June 2002 News

Intercepts linked Hurriyat to ISI

10 June 2002
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The nexus between the Hurriyat and the Pakistani ISI was exposed in three telephone conversations intercepted (in February-April 2002) between Ayub Thakur, a London-based fund raiser for terrorists in kashmir, and Srinagar-based Asiya Andrabi of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM). and it was this that led to Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani being arrested on Sunday. Sources said Thakur, believed to have links with the Hizbul Mujahideen and Jammat-e-Islami, has been an important link the ISI has used to funnel terror money into India. They believe between Rs 5 and 10 crores was routed in each month through various means. The transcripts of the intercepted conversations are part of a confidential report the Intelligence Bureau (IB) submitted to HOme Minister L. K. Advani on Saturday, the before Geelani and his two sons-in-law were arrested. The IB has been tracking Andrabi's and Srinagar-baed insurance agent and journalist Imtiaz Bazaz's movements since February. Home Ministry sources said India is seeking Thakur's extradition. Advani had briefed UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Thakur when Straw was in Delhi recently. Now the UK authorities have also dug up some information on him. There was no discussion of funds transfer in the first conversation between Thakur, an expatriate Kashmiri, and Andrabi that the IB intercepted in February. But in March, Andrabi asked Thakur, who runs the World Kashmir Freedom Movement, from London, why he was "not sending enough money" for the Kashmir cause. Thakur replied there was "pressure" on him and his "organisation" and it was " no longer safe to send money through couriers since several had been arrested". Andrabi then told Thakur she would send "Imtiaz Bazaz, who is reliable and has no terrorist antecedents". But Thakur responded by charging that Geelani had not been sending him "singed receipts" for the money he had been receiving. However, he agreed to send more money and asked Andrabi to call him again. In the third conversation, Thakur told Andrabi he had sent "Rs 5 lakh", once again demanding that Geelani send him the receipts. It was not clear whether the amount mentioned was in US dollars or Indian rupees. Bazaz's interrogation, after his arrest on May 25, revealed Geelani had not sent a receipt for the last tranche of money (about Rs 47 lakh). Bazaz sent a forged one instead.


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