A Pakistani man held in Austria for alleged links with the November 2015 Paris attacks has pushed the European nation's authorities to probe possible links between the Paris carnage and the 26/11 Mumbai terrors attacks in 2008, with reports suggesting he worked as a bomb maker for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The coordinated Nov. 13 attacks at several venues in Paris had been compared to the Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people had died.
The 34-year-old man, whose identity has not been confirmed but was identified as Muhammad Ghani Usman by The Sunday Times, was arrested in Austria in December, and was suspected to have been sent by the Islamic State group to carry out attacks in Europe, according to AFP. He is also said to travelled in the same boat along with some of the Paris attackers who arrived in Greece disguised as refugees.
The Sunday Times reported the Pakistani was a "veteran bomb maker linked to the Mumbai attacks" and had also worked with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militrant group. India has accused LeT of perpetrating the 26/11 terror attacks and has also held LeJ responsible for several attacks on Indian soil.
"Wide-ranging investigations on this question, among others, are ongoing, although the public prosecutors' office has been waiting for information on this from Pakistan since December 2015," Austrian prosecutors said on the speculated link between the two terror attacks, according to AFP. "Leads pointing to this are being looked into."
Usman had been picked up by authorities from a refugee shelter near Austria's Salzburg city December along with an Algerian man, and both were believed to have been part of ISIS' "strike teams." The two are reportedly being interrogated by France's internal security service.
Security experts had drawn out similarities between the Paris and Mumbai attacks, with the former involving attacks at six different locations, similar to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, in which 10 Pakistani terrorists attacked several locations in the city and killed 166 people.