5 IM suspects held in Mumbai, police say terror strike foiled

25 09 2008

‘All Recent Attacks Their Handiwork’

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Source: TOI
Mumbai: The Mumbai police on Wednesday claimed to have pre-empted a possible terror attack on the city and cracked the Indian Mujahideen (IM) jigsaw puzzle after arresting five alleged operatives from four different places in and around the city in raids conducted over the last few days.
The five, they said, were responsible for stealing four cars from Navi Mumbai, two of which were used in the July blasts in Ahmedabad. The remaining two cars, laden with explosives, were recovered from Surat streets.

Mumbai commissioner of police Hasan Gafoor said one of the five arrested, Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh, was also a founder member of the Indian Mujahideen.Officials said Sadiq had “controlled’’ the Delhi IM module head Atiq (gunned down in last week’s encounter), and added that he was quite high up in the IM hierarchy. Additional commissioner of police Deven Bharti said Sadiq had been in touch with the Atiq module three days before its members were shot dead in Delhi.
Officials said the five had also confessed to planting some of the bombs on Mumbai’s trains on July 11, 2006, giving a new twist to the case.


Age: 31

Permanent Address:
Sanjarpur in UP’s Azamgarh district

Temporary Address:
Cheetah Camp, Trombay, Mumbai

Programme engineer in an electronics company in Mumbai

Link In Chain :
He is said to be one of the founder-members of Indian Mujahideen. He controlled the outfit’s Delhi terror module chief
Atiq, who was killed in last week’s encounter in Delhi

Age: 32

Permanent Address:

Temporary Address:
Nehru Nagar, Kurla

Scrap dealer

Link In Chain
Belongs to the Fazl-ur-Rahman gang. Said to have stolen the four cars from Navi Mumbai used in the Gujarat blasts, planted
bombs in Ahmedabad. Has 9 cases, including one under MCOCA

Age: 38

Permanent Address:

Temporary Address:


Link In Chain
Is said to be an expert in setting up the electronic circuits used in bombs; has been doing this since 2005. Planted the car bombs in Surat that were detected and defused before they exploded

Age: 28
Permanent Address: Azamgarh
Temporary Address:

Scrap dealer

Link In Chain
Vital link who would shuttle between Mumbai and Surat for his
trade; was one of the persons who planted the Ahmedabad
bombs and went to Pakistan for weapons and explosives training

Age: 31
Permanent Address: Azamgarh
Temporary Address:
Cheetah Camp

Software engineer

Link In Chain
Is one of IM founder-member Sadiq’s closest associates. He is believed to have trained in Pakistan in 2004 and is the unquestioned electronics expert in the group

Breakthrough came with car thief’s arrest, say police
Mumbai: All the five suspected terrorists arrested by the Mumbai police—Mohd Sadiq Sheikh (who is a father of three), Afzal Usmani, Mohammad Arif Sheikh, Mohammad Zakir Sheikh and Sheikh Mohammad Ansar—are from Azamgarh in UP. Police officials said they had been arrested from various locations in and around Mumbai—Nehru Nagar (Kurla), Cheeta Camp (Trombay) and Mumbra and Bhiwandi (both in Thane)—in the last two days.

Significantly, neither chief of the anti-terrorism squad Hemant Karkare nor DGP A N Roy were present at the press meet. Sadiq, the undisputed leader of the module, was a programme engineer in an electronics company, officials said. But the e-expert in the group was software engineer Ansar, they added. The organisation, officials said, was backed by the HuJI and LeT.

Officials claim to have recovered a huge cache of explosives and arms from hideouts in Kurla and Sewri. The gelatin sticks, ammonium nitrate, detonators, ball bearings, electronic circuits, sub-machine gun, revolvers and cartridges found were enough to cause mayhem in Mumbai, the police said.

Officials said it was Sadiq who would take money and instructions from Pakistan-based Amir Reza and Roshan Khan. He would then pass them on to his module members and they would choose their targets. The five would then take up houses on rent to assemble their deadly cocktail. Joint CP (crime) Rakesh Maria said the first breakthrough came from Afzal, who was arrested by the property cell in connection with the car thefts from Navi Mumbai.

Afzal was arrested a week ago, Maria said, but he broke down on Tuesday. “We are still to arrest many from Mumbai and its outskirts who gave these people logistical support in making, planting and transporting bombs,’’ he said. Inquiries revealed the group had been active for a few years. “The module is responsible for planting bombs in Jaunpur, Sankat Mochan, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Faizabad and Ahmedabad,’’ Gafoor said.

Major attacks since 2003

25 09 2008

Source: Hindustan times

Septemer 13th 2008 – At least five bombs exploded in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen militant group, which has claimed several major attacks in recent months, said it was responsible.

Following is a chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the northerly Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006 – At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

September 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.

Police trace IM links with Dawood, Lashkar

25 09 2008

Source:Hindustan Times

Delhi Police’s Special Cell claims that it has found the power-centre that controlled both the pro-jihad faction of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

It’s ‘international terrorist’ mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) who had a hand in the spate of serial blasts, carried out by the IM, all over the country. The cell says it’s virtually a replay of the Bombay blasts of 1993.

Early this year, there were reports that the Dawood Ibrahim gang had merged with the Pakistan-backed LeT.

The Dawood trail seems to be faint for now, as the command chain that the homegrown terror outfit, the IM, followed was quite complex. The IM has carried out nine serial blasts – including the recent one in New Delhi – since March 2006.

The Special Cell has identified the persons who controlled the IM – its 24-year-old operations chief Atif Ameen (killed on September 19 in Delhi), Sadiq Sheikh (arrested by the Mumbai Police crime branch on Wednesday) and another man who is still absconding.

Confirming this, Special Cell’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar told Hindustan Times: “We have been looking for Sadiq for quite some time. He was part of the three-man decision-making body of the IM that had Atif and another man who is now absconding.”

However, Special Cell sources said the IM was only a junior partner in terror. It used to take orders from another three-member body that controlled the SIMI’s pro-jihad faction.

The three controllers were LeT’s chief of India operations Abu Al Qama, Dawood Ibrahim’s point man for currency smuggling Riaz Bhatkal and mastermind of the US consulate attack in January 2002 in Kolkata, Amir Reza Khan.

Kumar confirmed, “The IM, as evidence available with us indicated, was taking orders from the three men based abroad.” The chain of command was like this – the IM leaders reported to Riaz Bhatkal, who was accountable to Amir Reza Khan, and finally, Khan reported to Qama.

Khan is said to have become a senior Lashkar operative now and is based in Pakistan, while Bhatkal flits in and out of Pakistan and Dubai.

Special Cell’s Joint commissioner of police Karnal Singh said, “the LeT facilitated the co-ordination and coming together of the IM and the radical faction of the SIMI, led by Abdus Subhan Qureshi, after the arrest of Safdar Nagori in March.”

According to Special Cell investigators, Atif was in constant touch over the phone with Qureshi and his aide Qayamuddin Kapadia.

Indian Mujahideen men nabbed in Mumbai

25 09 2008

Indian Mujahideen men nabbed in Mumbai

Staff Reporter
Source: The hindu

Suspected in 7/11 Mumbai blasts case; explosives, weapons seized from them; they allegedly broke away from SIMI

Hunt on for more suspects

Mumbai: The Mumbai police have arrested five suspected members of the Indian Mujahideen. While Afzal Mutalib Usmani (32) was arrested from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Saddik Shaikh (31), Mohammed Arif Shaikh (38), Mohammed Zakir Shaikh (28) and Mohammed Ansar Shaikh were apprehended from their Mumbai residences on Tuesday night.

All the accused, originally from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, have worked with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Joint Commissioner (Crime), Rakesh Maria told journalists.

“They broke away from SIMI to form the radical group of Indian Mujahideen. Saddik, was one of the co-founders of the outfit along with Atiq, killed in the Delhi encounter, and Roshan Khan, who is yet to be traced. The police are on the lookout for Khan.”

The police have booked the arrested persons under the Explosives Act, Arms Act, various sections of the Indian Penal Code and for criminal conspiracy. They have taken custody of them till October 7.

The police have also recovered explosives and ammunition from them. They have retrieved 10 kg. of gelatin or ammonium nitrate, 15 detonators, eight kg. of ball bearings, four fully active electronic circuits, one sub-machine carbine, two .38 revolvers and 30 cartridges of 9 mm carbine and eight cartridges of .38 revolver.

The source of the explosives and weapons is yet to be ascertained. However, the police presume it could be Karnataka, said Mr. Gafoor.

Hawala funds

While the source of finance is also to be investigated, Mr. Gafoor said the “money was coming through the hawala route.”

Mr. Maria described the role of the terrorists in the multiple blasts in the country since 2005, including the recent attacks in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi. He said the Indian Mujahideen was also involved in the planting of an unexploded bomb at Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the blast at the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, the blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park in Hyderabad, the Gorakhpur blasts in Lucknow and the 7/11 Mumbai blasts.

According to Mr. Maria, Afzal was responsible for the theft of the four motor vehicles from Navi Mumbai, which were used in the Ahmedabad blasts. He was also responsible for placing the explosive-laden vehicles at an Ahmedabad hospital and market place. Afzal was involved in a 1996 Shivaji Nagar (Mumbai) case of murder. He has nine cases against him including one under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime ACT (MCOCA).

Saddik came from Uttar Pradesh to settle in Cheetah Camp, Trombay, near Mumbai. He was working as a programme engineer in an electronic company in Mumbai. He was trained in a “hostile country” on two occasions for nine months and 45 days respectively. It was suspected that he was very high in the Indian Mujahideen hierarchy, Mr. Maria said.

Arif, an electrician by profession, was also trained outside in fabrication of bombs. “In particular, he is an expert in preparing an electronic circuit for bombs and is responsible for preparing the same in practically all the bomb blasts engineered by the Indian Mujahideen. In the initial stages, he was assembling bombs in Azamgarh and later he started doing it in Mumbai,” he said.

Zakir worked as a scrap dealer in Surat. Also trained in a “hostile country” in 2004, he was involved in the recent terror acts in Surat.

Ansar, resident of Cheetah Camp, was a close associate of Saddik. He was also trained in a “hostile country” in 2004.

Mr. Maria said the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) played a joint role in providing training to these five men.

Roshan Khan hails from Karnataka. His activities covered Hyderabad, Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat.

Mr. Maria said Saddik was close to the alleged Delhi blast mastermind Atif. He was older than Atif and was his “controller.” Indian Mujahideen members were also under Saddik’s control.

He would plan where to send members for training and how many were to be sent. While Saddik would draw up plans, Atif would execute them.

“There is another person who is controlling them. His name is Amir Razzaq. His brother Asif Razzaq belonged to Kolkata’s Aftab Ansari group,” Mr. Maria said. He said Amir could be in Pakistan.

The arrested would converge at SIMI meetings. Another binding factor was their same place of origin, Azamgarh. Three of the five lived at Sanjarpur village in the district.

Mr. Maria said that to make identification difficult, the four persons settled in Mumbai told the 7/11 blast accused, with whom they worked, that they were Pakistanis. The Mumbai blast charge sheet mentions Pakistanis.

“All the 7/11 accused are in jail. The suspects thought to be Pakistanis are these people,” Mr. Gafoor said.

Responding to questions on the absconding suspect Abdus Subhan Qureishi alias Tauqeer, who is believed to have sent terror e-mails before the Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts, Mr. Maria said that with the arrests made on Tuesday the e-mail case would be solved soon. He suspected that Tauqeer could be in touch with Roshan Khan.

‘Cannot be complacent’

“We have made a serious dent in terrorist activity, but we cannot be complacent. The hunt for more suspects is on, but the police cannot share operational details,” Mr. Gafoor said.

He said Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakh for the Crime Branch team.