Two alleged operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba had recced five railway stations - Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pratapgarh and Mirzapur - last year at instructions of their handlers sitting in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, sources have told HT.
Apart from Delhi and Mumbai, stations of Chandigarh, Pratapgarh and Mirzapur were also recced. HT files
Some of the associates of these two Lashkar operatives are now under scanner for their role in Hyderabad twin blasts.
According to investigators, in August 2012, the Bangalore police arrested Shoaib Ahamed Mirza and Abdul Hakeem Jamadar for plotting murders of several police officers, journalists and politicians in Karanataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The police also managed to arrest their dozen more associates.
During investigation it emerged that Mirza along with an associate named Imran visited the five railway stations and surveyed security arrangements. Not much is known about the steps taken by the LeT brass to execute the plan but investigators believe that many such plans are lying on the LeT shelves in Pakistan. Terror outfits are known to work on such plans for years.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also interested in this group of operatives. The agency has managed to identify handlers of the group who were taking instructions from the Pakistani spy agency ISI.
In India, the group leader was Mohamanad Shaheed Faisal alias Zakir, a Bangalore resident, who is on the run. Besides, the operatives were in touch with Abdul Rehman alias Farhatullah Ghori, originally a native of Hyderabad but now based in Karachi.
Ghori is wanted in the 2002 Ahmedabad Akshardham temple attack.
At least three ISI officials - known by their operational names - Hamd, Mustafa and Abdul Wahed - had given training to few of group members who had gone to Pakistan at the invitation of Ghori.
One of group members Obaid-ur-Rehman is now in the custody of the NIA. He was arrested by the Bangalore police in late last year when the group was busted.