Indian Mujahideen (IM)’s suspected operations chief Atif Ameen and two of his absconding associates — one of them was identified by Delhi Police’s Special Cell as the man who made the bombs for the September 13 Delhi blasts — were involved in the Mumbai serial train blasts in July 2006 that claimed 187 lives.
Ameen’s associate Mohammed Saif, who was arrested after the Jamia Nagar encounter on September 19, made this revelation to Delhi Police interrogators. Atif and Sajid were killed in that encounter while two others of the IM’s city-based 14-man module had escaped via an unsecured exit out of the building.
Apart from Ameen, according to Saif’s claim, two of his associates — Sajid aka bada (elder) Sajid and Shahnawaz — had plotted and executed synchronised blasts in Mumbai on the evening of July 11, two years ago. The Special Cell has identified Ameen as the alleged mastermind of the Delhi blasts.
When asked about the IM’s involvement in the Mumbai blasts, Saif, according to one of his interrogators who spoke to HT, lost no time in replying that he was at his village in Sanjarpur in Azamgarh district. But that he “knew that bada Sajid was absent from his home for quite some time. When bada Sajid came back from Mumbai, I asked him about whether he and other IM members were involved in that kaam (blasts)?” the interrogator quoted Saif as saying.
Saif, the source said, added that bada Sajid had confirmed it.
According to him, Atif and Shahnawaz were part of the team that executed the train blasts in Mumbai, the interrogator said.
Contrary to Saif’s claims made to his interrogators, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad that had probed the Mumbai blasts case had held that the terror attack was orchestrated by a group —including 13 arrested local accused linked to the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) and a 17-member squad sent to the city by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, notably its training chief Azam Cheema (55).
The 13 arrested accused, including alleged mastermind Faisal Sheikh, a software professional, and Asif Khan Basheer Khan aka Junaid, civil engineer, were charge-sheeted and are currently facing trial in the case. The 15 Pakistani accused are absconding, while two others are long dead (one died in an encounter with the ATS on August 22 in 2006, while another died in the blasts).
The ATS chargesheet had made no mention of any involvement of the IM.
Mumbai Crime Branch’s Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, however, had claimed in a press meet on Wednesday that the Indian Mujahideen was involved in the Mumbai train blasts though he gave no details.
HT also learnt from police sources that LeT’s chief of Indian operations, Abu Al Qama, who is allegedly directing the IM’s terror operations was also part of the conspiracy behind the Mumbai 2006 blasts.