Like any youngster of his age, this 24-year-old was computer savvy and used to extensively visit cyber cafes in almost every city he visited across the country. He introduced himself as a student in his Punjabi-accented Hindi or Urdu to get a rented accommodation anywhere.
But once within the four walls, this youngster used to do what he was best at -- assembling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in a jiffy!
Waqas alias Javed, the Pakistani national, arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police and the man who had planted IEDs at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad, which killed about 20 people in February 2013, had a “word of praise” from even his handlers back in Pakistan for his “innovative ways” of preparing the IEDs.
Moreover, Waqas, sources confirmed, was on the payrolls of Pakistan’s ISI.
Sources associated with his arrest told Express that Waqas had undergone “Daur-e-Khas” (training in IEDs, bomb making apart from map reading and physical exercises) training in Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in Pakistan.
He and his associates were arrested from Rajasthan.
“After Daur-e-Khas, he further underwent training in electronic circuit-making and became a master. His handlers were all praises for him as he could easily assemble IEDs using different chemicals within no time. He was therefore given the task to trigger as many blasts as possible in India and he succeeded,” a top police official said.
Describing him as an ISI-trained militant, officials said senior Indian Mujahideen member Riyaz Bhatkal, who was also taking instructions from the ISI, had directed Waqas and another accused Asadullah Akhtar to trigger blast in Hyderabad.
Accordingly, they reached Hyderabad two days before they triggered the blasts, and started working with Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, who had already reached the city and was living in a hideout in Abdullapurmet. The trio also carried out a test blast just days before the actual blast was triggered in Dilsukhnagar on February 21, 2013. “The three of them prepared two IEDs while staying here,” officials said. All the while, the persons who had rented out the accomdation to them were under the impression that they were students.
Waqas’ Kerala Visit
Indian Mujahideen top commander Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas, who was nabbed by the Delhi Police, had a short stay in Kerala a few months ago, according to top officials of the Intelligence Department.
“The Central Intelligence agencies had shared such an information with the state. Waqas had briefly stayed in Munnar some months ago. He was there for a few days, may be while being on the run,” they said.
The officials said Waqas was staying with a person based in Munnar whom he had befriended earlier. However, they refused to divulge more details.
“Waqas had visited a number of other states too,” they added. “Since the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, the founder-leader of the IM, the NIA and other Central agencies were on the search for his accomplices,” the officials said.