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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals

The recent arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, said to be a top operative and 'bomb
maker' of Indian Mujahideen (IM), throws the spotlight on operations
allegedly carried out by the outfit in Pune and the way the network was
laid allegedly by IM founders Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal.

Chargesheets in two cases, one in Mumbai and one in Pune, name the
Bhatkal brothers for indoctrinating qualified youths from Pune for
'jihad', making Pune the base of IM, especially for its 'media cell'
operations, executing the German Bakery blast of February 13, 2010,
and JM Road bombings on August 1, 2012, to avenge the murder of its
alleged operative Qateel Siddiqui in Yerawada jail.

Recruitment for 'jehad'<\b>

According to the Mumbai crime branch's chargesheet on the


IM "media cell" busted in 2008, the Bhatkal brothers visited
Pune many times and were successful in indoctrinating
educated professionals such as Mohammed Mansoor Asghar

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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

Ali Peerbhoy, a young software engineer residing at Centre


Park residential society, Dr Ambedkar Road.

He was among the 21 alleged IM operatives arrested after the


investigations in the blasts at Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur and
the unexploded bombs in Surat in 2008. Peerbhoy was then
an employee of Yahoo and drawing an annual salary of about
Rs 19 lakh. Besides Peerbhoy, 10 more suspects were arrested
from Pune in 2008.

Terror operatives were allegedly following Peerbhoy since


2004 when he was attending Arabic classes in Pune. Alleged
IM operative Asif Bashir Shaikh of Kondhwa, who used to
identify youths as possible recruits, had joined the same
Arabic class and developed friendly relations with Peerbhoy,
the chargesheet says. Asif was a mechanical engineer.

Asif is alleged to have introduced Bhatkal brothers to


Peerbhoy. The Bhatkal brothers reportedly wanted Peerbhoy
to join IM because of his computer and technical skills and
was shown CDs of brutalities on Muslims around the world.
But it was after he saw the bodies of Muslim victims in Mecca
Masjid blasts in May 2007 that he allegedly made up his mind
to join IM, the chargesheet says, and allegedly became the
head of the IM 'media cell'.

Among other IM suspects was Mohammed Atik Mohammed


Iqbal of Kharalwadi, Pimpri. Similarly, IM is believed to have
indoctrinated Dr Anwar Abdulgani Bagwan, a native of
Secundrabad and an MBBS doctor from the prestigious B J
Medical College in Pune. He was allegedly in-charge of the
Primary Health Centre, Jogwadi, Pune. Investigators alleged
that as per the directions of Bhatkal brothers, he used the
funds provided by them for renting flats at Ashoka Mews and
Kamaldeep Apartment in Kondhwa for IM's terror activities.
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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

Cops seized the agreement papers that Bagwan had signed


while taking these premises on rent.

The other IM suspects arrested included Anik Sayyad, Farooq


Tarquas alias Abdulla, Majid Shaikh alias Nazim, Fazal
Rehman Durani, Mohammed Akbar Chowdhary of Kondhwa,
Dutagir alias Afroz Muzawar of Pimpri, Yasar Sayyad alias
Hujefa of Kasba Peth. Mohammed Akbar was also alleged to
be involved in Hyderabad blasts. His brother Moshin, a
wanted IM operative, is also named in German Bakery blast.
Many of the suspects attended terror training imparted at
Bhatkal, the native place of IM founders. Besides, IM
members not having computer knowledge were allegedly
being given computer training at the "Acme computer
institute" in Camp, which was run by suspect Anik Sayyad.

Online indoctrination<\b>

Investigators started hunting for the Bhatkal brothers


following the arrest of several IM operatives. The
Maharashtra ATS's chargesheet on the JM Road blasts of
2012 says they were hiding abroad but still trying to recruit
members for the terror outfit. They allegedly contacted
recruits through chatting on the Internet. In JM Road blast
case, the Delhi police and Maharashtra ATS arrested eight
persons, including three from Pune Feroz Sayyed alias
Humza, Munib Iqbal Menon and Farooq Shaukat Bagwan.

ATS claimed that Feroz was among the suspects who planted
the bombs on J M Road on August 1, 2012. And that two days
before the blast, Riyaz interacted with him through chatting
about the execution of terror attack. Four more suspects held
allegedly used to chat with Bhatkal and terror operative
Fayyaz Kagzi of LeT. Firoz also allegedly had a meeting with
Kagzi in Saudi Arabia. Kagzi reportedly gave him Bhatkal's e-
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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

mail ID.

Meanwhile, the ATS had also arrested alleged IM operative


Maulana Shabbir Hussain Gangawali of Bhatkal, Karnataka,
in a fake currency case from Janwadi area of Pune in
December 2008. ATS claimed he was also involved in
circulation of jehadi literature and conducting "darj"
meetings in Pune.

IM's media cell in pune<\b>

According to the Mumbai crime branch chargesheet, after the


ban on Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the
Bhatkal brothers and Amir Raza Khan, allegedly based in
Pakistan, formed IM. Amir Raza Khan formed four groups
"Sahabuddin brigade for strikes in south, Mohd Gajaniavi
brigade for strikes in north, Shaheed Al Zarkavi brigade for
strikes on VVIPs, and a media group for sending e-mails
before blasts to print and electronic media for claiming
responsibility".

The chargesheet says IM hired premises in Sewree Cross


Lane, Mumbai, and in Ashoka Mews and Kamaldeep
Apartments at Kondhwa, Pune. Besides regular terror
meetings, even assembly of bombs was done here.

Ashoka Mews apartment in Kondhwa reportedly became the


main base of the media cell led by Peerbhoy. Asif Bashir
Shaikh of Kondhwa, a mechanical engineer along with Mubin
Shaikh of Kondhwa were allegedly part of IM's media cell.

Media cell Operations<\b>

Peerbhoy allegedly undertook specialised training in hacking


from an expert in Hyderabad in May 2007. In September

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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

2007, he went to the US where he allegedly purchased


equipment like a spy camera and a radio frequency signal
detector for facilitating the terror activities of IM. Prior to the
Ahmedabad blasts, IM was allegedly using cyber cafes for
sending terror e-mails. But as investigators identified these
cyber cafes, Riyaz allegedly directed Peerbhoy in May 2008 to
send e-mails through Wi-Fi networks.

At the Ashoka Mews flat, Peerbhoy, Asif Bashir Shaikh and


Mubin Shaikh had allegedly penned down a 14-page terror
threat e-mail on July 21, 2008, ending with a warning of
bombs within the next five minutes and challenging the
government and police to prevent the bombings if they can.

The e-mails came a few minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts


on July 26, 2008, from an unsecured Wi-Fi connection in
Sanpada area of Navi Mumbai. On August 23, 2008, another
e-mail from an unsecured Wi-Fi connection of Khalsa college
in Mumbai came, claiming the planting of IEDs in Surat on
July 27, 2008. Again, a terror mail was sent from unsecured
Wi-Fi connection in Chembur on September 13, 2009. The e-
mails were sent from the e-mail address
alarabi.alhindi@gmail.com. Iqbal signed the e-mail as "AL-
ARBI" and Riyaz signed it as "Al-HINDI". The signatures
were scanned and pasted at the end of terror e-mails. Several
media cell members of IM were arrested in 2008 but the
terror outfit continued to send terror e-mails. Therefore, it is
believed that IM's media cell is still active.

Party after blasts<\b>

The crime branch chargesheet says Iqbal arranged a dinner


party for the members of the outfit at Kamaldeep Apartments
on the evening of July 26, 2008, to celebrate the Ahmedabad
blasts. Mohsin Choudhary and other terror operatives were
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Pune footprints of IM, Bhatkals - Indian Express 25/09/16, 5*37 PM

present at the party, it says. The suspects also watched the TV


coverage of the blasts and patted themselves for
"accomplishing the mission".

Based on instructions from Bhatkal brothers, IM operatives


had purchased clocks from Mumbai and converted them into
timer devices at Ashoka Mews apartment, according to the
chargesheet, which adds that these devices were handed over
to Riyaz in Pune and then installed with bombs used for
Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts.

After planting the bombs on JM Road, Feroz allegedly went to


his garments shop in Camp area. Here, he is said to have
watched news of the blasts along with Menon and Bagwan.

Riyaz and Iqbal had given directions to execute German


Bakery and JM Road blasts, investigators believe.

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