Arrested on charges of facilitating an ‘international conspiracy’, Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, 50, had used a global, cellular phone-based closed user group (CUG) to remain in touch with his handlers in southwest Asia for more than a year, sources claimed.
The freelance journalist, who was nabbed by the special team from his Jor Bagh residence on March 6, had allegedly been using a mobile SIM card purchased from Tehran, Iran, to communicate with Seyed Ali Mehdiansadr and Mohammadreza Abolghasemi since early 2011.
“When he went to Iran in 2011, Mehdiansadr and Abolghasemi paid him in dollars and also provided him the SIM card to dodge domestic technical surveillance. He was communicated with and also issued instructions from his handlers in Tehran through this line,” said a senior police officer.
His ‘hotline’ to Tehran, police claimed, played a major role in connecting the technical dots between him, Houshang Irani — the man who executed the attack, and Sedaghatzadeh Masoud, the alleged operational commander of the global operation.
SIM cards procured from Tehran, sources claimed, were also recovered from Moradi Saeid and Mohd.
Khazaei — the two men of Iranian origin arrested from Bangkok after a similar terror bid failed at the Thai capital on February 14.
“The starting point for technical investigation was Masoud’s mobile number, procured after he was arrested in Malaysia. This led us to Irani and further to Kazmi. All the field operatives were in touch with the hatchers of the conspiracy —Mehdiansadr and Abolghasemi, through these Tehran-issued SIM cards,” the officer said.
Kazmi’s interrogation, according to police, had revealed that he was in ‘indirect touch’ with Masoud through Irani who stuck the magnetic explosive device to the Innova vehicle carrying Tel-Yehoshua Koren, 42, the wife of an Israeli defence attaché, on the afternoon of February 13.