A video recording that surfaced on Friday apparently confirms that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) planned and executed the July 11, 2006, serial blasts on Mumbai’s suburban trains that killed 209 people and injured more than 700.
The video, a copy of which was made available to Hindustan Times, shows the IM co-founder Sadiq Ishrar Sheikh (31) confessing that he, the outfit’s operational commander Aatif Ameen and three others planted the bombs.
HT had first reported on October 14, 2008, how Sadiq and others of the IM — the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba-linked group accused of setting off serial blasts across the country since 2005 — executed the Mumbai serial train bombings.
Earlier, on October 11, HT had also reported on Sadiq’s journey into the world of terrorism, based on his confessions to the Mumbai crime branch. He had joined the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in 1996 angry over the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the subsequent riots. Sadiq was indoctrinated by his sister’s brother-in-law Salim Mujahid Islahi.
Islahi was later shot dead when the Gujarat police opened fire to disperse a mob that tried to prevent the arrest of Maulana Naseeruddin for the murder of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya.
Islahi had put Sadiq in touch with LeT operatives, including Aftab Ansari who sent him for training to Pakistan.
It was after a 45-day training programme there in 2003 that met Riyaz Bhatkal in Dubai and the two eventually formed the terror group in 2005. Sadiq was the controller of Aatif Ameen, the operational commander of IM, who was gunned down in the Batla house encounter with the Delhi police on September 19, 2008.
In the video, Sadiq said that though he had been part of the conspiracy behind the serial blasts across the country since 2005, he had physically planted explosives only in the Mumbai train blasts of 2006.
But Sadiq did not say whether he or his four accomplices had posed as Pakistanis. Nor did he speak of the involvement of the others arrested and chargesheeted by the Anti-Terrorism Squad in the train blasts case.