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Updated: August 30, 2013 10:31 IST
Yasin Bhatkal arrest

A big blow to Indian Mujahideen’s bomb-making, recruitment skills

Mumbai Bureau
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Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, key accused in many bomb attacks in the country, being produced at a court in Motihari on Thursday.
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, key accused in many bomb attacks in the country, being produced at a court in Motihari on Thursday.

Arrest of Yasin Bhatkal is a major victory for security forces

Till now Yasin Bhatkal was an image captured by the CCTV but never by the police. The dreaded Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist had boldly entered Pune’s German Bakery in 2010, planted a deadly bomb and melted into the crowd. Images from the Bakery’s video cameras were all the police were left with.

His arrest now — after being on the run since 2006 — is a major victory for security agencies.

The immediate fallout will be a dent in the IM’s bomb-making skills. Bhatkal had been entrusted with assembling the IM’s bombs since 2008. A responsibility he was given after the arrest of the terror outfit’s bomb-maker Mohammad Arif Shaikh. Yasin made bombs for the majority of the IM’s attacks, intelligence sources told The Hindu.

“If you study the German bakery blast, the 2011 Mumbai blasts, the 2012 Pune blasts and the recent Bodh Gaya blasts, you can see an uncanny similarity in the way the bombs were manufactured,” the sources said. “With each blast, the bombs become more sophisticated. Yasin learnt from past mistakes. In the 2012 Pune blasts, the circuits were loosely assembled. This error was not repeated in the Bodhgaya blasts.” The arrest will also impact the IM’s recruitment and financing, in which Bhatkal also played a key role. Along with IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin was instrumental in forming the Punemodule, among the strongest units of the outfit. Across Maharashtra, he built a network of sleeper cells in districts including Aurangabad, Jalna, Beedand Nagpur, Maharashtra ATS sources say. Later he shifted recruitment to Darbhanga in Bihar, where he had studied.

“After the mass arrests of the Indian Mujahideen in 2008 and the Batla House encounter, the IM could no longer recruit engineers, doctors or highly educated men. The Darbhanga module formed by Yasin mostly included uneducated youth who joined the outfit not for the ideology but for the money,” said an ATS source.

Master in fake currency

Informed sources told The Hindu that Yasin, a master in fake currency, had arranged finances for most of the IM’s bombings. The money was sourced through hawala operators in Dubai.

“After the arrest of Qatil Siddhique by the Delhi special cell, we learnt more about the funding operations of the group. Yasin had given him money for the Delhi blasts through hawala. One of the operators is in our custody,” said an ATS source.

Yet Bhatkal’s arrest could boomerang on two key cases in which the IM is allegedly involved: the Mumbai train blasts case of 2007 and the German Bakery blast case of 2010. It could even derail these trials where investigators may have been on the wrong trail.

In the train blasts case, the Maharashtra ATS arrested men from the LeT and the SIMI. However in his confession to the Mumbai crime branch, IM operative Saddiq Sheikh claimed that the train blasts were the handiwork of the IM. A theory supported by the Mumbai crime branch in its report to the State Home department. However, the ATS continued to maintain that the LeT operatives were guilty. Bhatkal’s version on the bombing could impact the trial.

German Bakery case

In the German Bakery case, the ATS arrested Himayat Baig, who was later awarded the death sentence. Here too, intelligence sources say Baig might have only played a minor role and Bhatkal’s arrest could reveal that.

“We suspect that Baig played the role of providing logistics and wasn’t present in Pune on the day of the blasts. But the ATS claimed that he was present and escaped to Beed after the incident. Yasin, who is wanted in the case and is seen in the CCTV footage planting the bombs, will be able to reveal the exact details,” intelligence sources told The Hindu.

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The Congress government's pseudo-secularism has created these monsters. Shinde even had the cheek to refer to Hindu terrorism when he should have been concentrating on hunting down the real 'enemies' of India, Islamic terror outfits that have found it easy to operate under the current government.

from:  Vida
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 16:57 IST

A good work by our Security agencies and they should get the credit where it is due. Why did Bihar Police shirk their responsibility in questioning or otherwise of the suspected militant. Has it anything to do with appeasement politics? I hope not otherwise it is not good for the country. Madarsas along the border towns in Bihar and UP which have mushroomed over the years should be closed as these act as terror modules. While I do not blame the community at large but some misguided youths are lured into wrong ways. The Government should be proactive and bring them into mainstream and give them good education. But, there would always be a bad fish everywhere.

from:  jagannathan
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 16:42 IST

Well done Cops! Congratulations!! This man should be housed in a solitary cell and his cases be tried in a fast track court and he should be given the capital Punishment.Such terrorists have no place in the earth.

from:  V.Shanmuganathan
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 14:33 IST

Hope he does not follow the vip treatment meted to the mumbai butcher (kasab)!

from:  N M Sudhir
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 10:50 IST

The speed with which, long elusive,two top terrorists have walked
into the hands of the security agencies, in quick succession,is
worthy of some serious question/thinking.Could it be their greater
sinister plan to lead terrorist traders into the country, to specific
targets, of agencies dealing with terror?Confidentiality in dealing
with them merits consideration.

from:  Kandasamy Kommaraswamy
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 10:32 IST

Arrest is a major victory for security forces agreed; but is it right to
say a big blow to bomb making. After all they might have built up
organisations and trained many people for these acts. It is not the
general or the head of a country directly fighting the wars. We may know
the names of only few terrorists, of which the arrest of 1 or 2 need not
matter; also the long, slow judicial process , witnesses / proof , What
will happen? OLet us give credit where it is due but not be elated by
these events.

from:  Gopalan
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 08:42 IST

Firstly, good work done the police and intelligence teams.
I request all police and intelligence teams and especially media teams
not to disclose the arrest operation in detail to the public. It is not
required for us. You make a record of such things and train the young
police inmates for future prospects.

from:  Venkata SRB
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 07:49 IST

Hope so...some another imp information to be collect frm yasin to aware abt nations safety...well done all.....

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 07:31 IST

Investigation should start immediately without any delay. As he is the
most wanted, his life has to be guarded in order to get all the facts
from him

from:  S.Kalyanasundaram
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 07:14 IST

Time and again we have seen that if one person gets arrested his close
aides will fill the gap, now we may see his brother or cousins taking up
the role and causing more mayhem. The solution is to strike at the
roots, when everyone knows the country and even the addresses of these
terrorists housed in safe havens, what is the use of giving monthly
updates on their well being, it is better to strike them in their dens.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 02:59 IST

we caught one, so what - there are hundreds still waiting to harm
innocent people. The words like "major victory for security...", "will
be a dent in bomb making skills....." are over blown. Its fairly known
how intricate these networks are with several checks and balances as
well as multiple control points and backups to face moments like

These kind of reports just make me wonder how soon we all become
complacent basking in our own "non-existing" glory. This is just my
opinion...Well one caught, good job folks, there is many more out
there and please work on dismantling the network!

from:  sriram
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 01:19 IST

Try him in a special court and keep him in a Solitary cell until the day of his capital
punishment...!!! Don't let him use indian prisons as his recruiting ground...

from:  kaverinathan D
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 00:59 IST

How naive is to assume this!

A formal education at the minimum takes three years. And a run for 7
good years, think about the number of informal-graduations in such
services he would have achieved.

7 years is a long time.

from:  Ajit Rajak
Posted on: Aug 30, 2013 at 00:44 IST
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