Delhi Blasts





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Published on Sep 13, 2008

Taufique Bilal alias Abdul Subhan Qureshi, 32, a resident of Masjid Bandar in Mumbai, is at the heart of these terrorist attacks triggered by the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Not just a computer wizard, he was also the explosive expert of IM who trained terror operatives and then helped make all the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used at Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Surat.

Till 2001, Abdul worked simultaneously at three software companies. Mumbai anti-terrorist squad (ATS) officials told TOI: "He had joined the companies as a data operator. In a very short span, he learned software and became a wiz. He was so good that he became an expert troubleshooter in the companies. His colleagues say he had a solution to all their problems."

Investigators told TOI that Abdul Subhan had excellent knowledge in computer programming and web designing. "He is the person who had designed an elaborate proxy website and would have knowledge of Java, C++ and Visual Basic programming languages ," said the official.

"Proxy server is a masking website that removes the cyber prints of the surfer. At such times, when the website is traced, what the investigators get is the address of a proxy server and not the real website. If the person can attach such a facility to the website, he should have at least a qualification of a masters in computer applications (MCA) to master the art," added the official.

In 2001 when he resigned, Abdul said that he wanted to devote his time to religious activities and that he should be relieved at the earliest.

Abdul's father who still stays at their Masjid Bandar residence, said that Subhan left in 2001 and never returned. But his wife and two-and-half year old daughter live in the same house.

"Abdul is a very senior SIMI operative of the country who assigns secret codes to all the sleeper cells of IM, which only he knows," said Mumbai ATS officials.

"On March 27, 2008, Abdul was present with Safdar Nagori in Indore , but managed to slip away because police did not know him," said sources.

Police investigators said that it was Abdul who had sent Raziuddin Nasir, son of Maulana Naseeruddin - arrested for the murder of Haren Pandya, to Pakistan for training in bomb-making and terrorist activities. Nasir was arrested by Karnatak police earlier this year.

The modus operandi — emails from Indian Mujahideen warning of or coinciding with blasts, use of ammonium nitrate and ball bearings pellets and other sharpnels in explosives, use of crowded markets so that higher casualties can be achieved even by low-intensity blasts — carries the signature of IM-SIMI. ( Watch )

Besides, the email from Indian Mujahideen, like the two previous ones, was sent from Mumbai, Subhan's base using an unsecured wi-fi connection of Ms Kamran Power Private Limited in Chembur, owned by one Mr Kamat. Although the mail came from Mumbai, references to newspaper coverage in Delhi editions in the past few weeks, suggests that the draftsman may have been in Delhi.

The police has been able to recover the chasis number of the autorickshaw that was used for the blast in Ghaffar Market in Karol Bagh. Four people have also been detained and are being questioned. "We have some good clues," said a police spokesman.

Although Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi stated in Bangalore that he had earlier this month told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Advisor that there were plans to strike the Capital, intelligence sources were taken aback by the Indian Mujahideen's choice of Delhi.

They were suspecting Subhan and Qayamuddin, computer-graphic designer from Vadodara to strike in either Maharashtra or MP.

The probe is going to focus on the likely contacts of Subhan, Qayamuddin, and other absconding IM-SIMI activists — Abdul Bashar, Razeek, Afridi (all from Gujarat), Ikram, Inam and Musa (all from Madhya Pradesh).

Abdul Subhan who has evaded arrest after narrowly escaping a raid by Gujarat Police in Surat on SIMI hideout, has made no secret of his anger over the Ahmedabad crackdown. In the last email that he wrote, intelligence sources suggest, for Indian Mujahideen using the nom de guerre of Al arbi, Abdul Subhan tried to mislead the investigators by calling all the arrested innocent and Kenneth Haywood, the US national whose wi-fi he is suspected to have used to send the email warning of Ahmedabad blasts, an ally.

The return of Haywood has exposed the ploy (significantly, the email on Saturday was conspicuously silent on this). But Abdul Subhan who is regarded as an ace bomb maker also came off as someone smarting under the humiliation of the botched attack on Surat — none of the bombs planted in the diamond city went off because of faulty integrated circuits used in the timers. His last mail had shown his anxiety to prove his credentials.


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