Why killing of Masood Azhar’s nephew Fauji Bhai is a major shot in the arm

army22New Delhi, June 04: The killing of Abdul Rehman alias Fauji Bhai comes as a major shot in the arm for the security forces. Rehman, the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar was the one who had plotted the foiled Pulwama attack rerun. Rehman was a top mob maker of the JeM.

Police sources tell OneIndia that he was linked to the recent car bomb, which had been intercepted in the Valley last week.

Read more

Ghori-From Akshardham to B’lore assassination plot

Pic: Indian Express

Mohammad Farhatullah Ghori is one of the most wanted men in the list of both the Central Bureau of Investigation and also the Interpol. His name has now cropped during the investigation of the Bangalore Assassination Plot and this would get the Gujarat police interested in the case too.

Ghori a resident of Hyderabad is wanted by the Indian police who have put out a look out notice against him for crimes against life and health, crimes involving the use of weapons and explosives. An arrest warrant had first been issued against him by the court of the special judge (Prevention of Terrorist Activities) in Gujarat and also by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Hyderabad.

Ghori, whose name had first figured in the suicide bombing case at the Special Task Force in Hyderabad once again resurfaced during the horrific Akshardham temple attack case in Gujarat. This time around his name cropped up during the interrogation of Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur who is an accused in the assassination plot in which around 18 youth had planned to target an editor, a columnist and also a Hindu leader. In the remand applications that were filed by the Bangalore police it is mentioned that Dr.Sholapur during his visit to Pakistan had met with Ghori who had told him that he would want him to gather intelligence for them and also prepare for some other attacks on being informed. The Bangalore police also state that the accused doctor had identified Ghori when he was shown a photograph.

Ghori is an important player in the terror network. He is aged 49 years old, has brown eyes and grey hair. A resident of Hyderabad, he is said to be the maternal uncle of slain terrorist, Shahid Bilal. A fantatic, according to the intelligence bureau, his claim to fame in the terror circles was when the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami carried out the Akshardham attack and also the suicide bombing at the STF office in Hyderabad in the year September 2003. Soon after this attack he fled to Saudi Arabia where he had developed most of his contacts and the investigations revealed at that time that he had helped in the financing of the attack.

However in the year 2002 he rose higher in the ranks and was assigned the an important role in the Akshardham attack at Gujarat. During that investigation his name had cropped up and it was revealed that he had financed those blasts with the help of his contacts in Saudi Arabia.

Ghori as per the latest information is based out of Karachi now. He is largely in charge of the operations undertaken by the HuJI in Southern India. Right from the beginning he had developed contacts in many countries who in turn helped him with the financing of attacks. It is also said that Ghori is the man who continuously sent in the funds to Shahid Bilal who was able to under his activities in Hyderabad.

Now with the name of Ghori resurfacing in the Bangalore assassination plot, it is clear that he is very much in business.

The HuJI link to the assassination plot was under the scanner since day one. Although the outfit did not play a direct role in this attack as it has been ascertained that these youth were self motivated, the fact that some of these boys met with HuJI operatives has given agencies something to ponder over.

Dr Sholapur and Abdul Hakeem Jamadar, Iqbal another accused in this case had been to Pakistan via Iran. They claim that they had met with Ghori who used the alias Abdul Rehman while meeting with them. The police also say that he also goes by the alias Abu Sufiyan. During that meeting he inquired about their interest in carrying out such activities and also put them through some other operatives under whom they were supposed to train. He made it clear that to them their role in India would be to gather intelligence and send it across so that it could help them carry out attacks. He also said based on their loyalty and performance they would also be considered for major attacks in Southern India.

The intelligence files on Ghori would suggest that he was indoctrinated in the terror network to work closely with the operatives in both Hyderabad and Gujarat. During the various probes it has been revealed that the Hyderabad and Gujarat modules have always been interlinked and Ghori had become a point man for this module. Although his initial role was restricted to financing, gradually he was asked to play a more active role in this network and also take part in the indoctrination of the youth who went to Pakistan from Southern India and also from Gujarat.

Has Lashkar been recruiting from Indian jails?

Bangalore prison- Photo by The Hindu

If the Lashkar-e-Tayiba starts recruiting it cadres from Indian jails then the situation is nothing but pathetic. Abdul Rehman, an alleged terror operative from Bangalore is one such person who was recruited as an Lashkar operative while he was cooling his heals off in the Bangalore jail in connection with an arms smuggling case.

The Bangalore police makes this shocking revelation in its remand application which was filed while seeking the custody of Abdul Rehman a resident of the Chamrajpet area in Bangalore. The police go on to state that Rehman came in contact with Fahad an Al-Badr terrorist in jail who had links with the Lashkar. After being brainwashed for nearly four months, Rehman decide to adopt the path of the Lashkar and carry out a series of blasts and also assassination of Hindu leaders in the country.

What is most surprising about this remand application is that the police not only say that Rehman was brain washed by Fahad but he was also given jihadi material to study before he was convinced to take up jihad. The police also go on to state that during his stay in jail for four months, he even spoke with some handlers of the Lashkar in Pakistan.

This raises two very crucial questions. How did Fahad manage to smuggle in jihadi material into jail? How did Rehman have access to a cell phone and that too called Pakistan several times and speak with a handler over there? The norms regarding a call to Pakistan are extremely strict and is under heavy scrutiny of the Intelligence Bureau. Take the case of the man from Bijapur who just gave a missed call to the cell phone of Hina Rabbani. The man was tracked in no time. In such an event how did so many calls go through to Pakistan unnoticed. Also one must not forget that the jails are filled with jammers and unless someone manually takes them down a call cannot be made at all.

The other question is how did Rehman who was in the general section of the prison come in contact with Fahd a terrorist. Terrorists are usually kept in different cells and are not allowed contact normally with the rest of the prisoners.

The case of the police against Rehman is as follows. A resident of Chamrajpet, he was arrested a couple of months back in connection with an arms case where in he had supplied arms to a local gangster. During his stay in jail he came in contact with Fahd who brainwashed him into taking up jihad. Fahd has been in the Bangalore jail since 2008. During his four month stay in jail he was given access to jihadi material and thoroughly brainwashed following which he decided to undertake the operation to assassinate Hindu leaders and also carry out some explosions. The police say that after Rehman served out his sentence he came out of jail and even during this time he stayed in touch regularly with his handlers in Pakistan.

Jail authorities in Bangalore when contacted had not much to say about this development. They say they have no knowledge of this incident. When asked as to why Fahd had suddenly been shifted out of the Bangalore jail and moved to a jail in Dharward Karnataka, they said that it was due to an IB alert.

If one may recall there was a hue and cry that had been created when the Kerala government had spoken about calls being made from their jails to Kerala. As part of that investigation there was a team from the IB which had also visited Bangalore jail and carried out a similar investigation. Although the details of that probe is not entirely known piece meal information regarding the same suggests that some Pakistani terrorists had made calls to their relatives. The investigation is yet to be completed on this case.

The case of Rehman raises a lot of questions of the security in jails. Although the police have just filed these details in a remand application it would be interesting to see if they would go ahead with this version when the trial against Rehman begings. As of now the police say that Rehman is a very big catch and they need time to interrogate him so that they get more details regarding his operation. The police say that he had big plans and had they not apprehended him it would have been nothing short of a disaster for security.