Pak-linked terror plot foiled; 3 held in Maha, Gujarat
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Last Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010, 09:59
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, police said.

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 the purpose.

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

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