Saudi DNA tests confirm 2016 Jeddah bomber was Indian

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Mumbai: Saudi Arabia has confirmed on the basis of DNA tests that the bomber who blew himself up outside the US Consulate in the western Saudi coastal city of Jeddah two years ago in a foiled suicide attack was Fayaz Kagzi, an Indian national and alleged operative of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, a senior security official told The Indian Express.

“We have received confirmation from Saudi Arabian authorities that the DNA samples of Kagzi sent by us last year have matched those of the Jeddah bomber,” said the official.

The Jeddah blast on July 4, 2016, which injured two security officers, was the first of three attacks to hit the kingdom that day. The other two were also in the form of blasts near a Shia mosque in Qatif and outside the Masjid-i-Nabvi in Medina.

According to sources, the National Investigation Agency has informed an NIA special court in Delhi that Kagzi, who is wanted in terror-linked cases, is dead.

Investigators believe that Kagzi, from Beed in Maharashtra, was the “mastermind” and “financier” of two blasts in Pune — at the German Bakery in 2010 and on J M Road in 2012.

Sources said Kagzi was also a “wanted accused” in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case in which the alleged handler of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, is facing trial. Kagzi is also on the CBI’s wanted list with Interpol.

Kagzi was not an accused in the 26/11 case but is believed by investigators to have taught Hindi to the ten terrorists who carried out the attack, including executed Pakistani national, Ajmal Kasab.

After photographs of the Jeddah bomber bearing a close resemblance to Kagzi were released by Saudi Arabia, Maharashtra’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and NIA sought to verify if he was the man on their radar. Kagzi’s DNA profile was sent to Saudi Arabia last August.

According to security officers, Kagzi fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh in 2006 along with Jundal and shifted his base to Saudi Arabia to oversee the recruitment of Indian nationals to LeT. He is believed to have returned to Pakistan briefly before going back to Saudi Arabia.

Sources said Kagzi may have shifted his allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014 and later tasked with carrying out the Jeddah attack.

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