– MUMBAI SUPPORT CELL
On 12/30/1999, while the negotiation on the Hijacking Flight 814 deal was not, yet, over the Indian security ServiceCBI and the Indian police arrested five men in Mumbai, India, in connection with Flight 814 hijacking.
The five detainees who were identified as Haji Mohammad Iqbal from Multan, East Pakistan, Mohammad Hashim (Babloo) from Karachi, Pakistan, Yusuf Nepali from Katmandu, Nepal, Abdul Moin Latif, the cell leader, and Mushtaq Azmi, both from Bombay, India. All were members of the ISI supported Islamic terror group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and served as logistic and administrative support cell for the event in full coordination with the notorious PAKISTANI secret service ISI.
In police search in the apartments used by the offenders the police found weapons, explosives and a huge amount of Indian currency. During the interrogation, the group confessed to having committed an armed robbery of the Boriveli branch of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank in 10/1999. The Indian police believed that the bank robbery was aimed to finance ISI operations in India, including the Flight 814 hijacking.
On the night of 12/29/1999, when Flight 814 was in Kandahar, Abdul Moin Latif made a telephone call to a TV correspondent in London and said that if the hijackers’ demands were not met, the plane would be blown up. That phone conversation led to close surveillance by Indian security on the cell and to their arrest the next day.
According to Indian authority the cell leader Abdul Moin Latif went through military training in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Yusuf Nepali was coordinating the weapon smuggling to Flight 814. The other cell members helped in supplying forged documents, transferring money and attained the tickets for the hijackers so they will arrive to Katmandu without arousing suspicion.
In their interrogation the five suspects disclosed that the preparation for the Flight 814 hijack was spread over nearly two months. Abdul Moin Latif made several trips to Katmandu during this period. On 11/01/1999 hijacker Ibrahim Athar, alias Chief, was in Mumbai. Abdul Moin Latif and Ibrahim Athar flew to Calcutta, from there took a train to New Jalpaiguri and then boarded a bus to Katmandu. On his next trip, Abdul Moin Latif escorted Shahid Akhtar Sayed, alias Doctor (another hijacker), to Katmandu. (see – FLIGHT 814 hijackers)
Hijacker Shakir, alias Shankar, along with Abdul Moin Latif, took a different route: they arrived in Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh by train. From there they took a bus to Katmandu. Finally, on 12/17/1999 Abdul Moin Latif took a Katmandu-Delhi Indian Airlines flight and returned to Mumbai by train.
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