A team of the National Investigating Agency is looking at a possible link between the Pune blasts and some members of the Students Islamic Movement of India. Sources say that a gang of the SIMI from Madhya Pradesh could be behind the Pune blast and they are suspecting the same module which was part of the Khandwa jail break. A team of the NIA even visited Madhya Pradesh to question Abu Faisal the leader of the module and others who were with him. It is routine questioning based on suspicion an NIA official informed. However we are not ruling out the possibility of this module being behind the attack. The officer also informed that while the main members of the this module who had escaped from the Khandwa jail and had been rearrested are being questioned, they are also on the look out for five more of their friends who have gone missing after the jail break.
Criminal jurisprudence is based on an interesting saying, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” However that does not seem to the case where the Maharashtra ATS is concerned. Starting with Himyat Baig, here are a list of instances to show how this agency has messed up from time to time.
Will there be more egg on the face of the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad? The agency which has been accused of goofing up time and again in cases pertaining to terrorism appears to be caught on the foot once again in the case. This time around it is the case of Himayat Baig who was convicted in the Pune blasts case.
A team of the Natioanal Investigation Agency will visit Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Pune to question alleged Indian Mujahideen members arrested in various blast cases. Investigators will also question Maqbool alias Zuber who was arrested in connection with the Pune blasts case.
India is one among the top five terror hit nations in the world. Even as India continues to fight a tough battle on this front, the year 2012 is still considered to be a better one for India. The hanging of Ajmal Kasab and the arrest of Abu Jundal have been a shot in the arm for the various investigating agencies fighting this menace of terrorism.
The police are on the verge of busting the Indian Mujahideen module which executed the Pune blasts of August 1 and today the fifth person was picked up from Hyderabad. The police picked up a person by the name Maqbool who is said to have assembled the Improvised Explosive Device which was used during the blasts.
During the interrogation of the four other accused who have been arrested in connection with the same case, Maqbool a Hyderabad based operative had initially been attached to the Indian Muslim Mohammadi Mujahideen. Through this outfit he is said to have got in touch with the Indian Mujahideen operatives and was later roped in for the execution of the Pune blasts. Continue reading “Pune blasts- one more arrest”
Even as the Indian police continue to bust modules of the Indian Mujahideen across the country, the most worrying factor that comes to one’s mind is that the group has become an ideology for several youth thus making the outfit even more deadly.
There are nearly 300 recruitment’s that take place every year into the Indian Mujahideen and while not each one of them is actively involved in an operation, a majority of them float the ideological goal of the outfit, investigations have revealed.
It was a perfect case of coordination between the Delhi police, the National Investigating Agency which helped the cracking of a major Indian Mujahideen module and also the Pune blasts case. The police arrested three persons Asad of Aurangabad, Imran Khan of Nanded and Sayeed of Pune on whom they found The 4 kg of explosive materials, 8 detonators and 9 volt batteries.
While the Maharashtra ATS was still hunting for clues regarding the Pune blasts, it was the coordination of these three forces which helped crack that case and in addition to this also busted a major operation that was being planned under Yasin Bhatkal. However the more important thing that the police have managed to find is the active nature of the Darabanga module and how it is the primary module which is planning as well as carrying out attacks in various places.
Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar said at Delhi today that the Pune case had been cracked and also a major attack on Delhi and also one at a temple in Bodhgaya had been cracked with this arrest.
The arrest of three Indian Mujahideen operatives in Delhi today will provide the police more vital clues about their operations in the city and also details regarding the recent Pune blasts.
Delhi police sources tell rediff.com that they had specific intelligence about these persons trying to carry out attacks during the festival season and on them they had found arms and ammunition which was to be used for the attack.
Pune was attacked recently when four bombs went off in less than one hour. While the police believe that it was the job of the Indian Mujahideen, looking at the progress report of the investigation, it is clear that no real headway has been made as yet.
While the look out for the foot soldiers and the masterminds have yielded no results so far, the police are now trying to find the money trail that could have helped carry out this attack.
A tailor who was picked up at the start of the investigation has not given much information to the police. The police as well as a team of the National Investigating Agency visited various parts of Maharashtra and also Karnataka trying to track the antecedents of this man. Although the investigation against him is still open ended the police feel that he had just picked the bag out of curiosity not knowing that there was a bomb in it.
The police are now looking at a suspicious transaction of Rs 20 lakh which was made between Pune and Dubai. This money which was facilitated by a jeweller in Pune landed in the hands of two operatives suspected to be from the Indian Mujahideen. The question is whether this money could have been used in the Pune blasts. The other aspect that the police have managed to find is that out of the Rs 20 lakh only Rs 10 lakh had been used for the operation while the remaining is still intact with these operatives.
The two operatives whose names have been revealed by the jeweller are missing and a hunt is on for them. The jeweller on the other hand told the police that he did not know who he was dealing with.
Police sources point out that this has been the case most of the time. There are many hawala operators who are not directly connected with such persons and they end up making such transactions just as a business. Although there is so much awareness that is being created about the hawala racket, people continue to do so since there is a lot of money in it.
Currently the hawala market in India runs up to the tune of over Rs 2500 crore. Earlier those dealing with fake currency, and drugs were roped in for such operations. However with the heat on hawala operators being increased, terror groups looked for less unassuming persons in the real estate, fruit vendors, money lender and in this case jewellers to carry out their transactions. The biggest dealings in hawala have been found in New Delhi’s Chandini Chowk areas and also in Kerala. The job of the hawala transactor is to receive the money from a foreign land, convert the same into white and then deposit it into the bank. Once that is done he would get in touch with the operative at whose behest the transaction has been done. After taking his cut of 10 per cent he hands over that money to the operative.
The module which carried out the blasts at Pune had caused some bit of confusion for the security agencies. Although it has been said that some new module of the Indian Mujahideen could have carried out the blasts, it is now certain that it was the same old Yasin Bhatkal module with a new set of foot soldiers.
Sources in the investigating agency point out that the question of a new module is ruled out since one could have not emerged over night. Pune had always been on the radar of the Indian Mujahideen and the death of Qateel Sidddiqui in a Pune jail is what spurred the Indian Mujahideen to carry out an operation in such a hurry.
After the German Bakery blasts which had an impact in terms of death toll, there were many IM operatives who were arrested. This blast was then followed up by the 13/7 blasts once again carried out by the IM following which several more operatives were picked up and charge sheeted by the police.
The 13/7 blasts is what saw the emergence of the Darabanga module in Bihar and it was ascertained that it was founded and headed by Yasin Bhatkal. The IM had recruited several youth from Darabanga and had used them to carry forward their activities.
Now, with the Pune blasts investigations on it is slowly being ascertained that the operation was carried out by the same module which carried out the 13/7 blasts. The police are revisiting the investigations conducted on Qateel Siddiqui who was murdered in the Pune jail a few months back.
Siddiqui who hails from Bihar was a good friend of Yasin Bhatkal and they often met at New Delhi. In fact it was Siddiqui who familiarised Bhatkal with Darabanga and it was decided two years back that a module could be set up there. In this regard they recruited some youth from Darabanga and readied them for future operations. They also handpicked a couple of youth who were studying in colleges in Tambaram, Tamil Nadu. In fact it was the arrest of these boys which led to the discovery of the Darabanga module in the first place.
Today investigators looking into the Pune case are convinced that it was the very same module which carried out this blast too. It could have been planned at the same time they were looking to carry out the 13/7 attack. Siddiqui had met with Bhatkal in Delhi. Following this meeting the recruitment took place at Darabanga. This gives the indication that the entire operation was planned in Delhi and later youth were recruited from Bihar and Tambaram.
The police say that for the Pune operation there were around 6 foot soldiers who planted the bombs. Pune was always on their radar, but they had not finalised the timing of the blasts. They had a bigger operation planned, but decided to rush through with it in order to send a message back to those who killed Siddiqui, sources point out.
Could have been averted: After the 13/7 blasts, the Maharashtra ATS had been tipped off about the presence of Yasin Bhatkal in an apartment at Byculla. In addition to this they had also got information about two other operatives by the names Waqab and Tabrez. However the ATS decided not to follow up this information and made a loud announcement which tipped off these persons who managed to escape.
The getting away Yasin Bhatkal has proven costly for the security agencies since he is still the man who runs the IM show. Getting him into their custody would have dented the IM a great deal and it would have been some time before they could have found a replacement for him. The IM was already struggling with the loss of many of their key men. However with Yasin in the picture the outfit was limping back into business slowly.
Sources say that Yasin Bhatkal is very much in India and has not slipped out of India. There is a massive man hunt on for him and the agencies are hopeful of finding their man soon. They believe that Yasin would be a prized catch as not only would he have a lot of information, but his absence from the field would dent the IM a great deal.
Case status: Meanwhile investigators are now awaiting the results of the forensics sciences laboratory. It is by and large ascertained that ammonium nitrate had been used in the bomb and was timed by watches.
The police have also drawn up sketches of the accused persons and have some visuals from the CCTV footage. They say around 6 persons were present and could have planted the bomb on that night.