New Delhi: A botched terror test run in New Delhi has set alarm bells ringing for the security agencies about a new ISI-backed module whose operatives were able to infiltrate the national capital by posing as Afghan medical tourists, intelligence sources have disclosed to India Today.
The mastermind of the failed terror bid in December, 2015, was Maulana Abdul Rehman, better known as MAR in jehadi circles, the highly-placed sources have revealed. He is believed to be a plotter of the 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines’ IC 814 flight.
Rehman has now fallen out with Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and one of the three terrorists India freed to secure the release of the IC-814 passengers.
Backed by Pakistan’s ISI and the Haqqani network, Rehman launched his first terror attempt on India in November when he sent two of his men to target five locations in Delhi with chemical bombs, intelligence officials said.
The two infiltrators – identified as Pakistani Ahmed Khan Durrani and Afghan national Abdul Qadri – used the medical-tourism method to enter into New Delhi. Durrani posed as an Afghan patient and Qadri his attendant, the officials explained. Durrani had a forged passport issued in the name of Sohaib Abbas.
They chose a Lajpat Nagar neighbourhood, popular with Afghan medical tourists, to rent a room with the help of a local Afghan contact. Their Delhi address – M-3, Kasturba Niketan Complex, Lajpat Nagar-II – passed police verification in the last week of November, a copy of which was obtained by India Today.
Durrani had undergone a training in making chemical bombs. When triggered, such explosives produce a high-intensity fire capable of causing substantial damage in mere five to six minutes.
The duo remained in contact with their handler, identified as Abid, who had set up a control-room in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of Pakistan-Afghan border. They recced locations across Delhi. On their hit-list was the Iskcon temple and a plush mall and three other targets, security officials revealed.
The two bought bomb-making materials, such as fireworks for gunpowder, wires, bottles and watches, from Old Delhi markets. They were able to make six chemical bombs which they planned to use in serial attacks in second week of December, sources added.
But a trial run went awry forcing them to abandon their sinister plan. The two men panicked after a bomb they tried to detonate in the bathroom of their room sent huge smoke out of their building.
Scared, they flushed all their devices and fled to Afghanistan on the next flight available, intelligence officials said. After investigators unearthed the terror plan, intelligence agencies alerted the police in Kabul who then arrested Durrani and Qadri. Explosives and secret documents were recovered from their possession.
Indian Intelligence officials, however, describe the entire modus operandi as alarming, with a new module using a new route of medical tourism to strike India.
The mastermid of the terror plan Maulana Abdul Rehman (MAR) heads an organization called Al Barkat Trust and has an office in Peshawar, security officials said. His trust has established the new group called Jaish-ul-Haq. Rehman’s second-in-command has been identified as Dr Zubair.
MAR has a syndicate of terrorists who are recruiting and training for anti-India operations, intelligence sources added.