'Slain militants were in touch with LeT commander'

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. The contents of some of the e-mails exchanged between the top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) functionaries and the alleged militants, three of whom were recently gunned down by the Special Cell of the Delhi police, have revealed that they were in direct touch with Saifullah, the LeT commander for terrorist operations outside the Kashmir Valley.

The police had earlier recovered the diaries of the slain militants from their Zakir Nagar and Batla House hideouts in which they had found some e-mail addresses on Yahoo and Rediffmail portals.

Subsequently, they wrote to the websites to help them retrieve the contents of the e-mail communications and also took the help of computer experts in cracking the passwords of the accounts.

A technical probe revealed that the militants operating from Delhi and Patna were in regular touch with their superiors based in Pakistan, Nepal and also in Saudi Arabia, through the Internet. Meanwhile, interrogation of the alleged Lashkar operative, Hamid Hussain, revealed that the person, Abdul Aziz, who was giving directions to the senior Lashkar functionary, Salim aka doctor, and other militants had met them in Nepal and had also provided them satellite phones and funds.

In the light of these facts, the police suspect that while the militants were in touch with Abdul Aziz, who was in Nepal for the past few months coordinating the whole operation, they were also in direct contact with Saifullah, who was also giving them directions through satellite phone and e-mails.

Intelligence inputs have indicated that both Saifullah and his close confidant, Abdul Aziz, now operate from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The inputs gain credence from the fact that one of the alleged Pakistani militants, Saqib, who was gunned down in the encounter with the Special Cell, had been to UAE on a Pakistani passport this to meet "someone", after which he went to Kathmandu.

It is learnt that a few days ago, the Special Cell received the contents of at least four of the e-mails sent and received by the militants.

While the police are now analysing the contents with the help of the militants in their custody, they have launched a hunt for some more suspected Lashkar operatives who were part of the module set up to target the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun and some prominent software companies in Bangalore.

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