August 31, 2013 7:06:20 pm
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal is believed to have told investigators that he had travelled to the US in January 2007 on an Indian passport.
Yasin,who has been named in almost every terror attack in the country since 2007 and was arrested Thursday,is also learnt to have claimed that he arranged for explosives to be supplied for the July 2006 serial train bombings in Mumbai in which 188 people were killed. But investigators are being cautious and are yet to corroborate this claim by the alleged terror mastermind,sources said.
However,they said they were able to confirm that Yasin had visited the US and Pakistan as it had been corroborated from his passport number E- 4682509 issued in Bangalore in 1983. The passport was issued in the name of Mohammed Ahmed Siddibapa,Yasins real name.
Using the details of this passport,Interpol had a few years back issued a red corner notice against Yasin,before which he had a free run. The passport expired in June this year.
Yasin and another IM operative,Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi,were flown to Delhi from Patna in a special BSF aircraft Friday and produced in a special NIA court which remanded them in 12 days of NIA custody. During the court hearing,Yasins
counsel M S Khan said Yasins real name is Ahmed and Yasin was the name given to him by police.
Yasin and Asadullah have been kept at a CRPF safehouse on the outskirts of the capital and are being questioned by a joint team of the NIA and IB.
Yasin,sources claimed,had told interrogators that he had gone to Pakistan from Dubai in January 2006. Yasin is believed to have been sent to Dubai in 2005 by his family in Karnataka to earn a living and he was setting up a perfume business there. Yasin is said to have stayed in Pakistan for two months and allegedly underwent arms training.
Yasin,who is suspected to have planted one of the two bombs in Hyderabads Dilsukhnagar in February this year,is learnt to have claimed that he had since been shuttling between India and Nepal. He was allegedly instructed by another IM co-founder,Riyaz Bhatkal,to make Nepals tourist city of Pokhara his base and lie low for a while.
During his first few weeks in Pokhara,Yasin is said to have worked as a tourist guide but quit the job after a month and began practising as a unani doctor to gain the confidence of the locals and merge with them.
Indian agencies got on to his trail about six months back after they were tipped off that Yasin was in Nepal. A few weeks backs,they were said to have been informed by an intelligence asset in Nepal that Yasin was in Pokhara. This was corroborated by a letter he allegedly wrote to his wife in Delhi,which also helped agencies track him.
Sources claimed that Yasin was always careful when he ventured out and was accompanied by his associates. He is also believed to have given sermons at local madrasas which helped him spot talent.
Indian intelligence agencies mounted surveillance in the Pokhara area and asked Nepal police to keep a watch on his rented accommodation.
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