NIA makes first arrest in Pulwama terror attack case
In a major breakthrough in last year’s suicide-bombing terror strike on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, in which 40 troopers were killed, the National Investigation Agency on Friday arrested an overground worker (OGW) of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Shakir Bashir Magrey, who provided shelter and logistical help to the suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar, the federal investigation agency said in a statement.
This is the first arrest in the Pulwama terror attack, orchestrated by Maulana Masood Azhar from Pakistan and executed by JeM Commander Muddasir Khan.
A top official at NIA said on condition of anonymity that on the day of the suicide attack, Magrey drove the car but got down from the vehicle around 500 meters away from the attack site. “This shows how closely he was involved in planning and execution of attack,” added this person.
The official said that the gloves, battery and ammonium powder used while making the bomb were ordered by JeM terrorists through Amazon.
The agency also claimed on Friday that a forensic analysis has determined the explosives used in the attack, which almost brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war, to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX . These explosives were procured from across the border, said a second NIA official.
Magrey is a resident of Hajibal, Kakapora in Pulwama and owns a furniture shop.
“He provided shelter and other logistical assistance to the suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. He was introduced to Adil Ahmad Dar in mid-2018 by a Pakistani terrorist, Mohammad Umar Farooq and he became a full-time OGW of JeM. During his initial interrogation, he has disclosed that on several occasions, he collected and delivered arms, ammunition, cash and explosive material to the JeM terrorists , including those involved in Pulwama attack,” the NIA statement said.
“Accused Shakir Bashir Magrey has further revealed that he harboured Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house from late 2018 till the attack in February 2019, and assisted them in the preparation of the IED (Improvised Explosive Device). His shop is located near Lethpora bridge, and as advised by Mohammad Umar, he started conducting reconnaissance of the movement of CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in January 2019, and informed Mohammad Umar and Adil Ahmad Dar about it. Further, he was also involved in modifying the Maruti Eeco car and fitting the IED in it in early February,2019,” it added.
NIA found, early on in its investigation, that the car used in the attack was a Maruti Eeco.
“This has been corroborated by accused Shakir Bashir Magrey. The explosives used in the attack were determined to be Ammonium Nitrate, Nitro-Glycerin and RDX through forensic investigation,” the statement said.
The officials added that the suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar was identified through DNA matching with that of his father.
Other key terrorists involved in the attack were Muddasir Ahmad Khan, (JeM’s Divisional Commander of South Kashmir killed in an operation by security forces on March 11, 2019) and Pakistani terrorists, Muhammad Umar Farooq and IED expert Kamran, (both killed on March 29, 2019) and the owner of the car, - Sajjad Ahmad Bhat (killed on June 16) and Qari Yassir, JeM’s Commander for Kashmir (killed on January 25 this year).
The attack on the CRPF convoy, moving from Jammu towards Srinagar on February 14, with an IED-laden vehicle by the Jaish terrorist claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel and grievously injured many others.
Magrey was produced before the NIA Special Court at Jammu on Friday and remanded to 15 days custody for his detailed interrogation.