HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

ISI paid IM Rs. 24cr to bomb India, says Bhatkal

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 30, 2013
First Published: 01:20 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 01:25 IST(30/9/2013)

The ISI gave the Indian Mujahideen (IM) Rs. 24 crore in the last four years, a period in which the home-grown terror outfit planned or executed almost a dozen operations resulting in the death of more than 60 people, Yasin Bhatkal has told interrogators.

"A few months back, his ISI handlers asked Yasin Bhatkal to give an account for the spending of around Rs. 24 crore that they claimed was handed over to Karachi-based top IM operatives Iqbal Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal for the group's activities in India from early 2009 onwards, when they shifted base from India to Karachi. Interestingly, Yasin believes a part of the money was cornered by Iqbal," a counter-terror official familiar with the details of Yasin's interrogation told HT.

Investigators say that money may have gone into setting up IM bases in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, weapons factories in Delhi and Mangalore, making bombs, meeting the travel expenses of its recce men, training recruits and carrying out blasts across the country or outside it.

"IM planned more than a dozen operations, some of which it could not execute, like the planned firing at the German Bakery in Delhi's Paharganj. When Yasin was asked to give an account of money spent by him by his ISI handlers, he got to know the total amount given by the spy agency," the official said.

Yasin Bhatkal, the IM's India operations chief, and key associate Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi were picked up by Indian officials in Nepal's Pokhra and formally arrested at the Indo-Nepal border on August 29. Both are currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency.

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