New Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have solved the Pune serial blasts in August and averted terror strikes in Delhi and Bihar`s Bodhgaya during upcoming festival season with the arrest of three suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists.
The Pune blasts were to avenge the murder of IM operative Qateel Siddique in Yervada Jail on June eight and the initial plan was to target Mumbai or the prison but later this was changed due to logistical reasons, police said.
Asad Khan (33), who is a recruiter, motivator and ideologue of the IM, and Imran Khan (31) were arrested on September 26 from their hideout in Pul Prehladpur in south Delhi and Syed Firoze (38) was apprehended from Nizamuddin Railway station five days later, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told a press conference here.
Asad Khan is a computer expert and has done his diploma.
They were allegedly directed by top operatives of the outfit Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal.
Five kg of explosive materials, ten detonators and other articles were recovered from them.
They had plans to target Delhi during the festival season and a temple in Bodhgaya. "With the arrests, we have managed to avert these incidents," Kumar said.
"During the interrogation of Abu Jundal, we came to know about the plans to strike terror in the country," he said.
Jundal, a key 26/11 handler, was arrested here in June are being deported from Saudi Arabia.
It came to light during his interrogation that one Fayaz Ahmed Qagzi, a resident of Beed in Maharashtra who is presently based in a West Asian country, was coordinating with Bhatkals. Qagzi was directing the three arrested also.
"It was the Bhatkals who asked one Raju Bhai to arrange hideouts for the trio," Kumar said.
Police have prepared sketches of Raju Bhai and two others who were allegedly wanted in Pune blasts and are yet to be arrested.
"The Indian Mujahideen militants received their finances through hawala transactions. This module had received Rs three lakh from their mentors based abroad through hawala operators.
"Later, on the instructions of Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal, they came to Delhi for causing blasts," Kumar said.
Asad and Imran told police that they came to Delhi from
Roorkie on the directions of Bhatkals and Qagzi, who had allegedly instructed Raju Bhai to arrange shelter for the arrested trio.
"Raju arranged house for them at Pul Prehladpur. The arrested trio do not know much about Raju Bhai. Only Bhatkals knew about Raju Bhai. Asad and Imran met him at Nehru Place. Raju Bhai speaks in Urdu-Hindi in North Indian accent," Kumar said.
The duo also told police that they carried out the Pune blasts and other members of the module from Maharashtra would join them in Delhi following which Firoz was apprehended.
"Asad was the recruiter, motivator and ideologue of IM. He met Imran and indoctrinated him," Kumar said.
It was in August 2009 that Asad came in touch with Qagzi, an alleged LeT operative based in Saudi Arabia, through telephone and email.
The arrested trio had also gone to Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions and had met Qagzi where they allegedly discussed carrying out terror strikes in India.
In January this year, Qagzi introduced Asad to Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal, who "wanted to avenge" the murder of Siddique.
"Initially the plan was to bomb Yerwada Jail or Pune court premises. However, because of security, they changed the plans."
Later the trio were asked to murder the family of Sharad Mohol and Ashok Bhalerao, who allegedly murdered Siddique.
"Since they were unable to identify the relatives, this plan was also given up. Then the Bhatkal brothers then finally decided to carry out in Mumbai or Pune," Kumar said.