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LeT operative used fake name, religion to do recce

Ease of movement--Hindu name and friends helped him move around without being questioned.

lucknow Updated: Dec 01, 2017 14:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
LeT operative,Lucknow,Lashkar-e-Taiba

The alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Shaikh Abdul Naeem, 37, who was arrested from Lucknow on Tuesday, used a fake Hindu identity to befriend Hindus (including girls) and went with them to different tourist spots to do reconnaissance.

Second suspect taken to Delhi
  • On the basis of Naeem’s revelations, the NIA and the UP ATS had taken another terror suspect arrested from Pratapgarh on Wednesday, to Delhi on Thursday. The second suspect is believed to be a part of the sleeper modules’ network prepared by Naeem in past three years.
  • A source said two youths were taken into custody from Pratapgarh but one of them was released after crosschecking his credentials while another had been held back and taken to Delhi. He said the NIA was likely to show his arrest soon and produce him before the Special NIA court in Delhi.

“Naeem revealed that he used a fake Hindu name and accompanied his Hindu friends to have easy access to tourist spots in Varanasi and Cantonment areas. He said Hindu name and friends helped him move around without being questioned or coming on the radar of security and police agencies,” said a senior police official, who assisted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Naeem’s arrest.

He said the terror suspect always hid his religion, believing that it would bring him under scanner after he escaped from police custody in 2014. He said the suspect worked at private installations owned by Hindus, pretending that he belonged to the same religion, during his short stay in Patna and Gopalnagar. “He even forged friendships with Hindus, including some girls, and accompanied them to tourist spots. He obtained fake identity proofs for this purpose,” said the official.

The official said Naeem learned Hindu rituals so that nobody could suspect his religion.

The official said the ATS was preparing a list of people who were in touch with Naeem to cross-check their credentials. “Although initial probe suggested that most of them befriended Naeem unknowingly and were unaware about his original identity, still their credentials need to be cross-checked before giving them a clean chit,” he said.

Naeem did recce of several tourist spots in Varanasi, Agra and Kanpur, he said, adding the suspect even visited the Nepal border in Bihar to discover a safer route for terror operatives’ movement in and outside the country. He also visited Kasol (Himachal Pradesh), Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi.

Read more| Arrested from Lucknow, suspected LeT operative adept in terror planning: ATS officials

The official said Naeem sent all these details to his handler Amjad alias Rehan sitting somewhere in Pakistan.

Earlier, the NIA, with the assistance of the ATS, arrested Naeem alias Nomi, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, from Charbagh, Lucknow in connection with LeT’s activities in India. Several incriminating documents, a mobile phone and bank account details were seized from him at the time of his arrest. He was also allegedly preparing a network of sleeper modules and suicide bombers.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 14:07 IST