Atif, who used the alias Bashir, was only 24. But police say he was the man who headed the terror teams that carried out all the serial blasts in the country this year.
Police suspect he headed Indian Mujahideen, which claimed responsibility for the blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur. He also had a hand in the Hyderabad blast.
Atif carried out the bombings with help from Abdus Subhan Qureshi, who leads the terror units of SIMI, said police.
Atif could have provided the explosives and bomb experts for the Delhi attack, police said. “He selected the blast sites and was present in the city on September 13,” Special Cell chief Karnal Singh told HT.
Both Atif and Mohammed Shahid, who was also killed in the encounter, were from Saraimeer village in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh.
Atif was a post-grad diploma student at Jamia University.
Police said he travelled with 10 men to Ahmedabad on July 24. On the day of the blasts, July 26, he left for Delhi with 12 men on train.
“After the Hyderabad blasts last year, Atif had asked for men and money from Qureshi to carry out the blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi,” said a police officer.