India’s Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has denied any LTTE link to the accused in the blast at the German Bakery in Pune, the Hindu newspaper reported.
A section of the media had speculated that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had found a new haven in Sri Lanka and that the LTTE was involved in training LeT operatives.
“There is no LTTE involvement in the training of Himayat Baig,” Rakesh Maria, Maharashtra ATS chief, told The Hindu.
The ATS has been repeatedly saying since the arrest of Baig, the alleged mastermind behind the bakery blast, that though he was trained in Colombo, there was no involvement of any local organisation in his training.
“There are only two reasons behind the choice of Colombo: that the entry to the country is easy due to visa-on-arrival and there is lack of suspicion,” Mr. Maria had said soon after Baig's arrest.
Even then the media had questioned the choice of Colombo. Certain sections of the media have been speculating the role of other agencies in training terrorists there.
Baig was called to Colombo by an absconding LeT operative, Fayyaz Qazi, in March 2008. He was trained there for 15 days, primarily in bomb-making techniques. The training also included information about the modes of communication to be used between them.
“Colombo is only a meeting point. There is no other significance to it,” Mr. Maria had said.
Meanwhile, US agencies have passed on intelligence inputs to India that the LeT already has some 200 cadres present in Sri Lanka who plan to use the country as a “staging ground” to enter India, the MSN India reported.
It's learnt that Washington has also informed Colombo about this after Lankan authorities denied that LeT had training facilities there. As per New Delhi's assessment, the threat could be aggravated if remnants of the LTTE cadre are engaged in logistics for LeT.