A lawyer representing one of the three accused 26/11 terrorists has been assassinated. Shahid Azmi was representing Fahim Ansari, an Indian national. Ansari, Ahmed Sabauddin (Indian national) and Ajmad Kasab (Pakistani) stand accused of helping to plot and carry out the Mumbai attacks.

Azmi also represented over fifty other young Muslim terror suspects. People describe him as honest and courageous.
New Delhi: Advocate Shahid Azmi, who was defence lawyer for about 50 Muslim youths languishing in jails in terror cases, was shot dead about one hour ago by unknown people in his chamber near Taximen's Colony in Kurla East, Mumbai. Five people pretending as clients entered in his office and fired five rounds at Adv Azmi from pointblank range. He was rushed hosiptal but declared dead at arrival.

..."He was a brave, humble, intelligent and efficient lawyer who charged minimum from the innocent victims,” added Dr Rahmani. Who could be behind the killing? “Those who have conspired for putting hundreds of innocent Muslim youth in terror cases, could be behind his murder,” said Dr Rahmani.

Malegaon-based Ummid.com says: Shahid Azmi came to the limelight after he began handling the 7/11 Mumbai blast case and other terror related cases in which Muslim youths were detained. His petition filed on behalf of Jamiatul Ulema challenging the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) is pending for judgment in Supreme Court.
A commenter notes: This is not simply a murder of a lawyer but a symbolism and message to all those who are fighting for the rights of innocent people. The murderer and their mentors/bosses want to send a message to the lawyers community that if you try to fight for the cases of Muslim youth arrested under the pretext of Terrorism, you will have the same fate as Adv. Shahid Azmi.

About a year ago, on February 10, 2009, The Hindu reported that Ansari accused a female FBI agent of sexually harrassing him during interrogations.

Faheem has moved the court, with his lawyer Ejaz Naqvi filing an application before an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate alleging that a lady FBI officer, who had interrogated the accused, had “sexually harassed him all through the night.”...The application also made a plea for Faheem to be sent for medical check-up as he has developed “itches and wounds in his private parts and all over his body.”

“Faheem had been interrogated by three FBI officers out of which one of them, a lady officer, had sexually abused him,” Mr. Naqvi told the court. Faheem had earlier filed an application seeking action against the city police for allegedly allowing the FBI to interrogate him. The Crime Branch will have to file their reply on whether any foreign investigating agencies like the FBI had been allowed to interrogate the accused in the terror attacks case. “According to Indian law, no foreign agency can be allowed to interrogate an Indian suspect and we have sought relief from the court,” Mr. Naqvi said.
Ansari alleged that the female FBI agent removed all his clothes and showed him pornographic films while in Mumbai police custody.

Ansari has made claims similar to Kasab's -- essentially, that he had been framed by corrupt police officers.
Denying his involvement in 26/11 terror attacks, accused Faheem Ansari today alleged in the trial court that he was forced by police to prepare a map of target locations after he was arrested in this case....Ansari rubbished the witness account that he had handed over maps of 26/11 terror targets to co-accused Sabauddin Ahmed in Nepal and that the latter had forwarded them to Lashker-e-Taiba to carry out the attacks. The accused also denied the police claim that they had found a map of terror targets from the pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismael and said it was not drawn by him.
Regarding the timing of this murder, the court had completed recording statements of the three accused and final arguments had been set for February 20th. Azmi's killers escaped. Azmi had told colleagues not to discuss the case over the phone because he thought his calls were tapped. Despite the high profile case, the government had not provided any protection to the defense teams.
Unidentified men fired four rounds at Shahid Azmi from close range at his office in Kurla’s Taximen’s Colony, central Mumbai, around 7.40pm, police said, adding the assailants escaped in the darkness. The spot is behind the upscale Bandra-Kurla Complex, which houses the headquarters of several banks and business houses.

...The killing shocked Mumbai’s legal fraternity, with some blaming the government for failing to provide security. “I met Shahid over lunch just yesterday. He told me not to discuss the 26/11 case details on the phone as he feared the police could tap our calls. The government had not provided any protection to both of us,” said Ejaz Naqvi, the lawyer who is representing Sabahuddin. Ansari’s wife Yasmin said the incident had shocked her and left her worried about her husband’s safety and his fate in the trial.

The government's case might hew closely to this line of reasoning, in which Ansari plays a key role conducting reconnaissance for the Mumbai attacks. In fact, the police hung quite a lot on Ansari, back in January 2009, before David Coleman Headley came into the picture. If it weren't for Ansari's maps, the theory goes, the attacks could not have been carried out.
Investigations have revealed that the terrorists had not been to the city before the 26/11 attacks. They identified the four targets-CST station, Taj Hotel, and Nariman House-based on an earlier survey carried out by Faheem Ansari, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, the police claimed. Ansari, who is originally from Goregaon, was caught by the special task force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh in February last year along with co-accused Sabahuddin Ahmed alias Sabah and four others LeT operatives for allegedly attacking a CRPF camp at Rampur in UP on January 1, 2008. 

...Though the UP's police report does not mention Ansari carrying out a survey of Nariman House, a senior crime branch officer said, "He had walked through the lanes and bylanes of Colaba and noted down minute details about Nariman House, its location, building and the surrounding areas.''

Presumably, Azmi, the now-slain attorney, was going to challenge this line of reasoning....


...in light of other evidence which has come forth in the meanwhile.
Were the Mumbai Attacks of 2008 an inside-job, involving the CIA, Mossad and corrupt elements of the Indian security services?

Recent news suggests that the Indian military is corrupt.

Four top Indian generals are currently 'involved in a land scandal'. (Indian land scandal spotlights military corruption.)
41 officers in the Indian military allegedly sold military weapons on the black market.

An army colonel was sacked after he was caught 'faking gun battles with militants by sprinkling tomato ketchup on civilians, who were made to lie still on the ground'.

Between 2000 and 2006, the Indian military had more than 7,000 court martial proceedings.

In June 2009, India blacklisted state-run Israeli Military Industries after police accused a defense ministry bureaucrat of taking bribes. (Indian land scandal.)
The alleged Mumbai Attacks mastermind, the American David Headley, claimed to know the names and titles of senior Defence personnel in Mumbai and New Delhi. (HEADLEY-GATE)

On 8 February 2009, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi revealed that the Mumbai terror attacks could not have been carried out without internal help from India. (Indian Non Cooperation in the Mumbai Investigations)
Clicking through that last link, dated August 20, 2009, we learn more:
Confused statements by the Indian high officials show that New Delhi has been making deliberate efforts to entangle Pakistan in the Mumbai tragedy through fabricated stories and India is not serious in Mumbai probe. The aim is to conceal the involvement of Indian terrorists and the role of its secret agency RAW which is behind Mumbai drama. During attacks in Mumbai, the death of Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare left sufficient proof that Indian intelligence agencies had themselves planned the scheme. Narayan Rane, an Indian-Hindu leader of the Congress, disclosed on December 16, 2008 that Hindu politicians provided logistical and financial support to Hindutva terrorists for killing Karkare. While, Indian Minority Affairs Minister Abdul Rahman Antulay who had changed his statement after pressure from Congress had clearly revealed in the Lok Sabha that the killing of Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Karkare in Mumbai was a conspiracy, saying that Karkare was assassinated owing to his leading role in the investigation against Hindus regarding the 2006 Malegaon bombings which killed eight people outside a mosque. He further elaborated, “Anyone trying to go to the roots of terror has always been a target”, calling for a separate inquiry into Karkare’s death.
That's particularly interesting, because, in addition to representing Ansari,
32-year-old Shahid Azmi was the defence counsel on behalf of Jamit Ulema Maharashtra for more than 50 Muslim terror suspects languishing in jails in connection with Malegaon blasts and train bombings.
So now Azmi is dead. How convenient is that?

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