The National Investigation Agency (NIA)on Monday formally charged Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), his brother Mufti Rauf Asghar and two key lieutenants – Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif— for planning and sending four attackers to target the Pathankot airbase in January this year.
The federal anti-terror probe agency also named four dead attackers — Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum — as accused, and said they were trained in Jaish camps in Pakistan.
The charge sheet was filed in a special NIA court in Mohali following a year-long probe, in which the agency received help from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for getting details of the Facebook profile of Kashif Jan, who was in touch with the attackers.
The NIA named FBI special agent Kiev Vu Lefevre and department of justice’s trial attorney Mark Tellitocci as a witness. The two officials formally handed over the details of Kashif Jan’s Facebook chats.
During its probe, the NIA found that Kashif Jan was using IMO, a web-based chat and video messaging service.
The agency managed to procure IMO contact list of Kashif Jan and second handler Shahid Latif through legal assistance.
The charge sheet says there are 45 common numbers in the contact lists of Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif, establishing their links.
Latif was once arrested in India in 1993 in Jammu and Kashmir but deported to Pakistan in 2010 after completion of his sentence here.
The NIA also submitted details of calls made by the attackers from India to Pakistani phone numbers of their family members and handlers like Kashif Jan.
Following the attack, an audio clip was uploaded on a website, in which Rauf Asghar claimed responsibility of the attack.