IM turned to WiFi before Ahmedabad blasts: Crime Branch

The Indian Mujahideen suspects,against whom the Crime Branch of Mumbai police,filed a chargesheet today,were highly tech-savvy.

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Mumbai | Published: February 18, 2009 4:02:42 am

The Indian Mujahideen suspects,against whom the Crime Branch of Mumbai police,filed a chargesheet today,were highly tech-savvy. This is indicated by the seizures mentioned in the chargesheet,which includes a large number of laptop and desktop computers,hard drives,pen drives,internet connection cards,LAN cards,adaptors,WiFi hotspot connectors,wireless routers and mobile phones.

The chargesheet dwells extensively on the manner in which the alleged ‘media wing’ of the outfit used their technical expertise to elude investigators. 

According to the chargesheet: “To facilitate easy intra-group communication,avoid detection by using techniques such as encrypting,and facilitate terrorist activities,the accused widely used the Internet and computers,acquiring skills for the same. Moreover,to use the media and computers with better efficiency and to greater advantage,members proficient in computer skills were formed into a group,a kind of media cell,and entrusted with the task of gathering the necessary equipment and acquiring further training.”

The media wing was allegedly headed by Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy,a highly qualified computer engineer based in Pune. He was allegedly assisted by Mubin Shaikh who is very proficient in using computers and Asif Shaikh,a mechanical engineer. The chargesheet says Peerbhoy undertook specialised training in hacking from an expert in Hyderabad in May 2007.

“In September 2007,while on an official visit to the USA,he (Peerbhoy) purchased and brought to India equipment such as a spy camera and RF (Radio Frequency) signal detector for the use of and to facilitate terrorist activities of the IM,” states the chargesheet.The Crime Branch states that prior to the Ahmedabad blasts,the IM used cyber cafes to send and check e-mails. However,since two of the mails were traced to cyber cafes,they felt it was getting riskier. In May 2008,wanted accused Riyaz Bhatkal directed Peerbhoy to send the e-mails through WiFi instead.

Among the recoveries made by the Crime Branch,the chargesheet lists five hard disks,three Central Processing Units,five pen drives,four laptops,a LAN card,two WiFi connectors,a spy camera,two Internet connection cards,four wireless routers,a memory card and 26 mobile phones.

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