According to state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials, he had been in Pakistan since 2008. The other accused, Mirza Himayat Baig, was trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives in Sri Lanka. Both were arrested by the anti-terror agency on Tuesday.
Bilal’s training was similar to that of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured in the November 28, 2008, attack in Mumbai. According to ATS chief Rakesh Maria, he had gone to Pakistan in January 2008 to receive the training and had been there till the early part of this year.
“He has undergone terrorist training such as Daura-e-Aam and Daura-e-Khaas, as received by Kasab in Pakistan,” he said.
During this period, he sneaked into India on three occasions through Bangladesh and Nepal borders. “He has revealed that they were controlled by LeT commanders in Pakistan and given extensive training,” he added.
What has intrigued the police is the Sri Lankan connection to the case. The South Asian nation was so far believed to be out of the ambit of the LeT’s operations.
The other accused, Mirza Himayat Baig, who was arrested from Pune, had trained in Colombo. Speaking about Baig, Maria said: “It is shocking that LeT has their base in Sri Lanka also. Baig’s detailed interrogation would reveal more information about the outfit’s operations in Sri Lanka,” he said.