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18-yr-old IM man spilled the beans on terror outfit

18-yr-old IM man spilled the beans on terror outfit

Author: Hetal Vyas, Deeptiman Tiwary and Anand Holla
Publication: Mumbai Mirror
Date: February 18, 2009
URL: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=15&contentid=2009021820090218031615268b90eeff4

Even though Mumbai police had arrested Indian Mujahideen founder, it was the Delhi police who cracked the IM code when they arrested teen member Mohammed Saif in the Batla House encounter in September

While Mumbai crime branch made the first major breakthrough in the series of blasts since 2005, including those in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur, it was a Delhi police catch that unravelled the mystery of the Indian Mujahideen. According to the 1,800-page charge sheet filed by Mumbai crime branch in MCOCA court on Tuesday against the 21 accused in the blasts, it was Mohammed Saif, the 18-year-old IM operative caught during the Batla House encounter by Delhi police in September 2008, who provided the Mumbai police with maximum details of the outfit and its activities.

The charge sheet contains elaborate details about the outfit and its activities based on the information provided to the Delhi police by Saif. Not much is revealed about the outfit in the statements given by the rest of the 20 arrested accused by the Mumbai crime branch.

This, even though the crime branch had the custody of IM founder and prime accused in the blasts, Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh, even before Saif was caught by the Delhi police. Sources said the crime branch could not get elaborate information about the outfit from Sadiq as he was very uncooperative during the interrogations owing to his training as an LeT operative in Pakistan.

"He knew how to dodge interrogations," said an officer privy to the investigations.

Saif, on the other hand, was merely a teenager who spilled the beans under sustained interrogation by the Delhi police. Saif has revealed several details about the Indian Mujahideen which not only given a window into the outfit but are also conspicuously absent from the statement of Sadiq and other accused.

Saif, in his statement, discloses several new facts about the outfit apart from the general description given by the other accused.

IM divided into four wings

Saif states that the Indian Mujahideen was divided into four wings with each wing having the responsibility to spread terror in different regions and through different mediums.

According to Saif, who allegedly planted bombs near Regal cinema, Greater Kailash Market and Karol Bagh in Delhi, the outfit also included a Media Group for propaganda.

The charge sheet notes, "Mohammed Saif disclosed that their outfit 'Indian Mujahideen' is divided into three groups. (1) Shahabuddin Brigade for strikes in South, (2) Mohd Gajnavi Brigade for strikes in North and (3) Shaheed-al-Zarkavi brigade for strikes on VVIPs.

After Uttar Pradesh court blasts they have formed one more group "Media Group" that is responsible for sending emails before blasts to electronic and print media.

Their group IM is linked with the escaped terrorist of India operating from Pakistan with the help of ISI agency and other terrorists outfits of Pakistan.

Mohd Atif Amin (who died in the Batla encounter) used to be in touch with them through emails."

Saif further reveals, as detailed in the charge sheet, that after Shahabuddin Brigade failed to explode bombs in Surat, the command of Fidayeen group Shaheed-al-Zarkavi was handed over to Amin who had successfully conducted blasts in Ahmedabad.

Amin later engineered the Delhi blasts in September. Saif also says that the divisions were made on the advice of Amir Reza Khan, IM co-founder and prime accused in the 2002 Kolkata American Centre shootout case. Khan also arranged for finances and explosives from Pakistan.

Brief details of the charge sheet

Apart from this, the charge sheet names 21 accused as arrested in the case while seven have been named as absconding.

All the seven absconding accused, which include prime accused Riyaz Bhatkal, Amir Reza, Iqbal Bhatkal, Shahrukh, Mohd Khalid, Shahzad Ahmed and Ariz Khan, are suspected to have fled to Pakistan, says crime branch.

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