Saudi Arabia has reportedly identified the suicide bomber who blew himself outside the US consulate in Jeddah in 2016. A senior security official told The Indian Express that on the basis of DNA tests, Saudi Arabia confirmed that the bomber was Fayaz Kagzi, an Indian national and an alleged operative of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The suicide bombing near the diplomatic post was the first of three targeting the kingdom on 4 July, 2016. Suicide bombers also targeted mosques in the cities of Medina and Qatif.
The Indian Express report further said that when 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.
Saudi Arabia's interior ministry had previously said that the Jeddah bomber was a Pakistan resident of the Kingdom. They identified him as 34-year-old Abdullah Qalzar Khan. The statement further said he lived in the port city with "his wife and her parents" but, did not elaborate.
Kagzi fled to Pakistan via Bangladesh in 2006 and shifted his base to Saudi Arabia in 2009 to oversee the recruitment of Indian nationals to LeT, reported News18. Sources quoted in the report say that it is possible that he took on a new name of Abdullah Qalzar Khan while in Pakistan.
The NIA informed the Patiala House Court in Delhi that the terror mastermind was dead. Sources told News18 that NIA believes Kagzi was the mastermind and financier of the 2010 German Bakery blast and 2012 JM Road bombings in Pune as well. He is also suspected of teaching Hindi to 26/11 terrorists.
On 4 July, 2016, the attacker detonated his suicide vest near the parking lot of a hospital, opposite the consulate building, when security guards approached him. The attacker died and two security men were wounded with minor injuries, according to the statement published by the State-run Saudi Press Agency.
The interior ministry spokesperson had said the attacker caught the attention of the security guards, who noticed that he was acting suspiciously at an intersection by the American consulate in Jeddah, near the Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital. Most of the consulate's staff had reportedly moved offices to a new location.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: May 02, 2018 07:46:48 IST