Terror emails ‘mystery solved’, 20 held for serial bombings

October 6th, 2008 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 6 (IANS) In a major breakthrough, Mumbai Police Monday claimed to have solved the mystery behind the terror emails sent by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) prior to the Ahmedabad and New Delhi serial blasts. Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor said here the three techies who had sent the emails have been arrested, as also 17 others who were responsible for a string of terror bombings in different cities.Preliminary interrogation of all the accused has brought out the chilling revelation that they planned to carry out bomb blasts here during the ongoing Navratri festival, Gafoor said at a press conference that was telecast live by a number of TV news channels.

The initial breakthrough came on September 23 when five alleged terrorists owing allegiance to IM were arrested in and around Mumbai. Over the past 12 days, 15 more IM activists, most of them highly educated, were arrested from different cities, pushing the number of those held to 20, Gafoor said.

The three techies were arrested Sunday. They have been identified as Mohammed Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy, alias Munna (31), working as a principal software engineer in an MNC on a salary of Rs.1.9 million per annum; Salman Kadar Shaikh alias Mobin (24), working as a senior technical advisor in an IT firm; and Asif Bashiruddin Shaikh (22), a mechanical engineer.

The emails were sent from three locations - Sanpada suburb of Navi Mumbai, Khalsa College, Matunga, and a private company in Chembur, both Mumbai suburbs, using the Wi-Fi.

Among those nabbed in the operations carried out jointly with the police of different states are 10 IM activists who planted the explosives in Ahmedabad and Surat. They had travelled from Karnataka to Pune and then to Surat and Ahmedabad with the explosives, Gafoor said.

All those arrested are highly educated and are aged between 20 and 35. They were picked up from Azamgarh, in Uttar Pradesh, Pune in Maharashtra, in and around Mangalore in Karnataka, and from Kochi in Kerala, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.

The IM has majorly spread its tentacles all over the country and the investigating agencies are now attempting to identify all its operatives and neutralize their nefarious intentions, Maria said. The arrested men had revealed that they have been involved in all the bomb blasts in India since 2005, he added.

According to Maria, the three software experts visited Mumbai five times prior to sending the blast emails and conducted a reccee of the Sion, Chembur, and CST areas in the city and in Sanpada in Navi Mumbai, where they could hack into wi-fi connections available.

They were instructed to send the emails a few minutes before the blasts in Ahmedabad and Delhi, which they did on the dot, Gafoor said. The terrorists were financed through the ‘hawala’ route, Gafoor added.

Prior to the Ahmedabad blasts, the techies came from Pune to Mumbai in a blue Maruti Esteem and sent the emails using the Wi-Fi connection of the residential Internet of an American software professional Kenneth Haywood in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai.

Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudhary (28), a computer hardware expert who doubles as a driver, has also been nabbed, Gafoor said.

The police said that unlike a previous group arrested Sep 24, none of the 20 now held are linked to the 7/11 Mumbai suburban train serial blasts of 2006.

The police also released a list of the 20 arrested men along with their antecedents.
Among them are:

* Dastagir Feroze Mujawar (25), alias Afrosh, a commerce graduate who has been training youth in Jehadi activities,

* Mohammed Atik Mohammed Iqbal (25), a computer science graduate and an active member of IM terror modules,

* Anique Shafique Syed (27), who runs a computer and mobile retail shop and was actively involved in the Surat and Ahmedabad blasts,

* Majid Akthar Shaikh (26), who runs a mobile phone repairs and servicing shop and is an active member of IM terror modules,

* Yasir Anis Syed (20), alias Huzefa, runs a computer and mobile reparing shop, active member of IM and accused of criminal conspiracy,

* Syed Mohammed Naushad, (25), alias Sayedna, a civil works contractor based in Mangalore who was involved in planting the Surat bombs,

* Javed Mohammed Ali, (19), an Islamic studies scholar active with IM terror modules,

* Farooq Sharifuddin Tarkash (25) alias Abdullah, a computer science graduate, member of IM terror modules and was trained by Riyaz Bhatkal in Karnataka.

* Mohammed Ali Ahmed, (44), a civilian works contractor from Mangalore, who also runs a safe house for IM members,

* Ahmed Bawa Abubakar (33), alias Abu, a farmer by profession, nabbed for his role in Surat and Ahmedabad, and

* Faisal-e-Rehma Muskhan Durrani (23), a robber on police records, also involved in Surat and Ahmedabad.

Without stating their antecedents, the police named the five men arrested Sept 23 from in and around Mumbai, as: Mohammed Mutalib Usmani, Mohammed Sadik Israr Ahmed Shaikh, Mohammed Arif Badruddin Shaikh, Mohammed Zakir Abdul Haq Shaikh and Ansar Ahmed Badshah Shaikh.

Maria announced that in the second round of arrests, the police recovered 10 kg of explosives, one submachine gun, two revolvers, six detonators, two wireless sets, Wi-Fi and RF signal detectors, sleep inducing injections and sleeping tablets, five laptops, six CPUs, three pen-drives and other related hardware.

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