How a ‘vacationer who lost passport in Turkey’ led companies to first Qaida module in India

NEW DELHI: a few months after he was arrested in 2013, Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal had made a startling disclosure — two Indians were dealing with al Qaida's operations from Afghanistan and India, respectively.In the following months, the important intelligence corporations scrambled to dig deeper into Bhatkal's declare — throughout Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.In 2014, a "tourist" who interestingly misplaced his passport in Turkey sought the Indian embassy's support in Istanbul to return to India. A year later in 2015, the Indian intelligence managed to bust the first module of al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The "vacationer", Mohammad Asif, was formally arrested together with a few others in a six-month operation across the nation.On Friday, the operation reputedly reached its logical conclusion as Asif and three others arrested with him, Abdul Sami, Zafar Masood and Abdul Rehman, had been convicted by using a Delhi courtroom below illegal activities Prevention Act. Two guys, Zeeshan Ali and Sabeel Ahmad, deported from Saudi Arabia in 2017 and 2020, respectively, had been acquitted for lack of evidence.Intelligence sources recalled how Asif's seize and interrogation had led to the opening of a can of worms. He validated the id of the elusive head of AQIS, Maulana Asim Umar, who was passed the place by none apart from Qaida-crucial chief Ayman al Zawahiri.Umar turned out to be Sanaul Haq from Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal, who changed into operating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. "He turned into probably the most two Indians from UP Bhatkal turned into speaking about; the different turned into Asif, who became coping with operations, together with recruitment and indoctrination from India. each were from Sambhal," referred to a source. In 2019, Umar turned into reportedly killed all through a US raid in Afghanistan.Asif also advised agencies how Indian Mujahideen's founder, Riyaz Bhatkal, had visited Afghanistan to meet Umar and seek assist from Qaida to extend operations in India. "This was how Yasin came to find out about them," the source added.Asif then led to the arrest of different participants of his module — financier Masood from Delhi, Rehman from Odisha, and Sami from Mewat in Haryana. They have been in consequence surpassed to Delhi Police.Rehman had visited Pakistan and met 26/eleven plotters Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and others. Asif advised organizations that he and two others left Delhi in June 2013 to move to Tehran after getting a three-month Iranian visa on the pretext of pilgrimage to pay 'ziyarat' at the tomb of Ayotollah Khomeni. They were eventually taken to the Ritik border.Asif also specified how a mosque whose entry gate fell in Iran whereas the exit turned into in Pakistan's territory turned into getting used to smuggle jihadis. This changed into a little time-honored route. From a bus cease on the Pakistan border, Asif travelled through Quetta, Pishin and reached Ghazni in Afghanistan. They then landed in south Wajiristan before being smuggled to Miranshah in north Waziristan.After spending around eight months in a terror camp, Asif turned into asked to move lower back to India. although, Indian intelligence sleuths tracked him down in Iran and he remained in detention for a few month before being sent to Turkey. Devoid of any travel document, Asif sought help from the embassy and walked into the entice set with the aid of the intelligence.

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