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Born on November 23, 1981, Ansari, who has at least a dozen aliases, is said to have been recruited into the LeT by Fayaz Kagazi, who was his senior in college. Ansari is a BSc and had been pursuing his Masters in Hindi when he dropped out in his first year. Sources said Fayaz, who they suspect is now in Saudi Arabia, introduced Ansari to Aslam Kashmiri, who was arrested in the Aurangabad arms haul case in 2006.
It was Fayaz who sent Ansari to Kathmandu for two months' training in making bombs, they said. Ansari returned to Ahmedabad, where he is alleged to have helped carry out the blast of February 9, 2006.
After the arms haul, Ansari narrowly escaped arrest and was reportedly reprimanded by Lakhvi for the failure of that operation. Ansari then left for Kolkata, then to Bangladesh along with Fayaz, and then to Pakistan, sources said.
In 2009, Ansari married a Pakistani woman, Mariamme, and has a son with her. The family lives in Pakistan.
Although it was Aslam Kashmiri who gave the police the first tip about Ansari, the arrest came only on a disclosure by Mohd Adil alias Ajmal, a Pakistani member of the Indian Mujahideen who was arrested by the Special Team in November 2011. Adil disclosed that it was a Marathi Muslim called Zabiuddin who had been anchoring LeT operations, helped by Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal.
Bengal police too want to question him
Zabiuddin Ansari used Bongaon, West Bengal, to sneak from India into Bangladesh before moving on to Pakistan in 2006. While he was in Bengal, he recruited youths from Murshidabad, Malda and North 24-Parganas who would operate in those districts, police sources said. A Bengal police team has now reached Delhi to interrogate him.
Two LeT operatives linked to Ansari were arrested by the Bengal police in July 2008 from Murshidabad. Mohammad Mustaq Ahmed, trained in Pakistan, ran a small garment shop , while Hasan-ud-Jamal alias Hasan Master was a primary schoolteacher. Mustaq was given the responsibility of providing shelter to LeT members and looking after local recruitment. During interrogation, they reportedly confessed they had helped recruits cross over to Bangladesh so that they could reach Pakistan for training.