Raju Bhai, handler of the three suspected Indian Mujahideen men arrested by the Delhi Police
The Delhi Police says that it has arrested three men from terror group Indian Mujahideen who were planning major strikes in Delhi and Mumbai during the busy festival season; these men were also allegedly part of a group of seven terrorists that planted a series of bombs in Pune in August. The remaining four men of this gang have yet to be identified or located.
In Delhi, their handler was a man named Raju Bhai, who is believed to be 40 years old and is missing. The police have released a sketch of him today.
The three men were caught in an apartment in south Delhi. "They were carrying huge amounts of explosives and other materials for making bombs," said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. "They had also planned to attack Bodhgaya temple in Bihar...We have informed the Bihar Police and asked them to step up security in the temple premises," he added.
The trio - Asad, Imran Khan and Sayeed Firoz - was allegedly part of a group of seven who tried to attack Pune two months ago. Six bombs had been planted on one of the city's busiest roads during the evening rush hour. They did not blow up as intended, saving the city from what could have been a large-scale disaster. The police say that the group originally planned to attack six places in Mumbai, including busy markets and the headquarters of the Anti-Terror Squad. When that appeared to be tough to pull off, they decided to focus on Pune. The remaining four men of this gang have yet to be identified or located.
The police say that the men it has arrested were close to Yasin Bhatkal, who founded the Indian Mujahideen along with his brother Riaz.
Police officers share this version of events. They say that in 2009, Asad heard about a man named Fayaz Qagzi in Saudi Arabia who worked for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He contacted Qagzi over the internet. Like the two other men arrested with him, he visited Qagzi in Saudi Arabia and developed plans for carrying out strikes in India.
The Delhi Police claims that through Qagzi, the three men also met with the Mujahideen founders, the Bhatkal brothers. Qaqzi was allegedly known to Abu Jundal, who is in jail in India and allegedly tipped off the police to the module of terrorists who tried to attack Pune in August.
Jundal was deported to India from Saudi Arabia in June, and has allegedly confessed that during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, in which 166 people died, he was based in a control room in Karachi, and directed the ten terrorists on the ground through India's worst-ever terror attack.