Sources in the intelligence bureau said using oil tankers to target vital installations is Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) latest plan and an alert to all such installations has been issued, asking that utmost precaution be taken while hiring staff, even vehicle drivers.
Pictures of a threat from an oil tanker or an aircraft had been uploaded on an LeT operative’s social networking site.
Also, David Coleman Headley, the LeT operative in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), had told NIA about a possible attack on oil installations. Headley had told his interrogators that Sajid Majid, a senior LeT operative, had informed him of a sanction to attack India again after 26/11.
Sajid had showed Headley a Google map of an oil refinery in Gujarat, and was keen to attack it. Hindustan Times had first reported on October 25 that Headley had visited Gujarat in November 2008 during his stay in India.
Maria said the duo had been working with NM Sons Transport Company in Talasari. While Sharief had been living in the city for 12 years, Issac came here five years ago. Sharief even had a driving licence, issued by the Tardeo RTO.
“After interrogation, we charged them under Section 15,16,18, 18 (b) and 20 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on November 21,” Maria said. The duo has been charged with being members of a terror group, conspiring to commit a terror act and recruiting people for terror activities.
“Isaac’s cousin Mohammed Ayub was killed in an encounter two years ago, while Sharief was Ayub’s classmate,” Maria said, adding that the duo was approached by terror groups when they visited their village in Gakhroth, J&K, but they joined LeT only six months ago.
Maria said they were supposed to go for training to Pakistan after Eid, November 17, but were picked up before that.
Maria said the duo had given them the names of some of the people they had contacted. ‘They are being questioned,” he said, adding that the duo had been remanded in police custody till December 2. Maria denied that the duo was planning a suicide attack.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat police are likely to seek interrogation of the nabbed terrorists as they were on a mission to strike in Gujarat as well.
"We are in touch with Mumbai ATS officials regarding the arrests. We will seek to interrogate the duo later,” Gujarat ATS IG Ajay Kumar Tomar told the HT.