Delhi: The attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year, that had left seven personnel dead and 37 others injured, was planned in April 2014 at a meeting in Sialkot in Pakistan by Jaish-e-Mohammed operative Shahid Latif who showed the potential attackers a Google map of the base.
As per the chargesheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, he told them that it was “easy” to launch an attack since the airbase was surrounded by forests, The Indian express reported.
This information is said to have been gathered from a witness who was present at the meeting.
Wrapping up investigations in the Pathankot airbase attack case, NIA filed a chargesheet against Pakistan-based JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the January two audacious terror strike.
The chargesheet was filed in the NIA court at Panchkula in which all the four have been slapped with charges under Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Besides Azhar, his brother Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and two handlers - Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan - have been named in the exhaustive chargesheet.
While Interpol Red Corner Notice against three has been issued, the same was pending against Jan, the NIA said.
The chargesheet will also put to rest speculation about the number of terrorists involved in the attack as the agency gave details of only four militants.
There was confusion about the number of terrorists as Defence Minister Manohar Parikar and Home Minister Rajnath Singh had informed that the number was six.
The chargesheet also hinted of lax security at the strategic IAF base in Pathankot and said that the four terrorists - Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayoom - who were Pakistani nationals belonging to Jaish, had entered the premises at 0840 hours of January one and entrenched themselves in a drain and adjacent shed belonging to Military Engineering Services, as per PTI.
The terrorists were engaged in a gunfight only at 0320 hours of January two, 19 hours after they had entered the IAF base.
(With Agency inputs)