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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Abdul Subhan Qureshi met IM founder in Saudi, planned group’s revival in India

Tauqeer revealed meetings were held with Indian Mujahideen’s co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal in Saudi Arabia to revive the proscribed terror group.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2018 09:54 IST
Aritra Hazra
Aritra Hazra
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer arrested by Delhi Police in New Delhi.
Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer arrested by Delhi Police in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)

Indian Mujahideen (IM) – the home-grown terrorist outfit of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – was in the process of regrouping and reviving their activities across India. Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, an alleged IM operative who was arrested last month, revealed this to the Delhi police special cell, which is interrogating him.

Tauqeer, who was arrested in January for his alleged role in the Ahmedabad serial blasts of July 2008, has told investigators that he met the group’s co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal in Saudi Arabia between 2015-17 to revive the terror outfit across India.

Investigators said Tauqeer is a critical link between the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and IM.

Tauqeer also planned to target police officers who had dismantled their terror network in 2008. The Mumbai crime branch, in a countrywide operation, had arrested 22 IM members, bringing down its network that had executed blasts in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

The plan to revive the terror outfit was being coordinated by Tauqeer, who had travelled to meet Bhatkal and his associate, Khaled Kodi, in Saudi Arabia, said sources in the Delhi special cell on Tuesday. Tauqeer operated in Riyadh and would meet Bhatkal and others working as a salesman. He was also in touch with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Saudi Arabia, sources said.

“The primary goal was to arrange finances, after which they wanted to make Nepal the IM base. They wanted to conduct operations out of Nepal as it has become a safe haven for terrorists,” said a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named.

Tauqeer had asked Bhatkal to shift his base to Nepal and handle operations from there, while he would travel across India and motivate youngsters to join IM, said the officer. “He began this recruitment project in June 2017 after he came back from Saudi Arabia.”

Investigators added that Tauqeer’s base in Nepal was well-oiled after he befriended SIMI member Nizam Khan and procured a fake local voter identity card. Later, he acquired a Nepali passport in the name of Abdul Rehman, who was shown as the son of Abdul Karim, a resident of Birat Nagar in Nepal. He had visited Saudi Arabia on this passport, sources said.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 23:36 IST

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