Delhi blast suspect Saif taken to Karnataka

September 22, 2008

Mohammed Saif, arrested after a shootout in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar and suspected to be behind the Sep 13 bombings in the capital, was taken to Karnataka on Monday to find the source of the explosives.

A team of Special Cell and Intelligence Bureau officials accompanied the 22-year-old, nabbed on Friday after Special Cell sleuths swooped down on a rented flat in south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar.

Two suspected terrorists Atif Amin alias Bashir, 24, and Mohammed Sajid, 23, were gunned down while two escaped. A third suspect, Zeeshan, was arrested later in the day. All belong to Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnal Singh, Atif could be the mastermind behind the shadowy Indian Mujahideen who had sent Saif and Sajid to procure explosives from Karnataka.

“Atif gave them a number and asked them to meet a person there. The person gave them explosives and they immediately returned to Delhi,” Singh said.

The same explosives were used to assemble bombs at Atif’s Jamia Nagar house and were detonated in parts of Delhi – one in Karol Bagh, two in Connaught place and two in M block market of Greater Kailash I – by a module of 13 people, the police maintain.

Investigators believe that Saif could be key in the blast probe as Sajid was killed during the shootout.

Saif and Atif were also involved in planting bombs at courts in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007, police said. Besides, the two were also said to be involved in planting bombs in Gorakhpur in May 2007 and in the Sankat Mochan Mandir in Varanasi in March 2006.

“He would be taken to various places in the state. We are also working in close coordination with the Karnataka police,” said a police official involved in the blast investigations.

While Saif was taken to Karnataka, officers from the south district police and Special Cell were jointly interrogating the three suspected terrorists – Zia-ur-Rahman, 22, Mohammed Shakil, 23, and Sakib Nissar, 22, – who were arrested Sunday from Jamia Nagar in connection with the Delhi blasts. They are also said to be from the Indian Mujahideen.

Police said Zia-ur-Rahman planted one of the two bombs at the Central Park in Connaught Place. He had also planted bombs in Mani Nagar of Ahmedabad July 26. Shakil planted a bomb in Gaffar Market in Delhi while Nissar stayed at home as his bomb developed some technical glitch.

“We believe their joint interrogation would unravel more facts about the blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad and other terror strikes,” the official said.

Police said that at present all the terror suspects were being interrogated separately. But they would be confronted with each other to verify their versions about the bombings.

A hunt was on to nab the other six members of the Indian Mujahideen. The police were still checking the laptop recovered from Atif’s apartment.

A Delhi Police team was also expected to visit Dharwad in Karnataka where the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) had reportedly held a training camp for its activists.


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