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We were all set to hit Bangalore again last year: Lashkar operative to police

The arrest in February last year of Sabahuddin Ahmad,linked to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and now being investigated in connection with the Mumbai attacks...

The arrest in February last year of Sabahuddin Ahmad,linked to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and now being investigated in connection with the Mumbai attacks,foiled plans for a second fidayeen attack in Bangalore. This was planned on the lines of the December 2005 attack on the Indian Institute of Science.

Sabahuddin,who was trained by the Lashkar-e-Toiba and brought weapons and trained militants from Kashmir and Pakistan to carry out the IISc attack that killed a professor,has told investigators that a second attack in Bangalore was in the final stages of execution at the time of his arrest in February 2008.

Sabahuddin,who used the cover of a student of the Presidency College to carry out the IISc attack before fleeing to Pakistan,used the same modus operandi to plant a LeT-trained Maldivian youth in a Bangalore college in August 2006.

Police sources said the Maldivian youth identified by Sabahuddin as Abu Akrama alias Ehsan Ali alias Rizwan disappeared,possibly after the February 2008 arrest of Sabahuddin in connection with investigations into the attack on the CRPF camp in Rampur,Uttar Pradesh.

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Sabahuddin told police he first met Abu Akrama at an electronics laboratory of the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan. Providing a description of Akrama who was 22 in 2006,Sabahuddin said Akrama was planted in Brindavan College under an operation supervised by Pakistan-based Lashkar leader Muzammil alias Yousuf.

The youth who registered for a commerce course was tasked with identifying targets in Bangalore and subsequently help in carrying out an attack by bringing in weapons and suicide attackers in collaboration with Sabahuddin,the police have learnt.

“In October 2006,Muzammil told me Abu Akrama was well established in Bangalore so he must be given some task. He told me Abu Akrama would be supplied with weapons at Bangalore and a fidayeen would be sent to him,” Sabahuddin told investigators. “His task was to receive the weapons,store it safely,receive the fidayeen,provide shelter,survey the target and send the fidayeen for action,” Ahmad said.

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According to Sabahuddin,the Lashkar leadership was keen on carrying out an attack on the International Technology Park in Bangalore while Abu Akrama himself had zeroed in on the police commissioner’s office and an ISRO campus.

Sabahuddin told police he was sent from Pakistan to meet Akrama in Colombo in mid-October 2006 to finalise the plans for the attack in Bangalore. After they met,they created fake email IDs to relay secret messages regarding the operation and finalised code words — for example,language course for reconnaissance,project file for weapons and USB for fidayeen. Akrama flew out to Bangalore subsequently while Sabahuddin returned to Pakistan.

“We don’t really know what happened,whether Abu Akrama returned to Bangalore or not. Checks at the Brindavan College after Sabahuddin’s arrest last year showed there was no student fitting the description or name,” police sources said.

First published on: 12-01-2009 at 00:53 IST
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