‘Fasih was key IM facilitator,close to Yasin Bhatkal’

Even as Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that steps were being taken to bring back terror suspect Fasih Mehmood,who has been detained in Saudi Arabia,fresh details have emerged of his alleged involvement in terror plots since 2006

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published: July 5, 2012 3:27:32 am

Even as Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that steps were being taken to bring back terror suspect Fasih Mehmood,who has been detained in Saudi Arabia,fresh details have emerged of his alleged involvement in terror plots since 2006.

Fasih,according to investigators,is believed to have participated in almost all attacks carried out by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) since 2005-06. He has emerged as the “key facilitator” first while studying at an engineering college at Bhatkal in Karnataka and later when he moved to Saudi Arabia in 2006.

Investigators have found evidence to suggest that the 28-year-old Fasih was in regular touch with IM chief Yasin Bhatkal alias Ahmed Siddibapa since 2005. The disclosure made by Fasih’s cousin Gauhar Aziz Khomani,who was arrested by Special Cell of Delhi Police in 2011,corroborated these findings.

Gauhar,an engineer by profession,met Yasin for the first time at his village in 2003. Yasin was accompanied by Fasih,who introduced him as his “friend”,according to Gauhar’s interrogation report.

Investigators said it was during the investigations of September 2008 Delhi serial blasts that sleuths got on the trail of the IM’s southern module. The questioning of Mohammad Saif — arrested after the Batla House encounter — revealed that the explosives were brought from Udupi in Karnataka. He identified the supplier as Shahrukh,one of the aliases used by Yasin Bhatkal. While Yasin remains at large,intelligence sources pointed to the involvement of Fasih in the procurement of explosives and extending finances for the blasts.

Currently,the Karnataka Police and Delhi Police have secured a red corner notice against Fasih for his involvement in Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium blast and the 2010 Jama Masjid attack case respectively. He is expected to be deported soon,said officials.

Home Minister Chidambaram also told reporters here: “He is in Saudi Arabia. He was detained there. Steps will be taken to extradite him to India.”

Fasih’s name also cropped up during the questioning of IM operative Tarique Anjuman.

Anjuman was running the operations for IM in UP and Bihar and claimed to have met Fasih many times,said officials.

Arranged hideouts,carried out recruitment

Questioning of the arrested IM suspects in past eight months revealed that Fasih was also tasked to establish safe houses for members of the terror outfit. “One of his key responsibilities was to establish hideout at the time of crackdown by cops,” said a top official.

The official said Fasih went to Saudi Arabia in 2006 and was carrying out recruitment drive for Indian Mujahideen. “We suspect that during his stay in Saudi,he travelled to Pakistan and met Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal.”

The yasin link

Investigators say Fasih was in regular touch with IM chief Yasin Bhatkal since 2005. His cousin Gauhar Aziz Khomani has corroborated these findings during interrogation.

Detained in Saudi arabia,deportation likely soon

FASIH was picked from his home in Saudi Arabia on May 13 and detained. His wife Nikhat Parveen was deported to India. Parveen alleged that Fasih was picked by a joint team of Indian and Saudi officials,which the government denied.

ON JUNE 26,Saudi authorities confirmed with CBI,which acts as nodal agency for Interpol,that Fasih was under detention. Sources said they expect Fasih will be deported soon once the formalities are completed.

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