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NIA’s touching faith in Internet downloads and bizarre bluster

Yasin told Riyaz Bhatkal to “look for a nuclear bomb” in Pakistan, because “everything was available” there.

Written by Muzamil Jaleel | New Delhi |
Updated: March 4, 2014 9:47:01 am
The chargesheet claims the IM’s current priority is to “wage war against Myanmar to take revenge for the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims”. The chargesheet claims the IM’s current priority is to “wage war against Myanmar to take revenge for the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims”.

* Yasin Bhatkal downloaded a picture of a Stinger missile from the Internet into his computer — this shows he was trying to “develop arms and ammunition” to wage war on India.

* Yasin told Riyaz Bhatkal to “look for a nuclear bomb” in Pakistan, because “everything was available” there. The idea was to nuke Surat, after pasting posters in mosques telling the town’s Muslims to “quietly evacuate”.

* Indian Mujahideen wanted to capture Jews in India so that it could “bargain” with the US for the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui who is serving an 86-year sentence in an American prison for an alleged terror plot to attack the US.

* Indian Mujahideen is working with Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Pakistan’s ISI while at the same time consistently abusing ISI, calling it “dogs”.

* Riyaz believed that the Pakistani al-Qaeda were foolish, and he, therefore, flew to Peshawar to meet with the Arab al-Qaeda. Lest his colleagues disbelieved him, he kept his plane tickets to show them as proof of the visit.

Such sweeping conclusions based on little beyond hearsay and bluster are at the heart of the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA’s) supplementary chargesheet against alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal filed in a special Delhi court on February 24. Most charges are based on alleged web chats with little evidence of corroborative material.

Consider the key ones:

The chargesheet claims the IM’s current priority is to “wage war against Myanmar to take revenge for the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims”. The evidence?

“During chat of Yasin with Riyaz on 11th May, 2013, Riyaz (said) that he had met someone whose community’s contact lived on Rajasthan border within Pakistan. The man was an old timer and had lived with Mullah Omer [Omar](of Taliban) and possibly with Osama Bin Laden (of the Al Qaeda), had crossed 5-6 times, was Burmese and wanted to start the struggle in Burma, and had come to Riyaz for help. The man mentioned that he was planning to take arms and ammunition from Pakistan for use in Myanmar, through the Indo-Pak border. Riyaz mentioned that he would accompany the man till borders. Another issue that the man told was about the network in Thailand where there was a place where arms and ammunition was manufactured, which was independent of Thai rule. Riyaz told that Rohingya Muslims were migrating to Thailand, and that one road from Thailand went over to Malaysia. This route was in the notice of Riyaz since long time. Riyaz was planning to establish someone of the IM in Thailand and was even thinking of sending Daniyal. He mentioned that there a launch was made which travelled upto 40 kms by remote control for the delivery of weapons.”

On why the IM allegedly preferred al-Qaeda over the Pakistani Taliban, the chargesheet’s explanation is simplistic, even absurd:
“During chat of Yasin with Riyaz on the 11th May, 2013…they discussed a mention in Ahl-e-Hadith that the Khalifa will be from Kuresh tribe that is Arab.” Ahl-e-Hadith is the name of a religious party, here it’s apparently used as a substitute for the Hadith. The chargesheet makes the bizarre claim that Riyaz guessed that the leader of Muslims will be an Arab called Khazruu because this is a word derived from Khajur (which means date and is Arab).

On Riyaz’s alleged visit to Waziristan and Afghanistan to tie up with al-Qaeda, the story in the NIA’s chargesheet is rambling, full of forgetful characters:

“During chat of Yasin with Riyaz on the 26th May 2013…Riyaz started telling about his journey to Afghanistan and that he was stopped at 8 to 10 places. There were check posts of both the army and the police en route…The contact person between Riyaz and Al Qaida was quite lax in matters of security…

“Riyaz told Yasin that he had started from there and reached Peshawar. One friend of Al Qaida was to come to Peshawar to pick him, and he came late by one and half days. When Riyaz was to reach the city, his three numbers (of contacts) got closed. Due to delay Riyaz had to stay in Peshawar, and during the stay some blast took place and search was started by the police, which happens generally, so Riyaz had to leave the place. The contact had called Riyaz from neighbouring passenger’s phone. Riyaz then told him the address of a masjid and told him that he was there. Then the contact forgot the name of the masjid.

“Due to blast the few number of PCOs en route had also closed. But then he could meet him who took him to another safe place, and then they left the next morning on the way which went towards Waziristan. Army was positioned all along the way and there was checking all the way. Riyaz said that he was wearing Salwar Kameez and was looking like a Pathan. The contact was from a different place and thus was questioned about his identity card. He got disturbed. Both of them had made separate covers for the journey and pretended to be stranger sitting together and thus Riyaz was sitting calmly next to him.

“The Hill region started at the border of Waziristan. There was a check point en route which they tried to avoid by driving on the barren rocky path. Then they crossed a river on foot to reach the destination. There he learnt that they had a lot of training courses…It was discussed that any person who would do their courses would be able to raise a Tehreek…
“On May 29, 2013, Riyaz told Yasin that the persons of the other group doubted that he actually visited Afghanistan to meet Al Qaida. Riyaz had gone by flight to Peshawar and had the return tickets with him, which he had shown to others for proving his visit which was being doubted by others.”

On plans to kidnap individuals who could be used as bargaining chips to free Aafia Siddiqui:
“Riyaz mentioned that there was a person in the Al Qaida of India who looked after UP. He talks about kidnapping of Jews in India. The Jews were to be kidnapped and taken to Afghanistan…
“Kidnapping for extortion or release of individuals like Dr Afiya Siddique of Pakistan was also pondered over by the IM operatives. The goods train carrying petroleum products were also in the radar of IM for future attacks along with targeted attacks on policemen working with anti-terrorist cells…Investigations have established that Riyaz suggested kidnapping of Jews as a bargain to set free one Dr Aafiya Siddique, imprisoned by USA…”

On the alleged IM “conspiracy to acquire nuclear warheads for attacking Surat”, the chargesheet says:
“During chat of Yasin with Riyaz on June 1, 2013, Yasin talked about having placed bombs in Surat. Riyaz told him not to make him remember the Surat failure, which he always remembered. Yasin said that he had himself placed 2 bombs. Yasin then asked Riyaz whether he had found nuclear bomb in Pakistan, to which Riyaz denied, and also said that if looked properly, then everything was available in Pakistan. Yasin told him that Surat should be attacked with nuclear bombs. Yasin then requested Riyaz to look for nuclear bomb to attack Surat. Riyaz told Yasin that Muslims will also die in such an attack, to which Yasin said that they will place posters in mosques for every Muslim resident to quietly evacuate the town.”
This, according to the NIA, “clearly establishes the devious intentions of…Yasin to wage war against India”.

On the IM’s weapons and techniques to wage this war, the chargesheet says:
“The file named as ‘stinger-missile’ [in Yasin’s computer]… is the photograph of stringer missile, which was downloaded from Internet by the accused Md Ahmad Siddibapa (Yasin Bhatkal) in order to get the idea of its working and model. The file named as “Home”… is the file which contains the details of parachute which was downloaded by the accused person Yasin in Nepal… This confirms that the accused persons were trying to find new methods of attacking targets. This establishes the efforts made by the accused persons to develop arms and ammunition in order to intensify the war waged against the Government of India…”

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