Fasih Mahmood, the 28-year-old terrorist apprehended in Saudi Arabia, was one of the five men who transformed the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi), a seemingly innocuous student body, into the deadly Indian Mujahideen (IM) almost overnight a decade ago, Delhi Police sources claim.
A trained engineer from the Anjuman Engineering College in Karnataka’s Bhatkal, Fasih had been on Delhi Police’s radar since November last year after his name figured in the interrogation of two key IM operatives.
“The first time we received information about him was during the interrogation of Gauhar Aziz Khomani, one of the six IM operatives arrested from Chennai’s Selaiyur in November 2011,” said a police officer.
On November 23, a special team of the Delhi Police had arrested Pakistani national Mohammad Adil, Mohammad Qateel Siddique, Mohammad Irshad Khan, Gauhar Aziz Khomani, Gayur Ahmad Jamali and Abdur Rehman from Selaiyur.
Fasih had, however, remained just a name for investigators till they got hold of Mohammad Tariq Anjuman Hasan, a 31-year-old civil engineer staying at Nalanda’s Bihar Sharif and, allegedly, a founding member and key ideologue of the same home-grown terror outfit.
Hasan, who confessed to having joined Simi in 1998 after being indoctrinated by the Bhatkal brothers, according to police claims, had told investigators that Fasih had been crucial for the outfit since 2003.
“Sometime in late 2003, a meeting had taken place somewhere near the (Anjuman) university where five men decided to form the IM,” the officer said.
“Tariq, who was studying there and was just 20 years old at the time, was one. The others were Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, who are currently in Karachi, Yasin alias Shahrukh, and Fasih — who has been instrumental in arranging finances for most of the IM’s terror-ops.”