How two Pakistani handlers oversaw suicide strike code-named ‘marriage’

 Just like 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the terrorist handlers based in Pakistan were glued to Indian TV channels watching live reports of the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016 that was codenamed ‘m

Published: 20th December 2016 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2016 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

A file photo shows security personnel at the Pathankot airbase during the counter-terror operation | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Just like 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the terrorist handlers based in Pakistan were glued to Indian TV channels watching live reports of the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016 that was codenamed ‘marriage’ by Jaish-e-Mohammed. 


A chat message from Jaish commander Hamza Mehboob to Kashif Jan, the main terrorist handler named in the NIA’s  chargesheet on Monday, said, “How many brethren were there for marriage? Kashif alias Ustadji, in turn, informed another Jaish terrorist Adeel Bhai about the attack. 


On January 3, Hamza asked Kashif to share the pictures of terrorists killed inside the airbase to which Kashif replied saying that encounter was still going on. 


Investigation by the NIA reveals that four terrorists communicated with a Pakistani number during the attack. When the terrorists were on their way to the airbase, they received a call from Pakistan at 3:31 am on January 1, 2016. Kashif was at the other end. They discussed details about the planned route, the route actually being taken and an alternative plan to attack a police station in case of a delay in reaching the Pathankot airbase.   


Investigation revealed that while terrorists were hiding inside the air force station, one of them dialled a Pakistani mobile number and spoke to his mother for 18 minutes. He told his mother that Kashif would come to her after his death and asked her to host a feast for his friends. 


Jaish commander Shahid Latif, who was also named in the chargesheet, had been plotting the Pathankot attack since 2014. He was arrested in 1993 and deported in 2010 from India after the completion of his sentence. The terrorists were using arms made in China, Russia, and Yugoslavia.


Kashif was also involved in the Kathua and Samba terror attacks in March 2015. Kashif had even posted a message about the Pathankot strike on Facebook. His profile was deactivated on January 5, 2016. The two Letters Rogatory  India has sent to Pakistan remain unanswered. 

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