Abdul Karim Tunda, LeT bomb expert suspected to be behind 40 blasts, held


Abdul Karim 'Tunda' a dreaded terrorist from the 1980s, a skillful bomb-maker, and of late an able talent-spotter for the Lashkar-e-Toiba was arrested by the Delhi Police on Friday, reportedly from the Nepal border, ending a two-decade-long chase for a man believed to be involved in about 40 blasts across the country. He was today produced before a Delhi court which remanded him in three-day police custody.

It is learnt that Tunda, 70, was probably caught somewhere in a third country and then deported. Given the pressure Pakistan brings on countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE on such cooperation with Indian authorities as happened in the Syed Zabiuddin Ansari case sources said the arrest could have been shown on the Nepal border.

A resident of Pilkhuwa, near Ghaziabad, Tunda was among the first Indians to set up an LeT module in the Indian hinterland. He was allegedly responsible for a series of blasts, starting with the 1993 Mumbai train blasts and then the spate of attacks in1996-1997 using pencil batteries as explosives. This was the first time when alerts went out about transistor bombs, toys and such material.

In the recent past, Tunda is believed to have been involved in scouting for young talent to join the world of jihad and motivating them through long sermons. This work took him across several countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bangladesh and Nepal where young low-income Muslim youth could be easily tapped.

He was also allegedly involved in planning some key attacks. According to Delhi Police, his last major attempt was an attack during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, using "an elaborate network of human traffickers and fake Indian currency couriers from Bangladesh". However, the plan failed after some of his accomplices were arrested.

Delhi Police sources claimed that Tunda was possibly scouting for youth to carry out a terror strike in Delhi, on the directions of LeT head Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.

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