Pak father-son duo held in Italy over Mumbai attacks

Taj hotel terror attack

Tracing new links to the Mumbai carnage, a Pakistani father-son duo were arrested on Saturday from Italy for allegedly managing money transfer to finance phone communications of the attackers following leads from Indian and US investigators.

The two men, who ran a money transfer agency, were arrested in an early morning raid from the northern Italian city of Brescia, police said.

The duo have been identified by the police as Mohammad Yaqub Janjua, 60, and Aamer Yaqub Janjua, 31. They have been accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity.

On November 25, 2008, a day before the attacks, they transferred USD 229 to activate an internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia.

The funds that enabled the terrorists to be in touch with their handlers in Pakistan were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been to Italy and was not involved in the attacks, reports from Italy said.

The two managed a money transfer agency where it is reported to be a common practice to transfer funds using false identities. The Italian police arrested the two men in an early morning raid in Brescia, the police said in a statement.

Italian police started their investigation the following month after being alerted by Indian authorities and the FBI that funds had been transferred from Italy, Fonzi said.

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