Fasih Mehmood,the suspected co-founder of Indian Mujahideen who was arrested by the Delhi Police Monday,is believed to have told his interrogators that he was drawn to the terror group by the aggressive ideas of another alleged co-founder and key operative,Yasin Bhatkal.
Police sources claimed that Mehmood had also admitted that Bhatkal had accompanied him to his house in Darbhanga in Bihar in 2003 and stayed there for two weeks. During this visit,Bhatkal allegedly met some friends of Mehmood who went on to join IM,the sources claimed,adding that investigators now hope to find out more about this so-called Bihar module.
When Fasih was studying engineering in Anjuman Engineering College in Bhatkal town in 2003,he struck a friendship with a man named Mohammed Sheesh who ran a perfume shop right outside the college gate, a source said. He first came into contact with Yasin Bhatkal at this shop.
Fasih has said they would talk about jihad for long hours. He was very impressed by Yasins aggressive thoughts.
Bhatkal,Mehmood is believed to have told the police,was so motivated that he tried to flee to Afghanistan to join the fight against the US and other multi-national forces there. But Bhatkal could not make it for reasons Mehmood said he did not know,the sources said. While Mehmood and Bhatkal went on to become militants,Sheesh did not join them and continues to remain in Bhatkal town,they said.
While Bhatkal fled the coastal Karnataka town of the same name,Mehmood is believed to have told the police that he was not good at his studies and failed in his first and second years of engineering. He managed to secure a job in a refinery in Saudi Arabia in 2007 after finally completing his course.
Fasih told us that he was in touch with many IM operatives,running their operations from Saudi Arabia. He changed his job frequently. He personally introduced many youth from Darbhanga to Yasin and got them into militancy,including his classmate Tariq and his cousin Gauhar Aziz Khomeini, a source alleged.
Mehmoods father Firoz Ahmed,however,denied that Yasin Bhatkal had ever stayed with their family in Barh Samaila,Darbhanga. I was posted in Giridih in Jharkhand in 2003. My son Fasih was studying engineering in Bhatkal and had come to stay with me and my wife in Giridih. My Barh Samaila house only had a caretaker staying there and my wife visited once or twice in a year, Ahmed,a doctor at the Benipatti primary healthcare centre,told The Indian Express.
I maintain that we heard about Yasin Bhatkal only through the media. I first want to know why my son was detained for over five months, Ahmed said,accusing investigating agencies of cooking up a story to frame his son.