Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, is the head of the organized crime and terror syndicate D-Company in Mumbai. Dawood’s D- Company has been identified as a criminal terrorism syndicate by the US Congress.
Dawood is currently on the wanted list of Interpol for organised crime and counterfeiting, besides association with Al- Qaeda as identified in UN Security Council resolutions 1822 (2008) and 1267 (1999).He was No. 4 on the Forbes 2008 list of The World’s 10 Most Wanted criminals, and no. 50 on the Forbes 2009 list of The World’s Most Powerful People.
He is said to have begun his real criminal career in Mumbai working for the Karim Lala gang (which later became his own gang’s rival) exploiting the rapid expansion in the Bombay (now Mumbai) textiles industry to his advantage, though another version says that he began his criminal career working as a career for smuggler Haji Mastan.
In either case, he eventually split from both of them and started his own gang, D- Company. He soon moved his residence to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he has business interests along side India.
He established chains of businesses in partnership with local Sheikhs. He rubbed shoulders with kings and princes of the Gulf emirates and acquired more power, which at later stages saved him from being extradited to India.
Dawood is a tool for Pakistan ISI security agencies to disturb India
Dawood leapfrogged into big time once he came into contact with the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) wing. The twoshared a couple of interests.The ISI wanted a person whofelt strongly for his community.In other words, someone whocould foment communal trouble whenever the need arose.Two, Pakistan’s territorial waters were a haven for gold smugglers. Dawood wantedhis piece of action in that territory and an understanding was therefore reached. The ISI allegedly helped Dawood to flourish. The gold runner became a mafia don and his gang came to be known as D-company in Mumbai. His net worth is said to be in billions and his ‘business interests’ are spread in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Dubai, Germany, France, the UK and several Muslim countries in Africa.
Ibrahim is widely believed to have masterminded the 1993 Bombay Bombings, a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the city on March 12 of the year. In 2003, the Indian and United States governments declared Ibrahim a “Global Terrorist”. The then Deputy Prime Minister, described it as a major development and that India stands “vindicated”. Ibrahim is currently on India’s “Most wanted List”.
The United States Department of Treasury has also designated Ibrahim as a terrorist as part of its international sanctions program effectively forbidding U.S. financial entities from working with him and seizing assets believed to be under his control. The Department of Treasury keeps a fact sheet on Ibrahim which contains reports of his syndicate having smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa shared with and used by terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. The fact sheet also said that Ibrahim’s syndicate is involved in large scale shipment of narcotics in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. He is also believed to have contacts with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden. In the late 1990s, Ibrahim traveled in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s protection. The syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilize the Indian government through riots, terrorism and civil disobedience.
Washington added that they will request the United Nations to list Ibrahim “in pursuance of relevant Security Council resolutions”. The UN listing will require that all UN member states freeze Ibrahim’s assets and impose a travel ban. Juan Zarate, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said that they are committed to identifying and attacking financial ties between terrorism and the underworld. Ibrahim is also suspected to have connections with terrorist organisations, and in 2002 was linked to the financing of increasing attacks in Gujarat by Lashkar-e-Toiba. New Delhi handed over to Islamabad a list of 38 most wanted criminals, including Ibrahim.
In a major blow to Ibrahim, ten members of his gang were arrested by Mumbai Crime Branch on November 21, 2006. They were extradited from the United Arab Emirates, from where they had been deported. Sources reported in India Today indicate that Dawood Ibrahim provided the logistics for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
United States Deportation Resistance, In January 2002, a month after the Parliament attack, Indian officials visited the US, where they had meetings with ColinPowell and Condoleezza Rice. A list of the Top 20 most-wanted terrorists in Pakistan was handed to the US. Ibrahim was wanted in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Ajmal Amir Kasab, a gunman arrested for participation in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 173(164 civilians and security personnel and9 terrorists), has confessed to authorities according to reports that Ibrahim’s organization provided arms and explosivesto the Lashkar-e-Toiba group that wereused to carry out the attacks.
Pakistan denies any knowledge of his existence. Indian intelligence agencies,such as Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), believe that some of his addresses include House No. 37, 30th street, DHA, Karachi and White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan, and is provided protection by Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The issue of extradition of Dawood Ibrahim is one of the major hurdles in the frosty relations between India and Pakistan. Despite hectic efforts during the past many years, the government has failed to bring him back. The mere existence of Dawood proved a point that India is a soft state hence targeted repeatedly by terrorists across the borders. Indian security agencies may have achieved some success in apprehending a few terrorists planning attacks in Mumbai recently, but investigators say the arrests are just a tip of the iceberg.
”The ISI has brought together underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, and elements of the LeT, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Indian Mujahideen operatives such as Amir Reza Khan to create terror and mayhem throughout the country,” an investigator said. The officer added the information was gleaned from inputs from central intelligence agencies and also through those involved in planning the terror attacks.
”Abdul Latif, who has been arrested, is a relative of Bashir Khan. The latter was involved in planting explosives in the first serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993. Since the 1993 bomb blasts had a bigger involvement of Tiger than Dawood, we believe Tiger has once again been roped in to create terror,” the officer said.
Life isn’t trigger happy for Dawood Ibrahim any more. Once comfortably ensconced in Karachi, and enjoying the hospitality of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), his enemies are now ensuring he doesn’t have a settled existence. Following the ISI’s interception of a ‘Get Bhai Plan’ by his RAW-sponsored enemies to sneak into the port city and target him, the underworld don has been made to relocate his family to Islamabad where he now lives in a high security zone under the ISI’s covert protection. The ‘Get Bhai Plan’ was masterminded by Indian intelligence in collaboration with Dawood’s main business rival and former right hand man, Rajender Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan.
His inclusion in the list came as an embarrassment to Islamabad, especially as the US department in its reasons for doing so cited intelligence reports of his connection with global outlaws Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Toiba. The department’s fact sheet on Dawood stated: “Dawood Ibrahim, son of a police constable, has financially supported Islamic militant groups working against India such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba. Information as recent as fall 2002 indicates that Ibrahim had been helping finance terrorist attacks in the Indian state of Gujarat by Lashkar-e-Toiba, the armed wing of Markaz Dawa Wal Irshad.
But the Bhai under protective umbrella of ISI is going strong, he is extensively used by ISI to plan all major nefarious operations in India. India is agrowing economy with massive global attention and business interest hence the divisive forces will be proactive to derail thegrowth story. It is note worthy to mention that the nexus of ISI and D Company is patronized by all anti India forces indirectly toensure that India remains a hot spot of terror activities to limit its growing stature at the global forum. India is presently servedby the most efficient Home Minister in recent times. Mr P Chidambaram is managing the internal security with extreme clinical output though the Naxal front is looking quite gloomy. Indian naxal problem is related to the comprehensive systemic failure rather than the administrative failure but certainly India has witnessed better coordination between intel agencies and police network in the past few months. A nation of billion inhabitants are looking at the present security apparatus to bring and book India’s most wanted criminal, surely the time lost in the process will deplete already receding hope of many countrymen in the efficiency and credibility of our national approach towards terrorism.
(With inputs from Air Marshal R C Bajpai, Mr Ashoka Kumar Thakur – Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Prakhar Misra – Political Editor, Veelaas Kengale – Mumbai)