M A I N   N E W S

IM’s bomb expert, 3 aides nabbed
Terror Module Waqas in 10-day police remand | Had planned strikes during LS poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 23
Top Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Zia Ur Rehman, alias Waqas, along with three Rajasthan-based terrorists has been arrested from Ajmer. Waqas was brought to Delhi by a Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

Waqas, a Pakistan national, is expert in making hydrogen peroxide-based improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde called the arrest a “big success”. The security agency will interrogate the four to get more information about possible terror attacks.

They were planning to carry out terror attacks in the country during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the police said. An Intelligence Bureau input had warned of a possible terrorist attack on certain senior leaders during the general election. The leaders had subsequently sought tighter security, sources said. Waqas was wanted for his role in several terror attacks, including the Jama Masjid attacks on September 19, 2010, Varanasi’s Sheetla Ghat blasts on December 7, 2010, and Opera House and Zaveri Bazar blasts in Mumbai on July 12, 2011. He also carried out the Pune serial blasts of August 1, 2012 and was involved in the Hyderabad serial blasts on February 21, 2013.

Waqas had fabricated the IED used in an explosion at Sheetla Ghat on December 7, 2010. But he suffered an injury after the detonator went off while connecting the detonator and the timer. He injured two fingers of the left hand, the police said.

This catch has averted many explosions, the police said. The three others have been identified as Mohammad Mahruf (21), Mohammad Waqar Azhar (21), alias Haneef, both from Jaipur; and Shaquib Ansari (25), alias Khalid, from Jodhpur, the police said. Mahruf and Waqar are engineering students in Jaipur, while Ansari runs a computer DTP and design printing business.

The police recovered explosives, detonators, electronic circuits, timers, etc from their possession. They have been booked under the Explosive Substance Act in Jaipur. On March 21, the Special Cell received a tip-off about Waqas’ possible arrival at Ajmer by train. Sleuths of the Special Cell as well as the Rajasthan Police were deployed at the railway station. The terrorist was apprehended as soon as he alighted from the train on Saturday.

The Delhi Police brought him to Delhi and produced before the Special Court today. He was taken on a 10-day police remand for interrogation. Waqas told interrogators that he had arrived in Ajmer to oversee preparations for a “spectacular terror strike” to be carried out by the three men of the Rajasthan module.

Teams were dispatched to Jodhpur and Jaipur and raids were conducted at the places of stay of the three. The police recovered incriminating material this morning.

The material was meant to be used in manufacturing powerful IEDs to target the National Capital, the police said. Waqas belongs to Mustafabad in Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab (Pakistan). His father Jalaluddin is a farmer. His grandfather had migrated to Pakistan from Phagwara, Jalandhar, during Partition.

He was indoctrinated at a young age by terrorist outfits (tanzeems) based in Pakistan. He became active in 2009 in Pakistan. After receiving directions from Riyaz Bhatkal, the absconding chief of the Indian Mujahideen in Karachi, Waqas came to Kathmandu and then entered India. (With agencies inputs)

The big catch

* Zia Ur Rehman, alias Waqas, belongs to Mustafabad in Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab (Pakistan). He is expert in making hydrogen peroxide-based IEDs

* He was indoctrinated by terrorist outfits in Pakistan and became active in 2009

* On IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal’s instructions, he visited Kathmandu and entered India via Bihar, where he met Yasin Bhatkal

* Waqas is wanted for role in blasts at Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Varanasi’s Sheetla Ghat, Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar, and at Pune and Hyderabad 





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