Abdul Subhan Qureshi squeals: Saudi Arabia is ISI’s favourite meeting point

Indian Mujahideen operative Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer knew about the July 2006 serial train bombings in Mumbai, but his involvement in the attacks are not clear as of now.

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2018 10:29 IST
Aritra Hazra
Aritra Hazra
Hindustan Times
Abdul Subhan Qureshi,Indian Mujahideen,Saudi Arabia
Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer.(HT FILE)

Delhi Police Special Cell officials said on Tuesday that the alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer knew about the July 2006 serial train bombings in Mumbai. However, the extent of his involvement in the terror attack that killed 209 people was not immediately clear as investigators are still questioning him.

“Tauqeer was the silent conspirator in the cases in which he has been named as an accused,” a senior Delhi police officer said. “He used to plan the attack and escape before its execution.”

Following Tauqeer’s revelations, Indian investigating agencies believe Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Service’s Intelligence (ISI) has made Saudi Arabia its preferred rendezvous destination for meetings with operational heads of terrorist organisations. Officials said it does not come as a surprise for investigators that Riyaz Bhatkal, the alleged co-founder of Indian Mujahideen and who, along with his brother Iqbal, is allegedly sheltered by ISI, met Tauqeer in Saudi Arabia.

A senior Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) official privy to the interrogation, said, “It is not Tauqeer alone who has revealed ISI’s modus operandi in Saudi Arabia. Haroon Rashid Naik, a trained bomb maker arrested for his alleged role in the July 2011 serial blasts in Mumbai had revealed how he too had a base in Saudi Arabia.”

Additionally, the ISI was in touch with Fayyaz Kagzi, who worked at a Madrasa in Saudi Arabia as an English teacher. Kagzi’s presence in Saudi Arabia was confirmed to investigators by Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia for his alleged role in the November 26, 2008 terror attack in Mumbai.

“Saudi Arabia has always been the favourite meeting place for ISI and the operational heads of the terror organisations,” an officer attached to the Delhi Police Special Cell said. “This was revealed during our previous investigations, too.”

Who is Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer?

· A top leader of the banned organisation SIMI

· A co-founder of Indian Mujahideen

· Allegedly played an important role in arranging meetings of SIMI operatives in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala

· Coordinated terror training camps at Choral (Madhya Pradesh), Wagamon (Kerala), Halol (Gujarat)

· Allegedly planned and executed the 2008 serial blasts in Gujarat

· Is adept at eluding law-enforcement; during every crackdown on SIMI or IM, Tauqeer would “simply vanish into thin air” according to investigators

· Has good command over various languages, including English

· Is aware of and updated on local as well as international issues

· Has a knack of influencing and motivating impressionable minds

· Has passed Microsoft Certified Software Engineering (MCSE), besides studying industrial electronics at Bharatiya Vidyapeeth, Mumbai

· The alleged mastermind of the 23 bombings in Ahmedabad in July 2008

· One of SIMI’s primary fund-raisers

· Suspected signatory of Indian Mujahedeen terror email as “al-Arabi”

Known associates of Tauqeer

Safdar Nagori: Jailed. Architect of the transformation of SIMI to Indian Mujahedeen

Riyaz Bhatkal: Currently in Pakistan. Co-founder of Indian Mujahideen

Iqbal Bhatkal: Currently in Pakistan. Co-founder of Indian Mujahideen

Mufti Abu Bashir: Arrested. A preacher from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh

Qayamuddin Kapadia: Arrested. A trader from Vadodara, Gujarat

Manjar Imam: Arrested. A resident of Ranchi, Jharkhand

Ali Haider (alias Black Beauty): Arrested. Involved in the Gandhi Maidan, Patna blast of 2013

Sajid Mansuri: Arrested. Allegedly involved in the Ahmedabad serial bombings in 2008

Usman Agarbattiwala: Absconding from Vadodara

Alamzeb Afridi: Absconding from Ahmedabad

Abdul Razik Mansuri: Absconding. An embroidery unit owner

Mujib Shaikh: Absconding, a stone polishing artisan

Zahid Shaikh: Absconding from Ahmedabad

Amil Parwaz: Absconding. A native of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 10:27 IST