NEW DELHI (TIP): Even though the entire known leadership of Indian Mujahideen in India is in police net with the recent arrest of Tehsin Akhtar and Waqas, intelligence agencies are not patting their back as yet. Investigations have found out that IM has already prepared the next leadership for the outfit.
At least two operatives who are fully trained, ready and close to the top bosses are out in the field to take reins of the outfit. While one of them, from Bihar, has been trained by Yasin Bhatkal and is said to be as sharp as Tehsin, another has been sent by Pakistan-based IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal. To make matters worse, Bodhgaya and Patna blast key accused Haidar Ali, who was indoctrinated by Tehsin, is yet to be caught.
In fact, security agencies missed the operative from Bihar by whisker when they arrested IM’s former India boss Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal. The operative had been staying with Yasin in Pokhara, Nepal till days before he was arrested on August 29, 2013. “While Haidar is still out, there are two well-trained and high-ranking operatives we are still trying to track. It is likely one of them will now hold the reins of the group.
Until they are out we cannot sit still,” said a senior security establishment officer. Investigations have revealed that sometime around March 2013 when Riyaz was trying to ship a consignment of sophisticated arms from Pakistan to India for an impending fidayeen attack, Yasin had prepared a resident of Bihar as the next top operative who was also to receive the weapons. In an internet chat Yasin told Riyaz that “the person who would receive the arms was from Bihar and he was trying to make him like Hassan (an alias of Tehsin Akhtar)”, notes a chargesheet filed by NIA against Yasin.
Sources say the IM story is far from over as new recruits keep cropping up time and again and that agencies are aware of only those whose information has been provided by arrested accused such as Yasin and Tehsin. “There are still some very motivated and well-trained operatives such as Mirza Shadab Baig and Dr Shahnawaz staying in Pakistan. They would be sent to India in due course to fulfil the objectives of the outfit. After all Asadullah Akhtar was also sitting in Pakistan until he was sent to India to help Yasin,” said the officer.