias Rehan and Ali the Omani national.

  12. Another article confirms, that Nawaz was arrested by ROP:

    He was picked up by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Oman. He was brought to Bangalore, where he was picked up by the city police.

    He is supposed to be one of the main conspirators behind the blasts.

    Currently a SIMI secretary, Sarfaraz was working in Delhi and has been sending youth to Pakistan to get trained in terror activities. He also funded the Bangalore serial blasts.

    Sarfaraz, along with his wife and son were in Oman, until he was picked up by Oman police in connection with another racket following which the family came down to Kerala. Sarfaraz has been remanded in Bangalore police custody till March 14.

  13. Personally I despair of this type of behaviour. How can we continue to claim that we are civilized and that we conduct ourselves appropriately and then condone effective kidnapping? If the guy is who the authorities claim he is, then why not arrest him in Muscat and keep him detained until more evidence can be found to bring a legal case against him? If 'the terrorists' behaved in such a manner, there would be absolute uproar, but time and again the so-called authorities breach laws in their fight against terror. I do not see much difference in the behaviour of the two sides. Both are wrong and those that call themselves 'civilized' should take a long hard look at how they are conducting themselves.

  14. Dude, the guy is an indian national. Based on the article above, he was arrested by ROP for some other crime anyway. He is wanted for a crime committed on Indian soil, India and Oman do not have an extradition treaty unlike with the UAE. The person is facing questioning, subject to Indian law. He will appear in court, where he will be able to prove himself innocent. We aren't exactly sending him to Guantanamo. If he is a proven terrorist, then he is threat to India and Oman's national security. So what's your problem?

  15. Here's a new story, out of India, where the authorities claim the man was arrested while boarding a bus in Bangalore :)

    Also mentions an Omani national's involvement...

  16. If this is true, and the pace of such action is maintained, then finally India is waking up from inaction and holding people who create mayhem accountable. Hopefully Mumbai attacks have made India more responsible.

  17. The omani national is a person of pakistani origin, who naturalized in Oman. he was the main distributor of the terror funds from Pakistan into India. Hope Omani government take note of this and strip this guy of his citizenship(kicked out and sent back to Pakistan). Its a shame that an Omani is involved in this.

  18. Police said, "Nawaz attended a meeting with Jasim and Ali, both members of LeT in Muscat. Things like how to carry out terror activities in India came up during discussions. This included attacks on top scientists. Nawaz told us that these things were at a discussion level during meetings in Muscat."
    The above is from of an article. Muscat is turning out to be a base for terror. I hope HM and the security personel stamp it out of Oman.

    The same terror group is also involved in terror activity in western nations as well.

  19. “Nazir took instructions from Nawaz, who took them from the LeT. He passed on money he received from LeT supporters in Muscat. This was the link between the self-styled Shahabuddin Gowri brigade and the LeT,” the officer added.
    From The Peninsula (Qatar).

  20. Oman national gets 5 yrs for hiding explosives in shoes

    MUMBAI: An Oman national, who was intercepted at the Sahar airport last year for carrying explosive substances inside the heels of two pairs of
    shoes, was convicted by a sessions court to five years' rigorous imprisonment on Wednesday. The court also levied a fine of Rs 1,000 on the accused Ali Hadi Badar Nassar Mohammad (29).

    According to the prosecution, Mohammad was to board a flight (WI 808) to Muscat on July 23, 2008, when officers at the baggage screening counter detected firecrackers in his luggage. The crackers were placed in a polythene bag. Air India security staff, who were screening the baggage, removed the polythene bag as it is illegal to carry explosive substances in an aircraft. However, an officer realised that the scanner detected more explosive substances than were found. He immediately informed the Sahar police who searched Mohammad's baggage thoroughly. They came across four shoes with unusually large heels. They were broken open to reveal 68 explosive substances including two sound crackers, small silver foil-coated bombs, anar and sutli bombs (firecrackers). Mohammad was booked under the provisions of the Explosive Substances Act and the Aircraft Act.

    During interrogation, Mohammad told the police that he had first visited India in 1992. In 2000, he went to Thailand. Then, he came back to India in 2003 and again in 2006. In 2008, he travelled to five Indian cities in a span of 21 days. The officials found his movements suspicious. On July 22, he picked up a consignment of explosive substances from a person in Mumbai.

    Mohammad told the police that two men in Muscat had asked him to bring the consignment. He added that he had travelled to different Indian cities for medical treatment but the police could not find any hospital records.

    "We traced a trader in Chor Bazaar from whom Mohammad had purchased the shoes. A cobbler who concealed the explosive substances inside the shoe heels was also traced,'' Patil added.

    The anti-terrorism squad also questioned Mohammad. A chargesheet was filed and the case was tried by the Sewri sessions court. Chemical analysis reports were produced as evidence.

    Mohammad's counsel, Majeed Memon, said his client had a mental ailment and they would appeal in the HC. Memon added that the police were required to secure a special sanction from the district magistrate before filing a chargesheet which they did not do.


    Oman fast becoming a terror hub?


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