The Indian security establishment is keeping a close watch over Dawood Ibrahim’s plans to target the Capital even as recent talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif signal forward movement in normalising bilateral relations.
A photo of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. (Getty file image)
The security agencies’ anxiety over D-company is based on an intelligence input that Ibrahim "Tiger" Memon – the main accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case – had a meeting with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad around May 15 to discuss plans to engineer blasts and attack soft targets in Delhi.
The attack is said to be designed to test the newly-appointed Prime Minister’s capacity to tackle terror. Memon is based in Karachi and is part of the vast D-company network in south Asia and the Middle-East.
More than one senior home ministry official told HT that they had received the intelligence input and were checking it.
According to the input, Memon was tasked with diverting money to India through Delhi and not the usual Mumbai route for targeting the Capital. The intelligence lead has been shared at the highest levels with security agencies and efforts are on to monitor cross-border movement of money through the hawala or underworld route.
“We are trying to verify this terror input but, as of now, it still stands uncorroborated. This may turn out to be one of the many leads that lead to no result. But we are taking this threat seriously and are using technical aid to cross-check this meeting,” said a senior counter-terror official with the home ministry on condition of anonymity.
Though Pakistan denies sheltering Dawood Ibrahim, there are enough technical inputs with the Indian security establishment to pin the mafia don’s location to Karachi. He is also known to have business interests in real estate in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Dubai.