New Delhi: Indian Mujahideen (IM) was planning to carry out terror strikes in Muzaffarnagar town of Western Uttar Pradesh in retaliation to communal riots that had taken place in the region, Delhi Police sources said here on Wednesday.
This came out in an email message found in the laptop of Ajaz Sheikh, a key IM operative, recently arrested by Delhi Police, which was supposed to have been sent via proxy servers after the planned retailatory attacks, in the manner such a mail had been sent following the Jama Masjid and Varanasi blasts in 2010, said the sources.
The mail also had 'Al Arabi' signature which was the hallmark of earlier similar mails taking responsibility of terrorist strikes by the homegrown terror outfit, they added.
The mail mentions a series of communal riots which had taken place in various cities of Uttar Pradesh, said the sources.
Sources also said the email was a scanned copy which was drafted by Sheikh's Pakistan-based handlers Riyaz Bhatkal and Mohsin Chowdhary. The duo had fled to Pakistan after the Batla House encounter here.
Sheikh is the brother-in-law of Chowdhary and directly took commands from these two from across the border.
Sheikh (27) had sent anonymous mails to media houses claiming responsibility for Jama Masjid and Varanasi blasts in 2010. He was arrested on September 5 from outside Saharanpur railway station in western Uttar Pradesh by a team of Delhi Police's Special Cell following a specific tip-off.
A resident of Pune in Maharashtra, Sheikh was a India-based techie, logistics man and hawala router of IM.
Besides sending e-mails, Sheikh used to provide logistics to IM operatives in India and prepared fake identities required by them for procuring mobile SIM cards, collecting foreign money transfers, obtaining rooms on rent and even in getting enrolled in professional educational institutions as a cover, police said.