The eyes and ears of the Jaish-e-Mohammad have been taken away with the killing of Khalid on Monday. Khalid one of the key members of the terror group had plotted a series of attacks in the Valley over the years. “He was one the oldest surviving foreign terrorists operating in Kashmir. He had been here since 2009 and knew about everything in Kashmir,” said senior police officer Munir Ahmad Khan.
A few months back, a lady walked into a police station in Kashmir and said that she wanted her ex-boyfriend dead. The police were taken aback and asked who she was speaking about. I am speaking about Khalid of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. I was in a relationship with him and he cheated me. I will lead you to him and then you do the rest, the lady said.
The killing of Khalid, the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist in the Valley has come as a major relief for the security agencies in the Kashmir Valley. With 6 Jaish terrorists on the run, the Intelligence Bureau had warned that they were planning a major strike masterminded by Khalid.
The clues are slowly trickling in and as per initial investigation reports the suspicion continues to be on the Indian Mujahideen. As the Intelligence Bureau continues to decode the case, the information that is coming in suggest that multiple modules of this outfit could have carried out this blast.
The modus operandi seems similar to the one that took place at Varanasi, sources say. This means that the planning was done by the key members of the outfit and the foot soldiers who planted the bombs were in no way connected with the outfit. In a deliberate ploy to dodge investigating agencies the IM has been using construction labour to plant bombs. Most of the time these They men are migrant workers from Banladesh. They are handed over a certain amount of money and asked to plant the bombs in places that have been identified. Once the bombs are planted they just vanish and on most ocassions cross over into another state or country, Intelligence Agencies say.
We have not zeroed down this operation to any particular module as yet. The Delhi and Azamgarh modules continue to be our primary suspect. The Pune module too is on our radar but that module could have provided the logistics the IB points out.
A very interesting point to be noted here is that one of the bombs were planted on a scooter. This is a replica of the Malegaon styled attack and the IM could have been aping that style so that the blame is shifted elsewhere. The IM this time has been very careful not to claim responsibility since it has realized that it needed a change in attitude. By claiming responsibility for the attack in the past they only led the police directly on to them. Moreover they have made their imprint in the field of Indian terrorism and they do not find the need to announce themselves anymore.
Agencies also claim that looking at all aspects on hand at the moment it becomes clear that only the IM had a reason to carry out this attack. All other angles are being probed but this one seems to be the strongest. There is a lot of development regarding this outfit including the investigations into the Gujarat blasts case and this outfit was looking to retaliate.
Agencies also point out that this organization had taken a back seat for sometime. However one must not forget that their key operatives are still at large and this think tank can continue to pose a danger for India. There are 19 IM men who are on the most wanted list and these men are either hiding in the Gulf or in Pakistan.
The likes of Asadullah Akthar, Dr Shahnawaz, Mohammad Sajid, Khalid continue to be at large. Then there is also Iqbal Bhatkal the brother of Riyaz Bhatkal who has taken refuge in Pakistan and understand the Indian scenario very well. To the aide of all these persons is the founder of the outfit Amir Reza Khan who also is in Pakistan.
The fact however remains that the Indian police have really not done much to nab these persons. They are unable to confirm whether Riyaz Bhatkal is dead or not. Also they have not named him in the most wanted list. After the Varanasi blasts there was definitive information that the likes of Dr Mohammad Shahnawaz and Asadullah Akthar had played a part in the attack. An Interpol notice was issued but then again there was no follow up on that.
When the IM re-grouping was taking place, there was a lot of focus even on the modules of this outfit based in the UAE. A large number of IM operatives are based in this country and they have found a safe hide out over there.
Even the IB had pointed out that Shahnawaz was present at Sharjah at the time of the Varanasi attack and the entire operation was executed from there.
Indian investigators will continue to join the dots between these blasts. At the moment it however appears that it was the same module which carried out the blasts at the Bangalore stadium, Ahmedabad and also at Varanasi and all these attacks bear resemblance to the one that took place on Wednesday.