Arrested for their alleged involvement in the plan to execute serial blasts in crowded Delhi markets during the festive season, the links of the three men have been traced to a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander in his early thirties, who is currently nestled abroad. And these links have got the Delhi Police worried.
Police sources now admit that Fayyaz Qagzi from Maharashtra’s Beed district, one of the operational commanders of Mumbai’s 26/11 attacks and the off-shore architect of the IM’s latest Maharashtra module has turned out to be a bigger fish than IM commander Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh himself.
“Qagzi, at the behest of Riyaz and Iqbal — the Bhatkal brothers — is the man who engineered the Maharashtra module after the LeT realised that the outfit’s Azamgarh and Darbhanga chapters had more or less served their purpose between 2005 and 2009,” said an officer.
According to sources, Qagzi had shifted base to a ‘West Asian’ country after falling out with fellow LeT commanders.
He had insisted on sending a man from his native Beed as part of the 10-man hit squad that executed the 26/11 attacks.
While others feared that Qagzi would be prompt in spilling the beans if caught, given his nationality, he had tried, but failed, to convince them otherwise.
He had then taken up a job as a lecturer at a university in Jeddah as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, sources said they had ascertained that Imran — one of the three arrested on Thursday — was a local criminal before being radicalised.
In fact, Imran is wanted for his alleged involvement in the abduction of the owner of a five-star hotel in 2004. A criminal case in this regard had been registered at Aurangabad’s Kranti Chowk Police Station.
“We are now on the lookout for Raju Bhai, Riyaz Bhatkal’s local contact who had helped forge fake rent agreements for the arrested trio’s accommodation in south Delhi’s Pul Prehladpur,” the officer added.