The alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) key operative Asadullah Akthar alias Haddi has told interrogators of the Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) that Mumbai was also a target along with Pune during the August 1, 2012 serial blasts, sources said.
Four low-intensity blasts struck the arterial J.M. road in the heart of Pune on August 1 evening injuring one person.
He told the investigators that the Bandra railway station and Mumbai’s iconic Joggers Park, which is also in Bandra, were surveyed by IM men as per the initial plan of carrying out concurrent serial blasts in Mumbai and Pune. But just three weeks before the blasts hit Pune, Riyaz Bhatkal, IM co-founder, asked them to limit their plans to Pune. “Initially the plan was to carry out blasts in Mumbai and Pune simultaneously. I surveyed the areas in Pune and selected Junglee Maharaj road. Then we [Yasin, Feroz and Hamza] went to Mumbai but Yasin abruptly cancelled the plan. My colleague Hamza was asked to survey the Bandra railway station and a park in Bandra and return to Pune,” Haddi told the interrogators.
“Later Riyaz told me that Yasin was wanted in Mumbai and because of the massive manhunt launched by the Mumbai police it would not be safe for him to enter the city,” added Haddi.
Haddi said Yasin stayed put in the safe house in Pune on the day of the attack.
“Since Yasin was from Pune he did not come out of the safe house in Pune. The Pune blasts were carried out by Waqas, Hamza and Haddi,” police sources told The Hindu.Use of chat / Internet
Haddi told interrogators that they used Nimbus, Yahoo and Paltalk to communicate with Riyaz Bhatkal. Instructions were given out by Riyaz through these chat engines.
“Riyaz was of the opinion that Nimbus, Yahoo and Paltalk were more secure than Skype. He also told us to encrypt a file before sending it. By doing so security agencies cannot decipher the content,” Haddi had told the police.
The banned outfit had even devised a code to communicate if the members were caught.
“In the eventuality of being caught and if forced by the Indian agencies to chat with Riyaz, I would write Asslam Alaikum in full form which will help Riyaz know that I am caught,” Haddi told the police.