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Lashkar-e-Taiba Agents Arrested in New Delhi!

Interesting Article: "LeT militants arrested in foiled New Delhi attack: Chidambaram" by Associated Foreign Press / New Delhi published Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An interesting article mentioned that India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced that two men were arrested at New Delhi’s main station after a tip-off from intelligence agencies and work by three state police agencies. India’s home minister said Wednesday that police had foiled an attack by suspected militants allegedly from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group who were caught with explosives at a rail station. Would you like to know more?

They were planning to detonate a bomb or more than one bomb in a crowded locality,” he said, citing initial reports from the police investigation. Chidambaram said it was “an important module” of the group that had been planning a “terrorist incident in Delhi”. The arrests, if followed by convictions, would be an intelligence coup for the Indian security forces which have been criticized for failing to prevent, or catch those responsible for, a string of blasts over the last few years. In September, a bomb outside Delhi High Court killed 14 people, while in early February a bomb blast badly wounded an Israeli diplomat in the heart of the city near the prime minister’s residence.

A senior New Delhi police official, P.N. Agarwal, told reporters that security forces had recovered material for making bombs from the suspects. One more suspected LeT operative was arrested from Jharkhand by Delhi Police taking the number of terrorists picked up in the last two days to three. Taufeek Ahmed Peer (20), cousin of Ehtesham, who was arrested here yesterday, was picked up by police from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, sources said here. They said no explosives were found on Peer and he is being brought to Delhi.

Police had said the attacks were "very imminent" and both the arrested, whose identity was withheld, were Indian citizens, one of whom was trained in Pakistan in bomb-making and using weapons. Farooq is an employee of Jammu and Kashmir government and "married" to a woman hailing from Jharkhand's Giridih district, a senior police official in Hazaribagh said.

Investigators said that Ahtesham Malik, one of the two arrested in Delhi, travelled to Pakistan last summer using his valid passport and trained for 40 days in “bomb-making and explosives”. His is the third case where a young man from the Valley was chosen and sent to Pakistan using legal travel documents to receive training from Lashkar. The second man arrested is Ahtesham’s cousin Tauseef Ahmad Pir who was picked up from Ranchi.

Incidentally, Ahtesham was arrested in 2007 in Sopore — for his alleged links with the local Lashkar unit — and then released. Subsequently, his family sent him to Jharkhand — Ahtesham’s mother is from Hazaribagh. His father Farooq Ahmad Malik has built a house near his in-laws’ residence in Hazaribagh, police said. According to Sopore Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, Ahtesham re-surfaced on the security radar during an investigation into Aakash Badar, the Lashkar commander in the Valley who replaced Abdullah Unny — Unny was killed last year. Said SP Mir: “On January 10, we called Tauseef Ahmad Pir (then in Sopore) and one Muzamil Amin Dar for questioning. They are both from Badambagh in Sopore. We had information that both of them have links with Aakash Badar.” Police also questioned Tauseef’s cousin Zubair Malik.

Agencies were alerted when Ahtesham suddenly left Ranchi for Delhi. “He told his family back in Ranchi that he is going to Patna. After he arrived in Delhi, he went off the radar. We investigated all his contacts in Delhi and tracked him in Tughlaqabad Extension where he was living in a rented accommodation owned by Shafkat, another person from Sopore. Ahtesham was setting up some IED circuits to set off bomb blasts in Delhi,’’ police said.

Delhi Police said they recovered explosives, memory cards, five mobile phones and passports. One memory card has a video from a training camp where they are seen assembling IEDs and using AK-47s. “We were able to bust the module with the help of J&K Police and Jharkhand Police. An attack was imminent,” said P N Aggarwal, special commissioner of police (Special Cell). Both were produced in a city court and have been remanded to 10 days police custody. 

Islamic scholars of Ahle Hadees faith recently accused their Pakistani counterpart representing the LeT and its parent body Markaz Dawa-al-Irshad of being part of a global conspiracy to malign Islam.



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