Suspected Indian Mujahideen commander Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell, allegedly had three main targets -- BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and temples in Varanasi and Mumbai.
According to sources, Akhtar had prepared a plan to carry out serial blasts at a Modi rally in Uttar Pradesh to avenge the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi.
While revealing the details of Akhtar’s interrogation, the sources contradicted claims that there was no threat to Modi. “Akhtar confessed that Modi was the main target. After the low-intensity blasts at the Patna rally in last October, he was coordinating with bomb expert Waqas to carry out a spectacular strike during an election rally,” a source said.
A native of Bihar’s Samastipur district, Akhtar went in hiding after the Patna bombings and crossed over to Nepal, where he was sheltered by a local Indian Mujahideen module.
The 23-year-old, who had founded the Indian Mujahideen’s Ranchi module, was coordinating with the terror outfit’s top leadership in Pakistan after central agencies cracked down on the Darbhanga module, the sources added.
He was allegedly directed by Riyaz Bhatkal to recruit at least 10 operatives to plant explosives at the BJP’s hunkar rally on October 27.
“The money came through the hawala route. Akhtar had dedicated IM operative Haider to recruit foot soldiers from Ranchi and adjoining areas. After the blast, Riyaz Bhatkal, Akhtar and Waqas used Internet chat rooms to communicate with one another,” said the source. With the arrests of Akhtar and Waqas, the Indian Mujahideen is almost defunct, sources claimed. According to a senior intelligence official, it is the end of the road for the home-grown terror outfit aided by Pakistan’s ISI, Al Basher and the Lashkar-e-Taiyaba.
“Three top IM terrorists, Iqbal, Riyaz and Amir Raza Khan, are said to be hiding in Pakistan. Efforts are on to nab the entire terror module,” he added.
Minister of State (Home) R P N Singh said that after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, Akhtar was the head of the terrorist outfit.
“The government had introduced strong laws and steps, and the results are there for all to see. We have arrested top IM terrorists such as Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas, and now Tehseen.