9/11 attack partially funded from India, says former Delhi police chief

NEW DELHI: A former police commissioner of New Delhi, Neeraj Kumar, has claimed in his book that part of the funding for 9/11 attacks in the United States (US) had emerged from India, according to report published on The Times of India website.

The former police officer, who served in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and retired as a Delhi Police commissioner two years ago, has based his claim on the “revelation” made by a terrorist.

Kumar, who currently heads the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) anti-corruption wing, said the finance for the 9/11 attack was raised from a kidnapping and the earnings were handed over to the chief of the 9/11 attackers, Mohammad Atta by Omar Sheikh.

Omar Saeed Sheikh was freed by India in Dec 1999 as part of a deal that saw New Delhi agreeing to release a number of militant leaders in exchange for the freedom of hostages on board an India plane hijacked to Kabul. He has a long record of militancy, from kidnapping foreigners in Mumbai in 1994 to kidnapping Daniel Pearl in Jan 2002. In Feb 2002, Omar was arrested in Lahore for the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

Sheikh was given the money by terrorist Aftab Ansari, who was responsible for the attack on the American Centre in Kolkata that took place in 2002, said the officer, further saying that, information obtained from Harkat-ul Mujahideen militant Asif Raza Khan.

Kumar quoted Asif Raza as saying that his “boss Aftab Ansari had shared the ransom money collected from the kidnapping of Partha Pratim Roy Burman, Managing Director of Khadim Shoes with Omar Sheikh.”

“Part of the ransom money received in the Burman kidnapping — about USD 100,000 — had later found its way from Omar Sheikh to Mohammad Atta, the chief of the 9/11 attackers,” according to the book.

Ansari is currently waiting to be hanged in a West Bengal jail for a January 2002 attack on American Centre in Kolkatta.

“Part of the ransom money received in the Burman kidnapping — about $100,000 had later found its way from Omar Sheikh to Mohammad Atta, the chief of the 9/11 attackers,” his book narrates.

The former police chief of New Delhi said the revelation of Asif Raza Khan that ransom money was passed on to Mohammed Atta was also mentioned in the testimony of John S. Pistole, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counter-terrorism division deputy assistant director in July 2003 at Washington.

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