National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials probing the twin terror strikes at Dilsukhnagar on February 21 stumbled upon crucial leads surmising that the outlawed outfit Indian Mujahideen was behind it.
NIA top brass reportedly told the Union Home Ministry officials that they had basis to arrive at this conclusion, having grilled several suspects and tracked several other terror attacks reported in different parts of the country. Among other vital leads was the video footage recorded by traffic surveillance and private cloth store cameras at Dilsukhnagar.
The video footage shows a person carrying a bag apparently containing an Improvised Explosive Device and planting it at the bus stop near Venkatadri theatre where the blast was triggered. “Probe revealed that he was Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal of Karnataka. His features matched with another video footage obtained in the German Bakery blast case in 2010,” investigators said.
Actually, the visuals recorded by surveillance cameras at Dilsukhnagar were not that clear to identify the terror suspects carrying bags, one on foot and the other on a bicycle. The video footage was sent to technical experts and eventually the NIA officials found that Yasin Bhatkal was involved in the Dilsukhnagar terror attack.
List of suspects
The NIA officials had already released a list of 12 wanted terror suspects and announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh for persons providing information on each of them. Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, who was believed to have aided the former in Dilsukhnagar twin blasts, figured in the list.
Investigators say inputs from all terror suspects arrested earlier, like Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan, whom they took into custody and questioned, indicated that IM top operational commander Yasin Bhatkal was responsible for the Dilsukhnagar terror attack. “Only after catching Yasin Bhatkal or his associates we would be able precisely say how they carried out the attack and reconstruct the sequence of events,” a NIA official said. Sources in the Andhra Pradesh Counter Intelligence Department, an anti-terror operations wing, endorsed the conclusions of the NIA. The CI officials conveyed to the State police top brass about the findings a few days ago but were waiting for further “clinching evidence”.
“Though a clear picture has emerged about the bomb planters, minute details as to how they obtained the bicycles used for planting the IEDs and if they had any local agents in Hyderabad are yet to be ascertained,” they maintained.
Sources in the Andhra Pradesh Counter Intelligence Department endorse the conclusions of the NIA