Imam Zayn ul-Abideen (as) met Jabir at Karbala on the day of Arbaeen
So the author agrees that it is quoted that Imam Ali bin Husain went to Karbala before going to Madina and there met Jabir bin Abdallah ansari. So this is not a distortion by these Zaakirs but by Sayyid ibn Tawus?? Also Allama Majlisi quotes the same in Bihar and does not raise any objection on this.
This incident is also quoted in the Maqtal by Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram and in it two sources are cited:
Ibn Tawus, Al-Lahuf, Pg.112 & Ibn Nama (d. 1247/645), Muthir Al-Ahzan, Pg.79
To read the Maqtal by Abd Al-Razzaq al-Muqarram click here
So now we have atleast 1 source saying that the caravan of the AhlulBait went to Karbala before going to medina. Do we have any sources (not opinions of scholars which are bound to differ as per their individual research) which say that the caravan of the AhlulBait did not go to Karbala?
This for sure is not a fabrication and can be a topic for further research/discussion.