New Delhi, Oct. 12 -- Originally recruited for the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) before being relegated to the home-grown Indian Mujahideen (IM), the three terrorists were sitting on a dozen ready-to-use Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at their south Delhi hideout. They have been arrested for allegedly executing the August serial blasts in Pune.
Asad Khan, 33, and Imran Khan, 31, had been holed up in Uttar Pradesh since early June this year. They then reached Roorkee and finally Delhi with nothing but a local contact - one Raju Bhai's mobile phone number - along with several kilos of ammonium nitrate, sources said.
"Fayyaz Qagzi, an LeT commander, gave them Raju's mobile number and instructed them to call him only from a PCO. Asad contacted Raju and fixed the first meeting at south Delhi's Nehru Place," said an officer.
After reaching Delhi, the trio took a small trip to the famous electronics market and bought eight electronic detonators. Meanwhile, a two-room flat in Pul Prahladpur, arranged by Raju, was waiting for them.
Sources said Asad, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra and one of the first members of IM's Maharashtra module had been in touch with Qagzi since 2003. He was also indirectly involved in the Aurangabad arms haul case of 2006.
"Asad, who had met Riyaz and Iqbal - the Bhatkal Brothers - at their hide-out in Karachi, then recruited both Imran and Syed Feroz - the third arrested terrorist. The trio made several trips to Saudi Arabia to meet Qagzi between 2007 and 2012," the officer said.
In 2011, Qagzi introduced the three to Riyaz Bhatkal via internet conferencing as their 'new employer' on one of their trips, sources said.
In fact, it was the interception of a few emails exchanged between the trio and Riyaz that made intelligence agencies to track their movements closely. The details of the emails were then shared with the Special Cell of Delhi Police who were already watching the Maharashtra Module closely, intelligence sources said.
"The Special Cell already knew that the IM would want to avenge the murder of Qateel Siddiqui, who had been killed in Pune's Yerwada Jail on June 8. The email details helped piece the police put the puzzle together. We were in fact for them to land in Delhi," the officer added.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.