IM planned nuke attack on Surat

Contacted Al-Qaeda to intensify terror attacks in India

February 25, 2014 03:41 am | Updated November 16, 2021 09:21 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal (R) and aide Asadullah being produced at the Esplanade Court in Mumbai on Monday.

Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal (R) and aide Asadullah being produced at the Esplanade Court in Mumbai on Monday.

Banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen planned a nuclear attack on Surat and warmed up to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan to intensify ‘jihad’ against India. The revelations were made in the National Investigation Agency’s supplementary charge sheet filed in a special court here. The agency is investigating charges against IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, IM cadre Asadullah Akhtar, Manzer Imam and Ujjair Ahmed, arrested for their alleged role in launching terror strikes across India.

The revelations came to light while analysing a series of e-chats between absconding IM co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal and Yasin, who is now in judicial custody. In a conversation dated June 1, 2013, their plan to procure a nuclear bomb from Pakistan to attack Surat is revealed. This after IM’s attempt to bomb the city in 2008 failed miserably with none of the 32 IEDs it planted going off.

During the chat Riyaz tells Yasin not to dwell on the Surat failure, which haunted him. Yasin then asks Riyaz if he managed to find a nuclear bomb in Pakistan, to which Riyaz responds in the negative. Yasin says if a proper search is done, everything is available in Pakistan and tells Riyaz that Surat should be attacked with nuclear bombs.

The charge sheet says, “Riyaz told Yasin that Muslims will also die, to which Yasin said they would place posters in mosques for Muslim residents to evacuate the town. This clearly establishes the devious intentions of the accused Yasin Bhatkal, to wage war against India.” Yasin also told Riyaz that he had seen the movie Vishwaroopam in March 2013 and said “the film talked about the arrival of Al Qaeda in India, which was going to be true.” The special court headed by District Judge I.S. Mehta took cognizance of the charge sheet.

The conversations also reveal that the IM was unhappy with the Inter-Services Intelligence’s control on their activities. This prompted senior IM operatives to mull clubbing with the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to attack India. This was despite the ISI’s stern warnings against contacting the Al-Qaeda. Bent on fighting NATO forces, the IM men in Pakistan wanted to maintain a distance from the ISI.

The IM men used code ‘Tech’ for referring to Taliban while Al-Qaeda was named ‘Micro’.

The charge sheet said Riyaz Bhatkal even travelled to tribal belts on the Afghanistan-Pak border to establish contact with the Al-Qaeda. However, he could not meet its leader Ayman al Zawahiri as “he was not meeting anyone due to fear of drones”.

Al- Qaeda operatives told Riyaz that they had an Indian who looked after Uttar Pradesh. He in turn had told Yasin not to trust anyone but the Al- Qaeda.

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