The ongoing interrogation of Yasin Bhatkal,a key operative of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) that carried out a series of blasts across India between 2006 and 2013 killing over 200 people,has revealed that the outfit got logistic support from other radical organisations in the country.
Yasin (31),arrested on August 28,has told interrogators that he met Abdul Sattar alias E T Zainuddin (now 61),a former aide of radical Kerala leader and founder of the PDP Abdul Nasser Madani,in July 2008 to procure timers for use in bombs planted in Gujarat on July 27.
Sattar is an accused in the July 25,2008,Bangalore serial blasts case and the failed Surat bombings attempt on July 27,2008. Madani has also been arrested in the Bangalore case as a conspirator.
Yasin said he traveled to Kannur in Kerala in July 2008 to meet Sattar on the orders of IM leader Riyaz Bhatkal. Ahmed Bava of Mangalore,who was arrested in October 2008 for IM links,accompanied him and they stayed for 25 days in a lodge near the Kannur bus stand awaiting delivery of the microchip timers being prepared by Sattar,an electronics expert.
Sattar also showed Yasin and Bava how to connect the timers to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Yasin said Sattar was with Abdul Raheem when they met in July 2008. Raheem,a Kerala youth,was killed with three other Kerala men,in Kashmir in September 2008 by security forces while they were trying to cross into Pakistan to train with the LeT.
After collecting the timers,he said,he went to Pune. Bava and another IM operative Syed Naushad arrived from Udupi in Karnataka with explosives and the group prepared 64 IEDs in a Pune flat with timers provided by Sattar and others.
Investigators knew of a meeting between IM members and radical elements in Kerala in 2008 to prepare for blasts in Gujarat but believed the meeting was between Riyaz and Sattar,who were introduced by former SIMI man Suhaib Sohail who is still wanted by the police.
The chargesheet in the Bangalore serial blasts case of July 2008 states that prime accused Sattar and T Nasir held a meeting with Riyaz and two others at Aishwarya Tourist Home in Mallapuram between June 22 and June 25 that year to work out a strategy to prepare bombs for attacks in Gujarat. Details of the meeting were disclosed by Sattar following his arrest in Hyderabad in January 2009.
Prior to the Yasin account,investigators believed the timers prepared by Sattar in 2008 were collected at Abilash Hotel in Kannur by Naushad and were later delivered to Riyaz in Mangalore.
Yasin has also revealed a subsequent encounter with Sattar in October 2008 when he fled to Hyderabad from a hideout in Chikamagalur,Karnataka,with Riyaz following raids by the Mumbai police.
When the IM group fled Karnataka in October 2008 via Shikaripura (where they sought the help of Tairoz,a former SIMI man,for shelter) and Hubli,they took shelter in the Hyderabad home of Sattar before fleeing the country,he said.