Saudi Arabia to arrest and extradite Indian terror suspect

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ejazr, May 16, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Hindu : News / National : Engineer arrested in Saudi Arabia, deported

    Faseeh Mahmood, an engineer living at Dammam in Saudi Arabia, arrested in that country on “terror-related charges,” has reportedly been deported to India.

    Even though authorities here haven't confirmed his arrest and deportation, Mahmood's family is apprehensive that he may have been arrested in connection with terror charges, as he hails from the village of Barasmela in Darbhanga, from where Mohammed Kafeel Akthar was picked up by the Bangalore police on May 6, for his alleged role in the 2010 blasts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Mahmood's wife was deported to India on Tuesday.

    Mahmood's cousin, who doesn't want to be identified, told The Hindu that Saudi Arabian intelligence officials arrested Mahmood from his home at Jubail in Dammam on May 13. They told him that he was being arrested as there were some charges against him in India, for which he would be deported. Mahmood's family alleges that there has been no news of his whereabouts since Sunday afternoon.

    When approached by family members, the Indian Embassy officials in Riyadh said they couldn't provide any information on Mahmood's whereabouts, because of some “intelligence issues.”

    Mahmood was an employee of Eram Engineering Corporations in Al-Khubair, and has been living in Saudi Arabia for the past few years. A relative of Gauhar Azeez Khomeni, who was arrested by the Delhi police in blast-related cases, Mahmood had completed his B. Tech. from an engineering college at Bhatkal in Karnataka.

    Mahmood's brother has denied that he was ever in touch with any terror or extremist group or individual: “He was the earning member of his family, and was moderate in his outlook.”

    “No information”

    The Joint Commissioner of Police Crime, Bangalore (East), B. Dayanand, who is supervising the stadium blasts case, said he had no information regarding Mahmood's name in connection with the blasts so far.

    Sources in the Delhi police said that Mahmood isn't wanted in any of the cases in Delhi as yet.

    An External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the “Ministry has no information in the case as of now.”
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This seems to be the first case where anti-terror co-operation has got some major media attention. Usually this is done quietly.

    However, the GoI seems to have bungled the PR side of things. In such a case, you would quickly produce the suspect in court, get a judicial remand at the least and police custody if you have a strong case, acknowledge Saudi help in extraditing the terror suspect and let the courts handle it from there.

    Now with the GoI refusing any knowledge despite eye witness accounts of Indian and Saudi security teams taking him in custody and Saudi news paper reports saying that he was sent to India in a flight; it just makes it more mysterious and reduces the credibility of the Indian govt.

    A missing person case has been lodged in the SC by the wife of the suspect.

    Saudi press says govt deported missing Indian engineer | Firstpost

    The case of the missing Indian engineer is getting curiouser and curiouser. On Wednesday (6 June), the Home Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs in a joint statement to the Supreme Court said that Fasih Mehmood was not in their custody and had no role in his arrest from his residence in Al Jubail on 13 May.

    This follows the Home Minister P Chidambaram’s dismissal of media reports of Mehmood’s custody by Indian intelligence agencies as “wrong”.

    However, it is not just the Indian press that has been reporting on the role of Indian government in the deportation and detention of the engineer. A week after Mehmood was picked up from his residence, an English Saudi daily Arab News published a report that confirmed Mehmood’s deportation at the behest of the Indian government.

    The report (“KSA deports ‘Bangalore blast suspect’s aide’”, 19 May) — a copy of which has been submitted to the Supreme Court as part of Mehmood’s wife petition seeking that he be produced in court by the Government – goes on to give a detailed chronology of events that ultimately led to Mehmood’s deportation.


    According to the report the officials at the Indian Mission in Saudi Arabia forwarded a letter to the Ministry of Foreign affairs (Saudi Arabia), which then notified the Interior Ministry and requested that Mehmood be deported.

    The report quotes a manager of Eram Engineering Corporation, where Mehmood was employed since 2008 as stating: “We were told by the Jubail police and some senior officials at the Indian Embassy that Mehmood is wanted in India for some anti-social activities and that we should immediately hand him over to the police.”

    The report further states that after Mehmood was handed over to the Saudi Police, the Interior Ministry (Saudi Arabia) informed the Indian Embassy officials about “about Mehmood’s departure and flight details. He was immediately arrested on arrival in India. There is no further word on the investigations.”

    But the Indian government has consistently maintained no knowledge of Mehmood’s whereabouts and has refused to entertain the constant requests by his wife Nikhat Parween who has been running from ministry to ministry for information about her husband.

    Stonewalled by every authority, she then approached seeking its intervention to direct the government to produce her husband in court and disclose the name of the authority that arrested Mehmood and the charges under which he has been detained.

    Following the Supreme Court’s notice to the government on 30 May, the government has been on overdrive, issuing terror alerts on Mehmood. A Red Corner Notice was issued against him for his alleged involvement in the 2010 blasts in Karnataka and Delhi. The Red Corner Notice lists “terrorism, crime involving use of weapons/explosives” as offences Mehmood is wanted for. The government has since sought Mehmood’s deportation from Saudi Arabia.

    Yesterday, responding to the Supreme Court’s notice, the government denied being part of the Saudi Police team that made the alleged arrest and rejected the claim that Mehmood has been brought to India.

    The government has sought more time from the Supreme Court stating that the Saudi Arabia government was yet to respond to their request for information on the case.

    The next hearing in the Supreme Court is scheduled for 11 June.
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The corresponding Arab news report on May 13

    KSA deports ‘Bangalore blast suspect’s aide’ | ArabNews

    Saudi Arabia last week deported an engineer at the urgent request of the Indian government. The deportation is the first under a treaty signed and ratified by the two nations in February 2010.
    Fasih Mehmood, 28, from Darbhanga in Bihar, had been working since June 2008 as a mechanical engineer at a prominent contracting company; he was based in Jubail.
    According to sources, a suspect arrested in connection with a 2010 bombing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore had described Mehmood as one of his “friends and benefactors.” This led the Indian agencies to seek his extradition from Saudi Arabia. Fifteen people were injured in the attack.
    The suspect, Mohammed Kafeel Akhtar, comes from Mehmood’s village — Barasmela in Darbhanga. Mehmood’s employers and colleagues have described him as brilliant, affable and well-mannered. He was recruited by the contracting company through an online recruitment process. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
    According to reports in the Indian media, Mehmood belongs to a respectable family; his father is a practicing doctor and his mother is the principal of a local school.
    When Akhtar, the primary suspect, told intelligence officials about his acquaintance with Mehmood, they wrote to the External Affairs Ministry seeking his extradition from Saudi Arabia. The ministry wrote an official letter to their counterparts in Riyadh that was dispatched through diplomatic channels and arrived at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.
    Officials at the Indian mission forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which notified the Ministry of Interior and requested that Mehmood be extradited. It was the Interior Ministry that contacted Mehmood’s employers.
    “We were told by the Jubail police and some senior officials at the Indian Embassy that Mehmood is wanted in India for some anti-social activities and that we should immediately hand him over to the police,” one of the managers at the contracting company told Arab News. He requested that neither his name nor the name of his company be mentioned. “We did exactly as we were told. Mehmood was taken to the Jubail police station along with his passport.”
    Mehmood was deported on May 13. Those close to him said he was shocked and did not know how to react. He told company managers that he is innocent and that he had nothing to do with terrorism anywhere. His managers expressed their inability to help him in view of the extraordinary request from India. “Have faith in Allah,” one of the managers told him while handing him over to the Saudi police.
    The Interior Ministry then informed Indian Embassy officials about Mehmood’s departure and flight details. He was immediately arrested on arrival in India. There is no further word on the investigations.
    The Indian media have reported that Mehmood’s arrest is a continuation of a series of arrests of Muslim youngsters from Darbhanga on alleged charges of terrorism. So far 13 Muslims from Darbhanga have been arrested. Mehmood is the 14th.
    Mehmood’s brother has denied that he has ever been in touch with terrorists. “He is the honorable and earning member of our family ... He is moderate in his outlook,” his brother was quoted as saying in one newspaper.
    Scores of Muslim youngsters were arrested in connection with a series of bomb blasts five years ago in various cities. It later turned out that the blasts were carried by right-wing Hindu fanatics associated with terror organizations. In many cases, the government has apologized for the wrongful arrests and in some cases, such as in Hyderabad, the authorities have awarded such victims compensation.
    Indian Muslims have taken great pride in the fact that none of its members has ever been found to be associated with Al-Qaeda, a fact confirmed by almost all political parties.
    A series of diplomatic cables from American ambassadors based in Delhi and Mumbai, which were released by Wikileaks, repeatedly mention Indian Muslims’ revulsion at Al-Qaeda and other terror organizations.
    “Separatism and religious extremism have little appeal to Indian Muslims, and the overwhelming majority espouse moderate doctrines,” former US envoy to India, David Mulford, said in one of the cables. “India’s growing economy, vibrant democracy, and inclusive culture, encourage Muslims to seek success and social mobility in the mainstream and reduces alienation.”
     

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