Currently on the run, the two accused in the Pune serial blast case are probably the same Pakistan-trained men who had executed Mumbai's 13/7 serial blasts, sources said on Wednesday.
Known to their arrested associates as Shakir and Ahmad, sources said they had reason to believe that the duo are the same Waqas and Tabrez who had planted bombs at three separate locations across Mumbai in July 2011. They had given the Delhi Police Special Cell the slip earlier this year.
"These men, according to the disclosures of the five Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives arrested recently, had planted bombs at separate locations before Pune's serial blasts on August 1," said an officer.
According to sources, Waqas and Tabrez had entered India using forged travel documents from the Indo-Nepal border in late April of 2011 before travelling to Madhubani and then to Mumbai.
Sources said that the explosives used by the duo to execute the 7/11 blasts were procured from Udupi in Karnataka.
In January this year, a special team of the Delhi Police had reached Mumbai after the interrogation of 11 alleged IM operatives, who led them to Naqi Ahmed, a leather businessman from Delhi's Shaheen Bagh. The 11 men were arrested from a Chennai suburb.
"Naqi was taken to Mumbai's Byculla (east) after he confessed that he had helped IM operative Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh as well as Waqas and Tabrez get a house in a chawl near his sons' factory in Byculla (west)," the officer said.
However, Naqi was nabbed and subsequently arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
"Naqi had been contacted by Shahrukh after the plot of the Mumbai serial blasts was hatched in Madhubani, Bihar in May 2010. He got Shahrukh, Waqas and Tabrez in touch with Rubina Begum, who later became their landlord at the Habib Building near Palace Cinema," the officer said.