Mumbai, Feb 7: One of the arrested terrorists involved in the 13/7 Mumbai serial blasts of last year had spent time with Osama Bin Laden way back in 2001 in Pakistan, media reports quoting the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) said on Tuesday.
Reports said Indian Mujahideen terrorist Haroon Rashid Naik Sheikh, who is one of the three arrested for the July 13, 2011 blasts in Mumbai, had met Laden in August 2001 in Pakistan's Bahawalpur.
ATS sources said at Bahawalpur in 2001 he had received training for nearly 40 days under the supervision of Osama, who was killed by the US Navy Seals on May 2 last year in a safe house at Abottabad in Pakistan. According to a CNN IBN report, Naik acted as "the link between Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and was in contact with Jaish-e-Mohammed and al-Qaeda."
Haroon had around that time also met 9/11 operative Sheikh Umar and Aftab Ansari, the mastermind behind the 2002 American Center attack in Kolkata. ATS also tracked a money laundering and hawala trail in which the arrested terrorist was involved. According to an NDTV report, Haroon took care of hawala operations in the 13/7 blasts.
He had reported fought in Afghanistan also. He was arrested for possessing fake currency last year and has been in jail since. The 2011 Mumbai bombings, known as 13/7, were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai on July 13 2011. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West killing about 27 people and injuring over 130.