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NIA rules out inside help in Pathankot attack

After months of investigation, the NIA has concluded that there was no inside help to the terrorists who struck at the Pathankot airbase in the early hours of January 2.

“We have reached this conclusion after examining all the personnel at the airbase and also on the basis of extensive technical investigations. There is no evidence to prove that the terrorists entered the airbase with the help of an insider,” said a senior NIA official.

What aroused suspicion at first was the ease with which the six terrorists entered the airbase with heavy backpacks and a large number of weapons and explosives.

Former Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, whose vehicle was snatched by terrorists to reach the airbase, is still on the NIA’s radar. He was presented as a “witness” before the Joint Investigation Team from Pakistan that came here a month ago.

India has said that the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) planned and executed the attack. NIA has dispatched another letter rogatory to Pakistan, this time attaching the credit card details of one Abdul Hasan who made the payment to host the two websites of the JeM — rangonoor.com and alqalaamonline.com. NIA has said in its LR (judicial request for gathering evidence) that Pakistan must trace this person and interrogate him for links with the terror outfit. According to publicly available information, rangonoor.com was registered on May 3, 2007. It was last updated on February 21, 2014. NIA had played an audio clip posted on this website by JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar when the JIT visited here.

The LR also contains details about Shahid Latif, one of the four handlers who directed the Pathankot terrorists on the phone.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are to meet in Delhi on Tuesday.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 2:36:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/NIA-rules-out-inside-help-in-Pathankot-attack/article14257391.ece

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