Terrorists may have planned Lahore-like attack on Nashik: ATS

Three security establishments in Nashik including army`s Deolali camp were recceed by arrested LeT terror suspect Shaikh Lalbaba Mohammed Hussain for a Lahore Police Academy-type attack, Maharashtra ATS on Monday said.

Updated: Sep 13, 2010, 23:02 PM IST

Mumbai: Three security establishments in
Nashik including army`s Deolali camp were recceed by arrested
LeT terror suspect Shaikh Lalbaba Mohammed Hussain for a
Lahore Police Academy-type attack, Maharashtra ATS on Monday said.

A terror strike probably similar to that of the 2009
Lahore Police Academy attack was planned on the three
establishments as per instructions from LeT handlers in
Pakistan, an senior ATS official said.

"The Deolali camp, Maharashtra Police Academy and
Police Commissionerate in Nashik were on the hit list of
Shaikh alias Bilal," the official said.

"There may have been a plan of an attack similar to
that of terror strike on Lahore Police Academy," the official
said on condition of anonymity.

On May 30 last year, heavily armed terrorists stormed
a police academy near Lahore, killing at least 27 policemen in
an eight-hour siege that ended with four terrorists being shot
dead and six captured alive by security forces.

Bilal, arrested for allegedly preparing for terror
strikes in Maharashtra last week, was staying in Nashik with
two fake identities and conducted recce of these three
locations since May as per the instructions of his aide Mirza
Himayat Baig, held in connection with Pune blast, the official
said.

"Baig was directed to select these targets by LeT
handlers in Pakistan," the official said.

The fake identities assumed by 27-year-old Bilal were
Amin Manik Parekh and Sutar Iqbal. He was arrested under
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act from Nashik.

During his stay in Nashik, Bilal was working as CNC
lathe machine operator in Satpur industrial area and used to
work in shifts, the official said.

"Whenever Bilal had leisure time, he visited these
places a number of times to get details as what is the area of
the targets, how many exit and entry points they have etc,"
the official said.

They were in the `early stage` of the terror plan, the
official said, adding photographs of these targets were also
seized from them.

According to the ATS, Bilal had visited LeT camps in
Pakistan between January 2008 and early 2010 where he received
advanced training in use of sophisticated weapons and making
bombs. He had sneaked into India thrice during the period
through the Bangladesh and Nepal borders.

In January, Baig along with Mohsin Choudhary and
Mohammad Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin, alleged IM
members, had held a conspiracy meeting at his Gold internet
cafe in Udgir in Latur district to select their targets and
German bakery was chosen as it was frequented by foreigners.

Baig was also in contact with Zaibuddin Ansari, an
alleged LeT member wanted in 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case,
the ATS said.

When asked if Ansari was the person, who allegedly
spoke over satellite phone to the terrorists at Chabad House
in Colaba during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to motivate
them, the ATS said it was not yet clear.

"We do not have voice samples of Ansari to match with
satellite phone conversation by a handler in Pakistan with the
terrorists struck here. It is not right to say that both are
same," the official said.

Sources said Baig, who had received Rs 2.50 lakh after
his bomb making training in Sri Lanka`s Colombo, was also
given Rs 50,000 by Mohsin sometime after the February 13 Pune
bomb blast.

"After the Pune blast, Baig, Mohammed Ahmed and Mohsin
met when the cash was given to Baig," the official said.

"Baig deposited money on regular intervals in one
person`s bank account as per the account holders consent.
Whenever, he got money from his associates, he deposited them
his companion`s account. The bank account has now been
sealed," the official said, refusing the divulge the name of
the bank account holder.

The ATS had seized 700 grams and 1.20 kgs of RDX from
Bilal and Baig respectively, the official said adding the pen
drive seized from the duo was sent to Forensic laboratory for
examination.

PTI