The three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists arrested in Lucknow had Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on their target, police said on Saturdy, as TV channels beamed their "confession" that they were planning to kidnap the young MP.
A senior Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force official told PTI that "it has now become clear that the terrorists, trained specially in kidnapping or taking hostage a VVIP politician, had Rahul Gandhi on their target" as their aim was "very big".
"Our plan was to abduct Rahul Gandhi," one of the terrorists was shown as saying in the "confessional tapes" telecast by television channels.
The suspected terrorists claimed that they were planning the kidnapping on directions by "people in Pakistan" to secure the release of 42 prisoners.
"We were given a list (of 42 prisoners) and asked to memorise (it)," a terrorist said. He said they were trained in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
The terrorists also "confessed" that their plan was to throw grenades and spray bullets and abduct the Congress MP. The terrorists, all belonging to Pakistan and identified as Mohammad Abid alias Faate, Yusuf alias Faisal and Mirza Rashid Baig were arrested from the Gudumba police station area in Lucknow early on Friday and a large number of sophisticated arms and ammunition and RDX seized.
The official said the terrorists had been trained in camps in Bahawalpur for six months in carrying out the kidnapping by showing them footage and video clippings of public meetings and functions and movements of the VVIPs and had plans to exert international pressure for the release of their 42 associates, including Afzal Guru, Nasrulla Mansoor and Abu Jinder, lodged in various Indian jails.
The police on Friday said that the militants had not set a time-frame for themselves and had planned to get menial jobs in a political party office to get acquainted with the environment and a VVIP and give a shape to their plan later.