Pulwama attack: Adil Dar used virtual SIM to connect to handler

Published - March 25, 2019 12:25 am IST - NEW DELHI

Adil Dar, who carried out the suicide blast that killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Pulwama, was in constant touch with his Jaish-e-Mohammad handler across the border and the mastermind Mudassir Khan using the virtual SIM technology, officials said.

Under the method, the computer generates a telephone number and the user downloads an application of the service provider on his smartphone. The number is linked to social networking sites. The verification code generated by these networking sites is received on the smartphone, and the user is ready.

Officials said the numbers used were pre-fixed with “+1,” the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) used for the U.S.

The request to the U.S. will include details of the phone numbers that got in touch with the “Virtual SIM” and who had activated it, they said, adding that Internet Protocol addresses would also be sought. While the security agencies would attempt to find out who had paid for the virtual SIM, they were also aware that the terror groups used forged identities, as it was done during the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes.

During the investigation of the 26/11 attacks, it was found that ₹229 was wired to Callphonex, via Western Union Money Transfer receipt number 8364307716-0, for activating the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) used during the attacks. The money was received from ‘Madina Trading’ located in Brescia in Italy, and the sender was claimed to be Javed Iqbal, a resident of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

However, after the Italian police arrested two Pakistani nationals in 2009, it was alleged that the firm had made nearly 300 transfers in the name of Iqbal, who probably had never set his foot in Italy. The Italian police, while concluding the probe, said the Brescia-based company made several transfers using the identity of innocent, unsuspecting persons, whose identity cards or passports might have been stolen.

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