Mumbai: A suspected Pakistan-linked
terror plot has been foiled with police arresting two Mumbai
residents, who were planning to attack three targets including
ONGC headquarters, and a third man in Gujarat capital after
busting a terror module.
The arrest of three men Saturday night by the Anti-Terrorism
Squads (ATS) of Maharashtra and Gujarat, who claimed the plot
had Pakistan links, along with a top militant in Manipur was
described by Home Secretary G K Pillai as a "major success".
Acting on a tip-off by Central security agencies, Abdul
Latif alias Guddu (29) and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan (23) --
residents of Bandra and Dahisar areas in Mumbai respectively
-- were arrested near Matunga railway last night, Maharashtra
ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi told reporters.
The two were charged with relevant Sections of Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act and remanded to police custody
till March 18.
"We have established that their targets were ONGC in
suburban Bandra, Thakkar Mall and Malgaldas Market. They
wanted to execute their terror plans soon. Their plans
included sabotage and setting ablaze the targets," he said,
adding the duo had conducted recce of the three targets.
Mangaldas Market is one of the largest indoor cloth and
dress material markets in the city.
"Preliminary probe suggested the duo were getting
instructions from someone called 'Uncle' from Pakistan to
execute their activities here," Raghuvanshi said.
Foiling a plan by Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen to set
up base in Gujarat, police arrested a Kashmiri resident Bashir
Ahmed Baba alias "Pepsi bomber", who was allegedly recruiting
youths. Baba, a resident of Srinagar, had conducted a recce of
key sites including ISRO facility and Akshardham in the state,
Gujarat ATS chief Ajay Tomar said Bashir was in "close
contact with Hizbul Mujaheedin leader Bilal Shera, who is
located in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK)."
"We have arrested one Basheer Ahmed Baba alias Aijaz
(32) from near Samarkha village in Anand district last night,"
Tomar said in Ahmedabad. Baba has been booked under Section
120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under various
Sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Baba, who was out on bail, was arrested on a tip-off
provided by Central security agencies after police got a clue
of his activities, which were being closely monitored.
Tomar said Baba's main job was to identify vulnerable
youth, brainwash them and send them to Pakistan for terror
training, adding he had till now sent nearly 3,000 youths for
A resident of Srinagar, Baba was known among the Jammu
and Kashmir police as "Pepsi Bomber" for his ability to
assemble Improvised Explosive Devices in empty Pepsi cans
along with an accomplice.
He was arrested after officials traced the chemical
factory, set up in the house of one Arif Gilkar, where the two
allegedly used to assemble the IEDs.
Baba had conducted detailed recce of some places,
including Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Railway
stations, Kankaria Lake, Science City, Akshardham Temple,
malls and cinema houses, Tomar said, adding he was also in
constant touch with one General Abdulla of the Jamiyat-ul
Mujahideen during his stay in Gujarat,
Tomar said Baba used to send the youths to Bilal, who
trained them to use explosives at 15-day camps.
"His work here was to set up a network in the state. We
have seized some documents, mobile phones and SIM cards,
visiting cards, phone number of persons in Saudi Arabia."
In Mumbai, Raghuvanshi said Latif and Riyaz were also
given the task of arranging passports in order to send their
associates from here to Pakistan for recruitment.
"The duo had also submitted relevant documents for
passports," he said. "However, before their associates reached
Pakistan, they wanted to carry out at a big incident here."
First Published: Monday, March 15, 2010, 09:59