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Dawood’s hand in Mumbai attack
Published on 19 Dec. 2008 12:14 AM IST
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Reinforcing India’s accusation about cross-border involvement in the Mumbai carnage, Russia has said that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, widely believed to be staying in Pakistan, provided logistical support for the Nov 26-29 terror strikes. “The inputs testify that infamous regional drug baron Dawood Ibrahim had provided his logistics network to prepare and carry out the Mumbai terror attacks,” Victor Ivanov, director of Russia’s anti-narcotics service, said in an interview in the government-controlled Rossiskaya Gazeta. “The super profits of the narco-mafia through Afghan heroin trafficking have become a powerful source of financing organised crime and terrorist networks, destabilising the political systems, including in Central Asia and Caucasus,” Ivanov said. This is perhaps the first time a top official from a foreign country has explicitly blamed Dawood Ibrahim, one of the 40 fugitives India wants. The Mumbai massacre left more than 170 people dead. Dawood Ibrahim helped to raise funds for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant outfit suspected of masterminding the Mumbai carnage, reliable sources said. Ivanov’s comments came even as India and Russia firmed their anti-terror cooperation by focusing on finances of terrorists. Jointly combating terrorism and firming up cooperation in attacking financing of terrorists also figured prominently in discussions at a meeting of the joint working group on counter-terrorism meeting in New Delhi Wednesday. The delegations were headed by Vivek Katju, special secretary in the external affairs ministry, and Anatoly Safonov, special representative of the Russian president for International Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism and Transnational Crime. “Both sides underlined their shared concerns on the growing threat of cross-border terrorism and reaffirmed their commitment for strengthening bilateral cooperation against terrorism,” a joint statement said Thursday. The two sides underlined the importance of international efforts to counter terrorism and the need for expeditious conclusion of negotiations leading to finalisation of India sponsored Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism (CCIT) at the UN General Assembly. The two sides focused on curbing financing of terrorism as a key component of the counter terrorism strategy and agreed to strengthen bilateral interaction in this field. India and Russia have signed an agreement on cooperation between the Financial Intelligence Unit of India and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation. The Russian side also reiterated its support to India’s membership of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - an important step that could enhance regional anti-money laundering and countering terrorist finance regime. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev became the first foreign head of state to visit India since the Mumbai attacks when he came here on a state visit Dec 5.

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