Bhopal: The “Khorasan module”, which was behind the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train blast , had more dangerous plan up their sleeve, said an official after the overnight interrogation of the arrested members of the group on Wednesday.
The “mastermind” of the train terror strike has been identified as Atif Mujaffar alias Al-Qasim, a well-off engineering student from Aligarh and the self-proclaimed ’emir’ (chief) of the so-called the “Khorasan module” in India.
The “Khorasan module“, an Islamic State offshoot based near the Afghan-Pakistan border, is expanding to new areas, recruiting fighters and widening the reach of attacks in the region.
Bolstered by fighters from Pakistani and other militant groups and an active social media presence, some officials said the “Khorasan module” of ISIS had become an “umbrella organization” for disparate movements.
Officials said Atif had placed the timer pipe bomb on the train at Bhopal railway station injuring 10 passengers, three of them seriously, when the train was reaching Jabdi station in Shajapur district on Tuesday morning around 9.40 am.
Atif was arrested along with Danish Akthar alias Zafar of Kanpur and Sayyed Mir Hussain alias Hamza by the MP ATS at around 1.30pm from a bus near Pipariya in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district.
Mohammed Saiful , who was cornered by Uttar Pradesh ATS inside a house in Thakurganj area on the outskirts of Lucknow, and Danish Akhtar were Atif’s deputies.
Danish had lived in Bhopal for a year taking petty jobs and was aware of the road maps in the city.
The operation to nab terrorists was being jointly supervised by MP ATS IG Sanjeev Shami and his UP counterpart Aseem Arun.
“Atif is a self-motivated jihadist. He was tempted by the Islamic extremism around two years ago. He came in contact with some of the extremists on internet and became a fanatic devoted to the Islamic State’s cause,” said an officer wishing anonymity.
He was in touch with international terror modules on ‘Telegram’ – a heavily-encrypted messaging app, built by a Russian developer, ensuring the privacy of users. ‘Telegram’ is increasingly being used by Islamic extremists.
Investigators have collected ample evidence against these accused. They have got the CCTV footage from the Bhopal railway station where three of them – Atif, Danish and Mir Hussein – can be seen walking out of the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.
Officials have also got hold of Atif’s mobile phone. Atif used his mobile to send a picture of himself placing the bomb. “We have got significant evidence to take this case to a logical conclusion,” said the officer.